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Thunderstorms and Broken Hearts

“D*mn it, Rob,” I groaned. “I told you I couldn’t do this.”

My cloudy blue eyes narrowed and my lips pressed together into a flat line. I frowned as I dug my nails into my palm trying to keep from running a hand through his hair. I stood silently, waiting for him to speak. My frown deepened as his molten brown eyes glazed over and his mouth opened.

“I told you before,” he grumbled in a low voice. “I don’t want to date you. I never did and I never will.”

“That’s a d*mn lie and you know it,” I accused. Rob scowled at me, warning me to go any further in my accusations.

“I don’t lie,” he said slowly as if I were a child incapable of understanding him. I swallowed loudly and took a step closer to him, spitting into his face.

“Then what the h*ll were the past few months to you? Tell me that, Rob!” It took a few moments before he was in my face as well, our noses almost touching.

“Well, I’m sorry if I got comfortable with you. I always do with my best friends. It’s who I am,” he replied harshly. I glared up at him noticing how hard the glint in his eyes was--I’ve never seen him this angry before.
“Do you hold all of your friends’ hands?”
“No--”
“Do you cuddle with them on the couch while watching a movie?”
“No, but I--”
“Do you slow dance with them and hold them as close as you can without restraint?”
“Um...no--”
“Then, I don’t know what you call it, but that sure as h*ll wasn’t ‘comfortable’. That was intimate at most,” I said icily. Rob glared at me--a look of pure annoyance. I began to grind my teeth together, already out of patience for the conversation.
“That was me thinking we had everything figured out!” he shouted. HIs sudden reply shocked me--tears welled up in my eyes and my hands began to shake.
“Well, obviously, we don’t.” A sob escaped my throat and he sighed softly. I closed my watery eyes, wishing to be anywhere but there.
“Then what should we do about it?” his voice cracked at the last word and I glanced up at him.
My, my, what a cutie. His dark hair was unruly--a sign of distress for him, his glasses were perched on his nose--oh, his dorkiness--and the corners of his mouth were upturned in a sad wistful smile. He stood at a tall six foot, four inches while I stayed at my own five foot, eight. He probably only weighed 100 pounds soaking wet...God, how I loved him.
Suddenly I was taken back to the day we met. He was a tall, gangly, nerdy twelfth grader and I was a rebel sophomore. How a guy like him became best friends with a girl like me confuses me even to this day.
I almost smiled at the memory, but caught myself. It wasn’t the time for smiling. I sighed, realizing Rob was waiting for me to speak. I opened my mouth.
“I’m not doing anything. You are the one who should grow the b*lls and realize that there is something between us. Something that isn’t just friendship,” I finally retorted. Rob opened his mouth and then closed it again, trying to think of a way to reply. Tears slipped from the corners of my eyes as he deliberated.
“I’m--”
“Don’t say anything yet...let me...just let me show you how far I’ve fallen,” I whispered hoarsely.
Nervously, I reached up, locking my fingers in his hair. He sucked in a harsh breath as I brushed my free hand against the stubble shadowing his jaw. Had he had a rough night too? His eyes closed and he hummed in his deep tenor.
I hesitated. What I was about to do could and would change our relationship forever. I shook my head defiantly--I had to do this. I had to...
I leaned forward until I was on my toes and pulled his face down to meet mine. I skimmed my lips along his jaw until I reached the corner of his mouth. A shiver ran down my spine as I took in a breath.
“I. Love. You,” I breathed before pressing my lips to his. Rob gasped as my teeth grazed his bottom lip. Suddenly his hands were at my waist, pulling me closer. His nails dug into my bare skin and I moaned in ecstasy, loving the feel of his lips on mine. I parted my lips--an invitation.
He twisted out of my grasp. Shocked, I pressed a hand to my mouth, feeling my heart beat out of control. His angered glare shot another wave of chills down my spine. I drew in a large breath, trying to calm my erratic heart and labored breathing. I decided then to try and make him angry more often. With his grimace and dark, brooding eyes...he almost looked sexy.
My mouth dropped open once the initial wave of rejection washed over me. Tears welled up in my eyes, threatening to overflow once again. I swallowed a sob and glanced at Rob. His jaw was taut, his hands clenched into fists at his sides.
“Rob,” I whispered raggedly. He looked at me then, fire burning in his eyes.
“Don’t...just don’t,” he said, just as out of breath.
“But, I--”
“Stop it, Catherine!” he shouted. I flinched under his glare. The thunder crashed above us as the pent up tears began to trickle down my cheeks. A sob started to build in the back of my throat. Lightning flashed, illuminating our faces for a quick moment; his expression was grim. “I think we need a break.”
He turned and stepped off the wooden porch, splashing muddy water onto my jeans. He walked down the sloping hill towards his car as another flash of lightning lit up the sky. It began to pour.
“Rob, don’t go. Please,” I begged, running frantically after him. “I can’t do this without you. I can’t be me without you. I just can’t.”
He whirled around to face me, water dripping onto his face. Was he crying too? I was hard to tell.
“Let it go, Catherine!” he yelled at me. Suddenly his voice softened. “Let me go.”
He was gone. I sank to my knees, ignoring the mud seeping through my pants. I wept. Sobs racked my chest and I couldn’t stop shaking. Nobody seemed to notice me as they ran to their cars for shelter. Why should they? It was already raining hard enough--it’s too hard to tell if somebody was upset...
“I may have just lost my best friend,” I muttered as the thunder crashed above me one more time. “Oh God, what am I going to do?”



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