Chapter Eighteen| Jay
“I have a few quick questions for you, Jay. But I’m not going to ask them. But just wondering, why do you want to hurt me even more than you already have? I trusted you with everything. I trusted you with my secrets, life, past, present, and future. I loved you during all the times you were there for me and comforting me when I was crying during the time of my parents’ death. I trusted you, Jay. And you lied to me. And because of that, I can’t trust you anymore. I can’t converse with you, I can’t be near you, and I most definitely don’t want to share a last name with you, where whenever it’s mentioned and speaking of you, I have to be reminded of the lies you spit at my face.”
Her face was flushed and her eyes bulged out of her sockets in rage. She clutched her fork and knife as if they were her life support. But the way she carried herself was different. She wasn’t scared of me, but rather going against what I said. I could tell Viktor saw it too: her posture was straight and gave her a sense of determination and power. The words she had spoken to me hurt, but not as badly as I’d assumed they would. She had learned to stand up for herself since the last month I saw her, and to be quite honest, I was both elated and vexed by her proposition.
“...And because of that, I can’t trust you anymore. I can’t converse with you, I can’t be near you, and I most definitely don’t want to share a last name with you, where whenever it’s mentioned and speaking of you, I have to be reminded of the lies you spit at my face.”
“Hey. I know you don’t want to interact with me at all, but we share a last name. Matthews, Jordeyn; Matthews. And I’m going to sound like a broken record, but nothing, and I mean nothing will change that. Do you understand me?” Her face shifted into one of mock confusion.
“You have no right to tell me what I do and don’t share with you. As I said before, you broke my trust, and now, I can’t trust you. Don’t blame me for the way you’re feeling based off of what I said. You’re old enough to not let the words of an 18-year-old let alone a girl get to you, right? Or are you really just that fucking sensitive?” I was in appalled by her words. Never in my life have I heard her talk back to anyone like this. This wasn’t the Jordeyn I knew, and it wasn’t the Jordeyn I helped to raise. Glancing in Viktor’s direction, I could see his eyes trying to analyze her words - nothing. His expression was blank and he appeared more confused than anything.
“Shut your ass, Viktor. Does it look like I’m speaking to you? No. So shut your damn mouth.”
“Jordeyn that’ll be enough of that.” She snapped her head towards me, and stared into my eyes. Her amber brown iris’ boring into my pale grey ones, threatening to steal every secret I owned.
“Riddle me this, Jay. What do you receive when you piss off a snake?”
“A lady digging her heel into your chest. Thats what happens when you piss off a snake. Now, if you’d like me to step on you, just ask. If not, please; do me the honor of shutting the fuck up.” Her eyes were cold set and her mouth pressed itself into a thin line, daring him to say another word.
I leapt from my chair and slammed my fists on the table in front of her, “if you dare to even look at me that way again, I swear over my position on the guard I will put every single bullet I own into your guts.”
“Now, Jay, I don’t think that’ll be necessary; will it, Jordeyn?” I watched as Viktor’s hands laid over Jordeyn’s, and squeezed them warningly. She glared at him and rolled her eyes, snatching her hands back and wiping them off on her jacket. “Will it, or will it not?”
“Ugh, fine, it won’t. Happy now?” She slid out of the booth and shoved me with her shoulder. She walked out of the diner with her chin held high and her shoulders drawn back. She was powerful, and she knew that. She knew it when I had broken her and she had come back like nothing had happened. She knew it when she didn’t take shit from anyone else, and she knew it from the fact that she didn’t owe anyone anything. My eyes darted back to Viktor, who was staring after her in awe. I was curious as to why exactly they were now talking and being friendly, but seeing how Jordeyn had reacted to my words I decided it’d be best to keep my mouth shut and not ask.
“You do know that threatening to kill her wasn’t your brightest idea, right?”
“I know, Vik. I know.”
“I’m sorry? No what, exactly?”
“Don’t call me ‘Vik.’ Only those who are my friends have my permission to call me that, and you, Jay, are not my friend and never will be.”
