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Ink & Lies
Publication date: February 9th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
“Yeah, but…” Her eyes grow wide and glossy as she tries to sift through all the reasons why that theory shouldn’t apply to her. In the end, she relies on her heart. “You said I wasn’t like those other women…that those other women weren’t me.”
I should tell her she’s right. I should put her out of her misery and reassure her that the last ten years were as real and meaningful to me as they were for her. That even though I may sling gift-wrapped bullshit for the general public, only she knows the true, honest parts of my heart. But with my tongue possessed by the taste of her rejection, I play the petty card, and do just the opposite.
“I guess I was wrong, especially considering yesterday’s events. Maybe you’re no different from them. And maybe you were right about me…that I do sabotage with sex to keep people at arm’s length. Because in the end, that’s all I want anyway, right?”
“You don’t mean that.”
I nod. “Yeah. I do.”
“So what are you saying?” The hurt is so thick in her throat that I can barely hear the words.
I suck in a breath, and scrub a hand over my forehead. “You were right about me. About us. We shouldn’t have done…what we did. And we can’t move on and pretend that it didn’t change us. What’s done is done.”
“I agree,” she nods, with a tinge of hope in her voice.
“So, maybe we should just see this for what it is—the end. You’re starting your life with Joshua and moving away, and I’m going on with mine.”
“Wait, August. No, that’s not—”
“You didn’t actually think we’d be able to keep this up, did you? What, you thought we’d turn out to be the modern day Cathy and Heathcliff? I’m not some swoony, literary hero, Fi. I’m not here to rescue you from your shitty love life that stems from your shitty childhood.”
“I never said you were—”
I’m rambling, spewing verbal diarrhea all over her blue cashmere, but I can’t stop. I can’t shut off the bile that has been choking me since this morning when she disclosed her impending nuptials. “You have Joshua. He’s the one you chose. He’s the one you want. You made that perfectly clear. So what the fuck do you need with me?”
“I thought we were friends, August. I thought you and me were—”
“Well, I guess you were wrong. Friends don’t fuck each other and then five minutes later get engaged. And why would you want to be friends with some empty, misogynistic prick like me anyway?”
“I-I didn’t mean,” her voice cracks, and the first tear escapes. She quickly dashes it away, refusing to let me play witness to her weakness. But I’ve already seen it. I share that very same weakness that has her bottom lip trembling. I’m just too much of a coward to show it.
“Look, I’m sorry. I think we just need a break.”
“A break. Yes,” she nods, dashing away tears. “You’re right. We both said things we shouldn’t have. Let’s just take a few days to…”
“No. A break from this,” I clarify, gesturing between us. “From us. This isn’t working anymore.”
“You’re being melodramatic, August. We’ve had fights before. We’ve said things we didn’t mean, and we always were able to work it out.”
I shake my head and look away, refusing to acknowledge the dejection on her face. “But I meant everything I said.”