Cyrus’ birthday rolled around not too long after we learned we were having another baby. That meant that my birthday was right around the corner as well. I wanted to make his day special for him since you only become a mature adult once in life but I was so busy at work that day that I barely made it home in time to bake his birthday cake before the party started.
I had no idea what I was doing. I rarely cook anything at all far less for baking a cake. I tried following the recipe but I kept messing it up. It’s so strange how I can remember complex formulae and chemical equations for my experiments and yet I struggle to follow the recipe instructions for a blue confetti cake. It burned a little which meant it was probably really dry inside. Good thing I put so much frosting on it. A little too much!
It looked like such crap. I was tempted to throw it away and start over but the guests had begun to arrive for the party so I had no time to make a new one. In spite of how horrible it looked, Cyrus praised the cake. He’s such a good man to lie to me so I won’t have to feel so bad for ruining the most important part of any birthday party. I should have taken Gabriel up on his offer to bake it for me.
As soon as all of the invited guests arrived Cyrus wasted no time in blowing out the candles. I guess he didn’t want to prolong the inevitable.
Though I must say, he is still pretty handsome even though he’s older. I still love him so much. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs recently but the one thing that’s never changed throughout it all was how madly in love we are with each other and I don’t think that’s something even time could change.
Everyone had a great time at the party and no one said anything bad about the cake – thank goodness! Although I was sure my snobby sister Jo would comment on how sub-par it looked, she didn’t. Isabel also seemed pretty happy that evening as well. Wolf didn’t show up even though I invited him. I didn’t understand why but I did notice that Isabel invited some guy to the party. His name is Tanner Clarke. I’d never heard of him before but Izzy says he’s new in town and she just wanted him to meet some people. I got a pretty bad feeling about that.
First Wolf doesn’t show and then there’s this new guy here that she invited…it seemed a little weird to me.
Then, some time after Cyrus’ party, Wolf came over and I could hear him and Izzy yelling at each other outside.
“I can’t believe you would do this to me!”
“I’m sorry Wolf but it’s just not working anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time and you know it.”
“So you cheat on me with somebody else?!”
What? Isabel cheated on him? I didn’t believe that for a second!
“I didn’t cheat on you!” She insisted.
“Yes, you did! I saw you two together! You and that son of a llama with the pink shirt and the stupid grin!”
“We were just grabbing lunch! We didn’t kiss or sleep together or anything! I promise.”
“I saw the way you looked at him, Isabel! Don’t deny it. You’re in love with him!”
She sighed. “Okay fine. I am. I love him. But you know as well as I do that it’s been over between us for a long time. When I met Tanner it became clear. Why was I fighting for a relationship that was going nowhere? Why was I fighting to be with someone who constantly puts me down and is always trying to change me? Who tells me I’m stupid? Who calls me awful names? Who does that to someone they’re supposed to love?”
I had no idea their problems ran so deep. As much as I didn’t want to eavesdrop I couldn’t help myself. I felt a little invested in their relationship since I was the one who introduced them to each other.
“I was just trying to help. You keep walking around in slutty clothes all the time and expect people to respect you. Of course they won’t! But I guess now your clothes actually match your personality!”
“Yeah, that’s right. What kind of a person just falls in love with someone else when they’re in a relationship, huh? I should have known better than to get involved with a girl like you!”
“Just shut up okay! I’m sick of you. I was trying to be nice but not anymore. I don’t love you anymore Wolfgang and to be honest, I don’t think you’ve ever really loved me! I was just a place holder for the person you really loved, whoever she is, that you keep trying to turn me into! It’s over. I can’t do this anymore. We’re through!”
“Fine!” He screamed as he stormed off. Isabel stood on the porch watching him as he stomped down the street before disappearing into the distance. I looked at her through the window seeing that she was clearly upset. I wanted to console her but I thought I should give her space and let her come to me.
Later that day, I was home alone with Kaleb. Gabriel and Cyrus went out together and Isabel left for work. Just as I was getting ready to whip up a salad for dinner the fridge decided to break down on me. Good thing I was so handy.
While I was fixing the fridge, I heard someone walk up behind me. It was Wolf. My first thought was how he managed to get into the house since no one else was at home to let him in except for my infant son.
“What are you doing here?”
“Isabel broke up with me.” He looked so sad. I felt really bad for him. “Is she home?”
“No, she left an hour ago.”
“She must be with him.”
“She went to the club for…”
“Did you know?” He asked, cutting me off.
“Well, I heard you guys arguing this morning. It was kind of hard not to overhear. I’m sorry it didn’t work out between you two.”
“No, I mean, did you know about that Tanner guy?”
“No…well… he did come to Cyrus’ birthday party….”
“So wait, he was here? You met him?”
“Yeah, she invited him. But I didn’t know anything.”
“But you knew she invited some other guy over and you didn’t say anything to me?”
“There was nothing to say. I had no idea what was going on….”
“I can’t believe you!” He screamed at me. I instinctively jumped back. “I thought you were my friend! I thought I could trust you!”
“Just calm down…”
“You knew she was screwing that other guy and didn’t say anything!”
“Wolf relax! You’re freaking me out!” I’d never seen him so enraged. Is this what Isabel had to deal with? No wonder why she broke up with him.
After a few inaudible groans, he stormed out, practically slamming the kitchen door as he left.
I stood there for a few seconds trying to calm down. My heart raced and I was shaking. For a moment, I was afraid he was gonna forget that we were friends and attack me or something. I knew Wolf had issues. There were all those rumours about his poor temperament but in all the time I had known him I never saw him act like that. He always seemed so calm and collected so I just figured those rumours were simply rumours. Now I knew they weren’t.
