I was still in shock, even after a whole night of thinking and thinking. Thinking was all I could do, but even my thoughts were cloudy, jumbled all into an incoherent mess. The more I thought the more questions I had and the more confused and hurt I got, so I decided to simply not think at all. The other alternative was to feel, but that I couldn’t bear, so I just sat on the edge of my bed, unable to move, unwilling to think and refusing to feel. My only company was the silence and the unfamiliar furniture. Anna was the last one to leave, and I remember her saying something about lessons, but apart from that, she was just another ghost like everybody else.
I didn’t want to cry anymore. I didn’t want to be sad anymore. Was that much to ask for? I just wanted to be happy for once. That was all I wanted.
That was when I heard the door open. I didn’t turn around though, I was too uninterested.
“Summer,” Anna’s voice called “You won’t believe what just happened.”
She sat next to me on the bed, but I didn’t even flinch at the suddenness of her actions. Hadn’t she left about ten minutes ago? Why was she back inside?
“I just spoke to Harry outside.”
That caught my attention as my heart thudded torturously at the mention of his name.
“You what?” I managed to utter.
“Yeah, I know, I had never thought that could happen, but I swallowed my pride and I spoke to him,” She said proudly.
“What did he say?” I asked immediately. I couldn’t care less about them talking, I just wanted to know what Harry told her.
“First he gave me this,” she handed me my tie. I must have left it in his room last night.
A lump in my throat started to form at the memories I had been trying to keep out from my head started to appear in my mind.
“He asked me to tell you he was sorry...” she said with a weak voice. I turned my face away from her, the only harsh gesture I had made since I woke up that morning “Hey, it’s okay. He didn’t tell me what happened. Actually, he asked me if you had told me, and when I said no he tell me either.”
I didn’t respond. I didn’t know what to think of all she was telling me.
“He wanted to meet with you at five at Hall A’s door. I guess he wants to say sorry in person.”
“No,” I said almost immediately.
“Why not?” she asked me with a tender voice.
I looked at Anna “Because he does not deserve to screw up and play with my feelings and then apologise the next day as if it was no big deal!”
I noticed I had stood up, my fists were clenched, and instead of feeling broken I felt angry.
Anna sighed and rolled her eyes. “Just give him a chance, he looked really sorry,” I noticed that defending him was making her uncomfortable, as if she had to make a huge effort to do so, but she did it nonetheless. I was surprised by her attitude. Was it possible that they actually had a civilised conversation?
“How can you be so sure that he is really sorry?”
“For starters, he talked to me,” she stated as if it was obvious “And he admitted that he loved you. I don’t know if you noticed but he had no reason to do so since he doesn’t trust me.”
I did not respond. She was right, I couldn’t argue with her. That only resulted in making me angrier as I could almost feel the temperature rising in my body.
“Just go and listen to him,” She pleaded once more.
“Anna, don’t you see I can’t go?” I walked towards her and sat on the bed again “If I go then I will forgive him, and I can’t do that.”
She stared at me for a moment, trying to figure out what to say “Summer, I think you are complicating the simple.”
“The simple?! How on earth is any of this bloody simple?!” I exploded. I knew it wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t help me since she knew nothing, I should’ve been more tolerant, but I just didn’t have it in me to be polite at that moment. “First he breaks my heart into a billion pieces, then I feel absolutely nothing and now the only thing I’m feeling is anger... I have no idea what to do, but one thing is for sure, I can’t forgive him because he hurt me beyond- beyond...”
I couldn’t finish the sentence. I was getting emotional again. I did not cry though, as I had promised myself I wouldn’t allow it. I took a deep breath to calm down and hold back the tears.
“I was not prepared to be hurt the way that I was, and I guess he also hurt my pride along with my feelings,” I tried to explain the best I could “I don’t want and I can’t forgive him.”
I exhaled all the air in my lungs. I didn’t expect her to understand anything, so explaining would help me in no way whatsoever; it would only make her question more and more, and even though I knew she had changed, that she was, in fact, helping me, nothing guaranteed me that I could trust her blindly. I just needed that moment to let everything out.
“Okay fine, but you know what is more confusing about all this? Why would he hurt you this much if he loves you? He must have had a reason... At least I know he didn’t do it on purpose,” She stated.
Anna had a point: what if he had a reason? What if he heard someone and he freaked out? What if he suddenly realised that what we were doing was a big mistake? What if he became aware of the consequences?
No. He didn’t. I was sure of it.
