I knew I should've stayed in the car.
Within 5 minutes of arriving at the apartment complex, it started raining like no tomorrow. I stood underneath the awning near entrance to shield myself but it was useless. I turned my head to the left and scanned the numbers on the list. As soon as I caught the number 2B, I pressed the button next to it quickly.
"Conti!" I shouted in the speaker but I received nothing in return. I shouted his name repeatedly, even resorted to threats but all I could hear was static. Letting the frustration of the day get to me once again, I punched the wall forcefully. The sting, though, made me stop any other attempts. That one scrape already did enough damage.
To my hand. The wall didn't suffer anything. Stupid wall.
I slumped against the door, letting the splinting wood scratch my back and carefully wrapped my arms around my bare legs. I obviously wasn't dressed for the occasion.
I rested my chin on top of my knees and stared at the people passing by. Men scurried home in their business suits and umbrellas. Children ran outside with their protective ponchos and waterproof boots, cheering whenever they bounced in a particularly deep puddle. It was amusing to watch for a while. Then it ended when I saw a couple kissing in the rain. It was a chaste little thing, but it made me want to try hitting the wall again.
Everyone had something to do, somewhere to be, someone to see and I was terribly reminded of how alone I felt.
Today is getting worse and worse, I thought sourly.
Let's start at the beginning.
You see, I have to wake up early because unlike most people, I actually have a job in the work force. But my alarm clock had a mind of its own today. It just had to let me sleep in, even though I appreciated the kind thought. It set my entire morning schedule back.
I rushed into the bathroom and took a quick shower, but I wasn't expecting to be drenched in ice-cold water. My roommate took her sweet time with the hot water, apparently.
When it was time to dress myself, I completely forgot about the laundry. All my work clothes were dirty, so what was left? Red skinny sweats, a football jersey that my best friend Conti gave me, and my infamous black and neon blue Converse shoes. It wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't work in a business office.
Before I could even get to work though, my local coffee shop had an insane amount of people ordering coffee. My usual 3-minute wait turned into a 15-minute wait. When I heard my name called out, I rushed for the drink. I didn't think much of it until I tasted it. They mixed my order with black coffee. If you knew me, then you would know that I hate black coffee, that I love hazelnut creamer and most importantly, sugar. How someone can drink something so utterly disgusting was beyond me. At least all the pure caffeine made the day zoom quickly, so when 3'o clock came by, I waved my goodbyes to my co-workers and sped out of the office as if my feet caught on fire.
Finally, something went right today! I thought victoriously.
The sun was shining, the summer breeze was gentle, the clouds were white and fluffy and everything just felt right.
But no, I was just lucky that I caught that moment of the day.
So while on my happy high, I drove straight to my apartment and changed into what I thought were appropriate clothes: denim cut-off shorts and my grey college alumni tee-shirt. I felt old whenever I wore that shirt because I was only 21 and already a college grad. But the feeling went away when I remembered why I changed.
You see, today was my one year anniversary with my boyfriend.
I thought I could end it by spending some quality time with him. It was the day he asked me out a year ago, after all. I had planned a special home-made dinner tonight and I could not wait to see if he liked my cooking.
So imagine my surprise when I see him with another girl.
On the kitchen counter. And above them was a framed picture of us hugging and smiling at each other.
And you know what? This wasn't even the worst part. There was more than one girl and it was all recorded. There were a total of three girls and one guy and they all looked quite… satisfied with each other.
I stayed rooted to the spot; I couldn't say or do anything to object except hear my heart breaking and feel my body heating up. Embarrassed to catch such an act and feeling the steam coming out of my ears.
After a brief moment, one of the girls noticed my presence and strutted seductively towards me with a smile in place. She wasn't embarrassed by the fact that she was completely naked in front of a stranger and when she grabbed my arm to pull me into this orgy fest, I snapped out of it.
