Don’t Tell

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“She should start running from me and never look back, but I would just chase her down again. I can't stay away from her, I had already tried. I couldn't think about anyone else, and after today, hearing her moan my name... I'm fucking crazy over her, I never want to think of anyone else's name but mine falling from that perfect mouth." Isabella Long (Izzy), spent most of her high school years preparing for College. She and her boyfriend Brevin Phillips, captain of the football team, were set to attend Stanford University in the fall. Everything in Izzy's life was going exactly as planned. She would room with Sophie Turner, her best friend since before kindergarten, before they could walk for that matter; There wasn't a time when Izzy couldn't remember Sophie being a part of her life. They had lucked out and found a cheap apartment within walking distance to Stanford and the art school that Sophie had been accepted to. She could have never guessed the dark secrets that her last summer home would unmask. Secrets that would slowly unravel Izzy's entire world. When Sophie's older half brother Chase returns home from college, Izzy finds herself in serious danger. Will she fall into the dangerous, exciting world of Chase Fredrick, or face a much more ominous fate?

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CHP 1 Secrets

I looked at my phone one more time, wiping a stray tear that betrayed me and ran down my cheek.

"Damn it." I cursed at myself again.

"You promised yourself you would not watch it again Izzy." I whispered allowed, hoping my words would sink in and encourage me to just stop the video. It all just felt like a bad dream and I needed to wake up. I couldn't though, ever since fourth period calculus, when I'd received the mass text of my best friend hooking up with my boyfriend, I'd been a total wreck! I'd watched it at least ten more times. Dumbfounded, blind sided, betrayed, hurt, pissed, humiliated...were just a few of the emotions boiling in my body. I had decided devastated seemed to be the most fitting. Yes, I was utterly devastated.

Brevin Phillips was my boyfriend for the last three years. He played football at Bluffton High, where we attended high school together, all three of us, Brevin, Sophie Turner (my best friend), and myself. Brevin, up until now had been an amazing boyfriend. We studied together all the time, and had planned on attending Stanford together in the fall, yet another thing I was going to have to try and figure out before August. I felt a small quake erupt through my body and more tears burned their way down my face. I didn't know how there was any fluid left to cry. I'd left school early and spent the rest of the day sobbing, yet the tears just kept coming, constant reminders of my entire life collapsing around me, of the sympathetic eyes watching me exit the school, and of seeing my best friend, body wracked with sobs, being accompanied out of the principals office and to her car. Everyone had seen it, not only had they betrayed my loyalty in the worst way but they had humiliated me in front of all of my peers. Like my life was a damn soap opera! I wanted to disappear, just not have to exist anymore.

Brevin didn't want me anymore, I let that sink in. We had both been waiting to have sex until we were out of high school, although he'd put a lot of pressure on me lately, it's not like Brevin and I had no sex life at all...I felt like things had been more than fine between us sexually. Clearly I was wrong. The sting of rejection resonated in my heart, and I had to fold my arms around myself.

He could have at least had the decency to choose someone other than Sophie... He had his pick of any girl in the school. They all swooned over him. He was captain of the football team and he had won prom king that year. I was crowned queen with him, but I suspected It was only because I was dating Brevin and best friends with Sophie, who arguably was the most popular girl in school. I was pretty average on my own, standing only 5 foot 3 with dark brown hair and brown eyes, that my mom had called exotic, but I had always felt were far too big for my thin face. Not now though, now they were blotchy red slits in my face swollen with the aftermath of complete betrayal by the two most important people in my life, and to unmask the infidelity in such a way was crueler than cruel.

The ultimate betrayal however, came in the form of a beautiful, tall, blonde cheerleader. Sophie Turner was more than my best friend, she was my sister. I couldn't remember a time when she hadn't existed in my life, our parents had been friends since they were in high school and when my mom died of cancer a few years ago, my only light left was Sofie Turner, yes the same one who broke my heart. I had become a regular staple in the Turner household. I spent most every night there through the week, I'd started staying with her when I was 10 and my dad had to go onto nights at the hospital so he could be home during the day to take care of my mom and I'd just sort of continued my stay after mom's passing. It was comforting to have her mothers support and Sophie was the best listener.

I had been there for her in the same way when her half brother Chase had been sent to live with his abusive father in New York for 3 years and then again when he came back and couldn't stay out of trouble. She had cried so many times, afraid that he would pick a fight with the wrong person and end up dead.

