I’M RACING UP the stairs after Dion to try to get to his bedroom as fast as possible. How could I have been so stupid? I know how much I hurt him, I know how badly I fucked up. I should have pieced two and two together. I should have checked on him sooner.
“Fuck, I’m going to call 911.” I hear Dion say as I round the corner, my hand immediately flying to cover my mouth once I see Xavier on the bathroom floor. My whole body freezes in place, everything going numb.
Something inside of me kicks in though, awakening my instincts to help him. I race inside the bathroom and try to ignore all of the blood on the floor, but it’s almost impossible. I can feel my stomach churn with nausea.
“Oh my god.” I sob and try to get the towel off the rack. I can’t quite get it though because my hands are shaking so badly. Finally, after two more attempts, I’m able to grab the fabric and wrap it tightly around his wrists. “This isn’t the way, baby. This wasn’t the way to handle this. Fuck!”
This is all my fault. My addiction caused this. Just like everything in my life, I fuck it up. I have fucked him up for good.
When his eyes start to flutter shut, I instantly grasp his chin so that I can look at him. His eyes are lifeless. His dark, beautiful brown eyes are filled with sadness as he stares back at me. He’s broken.
“Xavier.” I try to say, but end up getting even more choked up. I bite on my lip to try to pull myself together. “Stop closing your eyes. Look at me.”
He locks eyes with me once more, but he can’t say much. He’s just sitting here lifeless, his body limp as he rests back against the wall. There’s nothing I can say to him to help. I ruined everything. I know that I’ve officially lost the best thing to ever happen to me.
Even though I know he hates me, and even though I know he probably never wants to see me again, I try to say anything to make him stay awake. If he doesn’t live because of my stupid mistake, I will never forgive myself.
“I need you here.” I decide to say, pressing the towel harder into his skin. “Do you hear me? Do not leave me. Do not.”
Surprisingly, he nods and becomes a little more alert than he was a few seconds ago. Dion is still on the phone with 911 as he stares at us, making sure Xavier is still conscious. If talking to him helps, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Finally, after what seems like hours, I hear the sirens near closer to the house. Xavier hears them too because he glances towards the window, and that makes me grip onto his wrists even harder to try to stop the bleeding.
“They’re coming.” I plead with him. “You hear them? You’re going to get better. They’re going to make you better. Just hold on for me, okay?”
He nods again, his eyes never leaving mine. I don’t know what I’ll do if I lose him. All of this happened because he said he needed a little space to focus more on school. I slept with someone else because he wanted a little more time to study. I truly am the worst possible person there is on the planet. I’m certain of that.
“Just hold on, Xavier.” I cry once more. “Hold on for me.”
In minutes the paramedics swarm him. I’m pushed out of the way as they take hold of him, putting him on a stretcher and hooking him up to a bunch of different wires. I can’t grasp onto his hand because they’re wrapping them up with something that’s unrecognizable. All I can do is just stand to the side in shock.
“What hospital is he going to?” Dion asks calmly. He’s handling this extremely well, but I can tell he’s nervous because the phone in his hand is shaking.
I don’t hear what the paramedic says because it feels like there’s a ringing in my ears. There’s too many people shouting so many different things. They begin to wheel Xavier out of the room, but before I can follow him Dion grabs my forearm and holds me back.
“I just think it’s best if you stay here for now.” He mutters lowly. “I’m going to contact his parents on the way there so that they’re notified, and I’ll give you any updates as soon as I get them. Just please, stay here. I think you’ve done enough.”
There’s nothing I can say back to him as a rebuttal because everything he’s telling me is true. I did all of this. I slept with Cameron. I slept with one of Xavier’s best friends. Granted, Dion doesn’t know about my addiction, so he probably just thinks I’m some hoe that has no feelings for Xavier. Then again, isn’t that exactly what I am? Some hoe addicted to sex?
He leaves me in his bedroom alone, and all I can do is sink onto the floor and sob uncontrollably. I’m never having sex again. I’m never going to put anyone else at risk like I just did to Xavier. I destroyed him.
“I’m so sorry.” I let out, pulling my knees up to my chest. “You deserved so much better, Xav...”
I wake up in a sweat, my heart pounding and my mouth completely dry. The sound of my alarm clock is going off repeatedly, so I let out a groan and smack my hand around on the side table to shut it off. I don’t know when I’ll stop having the same nightmare, but I doubt it’ll be anytime soon.
“Come on.” Amelia says, pulling the comforter off of me. She’s already ready for the day in a pair of nicely fitted jeans and a pink button down blouse. It bothers me that my roommate is always on time. She never misses a beat. “It’s the first day of the semester. You don’t want to get an absence when literally all we’re going to be learning about is the syllabus. Let’s go.”
I groan and try to reach for the comforter again, but she takes it back and claps her hands. “Get up, Elena! Jesus. I’m so tired of having to do this every semester with you.”
“You don’t have to do this every semester.” I shoot back and stretch in the bed, bringing my arms up above my head. “I’m getting up.”
