Love Stripped

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Chapter 29

Her gray eyes could still see all of that blood. Jake’s blood, all over him and her. Her mind still thought about her memories. The old and the new ones. She didn’t know what to think.

Kimberly was pregnant, had been raped by him, Jake had broken up with her and said he hated her, but when he knew she had been raped he surely must have feeling guilty; otherwise he wouldn’t come back to her. And Eric… How could he do that? How? He was her friend and Jake’s brother! Was he that obsessed with her that he was capable of hurting her and Jake?

And the rape… God… The feeling of disgust came back to her again, now that she had all of the memories back. She hated herself for not doing anything to stop him from using her body. But what could she do? He had her body tied up so she couldn’t move and he could enjoy her without any problem.

Because he abandoned her… she was left alone in that alley, crying, her vision blurred when he came behind her. God… she just felt like throwing up, and this time it was not because of the baby.

The baby. So… after all, she was pregnant. Jake was right. He saw the signs but Kimberly ignored them. She had forgotten that antibiotics like the one she took when she had had that flu, took the away pill’s effect.

“Miss Roberts?” That voice came from above her.

Kimberly got up right away and saw the same nurse that had taken care of her when she had been in the hospital to do some exams. “Yes?” She asked nervously, her eyes were puffy and red from crying. Not just because of Jake… But because of everything that has happened.

“He is right now on surgery. It will take a while, the cut was deep and he lost a lot of blood, but hopefully, the doctors are capable of taking care of the wound.”

“Thank you, I…” She looked at her hands and asked with a trembling voice, “Do you know where… I ah…”

“Of course. There is a bathroom at the end of the corridor.”

“Thank you.” Kimberly thanked once again and the nurse left her alone. The moment she grabbed her bag to go to the bathroom, she heard behind her, “Kim!” Two voices: Eric’s and Sidney’s.

She sighted him running towards her, as Sidney followed him. When he reached her, he placed his hands on her waistline and asked, “Kimmy, what happened? Why are you… The blood… Where’s Jake?” How could he call her that? How could she let him call her that? His greenish eyes tried to read her silver eyes. She didn’t have a word for him. “Kimmy-”

Kimberly slapped him.

“What…? Why did you…?” Sidney only stayed there looking at both. Her blue eyes seemed anxious.

“Do I even need to say why?” Rage, hate and fury burned her blood and skin. She hated Eric more than she hated Jake, now. He kept looking at her, no words came from his mouth, but she heard the unspoken question. “I remember everything, Eric. Everything.”

“Oh Kim!” Sidney’s blue eyes looked at her sister, “I… God!” She ran towards her sister and hugged her. “I am so happy! I was so sick of… those days… I couldn’t say anything, I...”

She didn’t hear any of Sidney’s words. Right now, only her eye contact with Eric and herself mattered. He was speechless. He was about to say something, when Sidney’s voice overpowered his, “So, I guess you know you’re-”

“Pregnant? Yes, I know. I knew you all knew I was pregnant. You should have told me even when I didn’t remember. It was my body; I had the right to know.”

“I know, but the doctor told us-”

“How could you, Eric?” It was stronger than her. Kimberly had to tell him. “You… I thought you were my friend!”

“I am! I just… I couldn’t stand you two together, Kim!” Eric suddenly burst out, yelling, “I love you! I hated knowing you preferred my brother! I hated! He didn’t deserve you! After all the shit he did, after you losing your memory, you still… god, you still felt… something for him! But I knew it was my chance! I had to do it! Damn I love you, Kim! I loved the times we kissed-”

“You fooled me! I would never kiss you! Never!”

“Don’t say that, Kimmy…”

“Don’t call me that! How could you call me that, knowing I only let Jake call me Kimmy? How could you be capable of… fooling me like this? You made me believe I was pregnant because of you, with your baby!”

“What?” It was Sidney’s voice.

“I was desperate to have you! I would repeat that just to have the chance to kiss you again!” What the fuck? God, he needed to get a fucking therapist. Making her believe he was the father of the baby? How the fuck was he capable of that? Deceiving his own brother?

“You know what? I’m sick of this.” And she was. She was sick of all that. All she wanted was to sat down and wait for some news about Jake, “Don’t ever, ever talk to me again.”

“Kim…” Eric said, but it was too late. Kimberly turned around and went to the bathroom, leaving Eric alone with the fury of her sister.

