Tears were streaming down my face and my body was shaking from the tremendous amount of pain I was feeling. My heart was contracting torturously, and I found it incredibly difficult to take a breath. My visions were blurred from the tears that were accumulating in my eyes, but compared to what I was feeling inside, my difficulty of sight was the least I was bothered with.
He was my anchor, my safe port, I could rely on him no matter what. He was there when nobody was, he knew the real and he made me feel not alone. I was so worried about him that day that I didn’t think twice when he asked me to go to his room. I trusted him with everything in me, I was sure that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me, but it was all an illusion, an illusion of the heart.
The vulnerability I was feeling was crushing my bones, applying so much pressure in my heart I felt like it could stop beating any second.
But I should be used to this kind of stuff, right? I had been hurt like this before by my friends countless times, so why was this time any different, why did it feel like the world was going to end?
He made me leave, he demanded that I left, as if I was nothing, as if he felt nothing for me, as if we were nothing. Was it something I did, was it something I said? Was it the fact that I was too naïve or too sad? Wasn’t I good enough for him?
The world was spinning around, the ground seemed distant, the noises far away. Then I became aware of what time it was. I noticed where I was and that I shouldn’t be there. I noticed the male students approaching the building and it was all too much.
Just like when Harry had the fight, nobody went to look for me. To make it worse, he was certainly not going to look for me this time. That time I desired nothing more than to be away from him, but this time I only wanted him despite he had shattered my heart into a billion pieces.
I was sure no one would come look for me. I felt a shiver ran down my spine, a sense of being abandoned so strong I even felt uncomfortable in my own body, as if it too was rejecting me. I did not recognise myself, I looked around and that place did not resemble me. I had no connections to that damn school. Those buildings which once were magnificent with halls that intimidated anyone, the rooms with rich furniture and the marvellous food and gardens that were close to paradise meant nothing, they were shallow, more shallow than the hearts of the people that lived there.
How naïve I was when I got there, thinking that a warming welcome and wealth could make me feel at home.
“Summer...?” A male voice called silently. I could feel the presence of someone I knew, but I didn’t dare to look at who it was “Are you okay, what are you doing here?”
There was something that triggered inside me. Who was that person and why was he asking me if I was okay? That was when I realised it was Anthony, and suddenly all the pain I was feeling filtered into anger, pure and intense anger.
My face was still covered in tears and I was still shaking and I probably looked like a mad woman, but I honestly couldn’t care less. I turned around to look at him: it was the first time in so long that someone other than Harry asked me if I was okay. Why was he doing it? Was he curious or did he just want to mess with my feelings like everybody else?
I remembered when Harry told me the exact same words during the winter holidays. I did not understand why he acted in such way at the time, but now it made sense. That thought only made me angrier and sadder at the same time, and I had had enough.
“You can go to hell. “I said between gritted teeth, trying not to sound weak and concealing my anger to the best of my ability.
“What? What is going on?” He asked. He genuinely looked worried, but I did not believe in the kindness of people anymore.
I clenched my hands into fists, trying not to lose it “How dare you talk to me? How dare you ask me if I am fine?!”
“I was just-”
“Just fucking what?!” I couldn’t take it anymore; I couldn’t put on an act anymore. I was sick and tired of trying to hide the truth, almost as if I was afraid of them knowing what I really felt about them. “You just decided that today you were in the mood to talk to me?!”
“No-” He tried to talk but I cut him short.
“You and all my dearest friends left me, and today, after so long, you decide to show up and ask me if I okay?! Do you know how bloody ridiculous that is?!”
He was speechless, I could tell. Yeah, going from an innocent looking girl that broke down whenever people failed on her to finally speak what she truly felt must be very dramatic to watch.
“You cannot leave people’s lives and expect that you will be received with open arms once you come back because you won’t. We were friends before, but what you and the girls did to me is unforgivable. I tried to gain your friendship back, but I mean, who the hell gives a fuck about me right? I am just the new girl, I’m doing just fine, I’m just adjusting. Probably I’m just homesick, I just need to learn how to survive in a boarding school!”
“Summer, you are clearly not okay-” His voice was so weak as if he also believed that his attempt to calm me down was useless and pathetic. He knew I would not stop until I was done, and I could feel his embarrassment and guilt growing at the end of each sentence I said. That was exactly what I wanted.
“You are all nothing but a bunch of ignorant, self-centered rich kids, and you deserve nothing but to end up alone with all your money and trips to Europe and country houses and expensive gifts that mean absolutely nothing!”
What a relief to finally be able to say all of the things that I was keeping inside. I knew that I had sealed my fate and that nothing would ever go back to the way it was, but the truth was I never ever wanted to go back there. I knew my worth, and even though I was acting like the villain of the story in that moment, I was better than them, and in the end, I would be the one truly happy, whenever that was.
Anthony’s face was unreadable. I had no idea what was going on in his mind. He took a step back, never taking his eyes off me, as if afraid that I was going to attack him if he put down his guard.
“Stay here, please,” He pleaded. He then started to walk backwards, and finally turned around and started to run in the direction of the main building in full sprint.
