After I said goodnight to my grandfathers, I took a shower and got dressed for bed. I couldn’t wait to text Mala. She’d told me not to worry about calling or texting her while I was in Del Sol Valley–she just wanted me to enjoy myself. I’d actually hovered my finger over the Spacetime app about a thousand times, and actually did tap it a few times, but she didn’t pick up. That wasn’t strange since I figured she was at the beach with her friends and not on her phone.
I sank into some pillows and texted her.
Since it wasn’t too late, I knew she’d be messing around on her phone. But she didn’t text me back right away. Maybe she was watching a movie?
So, I sent another one just in case.
But she didn’t respond. Well, I figured she must have had a tiring weekend and went to bed early. I’d see her in the morning at school anyway.
I messed around on some websites, played a few games, but really didn’t want to go to sleep yet. So, I texted my best friend, Drew.
What popped onto my phone made me want to puke.
Mala was with Oliver Fucking Treadstone? Again? God, how stupid could I get?
I literally felt my insides turn over.
Drew tried to make me feel better, telling me she was the loser and a whore and all sorts of awful things I would never call her. But none of that did anything but make me feel worse.
I was the loser. She didn’t even have the decency to break up to my face. She just ghosted me, hoping I’d go away like some worthless piece of shit.
I couldn’t stop looking at that picture. Drew told me his girlfriend, Justine, was out with her friends at a coffee shop and found them together. This was a small town. Mala knew I’d find out. But she didn’t care. Oliver Treadstone was a well known manwhore. What the fuck? Why did she want him over me? If she’d taken brass knuckles and punched me in the face, it wouldn’t hurt as much as this.
When I caught her the last time, I should have told her to fuck off. But I didn’t.
Why didn’t I get angry, punch that asshole in the face, and tell her to go die in a hole?
And why didn’t she just leave me alone? Why cry and tell me she wanted to get back together?
Unless she hated me so much that she just had to make the pain of not wanting me hurt even worse.
God, my life sucked.
Uh oh. Shit just hit the fan. I didn’t think my picture would get back to Liam at light speed.
But Justine did say Drew would tell Liam asap. And I thought I’d revel in the idea of them breaking up. But…
Looking at his sad face was like I’d been kicked in the heart by a pile of abandoned kittens.
I hated Mala even more for it. How could she hurt him like that? And I felt like I had a hand in it, too. I was the worst.
For once, my mouth didn’t ramble on and on when I sat next to him. It was like a cloud had descended over us. I wanted to fix it since I basically pulled the rug out from under him. He could have been happy in his little fantasy world. I’d bet Mala would have strung both him and Oliver on for months. Here I thought I was doing him a favor, but…I should have minded my own business like Destiny warned me.
But what good would that have done? He would have found out sooner or later. It was best he learned about it and moved on. But he didn’t look like he was moving on any time soon.
“Hey, Liam…the archaeology club is meeting tomorrow. After school in the library.”
He just sighed and nodded.
Poor guy! I wanted to trip Mala when she walked past my chair. I turned and glared at her but she didn’t look up from her work.
“It should be fun,” I added. “We’re going to raise money for the revamping of Deadgrass Isle and start an excavation around Deadgrass Discoveries. People claim there was a shipwreck there before they put up the lighthouse. We’re probably going to find some cool artifacts that the museum will display.”
But Liam only nodded again. He was so out of it.
I’d been in a haze all day. I didn’t want to feel like this. It hurt worse this time than when I’d caught Mala red handed with that fuck.
I mean, it was like she plunged a knife in me, knowing what she was doing this time, and twisted to make sure it hurt.
I didn’t feel like going home after school either. My grandfathers were way too smart and would want to talk about why I was being so quiet. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. Not even Drew. I saw him heading toward my locker. I knew he’d do all sorts of stuff to get my mind off things, but today, I just wanted to wallow. I was owed that, wasn’t I?
As I walked toward the beach near my house, the clouds grew dark and cold rain started pelting me. “Oh, thanks, God. Way to make me feel better.” It was like the whole world was out to get me.
I wanted to get out of this nightmare. Anger, sadness, helplessness roiled inside, making me miserable. And I knew I shouldn’t be feeling like this. She wasn’t worth it. Everyone said so, but…
She’d been my world for over two years. I’d made plans. We’d made plans. Together. I’d pictured our lives with each other. We even talked about how many kids we’d have. She’d buy a boutique in downtown Brindleton Bay and I’d help her manage it while making sure our kids were taken care of, fed, and everything was fine at home. I was good at that.
At that moment, I really missed my family. Brandy’s cute face. Zack’s smartass comments. Mom’s wise words. Dad’s hugs.
As the foghorn blasted and the salty sea air wafted over me, I knew it was over forever. Mala and I would never be together again.
I was all alone.