When she arrived at the bathroom, she closed the door and leaned on it, crying again. She slide down all the way and ended up sat on the floor. Her life was worse than it was when she didn’t remember everything. She had to confront all of her problems. Jake, Eric, the baby, Angeline, her sister, him… God… Did she harm him that much? She didn’t deserve what he did to her! God, she didn’t even deserve what Jake told her that night. What Jake told her today when she left his house…

And Eric… She still couldn’t believe he had done that. The sweet, gently, friendly Eric… The one she thought she could trust… He had practically been her best friend, just like Lisa! Their relationship, or lack thereof, wouldn’t ever be the same now.

Kimberly didn’t know how much time she stayed in the bathroom thinking about what had happened in her life for the last four months. She washed her hands and sat down on the floor again. She was tired of thinking and thinking about the mess her life was, when someone knocked on the door.

“Oh, I am so sorry.” She apologized, getting up and opening the door, only to see the same green eyes she was anxious to see. “Angeline? How did you come here so fast?”

“Fast? It’s already 3AM.” For the first time, Kimberly saw Angeline with a trembling voice. 3AM? Had she stayed there that much?

“Already? Oh my god… Jake! How’s Jake?” She asked nervously.

“I don’t know. I arrived about fifteen minutes ago.” Angeline explained, “I talked to Eric and Sidney, they told the doctors hadn’t said anything about Jake.”

“He’s still-”

“What happened?”

“Oh, Angeline…” Kimberly leaned on the wall and said, “I don’t know! My head was hurting so much when everything happened! The only thing I remember seeing is Jake falling on my arms and blood on his shirt!”

“How?”

“I don’t know! My mind was thinking about every piece of my memory when that happened!”

“What do you mean?”

“I remember, Angeline. Everything.”

“Oh my dear…” Angeline hugged Kimberly and she felt Angeline’s tears on her shoulder, “Jake is going to be thrilled! He’ll want to see you when he gets out of the surgery… My god… I’m so afraid for him, Kimberly.”

“Don’t worry, the doctors are taking good care of him, I’m sure.” What a lie. Not even she believed in what she said.

As she thought about Jake, she remembered his last words.

I need you more than anything in my life.

I want you more than anything in my life.

I’ll miss you more than anyone in my life.

I love you more than anyone in my life.

They walked out of the bathroom together as Kimberly’s mind worked.

Did he? She knew she loved him, but that night… Kimberly simply couldn’t forget what happened and what he said to her… Maybe, he really didn’t love her like he said. Her heart was broken into pieces. Jake may have been good to her when she lost her memory, but… what he said cannot be forgotten. And what he said today still wondered in her mind. He though the baby might not be his? Of course it was! She didn’t sleep with Eric or any of those perverts of the strip club! And…

“This is the family of Jake Dekker?”

“Yes.” Angeline replied to the doctor that had gotten out of a surgery room. “We are.”

“Jake is ok. We managed to stop the bleeding and I think the cut will heal very well. Luckily, the only thing that’s really harmed it’s his shoulder, so I think he will get out of the hospital in three days, maybe. Still, he will have to wear a sling in order to not move the shoulder too much, if he continues to use it, we’ll have to resort to surgery again. He regained his conscious for some moments, but we gave him some anesthesia so that he could sleep and rest without any pain.”

“When can we see him?” Angeline asked, with a happier smile.

“He’ll probably wake up in a few hours or maybe just in the morning. You can go to his room, but please, do not make any noise or disturb him. The only thing I advise you now is to go home and sleep, even if it’s just for a while. As I said, he’ll probably just wake in the morning.” The doctor, with the same gray eyes like Kimberly, said.

“Thank you so much.” Angeline said in thanks. When the doctor turned around, Angeline turned at Kimberly and hugged her again. As for Eric, he stayed there looking at both of them.

“I told you.”

“I know, but a woman can’t stop having these mother’s worries. When we have them, it’s forever. But I guess I won’t be the only one now!” They broke the hug and looked at each other, “And when my grandson born, I will have a grandmother’s worriers that I will gladly accept for the rest of my life!”

Kimberly could only smile. When she looked around her, Eric wasn’t there anymore. Where had he gone so fast?

“And I’ll be an aunt!” Sidney said, jumping around them. “I am so glad everything’s finally okay!”

