Author's note: Truly, my inspiration to ever consider pursuing this was my vision of how a guy should treat a... Show full author's note »
CHAPTER ONEChapter One
“Ryan,” her sweet voice sobbed down the phone placed firmly to my ear. I stood in the kitchen of my small, yet cozy apartment, leaning my back against a single bar stool. Intently, I listened to the words she was speaking, each one coming out gentle and angelically even though she was crying uncontrollably. “He did it again.”
A sigh escaped my lips as she said this, and I instantly knew what she was referring to. Running a hand through my hair quickly,
She sniffled, probably lifting up her hand to wipe her running nose. “Erc...he, he,” she stuttered, letting out a small whimper. “I went over to his house like I do every afternoon, and I….I heard something coming from his room, so I walked up the stairs to see what he was doing. And-“ She paused, unable to get the last of her sentence out; her emotions were taking over. “—A-and when I opened the door, he was on top of some other girl! Another girl, Ryan! How could he do that to me?”
“It’s not like that’s the first time,” I muttered to myself bitterly. There was a pause on her side, so I took the moment of silence to allow my brain to process the events. Eric was her jerk of a boyfriend, whom she had been with for two, horrifyingly long years. She always claimed that he was the sweetest thing ever, her prince charming. I worked to keep out the anger, but I could feel it streaming though my veins, driving me mad. No matter how many times this happened, it never hurt any less. She said Eric loved her. If he loved her, he would feel her pain like it was his own, like I felt her pain.
The thought of her loving him and of Mr. Cheater made me physically sick in my stomach.
Her beautiful, flawless skin. Her cute little button nose. Her long eyelashes. That gorgeous, breathtaking smile. And her ability to always make me smile. It was all utterly amazing. Something Eric surely isn’t.
“W-what?” she croaked out, unfortunately hearing my oh-so-true side comment. Shaking my head, I removed myself from the stool and grabbed my coat from the hook placed near my front door. I placed the phone between my neck and my shoulder, attempting to hold it in place without dropping it as I slipped on the piece of clothing. As I tried to pull the left sleeve over the corresponding arm, the mobile device dropped to the floor with a small thud. Muttering a few curse words, I bent down to retrieve it and, once it was within my grasp, I spoke to her. “Nothing, Brae. It was nothing.”
With the keys to my car in hand, I reached for the door handle. “I’m coming over, okay? I’ll be over in about ten minutes. Stay strong for me?”
Somehow, I could feel her nod through the phone. “Okay,” she whispered sadly, “thank you, Ryan. You’re the best friend I could ever ask for.”
I hung up.
Right, your best friend. That’s all I’ll ever be.
Inwardly cursing myself for being a loser unable to express his feelings towards the girl he has loved practically his entire life, I began walking to the vehicle in which I would drive to her house in. It unlocked with a simple click of the clicker connected to my key chain, and I opened the door, placing myself in the driver’s seat.
Keys placed in the ignition, my foot on the gas pedal, and quiet music now playing from the speakers, I pulled out of my curbside parking space between two other cars, out onto the street, and to Braelyn’s house.
Braelyn lived in an apartment as well, however, in a completely different complex just down the street. It was about the same size as mine, maybe a little bigger, but it definitely fit her personality more than mine would ever relate to me. She’s a happy person, always willing to do whatever it is she felt like doing when she woke up that morning. Her goal in life had always been to live a life worth telling or writing down. When it came to Braelyn, a boring life was totally and completely unacceptable.
Arriving at her apartment, I parked the car as close as possible to the entrance. Usually, that’s pretty hard, considering how many people live here. Most of the time, when I actually find a space, it’s half way back to my apartment.
Okay, well, not that far, but you get my point: there are a lot of other cars.
Once the car was parked, I hopped out through the open door, my feet hitting the hard cement sidewalk as I did so. The somewhat cold breeze that always seemed to evolve at night hit me almost instantly, and I couldn’t help but shiver and hold my jacket closer to my body in attempt to stay warm. A bright light shone down. I soon realized that it was a street lamp across the path. It was somewhat bent, due to the huge storm we had a couple of days ago. The fact that it was still working remains a mystery to this day.
With my mind set and determined to help the love of my life out of depression, I approached the door and knocked on it lightly. It was quiet at first, but soon the sound of feet shuffling across the floor filled my ears, and the door soon opened.
Even though her eyes were bloodshot red and majorly puffy, the most beautiful woman to ever walk the face of this Earth stood in the doorway. She reached up and wiped her eyes briefly, fixing her hair a little and gave me a light smile. I took in her features as she stared down at her feet, fidgeting.
