Taking It Bluntly

Summary: I wanted someone honest…which was the exact reason why I was attracted to Damien. He was unpredictable, blunt and never lied. But then, I threw that fairytale away because of a soft drink. He was full of surprises so what was there to expect? (One-shot)

"My attitude is, if someone's going to criticize me, tell me to my face."

- Simon Cowell

Darling, are you cold? Here, take my jacket…

I knew it well that every girl wants someone who cares for them dearly…

Babe, you look absolutely amazing…

Every girl wants a sweet and loving guy…

Well every girl except me…

Attention, I repeat, attention, this is not a complaint about my boyfriend, Damien. Nope, not at all, completely complain free.

I mean, honestly, he was never the usual Prince Charming image with his cool, collected demeanor and unavoidable insightfulness. He had this pull around him. Sure his smile was knee-weakening, the same kind Prince Charming used, but he had this mysterious edge that reeled one in. He was different, eccentric in a somehow good way, you know, somehow.

Instead of the usual "You're beautiful." or "Wow, you look amazing." comments, he always stuck with the negative, with the flaws… particularly my myriad of flaws. He didn't exactly call me atrocious or downright hideous, but he kept on criticizing me. He was one of those Simon Cowell people, very straightforward with opinions and difficult to please.

To put it simply, he was blunt, and I was sure that he made every effort for me not to forget it.

At first, I admired this strange attribute of his. Lying was a pet peeve of mine anyway.

I mean, girls thought it was endearing that when they looked like sleep-derived clowns high on coffee, their boyfriends would say some cheesy line somewhere along the lines of, "You're perfect just the way you are."

I, on the other hand, was not stupid enough to fall for that. If I didn't look good, then I'd have to accept it. There was no need to receive lies saying otherwise.

I wanted someone honest, someone who can say anything to me straight which was the exact reason why I was attracted to Damien. He never lied. He was just blunt.

We were on a date and like I always did, I had dressed up with a little hope that I might get a little compliment and like it always did, it never happened. The first thing he had told me when he came to pick me up was, "The neckline's too deep." I had reexamined my white top with the oh-so too deep neckline and put on a black cardigan in response. He had just led me to his Porsche without a word.

"What would you like to eat?" Damien asked, snapping me out of my reverie.

I looked up at him and after telling him what I wanted, I took the time to give him a little onceover.

His beautiful blonde hair was in his usual 'just-got-out-of-bed' bed head look and his deep green eyes were still as piercing as they were when I first met him. He wore a simple green hoodie that was tight enough for people to notice the six-pack lying underneath and his jeans made him look taller than he already was.

I felt lucky to have him, blessed that I could call him mine because that was what he was: mine, mine, mine.

The waiter came with our food. He handed me a plate of food that I didn't order. It was a different meal. It was a kind of Italian pasta that I wasn't familiar with.

"Excuse me I think this is for another person. I ordered smoked salmon," I told the waiter, offering a small smile at his mistake.

He checked his pad of paper and shook his head, "Nope, it's for you."

"I changed it to pasta, Caramel," Damien briefly explained, not even bothering to glance at me. The way he said my nickname, Caramel—derived from my real name Carmel—sent a wave of uncontrollable shivers to my spine.

"Oh."

Then…I felt cursed for falling for him.

Does he think that salmon would make me gain weight or something? He wants me to go on a diet? It's fish!

"Excuse me," I called the waiter again, trying to calm my rage at my boyfriend. If he thought I was fat, then fine, I would go on a diet. I had enough of his blunt comments. I mean, first, complaining about my outfit and then this. It wasn't the first time too. "Instead of iced tea, can I change it into a Diet Coke?"

The waiter nodded and turned to leave but was interrupted with a "No Diet Coke please."

Three guesses who.

I smiled sweetly at my boyfriend albeit it was incredibly fake-sweet. I only wished the smile didn't appear to be forced (when it was).

"I thought that was what you wanted," I said innocently as I batted by eyelashes a couple of times. Then back to the waiter, "A can of Diet Coke please."

He turned to leave again but was stopped when Damien said or—for the sake of being accurate—nearly growled, "No. Diet. Coke."

He indirectly called me fat and now that I was showing him that I would get a diet—as he subtly requested—he refused to accept it.