No, it wasn’t. Things weren’t okay, actually, they were far from okay. She had to talk to Jake. About everything. But before… she had to think about everything quietly.

“Is everything ok, sis?”

“Yeah, it is.” Kimberly said with no smile. “I just need to rest a bit.”

“Why don’t you go home? I’ll stay here and I’ll call you when he wakes up.” Angeline declared. “I can’t possibly sleep now.”

Neither could Kimberly, but she needed to eat something good and to go into bed to… think properly.

“I think I’ll do that.” She looked at her sister, “You’re coming, Sid?”

“No, I’ll stay here to be some company for Angeline.” Kimberly smiled weakly. Her younger sister really loved Angeline; everyone could see that, miles away.

“Ok. By the way, would you do me a favor? Call Jake’s friends and warn them about what has happened, ok? I’m sure Ben and Aiden would kill me if I didn’t warn them.

“No problem, Kim.”

“Ok, thanks. I’ll see you later. Bye.” Kimberly turned around and after walking to some long and empty corridors she arrived at the parking lot where her car was. She couldn’t go on the ambulance, she had to come with her car, but we’re not going to go there.

Ten minutes later, Kimberly was closing the door of her house. This would probably be one of the last times that she would sleep here, since she had bought a new house with… Eric’s help. She had to pay him the money he spent on that house for her, now that she had nothing to do it with him nor wanted to.

As she went to her room and started to undress herself, Kimberly wondered where Tom was. He probably had moved out of the house. When they went out on Jake’s birthday, Kimberly remembered he had said he would move out of that house when he finished college and since she lost her memory… She didn’t think about him anymore.

When she went to eat some cereal that the cupboards still hid, it was time for her to seriously think about her relation with Jake and everyone related with them. Angeline was ok, but Eric… Besides… after remembering what Jake said that night… did she really wanted him back? She loved him, yes, but words hurt like hell, and hurt even more when said with hate, disdain, fury and anger.

He called her a whore… the worse of all he had had sex with… He broke up with her right there and said he didn’t want to see her anymore. And even then… he thought she could be pregnant with his baby.

She loved him and it was useless trying to deny that… It had been her fault too, but… And thinking the baby could not be his! He was seriously called her a whore! He knew her well enough to know she would never sleep with a guy from her work! Kimberly wished he was there, but at the same time… she just wanted to forget that he existed and that nothing had happened between them.

If her parents hadn’t died… She wouldn’t have to live with her uncles nor had to become a stripper in order to pay for her college and have her sister with her! She wouldn’t have come to Jake’s house, she probably could still be dating Damien… they loved each other, and what he did to her wouldn’t happen… She wouldn’t go to Jake’s room and ask him if he wanted her… And all of what has happened till now… wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t slept with him. God, why did she just… lose reason with him? Why?

Kimberly got up violently and on her way to her room, she stopped. She sighted the end of the hall, where Jake’s bedroom was. She didn’t felt weird when she walked towards the bedroom and got in.

She could only feel hate. Why? Because he said he loved her, but still he said those things to her that night and today before she came to the house with Eric and Sidney!! He was ready to give up!

And if they come back… how would their relationship be after what happened between them and Eric? She would belong to his family and she would have to face his brother every time they had to go to Angeline’s house… And she did not want to see Eric, who helped ruin even more her already broken relation with Jake.

How could she even look at his face and not remember all of the shit that they went through? It was impossible!

She lay down on his bed… that had been her bed for almost two months. This time no tear fell from her eyes. She was done with the crying thing. She had to make decisions. It was more important now because she would have a baby, which remembered she had to get an appointment with the doctor to check if everything was ok with the baby. From what she knew, she was pregnant when she was raped. Who could guarantee the baby was really ok?

Which reminded Kimberly… If what she was thinking about really happened, the fact that they wouldn’t come back together… What about the baby? She knew Jake would want to see how the baby was doing after all this. She didn’t want to cause any kind of suffering to her baby, but she wasn’t going to get back to Jake just because of the baby. That would be unfair to him and the moment he discovered that… She knew he would hate her even more for that. Kimberly knew he would hate her for not wanting to come back to him, but… By coming into his life… She managed to ruin his relationship with his brother.

By coming into his life… she lived excellent moments… but messed up her life, ending up pregnant this young and being raped by… a person that happened to be Jake’s stepfather.