“We’re family. Family by blood, Viktor. If anything, I’m the only one who should be allowed to call you that.”
“You don’t understand where this is coming from, do you? Why I won’t let you call me ‘Vik,’ to be more precise.” The gears turned in my head trying to rearrange the words to make better sense in my mind, but nothing entered my thoughts as to why he wouldn’t allow me to call im by some silly nickname. “It’s because of everything you’ve done to Jordeyn, Jay.”
“You heard me.”
I was astounded at his nerve to speak back to me. The only people that have were Neil, Angevine, and Jimena. “I asked for a more detailed explanation Viktor, now please, give it to me.”
“You really want the real reason?” I could see his self -restraint beginning to wear off and it entertained me: seeing his face contort in concentration and frustration at our current predicament and location.
“It’s what you did to Jordeyn: behaving as if she was your true family, when in reality you were an imposter who built her confidence and tore her down when you thought it was acceptable. You acted as if she was your number one priority these past three years, and you entered her life when she was most vulnerable and needed someone there for her the most-”
“Don’t fucking interupt me when I’m explaining the shit you’ve done to her. Now, where was I?”
“Yes. Now, to further explain this to your pea-sized brain, you’re a dick. I won’t beat around the bush with this one: you’re a dick. And I don’t think you need reasoning, but since it appears you do, I’ll give you a few. She had a pure soul. It was full, loving, optimistic, and it wasn’t fractured or broken. She knew what she wanted in life, and she knew what she had to do to achieve her goals and dreams. But when you, or should I say we, thought it’d be best to keep this information away from her, it destroyed her when we told her. It broke her down into nothing, and it was Azyriah and I who were there for her in the end. Not you. I was in the right with this one, Jay. And if you try to contradict or manipulate me into believing otherwise, Azyriah’s sitting in a booth in the back at this very moment and I will not hesitate to call him over. And if you still believe that after everything you’ve done to her, is it fair to even consider yourself a Matthews anymore, because I sure as hell don’t?”
“Viktor, I know where you’re coming from, and if I could go back in time and start over with her and lead with the truth, I would in a heartbeat. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s the truth, and you wanted the truth, right? So there it is. I never intended for her to change herself completely. I never wanted for her to become broken, and I never intended for her to trust to break. It’s because of me that she can’t trust anyone anymore, and I realize that.”
“Don’t say this to me. Say to her. She’s the one that deserves this apology, not me.”
“I just have one question, Viktor.”
“And that would be?”
“Why do you care so much about her?”
“To be honest Jay, I’m not completely sure. I think it’s after seeing everything we share and how similar we are, is when I truly realized the potential she has in life and how we’ve both been affected by the same things. After seeing her break down in front of me, I can’t bear to see her go through anything like that alone ever again. She doesn’t deserve it - no one does - but there’s nothing we can do about it now besides be there for her. And by we, I mean everyone but you, since you’re the main reason why she’s this way. So, to put it in short, it’s because I care for her. I care for her deeply and if I could take away all her pain and bury it deep inside of myself, I’d do it without a second thought. If it meant her happiness, I’d take it away and pray that whatever else she’s feeling, will pass just as quickly as her pain would leave my body if it were possible.”
“It sounds, Viktor Frazier, as if you love Jordeyn.” The words left my mouth and they felt foreign. Never, had the word ‘love’ left my mouth unless it was to refer to a hobby. Viktor’s eyes shot up from where they lay staring at his glass of water, the condensation trickling down just like the tears were on his face.
“I- I don’t love her, Jay. I don’t know how to love.”
“Love, Viktor, is the act of wanting nothing more than happiness for the other person. It’s the drive and need to make everything as easy for them as possible, and it’s the act of putting the thought of taking as many bullets for them as you’d need to so they’d never get hurt. That, Viktor, is the act of true love.” I knew it wasn’t the best explanation, but it was the best I could think of off the top of my head. Viktor fiddled with his napkin and tapped his fingers against the table a few times before making eye contact.
“Then, Jay. I do. I love Jordeyn.”