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EC-AM=Heartbreak Chapter 11
February 16, 2010
Holiday Inn Hotel Room
I was lying on the stiff mattress of a Holiday Inn hotel room. I couldn’t stay with Cole in his dorm, so I decided to spend the night in a hotel. Tomorrow morning, I would go to the airport and fly back home to New York.
The five of us ended up going out to dinner at a quaint little 50’s themed diner, which turned out miserable. At least for me it did. Shaun and Megan ended up getting back together, so they spent the whole time talking and smiling and laughing with each other. Cole and Katrina did the same exact thing too. So the entire night, I was ignored.
Tomorrow, Cole, Shaun, Megan, and Katrina all had to go to class. So I wouldn’t even get to say goodbye to Cole before leaving. My face was hot and blotchy from all the crying I’d been doing, and now it was one-thirty in the morning and I couldn’t fall asleep.
As I laid there awake, I found myself thinking about Ash. And I found myself wishing that he were here with me. After my imaginary ghost encounter, I’d focused more on Cole. I’d began to not appreciate all of Ash’s love for me. But I was wrong to do that and I knew it.
Sighing, I grabbed my cell phone off the bedside table where I’d placed it. I hadn’t turned it on since yesterday before I left to chase after Cole. So I decided that now was as good a time as any to see how many times Kristy and my parents had tried to get a hold of me.
I turned it on and the screen became bright and full of life. I had a total of thirteen missed calls. Five from Kristy and eight from my parents. Next, I checked all of the texts I’d received. First, I read all of the ones from my parents’ cell phones.
Evalynne, where are you?
Why aren’t you answering you’re phone? Are you ok?
Evalynne, pick up you’re phone now! We’re worried about you!
Please answer you’re phone! We’re freaking out! Where are you?
I felt bad for getting my parents so worked up about all of this. But I put those feelings aside and read the texts that Kristy had sent me.
Hey, u ok?
Evalynne? U there?
I know ur probably not in the mood to talk, but please answer ur phone.
Come on, pick up the phone!!!
Evalynne, ur being ridiculous! Just talk to me please!
That’s it. I’m coming over. I will make u talk to me.
Ok, so now ur not answering the door? Fine, I see how it is. But I’m warning u. I’ll be back!
Ok, Evalynne, where are u? For real, ur parents are seriously freaking out!
Evalynne, this isn’t funny! Pick up ur freakin phone!!!!! I’m not joking!!!
My parents had called me eight times and texted me four times. Kristy had called me five times and texted me nine times. They were all so worried about me. And it was all my fault. I’d gotten three of the people I loved the most all worked up over absolutely nothing. I realized how completely and totally immature I was being about all of this. I shouldn’t have just left without telling anyone. I should’ve at least called or texted them to let them know I was ok.
But I didn’t. So I decided that it was time I did.
Hey, I just want u to know that I’m ok. I’m in Michigan right now, but don’t ask why. I’ll explain everything when I get home. I’ll probably be home around 11:30 because I have a 7:00 flight in the morning. But don’t worry about me. I’m ok.
I sent this text to both Kristy and my parents. But I still couldn’t fall asleep. I didn’t expect either Kristy or my parents to text me back or call me. But a minute later my phone began to vibrate. It was an incoming call from Kristy.
“Hello,” I answered.
“What the hell were you thinking?” she shouted into the phone. “You followed Cole to Michigan? Are you crazy, Evalynne?”
“You’re the one who told me that I should fight for him.” I replied.
“But I never told you to follow him to Michigan! Seriously, Evalynne! Are you out of your freakin’ mind? What did Cole do when he found out?”
“He yelled.” I confessed sheepishly.
“Of course he yelled! He had every right to yell!” she cried.
“He yelled because he doesn’t love me back, Kristy. He told me himself. I came all the way out here for nothing. He loves his girlfriend.”
She was silent for a moment as she took this in. “I’m sorry.” she finally murmured.
“It’s ok.” I responded softly. “I met his girlfriend by the way. But it wasn’t the first time I’d met her before.”
“What do you mean?” she asked, sounding baffled.
“His girlfriend’s name is Katrina Epperly. He’s dating Ash’s ex-girlfriend. The one who came back for him. Whose name Ash carved into the tree.” I informed her.
“No way!” she exclaimed. “You’re lying! You’ve got to be lying!”
“Oh my gosh! I can’t even believe this! How the hell did Cole end up with her?” she demanded.
“She goes to his college. His roommate’s girlfriend is best friend’s with her. And he’s in love with her.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me! Did you tell him who she was?” she asked.
“Well what did he say?”
“Nothing,” I replied. “He was completely speechless.”
“Wow. That’s crazy. How does a coincidence like that even happen?”
“I don’t know, but it did.” I considered telling her how I’d saved their relationship, but I knew she’d start yelling at me again and telling me that I was crazy.
“So even after he found that out, he didn’t break up with her?” she inquired.
“Well, he almost did…”
“What do you mean he almost did? What happened?”
I sighed, unable to contain myself. “I stopped him.”
“What?” she shrieked. “He was about to dump Katrina and you stopped him? Please tell me that you’re kidding! Please tell me that you didn’t actually do that!”
“I just didn’t want to see him hurt.” I said softly.
“Oh, Evalynne, I can’t believe you! You flew all the way out to Michigan for him. Why would you do something like that?”
