Chapter Thirty Nine


I knew it was Jason. So why wouldn't she just admit it? Instead, she was taking it upon herself to ignore me in every possible way. Physically being the easiest, and therefore first. I made it that much easier by just walking out. She didn't try to come after me, which, of course, sort of hurt. Didn't she love me? She said that she did, but I wasn't so sure anymore. Why was she pushing me away when she knew this is when she needed me most? I could hear the lock on her doorknob click into place. She was completely shutting me out, and I couldn't get back in even if I wanted to. Which, at the moment, I wasn't sure I actually did.

I wasn't surprised to see Jer and Greg sitting at the top of the steps listening. I knew they wouldn't be far in case it got nasty. They started to fire questions at me, but I ignored them, heading downstairs and into the kitchen. I sat on one of the wooden stools that were placed by the island in the middle of the room, and neither Zoe's brother, nor my own cousin came to try and check on me. I guess they had gotten an earful of my girlfriend.

Was Zoe even still my girlfriend? She wasn't acting like she wanted to be. I wished I hadn't dropped the bracelet to the floor; I really needed something to throw now. I wanted to go outside and punch something. A brick wall would work nicely. I could dent up my entire hand that way. It would give me something else to think about other than her. Other than wanting to kill him.

I could hear Greg's voice, now, carried down the staircase. He was trying to straighten things out with Zoe, and she wasn't even close to wanting to listen to him. Every once in a while, I could hear a high pitched screech coming from her end, and I would want to cover my ears, but I wouldn't in fear I would miss part of the conversation.

Mostly he was on her side, I could tell. "You're right. You're absolutely right…" and sometimes he wasn't.. that was where the screeching came in, "but, Zo…"

"Don't you but, Zo me! I'm practically an adult. You are barely older than me! Don't talk to me like I'm a child!"

"Then quit acting like one. Come out and talk to Zander, please. He's really upset." Because I was. It was difficult to hide the streams down my face. I don't think I had ever cried this hard before in my life. I wasn't used to having to hide tears. "Zoe, please."

"Who do you think made him feel that way?" Silence on Greg's side of the door. "Me! I did that to him! I can't hurt him anymore! I want him gone, Gregory. Gone. I hate him. I hate myself. I hate the guy who made me this way."

"Don't blame God for…"

"Not God. Jason Stone." She was sobbing. I wanted more than anything to go up there and comfort her. The way that she hadn't done for me, earlier. Not that I was wanting for her to come over there and feel bad for me. I just wanted her to stop blaming herself. It was Jason who had done this to her. It wasn't her fault. It's not like she wanted him to do that to her. To ruin her life. To take something from her that she hadn't wanted taken.

But at least she had finally admitted it. I was surprised Greg hadn't already descended the stairs with an entire search party to kill him. I was surprised I hadn't yet done it, myself. I could no longer hear Greg, either because he wasn't speaking, or because she had let him into her room finally, or because he was whispering, but whatever the case, I stayed still in my seat. I didn't want to move. I didn't feel like I could.

I sat there for what felt like days, but really must have only been a few hours. When it was starting to get dark, and Zoe still wasn't out of her room, I started to get worried. She had been crying all day. Greg had been going in and out frequently, sometimes with food, sometimes carrying an empty plate back to the sink. Mostly he was quiet. His voice travels a lot more than Zoe's did, and I could hear hers almost clearly from where I made a new spot in the living room next to Jeremy. He must not have been talking a whole lot. Just a lot of listening.

Jer had nothing to say whatsoever. I asked him if he was hungry at one point, probably around four. He shook his head no, even though I knew he had an appetite all the time usually, and he hadn't eaten since the night before. We watched TV Land reruns of I Love Lucy and some old Westerns all day. Nothing to really keep our minds off of what we had just witnessed. Nothing to keep my mind away from Zoe for more than a few seconds. Milliseconds, maybe.

Every time that her door would open, my eyes would flash to the stairs, but each time, it was only Greg, and when he saw that I was watching, he would shake his head and continue on with whatever he had been doing.

She really didn't want me anymore. The thought ran continuously through my head in between each time that the guy said, "Lucy! I'm home!" She really didn't want me. I didn't think she would be able to avoid me this long if she was making the entire thing up.

It was ten o'clock when Greg came down the stairs, shook his head, and let another plate clatter into the sink, "She fell asleep," Jer and I both turned. It was the first voice we had heard for hours that didn't come through either a door or a television set. He came to sit in the middle of me and my cousin. We didn't really mind. It's not like we were engaged in some wonderful conversation. "She's had a rough day," that was his excuse for her, "Give her time. She'll come around." No she won't. That's what I wanted to say, but I found no voice to say it with. My stomach growled loudly, and Greg mumbled something about food, but I refused. This time, Jer didn't. He took two slices of pizza, but ate in the kitchen away from me. I would have too. The room reeked of depression and tension.

I waited until eleven (when I was sure she was asleep) before crawling into the bed next to her. She was only taking up a small amount on the side closest to the door, so it was easy to get in on the other side. I took my shoes off, and tried to get as close to her as I could without waking her, and managed to get my arm around her waist without her stirring. She mumbled my name once, though, when I kissed her neck, and turned over. At first I thought I had woken her, but her breathing returned to the normal, slow breaths, and I carefully laid my head down next to hers.

I could remember it had been barely over a week ago when we first lay in this bed together. Talking about ourselves, our pasts, and our secrets. I stroked her cheek with my forefinger lightly. Her brow furrowed, but she didn't wake up. "I love you, Zoe." I whispered in her ear. I wasn't expecting her to say it back. "I love you so much. You'll never truly realize that, will you? I need you more than you need me. I know that seems impossible to understand. But I do."

And even though I knew she couldn't hear me, a small smile danced on her lips.

I know I didn't update in a million years, (and I think I lost a crapload of reviewers. :( ) so I'm writing still, and giving y'all updates as I have them. I hope you're not too mad at me now, for having Zoe basically banish him. I mean, even though, of course you should know what's coming in the next chapters, since she admitted to her brother that it was Jason.

Still, sorry for being a forever long updater, but here's the second update in one (two?) days. :)

Much love and ink.