Troubled Sincerity

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Chapter 4 | Royally Screwed

| Mark’s POV |

I feel somewhat bad after what happened with Naveah the other day. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so harsh with her. She was just trying to apologize and I completely shut her out.

Still, I had every right to shut her out, didn’t I? Not only did she turn me down that horrible day of my car accident, but she didn’t seem too worked up over it while canoodling around Europe with her boy toy. Clearly, she’s moved on and is past it.

Maybe I should do the same.

“Mark, want to catch a movie tonight? I saw that you don’t have work today.” Jessica says from the couch in my common room. My roommate, Greg, is out tonight. I’m glad because he completely despises Jessica.

Whenever he knows that Jessica will be over, he makes sure to make himself scarce.

To be completely honest, I don’t blame him. Jessica is a lot to handle.

“Uh, I do have work, actually.” I lie. “Tony called last minute, said the boss needs extra hands, so I volunteered to help out.”

“Why would you volunteer to work? You hate that place.” She scoffs.

“Actually I kind of like it. It’s grown on me.” I smirk. I know that I’m annoying her. It’s actually the only thing right now that brings me any type of joy.

Sad, I know.

The truth is, everytime I go to work, a very small part of me hopes that Naveah will show up at the restaurant again.

Preferably without her boy toy.

I know I’m being stupid about the situation, but I still can’t get past the fact that she was able to move on so quickly. Granted, it’s been close to seven months since my car accident, but strangely seven months only feels like one.

I’m glad that all of my injuries have since healed. I’m glad that I didn’t die. I’m glad that Naveah saved me from the wreckage that horrible day.

But if I’m so glad that I lived, why do I still feel like a part of me died?

I remember dreaming while I was in my coma. I remember dreaming of her. Of waking up to find her angelic face sitting beside my bed, ready to envelope me in a warm blanket of her love. I remember dreaming about her smile, the way her soft skin crinkles around the edges of her mouth whenever she laughs.

That part confuses me. If I was dreaming of her and me together, why was I so mad when I woke up? Why did I throw a plastic cup at her head and scream at her to leave my hospital room?

Perhaps the reality of seeing her face, did everything to shield the amazing thoughts of my dreams, but did absolutely nothing to hide the fact that she had broken my heart.

Her rejection that day, Valentine’s Day to be exact, still burns deep inside of my chest.

It’s like a constant heart-burn, only no amount of tums could subside the pain.

I almost forget that Jessica is even here, until I hear her speak again.

“Well, what about after your shift? The movies are open late.”

“I have class tomorrow, Jess.” I sigh. “Let’s just wait until this weekend or something.”

“You know, sometimes you act like you don’t even want me around. Ever since that night that you came home from work in a pissed off mood. What the hell happened?” She asks, finally standing up from the couch and walking over to me.

I know she’s referring to the night I saw Naveah and boy toy at the restaurant on their date. The first time I had spoken to Naveah since that day in the hospital.

I will admit, when I first saw her in the college cafeteria on the first day of school, my heart sunk. I made it my mission to completely ignore her, to act as if she didn’t even exist.

I’ve been pretty moody ever since then.

I look into Jessica’s green eyes and think about the first day I met her.

It was a few weeks before college started. I was wandering around campus, just trying to get a feel for everything, and I accidently bumped into her while simultaneously spilling her smoothie all over her top.

I apologized profusely, and we kept in touch after that.

I don’t even remember asking her out, if I’m being completely honest.

I suppose you could say I’ve been pretty numb since everything that happened with Naveah.

God, here I go again, thinking about her. Why won’t it stop? I don’t want to think about her anymore.

Everytime I turn around, there she is. Mocking me. Rubbing her stupid boy toy in my face.

I hate it. I hate her.

Or at least, I want to hate her.

Regardless, none of this is fair to Jessica. I never really told her anything about Naveah, just that I used to have an ex, so to speak. She agreed we didn’t have to discuss it, but I can tell she still wonders about it.

“I’m sorry.” I begin. I take Jessica’s hands into my own. “It’s just, I saw someone from my past at work that night, and things weren’t exactly easy.”

“Was it your ex?” She immediately asks.

I’ll probably regret this. “Yes.”

“What did she say? Does she want you back? Did she know that you worked at Ashlynn’s?” Jessica begins spewing different questions.

I pull her closer to me, in a way to calm her down.

“Will you stop? Nothing happened. It just wasn’t easy seeing her after all this time. I do not have feelings for her anymore.”

Right?

“I believe you.” Jessica eventually mumbles. “What’s her name?”

“Why?” I ask.

“Just curious. I want to learn more about you Mark. We don’t really connect that much, you know, outside of the bedroom.”

