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He grabbed her arm and yanked her back.
“No, you can’t just leave!” He practically yelled at her.
She jerked her arm back and turned to face him. She had tears of anger in her eyes, and she saw him wince slightly when seeing them. “You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Jared.”
He ran his fingers through his hair roughly and looked away from her. “What did I do wrong?” He asked her.
She looked at him disbelievingly and shook her head. “What haven’t you done?”
He looked at her confused. “But what did I do wrong?” He asked again.
“What have you ever done right?!” She was the one yelling now.
He frowned and shook his head. “Come on, babe, you know I didn’t mean it-” He started before she cut him off.
“Just stop it, Jared!” She fumed. “You always say you didn’t mean it, but you and I both know that’s not true! And don’t call me babe!” She added at the end.
She started to walk away, but he grabbed her arm again. “Don’t go!”
She pulled her arm free and pushed him away from her. “Leave me alone!”
She saw anger darken his expression, and he gripped her arm tightly. He started to say something, but a voice from the end of the alley broke him off.
“Hey, is everything all right over there?” It was a boy’s voice, and Jared’s expression darkened even more.
“Oh, so you’re with him now?” He asked her challengingly.
She stared into his eyes defiantly. “So what if I am?” She asked, equally challengingly. He glared at her fiercely, but she didn’t lower her gaze. “Let go of me.”
He let go of her, but didn’t back away when the boy walked over to them.
“What’s going on?” The boy asked them when he reached them.
“Nothing.” She said, facing him. “Jared was just leaving.”
Jared continued to glare at her. “When did I decide that?” He asked her.
“Just now.” She faced him and matched his glare. “I’m telling you to leave.”
“And if I don’t?” He asked.
She sighed resignedly. “Just go, Jared. Leave me alone.”
“But you didn’t even tell me what-”
“Just go the hell away, Jared!” She snapped at him. “Leave! Get out of here! I don’t want this anymore! I can’t do this anymore!” She turned away from him and took the other boy’s hand. “Let’s go, Lukas.”
Lukas gripped her hand tightly and they walked away together. Jared stared after them and felt a strange feeling inside of him. A hollow feeling that was slowly taking over his anger. He ran his fingers through his hair and watched as they walked farther and farther away. They were almost at the end of the alley when he saw her turn around to face him one last time.
He stared at her hopefully but only saw a single tear glisten and slide down her cheek. His heart tightened seeing that tear fall. He didn’t realize how much it hurt him to see her cry. And he felt even worse when he realized that he was the one responsible for it.
He watched as Lukas put his arms around her and pull her in for a hug before taking her hand again and leading her away. Jared felt a surge of hatred that another boy was hugging her right in front of him. He jerked his head away from them and turned to face the alley wall. He punched the wall a couple of times to let his anger out but stopped when his knuckles started to get bloody. He let out an enraged cry before leaning against the wall. He put his head in his hands and sat down for a while.
He pulled his hands away from his face and was surprised to see them glistening. He touched his face and realized that his face was wet with tears. He felt a burst of embarrassment and anger that he was showing so much weakness. Why was he crying? He felt more tears fall from his eyes and he swiped at them furiously.
You screwed up real bad, dude, he thought to himself. You screwed up really bad.
He pictured her face when he spun her roughly around the first time. He recalled the tears in her eyes and winced again. He couldn’t stand to see her cry. It did things to his heart that weren’t very pleasant. He shook his head and tried to dispel the image from his mind.
It didn’t help much when his mind conjured up the look on her face when she turned back to look at him before walking away with Lukas. Her eyes were filled with vast sadness before that single tear fell from her eye. He felt a tear slide down his own cheek as he pictured her face again. His heart tightened and he felt that strange empty feeling inside him again.
Suddenly, he shook his head firmly and stood up. He wiped the remaining tears from his eyes and took a deep breath before starting to walk out of the alley.
