Chapter 4-Moving on
Music: I’m Moving On-Rascal Flatts
“Emily, you need to let me go.” I read those seven words as tears rain down my face, reading those words tear at my heart. I can’t breathe, I feel like the world is crumbling around me, Damien is my world and he doesn’t want me anymore. How can I go on without him? I fall off my bed and land on my butt, then lean against my bed. My legs are bent and my arms wrapped around them. I cover my mouth with my hand to hold back the sobs wracking my body.
"These are for you,” Damien says with a nervous shift on his feet. I think it’s so adorable when he does that. I take the beautiful red roses and white calla lilies from him and bring them to my nose; the touch of the velvety petals tickles my nose. The flowers smell soft and reminded of a freshly fallen rainstorm. When the petals touch my face, it reminds me of the way Damien’s lips feel against mine and I get lost in that touch.
Damien and I have been dating a solid month now and it’s been great and tonight is the night is the winter formal. I’ve been so excited about this dance, that Mom, Danika and I all went shopping the day Damien asked me.
His eyes roam over my body and the brown of his pupils dilate, the brown iris of his eyes also turns a shade darker. He stands there just staring at me, his eyes so intense I feel shivers go down my arms. After what felt like an eternity with him staring he finally speaks.
“You look beautiful Em.” I smile and swing my hips side to side, allowing the dress to flow at my feet. I love this dress and feel like a princess. The dress is a sleeveless and strapless sweetheart neckline with a light aquamarine blue tulle fabric. The thing I love most about this dress is the lace-up back and the white flowers appliqué.
When I saw it I knew I wanted it before even putting it on. Danika said the color goes well with my tan complexion and my bright blue eyes. My hair was pulled to the side in soft small curls with a silver barrette.
“Thank you, Damien. You look really good too.” He’s wearing a black suit with a white button-up shirt and a tie that matches my dress. His white shirt clings to his muscular chest, showing off all his good He looks delicious, but he looks that way in everything. At sixteen he has the body of a twenty-year-old that spends every day of his life in a gym. I’m very lucky I get to be his girl, and he says he’s the lucky one cause he gets to be with me. He helps me put my jacket on and then holds his arm out for me to take.
Dan comes into the room wearing a grin and an identical suit except for the tie which is blood red. We decided it would be fun for the guys to wear ties that match our dress because it would be fun. Dan looks a little flustered but remains smiling and laughing. That’s the thing about Dan, nothing ever gets him down. He is one of the happiest people and I have a hard time staying angry or sad when he’s around. It’s funny though because he and Damien are polar opposites, but I bet Damien would be the same way if he didn’t have a dad who used him as his punching bag on a daily basis.
“We need to leave; Danika is in a panic and needs Em to help her.” I giggle because I know what’s happening with Danni. Her dress malfunctioned and her Mom is at work. We all pile into Damien’s obsidian pickup truck.
“Emily. Emily.” I hear my name being said. Emily, wake up.” My body is being jostled, someone is pushing me, and that’s when I realized I was dreaming. I slowly open my eyes and take in my surroundings. I’m still in my bedroom at home, the blue paint still on the walls and the posters of all the concerts I’ve been too. The pictures of my family and friends plastered all over my vanity mirror, my music box with the little ballerina sits on my white dresser and the homemade bed spread mom and I made last year. I wanted something from home to take to my college dorm, something that reminds me of home. We gathered up all my pictures from my time here and had them turned into fabric squares. I made one for Damien and Dan and sent it to them. I bet he doesn’t even take it out of the box, they needed some cheering up.
Tears spring to my eyes again but I fight them back. I’ve wasted too many tears over him; it’s time for me to move on. If Damien and I are meant to be then it will happen. I pick myself up off the floor and get back to packing. Tomorrow is the day I start over.