Make up your mind!

I wanted to yell at him, but instead I—begrudgingly if I may add—replied, "Never mind then."

I repeat: I felt cursed for falling for the likes of him, a criticizing soul.

When we finished our little dinner, he and I got into his sophisticated-looking car (Well it was, considering it was a Porsche. What a spoiled heathen!), and he drove us to his house for a movie.

Entering his driveway, I spotted my yellow convertible (I liked bright colors and it always reminded me of Damien).

I left it there when he drove me home the day before because I fell asleep on his couch. He carried me into my room and left a note.

On the note, there was a cheesy yet coo-worthy quote, "Use your smile to change the world, but don't let the world change your smile."Then just below that line, he wrote in the best handwriting from a male I have ever seen, "Sweet dreams, Caramel :)…"

A small smile graced my lips, and it wasn't because of that awful pun.

I could never get who Damien truly was. He was blunt and yeah, he could piss me off but he could be genuinely lovable and romantic when he wanted to. I wondered what he could see in me. After all, he could do better than someone like me. With my auburn locks, dark almost-black brown eyes and average height, I felt so…bland next to his Adonis-like self. I wondered why he chose me, of all gorgeous people, in the first place.

I guess, I'd never know. Damien was like that crane game in the arcades, you could try to get a fluffy teddy bear but the claw—crane—thing might let it go, or maybe it would grab another stuffed toy, a Hello Kitty one, or maybe, just maybe, he would give you that teddy bear. He was just that unpredictable, full of surprises.

…Did I just compare my boyfriend to an arcade game ten year olds play?

He led us to the insides of his—modernly huge—home. After he closed the door, he started yelling at me.

"What the ducking hell were you thinking?! Why the duck would you need to ducking order a ducking can of ducking Diet Coke?!" he yelled, except he didn't say ducking or duck…the first letter was different but that wasn't my concern at the moment.

"What is your problem, Damien? I just wanted a Diet Coke, what's wrong with that?" I shouted back, feeling anger course through me. Forget what I just said. He was unreasonable.

If he's allowed to get all worked up about a stupid soft drink then so can I. I'm tired of all this!

"No, you wanted iced tea!"

"Can't a girl change her mind?" I retorted icily. Like what I'm doing with you. I'm tired of being patient. I'm tired of putting up with your 'bluntness'.

"Then you must be out of your mind if you think you wanted the diet one," he spat back, emphasizing the word diet.

"Well you seem to think I need to go on one!" I glared at him, venom and enmity in the dark irises of my eyes.

My weight was a touchy subject for me. I hated feeling fat more than my hate of being lied to. I wasn't obese but every girl had her own self-consciousness and discomfort. Mine was feeling overweight.

He glared back with the same intensity I had.

"And since when did I tell you that you need to lose weight?"

How could you even forget? "Ever since you changed my order earlier," I replied, recalling the not-so fond memory with bitterness.

He glared at me more with so much umbrage that even I couldn't muster.

"You are so dense!" was his blunt response or technically: irritated yell.

He did not just call me stupid.

"You are so insensitive! Heartless even," I shot back, no longer in control of what I was saying. To say I was extremely pissed off was an extreme understatement.

He never cared about me or my feelings anyway. He cared about himself, his image being seen with me, I realized. All those insults were because he was ashamed of me, he wanted someone perfect. Well he could go and find himself a perfect girlfriend for all I care.

Now I realized his true intentions. I was an idiot to fall for him. I couldn't believe that this freaking epiphany took so long to come. All it took was a soft drink to trigger it, a freaking soft drink.

"Do you really think so?" He asked in a completely lifeless tone I'd never heard him use before. His eyes hardened with anger.

"Yes!" I threw my arms around in the air for emphasis. "You're so heartless that you can't even see how annoyed and depressed I am every time you point out my imperfections. At first I thought you were just straightforward, that you hated lies as much as I do. But god, Damien, I still want to feel loved at some point! I still want to feel cared for. I want to feel that I'm actually worth loving!" And you're the only person I want it from…

He froze and he looked at me with this strange emotion in his eyes, I thought of stopping, but it was too late now, the dam had been broken. Every feeling I stored was creating havoc in the form of a flood, and he was the unfortunate victim. He was about to feel the overpowering wrath of each wave.