"Owen!" I roared loudly with all my might. My voice jolted the rest apart and Owen finally noticed my existence. His face paled instantly when he realized he got caught. My eyes left him to look at the girls. Two out of three were tall, tan, and had platinum blonde hair. They looked like they were super models. The only difference was their eyes. The girl that tried to include me had ice blue eyes. As much as I hated to say this, they were mesmerizing. The other girl had bright green eyes, almost neon-bright.
However, it was the last girl that took my breath away. She had fiery red hair that was long and curly. She was pale with freckles that scattered her entire body. She was short when she was next to the girls but considerably tall compared to me. Her eyes were blue too, but they were so dark, it was almost violet. She was beautiful.
This was my roommate.
"Kenna." I turned swiftly. He was about to walk into my personal bubble, reaching out for me while trying to cover his excited "friend."
"That's Mackenna to you, asswipe!" I said harshly. "And you," I pointed a menacing finger to my bitch of a roommate, Adrian. "God, I thought you were my friend."
Her voice was filled with remorse, "I am! I'm sorry! So sorry!"
Sure, her words sounded sincere and regretful. Her eyebrows were furrowed and the creased lines on her forehead indicated she was worried. She bit her lip as if she was punishing herself with the shame of getting caught. Yet her eyes provided a different story. There were tears falling on her face but I was able to catch a distinct twinkle that she couldn't have been able to hide in time.
She was happy that I caught them, almost downright giddy.
"You're a lying whore," I said with conviction. Adrian wasn't expecting that if her jaw dropping was any indication. "And so are you," I told Owen. I shook my head in disbelief, "I can't believe I wasted a year with you. To believe that I actually loved you." I stared at him with my watering eyes. At least he had the decency to look ashamed.
"I love you, too, Kenna," he admitted softly.
For a moment, all of us were silent. The blondes could care less about what happened, Adrian looked annoyed at how the situation played out, and Owen just about wanted to die in a hole. Me? Well, that just about blew my fuse.
"Excuse me?!" I screamed. I scoffed loudly, "You did not just say that!"
His eyes widened at my reaction, "B-b-but I do! I love —"
I interrupted him with a hateful laugh. "Don't you even dare," I felt like I was 10 stories high and he was just a puny cockroach ready for a squishing. "You don't cheat on the ones you love," I spat.
I avoided his and the girls' gaze, instead I focused on the room. It's crazy how familiar the room was, how homey it felt and now I just wanted to burn it to a crisp. There were so many good memories and it was ruined with the image of debauchery that occurred just moments ago.
I just wanted to rip something apart.
I marched towards the first object in my line of sight. Owen was confused about what I was doing and once he saw my anger was directed towards it, he finally understood.
"Wait, Kenna. Hold on. You're angry, don't do anything–"
"Stupid?" I finished for him. I grabbed the Xbox from its usual spot. "That's exactly what I want to do."
I walked towards the window and opened it wide. I stuck the Xbox out and teased him a little bit more. "Remember how you said I was one of craziest girls you ever met?"
He responded with a careful nod.
"Well, you got that right. You picked the wrong girl to cheat on." I let go of the Xbox and let it fall four stories and heard it kiss the the concrete.
"My Xbox!" he cried incredulously. "What the hell!"
"All that money I spent on you was such a waste! Who bought it? Me. Who owns it? I do. So who has the right to destroy them?" I pointed to myself, "Me!"
I went to the 60 inch plasma HDTV. I could care less about it but Owen fell in love with it. I wanted to make him happy so I bought it. I waited in line for hours and I thought that his excitement was completely worth it. It's crap now. I yanked the power cord hard, pulled it off the wall and let it slam to the floor with a deafening crack.
Everything in that apartment had something that I bought for him. Clothes went flying through the windows, glass riddled the entire floor, and electronics were smashed to pieces. Especially that damned camera.
It felt good.
"You fucking ruined my apartment!" Owen screamed like a banshee. "I'm going to call the police on your ass!"
