“You’ve never learned, do you?” I asked Tyler and he stared at me quizzically. “You should have asked me.”
“I am okay with it, but only if Vera will want to dance with you.” Nate smiled to me. I knew what he was trying to do.
“So, Vera. What’s the verdict?” Tyler extended his hand to me and I took it. Might as well end this torture with the final dance. It was kind of symbolic.
We started dancing. It was a slow song. “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Shit, it was like a cruel joke to me. Tyler tried hard to keep the distance between us. He thought that I wanted this, while in reality I wanted nothing more than to press myself to him and never let him go.
“I am sorry for my behavior, Vera. I was acting stupid because of my jealousy. I was glad to see, that you and Nate are still together. That I didn’t ruin your relationship with him. He’s a good guy and he’s my friend, so I know what I am talking about.”
I thought about telling him the truth about me and Nate, but I decided to keep it for myself. If I will tell him that, I will give him hope, that there might be something for us, when it wasn’t. For our own good. We could damage each other. Until there will be only ruins.
“Yeah. He’s kind to me and I like him.”
“I wanted to dance with you, that I will have the opportunity to tell you this in person. I won’t bother you again. I know that I lost my chances to be with you. So I will step back. I want you to be happy, even if it will be with another man.”
“Thank you. I am grateful to you for that.” Please, I want this dance to never end. It felt like home, to be in his arms. He was my home. My eyes prickled with tears. I hated myself for doing this, my heart was screaming at me, yelling at me. It wanted to be with Tyler. It was full of love to this man, even after all this time and pain. I wanted time to stop, but it could be only in fairytales. The song ended, Tyler kissed my forehead and stepped back from me.
“Thank you for this dance. Have a good night, Vera!”
We walked in opposite directions, I wanted to run away from here, but I couldn’t. Instead I walked to the bar. I wanted something strong, to drown this pain out. I was halfway to the bar, when Chloe caught my elbow, stopping me in my track.
“Hey, roomie! I saw you and Nate together. I take it, that everything is good?”
“Yeah.” I will tell her tomorrow, not now. I didn’t want to deal with it tonight.
“Yay! I am so happy for you! But you danced with damn hottie right now! I noticed him as soon as he walked to the room. I was going to find him and then I saw you two dancing. Is he acquaintance of yours?”
I didn’t have time to answer her, a hand wrapped around my waist and Nate pulled me to him. He smiled at Chloe and she immediately rushed away from us. Glancing back and giving me a wink. Shit!
“How was your talk with Tyler? Did you tell him about us?”
“Good and no.”
“I told you, I won’t be with him.”
“Vera... You’re impossible. You look miserable and so does he. You looked good together, like damn good. Why are you refusing yourself to be happy?”
I started scanning the room. I knew that Nate meant good, but right now I was annoyed by him. Hell, I wanted to quit this party. Just then, my eyes focused on Chloe. She was talking with Tyler. With my Tyler. He smiled at her. She was laughing. No, God, no... I looked carefully and saw the mistletoe near them. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! It was like someone turned the sound off and pushed the slow motion button. I saw her leaning to Tyler, pointing her finger at the mistletoe and then... their lips collided.
I was in my old nightmare. The party after my parents’ death. Tyler and Cindy, kissing. But now it was Tyler and Chloe. I felt hopeless and useless. I wanted to vomit. I need to go to the bathroom, asap. Nate caught my arm. He looked concern, studying my face. Then he turned his head, trying to find the reason of my sudden change. He saw them too. It meant only one thing, they still were kissing.
“Fuck! What an idiot! Vera, wait! Don’t go. I will take you home.”
“Nate, let me go. I feel bad. Like really bad. I need to use a toilet.”
“Fuck! Find me and I will give you the ride home. I don’t care about all this people, do you hear me?”
I nodded and almost ran to the bathroom. There I rushed into the booth and bent over the toilet. Some time after, when my lungs almost hurt, I left the booth. I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked like a ghost. Pale face with ruined makeup and disheveled hair. Just pretty lady!
“Why does it hurt that much?!” I asked myself. Sob escaped my lips. Tears were forming in my eyes. I needed to leave this party. I splashed some water to my face. After another 10 minutes, I left the bathroom. Only to be caught by cheerful and smiling Chloe.
“Vera? Oh my God! You won’t believe what happened. Remember this hottie? With whom you danced? I kissed him and he answered! We’re having a very good time now! He seems like a great guy to me and so sexy!”
“Yeah. He’s a great. You’re lucky!” I tried to sound happy.
“Will you go to Nate’s tonight?”
“Yeah.” I nodded at her, trying to find Nate with my eyes. I knew, he will be worried about me. Might as well find him and tell him goodbye.
“Great!” Chloe kissed my cheek and went inside the bathroom.
I stood there for few seconds and then left to find Nate. He looked sad, when he saw me. I must look terrible, considering his reaction.
“Damn. Vera... Let’s go. I will bring you home.” He placed his hand on the small of my back and rushed me outside the room.
“But Nate... It’s your party... I will call a taxi...”
“Shush. Vera, it’s an order.”
I realized that it was senseless to argue with him. So I just silently followed him to his car. The ride to my home was silent. Well, Nate tried to talk with me, but it was useless. I hardly listened to him. When I came home, without undressing I followed to my room and plopped myself on the bed. I closed my eyes and fell asleep. Just like that. In my dress, with my ruined makeup. I only took off my shoes. I was exhausted.