“Come on Emily, please go for me.” My roommate Christy begs. We just finished our first week of school and it’s been a stressful one. From being piled down with the course load from hell and some of my professor’s seem like they are on a power trip. Christy wanted to let off some steam and go to a party a boy from her English class invited us too. It’s out in the middle of nowhere and I’m a little hesitant to go to a party in an unfamiliar area and with people I don’t know.
“It just doesn’t seem like the safest place, Christy. How about we skip that party and just stay in, we can order take out and watch chick flicks until our heart’s content.” Christy sticks her bottom lip out and bats her eyes.
“Please Em, what if you meet a hot guy and you fall madly in love and get married and have lots of babies?” My heart aches when I think about meeting someone new, my heart has always been Damien’s and as much as I try to convince myself otherwise I just end up breaking down. I never say my future without anyone but him and I still can’t even though he told me to let him go. I’m trying Damien, I really am, but you’re not that easy to replace. “You also need to get out and have some fun, all you is study. You are wound up so tight and don’t think I don’t hear you crying at night. Please just go with me and if you aren’t having any fun will leave.”
I know Christy is right and I need to get out and have some fun. “Okay, Chris I’ll go but I’m driving, so if you end up drinking we will be safe.” Christy dimples stand out on both sides of her face when she smiles, then she starts jumping up and down with excitement.
“Thank you! Thank you, Em, you are the best and I know this will be good for you. I heard that Bryan has a really cute single friend.” I roll my eyes at her.
“I’m not going to hook up with someone Chris. I’m going so I know you’ll be safe.” She turns and walks towards her room.
“You keep telling yourself that Emily.” She giggles “I have a good feeling about tonight.” She goes into her room and I roll my eyes again. I do that a lot with her.
An hour and a half later we arrive and the party is in full bloom. Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust up” is blaring from the speakers of a red and silver truck. A girl in a bikini top and daisy duke shorts is sitting on the tailgate and hanging all over some dude, who doesn’t look like he’s enjoying the attention. A huge bonfire is roaring to life in the middle and it people are either standing or sitting with some type of drink in their hand. This is definitely not my scene but I’m here for Christy.
The boy with the half-naked girl turns his head and sees us. His face lights up and a lopsided grin curves his lips. He’s pretty cute from what I can see but he’s no Damien. “Girl, get over him already.” He pushes the clingy blond girl off and she falls on her butt, then he jumped off the tailgate and makes his way over to us. The blond gets up and stares daggers at us while she pouts.
“Christy, you made it!” He says as he drapes his arm over her shoulder. The guy has no boundaries but all Christy can do is giggle and bat her eyes at him when he talks to her. “Who’s your friend?” His eyes scan over my body and his eyes glaze over with lust.
Ew, hell to the no freaking way. He gives me creeper vibes big time. I feel dirty with just his eyes on me and I want to grab Christy and run as far away as possible. Just because he has the looks does not make him a good guy.
Christy giggles and traces his arm with her hand. “This is my roommate and friend Emily. Isn’t she a hottie?” Heat rushes to my face and I’m glad it’s dark outside. Her friend never takes his off me, I’m so uncomfortable and there is a slight chill in the air tonight. Luckily, I didn’t listen to Christy and wear something skimpy. Damien and Dan would have a field day if they saw me here with barley nothing on.
She wanted me to wear some cut off bootie shorts and a low cut tank; you know the ones where it shows off all your assets? I fought her on that one, and instead, I’m wearing a long-sleeved grayish-green t-shirt with a grey zip-up vest, and blue jeans with grey heeled boots. I knew it was going be cold so I have a white wool beanie over my hair and a grey scarf. I think the outfit is cute and modest.
I’ve always been insecure with my body, expect with Damien. He never made me feel anything but love and adoration. I thought I would never be comfortable being naked with someone but after the first time with him, I let my guard down. Now, I have to start over and I don’t know if I’m ready, or if I will ever be ready.