Sophie and her mother were my family, and what she had done, knowing that it would turn my world upside down this way hurt so deeply. She may have taken after her brother more than I thought...the burn was unbearable and I couldn't find it in myself to answer any of the bazillion phone calls and text messages, begging me to please call her, telling me I didn't understand. We were done, She and I, through... completely finished, and that was what hurt me the most. I was utterly alone in this.

Just three days before this mess Sophie and I had finalized all the paperwork on the apartment that we were set to share while attending college. I was accepted to Stanford and Sophie had been accepted to a nearby art school. She was an amazing artist and it came as no surprise to me that she had gotten in.

Her mom had picked up a second job our sophomore year to save as much as she could to pay Sophie's way. She was an incredible single mom who would have done anything for her children, and when Chase was sent away to live with his dad the second time for getting in trouble with the law, she seemed to have put all of her eggs into Sophie's basket.

I had never had to worry about how I would pay for school, my dad was a neurosurgeon and my mom came from money, so I had had my pick of any college, Sophie however, had to hunt down something affordable and we had spent months looking for and visiting art schools near Stanford. I would have picked another college if we hadn't found something suitable for Sophie, she'd meant that much to me. Now her mom would have to find other housing arrangements and because my dad was the one paying for ours, I doubt she would be able to find anything affordable for Sophie near the area. It hurt me to think that her mom would be so disappointed, but I was thankful that Sophie would probably have to stay home and attend college, far far away from me.

"Good, maybe she could just stay here and become a miserable spinster." I thought to myself imagining the tall thin Barbie like girl 100 pounds heavier shoving hohos into her mouth...even then she'd be beautiful. I let out a sigh. It was petty to put too much merit into looks, I knew that, I also knew I was my own worst critic, and if I spent anymore time dwelling on the fact that Brevin had chosen her over me I'd tear myself completely apart piece by piece. There was no comparison between us, she was without question the most beautiful girl I knew. I just thought he had appreciated my intellect and reserve. Sophie was outspoken and well, just a giant flirt. It didn't matter anyway, he had made his choice and if I stayed here and thought about it any longer my heart was going to literally burst, so I mustered up enough will power to stand up and head to the shower.

I turned the water in the shower as hot as I could without burning my skin and climbed in. I leaned against the wall closing my eyes and aiming my face toward the steady stream of heat beating down on me, it felt good running over the swollen and overly sensitive skin rimming my eyes. I don't know how long I just stood there that way letting the steam envelop my body and thinking of nothing other than the water beads running down my long hair and dripping to the shower floor. It was as if my mind had shut down, it had overloaded and this was its defense mechanism... nothingness...complete emptiness. I could do empty, and I would, all night if I had to. I'd stay right here until dawn if it meant that I could be free of the pain that had been wrenching my gut all day.

I had lost all sense of time when I climbed out of the shower I could have been in for five minutes or five hours, but I knew that the tug of sleep on my swollen eyelids was heavy and I wanted to jump right on it, before the pain returned and I didn't have a chance of sleeping at all.

I pulled my robe over my shoulders and padded across the floor collapsing onto my bed. I let the empty darkness of my reality surround me and carry me off into sleep.

"Tell me you like it." Brevin breathed into my ear as he slid his hand up my neck causing my head to fall back on his shoulder. "Say it baby, tell me how much you love the way I feel inside of you." He held me, his hand splayed over my lower belly, my back to his hard stomach, undulating circles holding me skin to skin against him, coaxing me closer and closer to the edge with every dirty word he breathed against my face, his heavy wanting breaths growing more and more ragged. I wrapped my arm around his neck, fisting my hand into his messy blonde hair, I lifted my lips to his neck, just under his sharp jaw line, feeling the muscle tense as he clenched his teeth. I felt my hot breath reflect from his skin back to my mouth. I parted my lips, to tell him that I loved his making me come undone, but my voice came out thick and drunk, "I-I I like it." It wasn't my voice at all, it was hers! It was Sophie's sloppy drunken voice! I sprang from sleep and horror painted my world as I realized I had just dreamed of myself taking her place in that wretched video that had played on the screens of every Bluffton High student's phone yesterday morning. I ran to the bathroom hurling myself to the floor in front of the toilet before the heaving started.

"Was it supposed to feel like this?" I wondered.

"Would the heart ache ever dissipate, or would I stay this way forever?"

Ding, ding, ding. My phone started up again, probably Sophie at it again, I wished she'd take a hint and leave me the fuck alone! I raked myself up off the floor and hurriedly made my way to my phone to tell her just that, before I lost my nerve, but it started vibrating before I could get to it. Unknown caller, the ID read across the front.

"Wow Soph, low blow...I knew you could be ditsy, but really? Blocking your number, are we 12?"

