28 | Truth Hurts
He mirrored my expression and soon it gets replaced with a huge grin.
“Oh wow, Phoebe. It’s really you…” He trails off saying and rubs the back of his neck. A nervous habit he always had ever since he was a kid.
Darien was my neighbor back in New York when I still lived there. He also happened to be Nate’s best mate. The last time I saw him was the time when he left for Russia to manage his family business after his grandpa passed away from a heart attack.
He and I were not that close but we were sort of good friends.
“You look so different,” He says with wonder and I almost refrain from snorting.
“Different as in…?” I curiously ask him even though I had a feeling that I already knew the answer.
“I mean uh, like your hair and your style…Uh, how do I say it?” He mutters off and flushes with obvious discomfort as I look at him with one of my eyebrows raised.
Huh! Of course, he meant my appearance
“Are you trying to tell me that I don’t look boring anymore or the fact that I’m not desperately trying to look like Jane anymore?” I ask him with a straight face but deep down I was boiling with rage.
I crossed my arms over my chest to prevent him from seeing my fists that were clenched.
My hands itched to throw something across the wall or down a bottle of scotch.
I clenched my fist even tighter to the point where my nails started digging the soft flesh of my palm and the pain distracted me from my anger momentarily.
“No, I didn’t exactly mean that. You look like you. This might sound weird but it almost looks like all these years you were someone else. Looking at you now, I feel like this is the real you” He tries explaining poorly.
Upon hearing his words, a sadness washed over me and I urged myself not to cry.
Damn you mood swing!
If only he knew who this person was.
He was partially right; I wasn’t me when I was young. All my life, I tried to mold myself into someone whom Nate would choose, and in the process, I lost myself. I often found myself wondering deeply if only people knew what I was capable of or what my sins were. I can say without a doubt that they will abandon me like I was nothing.
It was so unfair.
I never wanted to be like this.
Excruciating pain, grief, and trauma turned me into this soulless void that I am now.
Forcing my gloomy thoughts away, I re-focus my attention back on Darien as he clears his throat awkwardly at the growing palpable tension.
“Well time changes, what can I say?” I shrug my shoulders after answering him.
Suddenly a thought crosses my head and I voice out my thoughts.
“What are you doing here?” I ask with sheer curiosity as I wait for his answer.
“Well I’m here along with Nate since he’s basically my business partner”
“Wow, you and Emily in one single room, huh? You sure you’re ok?” I ask him amusedly with one of my eyebrows arched up.
The last time I checked, Emily was spiteful over Darien because she rejected her advances of them being together. From what I can recall, ever since Emily was a child, she was drawn towards Darien the way I was drawn towards Nate.
Not going to lie but it felt awfully good knowing that Darien always resisted Emily no matter what she did.
Hah! Serves that bitch right!
She also envied me because I literally saw Darien almost every day since we were neighbors.
“Emily’s Emily, nothing new, being the spoilt brat as always. Some people just never change” He replies rolling his eyes with contempt and lastly shakes his head.
Well, at least he’s not blind
I glance down at my clock and decide to head to my room.
“It was nice seeing you after such a long time Darien,” I say genuinely because he was indeed a good person. Nate might be a dick but Darien was a good person. Despite being a player and whatnot, he was a really responsible person.
“Same here, I hope we’ll meet again and have a proper catch-up,” He says with a wide smile with the corner of his eyes crinkling that hinted his age which was the same as Nate.
Now that I think of it, Blaze might be at least two or three years older than Nate who was four years elder than me.
We nod at each other for the last time and I stride towards my room.
Upon reaching my room, I peel off my heels away from my feet and my toes sink inside the warm white furry carpet.
Since the door was locked, I pull the crop top over my head and wonder about Ava. I know I was being a bad friend my not checking up on her and all but recently the last few events were such a headache that I had no energy to explain anything to her.
When my top was halfway over my head, a knock resonated through the thick walls of my bedroom and I looked behind me blindly with panic.
I mean for fuck’s sake, my head is not even out of the dress top.
Grimacing at the thought of whoever the intruder is, I trudge towards the door whilst pulling the top back on my upper body and swing the door open to find Noah with a grim expression on his face.
My blood runs cold through my veins when he says “We need to talk Phoebe”
Trying my best to appear calm, I offer him a sweet smile and reply nonchalantly “Yes sure! What do you want to talk about?”
He winces visibly for some reason and enters my bedroom by walking past me. My hands were still glued against the doorknob as he settles down on the chaise lounge near the Venetian mirror and slowly I peel my hands away from the door and sit down opposite him on the bed.
“Why didn’t you tell me, Phoebe?” He questions me with his voice laced with desperation.
My eyes widen fractionally with fear and I almost break down into cold sweats, thinking about what on earth he’s talking about.
“Tell you what?” I ask him warily and my heart thumps against my chest with fear.
“That you almost drowned last night. What the hell?! I get it that I’m busy here all the time but that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t tell me about it. I mean for God’s sake, Nate out of all the people told me the whole incident!” He finishes with a loud sigh of disapproval but his words keep reeling my head.
’Nate out of all the people told me the whole incident…’
The words keep playing inside my head over and over again and all I want to do is smash that bastard’s head into a wall. I mean what does he want after all these years? He’s acting like some possessive freak and honestly, it was getting on my nerves.
Without saying another word, I stand up from the bed and make my way towards the dresser where my meds were stashed inside the top drawer.
I unscrew the top of the orange container and pop one pill inside my mouth, gulping it down with a bottle of sparkling water that was beside it.
After feeling a bit composed and relaxed, I take some deep breaths and turn towards Noah, who was eyeing the orange container with wide eyes.
“It’s just my multivitamins that I take before lunch” I lie and try to appear normal by shrugging my shoulders.
A look of relief crosses over his features but unfortunately, for some reason, his face hardens.
“I’m seriously going to give Blaze a piece of my mind. I heard from Nate that he dismissed him out of the room when he tried to help”
I roll my eyes at his words with mild irritation and sit down on the edge of the bed with one of my legs resting on top of another and say “Trust me, Noah, Nate did nothing other than saving me from drowning. Besides, I’m glad that Blaze told him to leave the room. Saving me or not, you and I both know what an ass he is”
After hearing my words, his face scrunches with confusion and he looked almost dumbfounded.
“Wait, where did you sleep last night?” He inquires with his index finger pointing at me.
A/N - What do you think Phoebe's response will be? Let me know your thoughts!