Bullets of Regret (Short Story)

Gia Andretti- Torres laid in bed, her slender body under her 6’3” Marine husband as they made passionate love. Jamie Torres was a truly beautiful man, with the face of a model and the body of a pro-wrestler. He was 200 pounds of pure strength, warmth, and compassion. Too bad Jamie died six months ago in Yemen. ‘That’s what you get for marrying a man who loves his country.’

Jamie got his looks from Miguel, his gorgeous father.  Despite being in his early sixties the man was stunning. It had always been Gia’s fantasy to make passionate love to both men- not that she would ever say such a thing out loud.

Especially not now.

Gia was awoken by the sound of Miguel’s cries. “Gia?”  The man was struggling for breath. She turned him on his side to reopen his airway. The two shared a bed since, by odd coincidence, Miguel started to suffer sleep seizures after his son’s death.

“Miguel, I’m here, It’s ok.” Gia had the body of a gymnast, small, but deceptively strong. “I’m going to move your leg.” She knew that as a young soldier Miguel suffered severe nerve damage in his left leg. The pain only worsened as he aged. Gia massaged his leg from the hip down to his knee, using gentle pressure. When she was finished she kissed Miguel’s forehead. She held the kiss, stroking his hair. There was something so fascinating about his hair; dark grey, the color of asphalt with some lighter shades throughout. The color continued to his mustache and beard, as Gia noticed when she watched him sleep.

“Gia, you are so good to me,” he said with tears in his dark innocent eyes.

“Because I love you, Miguel, You know that,” Gia said as she kissed his cheek. In addition to the issues with his leg, Miguel was in the late stages of terminal cancer. Jamie had donated bone marrow, prior to his death, but it wasn’t enough. All Gia could do was keep Miguel comfortable for his last days. “I’m going to bring you your wheelchair so you can make it to your office. And then I’m going to make you a nice cup of tea.”

“I-I would like that.”

She headed to the kitchen just in time to run into her mother-in-law, Evelyn barging down the hall. The middle-aged blonde in a suit was clearly on her way to work. “Evelyn, is everything ok?”

“As if you care, you little leach!” Evelyn grabbed her purse. “Do us all a favor and get a fucking job!”

“I have a job!”Gia shouted back. She understood Evelyn’s anger. Miguel was a great deal older than his once trophy wife.  After his time in the service, he had gone on to get his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics. During his illustrious teaching career, Miguel had written seventeen books and was granted tenure at Texas A&M. He had been a wealthy man, in his prime. But when he became too sick to work, and the medical bills started piling up, it fell to Evelyn to pull in a steady income.

‘Fucking trophy bitch.’ Gia went to the kitchen to fill the kettle. Since Miguel’s organs were shutting down there was very little he could eat without causing severe nausea. She returned with a cup of warm herbal tea with honey. “Here you go.”

Miguel smiled. “Thank you, my love,” he said in a sexy Spanish accent.

Gia felt her cheeks flush, as she always did. When he smiled the deep lines and wrinkles surrounding his eyes lifted, enhancing his innocent beauty. “Aw, baby you are just a little sweetheart. Did you take your pills?”

“I-I believe so.”

Gia opened his desk drawer and sighed. In the drawer was his pill container with his dosages doled out in seven boxes. She thought it might help, but sadly she was mistaken. “Miguel, do you know what day it is?”

The man looked down at his trembling hands. He shook his head. There were tears in his eyes. “I-I’m so sorry.”

“It’s Thursday.”

Miguel opened a book. Holding the teacup, he moved his finger to the page. It was clear he was reading the same sentence over and over. He suddenly dropped the cup, the water spilling all over the table. He slowly blinked his eyes, grasping at his chest. “Gia…”

She gripped his hand. “Are you having a seizure?” Looking down at his lap she already knew the answer. The man had urinated through his pajamas. “Put your arm around me,” Gia said as she lowered him from his chair. Lying on the floor Miguel sobbed as he struggled for breath. She turned him on his side. “I’m right here. I won’t leave you.” She sat with Miguel until his body was calm.

“Where’s Jamie?” he asked.

“In Yemen.” It was technically the truth. All that was recovered were his dog tags. Miguel had gone to the funeral, he received the flag. She didn’t have the heart to constantly remind him that his son was dead. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”

She wheeled him to the bathroom where she sat him on the toilet. Her eyes met his; her fingers nimbly stroked the collar of his shirt. One button, then two, slowing exposing his skin.

“I am capable of undressing myself,” Miguel said with a smile. “Not that I mind.”

Gia bit her lip. Miguel had a beautiful body, for a man his age. In stories and old photos he stood six-foot-two with a muscular build. Not unlike Jamie.

But the man she was undressing was slender in both face and body. His shoulders were broad as was his chest. His body was well defined, with just enough softness in his pectorals and stomach that jutted out with a slight paunch. Gia stroked her fingers down the scar between his pectorals, where the doctors had to cut into his chest. “God, you’re beautiful.”

Miguel took her hand. “Thank you, my love.” He smiled sweetly as he kissed her fingers.

Gia kissed his cheek before taking a step back. “I’ll let you get finish getting undressed.”

The walk-in bathtub resembled a jacuzzi. Jamie had it installed after his father collapsed in the shower. But with Miguel’s seizures, he could not be left alone.

With Miguel seated Gia turned on the water. The jets quickly filled the tub with warm steamy water. Gia dipped her hands in the water for moisture and warmth. The man leaned his head forward as Gia massaged his neck and shoulders with deep pressure.