“Just think about it,” Anna insisted “He’ll be waiting for you. Do whatever you think is best.”
I simply nodded.
“Are you going to lessons now?” she asked me as she placed her backpack on her shoulder.
“I think I am,” I stated with confidence “Yeah, let’s go.”
As I picked my bag from the floor, Anna just stared at me with a dumbfounded expression.
“What?” I asked her as we headed out the door of our dorm room.
“It’s just that you recovered fast.”
“You sound as if I was shot,” We walked side by side along the corridor.
“Five minutes ago it looked like you had,” She smiled.
The moment I stepped outside and felt the breeze, saw the trees and their newly bright green leaves, heard the singing of the birds and the younger students playing football, smelt the freshly cut grass, I knew I was going to be okay. Usually in days like those when I was feeling sad, I shamed myself for being that way. How could I not when the sun was shining and nature was inviting me to go outside and smile? How did I dare to be sad when everything around me was happy? It was as if I was throwing away a perfect day. But in that day, I knew that it was okay to be sad even if the world was smiling. I knew that instead of feeling guilty I should just appreciate it, despite everything.
As I contemplated the nature around me, I totally forgot about Anna walking beside me. I looked at her and noticed she was anxious, expectant even. It looked as if she was looking for someone, or better, hiding from someone.
Ah, of course.
“If you don’t want to be seen with me it’s okay,” I stated with honesty. I did understand her situation. How were people going to react to our reconnection? I knew what that meant for her, and to be honest, I did not wish that fate for her.
She stared at me with wide eyes. For sure she wasn’t expecting me to be so brutally honest.
“I’m afraid of what people might think. I can change my mind, but I can’t change theirs,” She said with a weak voice. I could tell it was hard for her to admit it, but it was the truth and I had accepted it a long time ago.
“I’ll go through the back door. See you in class,” I stated and walked away from her, in the direction of the back of the building.
My stomach grumbled as I pushed open the back door of the main building. Usually when I was sad I didn’t have an appetite...I was recovering faster than I thought.
I headed to the canteen to get something to eat, and that was when I noticed Amanda, Lottie and Lucy sitting together at a round table. They looked at me and whispered to themselves. I made it look as if I hadn’t noticed, but I saw it very well.
“Poor Anna,” I thought “She doesn’t know what she is getting herself into.”
Hell. It was absolute hell. I was in hell. It felt like my guilt was consuming my body engulfing it in unforgivable flames. What I did to her was unjustifiable. That was the conclusion I reached after a sleepless night. If I felt like that and I knew the truth behind my actions, how did she feel? Of course I knew how she felt, like shit. Think about her pain was like getting hit in the stomach repeatedly, each time with more force.
I was an absolute ass.
From all the things I could have done wrong this was the absolute worse. She was the person that I needed the most, yet I managed to fuck everything up. The guilt I was feeling was wrecking me. I physically felt the weight of regret crushing my bones, making it impossible to breath, to see, to think. Yet somehow I found the last fragments of determination and strength to get out of my room that morning after a night of regretting every single second of the night before.
I was terrified of talking to her when I walked to Hall A that morning, but I knew that I had to do it. I had to put what I was feeling apart and give her what she deserved, an apology and an explanation, although I knew that those were not enough. Nothing I could say or do could make up for what I did, absolutely nothing.
When I saw Anna leaving the building shortly after I arrived I couldn’t help but call her. I had no idea if she knew what happened, or if I could trust her. After everything she did to Summer I hated her more than anything and I knew she hated me too, but it was a shot I was willing to take. That was how desperate I was.
She was understanding, which was a shock to me. She listened and she said she would talk to Summer. After our conversation, she made me believe that Summer was not going to leave her room that morning, so all I could do was put my expectations in someone I didn’t trust. I guess it was the price I had to pay for being so selfish, but for some reason, deep down I knew she would tell her, despite her rancour towards me. I didn’t even know if Summer would come meet me so for all I knew my talk with Anna could have been a waste of time.
I didn’t even know how I was going to apologise. What was I going to tell her if she showed up? What if she cried and I couldn’t do anything to comfort her? What if I told her everything and she still didn’t forgive me?
I knew that telling her the truth could possibly aggravate the situation. After all I didn’t know exactly what would be the consequences with Hansen, but I knew that once Summer knew everything, nothing would be the same again. I had no idea what would happen, how Hansen would react if he found out I told her the secret or what she would do, but I knew that if I wanted that girl, I had to tell her everything, from the beginning.