ONE WEEK BEFORE LEAVING FOR COLLEGE
Curt- Leena, I thought you would want me to stay for as long as possible.
Leena- I do, but I mean, you might as well go ahead with the move. Two weeks won't make a difference. We will see each other soon.
Curt- If you say so.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE 11/14 THANKSGIVING
Curt- I can't wait to see you, baby.
Leena- Curt, I have to tell you something.
Leena- I'm pregnant.
Curt- What? Leena, we haven't
Leena- A guy I work with. He went to school with us. He is from Dylan's grade. Zane.
Leena- Curt. I am so sorry. It just happened. We work together. I see him every day.... I just started liking him.....you know.....
Curt- Lose my number, Leena. Just leave me alone. I can't believe you did this. We had so many plans.
Curt- I hope he does right by your child. That guy was awful in high school—my gosh, Leena. I can't believe you.
Leena- He hasn't messaged me since I told him the news. Curt, I'm worried.
Curt- Why should that concern me, Leena? You know, for months I have been asking you what is wrong! Asking you to tell me if you wanted a break due to the distance, and you said no! All the time, you have been moving on, moving on with ZANE. Do you not remember him from high school? Of course, he isn't responding to you, Leena. LOSE MY NUMBER AND LEAVE me THE HELL ALONE.
SIX MONTHS AFTER THANKSGIVING DYLAN'S WEDDING 5/12
I swallow the huge lump in my throat as I watch the girl that ripped my heart out. She is in a pale blue dress that compliments her skin beautifully, and she is moving down the aisle with nothing but grace, just like I envisioned she would. My heart squeezes, and my stomach turns, remembering the day she finally confessed her actions.
Her changed body stands out to me above all else. She must be getting close, judging by her size. When I finally pull my eyes off of her protruding stomach, I catch her slight blush. She avoids my eyes, and I turn mine away. This isn't about us today. This is about Hailey and Dylan.
It took Hailey a while to forgive Leena for cheating on me, but she eventually took pity on her. Zane is no better than he was in high school, so when Leena refused to abort, he cut ties with her. He had informed her that when the child arrives, he will sign over his rights immediately. He expects her to never contact him again after that.
From what I heard, it crushed Leena. She thought he would change his ways and be there for her. He had fed her a bunch of pretty words while they had worked together, and Leena had fallen in love. And me, she couldn't care less about me. Oh, she felt guilty about cheating, but apparently, she hadn't loved me for a long time.
Hailey felt terrible for her, of course. She feels like Zane's behavior is punishment enough for what she did to me, but I don't. Leena destroyed me. Every thought I ever had about her is changed forever. Every idea I had about love is different now.
As soon as my big brother kisses Hailey and we move to the reception, I locate the champagne table. I watch them smile and dance while I drink. I watch them cut the cake and kiss while I drink. I watch the entire reception from the champagne table. I feel no happiness. I feel nothing for them; I am numb.
"Son, are you going to congratulate your brother," Dad asks from beside me, pulling me from my haze.
"Sure. Where is he," I ask loudly, unable to control the volume of my voice.
"Actually, how about we get you home," Dad says while prying my glass from my hand.
I try to fight him, but before I know it, Granddad is helping him. Somehow between the two of them, I am removed from the venue and placed inside a taxi. Granddad slides in next to me as dad gives the driver an address.
Well, that was a fun wedding.
THREE MONTHS LATER 8/26
I crash into my room and throw myself on my bed—another night at the factory down. I crack open one of the beers I brought to bed with me and take a much-needed drink. The cold liquid satisfies more than just my thirst. I click on the TV and settle back against my stale sheets.
I sigh as I watch a match-making TV show. Love. Why are they concerned with finding love? Love does nothing but tear you apart.
I guzzle beer after beer as I watch a blonde bimbo named Kylie try to find "love." At the end of the show, she has chosen a real prize. A buff asshole who during the interview said she should be a nice bang.
I slam the controller down after I turn off the TV. Why are these the guys that girls choose? Why is that the kind of guy my girl chose? Why God? Why, when you do everything you should, you still end up with nothing? Nothing but a hole in your heart.
I lay down and close my eyes. Tomorrow is lunch with the whole family, including Dylan and Hailey. Everyone is already worried about me, so I need to get some sleep tonight.
I hate faking that I am okay, but I hate their pity even more. I hate the way my mom looks at me or the way Hailey tries to comfort me. I hate that dad wants me back in church and back in school. And I hate the knowing looks that Dylan sends me. I want to be left alone. I want to wallow and sulk. I had based my entire future on a girl. A girl who I thought was just like me. Boy, was I wrong.