I needed to leave. I walked to the exit from the kitchen, past Tyler, standing still in the doorframe. Only the towel on his hips. His hair was wet, chest glistened from water drops. It was my Tyler. The same guy from my past. The guy, who I loved the most.
“Hey, Ty. I need 10 minutes. And I will be out of your sight. The apartment will be yours.”
I went to my room, changed as quickly as I could. I opted for a denim dress and leather jacket and white sneakers. I will take a shower at Tasha’s place. I found my purse, took my phone and opened the door. When I was at the front door, Chloe rushed to me. She wasn’t in lingerie but in a white t-shirt and shorts. She looked miserable when she caught my elbow to stop me. I looked at her. Tyler wasn’t here, he must have gone to her room. Good. I didn’t want to see him.
“Vera, is he your Tyler?” I only nodded at her. Her face fell, she was horrified. Chloe clasped hand to her mouth and stared at me. “I... I am... I am so sorry… I didn’t know that. Why didn’t you tell me this yesterday? When I asked you about him...”
“It’s okay, Chloe. Ty and I are long in the past.” I tried to smile, but she saw through me.
“Vera, you’re lying and you know it...” She whispered to me. “Listen...”
I pulled my elbow from her grip and rushed down the stairs, without looking back. I was living in my old nightmare. It was playing in my head over and over again. In no time I was at Tasha and Jake’s place. As soon as she opened the door, I threw myself at her, hugging her tight and burying my face in her hair. Tasha wrapped her hands around me, holding me close. She let me cry for some time, standing on the porch. Her hands were running up and down on my back.
“Honey... Let’s go inside... I believe the couch in our living room will do you good and you need to drink something...”
I nodded, sobbing, but I didn’t let her go at least for another 10 minutes. After it, I let her take me inside the house. I sat on the couch, closing my face with my palms. I had a feeling that these tears will never stop.
“Hey, drink it.” I looked up and saw Tasha before me, with glass in her hand. I took it and gulped down the water. I leaned my back on the couch and closed my eyes, taking deep breaths, trying to calm down myself.
“Girl, you need to tell me what has happened, so I will be able to help you.”
I was silent. I didn’t know where to start. Especially, knowing that Tasha never liked Tyler. She thought that I could do better than him. But the truth was so simple. I don’t need better, I need only him. She waited. My friend always was patient.
“As I told you earlier, I decided to stay friends with Nate. He knows about Tyler and about our history. It will be hard for him to be with me. He told me that himself.”
“Okay. Do you really want it?”
“Yeah... He’s a good guy, perfect even for someone like me. But I am too damaged. And these feelings for Tyler, which always were there... So it will be just wrong of me, to stay with Nate.”
“I believe it’s not the whole story.”
“No... Tyler was at the party. I danced with him.”
“Uh huh... What else?”
“Nate told me, that I need to talk to Tyler. To tell him the truth, that I am single. And that I still love him...” I trailed off, being afraid of Tasha’s reaction. But surprisingly, she was calm.
“You didn’t tell him, right?”
“No. I was too afraid of another heartbreak, so I decided it will be a safer option for me. To stay away from him.”
Tasha’s brow furrowed. I told her about me and Tyler at his party. I told her what his kiss awakened in me. I was fearing for her reaction. But I needed her to understand, why I was so determined to end things between me and Nate. She knew about my decision, but she never told me that she was approving it.
“Chloe met him. He’s gorgeous, even if you don’t think so.” I glanced at Tasha and saw a little smile on her lips. “She was planning to find a hot guy at the party and to kiss him under the mistletoe... Well, she kissed Tyler, I saw it with my own eyes. It led to another... How to put it better... I woke up in the middle of the night because they were having sex just behind my wall.”
“Fuck!” Tasha wrapped me in her arms, squeezing me tight. “You’re a poor thing. This asshole brought only tears and pain to you. I told you this a million times already! He doesn’t deserve you!”
“I love him, Tasha. No matter what. No matter pain, time, tears and all these women. I was in love with Tyler Douglas a long time ago and I am in love with him even now...”
