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Brittany Gibson sat up in her room, gazing out the foggy window as she waited for her boyfriend of two years to come pick her up for a night out together. Usually she would be excited to be going out with him because it was very rare that he ever took her out. One of them would either be busy or too tired from work to want to go out, but this particular night was different. Not a good kind of different, a strange bad kind of different. Over the course of the last two months when Chase had been focusing on winning a baseball scholarship and Brittany was stuck at home doing lame AP Biology homework, she had befriended someone new. That new someone was none other than her boyfriend’s brother, Ethan Wiles.
She didn’t mean for it to happen, but the feelings towards him just rushed in when she first said two words to him. She couldn’t hide those butterfly bubbles in her stomach every time he gave her a hug or waved hello when they were walking in between classes. Sometimes she would even catch herself walking past his group of friends casually, trying to sneak a peek at his face or hear that contagious laugh that she was beginning to love.
“Ugh,” Brittany groaned, leaning her head onto the cold window pane, breathing her warm breath onto the heavy glass, “why do I feel this way?” she said, banging her head on the cold surface.
A strike of thunder flashed in the dark sky, making Brittany jump back a little. Her breathing got heavy and she stepped back, sitting on her bead. “You love Chase,” she murmured to herself, “you’re in love with Chase.” Brittany closed her eyes, feeling that she was lying to herself at the moment, “Why am I so confused?”
She heard the doorbell ring from downstairs and her mom greeting whoever the guest was, knowing that person would be walking up here in any moment. Brittany stood up and attempted to de-fluff her messy hair as well as straighten out the shirt that she was wearing while she looked at the door.
Right on cue, Chase walked in, a warm smile painted upon his face. He was currently sporting dark washed jeans and a faded blue bottom up shirt, along with his sports jacket on top. He looked so cute with his hair slightly wet from the rain outside.
This made Brittany want to slap herself even more. How could she not be in love with him? She smiled back at him, knowing it was sort of forced and fake.
“Hey babe.” The words glided off his tongue as Chase walked over and leaned over to give is girlfriend a kiss on the cheek. As he pulled away, he could already sense something was wrong, but wanted to wait until she brought up the subject to talk about it. “Ready to go?”
“Yeah, let me just grab my purse.” Brittany brushed past Chase and over to her closet. She threw in the necessary items into the bag, sliding it onto her shoulder. “Ready,” she told him, gripping the grip she had onto her purse even tighter than before.
They walked down the stairs slowly; Brittany yelled goodbye to her parents before the pair stepped out into the now pouring rain. Noticing Brittany only had a thin sweater on and was getting soaked, Chase took his jacket off and placed it on her shoulders to keep her warm. Normally Brittany would thank him for the gesture, but this time all she did was hurry her way to his car. It was probably just because of the rain and she wanted to get sheltered, Chase told himself. The two of them quickly shuffled into his car, appreciating the warmth that it was giving off.
Chase started up the car and glanced over at the love of his life. Her eyes weren’t shining as bright as they used to and that worried him greatly. He eased the car out of the driveway and started down the path to get to their destination. Silence was beating down on them intensely; nothing was heard except the loud raindrops beating down on the roof of the car and the soft sounds of their breathing. Brittany was dying to say something, but kept her mouth shut for the time being. Chase knew something was wrong when she hadn’t started up a conversation like she always did when an awkward silence fell over. He knew she hated the silence, so why was she being so quiet? He kept a firm grip on the steering wheel and glanced over at her. He could tell something was bothering her deep inside, but why wasn’t she telling him what? She always spoke her mind.
The light had turned red and he pressed down on the brake gently. “Britt, are you okay?” Chase asked worriedly, turning so that he could face her, “you’re awfully quiet.”
She cringed at the nickname, feeling sick to her stomach. “Yeah, fine,” Brittany answered, forcing another smile as she looked out of her window.
This made Chase worry even more, “Are you sure? You don’t seem okay.” He pushed the subject, knowing how much Brittany hated when he did that, but he was concerned. What else could he do at that point?
“Yes, like I said I’m fine,” she snapped at him, annoyed as she rolled her eyes in frustration. The hurt that soon appeared in Chase’s eyes made her want to scream at herself even more. How could she be doing this to him? All he ever gave her was love and comfort and now she was pushing him away, pushing him away for his own brother. Brittany felt disgusted with herself, like she wanted to vomit and go crawl underneath a rock.
The lights flashed green and Chase stepped on the pedal again, speeding off. He didn’t want to upset Brittany anymore, deciding to keep his mouth shut until they were in the restaurant.
