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EC-AM=Heartbreak Chapter 23
February 21, 2010
Sadie’s Pizza Parlor
“I’m so glad you two are back together.” Kristy oozed. “I really think that you guys were meant to be.”
I smiled weakly, trying to look as joyful as possible when Cole planted a gentle kiss on my cheek, snaking his arm around my shoulder. “I couldn’t agree more,” he said, gazing at me profoundly.
I nodded, swallowing hard. “Yeah, me too,” It was difficult for me to even admit it to myself, but after the thrill of Cole coming back for me had worn off, I began to realize that I had gotten over him. Yeah, I was all sad when he was gone, but now that he was back, something inside of me was different. Something no longer felt right with him. And I knew that this change of heart had a lot to do with Will.
I felt awful about it though. Cole really did love me. He’d dumped his girlfriend, threw away college and hopped on a plane from Michigan all for me. If that wasn’t love, I didn’t know what was. And I was so sure that I’d loved him back. But with Will in my life, things were different. Now I was developing feelings for Will, and they were starting to replace the feelings I’d had for Cole.
I of course didn’t have the heart… or the guts to tell Cole any of this though.
“Aw, how sweet,” Kristy replied, followed by a giggle.
Cole beamed in response, finally tearing his eyes away from me when his phone began to ring. “Hey Shaun,” he answered after taking a quick glance at the caller I.D. “What?” he cried into the phone. “Why would you do that? What were you thinking?” Kristy and I both sat there, staring at him in bafflement as he went on ranting. “Well yeah, I did it too, but it was different with me!” There was a pause while Shaun said something. “Yes, I’m in New York right now.” Cole replied. Another pause. “At this pizza place called Sadie’s. It’s in Westchester. Just use your phone to Mapquest it.” He sighed as Shaun said something else. “Ok, I’ll see you soon. Bye,”
Cole flipped his phone shut and shoved it back into the pocket of his jeans, rolling his deep, dark eyes.
“Shaun’s in New York?” I asked him.
“Yeah, apparently him and Megan got into this huge fight, all because Katrina and I broke up. He got really upset about it and took things to the extreme. He dropped out of college, because according to him, he can’t even stand to look at her anymore because it hurts too much. So since he’s sure to see her at college, he just dropped out.” Cole explained.
“Wait a second, I’m lost.” Kristy said. “Who’s Shaun?”
“The guy I shared a dorm with in college,” Cole told her. “I actually kind of feel like this whole thing’s my fault, considering I’m the one who broke up with Katrina. And he probably wouldn’t have dropped out if I’d never dropped out. Not that I regret any of it. It was definitely all worth it.” He glanced back over at me during that last sentence, shooting me an impish grin.
I tried my best to smile back at him, but it came out looking strained. Unfortunately, Cole noticed. “What’s wrong?” he questioned.
“Nothing,” I replied back a bit too quickly. I sounded anxious even to myself.
“Why are you lying? Just tell me what’s wrong,” Cole said to me, running his hand across my shoulder gently.
“No really, nothing’s wrong.” I continued lying, my voice sounding more and more fake with every word I spoke.
Sighing, Cole smirked at me in frustration. “Why can’t you just tell me?”
I glanced away from him, my eyes meeting Kristy’s. She looked just as curious as Cole did about my behavior. “I’m telling the truth. There’s nothing wrong.”
“Do you not like Shaun or something? Do you not want him to come here? Because if that’s the case, then it’s totally ok. You can tell me. I won’t be mad or anything, I promise.” Cole assured me.
“No, I like Shaun just fine.” I said to him.
“Well then what’s the problem?” he inquired.
“There is no problem. I’m completely and totally fine.” I practically shouted in his face. As soon as I said this, the bell hanging over the front door to Sadie’s rang, letting us all know that someone had just entered the restaurant. And the moment I saw who it was, my heart dropped all the way down into my stomach.
“Evalynne? I didn’t expect to see you here.” Will said as soon as he spotted me, beginning to approach our table.
Kristy looked from Will and then back to me, her eyes filled with unanswered questions. And the moment Will sat down in the seat across from mine, Cole’s entire expression darkened.
“Hi, Will,” I greeted him, my voice wavering. “Have you met my friend, Kristy yet?” I asked, trying my best to sound casual.
“No, I don’t think I have.” he replied, eyeing Kristy. “My name’s Will. I’m Evalynne’s new neighbor.” he introduced himself.
“It’s very nice to meet you Will,” Kristy said, a sparkle in her eye. I knew what that meant. Whenever she got that little sparkle in her eye while talking to a guy, it meant that she was attracted to him. “I’m Kristy, Evalynne’s best friend.”
“Nice to meet you,” he said politely. Then he turned to face Cole, and I knew that things were about to get really ugly really fast. “Cole, it’s nice to see you again.”
Cole simply nodded in his direction, not saying anything in response. Not that Will seemed to mind it. He just completely ignored Cole’s bitterness and began fiddling with the zipper of his leather jacket. Now that I thought about it, I hadn’t ever seen him without that thing on. It was kind of like his trademark jacket, like a symbol of who he was.
“Well Evalynne, I think I just figured out what your problem is.” Cole stated, his eyes locked on Will. Will glanced up, realizing what Cole was hinting at.
“Wait, you think that I’m a problem to Evalynne?” Will queried.
“I never said that.” Cole remarked.
Will smirked, “I didn’t ask if you said it. I asked if that’s what you think.”
Looking angry that Will had just responded to him so smugly, Cole shot back, “Well if you really want to know, then yes, I do think you’re a problem to Evalynne. And not only are you a problem to her, but you’re also a problem to our relationship.”
I rolled my eyes, looking desperately at Kristy. But she simply shrugged, not really sure of what was even going on here.