When I went to work the next day I tried to act like everything was normal, like he didn’t come over to my house and yell at me for no good reason. But he was just glaring at me the entire time like I was speaking a foreign language or something.
Finally, I had enough and decided to talk to him about what happened.
“Hey Wolf, I know you are angry and hurt but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to lash out on me. I know about as much about Isabel and this Tanner guy as you do. Whatever happened between you guys sucks but it has nothing to do with me.”
“Nothing to do with you huh?” He said so low I barely heard it.
He exhaled sharply and his eyes fixated on mine in a way that made me feel slightly uncomfortable. “Ivy, you have no clue. None at all!”
“I don’t get you.”
“This has everything to do with you. It’s always been about you. Don’t you see?”
I shrugged, with no clue on my mind about what the hell he was talking about.
“I love you, Ivy!” He cried. “Dammit, I’ve always loved you. YOU!”
I stood in silence waiting for him to go ‘gotcha’ and then laugh at me for believing he really meant such a crazy thing. This had to be a joke so I did what I always do when someone tells me a joke. I laughed. I laughed hard!
“Pssht! I’m not gonna fall for that! Try again, Munch!”
“It’s not a joke!” He yelled. “I’m serious. I’m dead serious!”
I stopped laughing. Crap. Why was he saying this? Why did he even feel this way about me?
“I don’t know when it happened but I fell in love with you Ivy. I wanted to tell you but then you started dating Cyrus and I thought I didn’t have a chance with you. That’s why I started dating Isabel. She looks exactly like you. I thought I could pretend…it was a stupid idea. She could never be you, she’s too different. You are so smart and sweet and honestly, she’s a little too…easy if you know what I mean. There was no challenge with her at all.”
“…And she doesn’t get me like you do. I know you’re married and you have a family but I just have to know, do you ever think about me? Do you ever think about us being together someday and what that would be like? I know I can make you happy Ivy, better than Cyrus. I will never give you a reason to suspect me like him. I will be completely devoted to you. Just tell me…tell me what you think?”
“I…I think you…are…a complete PSYCHO!”
“That’s right! You are an insensitive, selfish, crazy person! How dare you? You’re telling me that you used my twin sister because she looks like me? That’s sick Wolfgang! Sick! She’s a person! She’s a person that I love and…and I’m married! I have a child and I’m pregnant and you’re basically asking me to entertain leaving my husband who I love to be with you?!”
“I thought you were my friend! A friend would never do something like this. If you had feelings for me you should have been man enough to say something a long time ago instead of doing the things you did. You say you love me? You don’t love me! You’re just obsessed. A man who loves me would never do such a thing to someone I love. This is what Isabel meant when she said you were trying to change her! You were trying to change her into me? No wonder she dumped your sorry butt!”
“So you’re saying you don’t love me?” He asked with a look on his face that would have elicited pity from me if I hadn’t been so angry because of the ridiculous things he said.
“NO! I don’t love you! I used to care for you as a friend but now I don’t think I feel that way either! I can’t believe you Wolf! I really can’t!”
“I don’t believe you either. I thought you were different from other women but it looks like I was wrong. You all wanna be with losers! Those popular, good looking losers who only cheat on you and break your heart! You all say you want someone sensitive and smart but when you get a guy like that you treat him like trash! I’m pouring my heart out to you and you’re just stepping on it.”
Was he for real? Seriously?!
“Don’t worry Ivy. You’ll soon learn. Men like Cyrus will never know how lucky he is to have a woman like you. He’ll break your heart soon enough and when he’s done with you I won’t be around to pick up the pieces!”
He submitted his letter of resignation that afternoon by email. He didn’t bother to clean out his desk or say goodbye to anyone else. He was gone. I had lost one of my best scientists and a really good friend.
I thought I may have overreacted but after talking to Cyrus he said my reaction was understandable. The guy admitted to me that he dated my sister only because he liked me and wanted to be with someone who looked like me. He tried to change her into me! What kind psycho does something like that to someone? Isabel is more than just my sister, she’s my best friend. I may not be a tough person in general and I avoid confrontation like the plague but anyone who messes with her messes with me. Period!
Still, it sucked that I lost a good friend, although I began to question if he really was a good friend to me after all. He should have said something. It wouldn’t have changed how I felt about Cyrus but at least we could have cleared the air and probably remain good friends in spite of it. To think he was hanging around me all this time acting like he just wanted to be my friend, dating my sister, knowing how he felt about me as if he was just waiting for a crack in my relationship so he could make a move and then leave Izzy behind. That’s the part that bothered me the most.
I told Isabel what happened at the lab. She didn’t seem surprised after I told her what he said to me.
“It makes sense, I guess.” She said. “He talked about you a lot. I mean, it would always be about work related stuff which was why I never suspected he had feelings for you but…now it makes sense. I should probably feel angry, like used or something, but I’m just so over it. I’m over him.”
“Are you sure?”
“Positive. Tanner is just…so wonderful! I really loved Wolfgang but it’s a different kind of feeling with Tanner.”
“Um…don’t you think you might be rushing into it with Tanner? You just broke up with Wolf. Maybe you should take things slow?”
“You know me. Taking things slow is not in my vocabulary. I may take risks but that’s just how I am. I can’t feel things and not act on it. I love Tanner and he loves me. I really think he is the one!”
She said the same thing about Wolf and look how that turned out. She makes me so worried sometimes when she makes these crazy decisions regarding her love life but she is a grown woman and she can do whatever she wants. I’ll always be there for her no matter what.
What are sisters for?