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EC-AM=Heartbreak Chapter 10
February 15, 2010
University of Michigan
It was a little after seven o’clock and the four of us: Cole, Shaun, Megan, and I were all heading back to the University of Michigan, which was the college they all attended. I was going to go with Cole and Shaun back to their dorm to drop off their luggage, and Megan was going to go back to hers. After that, she was going to go get Cole’s girlfriend, and then we were all going to meet back at the quad outside.
After that, we were heading out for a night on the town.
I was extremely nervous about meeting Cole’s girlfriend. I knew she would be beautiful, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to see just how beautiful. I knew she would be sweet, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to see just how sweet. And I knew Cole loved her, but I definitely didn’t want to see just how much he loved her. But I knew that once I met her, I’d have to see all of this.
I knew that the entire night, Cole would be infatuated with her, and completely ignore me. I was pretty sure that the only reason Cole invited me to hang out was out of pity. But I didn’t need his pity. And I definitely didn’t want it either.
However, I promised myself that I would not let any of these feelings show. Because if they did, Cole would just feel even more pity for me. Plus I didn’t want to make Cole feel all awkward. My presence was probably awkward enough. I wasn’t about to make things any worse.
We reached the door to Cole and Shaun’s dorm, and Cole opened it up. “It’s kind of messy.” Cole said, sounding apologetic.
“I don’t mind.” I replied. “We’re only here to drop off your stuff after all.”
He nodded, “Yeah, true,” Then we all stepped into the dorm. Messy was an understatement.
Both of their beds were unmade. There were papers, a couple CDs, pencils, and a few books strewn across both of their desks. There was a jacket, two t-shirts, and a baseball hat lying askew around the room. The trashcan was almost overflowing, with three crumpled up pieces of paper sitting atop all of the garbage. And one of the walls was completely filled with posters. There was literally not one spot of vacancy on that wall.
“Home sweet home,” Shaun said, walking over to what I figured was his bed and sitting down on it. He dropped his backpack (which is what he used as a suitcase) down next to his feet, and let out a brief sigh.
Cole walked over to his own bed and placed his suitcase down on it. “We should probably get going. We have to meet the girls back at the quad.”
“Sounds good to me,” Shaun agreed.
“Same here,” I added.
So the three of us left the boys’ dorm room, Cole locking it behind us. Then we all walked out to the quad, where Megan and another girl were already sitting, waiting for us. They were facing away from us, so I didn’t get a good look at the other girl’s face until she stood up and turned around.
A wide grin spread across Cole’s face when he saw her, and he sped up a bit, walking over to her. “Hey,” he said, approaching her.
“Hey, I missed you!” she cried, standing up and wrapping her thin arms around his neck. She craned her neck up so that her lips met his, and it took all that I had not to turn around and walk away from them right there and then.
I sucked it up though, and followed Shaun over to them. When the girl broke away from Cole, she turned her head to look at me. And the second I saw her perfectly bronzed face, I let out a small gasp. She did the same as soon as she saw me.
“Katrina?” I demanded.
“Evalynne?” she cried in shock.
“I’m guessing you two know eachother?” Cole asked, his brow knitting together in confusion.
“Yeah, this is Ash’s ex-girlfriend! The one I told you about!” I informed him.
The second he heard this, his face grew a shade paler. “What?” he inquired, not because he didn’t hear me, but because he was too shocked to believe what I’d said.
“Wait a minute,” Katrina said. “How do you know Cole?”
“He’s my best friend’s cousin, and he’s also a really good friend of mine.” I told her.
She shook her head, “I can’t believe this.”
“Um, what’s going on here?” Shaun asked. Both him and Megan looked utterly perplexed.
“You remember Ash, right?” Katrina said to Megan.
“Of course,” Megan replied. “You guys were like, in love.”
“Yeah, and you remember how I told you about that girl he was with when I went to visit him in New York, right?” Katrina said.
Megan’s face lit up with comprehension. “Oh. My. Gosh. This is her?” she cried.
Katrina nodded, “Yeah. This is her.”
“No way!” Shaun exclaimed. “I heard about you!” he said to me. “Didn’t you marry that guy?”
I nodded, my throat too tight to speak. I glanced at Cole, who was just standing there, mouth agape, completely speechless.
“Yeah, she married him.” Katrina stated. “And then he died.”
This struck a nerve. I was still pretty sensitive about people talking about Ash’s death. After all, I was in love with him. And I could tell that Katrina knew that. She’d said this purposely. But I wasn’t about to let her see me get all emotional. No freakin’ way. So I bit my tongue, and blinked away the tears that so desperately wanted to escape.
“So you heard that he passed away?” I asked. Rather than yelling at her and getting angry about it, I decided to be more civil. I wanted to show Cole that I was the bigger person. I wanted to prove to him that Katrina was just a spiteful witch, and that he was too good for her.
She was clearly surprised that I didn’t go off on her. I could tell by the way her eyes widened, and she stuttered on her words a bit. “Um, yeah, I did.”