“I know, honey...” Tasha shook her head and kissed me in the temple. “You were in denial for so long, so you kind of believed in it... Until he waltzed to your life again. Fucking Prince Charming...”
I tried hard to explain everything to Tasha. How I realized, that even if I might be so happy with Nate, I won’t be with him. How I accepted that I still have feelings for Tyler and how badly I wanted to be with him. She asked me over and over again, why knowing that, I refused to even try. Now I was hurt by Tyler incidentally. He meant good, when he told me, that he won’t bother me again. I was sure, that if he would know that Chloe was my roommate, he wouldn’t sleep with her. I created this fucking mess and I was responsible for all this pain this time.
“I cried when Nate brought me home. I cried at night when I realized what was going on in Chloe’s room, I had been crying since the moment I saw you. It isn’t healthy. I want to sleep and when I will wake up, everything will be only a nightmare, but it’s impossible.”
“I think I could help you at least with that. Come with me. Take a shower, then I will give you one pill, which will help you to fall asleep. My friend needs beauty sleep because now, I don’t know how to even look at you.” I stared at Tasha. “God, don’t be so stubborn. I want only good for you!”
I followed her to the room, I took a shower and changed into some shorts and Jake’s loose t-shirt. I swallowed a pill and plunged into a deep sleep. Without any dreams.
I hated to see her like that. This girl had enough pain already. Starting the final year of high school, everything went like a snowball, becoming bigger and bigger with every turn. I didn’t always hate Tyler Douglas, no matter what Vera was thinking. She was incredibly happy with him from time to time, especially when he had returned to our hometown four years ago. But when he left her... When I saw how damaged she was. It was the time when I started to despise him. How could he do that to my best friend? To the girl, who was endlessly and irrevocably in love with him. I didn’t understand it.
Tyler caused so much pain to Vera. I thought that she wouldn’t want to be with him like ever again, but here we are. The exact same shit. We didn’t choose who to love, that’s what I was forgetting every time. I must accept it, that with Tyler she was a whole. No matter how hard I tried to fill her with care and love. It wasn’t enough. My parents weren’t enough. Only him.
The most terrible thing was, that I was sure, that this jerk felt the same. She was the one for him. But he continued to screw everything up over and over again. I never asked him about his true feelings, but with my life experience and observing their relationship for some time, I was sure that what he felt for her was real.
I stared into space, with a cup in my hands. Vera was asleep almost an hour already. My phone started to buzz. Chloe’s name appeared before my eyes.
“Hey, Tasha. Thank God you answered... Please, tell me, that Vera is at yours?”
“Oh my! You have no idea how happy I am to hear it.” Chloe sighed in relief. She was worried about our friend. “Did she tell you what happened?”
“Shit! I feel terrible! If I only knew, that this Tyler and her Tyler was the same person... I would never have slept with him! Never! She told me about their relationship and I would never cross this line!”
“Chloe, chill! She knows that! She doesn’t blame you. Believe me. She’s my best friend, I know her since our childhood.”
We fell silent. I wanted to ask her, but I was hesitating.
“Chloe, can I ask you something?”
“What Tyler did when Vera left?”
“Ugh... It was so awkward. When I heard Vera saying to him “Hey, Ty” I froze on the spot. He was pale like a ghost, looking at her with wide eyes. She went to her room, he turned around and rushed to mine. I had a feeling that he wanted to catch her before she will leave, but she was quicker. Besides he didn’t want to be rude to me. He was gone 5 minutes after her. He excused himself, saying that he’s sorry, but I was too focused on my thoughts about Vera and where did she go.”
“Okay. Thank you. I guess I know what I should do. At least I hope it will be the right thing to do.”
I ended the call and sighed. Fuck, I didn’t want to do it in all honesty, but I loved Vera too much. Where is her phone? I stood up and took her purse, searching for the phone. Thank God, I know her password. Well, there he is. Jerk! Geez, relax Tasha, you’re doing it for your best friend. I dialed his number from her phone.
“Vera?” Tyler sounded hopeful. Good boy.
“Hey, Douglas. It’s Tasha.”
“Well... The deal is, that I want you to come to my place. Are you free right now?”
“Good. I will send you the address.”