He hesitated for a moment before finally leaving the mouth of the alley, but started to walk again. He automatically headed off in the direction of her house before redirecting himself and heading in the opposite direction. His thoughts crashed around wildly in his head as he walked. He turned onto his street and continued walking at a steady pace to his house. He stomped up the porch steps and banged open the door. He walked past the living room and went up the stairs. He was glad that there was no one home. He slammed the door to his room shut and went over to sit down on his bed. He put his head in his hands again and let his thoughts consume him.
You’re a real idiot. You know that, Jared? A real freaking idiot. The first voice said.
You can call her right now and try to make up. Another voice said.
Yeah, like that will do any good. The first one said. How many chances did she give you, Jared? Two? Three? Too many. That’s how many.
No, don’t listen to him. The second voice insisted. Just pick up the phone and call her.
She won’t answer her phone! The first voice argued. Especially since she’ll see that it’s him calling! She’ll let it go to voicemail or just disconnect the call. You had your chance, Jared. Actually, you have more than one chance. And you blew them all.
Jared let out another enraged cry and flung everything off of his bedside table. He heard glass shatter, but chose to ignore it. He was too angry to care about anything right now.
Face it, Jared, the first voice said harshly. You screwed up big time and now she’s gone.
Jared sighed resignedly and lay back on his bed. He blocked out the voices, but he couldn’t stop thinking about the truth. He did mess up. And she was gone.
He felt that empty feeling come back stronger than ever when he thought that. She was really gone. He felt tears trickle out of the corners of his eyes and trail down the sides of his face to disappear into his hair. He sat up and rubbed his face irritably.
He looked over to see what he had broken when he lashed out, and saw that it was a photo of the two of them when they first started to go out. He picked it up off the floor and brushed off the broken bits of glass still clinging to the frame. He studied her face in the photo and felt his heart tighten. She was smiling widely at the camera, her eyes sparkling with happiness. He had his arms wrapped around her waist from behind, and he was smiling softly.
Just admit it, the second voice said softly. You miss her. And considering how much you’re crying, you miss her pretty damn much.
He saw a tear land on the picture, but he didn’t move to wipe it away. He thought about what the voice said and realized it was true. He did miss her. And, like he said, he missed her pretty damn much. He stared at the photo and felt a pang of guilt as he looked at her smiling. She was beautiful, and he missed her being there for him when he needed her.
And where were you when she needed you? The first voice asked cruelly. You ignored her. Maybe she’s better off with Lukas after all…
He felt a flare of resentment at the thought, but he tramped it down and thought about it. He was a big jerk to her, so maybe she was better off with the other guy. He stared at her face and realized that he would probably do anything to see that smile on her face again. Even if it meant to leave her and let another guy take care of her. She deserved that, he realized now.
So what should I do now? He asked himself.
Call her and apologize, at least, the second voice suggested.
He grabbed his phone out of his pocket and began to dial her number. He stopped when he realized that he probably couldn’t bear to hear her voice so soon.
She won’t pick it up when she’s sees it’s you calling! The first voice said maliciously. Why don’t you just leave her alone and let her be with Lukas? I’m sure she’ll be much happier with someone like him than an idiot like you!
No, Jared, you have to apologize to her first, the second voice argued. It doesn’t matter who she’ll be happier with. You have to do the right thing and apologize.
Jared took a deep breath before dialing her number again. He heard it ring and ring… and ring before her voicemail asked him to leave a message. He hesitated a moment after he heard the beep.
What am I going to say? He asked himself, panicked.
Just keep it simple and say you’re sorry, the second voice answered.
“Hey,” He spoke into the phone. “It’s me…” He paused before continuing. “I just wanted to say that… I’m sorry.” He hung up the phone when he couldn’t think of anything else to say. He waited for a few minutes with the phone in his hands thinking she’d call back, but placed the phone onto his table when it didn’t ring.
He ran his fingers through his hair and let out a long sigh.
Yeah, Jared, she left you for good this time, he thought to himself. And you deserved it.