Kimberly spent the night in blank and the morning wondering around her house. Angeline hadn’t called her yet. The doctor had said he would probably wake up in the morning or maybe even earlier! Why the fuck hadn’t anyone called her?

Around 1PM, Kimberly decided to go to the hospital. She didn’t even know what to expect. She just knew she had made up her mind and that she wanted to see and clarify everything with Jake.

When Kimberly finally arrived at the hospital, with a sundress that people could notice her belly, and walked till the corridor where Jake’s room was, she was surprise when she saw like lots people around Jake’s room and a nurse walking around them making them shut up and walk away from there, but without any success. As from the inside, she imagined it was crowded. Had something bad happened? It didn’t seem so, since they had big smiles.

As the red haired woman walked beside them, towards his room, she heard whispers around her.

“That’s her, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, that’s Jake’s girlfriend.”

“Wasn’t she raped?”

“She’s pregnant!”

“Jake’s the father?”

“Wasn’t she with him when that happened?”

Her cheeks were red, she knew it, but she didn’t care. She lifted her head. Faced all of the questioningly eyes that were looking at her and arrived at his room. People that she didn’t know were there, but she managed to recognize Ben talking to some boys and Aiden talking to her sister in a corner. Angeline was sat beside Jake and Eric wasn’t there yet.

The thing that made her get angry was the fact that Angeline said she would call her when Jake woke up, but she didn’t! Everyone had already talked to him, but not her! Didn’t he even want to talk to her? It was a mistake to come here. Jake seemed fine, he was sat on his bed, with a smile on his face, talking to whoever was turned at him.

When she turned around to leave, she heard a familiar voice, “Kim! You’re here!” It was Ben’s voice. Suddenly, she felt all eyes on that room gazing at her. Including Jake’s.

She turned around to face everyone. But who her eyes decided to look at first, was, of course, Jake. Angeline noticed the cold atmosphere around the room, so she got up, went to Kimberly, grabbed her arm and led her out of the room.

“Why didn’t you call me?” Kimberly tried to control the anger, but it was impossible.

“I’m sorry, my dear. Remember when you told Sid to warn Jake’s friends? Well, she warned them and they warned the rest of them. Jake wasn’t even awake when they started to arrive! Since I knew you wanted to talk to him, I knew you would want to do it in a calm and empty room, not in a full room where we can barely hear ourselves.” Angeline explained. She was right. The moment Kimberly saw that group of people there she decided to go home again. She would never want to talk to Jake with everyone around them.

“You’re right. I’m sorry…” Kimberly let out a deep breath, “It’s just that I want to talk to him and-”

“Hey Kim!” Both Angeline and Kimberly looked at the person who called her and sighted Aiden. “Jake wants to talk to you!”

“It’s better if I go home.” She said to Angeline. “Tell him that I don’t want to talk to him with everyone around us.”

“Tell him that yourself, dear. I know he will be happy just to hear you talking to him.” Angeline said with a gentle smile. “Besides, I want to make sure that some of those girls see you’re with him again, because they think you’re not dating him anymore and I can see that they are already trying to come up with a plan to get them to themselves.”

Kimberly didn’t answer and once again she went to his room with Angeline, who said, “Would you all mind to leave the room for a couple of minutes?”

Some of them walked out quietly, some of them walked out whispering under their breaths. “Well, you’re alone now.” Angeline smiled and left the room too, closing the door behind her.

Everything seemed wrong. The way he looked at her and didn’t pronounce a word, the way she stood there, like if it was the first time they were seeing each other. It was the first time Jake would talk to Kimberly with her memory back.

She decided to give the first step. She walked to the place where Angeline was, but she didn’t sit down. She looked up at him and asked, “How are you?”

“I’m doing fine. From what the doctors told me I was lucky the ambulance came fast. I guess I must thank you.”

“No. Eric called the ambulance, not me. You should thank him.” Talking about Eric now seemed so wrong, but she didn’t know what else to say.

“Yeah. And you? How are you going? You must have freaked out yesterday.”

“When you fell into my arms, bleeding? Yeah. Especially when you started saying those things, it seemed-”

“I was going to die?”

“Yeah.”

“I thought I was. I had to say what I said.” Jake replied. “How’s the baby?”

“Fine.”