“Emily, you okay?” I hear the creepy dude ask and look up to see him with his arms snaked around Christy’s waste and she has her back up against his chest. She looks comfortable but what she doesn’t know is the look in his eyes. He only wants a hookup and he sees her as an easy lay, I’m going to have to keep my eye on them. I can’t let her get used, it will destroy her.
“Um...yeah, I’m good.” I look around at all the party-goers and spot a blue color full of water bottles. Here is my chance to get Christy away from possessive boy for a moment. “Christy, come get water with me please?”
“Yeah, I could use a drink anyway.” She turns in his arms, stands up on her tiptoes and plants a kiss right on his lips. “Where’s the really good stuff hiding?” A wicked grin plays on his lips and I cringe. He leaves her arms and takes her hand in his.
“Follow me, girls.” I don’t want to go anywhere near him but I have to follow Christy. She walks side by side with him; they stroll along like the world is crapping gold. She’s known this guy a week and she’s already acting like she’s in love with him. I know, I sound like a jealous cow but I think I have a right to be worried about my friend.
I’ve dealt with guys like him, that look reminds me so much of a man from my past. A man I just want to lock in a lost part of my brain. He turned his back to her and went to cooler. I took the chance and very quietly said: “Is that Bryan?” Excitement courses through and I feel bad because she really likes this guy.
“Yeah, isn’t he great?” No, sweetie, he is anything but great. Instead of being a good friend and telling her what I really think of him, I bite down on my tongue and nod my head. “I really like him Em, and I hope you do too. ”
“Why would I need to like him?” I’m really confused about this. She turns around and faces me.
“He was hoping you would be here so he could maybe set you up with his best friend Zeek. I know you said you weren’t dating right now but come on, just at least met him.” I should have known something was up when she mentioned this earlier.
“I’ll meet him but I will tell you right now, nothing will come from it. I’m still nursing a broken heart and not ready to start over.” Her face softens in understanding.
“Whoever he has really messed you up huh?” Great, I did not want to talk about Damien at all.
“No, he's great and we loved each other very much. We’d been together since we were six, but he needed to get out, said he was suffocating and needed to disappear so he went and joined the army. I broke up with him right before he left on his tour. It’s a decision I regret every day, I’m a selfish person and broke him then he left to go do something dangerous, and the messed up thing is he took my brother with him."
"The truth is Christy, I can’t breathe without him and I don’t know how to get up every morning and be ready to face the day because he isn’t here anymore. There wasn’t a day where the three of us weren’t together and this is killing me. I can’t talk to him and when I get to talk to my Brother it’s never about him or Damien, he keeps the conversation about us, his family.”
Hot tears fall down my cheek but I feel good. Opening up to her really lifted this heavy burden I’d been carrying around. “How long has he been out and where he is stationed? My Dad was a Marine most of my life, he retired before I left for College. So I understand a little bit about what you’re going through.” I feel like Christy and I were sent to the same place at the same time because she could help me.
“He’s been out six weeks.” Yes, I’ve been counting the days. Christy pulls me in for a hug and I don’t pull away like I normally would. They are stationed just outside of Baghdad.
“Everything is going to be okay and I’m here for you. I won’t push you into anything and I’ll lay off you dating but at least keep an open mind okay?” I wipe away the tears.
“Okay.” She smiles and pulls away when she sees Bryan and another guy walking towards us. They both have those red plastic cups that Toby Keith sings about. I stifle a chuckle when I realize how cliché that song really is, then remember the number one rule of dating. “Chris, whatever you do tonight, do not take anything unopened from him or any guy for that matter.” She doesn’t look pissed but she looks downright disgusted that I would even suggest something like that.
“Why?” I hold back my bitter remark and just explain the do’s and don’ts of dating.
“The number one rule never take a drink from a stranger, and never leave your drink unattended. This is how girls get raped, Chris.” Before she can respond we are interrupted but the two boys. I see a set of bright blue eyes and the world freezes.