Like he doesn't deserve it.

I couldn't believe him anymore. Why did I ever think that he never lied? That was the basis of our relationship, lies and pretending. He never cared for me. He never thought of how I felt. He never thought that maybe, just maybe, I was in love with him…and I am. I love him. I love my boyfriend.

"…But I get it, Damien, I really do," I continued, never looking away from his emerald eyes, the pair of green pools that I love. "I'm not worth it. You made that pretty clear now…"

I started to laugh at my self with bitter dark humor edging my slightly quivering voice.

"…I'm imperfect, I know, but am I so hideous that you don't want me anymore? That you have to insult me every chance you get? That you have to build all my hopes up and then crush them like an insignificant bug? Am I insignificant to you?" Hurt was lacing my tone. I started being vulnerable and emotional…oh god, I was about to break down.

All of a sudden, my anger resurfaced. "After all, you could do so much better than me. There are thousands of girls who would want to be with you. Well, I'm not one of them! I don't want to be with you anymore…" for their reason. They only see what you are, but I love who you are, in every way imaginable. I want to be with you because I love you, period.

"—Cara," he started to say his term of endearment for me.

"You have no right to call me that," I laughed dryly. But I'll miss hearing you say it.

"—Caramel, I…"

I glared at him with so much intense scorn that I saw him visibly flinch.

"Let me be blunt, Damien," I drawled coldly. "I loathe you. We're over. Get over it." Or at least, I'll try to get over you.

He recovered from his flinch and grabbed my arm, pulling me back gently, effectively stopping me from heading to the door.

Great date this has been…

"Let go!" I hissed.

You don't care about me so why are you trying to stop me from leaving? You should go find that perfect girl of yours.

"No," he replied as if someone was asking him if he wanted a glass of water.

"Just let me go! The sooner I'm away from you, the faster I can try getting over you. It sucks that I fell for y—"I stopped myself just in time. I was about to say, 'that I fell for you'.

"Sucks that you fell for what?" I could tell that he tried to sound indifferent but struggled to do so.

"…Sucks that I fell for a trap. Sucks that I agreed to be your girlfriend," I almost winced at my lie. Liars should die, I know, but I needed to go to a secluded place and cry my eyes out. Well, there was no turning back now. Better get comfortable with my grave.

I looked at him with indifference. Hopefully, he wouldn't notice the tears ready to leak out. Niagara Falls got nothing on these tears, baby.

"I regret every second we spent together," I lied, emphasizing each word and making sure my voice was even.

His eyes—the ones that made me fall in love with him—drained of emotion. They were emotionless just like his voice when he replied, "I do too."

I almost failed to hide the hurt in me. I couldn't take this anymore.

When he let go of my arm, I ran to my car and drove home.

I do too…

Those three words were far from, "I love you", but what did I expect? He was Damien.

"Carmel? Cars, why aren't you picking up? Is something wrong? Come on, I called you nine times nowBeep," it was my answering machine.

Hours later, I was on my couch, practically chugging down a gallon of delicious Ben and Jerry.

"Carmel, Damien called. He told me you guys broke up but he didn't tell me why…so mind telling me now?—Beep."

Bringing another spoonful of ice cream to my mouth, I paid no attention to the annoying machine. I knew that Liz, my best friend, was worrying about me but I needed my space. I needed a breath of solitude. I needed to compose myself first. Though I love Damien, I did not want to breakdown in front (maybe not literally, since it's the phone and all) of my best friend.

I tried to remember what happened. I broke up with him. I ended it. He should be the one crying over his lost love…but why would he? Someone probably piqued his interest by now…

… I cried even harder.

She's the Man just finished. The credits were about to finish rolling. Sure it was a romance, but it was better than…

…Oh god, no…

The next movie was… it was…Titanic, the epitome of romantic movies of all time. The movie where I would bawl my eyes out and cry myself to sleep (like I needed any help to do so), Titanic was the moving picture that would kill the last remaining shatters of my bleeding heart. Observe how emo I was being.

Quickly, I turned off the television. I picked up the phone and dialed my savior's number.