“That dress makes you seem that you’re already pregnant of three or four months.” For the first time, Jake laughed.

“That’s because I’ve been eating a lot. Remember you made me eat almost every hour when I was at your mother’s house? I’m sure that’s because of it.”

“You’re saying you’re fat then.” Jake said, but Kimberly didn’t reply, “You’re still beautiful.”

“Jake…” God, this wasn’t the right time to say these things… “I-”

“Sid told me you quit your job.” Sid should learn to keep her mouth shut.

“Jake-”

“Now we can look for a house near the company and…”

“No, we-”

“I’m anxious to know if he is a boy or-”

“Jake!” Kimberly yelled out, she was sick of Jake not letting her talk. “Don’t pretend nothing happened!”

“I am not-”

“Yes, you are! It all happened, Jake! We can’t pretend nothing happened!” Words seem to fly out of her mouth just like that. “I can’t pretend you didn’t say those things to me the night I was raped! I can’t forget you called me a whore, you broke up with me, and that you wanted me to get out of your house! And I surely didn’t forget you thought the baby wasn’t yours! That was the proof that I got! You really think I’m a whore!”

“Kimmy, don’t say that-”

“Why? Because it hurts you to remember you call all of these things to the woman you love?” She felt hate growing inside her, “Well, imagine listening to this from the man you love and thought it was perfect! It’s fucking worse! God!”

She turned around the moment she felt tears falling from her eyes, “I was raped, Jake! You left me there, only to be fucking raped! I lost my memory because of that! And due to that I was practically fooled and thought I loved your brother! Eric fooled me like…”

“Kimmy… Calm down. I know what I said! What can I say? Apologize? I know a word won’t mean anything to you!”

“Of course not!” Kimberly turned around again and faced his beautiful and dark green eyes, “You ruined everything, Jake! Everything!”

“Baby, I know what I said and you can’t possible know how I… Do you think I forgot the rape could have killed our son? Do you think I was happy to know the night I left you alone and you were raped? Do you think I enjoyed having you in my mother’s house, with no memory? No! I hated all of that!” Jake yelled, but he didn’t change her decision.

“Well, imagine me, I hated it more than you!”

“No, you didn’t! You know why, because it was harder for me! Harder for me to know I said all those things to you! Because I left you there, to be… raped by-” Jake interrupted himself. His green eyes had a question. And Kimberly knew what question. “You have your memory back.”

Kimberly stepped backwards and grabbed her purse that was in the chair Jake’s mother had been. She didn’t want to answer to that question. It would make everything even worse. It would make her remember his face when he was… doing all of that to her…

“Who did it?”

“Jake-”

“Just fucking tell me who did it!” Jake yelled, filled with anger in his voice, “I want to know who did that to you!”

It was just a matter of time, until someone remembered she already knew who had raped her. It was just a matter of time until she had to answer before the police. Kimberly let out a deep breath and whispered, “Peterson.”

Silence ruled the room as Jake himself filled it with his hate, anger, disdain, disgust, everything. Kimberly knew he was thinking about him and what had he done to her. To the woman he loved.

Suddenly, Jake pushed the sheet away and seemed to get ready to get up, “What are you doing? You can’t get up, Jake! You have to rest!” Kimberly walked towards him, placed her hands on one shoulder and made him lay down, but he was stronger than her.

“I want to kill that son of a bitch.”

“Jake, stop!”

“No!”

“This won’t do anything-”

“Yes, it will!” Without noticing, Jake pushed Kimberly away and made her hit her back and head on the wall. Luckily she didn’t fall, but still… it hurt. Everything was worse. “Can’t you see I have to get him? It will make everything better!”

As tears blurred her vision, Kimberly yelled, “No, it won’t, Jake! Do you think catching your stepfather will make everything better? Will make me forget he raped me? Will make me forget all of what has happened so far? All you said to me that night? It won’t change a damn thing!”

“Yes, it will!” Jake was already up.

“If you think it will make me come back to you, you’re wrong!”

“You’re breaking up with me?” Jake asked.

Kimberly cleaned the tears and managed to look straight into his eyes as she was ready to leave the room. “You broke up with me that night, remember? You blew it all, Jake.”

She turned around, “Kimmy… No. You can’t do this.”

“Oh no?” She stepped forward.