I nodded, “Did you end up coming to the funeral? I didn’t see you there.”
She slowly shook her head, “I found out about it after the funeral.” she told me. “But if I’d have known sooner, I definitely would’ve came.”
Her tone was no longer hateful and malicious. It had grown softer, gentler. I knew that she could tell I was in no mood to argue with her. “I miss him.” I stated.
For some reason, this made her grow angry once again. “Yeah, I miss him too. I’m used to it though, since he moved to New York and then found someone else who he loved more than me.”
The second she said this, I felt true empathy for her. Because I knew exactly how she felt. It was how I was feeling right at that moment. Cole had gone back to Michigan and found someone that he loved more than me. Now I understood why she hated me so much. I felt the same exact way about her. “Katrina, I am so sorry. I really, truly am. I had no idea that he even had a girlfriend before he met me. I swear.” I told her.
“Oh, that makes me feel ten times better!” she said sarcastically. “I was so unimportant that he didn’t even mention me to you?”
I sighed, knowing that there would be no easy way for me to talk myself out of this. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.” I tried to assure her.
“I don’t even care. He’s dead anyways. It’s not like it matters anymore.” she remarked bitterly. “Besides, I have a new boyfriend now. Right, Cole?” She grinned and snaked her arm around his waste flirtatiously. He nodded, still silent.
“So, you guys ready to leave yet?” Shaun asked. We all looked at him, not amused. He frowned, sighed, and sat back down on the bench. “This is going to be a long night.” he muttered. And I knew he was right.
February 15, 2010 (11)
University of Michigan
The five of us stood there on the quad, as students began to slowly clear out. It was beginning to grow dark, and soon the quad would be vacant. We couldn’t just sit out here all night. It was February and it was cold.
“Well, I’m willing to forgive and forget.” I said to Katrina. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t even see why we’re fighting in the first place.”
“Because you stole my boyfriend away from me.” she remarked as if it were obvious.
When she said this, Megan glanced from me to Cole to Katrina, and then back to me with a glare. Ok, so technically I was trying to steal Katrina’s boyfriend away from her again. But I had no clue that she was Cole’s girlfriend until now, so it wasn’t my fault.
“I’m sorry if you think that I stole Ash away from you. But in my defense, he didn’t tell me about you. So technically it’s his fault, not mine.” I replied.
“But you willingly went out with him even after you knew about me. You freakin’ married him! And now you expect me to just forgive and forget? No way!” she shouted.
I had to admit: she had a point there. I knew that if I were in her place, I’d definitely feel the same way. I wouldn’t forgive me either. “Fine, don’t forgive me.” I told her. “You really don’t have any reason to. But can we at least just get along? We might not like each other, but we need to be mature about it. I’m pretty sure that Cole, Shaun, and Megan don’t want to sit here all night, listening to us argue.”
“You’ve got that right!” Shaun said. “This is ridiculous! I’m hungry and I want to get some dinner. I’m so sick of all this fighting. Why can’t we all just live in peace? Yelling at each other solves nothing. It’s just a waste of time and energy. If people were able to just settle things peacefully without screaming their lungs out, the world would be much more civil place.”
Katrina rolled her pale green eyes at him in response. “If you’re so hungry, then go ahead and get something to eat. You have two legs that aren’t broken. Go walk up to your dorm, get some food, and don’t come back down until you’re done with your little ‘world peace’ speech.”
My eyebrows rose in shock. I knew Katrina was kind of bratty, but I didn’t think she was a full-out witch. Apparently, my assumption had been wrong.
“You know what Katrina?” Shaun snapped. “Maybe Ash decided to go out with Evalynne instead of you because she’s actually a good person. I honestly don’t know how Cole puts up with you. But I’ve got to give you props, dude.” He said to Cole. “You’ve got some serious nerve to go out with her.”
I couldn’t hold back the smile that was spreading across my face. Shaun had just dissed her big time. And the best part was that Katrina didn’t even have a comeback. She just stood there in shock, completely speechless.
Cole’s eyebrows were raised in astonishment, and Megan looked completely mortified at her boyfriend’s outburst.
“Shaun, apologize right now.” Megan commanded. “You had no right to talk to Katrina like that.”
“No way! She totally deserved that! I’ve put up with her crap for way too long. She always orders me around and makes rude remarks towards me. I had every right to say that to her.” he shot back.
“Listen to your girlfriend, Shaun.” Katrina remarked. “Apologize to me. Now.” she ordered, deadpanning him.
But he met her grave stare with one of his own. “No.” he said.
She shook her head in rage, and Megan frowned disdainfully. “Come on, Shaun.” Megan pleaded. “If you don’t show some respect to her and apologize, I’m going to have to break up with you.”
“What?” Shaun demanded. “You’re going to dump me because you’re stupid little friend doesn’t like it when I stand up to her?”
“It’s not like that.” Megan replied.
“Oh really? Then explain it to me, because I’m not really comprehending.”
