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Cheater

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What the HELL? I mean, WHAT THE HELL????!!!!
I slammed my books down on the table, silently screaming at myself for not realizing before. How could I be so stupid? How could I not have realized what was going on behind my back? The secretive whispers, the giggling, the red faces coming out of my room when I came back from the kitchen.

"Aria? Ari, wait!" Chiana's tear stained face appeared around the corner, her gray eyes glistening with tears, looking like the sky on a cloudy day.

"No, Chi! You hurt me and you cheated on me with MY boyfriend in MY house! Did you honestly think I wouldn't find you? How STUPID can you be? Kissing in MY bedroom while you both knew that I was just down the hall? I was just going to the kitchen! I always knew YOU were dim, but did you really believe I was?"

She was silent, tears coursing down her face in a river of pain.
I felt bad. I had said things I didn't mean, and I had hurt her bad- but what was I supposed to do? Speak softly to her and tell her it was ok that she was a boyfriend-stealing slut?

"WELL, CHIANA? Aren't you going to say something? Do you even feel the slightest hint of remorse for eating my boyfriend’s face?!"

She opened her mouth, then closed it again, standing silently while tears formed a puddle on the floor.

"No? I didn't think so." I turned around and fled from the house, heading towards the snowy woods, running hard to get away from this house, away from these people, to find my secret place with the trees and the stillness of peace.

I cried as I fled, tears splashing the ground before my feet. Chiana had been my friend from birth! How could she do this to me? And Josh... Why? I mean, it's not like I thought we would get married, or anything; we're only 16, after all.
But I never expected this. Kissing my best friend, in my room, on my bed, where we had spent hours, me crying and him comforting me after my dad left. I think that's why I held on to him so strongly- he was the only guy in my life, and I wasn't about to lose him like I lost my father.

CRUNCH! My feet hit leaves, crunching under my feet as I ran further into the forest.
Almost there...
Yes. I breathed in, the fresh, cool winter air stinging my face as the wind brushed the leaves off the trees. I stared at the lake, a small thing that was surrounded by the red
snow berries that shown like blood against the pure white background.
And then I broke down completely. I cried out my soul, my heart, to the trees, the whispering trees with bark the color of josh's eyes, to the weeds surrounding the frozen pool of water before me, to the leaves on the floor of the forest, brittle and cracked.
I thought of my dad, and what he used to sing to me when we went on walks in the forest...


I thought of Josh, stroking my hair and whispering promises that he would never leave me like my father.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, I stopped crying. I had made up my mind, and there was only me thing I could do to save myself... And that was to leave.
Forever.
I approached the pool, the ice glistening on the surface, looking just like Chiana's gray, gray eyes. I took a breath. Did I really want to do this? I thought of the last time I had seen her, tears falling down her face as she tried to speak to me, tell me why she was a cheater.
A cheater.
That reminded me why I was here in the first place, standing barefoot in the frost-bitten forest, on the brink of leaving my friends, my family, forever.
Josh. He had caressed me, held me, whispering to me I was beautiful, sharing kisses with me under the stars; all the while whispering the same things, murmuring the same promises in another ear, kissing another pair of lips, and caressing the face of my best friend.
No.
I had to do this. I had to stop lying to myself.

I took another deep breath, and leaped forwards onto the ice, the fragile substance breaking beneath my feet as I plunged into the freezing water. As I slowly sunk to the bottom of the pool, my life draining away, I thought about everything that had happened that day. I thought about my mom, about the tearstained face she would surely have when they found my frozen body. I thought about Chiana, breaking down at my funeral, screaming in despair and remorse for what she had driven me to do.
I thought of josh, his face when they told him, his beautiful chocolate brown eyes brimming with tears as he spoke about me, how he had loved me, how he had-
Wait.
He lied. He cheated. He had never cared about me. He probably couldn't stand me. Why else would he have taken her instead?

All this I thought as I sunk to the bottom of the lake, desperately trying to hold onto my last dregs of life to speak a word to the faces swimming before my eyes. I saw my family, my friends, gathered around the pool. But I didn't see Josh.
He told me he loved me. I never should have believed him.



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