“No! Loving you was all I ever had of good in that miserable life I had! You’re all I need! You’re all I see!” Miserable life? Hadn’t he said he was fine, screwing all of those fucking sluts?

“Then…” God, it hurt. It hurt more than remembering when Peterson raped her. “You just have to change that.” With that said, Kimberly walked towards the door, opened it and walked out, only to face Angeline and faces she had never seen.

“Is everything alright, dear?”

She could only look at Angeline, as tears kept falling from her stormy gray eyes. “It will.” It had to be alright after making this. Why? Because she couldn’t possibly look at his face every day and not remember what happened. Because… If she hadn’t… slept with him for the first time… nothing of this would ever happen.

She started to walk away when she heard behind her, “Kimberly! Don’t do this to me! Please!”

“Jake! You have to get back to bed! Your shoulder!” It was Angeline’s voice. It hurt not to turn around and look at him, but she had to do it.

“Let me go, mom!” Jake yelled in pain, “Kimberly! I love you more than anything and anyone in my life! You’re everything to me, come back! Come back, please. I can’t believe your love is gone!”

With her heart broken into pieces, Kimberly turned around and looked at a crying Jake, knelt on the floor. “Don’t make it harder, Jake.” She pleaded, “I’ve made up my mind. It’s the better…”

She tried not to listen to his yells and pleas while she was walking away again. She tried not to think about what had happened in her life. The only thing Kimberly could only think now was the future.

A future without Jake.

The first week with her memory back was the hardest one. She had to answer before the police about her rape and about the person who stabbed Jake. Luckily, he wasn’t there when she had to answer before them. The police was now searching for both and so far, they hadn’t found anyone.

The house she and Eric had bought wasn’t that bad, it was smaller than Jake’s house, but it was cozy and it was just hers. Sidney was already settled in her room and could finally be with her boyfriend that Kimberly also didn’t remember.

Lisa had appeared on her house, happy that her best friend had her memory back. But she hadn’t appeared just because of that. While talking to her best friend, Lisa admitted she also came to her house because Jake had asked her to, because he simply couldn’t understand her decision. Once again, Kimberly put her thoughts into words and explained everything to Lisa. She understood, but both of them knew, Jake wouldn’t understand.

“He’s blind with his own love for you, Kim.” Lisa had said when Kimberly was leading her to the way out. “I understand your decision; it’s just a matter of time till everyone around here understands it.”

Kimberly also had met with Bob and had taken care of everything. She had signed the papers and finally, she had nothing to do with the strip club. So now, she had to start looking for a real job. Hadn’t she finished college? She could finally find something related to Math. Something… She couldn’t keep sitting at home, thinking about everything over and over again… while the money started to run out.

Another week came.

It was 7PM, Saturday, and Kimberly was parking her car in front of her old house. She had to give the money to Jake, the money she was supposed to give to Eric, but she didn’t want to talk to him. Besides, he hadn’t answered her calls. And she still had to give her keys to Jake…

Kimberly didn’t know whether she should open the door or just knock, since she didn’t live there anymore. But, if Jake was in bed, resting, he probably shouldn’t get up or something. Well, he could, but… Screw this.

When Kimberly started to open the door, someone from the inside opened it first. When she looked up, her eyes met a girl’s brown eyes. Had he already started fucking girls like the old days? That fast? God, not even she knew he could be this… bastard! “Hey Aiden! Jake’s ex’s here!” She said in a bad way. Full of disdain, the girl let go of the door and walked away.

She walked in and noticed the house was filled with people. The same that she had seen in the hospital. She heard voices coming from every division, except her bedroom. A second later, Aiden appeared in front of her, coming from the kitchen. “Kim? What are you doing here?”

“I… I came here to talk to Jake, I-”

“He isn’t here.” Boy, he couldn’t act any colder.

“Oh… I guess I can… come back another day.”

“I don’t think so. Jake’s leaving today for his city. This time he’s not coming back.” So, this would be the last time she had the chance to see him… How she was wrong. The baby… That would link them forever…

“Can I wait? It’s important.”

“Who am I to make you go away? The woman who carries Jake’s son?” Aiden looked around him, “Sure, but I don’t think you’ll feel comfortable here. Jake will probably take a while and the house is filled with friends of him you don’t know and of course… girls he screwed.” God, what the fuck had happened with Aiden? This wasn’t him!

