Authors: Abby Reynolds
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are fictitious or used fictitiously. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher or author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review.
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Copyright © 2014 by Abby Reynolds
All Rights Reserved
Time was irrelevant. Nothing mattered. I didn’t care.
I. Didn’t. Care.
I was single again. I was alone. I had no one.
She left me.
She was gone.
And I was depressed.
The painting on the wall was driving me crazy. All it did was haunt me, remind me that I used to be happy. That I met the love of my life but now she was gone. I kept glancing at it, wanting to burn it.
But I couldn’t.
But that thing had to go.
I yanked it off the wall then put it in Keira’s old room. The room was completely empty except for the painting. I closed the door so I wouldn’t even be tempted to look at it.
All it did was cause me pain.
For the past week, I kept to myself. Whenever my friends wanted to hang out, I blew them off, saying I was busy. I trained and my performance was at its best. Tate said he’d never seen me in better shape.
That was because I was fucking pissed.
I can’t believe she walked away from me. I spent so much time trying to make sure she didn’t get hurt, that I treated her the way she deserved. But she didn’t give a shit about my feelings. It was like the past two months never happened. Why did me loving her change all of that?
I loved her. So what? What was the big deal?
Psychology used to be my favorite class of the day. Now I loathed it. I hated being in the same room as her. I never looked at her or acknowledged her. If she thought I was going to harass her, she was wrong. I remembered the way I hit on her at the library. She ran away from me.
I didn’t want to repeat that.
I was sitting at home staring at the wall when Liam texted me.
There’s a party tonight at the frat house. You want to do some research?
I hadn’t thought about that since Livia dumped me. I was too depressed to think about getting my revenge.
Not tonight. Next time.
Have plans with Livia?
He didn’t text me back. I was surprised he dropped out conversation so abruptly.
My phone lit up with a text message from Keira
. Scotty, is everything okay with Livia?
I didn’t want to talk about this with her. I was always the strong one. I didn’t want her to see me weak. I didn’t want her to know how much this girl hurt me.
We broke up.
Just typing the message made me want to hurl.
I’m coming over.
No, I’m fine. Just leave me alone.
Five minutes later, she walked into the house. I was sitting in the dark, looking like a corpse. Sympathy moved into her eyes then she sat beside me. I didn’t feel like talking so I said nothing.
She eyed me. “I’m sorry.”
I shrugged. “I told her I loved her.”
“She said she didn’t feel the same way. Then she left me.” I felt numb inside. Everything hurt, but it’d been hurting for so long that I couldn’t feel the pain. My body was in survival mode.
“I don’t understand…why would that make her leave you?”
“I don’t have a fucking clue. She just said she wanted to break up.”
Keira pulled her knees to her chest and sat in the dark beside me. “That doesn’t make any sense. Just because that feeling isn’t mutual doesn’t mean you need to break up. Liam said it to me far before I said it to him.”
I shook my head slightly. “I don’t know. I begged her to stay but it was pretty clear she had her mind made up. Then I stopped fighting because I refuse to act desperate.”
Keira touched my arm then gently trailed her fingers up and down.
“You know what the weirdest part is?” I said bitterly.
“I swear she loves me. I saw it in her eyes. She painted me this picture of us at the zoo. How can you do that and not be in love? We had so much progress…and then it was over.”
“If she did love you then why would she say she didn’t?”
“I don’t know.”
She continued to rub her hand up and down my arm.
“This isn’t just my first break up. This is much worse. She was the one, Keira. Like, the one. She was the girl I changed for. She was the girl I’d sacrifice everything for. She was the first girl that I could see myself staying with. Why do I want the one girl I can’t have?”
She didn’t have an answer.
I sighed and leaned back into the couch. “I feel stupid. She told me from the beginning she had relationship issues. I guess I was stupid for ever thinking I could change that…”
Keira rested her head on my shoulder, just like she used to. “I know it’s hard right now but you’ll get through this. You’ve gotten me through hell, and I’ll get you through this.”
“I don’t think anyone can fix a broken heart.”
“But I can try.”
I went to the Gaslight for a beer. I’d been cooped up in my house, feeling the presence of Livia everywhere I went. I needed a breath of fresh air, something to clear my mind. All I thought about was her. All I wanted was her.
Ugh. Why did I let myself get hurt?
So fucking stupid.
“Hey, stranger,” Tony said as he sat across from me. “It’s nice to see you without your wife.”
“Yeah.” Bran dropped in beside Tony. “As soon as you get pussy you take off. She must be on her period, huh?”
I was too…whatever…to care. “Livia and I broke up.” I drank my beer then wiped the foam from my mouth.
“Oh.” Tony’s face fell. “Sorry…we didn’t know.”
“Yeah…sorry, man.” Bran looked pale.
“Life goes on,” I said bitterly. I took another drink.
Tony and Bran exchanged a look then turned back to me.
“Can we do anything?” Tony asked.
“No.” I watched the TV in the corner.
“Can we buy you another beer?” Bran asked.
“I don’t give a shit.” I wasn’t pleasant company right now.
They both didn’t call me out on it.
Silence stretched between us. We drank our beers and leaned back in our chairs. I tried not to think of Livia but she kept coming into my thoughts. Bran talked about the Padre game, and naturally, that made me think of Livia too.
I can’t catch a break.
“Check out that hot girl,” Tony said. “I’d tit-fuck her.”
