Softer Sins

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Chapter 15

The sunlight streamed in through the gaps in my curtains. I’d been up for hours, just thinking. There was a brief fleeting moment when everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours had vanished from my mind. The moment only lasted temporarily before it all came flooding back. My shoulders sagged on their own accord, obviously just as depressed as me.

My mood briefly peaked when the smell of bacon and eggs drifted to my nostrils. It was completely smashed to smithereens when I’d realise my mother was only trying to butter me up. This was a tradition that had been going on since I was in diapers. Either my sister and I would get into trouble, which didn’t happen very often, and mum would do something kind, and the next minute she’d bring the hammer down. I was hoping that my heart break would convince her to take it easy on me, I’d already learnt my lesson the hard way.

I heaved my heavy body from the bed, the floors beneath my feet freezing. I sulked the whole way to the bathroom, my heart hurting each step. Thinking last night made me realise that I never actually lied to Sebastian, just withheld the truth. I understood why he would be upset, but I didn’t understand the extent. The fact that I was a virgin wasn’t that big of a deal, was it?

I looked like a mess. My hair was in knots and my eyes were red and puffy from all the tears from the previous night. I sighed sadly, turning the tap before splashing my face with the refreshing water. After drying my face with the towelette, I stalked back to my bedroom, shoving some socks of my feet, before sauntering downstairs.

My mother’s back was facing me when I plopped down at the kitchen counter. It was silent, apart from the sizzling of the bacon. When I turned my head to the side I could see the stacks of meat cooking on the stove. It was quiet, but I knew that my mother knew I was there, and she knew that I knew. She turned her head briefly, shooting me a smile from over her shoulder, before plating the food. I watched as she served our meals, giving her a sad smile of my own.

“So,” she began, after we both had a chance to take our first bite of my favourite meal. “Two weeks grounded. I want you home straight after school. No friends, no alcohol and definitely no boys.”

I nodded my head. It was understandable, I’d completely betrayed her trust. To me, two weeks was nothing, I almost wanted a worse punishment, but since I rarely ever got into trouble, my mother was being generous. That and the fact that my heart had a crack in it.

“Also,” she added, causing me to impulsively snap my head up. “No party for your eighteenth.”

My heart shattered. My eighteenth was a rite of passage. I’d been planning it for over a month now, with Sebastian and the girls. It took me by surprise when I had realised Sebastian and I had been together for that length of time, but I guess it didn’t really matter anymore.

I was about to protest when I had a terrifying thought. I didn’t actually want to have a party for my eighteenth, at least not the one I had planned with Sebastian. I immediately scolded myself, I’d mentioned Sebastian at least three times in the past five minutes, not at all intentional.

I nodded my head impassively at my mother, who became suspicious at my lack of reaction. She quickly put the pieces together before sighing.

“Sweetheart...” she began, but I was quick to intervene. If she asked me if I was okay, I would break down again, and I didn’t think my sore eyes could take anymore.

“I’m fine mum,” I spoke unconvincingly.

There was a long, silent pause before she spoke again.

“You don’t have to be.”

I took a moment to think about her words. I wasn’t fine at all, but sulking would do nothing to make me feel better. I didn’t need a man, now or ever. All the relationships I’d seen in my seventeen years of existence, had all came crumbling down. I’d made the decision that it was okay to be lonely, but I was struggling to convince myself.

“I know,” I whispered.

The rest of our meal was eaten in complete silence, beside the clinking of cutlery. My mother stood from the other side of the counter, leaning in to kiss my forehead, before depositing the dirty dishes in the sink. I began to stand up, my chair squeaking as I pushed it back. I started to head to my room for a well-needed nap, Fluff following closely behind me.

It was barely five minutes after settling into my bed that loud thumps came from my bedroom door. I groaned, grabbing my pillow to muffle out the consistent knocking. I’d realised a little too late that someone knocking on a door meant bad news, causing me to will the culprit away.

Fluff’s tail began wagging in excitement. Suddenly, the door flung open and the culprit was revealed. Correction: culprits.

“Your mum told us it was an emergency,” Rosie said, bouncing as she sat on my bed.

“I’m fine,” I said, my voice muffled because of the pillow.

The sheets were ripped away from my body before I could protest. I sat up, rubbing my sore eyes, reaching over to put my glasses on. I hardly wore them, only when I read, but I thought I would lessen the pressure on my aching eyes.

“Tell us what happened,” Caylee said, her voice firm.

I sighed, pulling the blanket up over my shoulders. It offered me a sense of comfort, hiding some-what of my vulnerability. I watched as Rosie walked out of my room, returning only moments later with a box of tissues.

“He found out I was a virgin,” I whispered. Saying it out loud made me feel more pathetic, and even more confused.

“So, he just broke up with you? Over something that small?” Questioned Rosie. A question I had been continuously asking myself since the moment it happened.