“It’s fine. I’ve handled worst things than this.” She shot him a dangerous glance. “I’ll wait in my room.”

“You better not go there.” Aiden stopped right in front of her.

“Why not?”

“Some couple is fucking.” He said with a tricky smile. That was supposed to make her feel bad? Well, he got it! Jake had turned her bedroom into a fucking room! She knew she didn’t live there anymore, but… damn.

“Where can I wait, then?” Kimberly tried to ask with a normal tone of voice.

“Hum… In Jake’s room, I guess. No one’s there.”

“Good.” Kimberly walked beside him and everyone who was looking at them and made her way to the basement.

That surely wasn’t the Aiden she knew. Aiden was a quiet guy, didn’t mess with anyone’s business and stayed in his place, watching everything that happened around him, but this one…

“Kim!” Someone yelled, as the door opened. Kimberly got up from Jake’s bed and saw a tanned Tom walking in.

“Tom!” She smiled and walked toward him to give him a hug. “How are you?”

“Fine! And you?”

Silence for a couple of seconds, “Hum… Fine… too.”

“Aiden bothered you?” He asked like if he hadn’t noticed her uncomfortable tone of voice.

“How do you know?”

“He’s doing what Jake can’t do. He hates you.” Tom explained.

“What?”

“Aiden knows everything, Jake told us what happened, but, you know, Aiden’s Jake’s best friend, so it’s understandable that he acts like this. He just hates seeing Jake this miserable and since Jake doesn’t do anything against the sadness, Aiden tries to make him feel better. Throws up parties for him here, even when he knows Jake has to rest, brings him the hottest girls he can get, but Jake isn’t really interested in anything.”

“I can’t do anything about it…” Kimberly looked away. After all… Jake wasn’t screwing anyone. That made her feel better, even if she knew she wasn’t supposed to feel better or worse because of it.

“You really don’t want him back?”

“It’s a long story, Tom, and I’m tired of telling it over and over again.” Kimberly let out a deep breath. It’s not that she didn’t want him… it’s just that it was better for both. How could they be together and not remembering what happened before? It would kill their relation, eventually. “How’s Jake?”

“He’s fine. His shoulder’s getting better. From what I know, the doctor said he can get back to work, since his work is just reading, signing stuff and sit on a huge chair, in front of a huge desk, doing nothing.” Tom laughed, “From all of us, Jake has the best work.”

Kimberly joined the laugh, “Yeah, that’s true. He’s leaving today’?”

“Yes, and from what I know he’s only coming back because of the appointments he had with the doctor here and because of the…baby.” Both Kimberly and Tom felt a cold atmosphere. Jake would come back, but not because of her, it was because of the baby. It was understandable… It was just a matter of time until Kimberly could set her mind.

Since none of them said anything, Kimberly asked, “Is there a couple… having sex in my room?”

After a couple of seconds laughing, Tom asked, “Aiden told you that?”

“Yeah…”

“It was just to make you feel bad. No one’s in your room. It’s locked up, Jake prohibited everyone of going there.” He just wanted to lock up the memories he had from her… Right?

Tom seemed to hear her unspoken doubt, so he said, “I guess he just doesn’t want to lose the feeling of you in there.”

“That’s stupid. He’s going to leave this house-”

“You’re wrong there.” Tom said very serious. “You know what? I’m going to be very honest with you. I know Jake for a long time. Not once I saw him being this opened about his feelings for you. That’s what bothers Aiden. He understands you, but he doesn’t agree with you.”

This time, Kimberly understood why Aiden acted like this. It was because he understood her reasons. “Kim… You’re really sure about what you’re doing?”

“Yes.”

“Ok… It’s just that… I know Jake, and if you ever regret this… it may be too late. Like he gets over problems very easily, I am sure he will get over this quickly. He isn’t a man that keeps lying in bed, thinking about what he did that was so wrong. He will get over you, you know that?”

Of course she knew that! That’s what she wanted!

“Yeah, I-” Before Kimberly could continue, the door opened again and finally, Jake was there.

“Ok, so I’ll… let you two alone. It was a pleasure to see you again, Kimberly.” Tom winked his eyes and then… he left her alone with Jake.

“Hi.” Jake finally said when Tom closed the door behind him. He seemed relatively fine after the last time she saw him… at the hospital.