“Listen dude, if you think I’m trying to steal her away from you or something, then you’re wrong. I have a girlfriend anyways.” Will informed him. “Now can we please just stop acting so immature and make peace already?”
Cole glared at him disdainfully, but agreed nonetheless. “Fine,” he hissed through clenched teeth. And then the door to Sadie’s swung open once again, and Shaun walked up to our table.
“Hey!” he greeted us with a wide grin spread across his face. As soon as he noticed the enraged look on Cole’s face, he sensed that something was up. “What did I miss?”
“Nothing really,” Cole said to him. “I was just telling Will here that he’s a problem to Evalynne, and he was just rudely denying it.”
Shaun’s face scrunched up in confusion, “Will? Who’s Will?”
“That would be me,” Will said.
“And I’m Kristy, Cole’s cousin.” Kristy added.
Shaun nodded in response, “Well I’m his former roommate, Shaun.” Then he looked down at me, as if he was just realizing that I was sitting there. “Oh hey Evalynne, you remember me right?”
“Yep,” I told him with a small smile.
He grinned back, pulling up a chair from the table over and wedging it between Kristy and I and then sitting down in it. “So Will, why are you a problem to Evalynne?”
“I’m not,” Will retorted back. “Cole just seems to think I am, although he’s the real problem.”
“What? That’s so not true!” Cole cried. “How am I a problem to her?”
“Well for one, you can’t seem to keep your hands off of her. Secondly, you ditched her for some bratty chick for a while. And lastly, you’ve tried to get lucky with her twice already.” Will remarked smugly.
Cole’s eyes went wide and he turned to look at me. “You told him about what happened between us?” he demanded.
Instantly, my heart sank like a rock to the bottom of my chest, and anxiety bubbled up in my stomach. Why was I constantly put into awkward situations like this?
“Yes,” I confessed, bowing my head in shame.
“Evalynne!” Cole exploded. “What the hell made you think that you could just go around telling random people about our relationship?”
“But he’s not just some random person.” I disputed. “He’s my friend, and if I want to tell my friend about my relationship, then I have every right to.” I crossed my arms over my chest angrily, my eyes narrowing at Cole. “And just to make things clear, Will isn’t a problem to me whatsoever.” I added. “You’re just jealous that I befriended a guy without telling you first. Well, guess what? You went ahead and started dating Katrina without telling me! So I guess that makes us even now, huh?”
Cole sat there for a moment, taking this all in, his eyes wide with shock. And when he didn’t respond right away, I continued.
“No, actually, that doesn’t make us even. Because Will is a nice, funny, friendly guy who did absolutely nothing wrong. Katrina on the other hand is a rude, stuck-up, coldhearted witch! You said that you loved her so many times, but you probably never even did. You were probably just in it for the physical perks!” I cried.
Will didn’t even bother to stifle his laughter, Kristy was sitting back in her chair, speechless and shocked, and Shaun was shaking his head, grinning from ear to ear, uttering, “Burn…”
“What?” Cole finally shouted, completely enraged. “Evalynne, how could you possibly say that? That’s not true!”
“Oh, so you didn’t think she was pretty?” I demanded.
“She was very pretty.” he replied, his voice even, his anger contained.
“She wasn’t a good kisser then?” I pressed on, my voice rising with every word.
“She kissed just fine,”
“So she wasn’t willing to farther than just kissing like me?”
“She was very willing,”
“Then how could you possibly say that you weren’t just in it for physical reasons?” I exploded, even more infuriated.
“Evalynne, Katrina was pretty, but you’re beautiful. Katrina kissed good, but you kiss with passion. Katrina was willing to go far with me, but the only person I want to go that far with is you.” he said, his voice soft and fragile.
My fluttered in my chest, sending chills throughout my entire body. I couldn’t believe he’d just said that. He really did love me. What was wrong with me, thinking that Will could possibly replace Cole?
“So you didn’t try to go any farther than just kissing with Katrina?” I asked him.
“No,” he replied sincerely. “She tried it on me, but I wouldn’t let her. It didn’t feel right with her.”
“But if it didn’t feel right with her, then you must not have loved her.” I remarked, realizing what he’d done. He’d just said all that sweet stuff to distract me from the topic we were on. I wasn’t going to fall for it though. “So you really were just in it for the physical perks then.”
“Evalynne, you’d just left me for Ash. You’d told me that you wanted me to move on, that we weren’t meant to be. And I tried. I tried so hard to move on like you told me to. Then I finally found someone. I liked her. I might not have loved her, but I liked her. However, I tried to love her. I wanted to fall in love with her, because I knew that was what you’d wanted me to do. When you told me you wanted to be more than friends, it was all I could do not to give in. But I couldn’t let myself do that, because I knew that I would eventually end up hurting you. I couldn’t survive without you though. That’s why I came back. But obviously, I was wrong to do that, because now I’m hurting you again. So I guess you’re right, I never really loved Katrina. But I wasn’t in it for physical reasons either. I was in it for you.”
“Ooh, a twist,” Shaun said under his breath.
Cole shook his head, running his hand through his hair. “I’m sorry.” he said to me, ignoring Shaun’s comment. “This is all my fault. I’m so selfish. I should’ve never come back.” He got to his feet, turned to walk away.
“Wait,” I called out. He stopped, but didn’t turn around to look at me. “Obviously I love you enough to get past all the hurt. If I didn’t, I’d be able to let you walk away right now. But I can’t.”
Slowly, he turned back around to face me, his entire face lightening. And without a word, he approached me, wrapping me up in his arms, and gently pressing his lips against my own. And I was so lost in that blissful moment that I didn’t even realize Will stand up and walk out of the restaurant.