“This feels so awkward like I’m on display. Come one come all, see the dirty old man in the hot tub.” Miguel turned his head to face her. “My dear Gia, will you allow me the pleasure of your company?”

Gia wanted to, she honestly did. “This isn’t right.”

“What isn’t right?” he asked. “We already share a bed.”

“That’s for medical reasons,” she said with a slight laugh. ‘Your wife already wants to kick my ass.’

“Please,” he whispered. Miguel caressed Gia’s face, drawing her in for a soft kiss. “Would you truly deny the wish of a dying man?”

She had to admit it felt kind of nice; to feel the warmth of another human being, even if she was about to get soaking wet. Gia glided her body to his lap. She sat with her legs over his, beneath the soothing water. “Will you hold me?”

“Of course.” Miguel put his arms around her as she rested her head on his shoulder. “It’s a natural human instinct to want to be held. Miguel closed his eyes. “We all want to feel cherished and loved.”

As Gia closed her eyes a rush of energy flowed through her body. She lifted Miguel’s face. Both her and Miguel’s eyes opened at the same time as if peering into each other’s souls. She cupped Miguel’s cheeks kissing his lips. Over and over, sucking the air from his lungs. She wanted him to carry her to the bed, but that was just a fantasy. Gia slid her underwear off, in anticipation of sex on his lap. She figured the water would allow for less pressure on his bad leg.

Miguel turned off the bath, the water quickly drained from the tub. “Wrap your legs around me.”

Gia did as he asked. Was he going to try to stand? If this was a symptom of his mind fading she didn’t want to upset him. She was certain the moment Miguel tried to put weight on his leg the discomfort would snap him back to reality. Gia already had a plan in place for how she would free herself to prevent him from injury.

Miguel stood up placing weight on his bad leg. He carried her out of the tub, to their bedroom. With one hand he stripped the bed down to the fitted sheet covering the mattress. Gia’s focus was on Miguel’s eyes: the lustful hunger. He had the gaze of a tiger staring down his prey.

A ghostly figure appeared behind him. “Hey beautiful, it’s been a while.” The voice was clearly Jamie.

“How are you here?” Gia asked.

” I’ve always been here. I just needed the right moment.” The figure glowed as it melded with Miguel’s body. “As long as I am here my father is able to draw from my strength.”

Miguel leaned over Gia, his hands caressing her curves. “Gia, my love, your beauty is undeniable.”

“Are you comfortable, Dad?” asked Jamie’s disembodied voice.

“Yes, I’m quite comfortable.”

Gia could feel Miguel inside her, his hot breath on her neck as they made love. His touch felt like Jamie, his scent, his moans. Gia felt a tear stream down her cheek. “I never got to say goodbye.”

Miguel pressed his lips to her ear. “It’s never too late.”

With her eyes closed, she could picture Jamie’s face. “I love you.” For some reason, she could also hear the rumbling of a drum, like in a marching band.

Jamie’s voice echoed in her mind. “I love you too, Gia. And I always will.”

Bam! The sound of a drumstick hitting the resin surface of a drum transformed to become the sound a bullet exiting a gun.

A horrible memory flashed through her mind. “I’m sorry we argued the day you left.” Gia had cursed at Jamie as he loaded his bag into the taxi.  She even threatened to leave him.

The sound of cymbals clashed as the memory appeared, clear as day. Gia was shouting at him, her questions now taking the form of bullets flying from her lips. “Why do I have to abandon my life?”

A shot tore through Jamie’s shoulder.

“Why can’t you get a normal job?”

Another hit his arm.

“You didn’t have to re-up your contract! You could have chosen to stay with me. Why didn’t you choose me?”

A final round struck Jamie in the chest.

Jamie locked eyes with Gia as blood trickled from his lips. “If I could go back, I would have,” his voice was choked with emotion. “I’m so sorry.”

“No, I’m sorry,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. “I’m sorry I wasn’t the wife you deserved.” Gia heard the soft sound of a triangle. It was time for her to wake up.

Miguel’s lips caressed her forehead, down her nose to her mouth. He locked onto her with one last powerful kiss.

Gia sank her nails into his back as she felt his body climax. “I love you,” she said in a whisper. ‘Goodbye Jamie.’

Miguel suddenly grasped at his leg. “Gia, I need your help.” Gia laid the man on his back. She applied gentle pressure to his hip working down his leg. But she was crying too hard to continue. Miguel reached out and stroked her cheek. “Rest your head, my love.” As Gia laid on his chest, his eyes reverted back to their normal innocent gaze.

A hand of light touched Miguel’s face, closing his eyes. His chest froze as the man’s heart had stopped.

“Miguel? Please no.” Gia wept as she held him close.

“It’s ok,” said Jamie. Her husband appeared as an angel clad in camo fatigues. “Thank you for keeping him safe. But now it’s my turn to watch over him.”

“I miss you so much, Jamie.”

“I miss you too, Gia. I’ll see you again someday.”

Miguel stood next to his son. He was young, strong wearing a uniform from a forgotten era. Standing side by side they looked like brothers. Miguel looked back at her one last time. “I want you to find your happiness, your future. Promise me.”

In a blink of an eye, they were gone. Gia sat up in bed. She wanted to give Miguel one last kiss but there was no point. She took down a duffle bag that used to belong to Jamie and quickly packed. As she left the house she had no idea where she wanted to go. All she knew for certain was that she couldn’t look back.

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2 thoughts on “Bullets of Regret (Short Story)

  1. Reblogged this on Dourdan and commented:

    A new edit to an old story, in honor of Independence Day…

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