Heartbreaks and Ice-cream
Leah’s POV :
Heartbreaks often leave you with burning hole in your body. Call it jealousy, anger, betrayal or whatever but that burn is always there and what better way to treat a burn other than ice? This time, the burn was deeply internal, as in every case of potential heartbreak and Tracy somehow convinced me to go to an ice cream place with her after school.
She somehow found me around the third hour sitting in the same smelly cubicle and then sat with me, letting me cry all over her for another hour before dragging my ass out of the filthy and foul cubicle and into the library where she shared her home packed lunch with me.
It didn’t really help that the ham and cheese sandwich she gave me came out in an even dirtier version not even ten minutes after ate them. Gross.
Tracy sat beside me and held my hair back while I threw up every morsel of food I had in my stomach and then helped me wash up. She then again guided me back to the same secluded corner in library and held me in her arms while I cried some more and mumbled every little detail of my memory with Sean to her.
She just sat there listening to my stupid ramblings without saying a word. She would rock us both back and forth sometimes, or push my hair that would stick to my wet, tear stained cheeks back. But she stayed there with all while I made a mess of myself.
I didn’t know the time. I didn’t know for how long we had been sitting in that secluded corner of the library but I knew my tears had stopped a while ago. Now I was just....... empty.
I had given all the love I used to know and have to one single boy - I had given him all of me and in return, instead of giving me a piece of his heart, he had filled that void with the pieces of my own heartbreak. And after crying that much for hours, I just felt empty and void. I was left with nothing.
I was still in Tracy’s arms when my phone vibrated in my jacket’s pocket. I pulled myself back a little and took out my phone to see that it was a text from mom.
I just got a call from the school saying you weren’t present. Did you and Sean sneak out? I’m letting it go because it’s your birthday but just this once, okay?
Seeing her message - his name specifically- made me cry all over again.
After another half hour of self mourning, Tracy pushed me apart and held me at an arm’s length. “Leah, that’s it. You’ve been crying for past five hours now and I’m so done with it. I’m just done seeing you like this over a boy and so should you. If Sean doesn’t care then you shouldn’t too. You aren’t crying anymore because of that asshole and that bitch and we are getting out of this hell hole right now. We are going to find a cute little ice cream place and eat ice-cream instead of crying, okay?”
My throat was sore from all the crying and I just nodded, not wanting to be at the school anymore, not that I had any energy to argue.
She smiled at me, not a sympathetic smile but an encouraging one. “He never deserved you.” She stood up and helped me stand too. Then she hung both our bags on her either shoulders and guided me out. The librarian gave us a guilty smile and I wasn’t surprised. Of course, the word must have spread like fire.
Golden boy Sean Copper dumps long time girlfriend and school’s princess Leah Carmen for her ex best friend and science geek Ronnie Wilde on her birthday.
Sounds too much like a professional news but the students at our school are extra.
Tracy guided me through the back door of the janitor’s closet to the parking lot and towards her car. After she seated me securely in the passenger’s seat, she jogged towards the driver’s side and got in. Within the next few minutes, we were on the road, away from the school which I now dreaded and hated.
We drove through the town and finally, Tracy parked her car in the public parking near the Central Park and Ginny’s Cafe. I got out by myself, not wanting to anymore be a baby. She smiled at me and I was glad that it wasn’t a guilty or sympathetic smile like I had received from the rest of the school body and from the librarian. It was again, an encouraging smile, a friendly one and it put me at a little ease.
She came around the car and looped our elbows together and dragged us towards the cafe. It was a small, bubblegum type cafe with bright and pastel colors. The place was better known for their ice cream which the original owner Ginny used to prepare herself.
As we entered, the ting of the wind chine above us was the first music we heard and then some random song playing on the radio that I didn’t quite catch.
Tracy led us to the counter and I let her drag me. “One hot chocolate and one lemonade please. And two scoops of mint and chocolate chip ice cream and two scoops of blueberry fudge ice cream.” She ordered.
“Hot chocolate?” I somehow managed to croak with sore throat.
She nodded towards my throat. “Your throat.”