Pick up, pick up…please for the love of Da—uh—donuts, pick up…

"Thank god you finally called!" Liz exclaimed. I could imagine the tall redhead flailing her arms everywhere. I almost laughed…but I was too depressed.

"Liz, we broke up. I broke up with Damien…"

"You broke up with Damien?! What?! Why? I thought you were in love with him or something! Why would you do such thing? I mean…uh…Cars?"

"Not were, am. I am in love with him," I chuckled, remorse and bitterness evident.

Then I told her the story. Thankfully, I didn't break down though I sobbed a few times. She asked if I wanted her to come over, but seeing that it was past midnight, I refused. We said our goodbyes and hung up.

Oh and I cried myself to sleep. Nothing new there though.

"No," I replied firmly.

"Okay, okay, not dinner. Uh…movies?" he pressed.

"No," I sighed in exasperation as I got my books from my locker.

The rest of the weekend flew by. To be honest, it was frustratingly depressing and just…well, there was too much solitude, minus the fact that my best girl friends came over to cheer little grumpy me up. As usual, news of the 'break up' spread all over school before anyone could say, "Carmel's single again".

Girls started to fling themselves left and right, North and South, East and West to he-who-should-not-be-mentioned-in-my-thoughts while guys started asking me out on dates. Apparently, I was hot. I always knew that I was pretty in an average way, but no one had the courage or any motivation at all to call me hot. I'm not bragging about how many guys were 'after' and/or 'chasing' me. Oh god no. In fact it irritated me to no end because apparently the guy I wanted, the guy I love, the guy I pushed away because of my insecurities didn't really want me. He was pretending, just like what I feared.

I felt a heavy stare burning two holes at my head and I looked around.

Oh.

He was glaring at me. His eyes were emotionless, void of any feeling. I raised an eyebrow and looked away as if I was burned. I turned my attention back to the guy I recently rejected.

"…and I don't see why not. I mean you aren't dating Seinfeld anym—"

"This has nothing to do with him," I snapped, completely annoyed. He was pestering me all day. After a deep breath, I used a gentler tone and placed a small smile, "I just don't want to date as of now. Maybe next time…?" Meaning never, I don't want to use you as a rebound.

He looked at me hopefully, smiled and left me alone.

"Finally," I muttered under my breath.

The feeling that someone—three guesses who, Justin Bieber…? Uh no…that gay kid from Glee…? Nope, he-who-should-not-be-mentioned-in-my-thoughts…? That was your first guess wasn't it? Yeah, thought so—was glaring at me came back.

As much as I hated myself for this, I couldn't help it: I looked. Well, I looked because I was annoyed by his glare, that's all. Not because he was gorgeous or anything. I mean it wasn't like I missed his beautiful face because fact number one: his face appalls me. It nauseated me to the point where I wanted to poke my eyes out with a bendy straw… so yeah. Okay, that was just a pathetic attempt at denial.

Anyway, there was this short, puh-retty blonde (you know, if you're into the whole multi-colored icing face look) completely flaunting her chest in front of his face. I swear she was making them jiggle like an earthquake striking a grape-flavored jelly on purpose. They weren't that massive—I mean come on—I'd seen better ones.

Me? Bitter? Well, I always was. Jealous? …Of course not. Was I heartbroken…? That's more I like it.

"When you see my face / I hope it gives you hell, I hope it gives you hell / When you walk my way / I hope it gives you hell, I hope it gives you hell," I sang as the song blasted through my black and pink headphones.

"You know, you sang that song seven times in a row since I got here to study? I can't get the lyrics out of my head," Liz complained for the I-lost-count time.

She went over to my house, insisting that I shouldn't be alone because she believed—claimed is more I like it—that I was still not over him. I told her she wouldn't get any studying done if she came but did she listen to me? Nooooo.

I ignored her and continued my singing or as my fourteen year old brother called it 'mindless shrieking', "Now where's your picket fence love? / And where's that shiny car? / Did it ever get you far? / You never seem so tense, love! / I never seen you fall so hard / Do you know where you are?"

"Shut up!" Liz complained once more, placing her Biology book on her face.

I felt a bit sorry for letting her undergo this torture, but I was miserable and I guess misery loves company. Besides, I did warn her.