What she was feeling inside was starting to eat at Brittany slowly. She had to tell him about the feelings she was now possessing before leading him on any longer like she had been for the past two months. She looked over at Chase, studying his features. His once long curls were now chopped short, making look more mature, but Brittany had learned to love how his hair was. His cheeks were rosy from the cold air that was nipping at their skin, but she longed to run her finger over them. She caught sight of his pink lips, knowing she wouldn’t be able to kiss him after she confessed how she felt. Oh how she longed to press her lips to his.
“Chase,” Brittany piped in, noticing how small and squeaky her voice was.
“Yeah?” he responded, concentrating on the road in front of him, but was also still able to glance at the beautiful girl sitting next to him.
“I have tell you something,” she sighed, holding in her breath for a matter of seconds.
He knew that sigh so well, Brittany always used it when she had to tell him something bad that was bothering her deep inside. Usually, it made the two of them feel better, but for some strange reason this time, Chase felt it was going to be a whole lot different. “What is it?” he murmured softly, trying to get every chance he could to lock eyes with Brittany.
Brittany closed her eyes, exhaling the breath she was holding in, “I didn’t mean for it to happen on purpose, but while you were at your baseball practices and I was stuck at home studying, I got really close with Joe.”
He didn’t get it, why was this the thing that was bothering Brittany? He was fine with Brittany becoming friends with his brother. That was normal, right?
“And during that time, I think I might’ve fallen out of love with you and in love with him,” Brittany continued, her voice getting quiet, so quiet that she had hoped Chase didn’t heard her. She opened her eyes to see the pained expression plastered among his face, making her want to sob.
Chase felt his heart clench in his chest; he looked over at her, seeing the tears that were cascading freely down her face. He felt his own tears straining his wet face and he couldn’t see where he was going. The tears began fogging up his vision, making it hard to make out where the road was. It didn’t help that the rain was now falling harder than ever.
There was a bright flash and an uproaring of honks and beeps and the next thing Brittany felt was Chase swerving the car in attempt to dodge the hurdling car that was coming their way. Her arm got rammed into the window, hard. “Chase!” she screamed, but nothing was coming out of her mouth. Brittany shut her eyes as tight as she could, crying and sobbing that they would be okay. They had to be okay.
Sirens filled the darn night; Brittany opened her eyes, surprised to be alive. She tasted something and it wasn’t tears…it was blood. Something was bleeding, but she didn’t know what. She coughed red liquid out, staining her hand. She cried, but there was nothing coming out again. Brittany was beginning to suffocate, thinking the end was near, but then the door swung open and she was gently pulled out of the car.
“She’s alive!” Brittany had heard someone scream. She collapsed in their arms as they brought her over to a stretcher that was currently set up. They placed her down on the bed before padding off to the damaged vehicle.
She looked around frantically, searching for Chase somewhere. “He didn’t make it,” the paramedic said as he started to bandage the cut around Brittany’s head. “The car that crashed into your car rammed into his side,” he mumbled apologetically, finishing up with the bandages around Brittany’s head.
“What do you mean?” A fresh batch of tears filled Brittany’s eyes as she turned and saw Chase’s body being pushed into the ambulance. “No!” she hollered, trying to get up from where she was, but it hurt too much to move and there was nothing she could do, but sit there and weep. “No,” she repeated, her voice ragged and hoarse. “He can’t be dead…” she cried, “I loved him.” She wanted so badly for Chase to hear her at the moment, but she knew he couldn’t.
“We found a note,” the paramedic continued before handing Brittany a blood-streaked note. It was beginning to sprinkle again and the paper was getting soaked at an increasingly fast rate. She took the paper numbly in her hands and unfolded it slowly.
Without your love, I would die.
She read it over and over again, the words imprinted permanently in her mind. She started to shake violently, one from the cold rain that was beating down on her weak body and, secondly, from the hurt that was rushing into her body. She was the blame for this. She was the reason he was dead. All she could do was sit there and sob uncontrollably. She noticed his soiled jacket still on her shoulders; she wanted to take it off, but left it sitting on her shoulders. This made Brittany realize something…
She hadn’t been falling in love with Ethan all along. The truth was, her heart had and still belonged to Chase. She just wished she would have been able to realize it a mere ten minutes earlier. Maybe then, the love of her life wouldn’t be dead and they would still be on their way to have dinner at the restaurant that Chase had made reservations too earlier. Maybe then, she wouldn’t be sitting out here in the freezing rain, hating herself more and more as the time passed.
Maybe then, she wouldn’t have to see the ambulance drive away with Chase’s unconscious body and maybe then, Brittany wouldn’t have felt the need to take her own life for costing him his.