A/N: My Christmas present to you :) ps. If you haven't read Hooked on Him, or Not Quite off the Hook, this may not make much sense to you. Otherwise, enjoy!
"Sand –Sa –Sandra! Would you just list – Sandra don't hang up –" The dial tone started beeping, telling me that the call was ended. And so was something else.
"Fuck!" I threw my cell phone onto my bed, not wanting to look at it anymore. I was in one of those moods where I desperately just wanted to punch a hole in the wall, or take anything I could get my hands on and just hurl it at something.
Troy spun around from his computer in our dorm room, not seeming all that phased by my outburst. "You... alright?"
I turned around and tried to ignore the picture of Sandra and I that was staring back at me. "She broke up with me."
"Oh," he shrugged. "So you wait around for about a half an hour, then she'll be calling back and apologizing," he replied flatly. He flicked himself back around to face his laptop again.
I shook my head angrily and sat down on my bed. "No, Troy you don't fucking get it. It wasn't the usual type, where we scream at each other and say stupid shit. She was actually really upset, and just kept saying she was sorry. I don't get it, I didn't even do anything this time! Everything was fine."
I felt like killing something, possibly Troy for the fact that he was being so indifferent towards the situation. Sandra and I had been fine. At least I thought we were. I was so pissed, and heartbroken at the same time. What was I supposed to do now? Everything we had, just forgotten? I needed to see her, needed to show her that she was wrong, and that for whatever reason she was breaking up with me for, was stupid.
Except she didn't exactly live close to me at the moment, and wouldn't talk to me on the phone. How the hell was I supposed to figure out what was even going on if she wouldn't even talk to me?
Troy glanced over his shoulder and saw that I was actually being serious. "Oh, well..." he scratched the back of his neck awkwardly. "Sorry, man. You want me to call her and find out or something?"
"No, she'll just know I got you to call." There were way too many memories of Sandra in here; Pictures, her stuff... the bed. And I needed to get out. I grabbed my phone and headed for the door. I knew who would know what the hell was going on with her.
"I'll be back later," I muttered, letting the door slam behind me. I really thought that was it with her. I knew it sounded stupid to think that getting married to her had even crossed my mind already. But how couldn't it have when we'd been together for so long? It almost felt like a complete waste of time to just end it all now.
By the time I had angrily blown through a good quarter of the campus, I was standing in front of another dorm room door, pounding on it relentlessly.
The door swung opened and Marcy stood there with an annoyed look on her face. "Yes?" she said flatly. "I'm trying to study. What do you want?"
Ignoring pretty much everything she was saying to me, I stepped around her and into her room. "I need to talk to you." I heard her sigh from behind me and shut the door. She folded her arms and raised her eyebrows at me, nodding her head impatiently for me to go on. "What's wrong with Sandra?" I asked bluntly.
She stared at me blankly for a second before plainly saying, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"That's bullshit, Marce," I rolled my eyes. "Come on, she broke up with me out of nowhere. And I know you'd know why."
At first she just rolled her eyes in the same manner Troy had. "You guys always break up, for like an hour. It's not that big a deal."
"Jesus," I groaned to myself. "It was different this time," I tried to emphasise. "She meant it this time. I can tell."
She genuinely looked like she didn't know what I was talking about, but I let myself believe that it was just an act. "Do you want to check my phone history?" she picked up her phone and raised an eyebrow at me. "I haven't spoken to her in like three days." I frowned, starting to believe her now. That was basically my last chance of getting inside Sandra's head. "Luke, if I knew then I'd tell you," she said with sympathy in her voice.
I just didn't get it. We had gotten through our whole first year of university fine. Sure, we had some five minute break ups, here and there, but nothing actually serious. And by the time summer vacation rolled around, she was in my room waiting for me when I got home, and we had spent more time than I'm sure was healthy together. Now this.
"I'm sure it'll work out," Marcy said with a hopeful tone.
I shook my head. They didn't hear her on the phone. She was serious.
Troy and Marcy were definitely wrong when they said it would be like every other time Sandra and I broke up. Because every other time, we'd be back together in about a day. Yet, I hadn't heard one word from Sandra in over a month, since the day she broke up with me.
"You know, you're really turning out to be a shitty room mate," Troy thought out loud, packing some clothes into his suitcase. "All you do is sulk around the room like a bitchy girl."
I snorted and opened my mouth to retort. "Yeah, maybe because—"
"Sandra broke up with you and you don't know why?" he finished off with the exact words I would have used. "Yeah, I know," he said in a monotone voice.
I chose not to respond to him and let him keep packing. It had honestly never really crossed my mind that I was probably annoying everyone I came into contact with. Marcy was probably just about ready to put a restraining order on me from the amount of times I'd shown up at her door, looking to see if she heard from Sandra.
"You ready?" Troy grabbed onto his duffel bag and turned to face me. I glanced at my effortlessly packed bag waiting by the door and nodded my head with a shrug.