I silently nodded, looking down at my fiddling hands. It wasn’t the fact that he broke up with me over something so small that hurt me. It was the fact that when one little thing went wrong, Sebastian would run for the hills. My heart was broken because he wouldn’t fight for me, no, he didn’t want to.

I felt a tear drop onto my cheek, quickly wiping it away. Fluff shuffled closer to me, laying her head in my lap before looking up at me with sad eyes. I placed my hands on her soft fur, her presence comforting me.

“I guess I’m no different than all the other girls,” I whispered, Fluff softly crying at my words.

“That’s not true at all, and you know it,” Caylee softly spoke. “If you saw the way he looked at you...”

“I wasn’t enough to make him stay. He threw me away the first chance he got.” I sighed deeply, staring at Fluff who was started to drift off in my lap. “Boys are all the same. They only want someone to keep them warm at night,” I whispered.

“Not all boys are like that Maze...” Rosie spoke softly.

We sat in silence. I wanted to believe Rosie’s words, but I was struggling. My mother’s marriage came crumbling down, my relationship with Jax was next, followed by Caylee’s with her long-term boyfriend. Maybe there were boys like that. Who didn’t play with your feelings. Perfect boys were rare in this imperfect world.

But I wasn’t looking for someone who was perfect. I only wanted someone who wanted me for me, imperfections and all. I accepted Sebastian’s imperfections, I loved how they made him who he was, yet he couldn’t do the same for me. Even if those imperfections weren’t a big deal. He wasn’t a man like I thought he was, only a boy.

My tears dripped down on their own accord. I wiped my poor, stinging eyes with the tissues Rosie had retrieved.

“Vanessa was there when it happened,” I explained. “I have a feeling Jax is involved in this. I don’t know how else she would’ve known.”

“Why would Jax help her break you two up?” Rosie asked, confused.

“Jax wants Maizie back,” Caylee mumbled. “Something about boys wanting what they can’t have.”

“It was stupid,” I interrupted. “I should’ve been able to tell,” I paused, ”him on my own terms. Jax is crazy if he thinks I’d come crawling back after what he did.”

Caylee and Rosie nodded their head in agreement. It was quiet once again, before we were pulled out of the silence by Fluff’s snoring.

“Enough talk about stupid boys and homewreckers,” Rosie said seriously. “Let’s stuff our faces with junk food and watch movies about badass chicks.”

I sniffed, rubbing my eyes and nose one last time before nodding my head. Caylee and Rosie disappeared from my room, grabbing snacks, blankets and movies to watch. I was left alone with Fluff, her snoring stopped as she looked up at me sadly.

“I’ll be okay,” I promised her.

She snuggled her head closer into my lap. I was always amazed how dogs were able to sense feelings. They just had some weird way of telling what a person was going through. I loved Fluff’s comfort, sometimes over another person’s. But right now, I needed my friends.

Rosie and Caylee came back moments later, their arms full of food and DVD cases. I had a small, hand-me-down television on the desk in my room, which I was currently thankful for. Rosie popped a movie in, before both girls jumped in under the covers with me. We shuffled around, trying to get comfortable. Eventually, I ended up with my head resting on Caylee’s lap and Rosie’s on my stomach with a pillow under her head.

Caylee began caressing my hair, which I was thankful for, even if it did remind me of Sebastian. The opening scene to the movie began to play when the ringtone of my phone went off. All three of us tensed, me not taking my eyes off the screen.

Rosie rose from the pillow to retrieve my phone from across the room. I watched her with nervous eyes. She let out a sigh of relief when she read the name flashing across the screen.

“It’s Theo,” she gently told me.

I didn’t have anything to say, my head still resting on Caylee’s lap. Caylee shook her head in answer for me.

“Just turn it off,” Caylee told Rosie. “We’re having a girl’s day.”

Rosie nodded before complying with Caylee’s words and shuffling back over to the bed.

It was about half way through the movie when my mother popped her head through the door. She smiled as she saw how relaxed we all were, frowning slightly when she noticed food crumbs on my clean sheets.

“I was just about to order pizza,” my mum whispered through the crack in the door.

We all bobbed our heads approvingly. “Can we get brownies with warm chocolate sauce? Oh, and some garlic cheesy bread?” I asked.

My mother smiled, obviously happy that I was feeling better. Yeah, I had the best family and friends.

She disappeared out the door, her faint voice being heard downstairs as she ordered the food over the phone. It was also at that moment when Rosie started snoring her head off. Caylee and I both giggled at our silly friend. Fluff groaned at the noise that was interrupting her own beauty sleep.

“I think I’m in love with Sebastian,” I whispered to Caylee as our laughter died down.

She was oddly quiet before she spoke again. “What are you going to do?”

“Forget about it,” I whispered to her.

But that plan would ultimately fail.

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