Disclaimer: I still don't own anything but those words
Finally, the last piece of the trilogy. This is what happens after 'Eight Months'
Frog Blue, Yellow and Pink
I've always known that romantic movies were full of crap. It's true, everything is easy, even when things are complicated plot wise and that everybody is hurting everyone, everything is easy; I mean people get together in a matter of minutes.
In reality, it never happens that way, and when everything goes to hell in a hand basket, well… complicated becomes a freaking understatement. No, actually nothing is complicated, we are the one making situations complicated, or rather our inherent inability to handle our emotions makes things complicated. It's true, if we never felt anything, life would be a very smooth and flat ride.
I've never believed that human relationships were easy, they aren't; in fact it's a nightmare for me because outside of my family, human relationships are nothing but confusion and misunderstanding. And that's the exact reason why I've always been adamant to protect myself from people.
It's not a hard shell I have around me, it's a highly secured fortress; and I've made the access so difficult that the only person to get past it are the one who perseveres, needless to say that they haven't been that many as time went by. I've learnt quite early that people can hurt you badly, physically and emotionally. But the worse is that people who love and care about you hurt you far much more than the people you don't care about; my father is the best proof of that theory.
I've never been hurt, not really at least when it came to intimate relationships; but then again that was easy because I've always kept people away from my heart; my partners gave up or just never cared enough to make an effort, either way I've never let anyone come anywhere near my appendage.
That being said there are things you can't foresee. In my case, I hadn't seen Catherine coming.
Objectively speaking though, she made a sneaky approach from my blindside. It's true, five years of pissing me off and pushing my buttons on a daily basis, making an anger ball out of me every chance she could get; how could I have possibly known that she was a threat to my heart?
Alright, admittedly in spite of our arguments and our unbalanced relationship, she has always shown interest in me, in an 'it's-not-because-we're-on-each other's-throat-all-the-time-that-I-don't-care-abou t-you-like-I care-about-the-boys' kind of way. Or, she has always had this way to insinuate herself through my defensive arsenal; yes because it was an invasion, granted it was subtle, but an invasion still; with her way to be close to me one moment before taking back her distance the next. Sometimes it was like she could see through the walls of my fortress; and no matter how many times I pushed her away and reinforced my defence lines, she was persevering, slowly but surely installing herself.
So yes, maybe I lacked vigilance, or maybe that she's the first one to wear me out. I mean, pushing the enemy away repeatedly and regularly is an energy demanding job, and since she has always been the kind to impose herself, I guess I kind of got used of her pacific aggression.
She came in without a warning, and it was without a warning that she kissed me for the first time. I might be awkward, at times I'm inept even, when it comes to get the signals but I can say without the hint of a doubt that Catherine has never sent any signals my way.
One day, out of the blue, she just knocked on my door and after a few seconds of silence she kissed me; it wasn't sensual, languid or passionate; no, it was just a delicate contact between her lips and mine. My eyes were open at the contact, also I remember blinking with a slight frown when it was over.
Then, far from being hurt or taken aback by my lack of reaction, she told me that she had been thinking; in fact she had been thinking a lot and that she had come to the conclusion that she liked me, that she was attracted to me; not in a 'I'd-like-us-to-fuck-each-other's-brains-out-just- to-get-it-out-of-my-system' kind of way, but rather in a 'I'd-like-to-take-you-out-on-a-date-and-see-where- it-goes' kind of way. Needless to say that I was confused, granted we were friends – in a still unstable and fragile relationship, but at that specific moment I felt like she had hit me with a truck transporting a ton of brick.
She forbade me to answer right away – considering that her actions had rendered me speechless that was easy to keep on the silence track. She asked me to sleep on what she had just told me and to come to her whenever I had found an answer just to give her the heads up as to know where we stood.
The days following that one, I found out the true meaning of 'cogitating'.
With a simple kiss, Catherine had turned my mind into a boiling mess. It was hard for me to even visualize Catherine in a setting beyond friendly – and that particular setting itself had been really hard to conceive in the first place. I came to use a great deal of imagination, to the farthest stretch, but the image of Catherine and I in an intimate relationship was just impossible for me to put together.
