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His blue eyes light up every time he mentions her name. His dark hair falling in his eyes makes her moan and complain. She’s so demanding, so annoying. He doesn’t see that. He just sees what she wants him to. He doesn’t see the sneers, the shoves, the threats. He may be her boyfriend, but I knew him first. I’m his best friend.
I won’t tell him about what goes on when his back is turned. He thinks we’re friends, and it makes him just so happy that the two most important girls in his life get along. What he doesn’t know is that every time they touch, I die inside. Every time he says how wonderful she is, I suppress my tears. I love him with all my heart, but all he ever sees is her. But as long as he’s happy, I’m happy.
He’s talking about her again. Now it’s strained. The glow of first love is fading a little, letting him see who she really is. But he’s willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. He’s willing to overlook her snide comments, her annoying chatter, because he honestly feels something for her. For someone so smart, he’s an idiot. He doesn’t see they way she uses him. She doesn’t care. It’s all a game to her.
She’s telling me to leave him alone. She’s telling me that I’m nothing to him, and I never will be. That she’s the only girl in his life. As if. I don’t listen to her, but I can feel her glare on my back as I walk away.
Now she’s lying to him. She’s telling him all kinds of stories about me, turning him away. He won’t even talk to me anymore. Where is this getting her? Who does she think she is to keep me away from him? It’s killing me, it really is. How can he expect me to just stand by while she goes off and does whatever?
I saw her today, not with him. It was another guy. I tried to tell him, but he accused me of being jealous, and that I was doing everything I could to keep him from being happy. Has he forgotten so soon that everything I’ve ever done had been for him? I’ve sacrificed almost everything, and all he sees is her. That’s all he’ll ever see.
I’m leaving soon. I have no choice. I can’t stay here while my entire world falls apart. They’re fighting now, but he still stays by her. I won’t tell him I’m going. I want to see if he’ll notice. It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t. But I want to tell him how I feel before I go. I owe him that much, and it’s not like it’ll do anything to whatever is left of our friendship. If we even still have a friendship after everything that we’ve been through.
I know I’ve hurt her. I remember exactly how we met, and how she smiled at me and invited me to play with her in pre-school. We’ve known each other for years, and now I’m pushing her away for another girl. My girlfriend isn’t as important to me as she is, and I know that now.
But there’s a rumor going around that she’s leaving and not coming back. I hope to God that it’s not true. If my girlfriend knew what I was doing now, she’d be furious. But maybe that’s a good thing. She’s never made me feel the way my best friend can. I can just picture her now – light blonde hair, and the most beautiful green eyes. She’s amazing.
I need to take it all back. I’m on the phone now, riding my bike to her house. My girlfriend picks up the phone, and I break up with her. I know this is a terrible way to do it, but I’m in a hurry. A fight ensues, and in the end I hang up on her. It doesn’t matter now. Nothing matters but her.
I know he’s coming, and he does, riding his bike up my driveway. I glare coldly at him, wishing my heart could stop pounding the way it does. I’m trying to hate him. Does he know how many sleepless nights I’ve had, tears pouring from my eyes, crying for him? Hating her? Does he know just how many times I’ve wasted my birthday wishes on him? I’ve wished on shooting stars for him to care, but it never worked. Wishes never come true.
He calls my name, and for a moment, it’s just like old times, lounging on my porch, drinking lemonade, laughing at some dumb joke he told. But the illusion shatters, and the severity of the situation takes hold.
“I heard you were leaving.” He was never one to beat around the bush, was he? I sigh, motioning for him to sit down.
“I had a choice. I chose to leave.”
“Do you really need to ask? You’ve blown me off, insulted me, left me, and…” I took a shuddering breath. “You just don’t care anymore, do you?” He looks shocked and horrified.
“No! I mean, yes, I care, but… I’ve been a jerk, Ella. I’m so sorry. So very, very sorry. I was… wrong. I didn’t mean for things to turn out this way. I seriously thought she was the one. I get what she really was now, and well… she’s the number one something, all right,” he jokes, and a laugh escapes from my throat before I even register what he said.
“Ella, please, I know I don’t deserve it, but forgive me,” Archer said, begging me with his eyes. He doesn’t need to. He’s been forgiven from the start. I just had to realize it. I could never hate him, never.
“So... what happened to Melissa?” I ask casually. Archer snorts.
“I dumped her body off a cliff. If the police come, I’ve been here all day.” It was just like old times again, and for the next few hours, I forget the move. I forget everything, and just concentrate on being with Archer again. It doesn’t matter how casual it was. As long as e was here, I was okay.
The sun was setting in the sky. Archer’s hand overlapped mine, almost by accident. I pretended I wasn’t hyperaware of that fact. Today had been like any other day. Normal. Okay. There was no reason for them not to be.
“You’re staying, right?” he asks; worry clouding his beautiful eyes for a moment. I consider it.
“Of course. There’s no reason not to,” I say, and he smiles. His eyes are trying to tell me something, and I lean in, hoping I’m reading the signs right, and-
His lips touch mine for the first time, and I know this is where I belong. He knows it too, and finally, there’s nothing keeping us apart. It’s a perfect moment, the fading sunlight only highlighting perfection.
We pull apart, both breathing hard.
Nothing will ever pull us apart again.