Shaina continued pushing the elevator button, the one with the arrow pointing down. This, of course, was not working, it wasn't going to make the elevator come any faster, but in her mind, she just hoped it would do the trick. She stopped herself from pressing the elevator button once more and took a step back. It was agonizing just to stand there and wait. She just stood there in the middle of the hallway waiting for that darn contraption to arrive. Shaina glanced over at the door that clearly marked the staircase and contemplated on going down that route, but the thought of going down so many flights of stairs didn't sound so appealing to her. She wanted to get out of that building as soon as she could.

The soft sound of the elevator bell announced its arrival to the floor where it had been called to. Shaina didn't hesitate one bit and entered as soon as the doors had opened enough for her to get through. Once again she started pushing the button for the doors to close after she had pressed the button to the lobby. She wanted to ride the elevator on her own. She was in no mood for sharing the small space. The doors to the elevator closed and she felt like she could breathe a bit more easily. Shaina told herself to calm down and to wait for the darn contraption to get to the first floor. Her mind was racing, her heart was pounding, and her feelings were in all sorts. She hated feeling this way. She hated that once again after two months of not speaking to the man she had once more fallen for the same song and dance. The worst of it all was that he was his usual self; it was always the same. He would always figure out a way to get in contact with her; whether it was a simple misunderstanding or a simple hello, he always knew how to manipulate the situation and get her attention.

It was her fault really. It was always her fault for setting up her hopes and expectations. She never learned. This time, on the other hand, had been slightly different than the others. It was an eye-opener. He had texted her a couple of days ago. He had sent her the weirdest text ever to a particular part of the article she had written. In the end, she had clarified and set him straight about the simple misunderstanding. He played it cool. He played it like he always did; he apologized and that had been enough to open the lines of communication with her once again.

Aioros was the man every single woman wanted as a partner, a husband, as their happily ever after. He was known around her circle of friends as a 'good on paper' guy. He had a good job, a nice apartment, single/divorced and was the perfect father figure for his seven-year-old daughter. Yes, he had been married and has been divorced for five years. Shaina had cared at first when she had met him as she had never considered liking a man that had children. But the more she had gotten to know him, the less she had cared. Their relation escalated too quickly as the line from friends to couple had been blurred in one swift move. They had dated for three months and then came the inevitable breakup as Shaina began to realize that the man clearly had control issues, more than she did. So after the breakup, there had been a month, or two, with no communication, that is until he had texted her 'accidently.' From then on it had been the same vicious circle.

This time he had begun his same old song; being flirtatious. It was something he knew how to do so well that just by looking at him you would have never guessed. The dance had been a slightly different but all the same as well and it had killed her that this time she hadn't figured it out earlier. It was apparent now that it had been the same, but after two months of hearing, and knowing nothing of him had made her temporarily blind to the fact that he was toxic. In her state of confusion, and somewhat surprise, she had been glad that he had reached out - even if it was by a simple mistake if you will. Shaina had missed him and reading his words had been enough for her to temporarily dismiss the chaos she had gone through the last time they had been together.

As she rode the elevator down to its destination, she cursed herself for being the one to say that she wanted to meet up. Aioros, of course, had played his part well. He had given her the performance of his life by telling her that he didn't want to say something that would make her mad or upset her in any way. So he played it friendly, calm, and told her to let him think about it, and she had promised that she would behave. After two days of a simple conversation, she started to see that a lot of the things that he had said he would answer were left unsaid. She hadn't thought about it much at first, but it had crossed her mind once or twice that he had never given her an answer. Shaina had also figured out that he was already involved with someone else. He was never clear about it or came out and told her directly, but her assumptions, in the end, had been correct by his actions and response. Aioros was a man that regards of him being a good father and having a full-time job; he managed to find time to date. Shaina assumed that the woman Aioros was currently seeing was someone he had recently started to going out. Oddly enough, Shaina hadn't found this as a deal breaker as they were just having a friendly conversation. Incomplete conversations, but pleasant nonetheless.