The kiss itself was pleasant without starting fireworks, which didn't help me. Months went by – three to be specific, without me ever bringing this topic on the table again. As for Catherine, she was acting as if that kiss had been nothing but a product of my imagination. At the same time, that's her MO, once she had understood what bothers her, done whatever is in her power to sort it out – in this case letting me know what she felt – and that the ball is no longer in her camp… she moves on.
What I hadn't understood at that moment, is that while I was navel-gazing on a simple kiss, Catherine had discreetly snuck her way closer to my heart; in fact her kiss was nothing more than a diversion, so much that one day we were covered with soot and what not from working on an arson; that day I felt like receiving a big punch in the guts when I realize that Catherine was beautiful, but even more, that I was attracted to her, and even worse, that I was already on the edge of falling for her.
So I asked her out, and everything went backward, I kissed her the moment I picked her up and because there were fireworks this time I knew that I had her under my skin and that my heart was hers since that very moment.
And the three years that came after that day proved me right…
… they also proved me that I should have been more careful and that I should have reinforced my barricades, because my heart is now in pieces.
I'm neither stupid nor blind, I'm paid to notice details on top of that so it didn't take me much time to notice the distance between Cath and I, even less to understand that she had gone to see how green the grass on another yard was.
I left Vegas for four months, after confronting Catherine about it. I had managed to keep my calm or rather my anger tamed in a way; that day once I got home, hell broke loose; I was mad at Catherine, I was mad at the entire planet, that's why I needed to put as much distance as possible between Catherine and I. So I went back to California, and after four months with my family I felt like I had dealt with my anger, but the truth is that as soon as I saw Catherine again, everything came back up to the surface.
I had to use an extra month to cool off and prepare myself to confront with Catherine one more time. The talk wasn't pleasant but at least I found the answers I was looking for; and in spite of everything I already knew that I still wanted to be with her.
So I decided that the topic of her indiscretion was now forever close, I asked everything I wanted to know, and she gave me all the answers, therefore I told myself that I'd never come back on that point. It was a sine qua none condition for us to move forward. I don't want her to feel like she has a Damocles' sword hanging over her head in permanence, I don't want to use that event against her every time we fight. It's in the past and now that everything has been clarified I want all this story to rest in the farthest spot in the bottom of my memory.
It doesn't mean that I forget, just that I'm letting go of the negative emotions attached to that particular memory.
It's hard to say that Cath and I are together again. Yes, we go out for dinners, to the theatre; yes we spend time together outside of work; yes, sometimes I even dare taking her hand; but that's where it stops. Why? Because I still haven't had the sign, that sign telling me that it's okay, that I can let myself go, that I'm safe with her and that I can trust her again.
Even though she has affirmed me that she wouldn't give up, I don't cherish any illusion; I know that at some point, if we can't find a way to improve our actual situation, the both of us will give up; not because we don't love one another, but only because sometimes all the love in the world isn't enough to put things back together.
I sigh deeply while massaging my temples.
"Everything's okay Sara?"
I look at the door of my lab and find Grissom looking back at me with concern. "Yes Griss, everything is fine. I just have a lot of evidence to process."
"Well, finish to label the one you are doing and then go home, shift ends in ten minutes and I don't want you to make any OT, understood?" he takes a fake authoritative tone.
Grissom is really attentive ever since I came back. As I understand it, I think he feels responsible for my long absence. This time he wasn't the source of the issue but I didn't tell him better because I think he learnt a good lesson. I'm not granted and I can go if I want to. I have a great esteem for the man but I think I had to put up with a lot coming from him. I had to kiss a promotion goodbye – a promotion I deserved at the time because I was working like a dog for it, and everyone – Nick included, knows that the only reason why I didn't get it is because Grissom was afraid of what the windmill would say.
And that still because he was scared of the windmill that I had to accept the fact that sometimes he wouldn't have my back, when I know that if I had been one of the boys, he wouldn't have had that attitude.
Now, he makes sure to let me know when I have done a good job, he treats me as the boys' equal; and I really appreciate all that because it's just one more motivation to give two hundred per cent of myself on each case.
I smile at him. "You're the boss."
"If I don't see you before you leave, have a good week end and see you next week," he winks at me before walking away.
