The Ringer

Vote by January 5, 2014!


In Episode 5, readers voted for Clark to tell Scarlett how he feels about her.

Episode 6

Clark knocks on Scarlett’s door after a few hours of tossing and turning. He’s never been so…distracted. Especially not by any one person. He just squirmed around in bed for hours trying anything and everything to stop thinking about her long enough to fall asleep, but he couldn’t. He decided on taking a chance and talking to her about his feelings. Usually when he does that it’s just to get women on his “good” side, and this will be the first time it’s genuine albeit genuinely confusing.

He tapped 3 times lightly on the door, immediately after scolding himself for the decision. But, to his pleasant surprise, Scarlett responded quickly with a. awake sounding, “yes?”

He asked if he could come in and once she granted that permission he walked in the room to see her playing solitaire on the bed using her phone as a source of light. He laughed at her, hard, as he flipped on the light switch then asked why on earth she was playing cards by phone-light.

“I wasn’t sure where your room was and if you got up or anything I didn’t want to disturb you by having the light on. Especially since you’ve been so kind already.” She responded, giggling a little bit at herself because as she said it out loud, it made much less sense. But, thinking about things at night does tend to warp how you actually feel about them so she chalked the decision up to that phenomenon.

She continued once he finally stopped laughing at her by saying, “So, why are you awake so… well, early?”

“I could ask you the same thing.”

“Yes, but you didn’t. I beat ya to it.” She responded matter-of-factly. “So? What’s got you sleepless?”

“Well… Ok I don’t know how to say this because I haven’t even figured it out myself, so I don’t know if it’ll make sense but… and I mean, it’s completely inappropriate timing and I probably shouldn’t tell you and, for God’s sake I work with your husband… I just think I’m hoping maybe the risk I’m taking it worth it because otherwise I’m screwing up something –“

“Clark!” She interrupted, recognizing he would probably ramble on this way for as long as she said nothing. And at this point she really wanted to know what he was trying to say.

“Sorry… Look. Like I said, it’s totally inappropriate but, I have never, and I am not exaggerating when I say never, had as good a time with someone just talking as I did with you last night. Every time I saw you with Clay knowing the way he didn’t appreciate you, it made me ache. But I always just ignored it because you’re with Clay and I thought it would pass. Last night told me it won’t. “

Scarlett was caught off guard, confused and oddly elated at the same time.

Clark finished by saying, “I don’t know what I expect you to say, if anything, I just wanted to you know. Before going back to Clay. Even if you and I never end up knowing if this means anything, I wanted you to know there are people besides Clay who will appreciate you the way you deserve to be.”

Scarlett was speechless, at first. She sat silent for longer than was probably comfortable. But she didn’t know what to say. She finally settled on telling Clark that she needed to go talk to Clay. While she couldn’t see anything bringing them back together, she at least needed to determine what was next for them before she could look past that and feel good about it. Despite Clark’s insistence that she stay the rest of the night because it was 3 in the morning, Scarlett felt strangely rushed get things over with as far as Clay goes and she was gone minutes later.

She pulled up to the curb of the house, thinking for some reason that parking in the driveway would in some way be a step towards forgiving him where the curb is more where a guest or stranger would park. Right now, that’s all she felt like she was to Clay. Just as she had before she left, Scarlett sat in the car both crying and taking advantage of her brief pauses to figure out what she was going to say.

Their bedroom light was on as she could tell from the almost eerie glow the light made through their curtains. Scarlett wondered each time she looked at it if the lights being on meant Clay, too, had been up all night worried about her and their relationship. Maybe they did stand a chance and there was an explanation to all of this.

Scarlett no sooner thought that than saw a shadow walk across the window and, at first, she was filled with hope that her thoughts had been confirmed. Just as quick as the feeling came, it went when she saw a second shadow cross the window in the same direction.

Scarlett scolded herself for even considering that Clay would do the first thing that popped into her head but as she stayed watching the window intently, she saw two shadows once again.

Moving quickly but quietly, she got out of the car and up to the door which, despite being locked, was open as though whoever pushed it hadn’t pushed quite hard enough.

Remaining stealthy, Scarlett crept up the carpeted stairs until she reached the landing before the second set where she started to hear voices. Moving slowly up a couple more steps and being careful to not only make sure their steps didn’t get closer but to avoid the creaking one she always hated, she ever so slightly lifted her head just enough to see through the banisters and into their bedroom.

Clay fell onto the bed, lying on his back with his hands over his face and for a split second Scarlett wondered if she’d overreacted but in that same moment a petite, dark-haired woman tossed herself on top of him, giggling as he grunted when she did so.

Realizing who it was left Scarlett so weak in the knees and light-headed that she almost fell down the stairs.

←[ Previous Episode SerealitiesSerealities [ Next Episode ]

Follow by Email

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: