Preface- Arianna Despina Vivoldé

The pain rippled through her chest like a shiver, spreading the agonizing ache in her heart to swelling tears in her eyes. "If only I had been made of stone", she muttered, hating the fact that she was crying for him again. He hadn't even hurt her this time; no foolish actions or hurtful words were involved. He had thanked her. And she was crying as the wound in her heart was reopened.

Why can't he just leave me be?, she wondered as she grabbed a cloth from the nightstand and dabbed her eyes. He'd left her over a year ago, and despite their previous friendship, a relationship of nine months, and a promise to stay friends afterwards, they hardly acknowledged each other. At least, she never did outwardly. He was still always there, nagging at the corners of her subconscious.

Since he'd left her, she had nearly avoided him. She had moved across the schoolroom to share a table with Cheyenne, and avoided the main road through their village. Even though she desperately wished to have their friendship back, she was greeted with a painful wave of memories every time she saw him.

She despised him. He'd been her first boyfriend, and yet she knew that she'd always be comparing people to him. She hated him for making her feel like she was special and she hated him for making her feel like she was an embarrassing failure. More than anything, she hated him for making her love him.

"It doesn't even make sense," she complained to her wall, "I can't stand being around him because the pain of missing him makes me want to run away and never come back…" she paused, lowering her voice when she realized she was shouting. "And that same awful pain makes me cry over him! And the worst part is he'll never even know because we can't manage a fair "good morning" to each other…"

Tears welled up again and her chest grew tight. She wouldn't let him control her emotions like this. Just the night before, she had convinced herself that her not showing up at the village festivities wouldn't even matter to him. She was just another girl. She was a pain, a bother, a good-for-nothing except bragging rights.

But what about before all of their troubles? When they'd spent endless time together exploring the forest, when he held her hand on the through the dark trails, when he'd let her fall asleep in his arms. When he stroked the back of her hand with his thumb over and over as though it were the most precious thing in the world, when he'd grab her hand instead of the other way around and when talking was easier than breathing. When he'd play his fiddle for her just because he knew it made her happy and when they would kiss goodnight beneath the arch of their rustic barn… those were the days she missed more than anything she'd ever had to leave.

A simple smile would leave her glowing for hours. When they touched, she felt her heartbeat race, a blush creep in, and heat between them grow almost unbearable. She remembered dancing with him on the village holidays and wondering what could've been better in the world than being right there with him, with her hands on his shoulders and his on the small of her back, pulling her closer ever so gently as her head rested naturally against his chest. Although almost a foot in height difference, they fit perfectly together, and she'd never felt happier than when he had asked her to dance.

A single tear glided down her flushed cheek as she sat reminiscing her days of innocence. Everything had seemed so perfect before.

And then it all broke.


Author's note:

Alright, I know this is kind of a weak preface, but I hope you'll keep reading anyway- you don't know what's coming :)

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Critique? All are greatly appreciated, if you'll just hit that lil review button down there... (big brownie points for you if you do!) However, please, if you don't mind, don't diss (sp?) on this too much... again, you've still got more to read the more I post :) Thank you!