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EC+AM=4ever Chapter 32
June 21, 2009
I dialed Kristy's number into my cell phone and waited for her to pick up. "Hello," she finally answered on the fourth ring.
"We need to talk." I said, keeping my voice at a normal tone, not wanting her to figure out that I was angry with her just yet. "Meet me at Sadie's."
"Uh, ok," she replied. I hung up and marched downstairs, slipping on my shoes and grabbing my car keys off of the kitchen counter. Then I walked outside, got into my car, and drove to Sadie's.
On the car ride there, I thought of all the things I would say to Kristy. First off, I would tell her that she's a complete hypocrite. Then I would yell at her about lying to me. Then I would storm out of Sadie's in rage. It seemed like the perfect thing to do when you were fighting with a friend.
I arrived at Sadie's, parking my car, and stomping inside of the restaurant. I sat down at a table and waited. When I finally saw Kristy stride in through the door, I stood up, feeling empowered by my rage.
But that rush of power left as soon as it came when I saw Julianne and Kelly trailing right behind her. I sat down, feeling lightheaded and dismayed. How dare she bring them with her! After all that's happened, she's bringing Julianne and Kelly with her to talk to me!
"Hey," she said casually, sitting down across from me. Julianne and Kelly sat down on either side of the table, both in between Kristy and I. "I hope you don't mind, I brought Julianne and Kelly along."
I looked at her, still aghast by her complete and utter rudeness. "Hey, Evalynne," Kelly said, sounding upbeat and peppy. Not to mention extremely annoying.
"I heard you and Ash broke up. He's a total player anyways," Julianne stated, sounding disgusted. "You would be stupid to still be going out with him."
"Actually," I said through clenched teeth, "we got back together."
"Oh," she scoffed, smirking. "Good for you,"
I glared at Kristy, shaking my head slightly, "Who are you?"
"What?" she asked, confused.
"Who are you? Because you're not the Kristy I know, that's for sure." I exploded. "And I'm not stupid, I know that Ash and Katrina were never really kissing. And I also know that you went over to Ash's house and tried to make a move on him while I was gone! And you have the nerve to call me the bad friend,"
She looked taken aback, as if she weren't expecting me to find out. When she gained control once again, she pursed her lips, looking smug. "Ok, fine, you caught me. I lied about Ash and Katrina. And yeah, I flirted with Ash, but that's nothing compared to what he did."
"What are you talking about?" I demanded.
"He punched my cousin, skank." she retorted. "When you two went down to the beach,"
Julianne's snickered, "Wow, Evalynne, I didn't know you were into psychopaths." she sneered.
"That's not true!" I cried. "Ash isn't a psychopath and he was just trying to protect me! He loves me,"
"Right, we'll go with that story," Kristy remarked sarcastically. Then she rolled her eyes, standing up and flipping her hair. "I'm not the one whose changed, by the way." she added snidely. "You are. All of the sudden, you're main priority is which guy you're with. So don't kid yourself." Then she stalked out, followed by Julianne and Kelly.
I sat there, stunned by her outburst. Maybe she was right, maybe I had changed. But not into something horrible. Not into a Julianne Wiggins clone. I changed for the better, while she changed for the worst. And unlike me, she did it out of hate.
Either way, I had lost Kristy forever, and I knew it. But I had to face it, to move on. But loosing Kristy, was like loosing a limb. Time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss can never be repaired.
At least I still had Ash.
I frowned. That thought used to be so comforting, so warming, so lightening. Not anymore. I loved Ash enough to stay with him, but I just didn't feel the sparks. Not like I used to. My heart didn't warm when I looked at him, my pulse didn't race when I kissed him, my heart didn't go rapid when he smiled at me.
With Cole it was the complete opposite. It was almost like I was immune to Ash now, like I was used to him, bored with him even. And Cole was a new experience for me. He was daring, risky, dangerous. Alluring. I couldn't keep myself from falling for him.
I stood up and got into my car, pulling out into the street. Then I drove down to Kristy's house and rang her doorbell. Cole answered.
"Hey," I said. "Can I come in?"
"Sure," he replied. He let me inside and we sat down on the couch together. "So, what's up?"