Shaina exited the elevator, and as soon as the desk clerk had seen her, he had informed her that a car was waiting for her outside. Shaina was thankful that the taxi she had called before leaving Aioros's apartment had arrived quickly. She walked out the familiar building, but not before thanking the desk clerk and the doorman who had held the main doors and car door for her. Shaina gave the address to the driver and leaned back on the back seat. She didn't look at the familiar apartment as they drove away. She closed her eyes and wished that the ride home would be nice and short. She needed a drink but figured the half bottle of wine she had at home would have to do. Her mind was soon plagued by the words Aioros had said to her. She kicked herself mentally for the stupid mistake she had made once again. Aioros had been his usual arrogant self and had set rules for her once they had finished having sex in his bed. He hadn't taken long to go into full detail. He had still been inside of her when he had started laying down his rules. Shaina had been stunned, not two seconds ago had her orgasm subsided when she was now being read her Miranda rights. The first rule was that she had to stop insisting on knowing who he was with. She had laid there shocked at hearing his words and all she could ask herself was when had it been that she had insisted on knowing with whom he was with. The second rule came right after he laid next to her. He didn't want her insisting on phone calls or voice messages, or Skyping for that matter. The third, although not a rule, was his reasoning as to how things should be done. He wanted for them to take things slow and see how they would be as friends and how well it would go before even considering talking over the phone. The fourth, and what seemed to be final for that moment, was for them to keep their conversation on a text basis only.

The only words Shaina had been able to utter were okay, followed closely by telling him that she would leave things in his hands. In reality, she had no idea what had just happened. His words were said strictly, as a father telling his daughter how to behave. Aioros had soon sat up in bed and kissed her on the lips. He had caressed her cheek and smiled sweetly at her before getting out of bed and telling her that he was heading to take a shower. She laid in bed for a few minutes thinking of what he had just said to her before she got up and out bed. Shaina never did tell him she was leaving and she most certainly didn't leave a note. She had left his apartment after getting dressed without thinking it twice.

Shaina noticed that they still had some time before they would reach her apartment. She took out her phone and reviewed every single message she had with Aioros. She read each one and couldn't see where she had insisted on knowing with whom he was, or where she had wanted to talk to him over the phone, or any of the other things he had said. After all, he had been the one to set the date as he had told her that he needed to think about it when she had suggested it, once. That was it, she had suggested it once, and he had made her look like she had been the one that had insisted countless of times. It became clear to her that Aioros wanted to dominate her outside of the bedroom just as much as he tried to do so when they were in bed. A couple of tears ran down her face as she finally realized that she was an emotional masochist when it came to Aioros. She was mad at herself for letting herself get involved with him. She was disappointed in herself and her weakness when it came to him and having him in her life. Then and there she promised herself that this would be the last time she would see him, the last time she would fall for his words, and the last time she would have any contact with him.

Shaina placed her phone in her purse and told herself to call her therapist in the morning for an emergency session. She needed to vent, and Marin had been clear the last time that she was against her seeing Aioros. The last thing she wanted to heat was an 'I told you so' from her best friend. Shaina took out her phone again and looked in her contacts for the man that she was swearing off. She edited his information and blocked him so that she no longer would receive any calls or texts from him. Shaina reassured herself by repeating over and over that she was doing the right thing. She was sure that this would be the last time she would ever see him in any romantic way. He was not good for her, and she needed to do what was best for her. She knew that it wouldn't be easy getting him out of her system, but she would try her best to do so. She would move on eventually, but for today she would feel angry, sad, and she would comfort herself with wine and comfort food.

Shaina stepped out of the cab once it had come to a complete stop in front of her apartment building. She stood on the sidewalk and took a deep breath in before heading inside. Her mind told her that she needed a change and it seemed that she already knew what needed to be done. Even if her heart ached at that moment, she knew she needed a change in her life. As she entered her building and rode the elevator up to the third floor, she knew deep inside that Aioros would always be a part of her life; after all, she had been in love with the man.

Shaina closed the door behind her as she entered her small one bedroom apartment. In the end, all she could think of was the change she needed to make and the small one she had just made. Little did she know that regardless of what she did in the future it would somehow always involve Aioros. It would only take her a couple of months to learn that little piece of information.

The End.