Bran nodded his head in approval. “That makes two of us.”
I didn’t look. I didn’t care.
“Hey.” Bran tapped my glass. “Amanda is making eyes at you. If you want an easy fuck, there’s your opportunity.”
“I’m good.” I was too depressed for sex.
Liam joined us. “Hey.” He sat next to me.
Liam never left Keira so I knew Bran texted him and told him I was here. And I’m sure Keira asked him to go.
“I’m fine,” I blurted.
Liam eyed Tony and Bran. “Can you give us a few minutes?”
“Why can’t you talk in front of us?” Bran asked. “He got dumped—he’ll get over it.”
Liam threatened him with his eyes. “Go.”
“Whatever.” Bran rolled his eyes and left. Tony followed. They approached the girl they were checking out earlier and started chatting.
“I’m fine, really.” I could even tell I was in denial. I said it so many times that it had no meaning.
“I wanted to ask about the fraternity situation. Are you no longer interested because you guys are broken up?”
I hadn’t given it much thought. The idea of someone doing that to Livia still pissed me off. Even if she didn’t want me, I was still in love with her. And I wanted the fucker to pay for what he did to her. “No, I still want retribution.”
He nodded. “Okay. We’ll go this weekend.”
“Okay.” I finished my beer then waved down the bartender for another.
“So, how are you doing?”
“How does it look?” I said bitterly.
Liam didn’t react to my hostility. “Keira gave me a brief explanation of what happened. It doesn’t add up to me.”
“That makes two of us.”
“I think you should talk to her about it.”
“No,” I snapped. “She dumped me. She wants nothing to do with me. I was the perfect man to her. I’m not going to beg her to be with me.”
“When it comes to the heart, it’s not the time to be proud.”
“When did you become a fortune cookie?” My anger was seeping.
He ignored the insult. “If you love her as much as you claim, then you need to talk to her. I didn’t say beg her to take you back. Just talk to her. Ask her why she ended the relationship. Because I find it hard to believe that she doesn’t love you.”
“Why? You hardly knew her.”
“It’s easy to tell when someone’s in love. It’s in the eyes. And I remember looking into hers.”
“You sound like you’re from a different time.”
He shrugged. “I’m an old soul.”
I ran my fingers through my hair. “I already lost my parents, and now I lost her. I don’t want to lose her again…”
“You knew from the beginning that she had…problems. Keep that in mind. You might need to be patient with her.”
I was sick of being patient.
“Keira was a lot of work…as you know. But I wouldn’t trade all the heartache for anything.”
Maybe all the alcohol in my system was making me particularly sensitive, but his words were making sense to me. “I’ll think about it.”
He patted my shoulder. “Good luck.”
He left the booth and headed out the door.
I stayed in my seat, staring at the wood of the table. I took a deep breath then sighed.
Someone sat across me. The booth shook slightly, and then a hand reached out and stroked my knuckles—a feminine hand. “I know you’re hurting right now.” Her voice was low.
I didn’t pull my hand away because I was too drunk. I wasn’t thinking clearly.
“So, I’m going to make this really easy on you. Let’s go back to your place and I’ll make you feel better.”
I finally looked up and saw Amanda’s face.
“Come on. I’ll drive.”
Livia came into my mind. I loved her but she didn’t want me. I gave her everything and she didn’t give me shit in return. I got so angry every time I thought about it. I just wanted to demolish a building with my fists and then fuck pussy so I could return to my former self—someone who didn’t feel pain.
“Come on,” she whispered.
She gave me a smile then pulled me out of the booth.
When we got to my place, I shuffled my feet as I walked inside. I didn’t bother turning on the lights because we didn’t need to. I didn’t want to look at her anyway. I just wanted to fuck, come, and then kick her out.
She pushed me on the bed then stripped her clothes off. She tossed her bra at me then her panties. I pushed them to the side, not wanting them. When she was totally naked, she started to undress me. I let her remove my clothes until I was naked. Then she went down on me and started to suck me off.
When I felt the back of her throat, I moaned because it felt good. I hadn’t gotten laid or masturbated in months. It felt wrong to do that when I was with Livia. But now I was single…having meaningless sex again.
Then it didn’t feel good anymore.
The depression kicked in.
I wanted Livia. I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to hold her.
I didn’t want this.
“Stop.” I grabbed her neck and pulled her head back. “It’s not gonna happen.”
She got up from her knees. “Excuse me?”
“I’m sorry…I can’t do it. It’s not fair to you anyway.”
“Not fair? Since when did you start caring?”
“Now. I’m in love with someone else…and I can’t stop thinking about her.” I was about to break down and cry in front of Amanda, someone I didn’t even like. I was so drunk and so miserable.
“You know the best way to get over someone?” She put her hands on her hips. “Get under someone else.” She pushed me back on the bed.
I sat up then pulled my clothes on. “Just go, Amanda.”
“You’re such a fucking dick.”
“You think I give a damn? The one girl I wasn’t a dick to didn’t appreciate it so why should I change?”
“I’m always here for you and you don’t even care…” She pulled her clothes on and turned around.
“Maybe if you respected yourself I would treat you differently. Don’t command respect if you don’t deserve it.”
She turned back around. “So it’s okay for you to fuck every girl you see, but when I do it, I’m a whore?”
“No. You do it in the hope that someone will love you. Amanda, it doesn’t work that way. Sex won’t get you love. That’s why it comes after.”