I Need You To Hate Me

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44. TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS

2 MONTHS LATER

They say time heals all wounds but how much time is enough to heal mine?

I have barely stepped foot outside in the last two months and the only people I have spoken to is Mia and occasionally, Brody but he doesn’t talk much and when he does it’s very deep and vague. I don’t want deep and vague. Why can’t anything be simple and clear for once?

After that night, the night I left Ace, I had nowhere to go and I wasn’t about to stay in a house with him. It was all too much.

I couldn’t go home to my dad because he would have instantly known something is wrong and telling him about Ace – about everything, would do more damage than good. Maybe my judgement was clouded by the unnerving thoughts of Ace and the way I felt about him, still feel about him.

He’s not a bad person, he’s made a poor decision at the age of seventeen and he suffered for it every day since. But it’s one thing to forgive, and another to forget. With time it’s possible for me to forgive Ace, however, I will never be able to forget.

Mia offered me to stay with her and Brody for the remainder of my college years. I was hesitant at first, I didn’t want to intrude, and two and a half years is a long time to live with someone. But they had a spare room and I convinced them to let me pay rent, somehow that made me feel better instead of living there for free.

Mia had spoken to my professors and told them I had a death in the family – close enough –they didn’t care as long as I handed in all assignments on time and I did. That was the only thing I did, my assignments and work at the café. The rest of the time I spent in my room, letting the time pass as if it was an irrelevant factor in my pitiable life.

I pushed everyone away and became anti-social, just like I did the months following my mother’s death. The only people that bothered checking up on me was Theo and Asher. And I think Theo only stuck around to see Mia, he is like a lost puppy without her.

To everyone who didn’t know the situation I just looked like a pathetic girl who was heartbroken over some guy. Nothing is ever as it seems.

I spent Christmas with my dad and Asher’s family, it was fine until Asher decided to put his two cents in.

“What’s wrong, Cals?” my dad asked me when I was helping him with the chocolate pudding.

I was about to make up some lie about not doing well on my exams, but Asher beat me to it, “She broke up with her boyfriend,” he said, and I shot him a look of frustration. He has been a little cold since he found out I was acting like this over Ace. But he didn’t know the whole story.

“A boyfriend? I wasn’t aware of any boyfriend…” my dad said, and I had to spend the rest of Christmas night convincing him that there was no boyfriend and giving Asher a cold glance every now and then.

The last thing I heard about Ace is that he left for Palm Valley College which is more than a three-hour drive from here. Good for him. It reiterated that I made the right decision, for both of us. Would he have taken the opportunity if I made the decision to stay with him?

Brody eyes me up and down when I walk out into the kitchen, “You headin’ out today?” he asks in a raspy vocie.

“Uh yeah, I think I might go to a few classes,” I say, unsure of how it’s going to go but I have to start getting back into the routine of normal – whatever that is.

“Y’know maybe you should have some green stuff before you go. It will get rid of the nerves,” Brody says casually, barely giving me another glance. He’s making his famous vegemite on toast, which is the grossest thing I have ever tasted but he claims that me and Mia ‘don’t know what’s good for us, even if it hit us in the face.’

It’s not news that Brody smokes weed but it’s the first time he has offered any to me. He usually keeps to himself, and if I didn’t move in, I would have never known that he suffers from PTSD from his accident and the ‘green stuff’ as he calls it, helps him.

“I’m jokin’ Calla,” he says when I keep staring at him with my eyes wide.

“He’s not,” Mia says, and I manage to give her a small smile. She’s the only person who’s been there for me, day-in, day-out. It’s nice to have someone who knows what you’re going through even when they are unable to help.

I step out outside and inhale the crisp, cool air. I glance up at the sky and snowflakes fall on my face, melting when they meet my warm skin.

I pretend like everything is okay. I pretend that I’m okay when in reality I’m far from it. But maybe the more I pretend, the more I will start to believe it and eventually everything will fall into place.

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