“Katrina’s been my best friend ever since the sixth grade. You’ve only been my boyfriend for five months. If you don’t want to respect her, than I’m not going to put up with it. If you don’t say you’re sorry within the next five seconds, it’s over.”
He looked at her as if he’d never seen her before in his life. As if she had just become a complete stranger to him. “Megan, don’t do this. All Katrina does is yell at you and push you around. Why do you keep defending her? She doesn’t deserve your friendship.”
“It’s been five seconds, and you haven’t apologized.” Megan stated, ignoring his comment. “We’re over.”
“Megan, please don’t do this!” he cried, sounding desperate. “I love you!”
Katrina rolled her eyes at him once again, “How pathetic,” she muttered.
“You think he’s pathetic?” Cole demanded, speaking up for the first time since he’d found out who Katrina really was. “What’s pathetic is throwing a fit and forcing your so-called best friend to dump the guy that she loves because he put you in your place. What’s pathetic is accusing someone of stealing your boyfriend, when he broke up with you. You’re pathetic, Katrina.”
“Treated!” Shaun exclaimed, his usual grin returning to his face. Two people had just told Katrina off in less than five minutes. Today was definitely a good day.
“Excuse me?” Katrina hissed, paying no attention to Shaun’s commentary. “You did not just say that to me!”
“Actually, I did.” Cole retorted smugly. “I thought you were different, Katrina. Whenever it’s just the two of us, you’re kind and sweet and funny. I was starting to fall in love with you. But now that I see your true colors, I want nothing to do with you.”
I expected her to go off on him about how he didn’t deserve her or how she didn’t need him anyways. But she didn’t. Instead, her eyes began to well up with tears and her arrogant smirk disappeared into a sad grimace.
“You love me?” she asked him.
“I thought I did. But I didn’t realize how stuck-up and conceited you really are.” he told her.
I stood there in silence, waiting for her to respond. Something inside felt sympathetic for her. She was obviously hurt by all of this. But at the same time, I was glad that the tables were finally turning on her. She deserved to be put in her place. But no one deserved to have their heartbroken. Not even Katrina.
“Cole, don’t say that.” I stated. Everyone turned to look at me, clearly all stunned that I was actually defending Katrina. “She might be a little rude, but she loves you. And you obviously loved her too. Don’t let one occurrence get in the way of that. She’s just in a bad mood because she’s angry at me. That’s why she went off on Shaun. She’s really not a horrible person. She has every right to be angry too. She loved Ash. And love can make you do some pretty crazy things. So don’t take this all out on her.”
No one responded to this. They were all to shocked about what I’d just said. I’d stood up for Katrina. I’d given Cole a speech about how he shouldn’t break up with her. I’d probably just saved their relationship. And why?
Well, I cared about Cole. And I could see how much Katrina meant to him. I knew that when he heard how she’d talked to Shaun, it hurt him. He thought she was perfect. And the realization that she wasn’t hit him hard.
I knew this feeling very well. I’d thought Ash was perfect. Then I found out that he murdered his dad. I found out that he was going out with Julianne Wiggins. I found out that he’d carved another girls name into a tree too. Finding all this out hurt me so bad.
I’d loved Ash so much, that I didn’t want to believe that any of these things were true. But I knew that they were and I had to face it. If only I’d had someone to explain to me that no one was perfect, that love could make you crazy, that Ash didn’t deserved to be blamed for all of those things.
It would’ve made things so much easier. And definitely less painful. But I didn’t have that. And I almost wrecked my relationship with Ash before it really even began. I didn’t want Cole to make that same mistake though. He didn’t deserve to go through the same amount of pain that I did.
So even though I was in love with him, and even though I wanted to be with him more than anything, I told him all of this. Because if I didn’t, I’d have let him lose someone that he loved, knowing that I didn’t stop it. And I couldn’t hurt him like that. I loved him too much to do that to him.
“Evalynne, what are you doing?” Cole finally asked me.
“I’m trying to stop you from making a huge mistake.” I replied. “If you really were falling in love with her, then don’t let one night throw all of that away.”
He shook his head, “But I don’t understand. Why are you trying to convince me to stay with her? It just doesn’t make sense.”
“I know that you really care about her, and I don’t want you to get hurt by letting her slip away so easily. It makes plenty of sense.” I explained to him.
He stared at me for a moment, his face a mixture of surprise, gratefulness, and gratification. “You’re right.” he stated, turning to look at Katrina. “I’m sorry, Katrina. I shouldn’t have said that to you. I really do think that I’m in love with you do. So if you’re willing to give me another chance, I’d really appreciate it.”
Her eyes still wide with shock, Katrina nodded. “Of course I would. I love you too.”
A grin spread across his face. “Thank you. And I promise that I’ll never take you for granted like that again.”
He wrapped her up in his arms, and planted a kiss on her perfectly glossed lips. I watched this, a single tear trickling down my cheek. It hurt me so much to watch Cole and Katrina together. He was so in love with her.
He’d been in love with me before. But I’d let his love slip away. And now I was hurting just as much as Cole would’ve if I hadn’t stopped him from dumping Katrina.