"And truth be told I miss you / And truth be told I'm lying…"

Suddenly, the song got softer and softer until finally, I couldn't hear it. Liz ripped my headphones off.

"Hey! I was listening to that," I exclaimed as I crossed my arms on my chest.

"You were singing it too," she said flatly.

Oh no. She was not going to win.

"Fine then," I pretended to sound disappointed yet annoyed. A smirk was on her face. "I guess—" my own smirk appeared, "—I have to sing it in Acapella."

"Don't. You. Dare. Carmel."

I took a huge gulp of air before; "When you see my face," Dance, "Hope it gives you hell, Hope it gives you hell" Crazy hand gestures, "When you walk my way," Laughter at Liz's expression, "Hope it gives you hell," Roaming of the eyes,"Hope it gives you hell" Dresser…closet…ex-boyfriend…bathroom door…wait…ex-boyfriend leaning on the bedroom door, "If you find a man," Slowing down and eyes widening, "…that's worth the damn and treats you well…" Stop.

The next lines flew out of my head.

He-who-should-not-be—oh what the hell—Damien was there, leaning on the doorframe of my bedroom's door. He was in my house, in between my hallway and my bedroom. He was standing in my territory. He was breathing my air in my air space which meant he was inhaling my oxygen and exhaling my carbon dioxide which supposedly should be exhaled by me because it was mine. He was also staring at my face.

He was right across from me… and Liz said nothing about it, not even a small warning.

"Traitor," I muttered lowly before glaring at said traitor: Liz.

She chuckled nervously before dusting non-existent dust bunnies and their dust carrots (Well, what do dust bunnies eat? Dust…? They were made from dust so dust carrots it is.) off her blouse. She cleared her throat while I continued to glare.

"Well uh…" she continued to laugh nervously as she picked up her study stuff. "Oh hey Damien. I was just about to leave. I have this dentist appointment, yeah, he needs to replace my…uh…retainer case. Funny story actually, my pet piranha ate it. So bye I guess. You can do whatever it is you came here to do when I'm gone and all…"

Just like that, she left.

Stupid girl stopped using a retainer a year and a half ago.

I considered yelling at her for her traitorous ways but I settled with shooting her a look that can only be described as hazardously murderous.

I took one look at Damien and resumed with my deer in headlights expression.

Taking three mental breaths I asked, "What are—?"

"Your mom… let me in… I came here to… talk to you," that confident Damien was gone. He sounded so unsure and… nervous?

"Ah," I nodded slowly, my eyes still alarmed.

He took a large gulp of sweet oxygen and released it as if he was about to proclaim when the world would end.

"Cara—Carmel," he was slightly more confident now but the way he said my name felt wrong. I missed Caramel. "I – I'm here to explain."

"There's no need," I blurted out before biting my tongue. Oh god, no. It just slipped out but truthfully, I wanted to hear what he had to say.

He looked at me meaningfully before replying, "I need to tell you this."

His tone was so firm yet gentle, serious yet determined that I only managed to give a small nod.

"You gave me a lecture about how you don't… don't feel loved the other night, about how… how heartless I am and I guess I've done everything wrong," he started to tell me. I was in a state of shock; he was trying to prolong what he needed to say. His straightforwardness was gone. What happened?

"I care about you. I just don't know how to show it and now, I guess I need to show it better," he gave me a half-hearted smile. "Carmel, when I comment on your clothes, it's because I'm being paranoid. I'm scared of how many guys would be looking at you on our dates. I can't stand it. I can't stand the feeling of losing you or sharing you. It's pretty selfish but I want you all to myself…"

Funny, I feel the same with you…

"When I tell you I hate your make-up or your hair, it's because I don't want you to try so hard to please me. You're beautiful and I like you better without those cosmetics crap because honestly, I don't need make-up to see how stunning you look every day…"

Then explain the blonde with the cake face…

"When you told me that you like guys who voiced their opinions, I took every opportunity to show you that I can be that guy… but I took it too far, obviously. I ended up hurting you with my words and I – I'm sorry for that. I wasn't really being insightful or open-minded; I was being stupid and a perfectionist…"

Yes, you did hurt me.

