"Tayla…" there was a knock on the door as she sat in the girls' bathroom. Tears streaming down her face as she thought of her day, of her week…of her life. Her heart physically hurt and she swore as the days passed she was slowly dying inside. Things weren't right, things were far from right and things were only going to get more complicated. "Tayla I saw you come in here…I'm coming in ok?"
She didn't answer; she didn't want to answer because she knew no words would come out. Her voice was so broken, her heart was so broken and she honestly felt like she was going to be sick. Looking down she saw when the black shoes shuffled in front of the stall she was in and she sniffled as she tried to dry her tears quickly.
"You ok?" his voice rough on the other side. "Why don't you open the door? We can talk…" he suggested.
"I'm fine…" her voice shook as she pulled in a deep breath.
"Then open the door," he jiggles the handle but she just sat still. "Open up or I'll climb under…" he threatens with a smile and heard a little laugh. "Ok then…" he drops on the floor and slowly slid himself under the small door to find the girl sitting inside on the floor leaning against the wall. "Hey…"
"The floor is probably dirty," she tells him, wiping her eyes.
"I don't care," he slides down beside her. "If you can sit on it, so can I."
"Yeah," her voice cracks as she drops her head to rest on his shoulder.
"Why is a pretty girl like you crying in the bathroom?" he nudges her side and she shrugs. "I may not know you that well Tayla and I may be the last person you want to talk to but I'm here. And I can tell you aren't the type of girl to just cry in the bathroom without a good reason. What's your good reason?"
"I'm a terrible person Leo," she cries burying her face in his shoulder.
"I don't think anyone could describe you as a terrible person Tayla," he laughs at that thought. "Everyone who talks about you seems to think you are pretty great."
"But I'm not," her voice breaks as she shakes her head. "I'm a terrible person. I'm a liar and a fake and a cheater…I'm not a good person!"
"Why?" he looks down at her confused. "Why would you think any of that?"
"You can tell me. I won't say anything, I promise."
"I met someone…" she gives a slight shrug. "And I fell in love with him and he is perfect and amazing and he means everything to me…"
"Problem?" he raises a brow not seeing the bad.
"He isn't Blane," her throat tightens as her voice cracks and more tears fall. "I have a boyfriend, a boyfriend for a long time and I wasn't with him three months before I started to be with someone else. And no matter how hard I try to give him up and do the right thing I can't."
"Why not leave Blane then? You care about this other guy so much then what's the plus side to being with Blane?"
"I don't know," she tosses her hands up. "Every time I go to leave him something happens that sucks me back in."
"Is it him?" he questions and she shrugs.
"He's like my safety net. I know how to deal with him, I know what to expect. Everything else is scary… Blane can't hurt me…he can try but nothing he does really hurts anymore. I like knowing I'm with someone who can't hurt me…"
"The other guy?"
"Hurts me all the time," she admits giving a broken hearted shrug. "He doesn't mean to. He doesn't know he does but it like when we are together, in the moment I am so happy. Happier than I ever have been and because of that I feel so guilty for not feeling guilty. I hate him for making me feel it and I hate him for not letting me go and I hate him for always making me love him. I don't want to love him anymore Leo, I don't."
"Is he a bad guy?" he questions and her head shakes. "Does he…I mean does he hurt you in ways other than your heart?"
"What?" her head snaps up to look at him.
"You say he hurts you. In what way does he hurt you Tayla?"
"No!" she freaks quickly. "He doesn't hit me. God no, Easton would never hurt me like that. He would never lay his hands on me."
"Easton?" his brows shoot up and jaw drops a little. "Easton Wells?"
"Please Leo don't say anything," she begs not meaning to actually say his name. "No one knows."
"I wouldn't say anything. It's not my business to but I just…Really?" he turns to look at her and she nods. "That's…surprising…"
"Yeah," she lets out a dry laugh knowing that one.
"Yet it's not at the same time."
"What do you mean?"
"I didn't pay attention because I never really thought about it before but if you do you could pick up on things. The way his temper would flare around you, how protective he was on some things… He does stare a lot," he notes knowing if he really thought about it the signs were there, they were really clear but if you aren't looking for it you really don't know to notice them. "Has it been going on long?" he questions and she slowly nods.
