Listen to Let Her Go by Passenger for this chap ;)
Four years later...
“The jet is ready, sir,” a primly dressed woman informed, her make-up flooded face nearly buried in her file. Her eyes flitted to us and she blushed when she caught my eye, making me realize that I was staring at her. She wasn’t much older than I was, that much I could glean from one look at her short skirt and when she lowered her file, bingo!- her ample cleavage that peeked up at me through her nearly transparent blouse was evidence enough. “I’m your new assistant, sir and sir. I hope to aid you in any way I can.”
Ah, there was the silent underlying meaning. I took a fraction of a second to decide whether I wanted to be an asshole or not. Fuck it.
“Oh?” I asked, leisurely standing up to my full height. I smirked as I realized i towered over her small form. She seemed to realize that too as her blush deepened when I leant in. “And what exactly does that entail?”
“I...uh, I’ll manage...any meetings you have and uh, tend to...any other needs,” she stammered. Before I could continue my flirting and break her heart, Hayden who was beside me, stood up and barked out a single command which had her scurrying away.
“We appreciate it. Now please go wash that caked face. We do not appreciate that.”
Dicks. The voice sent a jolt through me and I cursed myself silently. Nearly 4 years and I had a freaking phantom of the girl I loved speaking in my head. Sometimes I wondered whether I really was going bonkers.
I heaved a sigh and sagged onto my chair again, directing my scowl at Hayden who didn’t even bother to look at me. “What the fuck? I know you haven’t been laid in a long time but can you please stop cockblocking me on every turn?”
Yes, you heard right. Hayden, the womanizer, had sworn off sex ever since she disappeared. Apparently, he had tried fucking a girl who looked like her and it had hurt so much that he nearly had a seizure right then and there. And it wasn’t from the orgasm.
I, myself, had no such problems. I liked drowning myself in booze and girls to forget, very healthy I know. But it was a way to cope and I grabbed it the first chance I got. True, I felt like shit after but that couldn’t be helped. If it wasn’t for my brother, I would probably be in one of the local brothels now, smoking pot and making out with strippers to hide my pain.
But unfortunately, or fortunately if you look at it in that positive shit way, he had been acting a lot more mature than me recently and it pissed me off, because one, I was older than him- yes it was only 3.75 seconds but I was still older- and two, because I was jealous that he wasn’t slipping off the deep end every fucking week like me. Not fair, I know, but who said I had to be fair? To be honest, I don’t even know what he has been up to the past few years. The only time we talk or can bear to be in each other’s presence is when we are in board meetings and even then, the tension is so palpable and thick, that it could be cut with a fucking cleaver. Yes, again, it was mostly my fault because I blamed him for what happened two years ago even though it had initially been my idea but I didn’t have anybody else to blame beside myself and only I knew how much I did blame myself for it.
Wonders of wonders, Hayden didn’t try to speak to me or have anything to do with me for the first few months. He avoided me like the plague and took a temporary trip to Bath to visit our grandma so he could be at least a continent away from me. But then he returned with this entire fuck-this attitude and behaved like he cared about nothing. Like he shut off his pain or some shit like that. Sometimes I wondered if you could have that humanity switch like that bullshit show that she used to make us watch with her. Okay, ouch. Not thinking about that unmentionable person.
Anyway, since then, he has pretended to be a lot more mature even though he can almost never manage a genuine laugh anymore. He was still an asshole, don’t get me wrong, but it was a more mature assholish thing now. Okay, let’s not confuse ourselves. He broke off everything we had with our friends, basically cut off any ties that would lead him to think about the said unmentionable person, which kinda included me, and disappeared off the face of the earth more often than I could count. While I went out and drunk my ass off until I didn’t know what 1+1 was, he did some mysterious shit and came out looking much better than I did. I guess that’s the main reason of my resentment towards him. But yes, this was the first time in more than a year that we spent so much time together.
“Just fucking stop acting so pathetic,” he snarled back without much passion, running a hand through his hair before he sat himself back down and continued working on his laptop.
“Oh, so I’m pathetic?”
He didn’t dignify that with an answer. We were 22 now and supposed to be in college but because of all the trouble both of us have been causing, me more than him, we were kicked out from five different institutes already. So Dad finally had it with us and sat us down a few weeks ago and tried to talk some sense into us. Didn’t really work, if I’m being honest but he still forced us to move states, start fresh and join a new campus in California that he had already got us enrolled in. He had been kind enough to offer us a penthouse but left it in our hands to handle the designing as we want it and promised to make us pay the rent after a month of us settling in. So Hayden and I were forced to look for work and where else than our beloved father’s multimillionaire company? Truth be told, it wasn’t bad. The business wasn’t something out of my league, I knew how to handle these stuff, I knew how to insist and charm the members to agree with whatever I’m offering and Hayden made excellent presentations and valid key points carefully worded so that there wasn’t any disadvantage to the shareholders and that usually got them agreeing before I even start talking, if I do say so myself.
