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&& no matter what.. He loved me.
I needed him to want me. I needed to be proved to that all my hoping wasn’t for nothing. That my wanting him to take me, own me, wasn’t in vain, that’s why I did it. I walk down the hall feeling absolutely in a crowd of people. Some are laughing, happy for the immediate future, a sudden flow of tears lingering within a second of a shallow break up. Still, alone is where I am right now. And now, here in the dark, is where I want to remain, my mind revisiting the night, how it seemed so perfect… everything I had ever expected.
Someone calls my name. The sound is fuzzy, tugging at my brain to pull me into the real world. No. That’s not what I want. This sea, calm and blue… This floating on irrelevant dreams in a realm where I am with him is where I am. The waves fondle me, caress my face and lull me into oblivion. I allow myself to return to my memories, all I have left after he walked away, giving me no second glance. Taking what he thought he deserved and leaving when he had it. Again I hear someone calling my name.
Andrew. Reluctantly I open my eyes and his face is almost too close to mine, worry creasing his near perfect complexion. How could I have done this to him? My boyfriend, perfect and strong for me, every time I failed and let my façade slip.
As he touched my hand I instinctively drew back then forced myself to fall into his arms. I knew I loved him, but how could I stay with him now. I felt my eyebrows blend into one as I thought about him staying with me when he knows. Everyone knows, they look, watching us, but saying nothing… Knowing he wouldn’t leave me regardless. The bell began to ring but he didn’t leave. His arm tight around my back he pulled me into him hard, as though he’d never see me again. He drew in a breath and sighed, looked into my eyes and let go of me. As I turned to leave he grabbed my shoulders, and spun me around. He furrowed his eyebrows and bent down to kiss me. It was sweet, not in taste, but it was different, the feeling behind it was apparent. As he pulled back I closed my eyes and hung my head a little. I felt him kiss the top of my head and he walked away, promising he’d see me after school.
I stood there as the bell finished, guilt hitting me so hard I practically fell back against the wall. I slid down catching my head in my hands, eyes closed. On the outside, we were the perfect couple, close as possible… We were best friends. Behind closed doors we were far from it, not him though, it was me. Always testing his patience, pushing his temper as far as I could to see if I could make him snap. Nevertheless, he was my best friend. Therefore I had to tell him, even if he already knew; I could tell he didn’t want to believe it, but he had to. We couldn’t remain the same after I betrayed him like that, turned my back on our commitment and cheated like I had. I knew he was what was best for me, always coming to my rescue when I needed him, no matter the situation. So, maybe I could fix this. I regretted the thought the second it came into my head. Of course he’d take me back, he was so forgiving of my flaws. But it was about time I stopped thinking about myself.
I walked to the bathroom, put my hands on either side of the mirror, wiping off the water that had splashed up I pushed myself away, unable to stand the sight of my own face anymore. I crumpled and sat on the floor against the wall, waiting for the bell to ring. When it did, I stood up slowly and braced myself to lose the only thing that ever made me feel truly alive. I felt myself return to the darkness that had started to become my comfort, the place I could go to be truly alone, no distractions, no one asking rhetorical, irrelevant questions as to the well being of my mind.. Just me, and the darkness. A sort of emptiness that I enjoyed returning to time and again, a void that somehow resembled me as a person, not quite there, but not invisible either.
The bell echoed against the walls of the bathroom and I stood up, opened the door, regretting already what I had to do. I forced myself through the door and walked towards his locker, pushing my way through crowds of people rushing to go the other way… but didn’t see him. Suddenly I felt arms wrap around my waist and, knowing it was Andrew I twisted in them to get a look at his face. I pulled my arms up through his and laced my fingers together behind his neck as I stared up to meet his gaze. His smile told me everything was going to be okay, but the way he was holding on to me, protective, defensive, as if ready to strike should the need arrive gave way to the obvious truth he wouldn’t put into words. He knew, that much was evident, but he still had to be told. I unwrapped one of his arms from around my waist and took it in my hand, leading him, without a word towards my bus.
The ride home seemed endless, as stop after stop came, kid after kid standing up to leave.. None of them seemed the least bit familiar, though I’d seen them every day for the past six and a half months. We got off at my stop and walked to my door. I jangled with my keys for a few bit before he took them from me, opened the door and lead the way to my room, me following silently. The look on his face a dead give away to the way he was feeling, but I didn’t meet his gaze as I walked past and dropped my backpack on the floor. He sat on my bed, back pressed against the wall staring into my face before taking my hands in his and sitting me on the bed, looking expectedly into my eyes.
We sat there for a few minutes, as I allowed myself to fog over a little, so I wouldn’t completely remove my mask as he walked away. I knew that once he was gone I would go under completely, my reason for resurfacing having vanished. I shook off the thought and returned to what I was about to do. His face was brave again, the way I knew him, that of someone who would take any sort of torment as long as the ones they cared about wouldn’t be harmed. My hand clumsily found its way to his face, his eyes closing at my touch.
I started off telling him about the night, how I had seen Scott walking along the road, how he had invited me into his house. He knew I had always wanted Scott, how he was the one thing I wanted but knew I could never have. I paused and looked up to see his head hanging down, looking so vulnerable it made me ache through to my core for him, knowing I was the reason for this hurt. His eyes looked up and with a desperate look in them he asked me to finish, dropping them again when I found my voice and began to talk. When it was done I sat there waiting until he brought his head up a little, and wiping away what looked like tears, he asked me if I was going to break up with him because of this.
I looked at him questioningly, testing his words.. Then, leaning forward I took his chin in my hand and pulled lightly, motioning for him to come forward. The kiss wasn’t at all what I expected, full of saltiness from the tears, and sweetness from his sincerity and insecurity it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Pulling away and looking into his eyes I asked in a hoarse whisper if he wanted to break up with me after hearing what I’d done, keeping my eyes closed, ready for the obvious answer to come. He sort of chuckled pulling me into his arms, spreading out to lay on my bed with my head on his bicep facing him, he kissed my forehead and whispered back that he would never leave me, and that he forgave me, and that no matter what, he loved me.