I kept waking up in the middle of the night to blow my nose, which was all of a sudden running like crazy. And when I tried to fall back asleep, I started having these massive coughing attacks. There could only be one explanation for this.
I had caught a cold from being out in the rain.
It wasn't until three in the morning when I was finally able to go to sleep. Heaps of used tissue lay on my nightstand, but I didn't have the energy to throw them away.
The alarm clock read noon as my eyes slowly fluttered open after a night of crappy sleep. I stretched my arms, immediately noticing how sore my muscles were.
I looked out my window and saw clear, blue skies, but even that didn't give me the motivation to get out of bed. I was so freaking tired, and my head was pounding. But the worst part was, my body temperature felt unusually low, and I had to wrap the blanket around myself.
Damn it, a fever was the last thing I needed right now.
I groaned and just lay there, sneezing and coughing. When I was about to blow my nose for the hundredth time since yesterday night, I realized that the tissue box was completely empty.
My body felt extremely off- balanced as I got out of bed. And damn, this headache was killing me. I grabbed a sweatshirt from my closet and put it on over my tank top since I was having chills, then headed to the bathroom.
Once I threw away my used tissues, I opened up the sink cabinet to grab a new box, but to my utter disappointment, there were none left.
Could this day possibly get any worse?
I decided to go find some in the kitchen because that was where I always left extras. On my way downstairs, I nearly slid and immediately, I grabbed onto the handrail.
Whoa, why were the stairs so slippery?!
I looked down at my feet and saw that there were small puddles of water everywhere, leading all the way to the front door.
For a moment, I wondered where they'd come from, but then I remembered that it was me that had been dripping water all over the place last night.
What I didn't understand was why Derek hadn't even bothered to clean it up yet. He'd probably been awake for hours already.
God, was it even possible for him to be this lazy?
I went to the kitchen and of course, he was there too, sitting at the table watching something on his laptop. As I grabbed some tissues from the cabinet, I began to have another cough attack. Right away, I went to pour a glass of water, downing it all in a matter of seconds.
"Why are you up so late?", I heard Derek ask me.
"I couldn't sleep last night," I replied with a hoarse voice.
"I have a fever."
"Your fault for not getting in the car yesterday."
"Well, I didn't want you to have to sit next to a money-loving bitch," I spat. Derek hadn't actually said 'bitch', but I was just so pissed off right now.
"What on earth is that supposed to mean?"
"You obviously don't have a clue, do you?"
"Look, if it was something I said in the car last night, then I'm sorry. And by the way, you might want to clean up that water mess you made," he said, gesturing towards the hall.
"Why can't you?", I demanded, letting out a sneeze afterwards.
Did he not see how sick I was? I swore, Derek Weston had a heart as cold as ice.
"Um, I'm kind of busy right now. Can't you tell?"
And with that, he directed his attention back to his laptop. I groaned in frustration and went to grab the mop as I mumbled a million curse words to Derek.
I wondered if he treated his workers the way he treated me?
Probably not. Because if he did, I was pretty sure they'd kicked his ass out a long time ago.
Fifteen minutes later, I was back in bed with a new box of tissues and several bottles of water on my nightstand. I'd taken Tylenol for my fever, and Derek had told me that I had to eat something or else I'd get liver damage.
But to be honest, my life just didn't matter to me anymore. As long as I was brought closer to my dad and Nick, I couldn't care less what was happening to my body. Anything that'd get me away from my husband, I would welcome with open arms.
At that moment, I realized that I was falling into a deep depression, and it was all because of this stupid marriage. I was at my most fragile state- one push and I would break into a million pieces.
The last time I had ever felt like this was when my father had passed away. I'd already found out about my arranged marriage to Derek, and that night, I had almost thought about taking my own life.
But then, I had grown furious at myself for even thinking that way. Several questions had popped into my head including, 'How could I be so selfish?' and 'Did I not remember that I had a mother and brother that loved me?'
And right now, those were the same questions that I was asking myself as I lay in bed sick. I had to be strong and take care of myself, because if something were to happen to me, the people I loved most would get hurt, and I didn't want that.
I fell asleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up, I noticed a bowl of soup sitting on my nightstand along with some Tylenol. Derek must've left them there.
The soup had gotten cold and was obviously condensed because he didn't know how to cook, but the fact that he had actually thought of me was what brightened my mood.
Or, it could've been his way of apologizing for the things he'd said last night. I had no idea, but all that mattered to me right now was how hungry I was.
The past week had been an absolute nightmare for me. First of all, Derek had invited a bunch of his friends over to watch the Dodgers' baseball game on Sunday night, and they'd gotten drunk, passing out on the couches and floor.