I let out a yawn and head over to the dresser to pick out what I’m going to wear for the day as Amelia slims out her short blonde hair and puts in a headband to push it back. I’m jealous of her seemingly perfect life. Perfect boyfriend, perfect grades, perfect parents. It really must be nice.
I decide on jean shorts, an oversized t-shirt and my worn down converse before I grab a towel and my toiletry bag off the hook. It’s only when I open up the door that I notice she keeps staring at me.
"What?” I ask.
She clutches her backpack strap on her shoulder and bites down on her bottom lip. “I just...” She trails off, unsure of how to tell me what she’s about to say. “Well, Dion was talking to me the other night and told me that Xavier is back.”
I almost think I didn’t hear her, doing a double take. “He’s back?” I ask, my heart picking up speed. “Back at school? Here?”
“Yeah. He came back yesterday from the rehab facility. Dion said he’s doing really well.”
I don’t even know how to react. A part of me is so happy that he’s doing well, but another part of me is also scared shitless. I need to stay away from him. He’s so much better off without me, and as much as that kills me to say I know that it’s the truth. All I will ever want is for him to be happy. If that means that it’s without me, then so be it.
“Well, I guess there’s one perk to you dating my ex boyfriend’s best friend.” I laugh slightly. “At least you get to keep me updated.”
She arches her perfectly plucked brow up towards me. “You aren’t upset? You don’t want to talk about it?”
Amelia should know me better by now to know that I don’t ever talk about my emotions or anything that’s happened to me in my past. She’s become my best friend, but I refuse to open up to her like I did to Xavier. Opening up about myself will only hurt others. Somehow it always does.
“No, I don’t. I’m glad he’s doing better, and I’m really glad he’s back, but that doesn’t change anything that happened or my stance on the subject. I’ll be fine, alright?”
“Elena...” She’s still questioning me, but I wave my hand at her so that she’ll leave.
“Seriously, go.” I send a reassuring smile. “I promise I’ll be okay. Aren’t you the one that just told me not to miss class? In order for that to happen I kind of have to shower and get ready.”
Finally her shoulders slump in defeat and she sends me a tiny grin. “Okay, you’re right. I’ll see you later?”
Wiping the back of my neck from the heat, I let out a frustrated sigh as I try to find my first class of the day. It’s the end of August, and to me August is the most brutal month of the year in Florida. There’s no breeze, there’s just a dead humidity. It’s absolutely awful. Even with my long, brown hair pulled back into a ponytail it still almost reaches the middle of my back, causing even more heat to radiate through my body. It’s unbearable.
My backpack keeps falling off of my shoulder, so I lift it back up to secure it once more. I can’t believe that Xavier is back from rehab. I haven’t seen him in almost six months. Spring semester without him sucked, and the summer sucked even more. I went with Amelia to her parent’s for the summer a couple hours away from here since I had nowhere else to go, but all they did was play golf and sit by the pool all day. Rich people are surprisingly boring.
The thoughts of Xavier never left my mind. The nightmare of that night happened at least once a week, and as much as I wanted to write to him while he was in rehab, I just couldn’t find the right things to say. I had started hundreds of letters that just didn’t have an end, and a part of me just wanted to say fuck it and show up as a visitor. He wouldn’t want to see me though. Who would? I slept with one of his friends after we had a simple argument. I’m a slut.
I see the brick building that I’m supposed to be in and try to push my way through a swarm of students, earning a couple of cuss words in response. My first class of the day is abnormal psychology. I didn’t originally want to take this class, but since I’m trying to major in childhood education my advisor told me that it was a requirement for FSU. I’m just praying that the professor isn’t going to be a dick.
Finding the room number printed on a plaque on the brick, I open the heavy metal door and freeze when my eyes lock with his. There’s no way in hell.
He’s sitting in one of the desks in the back, a pencil gently strumming on his bottom lip as he looks at me.
Do not cry.
Elena, don’t you dare cry.
It’s been half a year, yet he hasn’t changed a bit. His jawline is still sharp as ever, his eyes such a dark brown that they’re almost black as I stare at him. I look up and down his body, a pair of grey sweatpants and a t-shirt surrounding his muscular, toned torso. I need to tear my gaze away from him. I need to ignore his tattoos, I need to ignore his soft black hair that I used to love to run my fingers through. I can’t seem to do anything but stand here like a complete idiot though.
“And you are?”
I jump at the professors words, straightening my shoulders to try and recollect myself. “Elena Garcia.” I say nervously, rubbing my thumb and pointer finger together. “Is this abnormal psychology?”
“Yes. Please take a seat Ms. Garcia.”
I quickly move to the front of room as far away from Xavier as possible. I can’t talk to him when he’s doing so good. I don’t want to do anything that will set him off again. Hell, I should just go right down to my advisor and ask to switch classes. That’s what I should do.
Is it bad that I’m too selfish to do that though? I glance behind me and can feel his gaze burn into my back. His damn pencil is still strumming across his lower lip, completely distracting me. As much as it pains me to be in the same room as him, I can’t help but feel relieved to see him alive and okay.
As soon as the professor starts to speak, I let out a frustrated sigh and take out my notebook. Junior year is already setting off to a great start.
Welcome to the sequel :)
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