It was Thanksgiving weekend, and we were going home for the weekend. I had looked forward to it before Sandra had broke up with me, since that meant I'd get to see her. But now, since I hadn't even spoken to her in close to two months, I had no idea what was going on in the girl's life.
We locked our dorm room door behind us and headed down the hall. Emma Smith, a tiny little brunette popped her head out of her door as we were walking past. To put it out there shortly, the girl was a slut. Not the kind of girl you'd take home to meet the family. And I was pretty sure her and Troy had gotten together regularly, if that surprised you at all.
"Have a good weekend, Em," Troy winked at her as he passed. She smiled and waved, but her eyes quickly diverted to me.
"Hey, Luke," she came up behind me. I lazily turned around and forced a smile at her. I'd never actually spoken to the girl unless she was somewhere with Troy. And now wasn't exactly the time to change that.
"So, I heard you're all single now," she plastered a flirty smile on her face. "Which I think is for the best by the way. You really shouldn't let some girl tie you down," she laughed. "We should hang out when you get back next week?"
I hated the way she spoke about Sandra as, some girl.
"No thanks," I deadpanned, then turned and trailed Troy towards his car.
Mom had attacked me when I got home. Anytime I came home, there was about an hour of hugging and gushing about how much she missed me. This time was of course no exception.
Since it was Thanksgiving, Mom was throwing a big supper, and insisted that Troy and his family come over too. So after some home welcoming, Mom had me in the kitchen helping out to my best ability.
"So Lucas," she started suspiciously. "Have you been talking to Sandra?"
I rolled my eyes with my back turned to her. "No." If anyone had been more concerned than me when Sandra and I broke up, it was my mother. It was almost as if she had been broken up with too.
"I wish you—"
"Mom, please don't bring it back up," I pleaded.
I could tell she was dying to do nothing but talk about it, but she held it in anyway. She looked at me and smiled sadly. "It will get better, sweetie."
I doubted that.
Mom started rounding everyone up for supper, and I noticed that Sandra's Dad was here. She wasn't though, so I guess she really wasn't coming home for Thanksgiving. I couldn't decide if I saw that as a good thing or a bad thing.
"Hayden, I'm seriously going to kick—"
"Leah, please stop fighting with your brother," Mom sighed. "It's the holidays, please like each other for once."
"Yeah, you freak," Hayden grinned at his twin, and I found myself actually missing their constant bantering.
I sat down at the table, in between Troy and Hayden and waited for everything to be served. Once everyone was seated, and Mom neatly set out the food in front of us, everyone started eating and conversing. I mostly stayed quiet and tried to brush off any questions that anybody asked me.
We had been eating for about fifteen minutes when I thought I heard the front door open and close.
"Sorry I'm late," Sandra said out of breath, walking in. And I choked on my water. Troy and Hayden glanced at me, but everyone else went on not noticing.
Holy shit, what was she doing here? There was no fucking way I could sit across the table from her. But dear God she looked beautiful.
"Hi Dad," she smiled gently. He got up and hugged his daughter, and I really wished I could get up and hug her too. I wished I could just be absolutely furious with her, but I couldn't find it in me. She looked around his shoulder and smiled again, "Hi everyone."
Her eyes met mine for a fraction of a second, but she quickly diverted them away as if she hadn't meant to look at me at all.
"Hi sweetheart!" my Mom jumped up and hugged her, in that creepy way of basically saying, I still want you to be my daughter in law some day. "You keep getting more and more grown up."
She smiled modestly and sat down in the only chair left. Next to her father and directly across from me. I shot my Mother a look, telling her that she failed to mention that Sandra would in fact be here. But Sandra let her eyes go everywhere except towards me. I wonder if she found this as awkward as I did.
I admittedly stared at her for the first couple minutes. I couldn't help it, it had been so long since I saw her. And it wasn't like she was meeting my gaze anyway.
"Stop staring at her man, it's weird," Hayden said next to me, audibly enough for the rest of the table to hear. Sandra lifted her head and actually looked at me for the first time. Our eyes held each others for a second before looking away.
"Hayden, shut the fu—"
"Lucas!" Mom cut me off.
"Okay Sand, I'll be the first to bring it up," Hayden continued. "Now that you're not dating my brother anymore, I'm still single. Just gonna throw that option out there," he lifted his hands innocently in the air. And there it was. Hayden would be the one to bring it up.
Troy scoffed next to me, "Come on Hayden, we all know I'm next in line after Lucas."
At the same time, Sandra and I both told them to shut up. Except she had used politer words than I had.
"Okay, okay!" Mom flailed. "It's Thanksgiving, stop fighting."
This was so frustrating. The last time we were home for the weekend, Sandra and I were actually still together. And after giving each other eye signals across the table, we had both managed to sneak away from the table and meet upstairs. Now we weren't even looking at each other.
"So Troy," his Mom smiled, probably trying to lift the mood. "Got a girlfriend to bring home to you mother yet?" she smiled.
"Of course not mommy," he grinned. "You can't rush these things."
"Like you're actually trying," I rolled my eyes.
