The Jealousy Game

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Chapter 12: Termination

The next day, I left my house before Noah had the chance to come over and pick me up - That was if he even wanted to. I was exhausted from my lack of sleep last night. Everytime I had almost dozed off to sleep, his words would come flying back to me.

Maybe you and Logan deserve each other, after all.

Then I would spend the rest of the time tossing and turning, praying for sleep to come and take me away from the indecision for at least a couple of hours.

I wiped my eyes and quickly got my books out of my locker, preparing for first period. I had no idea how I was going to handle my time in the same class with Logan without tearing his head off, but I had to prevail. I couldn’t let this get in the way of my education.

I was Marley Adams, and soon I’d be leaving for college and wouldn’t even have to worry about two certain boys in my life called Logan Hawkins and Noah Fordman.

The bell rang, and in the distance I saw Noah begin rushing towards me through the crowd. He slipped between a bunch of sophomores, and I saw his lips shape my name.

My heart sunk, and I quickly slammed the locker doors closed and raced towards first period, not wanting to see him at all. I ran through a bunch of teenagers and got a few catcalls from guys I ran past, but kept my head up.

I escaped into the classroom and took a seat right up the back corner, out of sight from the doors or any available windows. I kept my head bowed down and stared at my workbook determinedly, not wanting to look at anything just now.

I heard a rustle of paper on my desk, but didn’t bother to look up. Someone was probably just trying to get past me to their desk and had dropped a sheet of paper or something.

When the teacher walked in, I finally looked up from my wooden desk, to find a folded piece of paper tucked neatly under my workbook. I wondered if it was another note from Noah, and debated whether or not to look at it. In the end, curiosity got the better, and I found myself unfolding it and smoothing the creases out. I lay it flat on my desk and stared at the handwriting so familiar to me from Valentine’s Day cards and birthday and Christmas cards.

We need to talk. Meet me in Our Place at lunch.

It’s important.

I frowned at the note and looked up, to find Logan looking at me from the front of the room, his shoulder dipped down as he stared at me with unblinking, fierce brown eyes. I lowered my eyes, rereading the note a couple of times over to make sure I hadn’t missed any hidden messages that might explain why Logan wanted to talk to me.

I didn’t want to go. After what I found out last night, I had no desire to ever put myself in Logan’s acquaintance ever again. Not after how he had used me.

But on the other hand, a part of me was dying to know what the hell Logan Hawkins wanted from me now.

And it seemed that that part was a lot more curious than the former.

Our Place was a thick elm tree in the middle of campus. It was quiet, secluded, warm and friendly, and it had supplied a lot of good times for Logan and I. It had a bunch of seats that were never used, as well as some thick shade.

It was the place Logan and I talked at, studied at, kissed at and skipped periods at if we wanted to spend time together.

Like I said, it was Our Place.

I made my way there slowly at lunch, picking my way through the overgrown grass, past studying teens and teachers that milled about, eating their own lunches.

When I made it there, Logan was already waiting. His blond hair was tousled and he wore his letterman jacket doubled with jeans. I briefly wondered how many girls he’d won over with that jacket.

I had been one of them.

The thought hurt me inside, and it felt like a million little tiny ice shards were poking at my hard.

Just another one of his girls…

You and Logan deserve each other.

I shook the unwelcome thoughts out of my head, and walked towards him.

Logan had his back to me, and was staring off into the distance, looking thoughtful as he gazed at the cloudless blue sky. When I was five feet away from him, I stopped, and a few seconds later, he felt my presence and turned to look at me.

I refused to move any closer to him. I couldn’t.

He eyed the distance between us and gave me a wry smile. “You really hate me that much, huh?”

“I could never hate you, Logan,” I said quietly, despising the fact that it was, in fact, true. Despite everything he had put me through, a part of me still loved him. “Why did you ask me here?”

He sighed, and looked like he wanted to move closer, but he didn’t. And I was glad for that. He understood that I needed space. Logan had always understood.

“I asked you here because I wanted to tell you that I broke up with Daisy yesterday,” he said, running a hand through his soft hair. His brown eyes searched my face, making my cheeks heat up under his gaze.

My heart dropped as I whispered, “Why?”

For a moment there was silence, and he stared at the ground as he kicked a stone embedded in the dirt. It skittered across the ground and landed in a bush. Finally, he lifted his chocolate-brown eyes to look at me. “Because I realized that I was still in love with you.”

Three weeks ago that would have been all I ever wanted to hear. I would’ve flung myself into his arms and crashed my lips against his. I would’ve been the happiest girl on the planet. It was all I ever wanted, right?

But now, I wasn’t so sure if those were the words I still longed to hear.

“You can’t do that,” I whispered, sounding a lot like Noah just yesterday afternoon. I shook that thought from my head. “You can’t play with people’s hearts like that. You broke up with me for Daisy. And now you want me back?”

“Marley, I know I’ve made some mistakes,” Logan said, taking a step closer to me and staring at me with pleading eyes. I didn’t have the heart to move away. “I wish I could take it back and change it. If I could, then I would’ve appreciated you more. I never would’ve left you for Daisy. If I could—if I had the choice—to go back in time to the day I met Daisy, I would walk away before I ever had the chance to talk to her.”

His words made my heart pound so loud I swear it could probably have been heard all the way across the country. I stopped breathing as I looked into his eyes. His beautiful brown eyes that I loved.

He closed the gap between us and picked up my hands, twining our fingers together and pressing it to his chest so that I could hear his heartbeat, which was beating as rapidly as mine.

“Marley, I still love you.”

“The girls. What about all the other girls you cheated on me for?” I asked, my voice cracking.

“I swear to never do that ever again. It wasn’t until I left you that I realized how much I truly needed you. I promise to never forget that. Marley, I love you. No one else could ever compare to you.”

“It… It doesn’t change what you did, Logan. You were still with God-knows-how-many girls! I mean, I thought you were faithful. I thought you loved me. I gave you everything, Logan! I gave you everything you asked for. How could you do that?”

“I love you, Marley. And I regret hurting you every single day. I wish I hadn’t done it. I wish I could take it back. If I could, I would. But I can’t. So all I can hope to do is tell you how sorry I am and hope that you forgive me. I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve learnt. Let me show you how good I can be.”

My heart was torn into two. Part of me wanted to say yes. To leave behind all of my doubts and let him into my heart again. Because I still loved him.

But the other part of me couldn’t stop thinking about Noah. Every time I closed my eyes I saw his face. Even after everything he said yesterday, a part of me still knew I was falling for my enemy.

How? I don’t know.

Why? I don’t know.

When? I don’t know.

All I knew is that I was.

Logan may have been a cheater, but I refused to be. If I was with Logan, and in the off-chance something happened between Noah and I, then I could never, ever forgive myself.

I shook my head and slowly took my hands out of Logan’s grip, disentangling them gently. “I’m sorry, Logan,” I whispered, stepping back. “But I can’t.”

“Marley, please,” he whispered, voice pleading as he stared at me imploringly. “I love you.”

“I love you, Logan. But I can’t be with you. At least not right now. You broke my heart.”

“And I regret that fact every day,” he told me. “I promise I’ll never do that again. I’ll make it up to you. I’ll do anything.”

“It’s too late for that,” I whispered. “I’m sorry.”

And then I shrugged out of his grip and turned on my heel, walking away from Logan before he could see the first tear fall.

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