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.“They’re swollen,” he said quietly.I was still focused on the fact that he was touching me so intimately that I didn’t understand his meaning.“I’m sorry, what?” I stuttered out.“Your lips.They’re red.A little puffy,” he explained, his eyes narrowing.I licked my dry lips.They did feel swollen.Kai and I had been kissing for at least an hour.“Yeah, they are.” I took a deep breath, smelling the room that was full of Arrow.“Kissing,” he stated.“lots of kissing.”Blinking rapidly, trying to keep up with the small sentences leaving Arrow’s mouth, tension lines formed between my brows.“Yes.” I took a step backward, my backside hitting the wall behind me.There wasn’t enough room in the bathroom to allow me to think straight without the influence of Arrow.He wouldn’t let me get away from his touch.He stepped into me, his knee pressing against my leg, his breath heating the slick skin on my forehead.“Does he make you happy, Briar?” he inquired.I bit down on the inside of my cheek, fighting back the words begging to spill over and plead for him to be the one to make me happy.I wanted to implore him to leave Darcy and be with me! But I couldn’t do it! Darcy loved Arrow and from what I could see, Arrow loved her back.I couldn’t ruin my friendship with both of them over old, persistent feelings I couldn’t seem to shrug off.“Yeah, Arrow, he makes me happy.” I swallowed with difficulty; my saliva felt like glass sliding down my esophagus.He nodded up and down, his hands sliding down to my shoulders.He held me tightly as he leaned in and kissed the corner of my mouth.My eyelids fluttered closed when his warm lips touched and then left my skin.Then, just when I was ready to tell him every hidden emotion I felt, he let go of my shoulder and opened the door.For the second time, I just stood there and watched my future walk away from me.I was stuck like a statue in one spot, but unlike a statue, I knew what was taking place around me.Emptiness filled my chest, my heart stopped.Breathing was no longer necessary, and blood seemed to stop running through my veins.Who needs their blood to pump to their limbs when their heart will never be whole?There comes a point when every feeling is a bad one, like when you fall asleep because your eyes can’t stand to leak out one more tear, or when you’re no longer living but instead simply existing.That’s how my life went for months after that night at Darcy’s.We were now in our junior year and I was nearly seventeen.I fooled the majority of my friends into believing I was the same girl they met when we were all fourteen years old.I wasn’t.I was broken, a shadow of the person I used to be.I didn’t care.My relationship with Kai got more physical without any substance ever being built.I went with the motions.If he wanted to take it to the next level, I allowed it.Before long, my virginity was gone, and I was still living in a numb state.I didn’t have any real connection with Kai.He was nice most of the time.He involved me in his life.His parents adored me.It wasn’t until one horrible evening of our junior year that I felt something different… fear.I pissed Kai off.I don’t remember how or why.Then, once he was angry, I stopped responding to him.I shut down.This was odd behavior for me.Typically, I wouldn’t allow anyone to talk or call me the things Kai did that night.Yet, I sat there and tuned him out until I couldn’t tune him out any longer because his hands were squeezing my wrists to the point of pain.I winced and tried pulling away.He didn’t let go.That’s when fear webbed its way into my consciousness.I’d lost myself.Somewhere along the way, in my time of numbness, Kai had begun to walk all over me because he could and because I never did or said anything about it.I had no idea how long it had gone on.I didn’t know when we switched from a mutual benefitting relationship to it being a singular one.All I knew was that my silence had finally gotten the better of Kai, and he couldn’t take it anymore.I called him every name in the book, scratched at the hands holding me hostage, tore his skin and made him bleed.He let go and looked at me like he didn’t even know who I was anymore.He drove me home in complete silence that night.I think we both knew that we were over.Words weren’t needed.Apologies were unnecessary because we both had way too much to say sorry for.When we pulled up in front of my house, his hand went to my knee.I looked over at him.Our eyes met for a brief moment in time where we both understood what the other felt.It was over.Tears came to me that night after a year of not being able to cry.I cried for the lost time.I cried for a life I’d never have with my best friend.I cried because that’s all I could do.It just so happened that it was Spring Break when the break up with Kai occurred and all of the emotions I’d kept buried deep inside came to a head.I turned my phone off after the tenth phone call from Arrow and the fifth call from Darcy.Getting out of bed was a chore, holding a conversation with the both of them would’ve been impossible.Seeing his name light up every ten minutes was making my stomach ache and my mouth sour.It wasn’t healthy how I became an invalid because of a guy.The truth is, I never thought I’d become that girl, that girl who falls in love in high school.I especially never imagined I’d become that girl who falls for a guy she can’t have.He came to my house that afternoon, worried sick.My parents weren’t home, luckily.They were never big fans of my friendship with Arrow.They thought he was nothing but trouble and would get me into “some bad shit.” What they didn’t understand was the fact that Arrow would never let me take part in anything that could somehow cause me harm.He was protective in that way.He was a heavy smoker, but he refused to light up in front of me.It didn’t matter that I told him it was okay, that I wouldn’t be mad.He didn’t want me around the smoke.The knock came at the door around three in the afternoon on a Saturday.My parents were at my grandma’s house, and I was free to wallow in my bedroom under my covers.I got out of bed when the doorbell began ringing in an incessant rhythm throughout the house.I had on a pair of those really short cheerleading shorts that all the girls wore and a red t-shirt that I’d decorated for a pep rally last year.My hair was in a wild knot, piled at the top of my head.Wisps of dark blonde framed my cheeks [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]