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Doorknobs, Goosebumps, and Breaking
I slipped my shoes off. They made a small thud on the worn wood floor. I wiggle my toes, and my stomach tickled in anticipation. Greetings called over shoulder, I reached for the doorknob. It’s cool surface slipped across my palm. Laughter, but automatic in nature. My thoughts fluttered and spread through my body, surfacing in the form of goosebumps. They tease me but I don’t really care. I bounded down the stairs, silent in my stocking feet. When I reached the bottom of the stairs I slowed to a creep. I love surprises, and I love surprising him. Cautiously, I tip-toed around the corner, silent and squirmy. Blood roared in my ears and the chatter from upstairs added to the din.
Which is why I didn’t hear them.
When I finally made it around the corner my vision blurred and my stomach dropped to a new location somewhere around my toes.
He was laying on the couch with her, practically laying on her. Their jean clad legs where intertwined. His hand slowly disappeared as it crept under her shirt. Their mouths disappeared underneath each others. She broke away though and began to trace a slow pattern with her lips, up his neck to his parted lips and down again to his collar bone. She shivered.
I hated surprises.
I stood there frozen in disbelief and surprise. Tears tickled my eyelashes. Anger swelled from my gut and colored my sight. The combination of anger and and utter sadness, each fighting for control, made my limbs freeze and feet stick to floor. It would be cheesy and horrid to say that I felt my heart breaking. I did not. But I definitely felt it crack.
They continued on, oblivious to my presence and pain. Wrapped up in their bubble of betrayal time moved on for them and stopped for me.
The muted sound of everyone else making their way down the stairs reached me.Their normal giggling and conversation sucked me down a tunnel of contradicting time frames, before and after. But the sounds stopped as they approached me. I felt my best friend’s breath on my neck.
“Oh. My God,” She whispered, hand finding mine and gently squeezing.
The sudden noise and flurry of movement alerted them that life was still existed out of the bubble they had created. His head whipped up. Bewilderment was clearly written across his face. Then realization. Her eyes met mine and then fell to the floor. But his found mine and began searching them.
I gave him nothing, not a hint of emotion. He began to untangle himself from her, eyes still on mine. Suddenly it was us in the bubble. Silent dialogue flew back and forth. Everything but him began to blur out. Whispers came from behind. A tug. I didn’t react though and I had split in two to accommodate the different still existent time frames.
He spoke my name softly. So softly that I did not hear it. I saw it on his lips though, the shape they took so familiar. An ache for the past slowly started in my chest and spread outwards and covered my body in a new kind of goosebumps. Slowly, I shook my head and he froze.
“I love surprises, don’t you?” I said chirpy and light. A small sad smile appeared across my face.I twisted slowly out of the grasp of my friend and the hold of his eyes. I padded back up the stairs, everyone silent behind me.
I slipped my shoes back on. Grasping the doorknob, the handle felt cool in my palm. My foot crossed the threshold and the cold stung my nose.
And that’s when I felt my heart breaking.