I swiped left and mustered up the most defensive tone I could for someone who had spent the past 24 hours ugly crying in her bedroom. I shocked myself when I spewed the words, "what in the actual fuck more could you possibly want from me?"

"Ummmm Isabella, Izzy" the voice cracked, and I so wished I hadn't answered, because that was not the voice of the blonde I had once considered family, that was Brevin's pitiful voice, mirroring my own sadness. "so I know you probably can't forgive me right now, but I'm begging you.... please don't hate me! I'm so sorry Iz, I never meant for any of this to happen. I guess I, I just want you to know that I love you more than anything, and I know that I don't deserve you, but she was drunk and I... well it was that night that you had come over and we were so close to doing it, and I wanted you so badly."

I wanted to speak up, to say something, because in the video it looked pretty evident that he wanted her and not me, but my heart twisted at his voice, the desperation in it, the hoarseness, as if he too had spent the last 24 hours in agony.

"Remember when you left and I went to that party at Jason's." He continued, "Well she was there, and I had been drinking, and she kept coming on to me. I mean seriously Iz, like throwing herself at me, and I didn't want to. I wished it was you the whole time swear to god Iz, you have got to believe me."

I interrupted right there. "Believe you Brevin?" And it came out as harsh as I intended it to. "Really? You recorded the whole thing, and sent it to the entire school for God's sake." I felt my voice crack at the end as another round of tears rimmed my lower lids spilling over and making me wish I hadn't answered even more.

"It was her!" he interrupted. "Never! I would have never done that and you know it Isabella."

Now I was full on racked with sobs, "I don't know what to say Brevin." The words came out as a whisper, and it was true, I didn't know what he was getting at, as if I hadn't watched the video for myself and saw that he was a very willing participant. Part of me felt bad for him, knowing the anguish he was going through, and knowing that probably no man could resist Sophie if she decided they were who she wanted. I just can't believe she chose him, she had always said that she couldn't stand how arrogant he was.

"You don't know the kind of pain I'm going through baby." He croaked into the phone.

"Don't you "baby" me Brevin. You lost that right when you slept with my best friend. I can't right now Brevin, I just can't even hear you say stuff like that, I'm so broken by this... I didn't just lose you ya know... Soph...." I couldn't finish her name I couldn't bring myself to say it, not to him, not right now, I continued, "she was my family, and you knew that."

"I can't be without you Izzy. I can't be. I won't be. You belong with me... I don't want a future without you, don't you see that?!" Desperation was growing in his voice, panic even.

"I dreamt of you last night Brevin." I don't know why I said it, I shouldn't have, it showed him my vulnerability, something I didn't want him to be able to use against me. I guess I just wanted him to know how much it affected me.

"And I dreamt of you too baby, I always do, you're it for me." He replied.

"No, let me finish." I timidly chimed in. "I dreamt that it was me with you instead in the... you know..." I bit my lower lip to fight back tears, I swallowed my throat bobbing as I continued, "when you were saying all the things that you know... you said to -to her... well anyway, you were saying them to me and I tried to say something back, but my voice came out as hers..." audible sobs racked through my body. "I was Sophie.... how pathetic right?" When he stayed silent I continued, "Only I'm not the pathetic one, because I didn't do any of this to either of you, you did it to me and since yesterday was the last day of school I don't have to see either one of you again, so I guess the rest is just null and void from here on out!" I slammed the phone down clicking it off in mid air, surprised at my own gull, and took a deep breath. It was true, none of this was my fault and I was headed to college anyway. I was going to get better, I would heal and move on. This video evidence of their betrayal would haunt them for the rest of their lives. I don't know why, but that made me feel slightly less embarrassed about the whole thing. The knowledge that something like that, something just out there would end up on the internet and could haunt a person for their entire lives.... it was kind of a sick karma, and they deserved it. I felt a little guilty for feeling that way, but not guilty enough to fight the small smirk that played at the corners of my lips when I thought about Brevins super rich, show off parents hearing about the video, or even seeing it! They were such snobs, they loved that we were dating, because my grandpa on my moms side and his grandpa had been buddies at the country club, so in their eyes that made us elite enough to rub shoulders with the Phillips', even though my immediate family had never been a part of that super swanky country club. We just weren't into it. My dad went on volunteer trips abroad all the time to provide pro bono surgeries to third world citizens. We just were not into the showiness of it all. It was nice that Brevin's family would donate to any cause my dad was crusading for that month, but they only did it for notoriety. They'd always hold a huge benefit fundraiser and make sure all the local news was there and the whose who of the country club. I was not sad to no longer have to socialize with the likes of people like them.

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