The dam broke as soon as I made it about thirty feet from the Church. I was sprinting as fast as I could across the grounds, dodging confused moroi and dhampirs along the way. I pushed myself even harder, pumping my legs with a burning ferocity as I let the hot, salty tears course down my cheeks and neck. I scrunched up my face as I replayed the scene once more in my already overrun mind.
Love fades. Mine has. Love fades. Mine has. Love fades. Mine has. They were like the anthem to my heartbreak, the summary of my once cherished relationship with him. Dimitri. The name that once made my cheeks flush and heart beat race, was like an icy dagger to the heart. It was a curse word to me, one that I would never repeat again if I could help it. Why was the world so devastatingly cruel?
I reached my room, slamming the key into the lock and flung the door open, letting it slam into the wall with a deafening crack. I couldn't even assess what emotion I was feeling. I could've picked various ones, but only one summed it up completely, heartbroken. At least, the Rose Hathaway heartbroken. I'd never truly experienced heartbreak before. Sure, I'd been devastated when Mason died, but I hadn't loved him. Mason dying was a different set of emotions, guilt, pain, and loss, but not heartbreak. When Dimitri was turned, I'd been heartbroken, but it hadn't felt this devastating. He never had the choice to leave me, now he was doing it of his own free will. It was the worst feeling I'd ever experienced, bar none.
I choked out another heart wrenching sob, crumpling to the ground as the door slowly swung closed, blocking out any eavesdroppers. I lost track of how long I sat there, hours, days, weeks, I couldn't tell, and honestly, I didn't give a shit. One thing and one thing only mattered to me. I refused to live without him. It was too painful to even consider continuing to breathe, walk, talk, eat, sleep, live without him. I sat curled in the fetal position on my bed, slipping in and out of consciousness. I glanced at my clock, it read 7 PM, meaning everyone would be awake and on his or her way to breakfast. I shoved all thoughts of everyone else, dubbing it unimportant compared to my internal crisis.
There was a knock at the door. They had been coming everyday around this time. I knew it was Lissa, I could always feel her proximity. I mentally reached out towards the bond. She was upset and worried about me, she knew I was in there but didn't know exactly why.
"Rose? Rose, open the door. It's been three days, Rose. It's time to come out." Her voice was soft and tender, willing me desperately to open the door. I knew she didn't want to push me to talk or come out, but she was right, it had been three days since I'd eaten more than a few crackers and some water here and there. It was time to open the door.
I hauled myself up from the bed, feeling dizzy and weak from lack of sleep, food, and dehydration. "Coming." I croaked, my throat dry and sore from hours of endless sobbing. "Just give me a minute!" I called. I didn't want to Lissa to see me a mess, she'd be even more worried. I shuffled to the bathroom and tentatively checked my appearance. I gasped.
"Holy shit." I looked like a completely different person. My skin was oily and pale, there were deep purple bags under my haunted, red and puffy eyes, my hair was knotted and oily and my clothes hung loose on my skinny looking arms. I grimaced, ashamed of myself for letting it go this far. I threw in some stay-in shampoo and put my hair up in a bun, washed my face, brushed my teeth, put on some make up to hide the absence of color in my cheeks and bags and threw on a new pair of sweats and deodorized.
"Rose? It's breakfast time. We need to go." I opened the door to a shocked looking Lissa, not bothering to smile when I saw her.
"Let's go, then." I mumbled and walked past he. She was obviously surprised I opened the door, expecting me to be much more stubborn, but followed a few steps behind me, taking in my gaunt appearance. I knew the quick maintenance didn't do much to hide the fact that I looked like shit, but it was a start.
"You can stop staring." I snapped. I hadn't needed to look behind me to know that her eyes were glued to my back. Her thoughts were pulsing through the bond, letting me know exactly what she thought.
"I wasn't staring." Really, Lissa? Just because I'd been hibernating didn't mean I hadn't been keeping tabs on her to make sure she was safe and happy. Just because my life currently sucked, didn't mean I was devoid of any responsibility. I let out a bitter laugh.
