I entered our room to find her laying face down on nher bed, a large wet spot on her pillow. I rolled my eyes and plopped myself onto my bed, reaching underneath it for my book. My hand met the empty carpet of the floor. I felt around until I felt the rough leather binding of a book. I pulled it out to find the wrong book. For a moment I just sat, looking at the rough leather cover. It was a dark chocolate brown with light brown, curvy letters on the front. Romeo and Juliet.
Without really making a conscious desision to, I threw the book at the wall across the room. I blinked a few times, then looked over at Nia to see if she had reacted. Her back was rising and falling slowly. She was asleep. I breathed a sigh of relief, then reached over and turned the light out. I was asleep before I even hit the pillow.
. . .
The next morning I woke up to the sun streaming in through the window. Nia was still asleep. I looked around the room, feeling half asleep, when my eyes landed on the book. Suddenly I was very awake. Slowly, I went and retrieved the book.
I ran my fingers over the painfully familiar cover, feeling nothing but anger.
I opened it and ripped out the first page, balled it up, and threw it in the trash can. I watched it land neatly It brought a strange feeling of satisfaction.
I ripped another one.
Another page came out of the horrid book.
Stupid Syncing Test-
My thoughts were interrupted when the book was snatched from my hands. My head shot up to find Niagara looking at me with a mixture of irritation and disbelief. But mostly irritation.
"What?" I snapped.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
I sat glaring at her for a second, not knowing what to respond. "Being angry," I finally spat out.
"Well can you be angry a little quieter?" she snapped.
I could not believe this was the same girl who had been crying in her bed last night over a stupid little note.
I rolled my eyes and ripped out another page.
"Why not just throw the whole book away?" she cried.
"Why not mind your own bussiness," I spat, throwing the next one away, my eyes avoiding her.
"Why are you even ripping it anyway?" she demanded.
"Why do you care?" I cried, abruptly sitting up.
She just sat staring at me in disbelief, and then sighed, her face still angry. "You know what, just forget it," she spat bitterly. She stomped out of the room. I winced as the door slammed shut.
Dropping myself back onto my pillow, I ripped another page out, balled it up, and threw it in the trash. But for some reason, it didn't seem to be quite as satisfying. I sighed and threw the entire thing in the trash.
. . .
I slammed the door to our apartment, the thought that I was still in just my cami and pajama pants suddenly hitting me. I sighed. There was no way I was going back in there. Instead, I immediately turned and knocked on the door to the left of ours. The door was open within seconds.
"Hey, Jayda," I said softly.
"Come on in, hon!"
Hon? That was a new one.
"Come here, sit!" she called, plopping herself on the coffee colored couch, patting the seat next to her.
I sighed, then made my way over. Their apartment looked like the same model as ours one large room, split in two to be a living room and a kitchen, seperated by an island counter.
"So, what's up, babe?"
What was with all the nicknames?
"Oh, I just wanted to talk to you about something."
I was interrupted when Jayda let out a happy gasp. "Does he miss me already?"
"Wait... what?" I asked in confusion.
"Does Alaric miss me yet?" she asked, her eyes still excited.
"Umm... no, sorry. I don't tink he cares all that much," I lied.
"Oh, well that's alright. Unless... you like him?" she asked cautiously.
"What? Oh... yeah, I do. I'm sorry."
"Oh... well that's okay. It'll take longer than I thought to get him back, but that's alright."
"Wait... what? What about Jack?"
"Oh, I don't actually... like him."
"But... what about the other day in the cafeteria?"
She let out a small bout of musical laughter. "I was acting, silly."
"Jayda!" I cried as I finally understood, standing up. "Does Jack know?"
A small, mischievous smile crossed her face. "No."
"Jayda! God, never mind," I snapped at her as I left te small apartment. The door slammed shut behind me. This seemed to be a recurring pattern today. Except, this time, iI sat back against the wall and slid to the ground. It was just me and my thoughts. I couldn't believe Jayda was doing what she was doing to get Alaric back. Out of jealousy. I hoped I would never get jealous. She was intentionally hurting him... well, she actually didn't think she was because she thought he didn't care. I guess I should tell Alaric... shouldn't I?