“How are you?”

“Fine.” He answered coldly. Just like the first times they spoke. He didn’t seem fine; his shoulder in the sling seemed to be bothering him. “And the baby?” God, he didn’t even asked her how she was… Kimberly pretended he didn’t manage to do what he wanted, to make her feel bad.

“Everything’s fine. I have an appointment to a doctor my mom knew really well from now to a month. You’ll come?”

“Sure. I want to be present in everything related with my son.” Just related to his son. “Why did you come here?” Was he anxious to get back to those sluts?

“I ah…” The hurry in his tone made her feel bad in coming here. “I… have to give this money to Eric. And… I ah… didn’t want to talk to him so, I… you were the only one I could give this.” She extended the hand with the money.

“And why are you going to give him that?”

“It’s from the house. He made the down payment and paid the first months… but… I feel bad about it, about how everything happened, so I don’t want this.” Kimberly explained. God, why was she finding so hard in explaining things to him?

“Keep the money.”

“What? This belongs to Eric-”

His green eyes made her shut up, “I’ll pay with my money what you owe to Eric.”

“I don’t want that. I wouldn’t feel comfortable in you doing this for me-”

“It’s not for you.” God! Right towards her broken heart! “It’s for the baby. I know you don’t have any work yet and I’m sure you don’t have a lot of money, so keep that and I’ll pay Eric with my money. I want the baby to have everything.” She could hear the words behind that ones: That money is just for the baby, understood? Understood.

“Thanks.”

“You don’t need to thank me.” So fucking cold! He wasn’t worse than the first times they met and talked! Had he been stabbed with an ice knife or something?

“Well… I should go…” Kimberly looked away, avoiding his dangerous green eyes. “I ah… I’ll call you and I’ll… Tell you the day we have the appointment for the baby.”

“Ok.”

“Hum… Well… Goodbye, then.” So fucking hard. The moment she started walking to get away from him, he put the free arm in front of her. Kimberly prayed for him to not make everything harder. “What?”

“Why? Why did you leave? Why are you leaving me…? I gave you everything.”

Again? No…

“It seemed it was yesterday we were here… in my bed…” The coldness in his voice was being replaced by a gentle tone. Why the sudden change? Had he regretted the way he said things?

“Don’t say it, Jake.”

“I look back a thousand times… I still can’t believe that you left me!” Jake raised his tone of voice and made her look at him. Despite the pain, his eyes were the bright green she liked looking at after making love with him… NO! She shouldn’t remember these things…

“Why can’t you understand me? Why, Jake?” Kimberly made him let go of her, “Don’t you get that once we get back; things will never be the same? I can’t forget I was raped the night you broke up with me and said all of those things… I can’t forget what your brother did to me… I can’t possible forget you thought the baby wasn’t yours… I… I’m tired of this, Jake.”

Jake didn’t seem to give a damn about her words, “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong…”

“You’re not doing anything wrong!”

“Then why?”

“God, Jake!” Kimberly yelled, “Don’t act like that! I fucking explained you why! It would never be the same! And I know, eventually, everything would turn out wrong!”

“I can’t believe your love is gone…” He shook his head, “It can’t…”

And it wasn’t gone, that’s like saying someone forgot Christmas; it just would never happen, just like how Kim wouldn’t stop loving Jake. But Kimberly wished it were. If it were, everything would be so much easier than now… But… she couldn’t say it.

“It’s just that… things aren’t nor would be the same again. You have to understand that.” Kimberly made the coldest tone. He had to understand her! He had to let her go, she had to move on with her life.

“You’re this certain about your decision?”

Kimberly walked to the door of his bedroom and replied, “Yes, I am, Jake.”

“Then go. Leave me, like you left me at the hospital.” Once again, the coldness and the hate came back.

The red haired woman was going to open the door when he approached her from behind and whispered in her ear, “But… don’t you ever, ever come back to me saying you’ve made the wrong decision and that you want me back.” She could feel the heat of his breath on her neck… Killing her softly… His body so close to hers… “I meant what I said, Kimberly, loving you was all I ever had in that miserable life. I wasn’t happy and even my brother knew that. I hope you regret this. I hope you feel what I’m feeling and then… you’ll see what you made me go through.”

Holding the tears in her stormy gray eyes, Kimberly left his room and that house forever, along with her memories of Jake.

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