"Sure you weren't." I simpered, the sarcasm dripping off my words. She sighed. We were almost to the cafeteria; if I could make it there I could avoid a talk.
"Rose, wait. Stop." I groaned, spinning around to face her. She looked beautiful, as usual. Her hair was braided and pinned back, revealing more of her flawless pale skin. Her rosy pink lips were turned down into a frown, and her jade green eyes wore a look of concern and confusion. Compared to me, she looked like a goddess.
"What happened? Where have you been, and why?" She looked at me steadily, awaiting my response. I sighed, I knew she wouldn't budge on this, not this time.
"Not now, ok? I don't want to talk about it." I hoped she'd accept it and save it for later. I really wasn't ready to talk about it yet. I'd only just gotten out of my room and talking might just put me back to square one.
"Too bad, you have to talk about it. You don't hole up in your room for three days, cutting yourself off from everyone you love, then expect to just re-enter society like it never happened. You're going to tell me what the hell happened and you're going to do it right now. You hear me? I was worried sick about you! Do you know how concerned I was for you? The entire group has been trying to get you out of your room but I wouldn't let them because I knew that you needed time. You better have a damn good reason for what you did! Now start talking!" She was pissed, and she had every right to be. I'd cut them all off because I was too consumed in my devastation to think of anything else.
"I went to Church and sat next to Dimitri-" I was cut off by Lissa groaning. She gave me her worst look. I gaped.
"You're such a idiot, Rose! Do you have any idea what he's going through? You're making it harder for him, you know. You keep pushing him and it's not working. You need to back off! Give him some time. He's going through a lot. When I saved him, it was hard for him to come to terms with what he has done. I'm not sure if he can still love, Rose. Can't you just accept that and move on? Why do you always have to push it?" What. The. Fuck! When SHE saved him? Ha! I'd like to see innocent little Lissa break fucking Victor Dashkov out of prison! Yeah, not likely! She had no idea what she was talking about! I'm the idiot? And she honestly wanted me to give up the love of my life because she thinks it's best? No fucking way!
"You…you BITCH! YOU saved him? How the hell did you get there, huh? How did you find out how to save him? You really think that a spirit-charmed stake just fell into your hands and you just magically staked him? He's going through a lot? How about me? I almost died, Lissa! All to save him! I would've given my life to give him a second chance at his and you can't even give me fucking credit? You're calling me the idiot? Look in the mirror, you conceited bitch!" Normally, I didn't get this worked up over something, but this topic was one of those touchy subjects that I was sensitive too and she had gone and chewed me out about it. I couldn't believe her lack of sensitivity and kindness.
"How dare you call me that! I'm not the one who's a blood whore! I'm not the one who abandoned my best friend when she needed you most! I'm not the one who went gallivanting off to Russia for some secret love you never told me about! I'm not the one who locked herself in her room for three days without a word to her friends on why! And you're calling me the conceited one?" At that moment I lost all self control, too caught up in my blazing fury to care about any previous restraints or reservations. Crack! My hand caught her cheek as I smacked her hard across the face, leaving a red handprint that would most likely become a bruise. She stumbled back a bit, eyes wide with surprise, at what I had just did. People came to a standstill, staring in complete disbelief, that I had just bitch slapped the Dragomir Princess.
"You were my best friend. Now, you're no better than any other snooty ass Royal. I hate you and everyone who thinks you saved him. You have no idea what you're talking about but run your mouth anyways like you can't get enough of your own goddamn voice. I'm leaving Court. Don't bother looking for me, I don't want to be found. I'm tired of always putting you first. I've sacrificed so much for you yet you don't appreciate it whatsoever. Have a nice fucking life, Princess Dragomir." I spoke her name with as much venom as I could muster. She stood there, motionless, with a hand on her cheek where I'd slapped her. Everyone near us gasped at my harsh words, unsure if they should approach us or not.
I spun on my heel, not letting her get another word in and strutted off towards the cafeteria where I'd have breakfast and then make my way towards the garages. I wasn't planning on sticking around very long.