"Too long…" she drops her head against the wall behind her as she thought. "We broke up once…and we actually stuck to it for about three weeks but…"
"But something happened to me," she tells him, her heart hurting all over again thinking about it. "And when it did I wanted someone…I needed someone and I needed him…"
He was so tired. So exhausted and he hated he couldn't sleep. His body was sore from ball, his head was killing him from all the nagging his dad had been doing and his heart hurt because he missed her. He knew she was right, it was all for the best but it didn't make that any easier. Telling your head something is wrong is a hell of a lot easier than telling your heart not to care anymore.
"God," he rolled his head to the side looking at the folded paper on the stand. He didn't know why he didn't throw it away. It was corny and dumb but to him it was a reminder of her. He couldn't have photos of her around, couldn't keep little things that made him think of her in case someone saw but he could have the little flowers he made.
His mom taught him how to make them when he was little and after she got real sick she made him one. Told him she preferred the paper ones over the real ones because they lasted forever.
"I miss you…" he frowned, toying with the flower in his hand. "So damn much…" he slapped his hand to his face, just wishing he could do things all over. In his life there would be a long list of do overs. Well do overs and relives. Because there was definitely many days he would want to relive…pretty much all involving her.
"Easton…" a broken voice wondered into his dark room, making his body flip over seeing the figure.
"Tayla?" he squinted his tired eyes, trying to see the body more clear in through the moon light.
"I'm sorry," her voice cracked and he heard her yank in a shaky breath. "I'm so sorry," a cry escaped making him fly off his bed to look at her.
"What? What are you sorry for?" he questioned, worry growing inside of him, "Pretty Girl what is it, why are you crying?" he sat up reaching for her hand and which she slowly took. He felt her shaking and when he pulled her close he saw the dark tear stains running down her normally flawless face, her eyes puffy and red and her lips quivering.
"I'm sorry," she repeated, her look and voice scaring him more and more by the minute. What was she sorry for? Why was she crying and why was her entire body quivering next to him? Something was wrong, something was more than wrong and when she finally spoke her words were the last thing he ever expected to hear, "I cheated on you," her voice broke again and a sob escaped her delicate lips.
"What?" he pulled back to look at her and she collapsed her body into his.
"I'm sorry," she broke in his arms. "I'm so sorry."
"Shh…" his hand gently rubbed up and down her back and he felt her body cringe at his touch. "It's ok…shh…its ok."
"It's not… I…" she pulled back to face him and he reached over to hit the lamp. "Wait!" her hand flew to catch it but it was too late and the light filled the room, his eyes growing wide as he looked at her.
"Tayla…" he swallowed a large lump in his throat, reaching to brush his finger across a mark on her face. "What…" he licked his dry lips, feeling his body start to tremble. "Baby, what happened to you?" his heart started to race in his chest, his eyes dropping down to her ripped shirt, the mark of bruises on her arms and the split on her normally perfect lip.
"I love you," she cried, wrapping her arms around his neck and lifting herself to sit in his lap. "Please don't be mad at me…please…" she pleaded, burying her face in his neck as she sobbed.
"I'm…I'm not…" his arms slowly wrapped around her, him feeling so confused in that moment. "I just…what happened? Who hurt you?" he begged to know, her head start shaking, really not wanting to answer. "Tayla…" his hand gently threaded through her hair, pulling her back to face him, trying everything in him to calm himself in that moment. She was so upset; he knew if he went off like he wanted to, it would upset her more. "I…I don't know what to do if you don't tell me…"
"I…" she looked down, gripping so tight on his shoulders, he swore it might draw blood, but she was clinging on so tight, it was like she was afraid to let go. "I was out with Blane-"
"Blane?" Anger shot through him as he looked at her. "Blane did this? Blane hurt you?"
"No!" her hands flew to his face, giving it almost a smack yet he ignored it. "No… he didn't…" she told him quickly, dropping her head to rest against his. Swearing she just felt safer with him holding her.
"Then who, Tayla?"
"I don't know…" her voice broke as she let out a sob. "I was with Blane and we…we were out at a party and I don't…I don't know what happened. I wasn't…I wasn't even drinking…." She told him. "But I…I started feeling weird and I didn't know where Blane was…"
"Tayla…" his heart started to race as he looked at her, him not wanting to hear anything she was about to say.
