Unsuspecting Love

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Chapter 1

"Baby please. Don't do this. Is there nothing I can do to change your mind? I want to fight for us". Thick with tears and desperation, his voice was cracked and wobbly as he pleaded with me. He had given up trying to keep it together once he realised my mind was set. I'd never seen him this vulnerable before, and while it broke my heart seeing him this way, it was something that had to be done. He had encased my hands in his own as he begged with me.

For 10 years, he had been all that I had known. And while we had some happy times and made some great memories together, we were still in the same position we were in 6 years ago. I was ready to move on and take the next step in our relationship, be it a baby, getting married or simply moving into our own place, but he seemed to be happy living the cushty life that he'd had for so long and I was done with it. My life had been put on hold for far too long. I'm not getting any younger and I wasn't going to wait around any longer and be in a dead relationship.

Shaking my head, I pulled my hands away from his light grasp, and set them in my lap. "No. My minds been made and there's no changing it. I don't want to do this with you anymore Micah. I can't. It's not fair on either of us to be together when I'm so miserable and not in love with you anymore". His cries were quiet as he listened to me go on about why I no longer wanted to be with him.

For a couple of years, I'd felt off about the relationship. I had no idea what I was feeling, but all I knew was that I found myself wondering what it would be like to be with somebody else, wondering what else was out there for me. I tried to think about a proper future with Micah, but every time there was a shadow of doubt and uncertainty.

I'd started to get the ick and had noticed things that had started to really piss me off, like how loud he is when he eats. I felt like I was mothering him; always having to do things that he could easily do himself but was simply too lazy to do; I would constantly be clearing up his mess because he couldn't be bothered to do anything.

I didn't want to tell him all of this though; I didn't want to break his heart even more, and so I only sugar-coated it and told him only parts of my reasons. I was trying my hardest to not lose my cool. I needed to stay strong. I couldn't cry at this - not yet anyway. I diverted my eyes and turned my head up to look at the ceiling and took a deep breath before blowing it out slowly as I tried to regain my composure.

"How can I be with someone and love them when I don't love myself? I don't even know who I am anymore. I'm sick and tired of the pressure everyone puts on us and the expectation that follows. We've been together for so long that we've both lost ourselves. Let's face it, neither one of us are happy and if we're being incredibly honest, this relationship isn't going anywhere".

With his head in his hands, tears dripped between the cracks of his fingers as they covered his eyes, and his shoulders shook uncontrollably. I knew I had broken his heart, and I did genuinely feel bad, but I had to start putting myself first.

Trying to block out his cries, I looked around the bedroom. We were sitting on the edge of our small double bed that was made in dark blue covers that matched the walls. The pillows were basically depleted of any fluff and were the thinnest, most uncomfortable things that I had ever laid my head on. I'd mentioned numerous times about getting new pillows, but it was like talking to a brick wall. Those, I definitely won't miss.

The room was small and was only big enough to space the bed, a chest of drawers and a desk. We had a built-in wardrobe that helped save some space, but it was still a rather modest sized room. The area was featureless and basically empty; the walls were barren of any pictures or posters or any other form of decoration. His desk was decorated by his laptop and a singular picture frame with him and I in it, with its shelf being home to his gaming console and a TV that hung on the wall to complete the set up.

We had moved in here together and while at the time it felt like a small step towards something bigger and better, we may as well not have bothered at all. House sharing wasn't my thing. The last thing I had wanted was to rent a small, poxy room of a house full of strange people and having to share communal areas. Yet that's exactly what happened because I had been convinced that it would be a short-term thing until we found somewhere that would just be ours. That was three years ago.

With a final deep breath, I stood up and looked down at the weeping, heartbroken mess that was before me. I cared about him still, how could I not after all these years? But I couldn't let his hurt get to me. I was doing this for me and no one else.

"I think it's best that I go now..." I turned and started to head for the door when a warm hand grabbed me by my own, and I was spun around so that I was facing a now standing Micah. The tears had stopped streaming, but his face was still wet, whilst his expression was one of seriousness.

"Sleep with me".

"Excuse me?" My eyes widened in shock as I processed what he had just said. His eyes were shimmering with tears that were balanced on his lower lash line, but he was looking at me pleadingly. Wiping the droplets from his eyes, he spoke again.

"Sleep with me one last time before you go. Please".

"No Micah, I'm not doing that". Shaking my head, I tried to pull my hand out of his, only for him to pull me towards him with a tighter grip on my hand as he placed his spare one on my face.

"Please, you owe me this much". His gentle, affectionate touch on my cheek was completely contradicted by the vice-like hold he had on my hand. The audacity that he felt that I owed him sex just because I was ending it with him was ludicrous and I could feel the anger slowly bubble within me.

"I said no, Micah. What part of that don't you understand?" For the first time since this conversation, I had lost my composure as I heard my tone shift to one of anger. Again, I tried to pull my hand from his, but his hold was too tight. He'd never been quite so forceful with me before, and so I felt fear slowly creep into my body as I looked him in the face. His face drying, silver streaks striped down his fair skin which was now showing a deadpan expression.

"You always made me wait for sex and not once did I ever complain about it. If I wanted to, I could've left you because of it, but I didn't, and so I think it's only fair you give me what I want". I had now been forced back against the wardrobe. Any trace that he had been upset had now vanished and had been replaced by hardness. But, with a sudden surge of adrenaline rushing through me, my anger overpowered my fear, and I felt my spare hand fly up and land on the side of his face. The shock made him loosen his grip, and I seized the opportunity to get some distance between us.