"Yeah… unless a big case happens" I mutter to myself with a shake of my head. I do as told and put everything in the evidence safe then go to the locker room.
The boys are discussing when I enter, the three of them changing.
"Hey Sar, we're out for a beer, want to join?" Nick asks me while buttoning his shirt up.
"Not tonight, sorry, I'm really beat."
"You know, you're not hanging out with us anymore ever since you got back. We're going to think it's personal," Warrick pouts.
"He's right," Nick agrees.
"Come on now, you know that I love you guys. It's only a rain check…"
"That's also what you've been saying since you came back," Warrick points out.
"Alright, here's what I propose, next Friday everyone comes to my place for the week-end, video game, movies, beers and I'll even cook; is it enough to be forgiven?" I pucker my bottom lip a bit and make doe eyes.
"Fine, but watch out if you stand us up again, I'm asking for a divorce," Warrick warns me.
"Me too," Nick agrees, then leave with Warrick.
I smile, shaking my head. Well, I have to admit that they're not wrong, I have been neglecting them since I came back, it's only fair that I make it up to them.
Greg sits next to me and scrutinizes me with a serious stare.
"You'll have to do better than that as far as I'm concerned," he warns me.
Greg is still the one from whom I am the closest, I don't count the hours he has spent at my sides when I needed a friend; He has always been there for me no matter the hour, or the day. I did the same for him, but it's true that since I came back, my situation with Cath has consumed most of my time, so I understand that he's expecting a little more from me, I owe him that much.
"Tuesday night at my place, you can spend the night."
"Just you and I?" he asks.
"Just you and I," I confirm. "I promise, I promise, I promise," I add not waiting for him to ask.
"Three times, I'm watching you," he gives me his 'mean' stares, then he stands up and kisses me on the forehead before joining Nick and Warrick outside.
I sigh and massage my neck, the shift has been long and I'm really exhausted. I stand up and open my locker. I immediately notice that something is out of place; when I finally put my finger on it I have the sensation to be hit by a train at great speed.
"It's unbelievable what people are ready to do to find love," Nick point out referring to the case we just closed before pouring himself a coffee.
"I think it's ridiculous," I shrug. "Everyone made a fool out of him, but he doesn't give up, you got to admit that it's stupid."
"Hey, love is priceless, at least he still believes in it." Nick answers.
"Which is pathetic when you see what it gets him," I shake my head and hand him my cup s he can pour me some hot liquid.
"To each their own way to find the big love, Sidle," Catherine steps in while she's looking for something to eat.
I can't help but laugh. "The big love…" I giggle.
"You don't believe in love?" Warrick asked, intrigued.
"No, I do believe in love, love is an absolutely real feeling with different degrees; but I don't believe in that myth people call 'big love'," I explain.
"You say that now, we'll throw those words back at you," Nick smirks.
"No chance of that Nicky boy, can't find what doesn't exist," I snort with smile.
"Oh, I'm offended Sara, you just broke my heart," Greg adds with a dramatic expression and a hand over her chest.
"You're cynical Sidle, I'm sure the big love exists," Catherine states firmly.
"Whenever you find it, you let me know," I chuckle.
"Tell me something, is it because Grissom rejected you that you're so bitter?" Catherine immediately gets her claws out. Any other day I would have lost my temper but since I'm in a good mood I let it slide.
"Now, now, no need to draw out the guns, we're talking about love here," Warrick tempers us.
"Don't worry Rick," I chortle. "Everyone is entitled to believe what they want," I reply calmly. "As far as I'm concerned, there's more chance to find a royal blue pawed, flashy yellow dotted, vivid pink frog than to find the 'big love'."
"Really, you're a frog specialist now?" Catherine keeps attacking. "With the incommensurable unknown animal species out there, there might actually be thousands of frogs matching that description as we speak."
"No, I don't think so Catherine. Mother Nature can be eccentric but sometimes even her has the good sense not to cross some limits," I laugh even more. "That being said, if you find such a frog, I'm ready to inflict myself the ultimate torture: live with you until the end of days. That says how much I'm confident."
"Ah, ah, really funny Sidle," she whines humourlessly.
I shake my head. "A royal blue pawed, flashy yellow dotted, vivid pink frog… seriously," I repeat with a chortle then leave the break room.