"And…" she swallowed the large lump, feeling as if she couldn't breathe. "And then I didn't know where I was…I thought it was Blane," she sobbed and his eyes closed, feeling the pressure building in them. "I thought…he…but it wasn't…" she cried, her grip on him just tightening. "I screamed for someone to stop it…but no one…no one heard me."
"Tayla…" his teeth gritted as he tried to calm himself. Everything in him yelling to do something else, something that wasn't right in this moment.
"I didn't want him Easton…" she cried, her body trembling so much, he worried what might happen. "I swear… I didn't want him," she sobbed, his arms coming back around her, just wanting him to fix everything. "He…he kept telling me to tell him I wanted him…but I didn't…please don't believe him," she pleaded, only in the moment saying it, praying it would hurt less…it didn't.
"I won't…" his voice cracked, his hand running up and down her back, trying to sooth her. "Tayla…I…"
"What?" her head flew back to look at him. "You don't believe him… tell me you don't because I didn't! I just want you…just you Easton!"
"I know…I know baby," he whipped her tears, trying to calm her. "I know… I just… I need you to listen to me…" he spoke slowly and she slowly nodded, biting her bottom lip. "I need to take you to the hospital…" he said slowly and she quickly started shaking her head. "Yes!" he grabbed it to stop her. "Yes, yes baby girl I do. I won't leave you…I swear I won't… I will be with you but I…I have too…"
"Please...please don't make me…please…"
"No!" she snapped and his frown deepened. "Please…please don't make me tonight. Please just hold me," she laid her head on his chest, pulling his body into hers. "Please just hold me…" she begged, her whimpering in his arms, truly breaking his heart.
"Ok…" he slowly agreed, breathing out a long breath. "Promise me we will tomorrow," he spoke slowly and she just stayed quiet. "Tayla…" his voice stern as he pulled her back to face him, the look on her face just killing him. "You are going tomorrow, I'm not asking you. I am telling you."
"O-ok…" she slowly nodded, her heart pounding in her chest. Easton pulling back the covers for her to climb under. It didn't take her long to fall asleep, her body was just exhausted, however the fact she continued to cry in her sleep was what killed him.
"Tayla…" he runs a hand through his hair as he lets it sink in. "Are you ok? I mean…shit."
"I'm fine," she shakes her head quickly. "It took sometime but I'm ok now… but it scares me when things go wrong…when I get hurt I go to him, always. It shouldn't be like that Leo…"
"I'm sorry kiddo but I think it might be like that all the time if you truly love him…" he tells her, reaching to knock the tear trailing down her cheek.
"This sucks!" she groans, slamming her head against the wall and frowning. The sound of her phone buzzing in her pocket making her shake her head more.
Was all the message read and her heart hurt as she looked at the phone number attached to it.
"Who is it?"
"It's him…" she frowns, chewing her bottom lip. "Wants me to come meet him."
"Go," Leo shrugs, standing up and wiping his hands on his pants.
"What? I can't… I mean…"
"You can…" he outstretches his hand and she slowly slides hers into his as he helps her up. "And you should. Don't worry, I'll cover for you."
"Why are you so nice to me?" she questions leaning against the wall looking at him. Not at all getting why Leo was just so sweet to her.
"Because I've had my heart and head in two different places before and it sucks."
"Which one did you go with?" she fiddles with her fingers as she looks down.
"The wrong one," he shrugs and she looks up at him confused. "You always know what you're supposed to do. And nine times out of ten you probably should listen to your heart. Because no matter how many times your head tells you it's a bad idea, your heart always leads you back to him."
"I try really hard not too…"
"It's like your own little form of addiction," he tells her. "Because you might hate to admit it but the rush you feel by sneaking around with him feels so damn good. The thought of being caught keeps you excited. So go," he undid the latch and pushes open the door. "Go see him, go work it out and go do what you want to do and screw everyone else."
"Ok…" she gives a bit of a smile before walking past him. "Thanks Leo," she leans up kissing his cheek. "You're the best."
"Any time kiddo," he winks and she nods before walking out. Him pausing a moment and shaking his head before following and both completely missing the pair of feet in just the other stall.
Nervous tapping his finger on the desk, his heart raced as he clung tight to his phone. She hadn't sent back but he was hoping she would show. Glancing out the window into the dark sky he watched as the thunder started to roll in and frowns, he hates thunder storms. Tayla always seems to enjoy them but not him.
