Early On - with edits

            Over the next two years, Phillip became her everything. Her provider, her mentor, her lover. She even quit after a year of college to devote herself to making him happy.  All the partying had made her grades less than scholarship-worthy anyhow, and her reputation for dating an older man didn't exactly make her a sought after study partner at the all-girls Catholic college she went to. But, it was her first serious relationship, and she intended to make it work.  The "garden level" apartment they rented together was a dream in her eyes - it was their escape. "Us against the world," he always said. He taught her how to drive, and even gave her the car that he had bought off some lady after plowing into it one night. She knew he was proud of her. Proud of the way she made the threadbare carpet and shitty furniture look beautiful even before 'shabby chic' was a thing. And when he gave her an engagement ring, she told herself that she didn't care that the diamond was merely a speck of cheap glass, it meant something. It was a promise.

            Phillip was the one who convinced Margie to get an abortion. Both times. She truly wanted to start a family right away. Indeed, after reconnecting with her biological father, Jack, a few years earlier and spending time with his family - both of she and Phillip even living with them for a short while during that year after college - she wanted to get back what she had lost growing up.

            Things started changing after they moved in together, of course. Phillip was away touring more often, and he became increasingly jealous after "that night."

            They were out celebrating their engagement with Phillip's best friend, Yuri, a Ukrainian-born business man who frequently took them out on the town after Phillip's gigs. That night was no exception. Margie's first taste of Escargot at a famous French restaurant downtown, and champagne…really good champagne, that didn't burn when it went down. It was like a dream being with the two of them, being young and sought after, the center of attention, having every whim answered.  Being introduced to everyone that stopped by to greet Yuri and Phillip. She thought she might have even recognized a few faces as local celebrities or sports players.

            That night happened to be a quiet one. Phillip and Margie were getting cozy across the table from Yuri when Phillip casually whispered in her ear "Yuri looks so lonely over there, doesn't he? Maybe we should find him a girlfriend. He is very handsome, isn't he?"  Margie was looking up smiling at him, deciding if she should agree, when she felt a very persistent stocking foot making its way up from her ankle.  Her eyes must've widened, because at that moment Phillip whispered in her ear again "It's okay, Princess, just let go - you have my permission."

            Yuri moved to sit closer so Margie was immediately between he and Phillip. Phillip began kissing her neck and Margie pulled away slightly, becoming conscious of their surroundings. They were still in a public place, even if their table was in a faraway corner. She sat up and looked around before relaxing back into the deep armchair. Yuri picked up her right hand and began caressing and kissing it. Margie's breath was heavy, and her voice deep as she looked into Yuri's eyes and asserted "Take us home, Yuri." They all rose after a moment, and Margie broke off to use the ladies room.

            As she walked past the bar, she looked up and saw a familiar eyes staring at her. She pretended not to remember her high school crush as she ignored him and picked up the pace. His eyes followed her all the way to the restroom.  Once inside, Margie gasped, "What was he doing here?" A rush of embarrassment washed over her as she recalled the last time she saw him. It was at a house party the Summer after graduation. She had still been working at the café that summer. The party was one she'd like to forget. Getting drunk, and hooking up with one of the hockey players in a room just above the party room. Everyone heard. She was devastated. But this situation was far worse. She was keenly aware of how it looked, how she looked to him - and what he must think.

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