Heartbreaks and Betrayal
Leah's POV :
I had always been the one for birthdays.
Unlike Grant, my older brother and always the pessimist - who thought birthdays are just a reminder that you’re growing closer to your death, growing older or something along those lines, I saw birthdays as a reminder of the beautiful chance you got to be born (as humans because animals don’t celebrate, or maybe they do, who knows) and live a life, make it different from others’ and worthwhile.
Instead of sitting around and mourning, I always saw life as a chance to prove yourself and do better, bring out a new version of yourself and make sure you prove to whoever gave you that life that you were worth it and that it’s not wasted.
Every year, on my birthday, I would make a resolution, like the New Year’s kind but the difference was that I’d actually try to follow up my promise. It was a promise I was making to myself so I owed it to myself to fulfill it. The early years of my life were busy keeping up the resolutions like being always fit, becoming the homecoming queen, growing my hair’s length up to my waist and other things of same stupid categories.
As I grew up and achieved my goal of fulfilling those resolutions, I grew brains along with boobs and I started making good resolution - getting good grades, making my parents proud, being good to everybody and not a bitch, becoming vegan, getting into Harvard medical school and other things.
Another thing I always found exciting about birthdays was the attention you receive, the importance people make you feel on your birthday is just amazing. Your birthday is just your day and you’re the queen (or the king) of your world, even if it lasts for just twenty-four hours every year. Everything just happens according to you, according to how you like and I’d take that one day feeling of importance (even though more than half of it is fake) any day over being ignored or neglected.
As I woke up today, seemingly fresh and with a big goofy smile plastered on my face, I knew it was my day. That feeling of power and limelight was just in the air and I could have sworn that nothing could make me sad today.
It was supposed to be my day. I was supposed to be the queen today and things were supposed to go according to how I preferred, even if it was just for today. I could have taken up a storm the next day but I wanted to rule today – October 19 – my birthday. I was supposed to be happy.
I remember my smile growing wider and wider as the notifications from Facebook and Instagram started blasting up on my phone. I slipped my hand under my pillow, where I had kept it before sleeping last night and after waiting for two hours for him to text me a “Happy Birthday.” after the clock had struck twelve.
I had slept thinking that maybe he fell asleep while waiting for the clock to strike twelve at midnight and didn’t bother overthinking. I wouldn’t have let meager things like that spoil my mood and I would forgive him once he wished me in the morning just because I loved him so much.
I checked my phone again in the morning but there still were no texts, no missed calls from him and I convinced myself that maybe he was planning to surprise me by acting that he forgot like he did in sophomore year. I let out an excited, over girly squeal and jumped on the bed, letting the giddy feeling overcome me.
Tracy, a close friend of mine, closest you can get to being a best friend but not a best friend, texted me a huge “Happy Birthday” in caps lock telling me how important I was to her and how lucky she felt to have me in her life and as a friend.
See? This was what I was talking about. Sometimes, even when you feel you’re worthless, if you’re lucky enough, you could be a beggar and people would still treat you like a ruler on your birthday.
I texted her back with a “Thank You” with lots of kiss emojis and then decided to get out of the bed and get ready for school.
That was the part that excited me the most – school. I never really hated being at school. Just the thought of me getting to spend almost seven hours in a close proximity with him was just enough for me to attend school even on weekends.
I jumped out of my bed, letting the comforter fall in a irregular lump on the floor but I was too lost in my fantasy kingdom to care. I skipped inside my closet and picked up the sky blue halter neck skater dress that I had bought just yesterday and a black quarter sleeve leather jacket that reached my midriff. I took a quick ten minute shower and mind you - that was the fastest I had washed my hair and body altogether.
All dressed and dolled up in my new dress and a little touch of mascara and raspberry lip balm, I was ready to go. I had pulled the front part of my hair and pinned it up in the back in a half up half down hairdo. The rest of my golden naturally wavy locks were let down to flow down my shoulders and waist. I pulled on some black knee high stockings and black wedges to keep me feeling from the cool winds of autumn on my legs that I loved. I liked how I looked and with a satisfied smile, I skipped downstairs with my bag on one of my shoulders.
“Happy Birthday Princess!” Mom, Dad and Grant wished me as soon as I stepped inside the kitchen making me chuckle.
“Thank You guys.” I grinned and took turns to hug each one of them. Mom passed me a plate of Bacon and eggs and some french toast.
I took a seat on the breakfast counter beside Grant nudging him on the shoulder to which he nudged back. We kept on our play on while eating until Dad interrupted us.
“So, what’s the plan? Party tonight?” He asked from above the rim of his coffee mug.
“Nope.” I grinned, feeling that giddiness again. “Date tonight.”
Grant rolled his eyes. “Doesn’t he get tired of you? God help him, he has to bear you almost all day.”
I glared at him and hit the back of his head. “At least somebody is there to ‘bear’ me. What about you, huh?” I shot back.
He just gave me a smirk. “That, my little sis, is a secret.”
