Have you ever done something so incredibly stupid, the guilt and regret hang over you like the darkest, heaviest cloud? Blurring your judgment, consuming your soul until it's the only thing you can see, hear or think about?
I have. I've done a lot of things I regret, that fill me with guilt. But the absolute worst is the thing I did yesterday.
I left the girl I love alone, naked in her bed. Like some sort of macho ass**le who uses a girl for sex and then leaves her—that's me. I've turned into that guy.
But I'm not really that guy. I love the girl I left alone naked in her bed. I just don't deserve her.
And I know it.
Sometimes you have to stand alone, just to make sure you still can. – Unknown
Two months. I haven’t seen or heard from him in two freaking months. I mean, who does that to a person? Who spends the most intense week of their life with another human being and shares their most intimate thoughts, their craziest, darkest secrets, has sex with a person—and we’re talking amazing, earth-shattering sex—leaves them a note that says I love you and then bails? I’ll tell you who.
Drew I’m going to kick him in the balls next time I see him Callahan.
I’ve moved on. Well, I tell myself that. But time doesn’t stop just because my heart does, so I take care of my responsibilities. I’ve stretched the three thousand dollars I earned for my one week of pretending to be the jerk wad’s girlfriend pretty well. I still have some money left in my savings account. I bought my brother Owen some cool Christmas gifts. I got my mom something for Christmas too.
She didn’t buy either of us anything. Not one thing. Owen made me a shallow bowl he created in his ceramics class at school. He was so proud to give it to me. A little embarrassed too, especially when I gushed over it. The kid wrapped it in bright Christmas paper and everything. I was blown away that he took the time to actually create something for me. I keep that bowl on my dresser and leave my earrings in it.
At least someone gives a crap about me, you know?
He didn’t give Mom anything. Which—shallow witch that I am—pleased me to no end.
January is supposedly a time of healing. New year, new goals, resolutions, whatever you want to call them, where a person should be hopeful with all that unchartered territory spread out before them. I tried my best to be positive when the New Year came, but I cried. That clock struck twelve and I was all by myself, tears running down my face as I watched the ball drop on TV. Pitiful, lonely girl sobbing into her sweatshirt, missing the boy she loves.
Most of the month is gone and that’s fine. But the realization hit me last night. Instead of dreading every single day that comes my way, I need to savor it. I need to figure out what I’m going to do with my life and then actually do it. I’d leave if I could, but I can’t ditch Owen. Without me, I have no idea what would happen to him and I can’t risk it.
So I stay. I vow to make the best of this life I have. I’m tired of living in misery.
I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself. I’m tired of wanting to shake my mom and make her see that she has children she should give two shits about. Oh, and that she also needs to find a job. Sleeping all day and partying all night with Larry the Loser isn’t the way to deal.
And I’m tired of mourning the loss of a beautiful, f**ked-up man who haunts my thoughts everywhere I go.
Yeah, I’m most sick of that.
Pushing all mopey thoughts out of my head, I go to the booth where a customer’s waiting for me to take his order. He came in a few minutes ago, a blur of a tall man who moved quickly, dressed too nicely for a Thursday midafternoon jaunt to La Salles. The bar is hopping at night, full of college kids drinking themselves into oblivion. But during the day? Mostly bum losers who have nowhere else to go and the occasional person coming in for lunch. The burgers are decent so they’re a draw.
“What can I get you?” I ask once I stop in front of the table, my head bent as I dig out my order pad.
“Your attention maybe?”
His question—spoken in a velvety deep voice—makes me glance up from my notepad.
Into the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. Bluer than Drew’s, if that’s possible.
“Um, sorry.” I offer him a tentative smile. He instantly makes me nervous. He is waaaay too good-looking. Like beyond gorgeous, with dark blond hair that falls over his forehead, and classic bone structure. Strong jaw, sharp cheekbones, straight nose—he could’ve walked right off a billboard. “Are you ready to order?”
He smiles, revealing even white teeth, and I clamp my lips shut to prevent them from falling open. I didn’t know men could be this attractive. I mean, Drew is gorgeous, I can admit that even though I’m furious at him. But this guy…he puts all other men to shame. His face is too damn perfect.
“I’ll take a Pale Ale.” He flicks his chin at the tattered menu lying on the table in front of him. “Anything from the appetizer menu you can recommend?”
He must be joking. Beyond the burgers, I wouldn’t recommend any food La Salle’s serves to this ideal male specimen. Heaven forbid it might taint him. “What are you in the mood for?” I ask, my voice weak.
Lifting a brow, he picks up the menu and glances it over, his gaze meeting mine. “Nachos?”
I shake my head. “The beef is rarely cooked all the way.” More like it comes out with a pink tinge. So gross.
“Potato skins?” He winces.