"When you told me that you hate lies, I never kept the truth away from you. Honestly, I only lied to you once… that was when I said I regretted our relationship. I don't regret it at all. What I regret is letting myself lose you. Everything I tell you is true. I do care for you and now, I do want you back…"

How can I trust you?

"When I say—"

"How can I trust you?" I interrupted, tears rolling down my cheeks. "How can I believe you again when you barely looked at me when I left? When you didn't seem to regret ending it with me? How do I know who the real Damien is?"

He took my shoulders and shook me gently as he asked, "Didn't you see me glare at all those idiots who tried asking you out? Didn't you see me pushing those girls away? Didn't you hear what I just said? Everything I showed you is real, Carmel, this is me. Don't you see?"

"I – I," I shook my head slowly as more tears were made, "don't see. I don't understand."

His hands dropped from my shoulders and got my wrist instead. Then he looked straight into the windows of my soul, "Then I'll be blunt, it means that I love you."

My eyes widened at his words. I looked at our intertwined arms, then back at him. "B-but that blonde girl in the hallway… and… and weren't you glaring at me?"

"She's not you, so she doesn't interest me in the slightest," he stated it as if it was a long proven fact. "And why the hell would I do that to you?" he looked repulsed at the particular idea.

"Well, you did glare at me on our… our break up night," I pointed out.

"Oh," his eyes had this glazed look. Then he brought his gaze to me and smiled, "Well, that's because you were being stupid."

My blood started boiling again, "How was I being stupid?!"

"You got angry at me for changing your order," it was his turn to point out dryly.

Then his lips curved into a smile, "I only changed it because they didn't have fresh salmon. I was worried you wouldn't like it. Besides, you deserve only the best and nothing else… and before you ask, I approached you today because I wanted to see if you would be better off without me. You rejecting every guy that asked you out gave me a bit of hope that I still have a chance… and quite frankly… I was hesitant because I-I don't know what to say to you. I was nervous."

If it were a normal day, I would laugh my pants off at that statement. The Damien I was used to was never nervous but I guess after everything, one thing was still the same: Damien being unpredictable.

Now, as I looked into his breathtakingly beautiful green eyes, I could tell that he wasn't lying.

He was right, he only lied to me once and I lied to him twice. Our relationship wasn't based on lies at all. It was far from it. And call me crazy but one glimpse of his face and I knew that I had to believe him. As cliché as it is, I trusted Damien with my life. He could probably talk me into skydiving. I knew what to do.

"Damien," I started nervously and hesitantly. This was it, my big confession. "I lied too. I could never regret 'us' and being your girlfriend is the second best thing that has happened to me. To be honest, our break-up is the best thing…"

He stared at me in bewilderment. I grinned slyly. He got it all wrong.

"…Because if it wasn't for this, I wouldn't have the courage to tell you this: Damien, I love you too."

A dazzling grin broke out on his face as my words finally made sense to him. I smiled back. I finally told him.

Suddenly, he somehow pulled me close to him, really, really close that his scent flooded me. Then, we did the inevitable, we kissed (quite passionately if I may add).

His hands found their way to my waist as mine locked behind his neck and the other roamed his soft hair. We pulled each other closer and closer and it felt like we were alone in the world. It was a good kind of solitude. It was heaven. When we pulled away, both of us breathing heavily, I gave him teasing smile as I said, "We are never letting a soft drink between us ever again."

"Correction, we are never letting a soft drink and your weight between us ever again," he teased back, poking my cheek.

I smacked him playfully as I grinned in glee, "Oh shut up."

He chuckled, his smooth baritone voice filling my ears. "I'm kidding. I love you for you. You're beautiful and to put in bluntly, you're perfect just the way you are…"

Indeed, his last sentence was the epitome of cliché. It was beyond overused but I smiled and kissed him again anyway…because that sentence came from Damien. Damien meant it and he never lied, he was just blunt.

"By the way, never call me Carmel again."

Another deep laugh before, "Oh god, I missed you."


Author's Note:

I cannot believe I used to write like this, I swear. I don't know how to explain myself. It's like an entirely different person to me! Oh well.

P.S. Please bear in mind that this is a fairly old work of mine, kept here for the sake of seeing how much I may or may not have improved.


Copyright Eiya Weathes (Author ID: 697805). All Rights Reserved.