College Cutbacks: Sophomore Year Book IV

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New, Old Hellos

Emery's POV

I stood at the door with my heart pounding, my hands sweaty, and my teeth clenched. My body shook nervously as my hand missed the keyhole for the second time.

Maybe this is a sign.

The door flies open and to my luck, it's Damion.

"Emery. Thank fucking god. Where the hell have you been?" he pulled me into a tight hug. "I didn't think you were coming back."

I closed my eyes at the comfort he gave me. I really missed him. "Me either."

"Who's at the-" I heard a gasp. "Emery?"

I pulled away from Damion to look at Eli who looked extremely surprised to see me. I saw her eyes go from excited to angry in two seconds. She folded her arms over her chest and glared at me intensely. "So you decided to come back."

I shifted out of Damion's arms to stand in full view of her so I can get ready to beg for her forgiveness. I know I had a lot of stuff going on, but I understood why she was mad. I left without saying goodbye. She had a right to hate me. She had me squirming with her eyes burning through me. "I-um-I'm sor-"

"You know what! Save it! Do you know how worried I was? How long I-we looked for you? No phone calls. No anything." She was fuming.

"I know. I was just hurting and I just wanted to get away."

She rolled her eyes then sighed deeply, loosening her angry stance. "I know. It's going to take some time for me to forgive you. I know you were hurt, but you don't just leave your friends like that."

"I know. I'm sorry. I won't ever do that again."

We stood in silence for a while. "I like your hair."

"Thanks," I smiled at her which she returned.

"See. All better," Damion said, throwing an arm around my bare shoulder. Eli and I both chuckled invasiveness.

"Hey, Damion, I think I found a lead." I looked towards the boys' hall to see Roman striding towards us, looking down at some papers. He was so busy flipping through them that he hadn't seen me yet. That didn't stop that feeling in the pit of my stomach from bubbling up. My heart almost tore through my chest. He was as handsome as when I left. Then I remember how he had betrayed me and the pain came back. I just stood there, staring, unable to speak. What was I going to say?

Damion cleared his throat. "Just a sec. I'm trying to find it."

"Dude!" Damion shouted, grasping his attention.

Roman's eyes landed on mine, those emerald eyes engulfing me once again. We just stared at each other, shock riddling his eyes. I couldn't bring myself to say anything, but my heart said it all. I still hated him for what he did. I was still angry, so very angry. He seemed like he was about to say something, but was interrupted by the door opening causing us to turn towards the door. There stood the two people I hated most in this world. When they felt all the attention on them, they looked up to see why. Lewis's eyes found me instantly, full of shock and despair. His eyes had dark circles around them. He had a scar through his right brow and his scuff a little longer than usual.

Ali's lip curled and Eli once again folded her arms in a defensive pose once again. She stared Ali down like she had slept with her boyfriend. My eyes returned to the person responsible for my heart bleeding. His eyes scanned me, taking in my new look. I ripped my eyes away from him so I wouldn't cry.

"What's everybody standing around for? I'm going to my room to unpack," Ali announced rolling her eyes and walked out of the room, avoiding the path where Eli and I were. All I could think about was whether or not they came together.

Did they spend the whole summer together? Why the fuck did I come back?

Lewis stepped forward and my eyes shot to him. "Em-"

"No, you don't, Playboy. Back it up," Eli interrupted, saving me. I didn't realize I had stopped breathing. He looked so defeated. Damion's arm squeezed my shoulder to let me know that he was right there and I released that breath. It did nothing to ease my chest pain. Is this what a heart attack feeling like?

He looked at me, pleading with those dangerous ocean blue eyes. I couldn't do it. I can't give him another chance to hurt me, even if it was just to talk. I can't be alone with him. I looked away to hide the tears building in my waterline. I thought I'd be stronger than this. I thought I'd tell him off and wish death upon him. I couldn't even look at him without wanting to cry. There was a knock on the already opened door slicing through the tension like a knife.

I looked up to see another familiar face, only this one I was actually happy to see.

"Ryan!" His smile was bright and welcoming as I ran towards him, ignoring Lewis, and tackled him to the floor. I held onto his neck tightly. I was so happy to see him. I didn't even know why he was here, but I didn't care.

"Emery, you're killing me," he grunted out. I felt my dress raised up on my thighs and realized that there were other people in the room. I jumped up quickly and made sure that my dress was proper before helping Ryan from the floor.

"What are you doing here!"

"Well, I-"

"Who the hell is this!" Roman spat angrily. I can see that Lewis matched his emotions, but he had no right. Ryan only chuckled at their stupidity. He knew exactly who they were. I turned to Eli and Damion, ignoring Roman's question. I threw on my fakest, happiest smile.

"This is Ryan. Ryan, this is Damion." Damion shook his hand with a curious look. I walked over to Eli and wrapped an arm around her waist. "And this lovely woman right here is Eli."

Eli stared at him slack-jawed. She was in awe. Ryan was handsome and he was a couple of years older than us. He was the epitome of a bad boy. His tattoos that covered his arms and upper torso, only his arms can be seen in the cut off shirt he wore. He had finger-sized gauges in his ears and an eyebrow ring. His medium build had a nice amount of muscles, his height far exceeding mine, and his hair was gelled back like a stereotypic bad boy look. He was sexy.

Don't tell him I said that! It'll go to his head.

He looked at her with hooded eyes, putting on that bad boy charm that use to get all the girls. "So this is Eli. I've heard so many good things about you. It's good to finally meet you."

He looked her up and down, sucking in every piece of her like a vacuum. He bit his lip and she clutched at her chest then cleared her throat. "Emery, I forgive you."

This is the first time I laughed, I mean truly laughed since that night. It felt good.

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