So all in all, we did make a good team.
“We can’t mess this up,” Hayden muttered under his breath before turning the laptop to face me. His face promised murder if I didn’t agree with whatever he was planning to propose.
“Interior designing company,” he stated, showing me a website that I really wasn’t that interested in. “I don’t care what you do after but for the first two week, we entertain this designer and get us the best fucking design she’s got.”
I just nodded, my eyes glued to the company name. Graham Styles. The name prickled something in me and I stared at it longer, trying to figure out where I recognized the name from. But when it didn’t come to me and the only thing that was present was the pounding migraine, I stopped trying and just settled back in my seat, preparing myself for the ride.
The journey wasn’t long. We reached Cali in less than two hours and climbed into the limo that would take us to our hotel. We were to stay there until we had the penthouse ready.
“We’ll meet the designer tomorrow,” Hayden announced before marching forward and slamming the door to his room shut. I sighed and rubbed my temple wearily before retreating to my own room. I shut myself in the restroom and had a quick wash, enjoying the scalding hot water before I toweled myself off and slipped into bed.
Grabbing my phone, I took another deep breath and opened the contact that I just couldn’t help but check up on every night for the past few years.
Last seen on 19/01/2017
Hey. It’s me again. I miss you.
I paused and swallowed thickly.
I’m sorry. Please come back. I love you.
The single tick told me that my past messages hadn’t even been delivered to her. She had probably changed her number or blocked me.
I sighed and began typing, spilling everything that I had kept locked up during the day. It was my way of venting out my feelings. Throughout the four years she hasn’t been here, with me, I found myself texting her every night. Usually begging her to return. I was even ready to grovel at her feet for forgiveness. I just needed her here. With me. I squeezed my eyes shut as I remembered that night. The night that I lost her, the night I let her go, and the last time I saw her.
My thoughts were a jumbled mess. The only thoughts going through my mind were “She wanted someone who wasn’t us. She didn’t want us.”
And then came the anger. Hot, unsuppressed anger that flowed through my veins like arsenic, making pain, hot white pain flash up and set every nerve on fire. Ryder. The prick I had actually considered my friend had gone behind my back and shagged her. Even after he knew how much my brother and I loved her. I couldn’t believe it at first, I refused to, but when Hayden admitted to seeing them together the first thing in the morning and her with only a sheet on her, I couldn’t help but buy it. As they say, once the seed of doubt is planted, any incident can prove witness to it.
And there she was, curled up on the couch and watching TV with nothing but my shirt on her. The pain nearly blinded me. But before I could crumble, fury took its place and before I knew it, I was stalking towards her and kissing her harshly. I knew she felt my anger. I knew she felt my pain and most of all, I knew she felt the hurt rolling off me in waves. She tried to push me off and that set me off even more than before and I...
I didn’t even want to think about everything I said and did to her that night. Months later, I found out that it wasn’t true. Ryder had lied. And she had never slept with him. If that wasn’t enough guilt I had to deal with, another few months passed by before I found out what her mother had said to her the night before. And why exactly she had broken down when I called her a—a whore. After nearly a year of hunting for her and squeezing information out of her mother, we found out that she had left town. Her mother had dumped her on her father and had practically disowned her because she believed her daughter had slept with her fiancé. And she hadn’t heard from either of them ever since.
I didn’t know much about Kat’s father. He had left them when she was born, choosing his business and work over caring for her daughter. I doubt she ever forgave him for that. But after that, in all the years I had known her, I hadn’t once heard her talking about him so I assumed she knew as much about her father as he knew about her.
But it hurt. It hurt so much when she looked at me with raw pain in her eyes. The hurt and betrayal that I would ever think that of her. And then Hayden had demanded why she had done it, why he wasn’t enough and she had shook her head and told us that we were drunk and we needed to sleep it off.
And that was when it happened.
He made a passing comment about her fucking someone else while we were asleep and she froze. He taunted her and told her that he wished he had never met her. And then I had added to it and said that we could do much better than have a whore for a girlfriend and that was it. The dam broke and she was already running, always running, away from us, away from her problems and away from her pain.
A lone tear escaped my eye. The pain in my chest blossomed, fresh as ever and I laid back down on the bed, crushing the pillow to my chest and wishing I had another chance to make things okay. To change what I did.
What I didn’t know was that life had a lot in store for me. And this was nowhere near the end.