“How you feeling, Brae?” I questioned, moving over the step and around her welcoming hand gesture leading me into her apartment. She moped over to the bright colored sofa placed in the center of her living room, throwing herself on it and stuffing her face in the comfort of her small, white pillow.
“Awful,” she spoke, her voice muffled by fluffy object. “My heart hurts.”
I rolled my eyes at the last comment. “He’s not worth your tears or heartache. He’s a jerk who doesn’t deserve someone as amazing as you.”
She shook her head. “I’m not amazing. Obviously. I mean, if I was, he wouldn’t have felt the need to find another girl, now would he?”
Moving my feet across the carpet, I reached the sofa, sitting down in front of it, my back leaning against the side. I could feel her soft breathing behind me as I said, “You’re right, you’re not amazing—“
“Gee, thanks,” she cut me off.
“—you’re way more than that. You’re so beyond amazing that all other girls quake in their way too big, ugly high heels when they are simply in the presence of you. They all wish they had such an outgoing, adventurous personality, such a sparkling smile, unique eye color, always perfect set of hair, and magically flawless skin like you do. You don’t even seem to realize how intimidating you are to other girls, how they all wish they were you.”
Sitting up and using the back of the couch to support her, Braelyn sniffled a little more, looking at me with a real smile this time. “Thank you,” she replied genuinely. “But you know what? I’m not the amazing one.”
I raised an eyebrow. Did she not hear what I just told her? She’s phenomenal, the greatest human being I’ve ever had the luck to meet. How can she—
“You are,” she finished.
“What other guy do you know that would drive over to a girl’s house in the middle of the night, just because she found her jerk face of a boyfriend with another girl? What other guy would still be the sweetest, most thoughtful person to her when all she does is throw her piles and piles of drama onto his shoulders? You, Ryan, are truly the only person I can think of, and all I do it bring you down.”
Turning around in my sitting position, I looked at her. “What are you talking about? You don’t bring me down. It’s my job to make you feel better, to tell you how great you are, to—“
“Remind me how beautiful I am on a daily basis. I know, Ryan,” she said, sighing loudly. “If only my boyfriend had the same job….”
“If you can even consider that a boyfriend,” I muttered quietly, shaking my head. Braelyn moved from the couch and right in front of me, crossing her legs once she was seated. Using her finger, she began drawing shapes on the surface of the carpet, looking down again.
“I know he hasn’t been very faithful to me and that he may not be the best guy out there, but we’ve been together for 2 years, and it’s just hard to think about throwing that all away, you know?” she asked, her eyes tearing up again. “He doesn’t seem to show it, but he loves me, and I know it. He just makes bad choices.”
Normally, we’d have this huge, back and forth discussion of whether or not she should really be with me. She’d defend him, I’d point out all his flaws, but no matter what I said, she could never call it quits with Eric. No matter how special I tried to make her feel, no matter how much love I showed her, she always seemed to still love him. So I didn’t argue with her that time. I just stretched my arms out wide and looked at her as she threw herself at me, wrapping her arms around my stomach and crying into my chest. I stroked her long, gorgeously curly hair, whispering encouraging words into her ear as she sobbed loudly, releasing all of the sad emotions that she had kept bottled inside her since this afternoon.
When her heart breaks, my heart breaks. It’s the most awful feeling in the world to watch someone as fantastic, smart, and, once again, beautiful as her cry her eyes out. It makes me just want to run over to –gag me- Eric’s house and beat him until he cries and runs to Mexico.
Seriously, he needs to jump off something.
The thoughts in my head were interrupted by the angel I was holding in my arms lifting her head and placing a sweet, loving kiss on my cheek. The corner of my lips automatically tugged upward into a huge grin as I felt her lips collide with the skin on my face. I looked down at her, that idiotic smile still on my face. At the moment, though, I didn’t really care how stupid I looked. I mean, hey, she kissed me. The girl I’m so madly in love with just kissed my cheek. I’m sure you’d looked exactly like I did at that very moment, too.
“What would I do without you?” she whispered softy, her head instantly hiding in the crook of my neck. It was my turn to sigh as I rested my chin on her shoulder.
“I ask myself the same thing everyday,” I found myself replying. Love had always seemed like such a simple thing. Something easy to find, easy to hold onto. But I soon came to realize that the only person I could really, truly love was the girl who had always belonged to someone else. To her, I was just the shoulder to cry on, the best friend. I had hoped and hoped that if I stuck with her, put up with all the drama, picked up the Ben & Jerry's when she was sad, and beat up all the ex boyfriends who broke her heart, that one day she would finally realize how I felt.
That one day, maybe just maybe, I could make her mine.