I held my breath as I stood there frozen. Even though I didn't regret trashing the place, I also didn't want to go to jail either. I watched fearfully as Owen grabbed the phone with a call that would have surely ended my life. I was surprised to see that the blondes looked fearful, too. I already had a plan in motion and I didn't have any time to think it though. I was just hoping my instinct was right… and wrong at the same time.
"You'd get your ass thrown in jail, too," I retorted smugly, even though inside I was shaking like a leaf.
"I haven't done anything illegal."
"Oh, really?" I inquired. I tilted my head innocently, "How old are they, Owen?"
"21, obviously," he responded automatically.
I smirked at his answer and turned quickly on my heel to stalk towards the girls. They kept their expressions stony but I could tell they were nervous that I was so close to them.
"Tell him your real age," I commanded. "Don't lie either. You just saw how destructive I am at the moment," I taunted with a smile.
Green eyes said she was 17. Blue eyes said she was 16, but don't worry she'll be 17 in a few weeks.
"Oh my God…" Owen said softly. "I'm screwed."
"I couldn't agree more," I stared at him with my eyes filled with hate. "I hope they were worth it Owen."
"Adrian has chlamydia by the way. Just thought you should know since you weren't using any protection," I informed him. Thank god I always made him wear a condom.
Adrian gasped loudly when I announced it for everyone to hear. "How did you know?!"
"We picked up the phone at the same time when the clinic called."
I strode over to the kitchen to grab one last item. It was the picture of our 6 month anniversary and we spent all day in the apartment. It was the picture that hung above the four of them as they were fucking. I held it carelessly in my hand and watched Owen one last time.
His mouth was set tight into a line. His hands were locked behind his head, showing his body proudly without noticing. His nostrils flared with each angry breath he took. His eyes were squeezed shut and it looked painful. He regretted everything he did.
Just because I wanted to break one last thing, I threw the glass frame with all my might at Owen. Unfortunately, my aim was off because it hit the wall behind him. It was enough to give him a clear message.
I hate you.
"Happy one-year anniversary, have a nice life with your bitch and STD."
As soon as I left his apartment, I knew I couldn't return to mine because it reminded me that I was still roommates with her. So I quickly grabbed my keys, climbed into my car and headed off to wherever the road took me.
I was driving without a clear destination in mind so I was surprised that I arrived at my best friend's apartment.
Now I was two hours away from home, crouching in front of an apartment building in the middle of a storm, waiting for my best friend to come home.
God, how pathetic was I?
Today was just so stressful and emotionally draining but for the life of me, I couldn't stop crying. There was a never ending supply of tears and right when I need my best friend to be there for me, he wasn't fucking there!
OK... I really shouldn't get so worked up. I did come here on short notice without even informing him. I wouldn't have been able to anyway. I had no idea what I was doing. It probably wasn't a good idea driving in this condition in the first place…
As I calmed myself down for who knows how many times today, I heard a familiar laugh not too far away from where I was.
He was chatting with his other roommates and his entire face lit up in laughter, bumping each other in playful banter. He didn't even seem perturbed by the fact that it was raining like cats and dogs. He felt at oddly at place with his gym shorts and black tee. He loved the cold weather and most likely cherished the chill he was feeling. Seeing him happy brought a genuine smile on my face. His smile always did have this calming effect on me.
But now I felt guilty. He was having fun with his friends. He was completely clueless about my situation. It would have been the first time he has seen me in a month. He didn't need to see me like this.
I shouldn't have come here, I internally freaked out.
He hadn't seen me yet. If I left now, he could continue on with his good day. I nodded to myself with the plan and stood up as quickly as possible. I ran down the steps away from the porch and it rained even harder. I grabbed the decorative orb on the rail to turn faster but I wasn't fast enough.
"Kenna?" he asked carefully. Brown hair was a common color, you know. He could have mistaken me for someone else.
It didn't stop me from thinking Shit, however .