The following morning, Derek had ended up taking a day off from work because he'd had a major hangover from the previous night and lay in bed all afternoon. So guess who had to clean up the entire mess in the family room? Me, even though I was still terribly sick.
On Thursday, I had to go to the doctor's because my fever had been getting worse. They discovered that I had caught strep throat. So, I was given antibiotics and encouraged to get plenty of rest. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.
Derek had come home at ten that night, and he told me to bake a giant chocolate mousse cake for the banquet at his workplace that was to be held the following day.
I had asked him why he couldn't just buy one because for god's sake, the last thing I needed to do was bake a cake at ten o'clock. But Derek had said that he'd wanted it to be homemade, and mine was especially good.
So while my husband went to bed, I had to stay in the kitchen and bake his damn cake. It was nearly midnight by the time I'd headed up to my room, and I couldn't remember the last time I had ever been that exhausted.
It was Saturday afternoon and I was in the living room, watching a movie on Netflix. Derek and I had gotten into a huge argument yesterday night over the cake I'd made.
He had complained that it was the worst shit he'd ever eaten. I mean, had he not been aware that I was still freaking sick?! And when people were sick, it tended to interfere with their taste buds.
I had screamed at Derek for being a total asshole then told him to cook his own food from now on since mine tasted like 'shit'.
We hadn't spoken to each other after that, and I wasn't planning on talking to him anytime soon unless it was absolutely necessary.
Just as the movie was about to finish, the devil himself appeared in the living room with a cold expression on his face.
"There's a charity auction tomorrow morning downtown, so make sure you don't stay up too late tonight," he spoke in a distant tone.
"I'm not going," I stated bitterly, keeping my eyes glued to the TV.
"What do you mean you're 'not going'?", he demanded, crossing his arms in front of his chest. I turned to look at him before replying.
"I'm sick of having to act like we're a real couple at those charity events when at home, you treat me like shit."
"God, you're such a spoiled brat," Derek spat.
"Excuse me?!", I retorted, feeling my temper gradually rise.
"All you have to do is sit your ass at home everyday. You don't have to worry about paying the bills or anything, and you get everything you want. But you can't even go to a charity?"
After all of these long, torturous months, I had finally reached my breaking point.
"Do you think I wanted to stay home and be a housewife at the age of twenty-two?! Do you have any idea how hard I worked my butt off to get into Stanford?!"
Derek looked shocked at my sudden outburst and was about to say something, but I kept going. I needed to let out everything I'd wanted to tell him ever since we got married.
"If it wasn't for this damn marriage, I would still be in college studying to get my master's degree in business. I'd get my own job once I graduated and buy my own house, not live in this hell hole with a man who thinks I'm a 'money-lover' and doesn't give a fuck about me!"
"Claire, calm down...," Derek spoke in a careful tone. His words only infuriated me even more, and I stood up to face him.
"Shut up! And as for me being a 'spoiled brat', the day I'd turned sixteen, I got a job and paid for everything I bought, including my first car. I never let my parents pay for anything, even though they were rich.
"You don't know me, Derek Weston. You have no idea what I've been through and what it feels like to lose the people you love. And you never will, because everything just always has to be about you!", I finished, followed by an intense coughing fit.
By then, I was standing right in Derek's face as my eyes glared into his blue ones. He opened his mouth to speak, but I quickly left the living room, running upstairs to grab my things and put them in a suitcase.
I had put up with my husband long enough, and there was no way I could stand being in this house anymore.
I headed back downstairs once I'd finished packing to see Derek standing there with a bewildered expression on his face. He hurriedly followed me to the kitchen where my car keys were.
"What the fuck are you doing?!", he exclaimed.
"I'm leaving," I replied in a cold tone, quickly grabbing my keys and rushing towards the garage.
Derek beat me there and placed himself between the door and I, blocking my exit. His hands reached out to grab my arms, but I immediately slapped them off.
"Get out of the way!", I yelled.
"Not until you tell me why you're leaving!", he protested, his eyes penetrating through mine.
"I'm sick of pretending that things are ok between us when in reality, they'll never be," I said, on the verge of tears as I looked up at the man who had caused me so much pain.
"Claire, don't do this," he pleaded, sounding hurt.
"It's best if we don't see each other for a while. Good-bye, Derek."
And with that, my husband stepped away from the garage door, letting me go.
A/N- We all knew this was bound to happen sooner or later. I mean, if I were Claire, I would've left a long time ago. Any ideas as to where she'll go now? On the other hand, do you guys think Derek feels guilty at all? Keep reading to find out.