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I hear my aunt greeting Xavier on her way down in the most saccharine voice she can muster as if she didn’t just threaten his life.

The turn of events hasn’t settled in yet which is why I remain motionless as Xavier enters my room.

“Hey,” he says right as he’s about to step forward to hold me. I move away.

The flash of hurt in his eyes clenches my heart further but I don’t let it affect me.

If my aunt truly is responsible for everything that happened, there’s no doubt she can hurt Xavier.

At least he’ll be alive if I do it.

“Thea?” His brows scrunch together, stormy eyes full of fleeting emotions but his mouth remains set in a stoic line. His hair looks like he tried combing through it but a few rogue black strands keep sticking out. It suits him.

I want to hug him. Cry my heart out. But if I do that, I won’t be able to pick myself back up.

I need to do this.

He’s already been dragged far enough.

“Xavier, why do you keep doing this?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You said you love me. Do you really mean it?”

The edges of his lips soften into a faint smile. “Of course, I do.”

“Aren’t you just lying to yourself?”


“I don’t love you.” I don’t know how much truth that sentence holds but I do know it hurts vocalizing it. “We aren’t even in a relationship. After all, we never really discussed it.”

Any and all emotions completely desert his expression. All I see in front of me is the stone-cold look he first graced me with when we met.

“What are you trying to get at, Thea?” There’s an underlying anger in his voice and even when mad, my entire being is attracted to him.

I absolutely detest myself for doing what I’m about to do.

“I don’t want to keep seeing you anymore. We had something between us but it was mostly physical and now I don’t quite feel the same.”

Saying that takes every ounce of self-control I have in my being.

“You’re saying that all those moments where you cried, broke down, shared your past. your thoughts, your body, and your soul with me,” he moves closer until he’s mere inches apart. I feel his breath on my skin, fiery grey eyes boring into my soul, “was just meaningless?”

I fist my hands, nails digging into my skin, to keep myself from cracking. “It was all simply a pretense.” I dig my nails deeper. “I don’t really care about my past. In fact, I felt relieved when my father died. And you know what? I didn’t even care when my brother decided to overdose. He saved himself from this shitty life by ending his.”

I look him straight in the eyes before the next blow. “And my life is shit enough without you in it so it would be best if we end it here.”

He loves me and I know him. This is why merely breaking up won’t suffice. He’d try to find out what really happened. So, I need him to hate me, to the point that he doesn’t care enough to think much over the ‘why’.

I know this will play on his mind in a loop. I know I’m hurting him...but it’s better than him being dead.

I’m being selfish. This isn’t any better than what his parents did to him.

I’m abandoning him.

And he’ll hate me for it.

Xavier doesn’t show what he’s feeling but I notice his hands balled into fists, shoulders tensed, and jaws clenched.

He turns around abruptly before his fists slam on the study table by the wall. I jump in my skin, not expecting him to do that.

“You’re fucking joking, right?” By the way his head is hung between his shoulders, hands placed on the desk, and the grave tone of his voice, I’d say he’s pissed beyond words.

“No. I really want you to leave.” Wow, I can be a bitch.

He stands upright again and doesn’t speak for what seems like an eternity. “Alright, if that’s what you want.”

Without another glance, he leaves through the door.

I don’t move from my spot, unable to muster any more energy.

“That was quite dramatic.” My aunt’s voice is like salt on open wounds. “He looked distraught. You did well.” I want to kill her. “Now, sit tight while I go figure out what mess you made with David.”

She leaves me alone.

Silence. No low hum of the washing machine downstairs, no passing car on the streets, no pings of notifications from my phone. Just deafening silence.

Silence has never hurt this much.

I finally lose control and stumble onto the floor. My knees hit the tiles directly but the pain doesn’t register.

I want to be numb to feelings. Just like I was when Alex died. I don’t want to feel...not now, not ever.

Emotions are messy and complicated and I don’t want to get hurt anymore. I don’t want to cry anymore.

With my back to the side of the bed, I pull my knees up to my chest and bury my head in the crook of my elbows.

I feel something wet slide down my hand and realize I’m crying...again.

A small giggle bubbles up to my throat. I haven’t cried in years and this one boy made me cry multiple times in a single fucking month.

But that won’t be a problem anymore, right? After all, he won’t be with me anymore.

The laughter fades and bury my face deeper and close my eyes.

I want to disappear.


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