Suddenly, the door on the other side of our apartment opened, and gently shut behind Ahren.
"Nia?" he said, a genuine note of concern in his voice.
"Hey, Ahren," I whispered.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked, sitting down next to me.
"Nothing... I'm just having issues with Alaric. It's nothing big."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that... Is there anything I can do?"
"What? Oh, no. It's just... it's stupid. Don't worry about it."
"Alright. You know, He may act like a rock on the outside, but he's really a good person. He's a good guy. And you're a great girl. You two are good together."
Wow. Well, it was now or never.
"Hey, Ahren, I just wanted to tell you that I-"
And, of course, his phone rang. "Oh, sorry, can you hold on for just a second?"
I nodded, and he gave me a smile, then stood up and pressed the button on his phone. His face immediately lit up.
"Hey, babe..... yes, I miss you.... no, Carls, I won't forget.... yes, I'm on my way there right now..."
Wow, was I stupid. He wasn't going to run back to me and leave Carly just because I told him I liked him. I mean, he had left their apartment, what, thirty seconds ago? I sighed.
"Alright, I'll be back in a litte while...Love you too... Alright, bye," he said, hanging up his phone, and then to me, "So, you were saying?"
"Oh...yeah..." I trailed off. "I just wanted to tell you that I... I'm really really happy for you and Carly. You two are really cute together and you seem really happy."
His smile grew wider. "Thanks, Nia. I hope you and Alaric work things out," he said, starting to turn and walk away.
"Yeah, me too," I said. "Oh, and Ahren?"
"Yeah?" he asked, turning.
"Thanks," I said, and for the first time in the hour I had been awake, I smiled.
He gave me another smile and winked, then turned and walked away.
"Good bye, Ahren," I whispered, then sighed and slumped against the wall. I can't believe I had ever thought there was hope for Ahren and I.
Suddenly, our door opened and out stepped a pair of sneakered feet. I looked up to find a face almost identical to the one I had just been talking to, except this one was more angled and rugged, and covered by a hood.
Alaric sighed and sat down next to me, pulling his hood back.
"Yes?" I asked, looking out into the distance over the porch-like fixture.
"You're an idiot," he said plainly, as if it was just normal news.
"What else?" I asked.
He sighed again and I glanced over at him. His jaw muscles were clenching. In and out. In and out. In and out.
"I was... wrong to snap at you. Earlier. I'm sorry."
"Yeah," was all I responded.
"So... where did you go?" he asked.
"I went to see Jayda. Turns out that was a bad idea."
"What?Why, what did she say?"
"What? Oh, it was nothing, she just didn't want to listen to anything I ad to say. It was all about Jack, Jack Jack," I lied, although I couldn't figure out why.
"Asshole," he said, more to himself, as he slouched back agains the wall.
"Yeah, sorry about that," I said drily, avoiding his eyes. I preoccupied myself with looking off into the distance.
"It's whatever," he said tiredly with a sigh.
It was silent. The morning Saturday sun was still climbing in the blue sky. I sighed as I studied the land below us which was swarming with students, doing their Saturday bussiness.
There was a girl who was with a boy, both of them having black hair. The girl was flailing her arms in frustrated way, and the boy was moving his arms in a defensive kind of way, until the boy threw his arms up in the air and turned and walked away, leaving the girl there alone, just like that.
"So," I said suddenly. "We're going to be stuck together for a really long time."
"Yes, unfortunately, we are. What about it?" he asked.
I shrugged. "Well, maybe we coud try?" I suggested softly.
He let out a dry laugh. "No, I am not the person you would want to be together with for any length of time. Trust me," he said, focusing on something out in the distance.
"What, so you're just not going to even try and get long?" I demanded, standing up.
"Well, it's either that and wait for it to crash and burn, or just know that it won't work out and not expect any more of it. Which would you prefer?" he demanded louder, standing up, his height exceeding mine.
"And how are you so sure it wil crash and burn?"
"Because every other one did! God damnit, Niagara, can't you just listen to me for once?" he cried, then turned and walked away.
And he left her there alone, just like that.