I didn’t have to stay there. Actually, I should have just left to prove my point, but where should I go? I was alone and heartbroken and mad and I just needed to calm down for a second. So I stayed.
Anthony and I were now walking in a fast pace uphill in the direction of Hall B. The hurried words that escaped his mouth made no sense, but I could feel his worry.
“And she is just there, and like, I don’t know what to do... I don’t think you can change anything either because what she said was the truth Anna, it was the truth and I don’t know what to do!”
“Calm down you idiot, nobody needs to know what is going on!” I whispered-shouted. “Just tell me in a way that I can understand what is happening”
“I don’t know Anna, I have no idea,” He said, tilting his head in defeat.
What had happened to Summer that left Anthony in such state? One thing I was certain, if he was just like the girls he wouldn’t have gone to help her, which was quite comforting to me, knowing that I wasn’t the only one that was seeing what was happening to us.
We had almost reached the building when Anthony guided me to the side, away from the eyes of the boys that entered the building in packs.
And that was when I saw her figure. She was sitting on the cold grass, her knees folded close to her chest. She had her back against the wall of Hall B, and I could feel the guilt starting to build in, even though I had no idea what she was so upset about.
“Summer?” I called her name. Anthony was right behind me, even though I sensed he didn’t want to be there.
Summer snapped her head to the side when she heard me call her name. I noticed her eyes were puffy and shining from crying.
“What do you want?” Her voice came out harsh and cold, but I was determined to help her.
“What happened?” I walked towards her and knelt beside her. I looked at Anthony who stood awkwardly nearby. I gestured him to leave and he obliged with a small shake of his head.
“Why do you want to know? Did you decide to care or are you just curious like everybody else?”
I had never seen her like this before, and that was a big statement. I had seen her completely alone and with dull eyes and a sadness that could be sensed miles away, but this was just too much. Whatever had happened, it had completely crumbled her down. It seemed as if she was a fragile porcelain doll being played around by small children, and now, after all the falls and carelessness, she had finally shattered in tiny pieces.
“You are right,” I stated with confidence. She looked at me as if I had grown three heads but did not say a word. “I only decided to help you now, which is no help at all, it’s just being hypocrite and selfish and a horrible friend-”
“Wow! Is it just me or have the tables turned? Now you are the one trying to apologise, how ironic!” Her words were once again harsh and full of emotion and I felt like I was the one to cause all of that sadness that had turned into anger.
“Don’t turn this on me! I know you are upset and I actually deserve to hear what you are saying but you have to understand that I wasn’t seeing things clearly at the time, nobody was! I have been trying to figure out how on earth did we end up like this, and it’s hard to accept something so extreme as you being in love with Harry.”
That was when she inhaled sharply and more tears started to stream down her face. Seeing her cry like that was making me want to cry, too.
“But Summer,” I said with a shaky voice, unsure of my words and with a lump in my throat “Now I see that it is none of my business, it’s nobody’s business who you love or who you stop loving. It’s so stupid actually... How did we get to this? How is it possible that we let such a stupid, childish thing ruin our friendship? You were right all along, and I am so sorry, so incredibly sorry Summer.”
My voice cracked at the end and I couldn’t help but let the tears flow. I was so mad at myself, at everyone really. At the school for having such narrow-mindedness and the incapability of forgiveness, at myself for only acting now when things got really serious, at Summer for making me feel guilty even though I knew that there must have been something rather than me that had left her in such vulnerable state, at Mr Hansen for not expelling Harry (none of this would have ever happened if he had done so), at my friends for influencing me in a negative way, at the world for being so cruel to people who didn’t deserve.
Summer said nothing as we cried together. That was when I felt her hands searching for mine. When she found them, she gave them a tight squeeze.
“Your hands are cold,” She said, cleaning her tears with her sleeve.
“So are yours.”
I did not expect her to forgive me, hell, I didn’t even think she would do such a thing as hold my hands. If I was her I certainly wouldn’t have done it, but that was me, and she had something nobody in that place had: a good, pure heart. She never did things with the intention of hurting others, so if she was holding my hands I knew she was doing it because she needed to.
“From now on I want to help you, okay?” I said with a small voice “I understand if you don’t seek for my help, but just know that even if nobody is there, I am.”
I knew that with that declaration I was joining the side that had fewer supporters and that I was probably following Summer’s footsteps and, if so, I knew what would happen to me very well, but I also knew that what I was doing was the right thing, independently of what others thought.
“Do you want to go inside? It’s almost time to go to bed and I know you probably don’t care right now but I don’t want us to get caught outside after hour,” I tried to convince her the best way I could.
She nodded her head and I helped her get up.
“I’m not going to tell you what happened so don’t ask again,” Summer said once we started to walk towards Hall A, her head facing the ground. I did not respond, didn’t have to. I knew why she didn’t want to tell me. I was conscious that we weren’t back to being best friends in a blink of an eye, and that it would take a long time for us to gain each other’s trust, I even doubted that we would ever be as good friends as we were before, but it was more than I could ask for.