I give her a smile, and she returns it.

“I promise we will learn more about each other. Can we just let this go?” I plead.

“Okay, sure. See you tomorrow.” She kisses my cheek and then leaves my dorm.

I’m relieved when welcomed with silence.

This is going to be a long night.







| Naveah’s POV |

“What’s going on love? You’ve been quite distant for the past few days.”

I glance over at Dylan, who is lounging with me on the couch in my apartment.

I couldn’t believe how Mark acted the other day, though I can’t completely say that I’m surprised.

He did after all, throw a plastic cup at my head once.

“I’m sorry.” I sigh, moving to lean against his side. “I don’t mean to be.”

“What’s on your mind?” He gently wraps his arm around me, giving me a wide sense of comfort.

I decide right now, that I should be completely honest with Dylan. I don’t want our relationship brought up on secrets or lies. That hasn’t exactly worked out for me in the past.

“Do you remember that waiter from that restaurant we went to a while ago? Ashlynn’s?” I ask.

He thinks for a second, before recognition appears on his face. He nods. “Mark, right?”

I nod. “Yes. Well, remember when you asked if there was any history between us?”

Dylan eyes me wearily, before nodding again.

“Well, there is. Quite a lot, actually.” I confess. “I wasn’t trying to keep any secrets from you, it’s just…” I trail off, not really knowing how to word this.

“You don’t have to explain anything to me love. He’s a part of your past, but that doesn’t mean that he has to be a part of our present.” Dylan says calmly.

“That’s the thing though; he is a part of our present. He’s here, at our school. It’s like I can’t escape him. I went to talk to him the other day at the library, just to try and clear the air, but he wasn’t exactly nice.” I say, and then look up into Dylan’s eyes.

“Were you two a couple?” Dylan asks suddenly.

“Well, yes and no. It’s complicated.” I try to explain. “We never really made it official, but we did spend a lot of time together.”

“So what happened? How come things never became more serious?” He asks, trying to get information, but not trying to pry too hard.

Should I tell him everything? Should I tell him that I started fooling around with Mark while I was still in a relationship with my ex Connor? Should I tell him that I lied, and cheated, and manipulated everyone in my life… all to be with Mark? Should I tell him how I almost ruined every single one of my relationships, but was slowly able to rebuild them?

What will he think of me then? What if I drive him away, or make him think that I wouldn’t be faithful to him, if we were to become serious?

I don’t know if I’m willing to find that out just yet.

“Let’s just say, when things became too serious, I may have pushed him away. Some things were said, and we just eventually decided that we were better off apart from each other. Things got pretty heated the last time we talked, and so that’s why I left home and came to Europe for the summer. I needed to get away and clear my head. I just wanted to forget.” I explain, trying my best to keep things vague, but not so vague that he thinks I’m keeping information from him.

“And I helped you forget?” He raises an eyebrow.

“In a way, yes. But I wouldn’t change what happened for anything. I’m so glad I went to Europe and met you. You truly are special to me, Dylan. I just want you to know that.” I smile up at him.

He pulls me closer to him and plants a kiss at the top of my head.

He nods. “Okay, thank you for telling me that. It makes more sense now, how he acted at the restaurant anyway.”

“I just didn’t want you to think that I still had feelings for him or something, because I don’t anymore.” I reply.

Right?

“Well, how about we go out tonight? Take your mind off it.” Dylan smiles.

“Where do you wanna go?” I smirk.

“Ashlynn’s.” He gives me a wicked grin, and my eyes widen as my own smile drops.

“What? Why? What if Mark is there?”

“Only one way to find out. Besides, we haven’t had dinner yet.” Dylan says while standing up. He reaches his hand out to me and waits for me to take it.

I slowly reach out and allow him to help me off the couch. Once we’re both standing, he leans in and kisses me. It’s full of force and hunger, though I can’t say I’m complaining.

I deepen the kiss, almost falling back over onto the couch. Dylan keeps me up, securing his arms around my waist.

Before things became too intense, he pulls away.

“Ready?”

I eye him warily. “Are you sure? Why do you want to go to Ashlynn’s?” I ask again.

“Well, if this boy thinks he can just swoop in and make you feel bad about the past, then he’s got another thing coming. I’ll help you show him that he means nothing to you anymore. Maybe that will help get him off your back about whatever happened.”

I shake my head. “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

“Oh don’t worry love, it’ll be fine.” Dylan smirks again, and he grabs my bag for me as he leads me out of the apartment.

This has bad idea written all over it.

And yet, there’s still a very small part of me that’s happy I get to see Mark.


I am so, royally screwed.

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