I extend a trembling hand toward my locker; my fingers brush a plastic frog freshly painted in vivid pink, with flashy yellow dots and royal blue paws.
I take the little toy in the pit of my hand and stare at it as if it was the seventh wonder of the world. I need a moment to understand that if my vision is blurry it's not just because I have the breath shortened but also because I'm crying.
It's a torrent of emotions that is unleashed in me and I don't think I'm able to contain it all. My heart is erratic and I have the impression that everything in me slowly awakens; for almost a year now I've felt like I was anesthetized, but now, I feel so many things at the same time that my veins are on fire.
I wipe my tears with the back of my sleeve and grab the folded paper attached to the plastic frog with shaky hands and read it 'Be my frog, C'. I can't help the light laughter passing my lips before my tears double.
There are moments like these in a life when we know that no matter what's going on in the world at this very moment, what we're living at that moment won't ever be equalled. It's one of those moments so powerful emotionally that we will always remember them with disconcerting clarity.
I feel like an electric discharge was running through my body, I finally found what I was looking for, even though until now I didn't know I was looking for it.
I close my locker, and gather my belongings and run in the corridors as if my butt had taken fire; I rush to my car, fasten my seatbelt and floor it.
I barely need twenty minutes to reach my destination. I park astray in the driveway, get out of my car quickly then cross the distance keeping me from the front door.
I drum on the door frantically and a few seconds later Catherine opens the door, she's in t-shirt and sweat pants, she looks at a bit groggy which lets me guess that I might have woken her up; even though it's selfish of me I don't care.
My heart is beating so fast that I'm having trouble breathing.
"I…" I close my eyes and gather my thoughts.
"Are you alright?" she asks with concern, I might look more hysterical, desperate, lost, crazy and everything more than I really am, but then again I don't care.
"That day when we went to have a picnic with Linds at the park near the lake, when the weather changed suddenly and that it started to pour rain, we had to run like mad to find a shelter; I fell on the mud, your jacket was torn by a branch; and when we finally got to the car we found out that we had lost the keys and we had to look for them for an hour under torrential rain… the three of us had a great laugh, and at that very moment I fell in love with you… or rather I had the certitude that I loved you," I chortle, lost in the memory.
I look at her and even though she's surprised by my speech I don't stop to give her a chance to say anything, because what I have to say is important and if I don't tell her now I'm afraid I'll implode.
"But I was wrong… now that I think about it, during those three years I wasn't in love…" she has a slight move of recoil, short breathes. "Actually, I realise that what I was feeling then during all those years was nothing but an appetizer… of all the love I have for you…" I brush my tears– which don't seem to stop – with a swift movement of my hand.
"I know that with absolute clarity, because I just fell in love with you, twenty minutes ago," I push a hand in my pocket to take the plastic frog out. "I fell in love with you the very moment I held that ridiculous frog in my hands," I confess with a voice full of emotions. "But that being said, I was right, the big love doesn't exist, because to label what I feel with that etiquette would be simplistic, too simplistic…" once again I pass a hand on my cheeks.
A small smile plays on her lips, she lets out a snort of relief as emotions overwhelm her as well.
"I was wrong on only one point," I continue. "The ultimate torture would be not to spend the rest of my days with you… I love you Cath and I never want us to be apart again," I finally tell her.
"I love you so much," she says before engulfing herself in my arms.
"I want to be your frog," I add with a small laughter.
She looks at me with her magnificent smile, her eyes full of tears and she has never looked as beautiful as right now. I can no longer wait, I confess my love again and kiss her with a renewed love and passion. She returns my kiss passionately, we hold each other as if our lives depended on it, as if to fuse our bodies together. The kiss has a salty taste due to our tears, but it has never tasted as sweet.
We pitch inside the house, I close the door with a kick of my foot and the last coherent thought to cross my mind is that I need to feel her body, her skin, to feel her heart beating against mind, to discover her all over again, to love her; love her to death, with everything I am, to love her.
She's my frog and I'm hers, and I'll spend the rest of my life making sure that it stays that way forever.
Hope you liked it.
I know I'm taking time for my shrink story, but I am working on it I swear!
Thanks for reading.