I should've kept walking and ignored him. Let him think that he caught the wrong person. But no, I couldn't. I just stayed frozen in the rain the second he said my name.
I plastered a vibrant smile on my face before I turned around. Please be oblivious today, I pleaded mentally. "Luca! Funny seeing you here!"
"I live here, you know," he replied with good humor. Yes, he's buying it. Something in his eyes said differently but I ignored it.
"Oh, that's right," I gulped nervously.
"So what brings you here?" he replied conversationally. He was taking this way too easily. He shook his head when his friends asked if they should wait up for him. I took that as my cue.
"It's nothing!" I replied quickly. "You know what? I'll just get go—"
"Mackenna," he said firmly and crossed his arms on his chest. He was angry and that meant he definitely wasn't buying the show. "What's going on? You're standing in the middle of a storm with shorts on, for fuck's sake! And what did you do to your hand?!"
I opened my mouth to reply with a witty retort but the words were stuck in my throat. What could I have told him?
The alarm clock didn't wake me up on time and I ended up wearing sweats to work.
I had to take an ice shower.
My favorite coffee got switched with black.
My boyfriend cheated on me with my roommate… and minors… in front of a recording camera.
And just like that, the pain returned and it ripped me apart. It was fresh, raw, and bled like no other. Being reminded of it was like pouring a mixture of salt, lemon and stinging alcohol into the wound.
I choked back the sob that was threatening to be released and stared helplessly at Luca. He was at a loss for words since he had never seen me like this before. Yes, he was my best friend in the entire world, but that didn't mean he had seen every girl moment I had. So I tried my damn hardest to not let the tears fall all over again but I could tell that my expression of agony wasn't helping him.
So I was surprised when he suddenly latched his hand on my arm and yanked me into him. He wrapped his arms around my small frame and rested his chin on top of my head, protecting me from the rain. I gripped the back of his shirt tightly and pressed my face in his chest. I let the dam break free and let the force of my tears rock me. Luca just held me tighter and when he felt that I couldn't stand upright anymore, he sat us on the steps. He stroked my wet hair gently and lightly hushed me to help me calm down. He didn't ask anything else and didn't demand for answers. He just hugged me because he knew that was what I needed.
When I finally did calm down, I looked up at Luca with blurry eyes. "I'm sorry," I whispered.
He sent me a puzzled look that said "Whatchu talkin' about Willis?"
"Whatchu talkin' about Willis?"
I giggled after he said that. The joy on his face when I smiled just fueled it. I kept rising in volume and soon Luca joined me. It wasn't even that funny but we were clutching our stomachs for dear life.
As I caught my breath, I told him, "I was thinking that exact same thing when you looked at me like that."
"10 years of friendship, my girl," he flicked my nose. I wrinkled it in annoyance as he pulled away chuckling. "We can read each other's mind."
"It hasn't even been 10 years, you dope," I corrected him.
"The first time we met still counts! I knew we were meant to be since then."
I nodded in agreement and after a moment in comfortable silence, I quietly explained. "I'm sorry that you had to see me like that." I spared a glance, looking at him under my eyelashes. "I came here subconsciously because I wanted comfort and I didn't want you to think that I only came here just to have a shoulder to cry on and leave you in the dust later." I paused to breathe for a moment while he rubbed my back softly. After a while, he poked me to continue. "Even if it's only been a month, I missed you Luca. Everything possibly bad happened today. I just needed you."
"Hey," he called me, lifting my chin lightly so he could look at me properly. "I don't mind being your rock. I know you'd never use me. You were hurt, from what I can see, and I'm glad I'm the person you'd turn to," Luca stated proudly.
I smiled gratefully and thanked him for being there for me.
He rubbed my arm affectionately and nodded, "You're staying here tonight, ok?"
It was more of a command than a question, but I didn't fight with him. I just wanted to wind down and forget the day. Who would be better to do that with other than Luca Conti?