I nodded and without arguing, went to find a booth for us. Tracy came up with our order in a large tray and I felt a bit guilty for not helping her or paying for myself.
“Oh no, sweetie, don’t worry. It’s on me.” She said reading and interrupting my thoughts.
“What?” I asked taking a sip of my drink.
“I know that look, Leah. You’re feeling guilty, aren’t you?” She sighed. “I know you don’t think of me as a friend but I do. You’re important to me, love.”
I felt even more guilty. “It’s not that, Trace. I do think of you as a friend. A very close one, just not a best friend.” I winced a little at the last two words.
She swallowed hard and nodded. “I can see where you’re coming from. But that won’t stop me from caring about you, okay?”
“Okay.” I mumbled.
She smiled and squeezed my palm which was on the table. “Good. Now eat up or the ice cream will melt.” She said pushing the bowl of blueberry fudge ice cream towards me.
I accepted the gesture and gulped it all down realizing that amidst all this, I was really hungry. Whatever food Tracy had tried to feed me had come out in form of puke and I was too tired and too weak to move a limb without food. The ice cream wasn’t much but this was the only thing that didn’t make me want to run to the washroom.
We sat there for minutes after eating up. Neither of us spoke and I was glad she didn’t push me to anything. Tracy was a good friend, she had always been and I felt like jerk for not accepting her as she accepted me but I had valid reasons too - reasons which still kept me attached to the past and didn’t let me move on.
“You know that I am always here if you wanted to talk about it, right?” She asked after a couple minutes of silence dragged longer.
I nodded. “Of course, Trace. But....” My voice quivered and I stopped myself before I started crying again.
She nodded in understanding. “Wanna go home?” She asked, instead.
Where my family might be waiting for me to welcome me back home with a cake and gifts like they had planned a week ago to surprise me and I had accidentally eavesdropped.
Home where my brother would be there to tease me about the date I was supposed to have with Sean tonight.
Home where I could be vulnerable but couldn’t expect anyone to understand what I was really feeling.
As much as I dreaded going home, I knew that was only place I would ever feel safe.
I sighed and nodded. “I’ll just be back from the washroom and we’ll go.”
She looked at me warily but I spoke before she could. “Wash up.” She nodded as I got up and made my way towards the back where washrooms were.
As I washed my face, I looked into the mirrors and saw my reflection - a reflection that I didn’t recognize. My mascara was no longer on my lashes after having cried so much and then washed up after vomiting. My lip balm had dried off too and my eyes were swollen, cheeks bloated - all in all I looked like shit.
That wasn’t a bother though. The reflection of the girl in the mirror looked defeated. That was something I wasn’t aware that I could feel. I had never seen myself - Leah Carmen defeated in all her life. I had cried quite a few times - sometimes because of the movies, sometimes due to real life, I had had bad make up days and looked bloated but defeated was something new with my personality.
I recalled the morning - how I was happy when I had woken up. How I had a regular morning breakfast with my family. How Grant and I had bickered over nonsense things. It was supposed to be a perfect day. At least my birthday should have been. I wasn’t supposed to be here, in a cafe’s washroom thinking about how my life had turned upside down in a few hours.
Some might think I am overreacting. It was just a kiss, right? It could have been a spur of moment thing, right? But what about the fact that my ex boyfriend Sean was obviously seeing my ex-best friend Ronnie behind my back, if not romantically then platonically, if I were to judge them from the way they interacted before spotting me. They were obviously fighting over something and I didn’t know any of it until I saw it with my own eyes.
Just a few hours ago, I loved school. I loved the idea of spending some quality time with Sean, being within a close proximity of him.
And now, I hate that place. I can’t even stand visioning myself there or anywhere where I could see and feel him. I can’t stop thinking about the morning when I had entered the school smiling, all giddy and excited and left crying, hiding my face and avoiding everyone.
I couldn’t bear even the idea of going back to the school, let alone liking that place.
I don’t know how I would ever go to that place and pretend that everything was okay.
It wasn’t okay.
And I don’t think it would ever be.
And in the end however cruel it all was, however much I hated school - the place I saw myself fall, I was still very much in love with the person who was the cause of my wreck.