My mouth hung open. He had never before brought any girl home or talked about any of his girlfriends (that is, if he had any) so it was quite obvious - my surprise. “There is someone?”
He used his index finger to lift my chin and close my mouth. “That is for me to know and for you to never find out.”
I snapped back into reality and scoffed. “As if. You still aren’t past your imaginary friend stage?”
He gave me a bored look and stood up, faking a yawn and stretching his body right in front of my nose. Ew, gross. “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Leah. I’m not giving you anything to hold on.” With that, he was out of the kitchen.
I looked at my parents who weren’t phased by my brother’s unusual words this morning. “What’s going on with him? Do you guys know anything?”
Mom chuckled and Dad looked up from his newspaper. “I know as much as you, sweetie, but I’m waiting for him to bring his boyfriend home someday soon.”
“Boyfriend? Wait, he’s gay?” I asked, surprised.
“We’re not sure but seeing that he’s twenty two and without a girlfriend for all these years. we think that’s a possibility. We don’t mind either way, his life, his choices.” Dad shrugged.
“Yeah, I don’t mind either but that is just a shocker. And the basis on which you guys are assuming this is vague, you know that right?” I said sipping my own coffee.
“Yeah but what else can be the reason of him never bringing a girl home?” Mom piped.
Just then Grant entered the kitchen dressed in dark jeans and red flannel shirt with his old varsity jacket over it. He rolled his eyes and went into the kitchen and took out a few granola bars from the cupboard. “I’m not gay, guys.”
Dad turned around and gave him an eye roll. “We don’t mind if you are, Grant. You can tell us. Or don’t tell us. Let us just meet your boyfriend.”
Grant rolled his eyes again. “I will when I have a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. For now, if you guys wanna meet my other ‘platonic’ friends, I can call them over.”
“Okay enough, you two.” Mom spoke before Dad could argue anymore. She turned to Grant. “Going for a game?”
Grant shook his head. “Nope, just hanging out with Dexter and the gang.” He said as he walked out of the kitchen.
“Hey! Drop me to school on your way.” I rushed after him.
“Then run and get your ass in the car or you can walk.” He said in a loud voice even though I was just behind him. I hit his head again and rushed out of the front doors before he could touch me and entered the passenger seat.
“Hurry up, lazy.” I teased him.
He rolled his eyes and sat in the driver’s seat, backing out of our driveway. “Look who’s talking.”
I stuck out my tongue at him and the rest of the way, we shared the silence, letting the music flow from the radio.
“Sean will take you home, right?” He asked as he dropped me off.
“Yup.” I nodded and kissed his cheek, getting out of the car.
“Kay, then see you before your date tonight?” He asked.
“If you’re home before I leave.” I said and closed the door.
I had that giddy kind of smile on my face - you know, the one where you can’t stop smiling? Yeah, that kind. I walked inside the gates and was greeted by the students lingering around. Some of them who knew it was my birthday without Facebook reminding them even wished me and I returned their wishes with a big smile and a constant ring of ‘Thank You’s’ flowing from my lips.
Like I had said - nothing could make me sad today, right?
There were still about fifteen minutes before the first bell rang but I decided to walk inside and settle my morning deal with my locker. Sean was yet nowhere to be seen and he hadn’t wished me until now. I was still on my theory of him surprising me and couldn’t stop my smile from growing wider at the thought. My smile widened when I realized his surprise could be in my locker. That thought hurried my steps. Tracy would also be near her locker so I thought why not spend time with her before I get to see him, that is, if his gift isn’t in the locker like the last time.
The smile that wasn’t supposed to be wiped off my face today was instantly gone, vanished as if it wasn’t even there as I stepped in through the large translucent glass doors and took in the scene in front of me.
As soon as I pushed the glass doors to the first row of hallways my eyes landed on them. There weren’t many people inside there. Ten maximum. Tracy and I were one of them and she was giving me a guilty look as if it was her fault. The others were just looking at shock at them and then at me and then back at them.
There he was, my supposed boyfriend, the love of my life who’s one ‘Happy Birthday’ text I have been waiting for since last night and my ex best friend who once was the only person I used to celebrate my birthday with.
The scene unfolded like this - Sean chases Ronnie as if he was trying to tell her, or explain her something. He looks angry and Ronnie looks annoyed and sad and before either Ronnie or I could comprehend the next move, Sean pushes her against the lockers and kisses her. Ronnie’s wide and shocked eyes find mine and she pushes him away. Next, Sean’s eyes meet mine and they both gasp in shock. I wasn’t supposed to see, obviously.
Before either of them could say a word to me or approach me, I turned on my heels and ran outside, wherever my legs took me and I ended up where almost every girl in my situation does.
I looked around and realized I had taken the route to the back of the school and ended up in the washroom near the gym lockers. Thankfully no one will find me here for at least sometime and I could drown my heartbreak in my tears without any disturbance or those sneaky and judgemental glances the students were casting me when I ran like a wild goose.
The betrayal had stung hard and I didn’t know where to find the antedote other than cry over the cuts of heartbreak.