Everything Changed That Spring

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8 Years Ago

Scott felt sick. He wanted to throw up, and the feeling only got worse as he relived the last five minutes over and over again. The girl draped over his chest was wrong. All wrong. Everything about her was wrong. He wanted to push her away, get out from underneath her naked body, and take about a million showers until her ugly perfumed scent no longer clung to his body and the memories of being inside her had washed away.

He couldn’t do it yet. Not yet. A couple more minutes and then it would be over.

He heard the door to the apartment swing open, and he forced himself to keep it together. He couldn’t lose it now. Just a few more minutes. He needed to block everything out for a few more minutes.

The sound of footsteps taunted him, the noise growing closer, and closer, and closer. No. This couldn’t be it. Not yet. He needed more time. Just a little bit more time. But he’d already taken all the time he could. It should have ended a week ago, when he’d first tried to end it. All the moments after that, the angry, heartbreaking, ugly moments had been selfish. He’d just been holing on, not ready to let go yet. He still wasn’t ready to let go. If he had his way he’d hold onto her forever. Even if she spent the rest of their lives angry with him, he’d take it.

But he couldn’t be selfish. Not with her. He wanted her to be happy, to have all the wonderful things she deserved, all the things he would never be able to give her. This was the right thing to do. It made him physically sick, made him hate himself even more, loath himself every time he would look into a mirror, but it was also the only thing that would work, that would finally get her to leave.

The door handle twisted, and he took a deep breath, burying everything he felt. He buried the guilt, the regret, the anguish and the doubt. He buried it all, squashed it down and stared at the ceiling. He pushed all the thoughts away, all the voices that told him he was a bastard, an asshole, a coward. He couldn’t listen to them, he couldn’t feel anything, he just needed to lie in that bed, with this girl on top of him, stare at the ceiling and wait for it to be over.

The door opened. Natalie stepped inside. And he waited.

He waited for her to scream, shout, cry, punch him, he was ready for it all, he deserved it all, that and much, much worse. He waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing came. There was just silence. It was so eerie he thought he’d imagined her coming home. So he lifted himself up, propping himself up on his elbows and stirring the naked girl lying on top of him.

Natalie stood at the door, her expression unreadable. She often told him that he had a habit of closing up. That whenever he didn’t want someone to see how he was feeling he’d shut down, get this blank stare that made it impossible to read anything in his eyes.

Right now she had that look. There was nothing in her expression. Just the blank stare of a girl trying like hell not to believe what she was seeing. Then she blinked, and just like that he saw it all. The confusion, the anger, the pain, it was all there, in her eyes, clear as day.

“Fine.” Was all she said, finally agreeing that they wouldn’t work, that they were over, that she was done.

She spun on her heel and left, and instead of feeling relief he felt an overwhelming amount of sorrow. He’d just lost the one person who’d ever really given a damn about him. He’d pushed her way, hurt her in the worst way he could. He’d had to. She wasn’t leaving. And she had to leave. He couldn’t let her do this to her life. He couldn’t let her settle when she was the one person who deserved to get everything that she ever wanted.

Finally he moved out of the bed, away from the woman who’s name he’d already forgotten. He locked himself in the bathroom, curled over the toilet and threw up into the bowl. It burned his throat as it all came back up, but he relished the pain. He deserved this. He deserved everything he got. After what he’d just done he never deserved to be happy again.

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