I looked up at him, at his bruised face. "I'm so sorry about what Ash did to you."
"It's not your fault, you shouldn't apologize for him."
I nodded, "I guess you're right. I just feel so bad about it. You didn't deserve that."
"Yeah, well Ash doesn't deserve you, but he's got you wrapped around his finger either way."
Was he trying to make me feel like the most awful person alive? "Cole, just hear me out, ok? Ash does this thing...I don't know exactly what it is, but it's...it's like he..." I trailed off, not knowing how to put it.
"He entrances you. Messes things up, makes you feel bad for him, acts all romantic, and then you're in love." Cole finished for me.
"Exactly," I murmured, ashamed that I kept falling for that. "But I have a feeling that he doesn't mean to. He's been through so much, more than you could ever imagine. And it's just hard for him to cope with everything. He needs someone in his life who won't leave him like everyone else did."
"I get it, the guy's got issues. But it doesn't mean that you have to be the one to make him feel better. You aren't his counselor or his psychiatrist, so you shouldn't be the one to help him with all of his problems."
"But I want to. I owe him that much. After the accident, I can't just leave him."
"Fine, do whatever you want. But there's no way I'm going to keep fighting with him. You can't have both of us, you need to choose just one."
I knew that this was coming. I knew that sooner or later I'd have to make a choice. I just tried to forget about, to put it off to the side. And now that it was here, I wasn't prepared to make that decision. Ash and I had a history. We were on and off, in and out of love, broken-hearted and filled with joy. We'd been through an awful lot and I wasn't sure if I was ready to throw all that away.
But with Cole it was the complete opposite. With Cole it was a fresh start, something new. That could be either be really great or really terrible. Who knew what we would become if I chose him over Ash? Who knew how we would end up? We could break up within a month, or we could stay together for an entire year.
"And not to rush you, but you have to make that choice really soon." Cole added.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because my mom was mad at me for not being here this morning when she came to visit, so now I only have a week left here. Then I have to go back home to Michigan."
My heart sank, and I felt like all of my hope was lost. No matter who I chose, I would still end up alone. Ash would be in Iraq and Cole would be in Michigan. Yeah, we could always talk on the phone and visit each other every once in a while, but I wasn't stupid. I knew that long distance relationships never lasted.
"I'm sorry," he murmured.
"No, it's not your fault, don't be sorry." I replied. "I just can't believe you're leaving so soon. I'm going to miss you."
He smiled sadly, "Yeah, I'm going to miss you too." Then he wrapped his arms around me in a warm hug.
"So, are there a lot of pretty girls back in Michigan?" I asked, trying to sound casual once he pulled away.
He laughed, "Oh yeah, tons of them,"
I put my hand on my hip and tried to scowl at him for his sarcasm, but ended up laughing. "Really though, you must have tons of female attention."
"Female attention?" he chuckled. "You put it so seriously."
"Shut up," I remarked jokingly. "But come on, girls must be all over you. Am I right, or am I wrong? Because I'm pretty sure that I'm right."
"Ok, so some of the girls like me." he said, trying to sound humble.
"Some?" I questioned. "More like tons. I'm not stupid, I have common sense."
"Then why are you with Ash?" he said under his breath, but I heard him clearly.
"I'm not deaf either." I stated.
"Sorry, I just can't stand the thought of losing you to a guy like him."
"What do you mean 'a guy like him'?" I asked.
"He's just so..." He shook his head, not bothering to finish his sentence. But he didn't need to. I knew very well how Cole felt about Ash. He thought he was a fake that played me as a fool.
"I'd better get going now." I told him softly. How could our moods go from joking and care-free to bitter and morose?
"Evalynne," he plead, noticing the bleak look on my face. "Come on, I wasn't trying to upset you. You don't have to leave yet."
"I just really think I should go." I muttered, walking past him. He stood up, following me to the front door. And as I placed my hand on the door knob, about to walk out, he laid a hand on my shoulder.
"When are you going to tell me your final decision?" he asked, looking down at his worn black Converse.
"Soon," I replied. Then I opened the door, stepping out into the breezy June air.