The S Word

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Think

I didn’t sleep at all last night. Alexander’s words kept running through my mind. The way his cupid lips shaped the name as it came out of his mouth. The way his eyes seemed to fear as I understood what was happening.

Never will I be able to hear those two words the same way ever again.

Lay
Meet me at the tea spot in an hour

I frown at the phone but consider going out or not. All these years I was never one to stay at home pouting after a breakup. The stupidest thing is we weren’t even dating. Alexander wasn’t mine, to begin with; I was just another girl with who he fooled around.

Probably.

Urgh, I hate how my brain is making me doubt things. I know that he used his account to stay safe. There’s the whole stalker thing he had to deal with last year, but it was too much. The lies were too much.

He was always too much. Fuck, I miss him.

Stupid hormones. Why can’t I react as most guys do? Screw someone senseless until my thing falls. That would be amazing, turns out I’m not in the mood. I don’t even care what I wear, grabbing the first pair of skinny jeans and a black crop shirt I put on my converse and leave the house to meet Layla.

As usual, she wants to meet at a tea shop, ever so fancy my best friend.

The walk there is typically done with my pods, so I listen to music, but this afternoon the weather seems to be as gloomy as I am. I don’t even want to listen to music. If I do, I’m afraid my heart will suffer more.

Oh fuck, I’m annoying myself at the moment with so much sappy stuff.

When did I turn up into this fluff mess? What the hell did Alexander do to me?

I arrive, pushing the door open and listening to the small bell chiming. The grey and brown tea shop always makes me smile, but today it doesn’t seem to be working. The nice bartender behind the counter waves at me as I walk between the tables, my reply to him is a nod. I pass by the tea list on the walls, by the empty brown seats at the entrance, the bookshelf until I see him. Layla is already at the corner table, her coffee in front of her, my best friend spots me entering and nods for me to join. The dim lights seem to be mimicking my emotions, but it’s only for a moment. They will change soon.

See, I go from angry, to melancholy, then angry again, maybe a little violent and then acceptance. Yes, I have anger issues.

“Hi,” I say in a dry tone dropping on the chair in front of her.

Layla eyes me, her brow quirks up before she tilts his head.

“Who died?” She asks chuckling in an attempt to ease the mood.

“My hope.”

Oh great, the drama bitch arrived. I hate her, as well.

“What happened?”

Layla’s tone seems worried, quiet even as she leans forward and takes my hand. Her fingers grab mine as my best friend waits for me to say something.

“So, remember when I said I had a date with Alexander?” She nods, encouraging me to continue. “That happened, and when things were about to get good, the last thing I was expecting came out of his mouth.”

“Oh God, is he gay?”

“No, Layla come on.”

I know she is trying to make me laugh, I know, but my mood is not there yet. Layla smiles kindly at me, understanding the situation is serious.

“Ok, what did he say? He doesn’t want a relationship?”

“Worse than that,” I say taking a sip of her tea. “Turns out he is 50shades.”

Layla mouth hangs open before she shakes her head composing herself. Her eyes widen, my best friend glances at the table, making the math, as I did.

“Wait, he told you that?”

“No,” I reply quickly. “The pet name he used to call me in our privates slipped through his mouth.”

“Fuck.”

Her hand leaves mine and Layla closes both her palms into fists. If I have anger issues, so does she. There was this one time Justin made me cry, and Layla although shorter than him and a girl, was ready to slap the shit out of my ex.

She almost did if I hadn’t arrive on time.

“I need his address.”

“No, Layla,” I scold eyeing her across the table.

“I’m not going to do anything,” she says as I relax on the seat. “I will pay someone to do it. Alexander is fucking tall.”

At this, I chuckle. Layla always makes me feel better. She always knows how to put a smile on my face, even on the worst day.

“How did you react?”

“Surprisingly well. I didn’t slap him, although I wanted to.”

Layla snickers taking a sip from the tea. We both know that if I had done that I would be in trouble. After my stunt with the father I slapped, I can’t have anyone else reporting on me.

“Did he say why?”

I shrug my shoulders in reply, mixing her drink to take my focus away from the conversation. Why does it hurt so bad?

Feelings, I developed feelings for him. Maybe deeper than I would like to because it wasn’t a crush anymore, I liked him. It wasn’t loving, or any other bigger emotion, but we shared something, there was a connection.

There were also lies.

“I think it was because of his stalker.”

“Or maybe there’s the chance he doesn’t want people to know who he watches,” Layla says, and I lift my eyes to her. “Nicole he is number one.”

“I know that.”

“Remember how you freaked out when he went on your channel the first time,” he says,” well as A at least.”

I do, I remember how I freaked out and almost couldn’t speak. I remember everything.

“Exactly,” Layla states. “He has the other account for that. To be able to watch without people asking him things or freaking out. To be normal.”

“I know that, I told him that. But that’s not the reason why I’m like this, Lay.”

Layla’s brow raises as she takes her mug away from my hands. That is a good motive, almost as good as the stalker, but still, my heart doesn’t feel better.

“I’m mad at him because he lied. We talked about that user days before; he told me the reason for the absence was probably nothing. That it happens all the time.”

“It does, you know that,” Layla says taking my hands again. “Nicole, I’m going to be honest here, I get why you are upset, but I also get why he didn’t say anything.”

Crap, I hate that she is a psychologist. Now here comes the reasoning, the talk about me seeing the whole picture and not just my side.

“Why is that?”

“He was afraid of you, of your temper” Layla speaks. “He likes you, Nicky. He does, believe me and maybe he was scared of how you would react. Men can be very stupid, you know that.”

I snort at her, rolling my eyes dramatically to the ceiling. Stupid is an understatement; I had one man dating another girl and me at the same time. When confronted his reply was he couldn’t break up with one of us because he couldn’t see us upset.

He ended up alone.

That was the first guy I dated after Justin. It made me look at men differently. Being in a relationship for so long then having assholes as my dates didn’t help.

And now this. Alexander made me open up to him; I was ready to tell him about my mother.

“Nicky, give him a chance.”

“I will think about it,” I say in a breath. “But you know how I feel about lies.”

“I know, but you like him, or you wouldn’t be this upset.”

She is right. Not that I will admit it to her, but damn it she is right.

“Maybe. But I can’t ignore this.”

“So,” Layla says, dragging the last letter, “please let him explain. Don’t close yourself. It’s been a while since I saw you as happy as you were last week.”

I end up leaving the shop a little after, Layla had to meet her girlfriend and I didn’t want to be the third wheel. Therefore I slowly walk back to my apartment, leisurely than before thinking about how can I do this.

If I can trust Alexander again.

Layla was very good at making it clear to me, I get the whole thing now, but it still hurts. Maybe if I give it a couple more days, the pain will ease a little. My anger as well. I’m pretty sure if Alexander tries anything now I won’t be able to control myself.

Nevertheless, I do something I never thought I would do. I reply in a way that it’s not normal to me.

Alex
Nicole please
I'm sorry
Just let me explain I promise it will make sense

Nicole
I will talk to you, I'm just hurt right now
Let me cool my head for a few days. Please?

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