“Because I knew he loved her!” I remarked. “And I didn’t want him to throw away his relationship the way I did with him! I’m hurting so much without him, and I don’t want him to have to feel the same way without Katrina. I want him to be happy. And if that means that I need to keep him and Katrina together, then I will.”
“Wow, you really love him.” she stated quietly. “If you care about him so much and he still chooses Katrina over you, then he doesn’t deserve you.”
“No, I’m the one who doesn’t deserve him. I messed with his emotions way too much last summer. And then I didn’t even choose him.”
“You were in love with Ash. Don’t blame yourself for that. But you were obviously in love with Cole too, and you obviously still are.” she pointed out.
“That doesn’t matter though.” I told her. “He got over me. He doesn’t love me back anymore. And that’s not his fault either. It’s mine for not choosing him.”
“Are you saying that you regret choosing Ash over him?” she asked, her voice shocked.
“I don’t know.” I admitted. “It’s just that Ash is gone now. I don’t have him anymore. But Cole is still here. And now that Ash is out of the picture, I’m able to be with Cole without feeling guilty or unsure. But I can’t because he doesn’t want me anymore.”
“So if Ash were still alive, you wouldn’t be so in love with Cole?”
I sighed, “I don’t know, ok? I don’t even know how I’m feeling right now besides empty. I just wish I could’ve seen this coming before I chose Ash. Maybe then my decision would’ve been changed.”
“So you’re saying that if you knew Ash was going to die you wouldn’t have chose him?” she demanded. Without waiting for me to answer her, she continued. “That’s really low, Evalynne. Do you think Ash would do that to you? Because I sure don’t. In fact, that would make him want to choose you even more. He would want to spend as much time as possible with you before you died. He wouldn’t just move onto someone else because he knew that he would lose you anyways. I can’t believe you would actually do that to him.”
“No, you have it all wrong. I’m not saying that I would do that to him!” I argued, trying to defend myself.
“So what are you saying then? Because I’m not quite getting it.” She retorted sharply. I was so confused at that moment. First Kristy was mad at me, then she was sympathetic, then she was mad again, then she was sympathetic again, and now she was mad yet again. What was with her constant mood swings?
“I don’t know what I’m saying.” I confessed. “I’m confused and I’m tired and I’m hurt. I’m in no condition to be discussing this with you right now.”
I could almost feel her glaring even though we were in two different states. “That’s an excuse.” she snapped. “You’re just beginning to realize how wrong you are about everything and you don’t want to admit it.”
I bit my tongue, trying to hold back the remark that wanted to escape my throat. But I couldn’t resist. “Why are you getting so mad at me?” I demanded, unleashing all of my irritation on her. “Aren’t you the one who lied and told me that Ash and Katrina were back together when they weren’t? Aren’t you the one who made a move on Ash when I was going out with him? Aren’t you the one who was so jealous, desperate, and pathetic that you made friends with Julianne and Kelly? You would’ve given anything for me to dump Ash before. And now you’re defending him? If there was anyone who made wrong decisions it was you! You got so jealous that you turned into a freakin’ psychopath!”
I heard her gasp at my malicious eruption. “I’m not the one who tried to kill myself.” she remarked, her tone dark and smug. “You put Ash’s mom in a coma. You gave her Alzheimer’s disease. If it wasn’t for you, she wouldn’t be dead right now. You killed her. So I’m not the psychopath here. You are.”
I could barely believe what I’d just heard. Kristy knew very well that I was extremely sensitive about that. Yet she’d brought it up. She’d used it against me. She’d purposely tried to hurt me. And she’d succeeded.
I couldn’t help but find myself questioning our friendship. It seemed like ever since I met Ash, all we’d been doing was fighting. Our friendship was falling apart at the seems. But no matter how much we fought in the past, she’d never said this to me. And I’d never spoken to her the way I just did either.
So I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the end. If we really were friends, neither of us would’ve have just said what we did to each other. Both of us were silent. And I had a feeling that Kristy was thinking the same exact thing as me.
“Well,” I finally said, “if that’s really how you feel then maybe we aren’t really friends.”
“Maybe we aren’t.” she stated in response, her voice even.
“Alright, well I’ve got to go. I need to get some sleep.” I told her, my voice wavering a bit.
“Same here,” she replied.
“Bye,” I said.
I flipped my phone shut and stared at it for a moment. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I barely even noticed the tears falling down my cheeks. I was so used to crying by now that I didn’t really realize it anymore.
I put the phone back down on the bedside table and rested my head on the slightly stiff pillow. All I wanted at that moment was to sleep. I wanted to fall into a deep sleep where I wasn’t aware of the reality around me.
I wanted all of my hurt and emptiness to disappear as I dreamt of happier times when I was with Ash or Cole. Or when Kristy and I were still friends. Of times when my life wasn’t a complete nightmare.
But I knew that even if I did fall asleep and dream of all of these things, it wouldn’t last. I would still wake up. And when I awakened, Cole would still be with Katrina, Kristy would still completely hate me, Ash would still be dead, I would still be all alone in a Holiday Inn hotel room in Michigan, and my life would still be a living, breathing hell.
So instead of sleeping, I laid there awake. Because I didn’t want to experience happiness only to wake up and realize that it wasn’t real.