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Time on My Hands
I'd never really paid much attention to the many clichés in life; however, I'd never really had the time to sit down and think about them either. And now, there was one in particular that continually haunted me, "Be careful what you wish for."
I hadn't a clue how many times I'd hoped and prayed for just an hour of solitude, sixty minutes of quiet where I could hear myself think, or perhaps, not think at all if I so chose. A mere sixty minutes of my own, to do with however I desired; time for me and only me. I certainly never dreamed what it would be like to have hours and even days and weeks all to myself. I never equated solitude with loneliness; I always thought it would be blissful.
Oh, how wrong I'd been. This solitude gig was certainly not what it was cracked up to be. After only a week, I'd wracked up so much regret; I could've kept 'Dear Abby' tied up for years. A person could only withstand so much heartache at a time, and I'd more than exceeded the limit. I longed for the hustle and bustle of the job, of the city, of my old life, but more than anything, I longed for Olivia.
Images of Olivia filtered through my brain at all hours of the day and well into the night. Olivia interviewing a suspect, Olivia listening intently to my reasons why we couldn't charge some perp with a crime, Olivia smiling when I'd come through with a search warrant, Olivia looking at me in shock and then with tears in her eyes when she discovered I was alive and on my way into the Witness Protection Program, Olivia's sweet, sweet lips. Olivia, Olivia, Olivia.
After all those years, we'd finally started dating and then the damn Valez case came up. We were both so driven to get justice for the slain agent that we somehow lost sight of each other. By the time I'd decided to let the case go, it was too late; I was already a target.
I wondered if Olivia gave much thought to me anymore. Did she just write me off or did she hope one day to make good on her promise for us to spend more time together? Would things truly be the same if I were able to go back to my life?
Crap, look at me, Alex Cabot, the pessimist. See what solitude does to a person. If my colleagues could only get a glimpse of me now, they'd never believe it. Of course, they'd probably think they were seeing a ghost, so I guess their opinion wouldn't matter after all.
It was really only Olivia's opinion that mattered at this point. I had to believe that she'd wait for my return. I had to believe that she'd cared for me as much as I cared for her.
Damn, this solitude.
I closed my eyes, hoping to find Olivia where I always found her, in my dreams.
I hated having time off; I'd much rather be working where my mind stayed on the job and didn't stray to thoughts of Alex and the many questions that always plagued me. Where could she possibly be, and what could she be doing? Was she miserable? Was she fitting in? Did she miss her old life? Did she miss me?
Shit. Solitude always brought out my insecurities and regrets. Why did I wait so long to finally ask Alex out? We'd been skirting around our attraction for a good part of a year, neither of us brave enough to do anything about it. Perhaps, we were both a little afraid the other didn't feel the same way. I probably should be grateful that we'd at least taken a step toward each other; otherwise, I'd be forever wondering if she felt anything for me.
Forever wondering? Was that how it was going to be?
No, no, she'd be back. I needed to quit thinking along those lines. Hell, I needed to quit thinking period. For the first time in quite awhile, I had real empathy for my mother. Crawling into the bottom of a bottle was certainly very tempting at this moment.
Reaching for the remote, I opted for mindless escape instead; anything to keep me company, anything to keep my mind occupied and free of the knowledge that I felt so alone.
My endless search for the perfect program proved fruitless, and I finally settled on one of those music stations. Throwing the remote on the sofa table, I closed my eyes and surrendered to my solitude.
Visions of Alex immediately filled my thoughts. Alex interviewing a suspect, Alex cross-examining a witness, Alex's expression during an impassioned speech, Alex's look of utter defeat and sadness when she climbed into the car which would take her away from her life, and more importantly, away from me, Alex's soft kisses. Alex, Alex, Alex.
A Spanish song filled the airwaves in the apartment, giving me a temporary reprieve from my memories. I concentrated on the lyrics to translate the beautiful song. Through the years, I'd worked hard to be able to understand the non-English speaking victims. It was important to me that their voices be heard and understood without the use of an interpreter and without a second-hand rendition.
Soon, my only thoughts were of the lyrics, and my solitude became bearable again, until mid-way into the song, when the words hit a little too close to home.
Cuba Libre be my love tonight
She was running down the street of solitude
Cuba Libre be my love tonight
A lonely rose was bleeding from the root
And they sang, Na, na, na, na, na, na
I close my eyes and believe in
One day we'll meet when we're dreaming
That's the only place where we can hide
Fumbling for the remote, I immediately clicked the television off. It seemed there was nowhere I could hide. Stretching out on the couch, I gave into my longing to see Alex once again.
Closing my eyes, I awaited sleep, and the only place where my visions of Alex came alive, in my dreams.
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