"Hi…" he spins around to see her slowly sway her way into the room, tossing a glance behind her before shutting the door.
"Hey…" he slowly starts to approach her, really not wanting to upset her more. "I'm so sorry," he apologizes, sitting on top of a desk just a few feet from her. "I didn't mean too… it's just a habit you know?"
"I know…" she crosses her arms over her chest and slowly moves closer, him knowing he had to let her come to him. No matter how much he just wants to rush towards her and wrap her in his arms. "I think they bought your cover up."
"But it still upset you," he shrugs and she nods stopping in front of him.
"Everything has been upsetting me lately," she lets out a dry laugh, running a hand through her hair. "I don't know what's wrong with me…"
"You're just going through a lot of stuff," he shrugs understanding that. "Stressed out, just need to relax."
"I wish it was that easy," she shakes her head, knowing he wouldn't get it. "But it's not Easton."
"What's not?" he reaches up to brush her hair back. "Tay, please talk to me…" he begs and a tear drops down her cheek. "Pretty Girl," he frowns and she steps forward dropping her head to his shoulder and stepping between his legs.
"Why did you have to sleep with her?" she cries and his arms slip around her small frame pulling her close.
"I don't know…" he shakes his head, kissing her shoulder and hating how he hurt her. "It just…it happened."
"And you couldn't have stopped it?" she asks and he just frowns more. "I don't get how you can do it. I mean I know she gets around but is she…is she better than me?" she questions and his grip tightens.
"No…" he tells her honestly. "It could never compare to what it's like being with you," he admits. His times with Tayla honestly being so much different than any girl he has been with. There is so much passion and love in their love making that just her hand grazing over his arm or leg turns him on.
"Then what Easton?" she pulls back to look at him. "What did I do wrong?"
"Why do you think you did something wrong?" he lets out a dry laugh not getting it.
"Is it because she is prettier than me? Her body's in better shape…" she looks down at her stomach knowing it was as small as Ginger…knowing she had put on some weight.
"What are you talking about?" his mind races confused. "Tayla you are gorgeous, you know that," he shakes his head lost. "You know I love ever tiny bit of you…"
"But something about me isn't enough for you and you're going to leave me…you're going to leave me all alone…"
"What? Who told you that?" his eyes widen, tugging her closer to him. "Baby who said that? What makes you think that? God what is going on with you?" his eyes search hers so confused. She was not at all like this; she was normally happy and looking on the bright side of things. Never gets upset, rarely ever cries but lately…lately she has been so different. Like all this was slowly taking its toll on her.
"I just… I just don't want to hold you back," she whispers. "I want you to do all the things you want in life and never feel like I kept you here."
"Anywhere I go you're coming with me," he gives gentle smile, brushing her hair back.
"I can't go places you're going…" she shakes her head. "I want too…" her voice cracks. "I want to spend every moment I can with you but I can't. And soon you're going to go away for college and I want you too, I'm so proud of you East. But that is going to happen and I will be here and I can't compete with all those gorgeous college girls."
"Who asked you too?" he brings her head to rest against his. "Why are you saying this? Everything was perfect and now…now you are talking like it's all falling apart."
"It is…" her voice cracks and his brows crease. "I didn't get in Easton…" she whispers and he tilts his head confused. "I'm not going to college… I'm staying here," she shrugs.
"What? That's impossible, you're smarter than half the people I know," he shakes his head thinking she was mistaken. "You're way smarter than me."
"Obviously not," she lets out a dry laugh.
"Then we will go somewhere else…we will go somewhere around here," he reasons but she quickly shakes her head.
"Don't you get that is exactly what I don't want for you!" her temper flares a bit as she steps back. "I don't want you to give things up because of me," her hand slides to her stomach as she steps back from him.
"So what? Your reason to keep me from giving things up is to end things with me?" he questions and she falls silent. "That is your great logic?"
"Yes…" she answers slowly and he sinks back confused.
"Just because you break up with me doesn't mean I'm going to leave."
"There is nothing here for you Easton," she sucks in a deep breath. "Because it's done…we are done."
"And I don't get a say whatsoever in my future?"
"No…" she shakes her head, grabbing her bag from the floor. "No you don't…" she rushes towards the door and out and his fist slams into the desk he rests on.
"Damn it!" he curses, not at all getting what just happened. Not at all understanding how just weeks ago his life was perfect and now everything was falling apart.