I opened my mouth to speak, but before anything came out, I was interrupted by Micah's roar.

"YOU FUCKING BITCH!" Seeing the fury in his eyes, I wasted no time and sprinted out the door, slamming it behind me to slow him down, and legged it down the hallway and to my car. My heart was beating so fast, I thought it would beat its way out of my chest, and my breathing was becoming short and rapid.

Fumbling for my keys in my pockets once I reached my vehicle, I kept a lookout for Micah, but as my fingers touched the familiar shape, Micah came storming out of the building, pushing the door open with such force that it just missed hitting him as it bounced back on its hinges.

A stormy look raged in his eyes and his paces became longer and after a few steps he began to run towards me. I jumped into the driver's seat, and not bothering with my seatbelt, I started the engine and pulled away just within Micah's touching distance, who decided to show his frustration by hitting my car as I drove past him.

He had never been like that before, and now that the adrenaline was depleting from my veins, I began to tremble. Who even was that back there? How he reacted just made me all the more glad that I did break up with him – I couldn't and didn't want to be with a person like that; who knows what could have happened in the future.

My mind going over the events of what had just happened, I didn't remember the drive to Poppy's. I hadn't set off with any destination in mind, but luckily my subconscious knew I needed my best friend. Being more like family than friends, neither one of us knocked on the others door, and instead would just walk in.

Her home was a rather spacious two-bedroom apartment that was always in pristine condition and was decorated grey and white throughout. I found Poppy lounging on her sofa, watching her favourite crime show with a bowl of popcorn cuddled to her chest. Turning to see who had entered her house, her smile quickly changed as she noticed the troubled look on my face.

"Piper..." Poppy came rushing over to me and took me in her warm arms with her chin resting on my shoulder. For the first time that day, my tears burst from me after being suppressed for so long.

"Pops, I... I split up with Micah, and... and... he tried to..." My words came out in between my cries, but my brain was so scrambled I couldn't get them out into a coherent sentence.

"Woah, woah, woah. Take some breaths with me and try to calm down". Stroking my hair soothingly down my back, Poppy breathed in and out with me, and pretty soon our chests rose and fell in sync as my breathing became more regular and I felt a lot calmer. Hearing me more in control of my breathing, Poppy began to speak.

"Okay. So, you split up with Micah? That's not something I expected to hear today". She had walked me to the sofa where we sat facing one another, with Poppy holding my hand for support. Genuine shock registered as she repeated what I had first tried to tell her. I hadn't spoken a word about how I'd been feeling about Micah lately, or within the last few years in all honesty, and so no one had seen this coming. Everyone thought it was all sunshine and rainbows between us.

I recounted to her everything that happened, and once I told her about what almost happened, she had abandoned her seat next to me and was now standing pacing the living room. Her face turned thunderous and if Micah had been here right this minute, he would've been a dead man.

"Are you fucking kidding me? Who the fuck does he think he is?" Poppy was an incredibly supportive and loyal friend. However, she was a fiery soul and would happily drop everything and throw hands if need be. She cracked her knuckles and then flexed her fingers after, her joints making a satisfying "pop" as if she was preparing for a fight.

"I'm going over there right now and beating the living daylights out of him. I'll make him wish he was never born, the disgusting piece of shit". Having now made her way to the doorway, she started shoving her feet into some trainers as she spat out her words. I was grateful that she was angry on my behalf, but it wasn't what I needed at this moment in time, and it certainly wasn't making me feel any better.

"No, you aren't Pops. As much as he deserves it, I'd rather not cause any more problems than needed. It won't change anything, and it definitely won't make me feel any better in the long run". I was feeling a little panicky because I knew she would go over there and make good on her word, and that was the last thing I wanted. I didn't want any trouble, I just wanted to move on and forget about it.

With one shoe on, she hobbled over to where I was rooted in my seat, my gaze boring into my lap. Plonking herself next to me, she pulled me into a side hug, resting her head on my shoulder.

"I'm sorry babe, that was thoughtless of me". She stroked my arm with the hand that was reached around me as she comforted me, her other hand holding one of mine in my lap. "I'm so proud of you Piper. I can only imagine how hard all of that must've been for you". It truly had been hard for me. I had spent a week working up the courage to call it quits with Micah and thinking up every scenario that could happen afterwards to prepare myself. But I hadn't thought that what actually happened would've been an option.

As we stayed side hugging each other, I had calmed down enough to put my future into some perspective and thought about how different my life was going to be now, and the more I thought about it, the more excited I got.

There was no one holding me down anymore. No one else to worry about besides myself. I could do what I like, who I like and when I like. Sure, it was scary to think I'm now flying solo for the first time in a decade, but I can finally be free and have the fun I've been longing for.

A year. I decided there and then that I'd be single for at least a year and just spend this time finding myself again and having fun, making new memories and building up experience.

It was thinking about the future that made me realise two incredibly important factors that I hadn't taken account of, which now put me in quite a bit of a sticky situation. I let out a groan as the full reality of what breaking up with Micah actually entailed.

"Erm, Pops..." My voice was quiet and ambivalent as I prepared to break the news to Poppy. She shifted her position so that she was able to look me in the face. With a confused frown, she waited for me to continue.

"I'm going to have to go back at some point and get all of my stuff. Plus, where the fuck am I going to live?"
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