"Well, I never end up being the one sitting in the dorm room heartbroken, do I?" he grinned at me and raised his eyebrows, then flicking his eyes towards Sandra.
"Fuck off," I muttered.
"Okay! No more of this…" Mom searched for her words. "Cryptic, fighting with each other stuff anymore. It's Thanksgiving, so can you please just enjoy your supper and be civil with each other?" she pleaded. The fact that none of us answered was what she took as an accepting answer.
The rest of the supper went on uneventfully. Sandra smiled and answered questions when people asked her, and I did the same. People asked her about soccer, and school, and random stuff like that, but I wanted someone to ask her if she was dating. Was that weird of me? Yeah probably, but I needed to know.
No, she couldn't be. We only broke up a little over a month ago. There was no way she'd be dating already, would she?
"Sandra," Leah started. "Think you can stay for a little while?" She gave her the look that she gave her, which meant: I need to talk to you about boy/ friend/ whatever the case may be problems.
"Um..." she hesitated. I knew she didn't want to be here anymore than necessary. And I kind of didn't want her to be either. It was too fucking weird, and hard.
"Please," Leah smiled.
Sandra sighed, then smiled. "Yeah, sure."
Supper ended shortly after that. Sandra actually spoke to Troy, when I wasn't around. Mom kept pushing me to go talk to her, but I continued to refuse. It was almost like we were in pre-school, where your Mom had to force you to go talk to the girls. I wasn't going to though. If she wanted to talk to me, she could do it herself.
I went straight up to my room once Troy left, and Leah and Sandra came up shortly after that and went straight to Leah's room and shut the door.
I walked into my room for the first time since I had been home. It was exactly the same since when I left it last. Still sitting on one of my desks was a picture of Sandra and me. She had taken it the day I came home for summer vacation, then framed it and placed it there herself. I picked up the picture in my hand and remembered the day vividly.
I pulled into my driveway and shut the car off instantly. I left my bags in the car and decided I'd get them later. I had a certain girl to see.
I pushed open the front door and smiled at the familiar surrounding. "Hi Mom," I called out.
"Lucas?" I heard her screech from the kitchen. She catapulted herself out of the kitchen and threw herself at me in a hug. "Oh I missed you so much, sweetie. Look at my boy, all done is first year of university," she smiled proudly.
I laughed and hugged her back. "I missed you too, Mom. But I'm gonna go over and see if Sandra's home yet okay?"
She pulled away and shook her head. "Go upstairs and say hi to Julie first. She's been so excited for you to come home."
I nodded my head and went upstairs. I went straight to Julie's room and knocked on her door. "Hey Jules..." I looked around and saw that she wasn't even in here. That was weird. What other places could my ten year old sister possibly be besides home?
I shrugged and went into my own room. When I pushed open the door, I suddenly realised why Mom told me to 'come up and say hi to Julie.'
Sandra sat on the edge of my bed, flipping through a magazine. At the sound of my entrance, she lifted her head, dropped the magazine and jumped towards me. Her hands wrapped around my neck and she was already kissing me.
"Hi," she smiled.
"Well this is a nice surprise," I smiled and kissed her again. "I think you and I have some stuff to catch up on," I smiled, squeezing her sides and kissing her again.
"Mhm," she nodded her head and smiled. "But not right now while your Mom's downstairs. That'd be weird."
Nevertheless, she backed up to the bed and pulled me down with her. She kissed me again—something I imagine she'd be doing for a while, and then smiled against my mouth.
"We made it through the first year."
"I told you we would," I pointed her with a look. She dropped her head back onto my pillow, and I laid down next to her, draping my arm over her waist, then pulled her closer. We laid facing each other, noses almost touching.
"Now we've got all summer together," she smiled.
I rested my forehead against hers, and looked as if I were in thought. "Yeah, I've had all these fantasies about you that I'd like to try out. You have no idea how much your absence influenced my imagination," I smirked suggestively.
She burst out laughing and kissed me. "You're such a pig."
I kissed her forehead, and closed my eyes. "My fantasies can wait. I just wanna lay here with you right now."
I knocked the picture face down so that I wouldn't have to look at it anymore. Down the hall, I could hear Sandra's and Leah's voices muffled through Leah's door.
Sighing heavily to myself, I reached over and picked the picture up so that I could see it again. The idea of having her face turned away from me just made it worse. I just couldn't do it. It was almost like I was torturing myself really. Every time I looked at the picture of us, it just further annoyed me, yet I couldn't leave it turned down.
Over the edge of the picture, I saw the same body in the picture suddenly standing in my doorway. I quickly turned the picture back down so that I couldn't see it anymore, and sat up, swinging my legs off the bed and staring up at her, wordless.
"Hey," she smiled feebly, taking two cautious steps into the room, as if I was going to lunge at her or something.
I swallowed calmly and leaned forward on my knees casually. "Hey…"
She took a quick glance around the room that she had previously spent so much time in, before looking back at me and tucking some of her dark hair behind her ear. "How are you?" she asked. I wanted her to quickly get to whatever it was that she intended on saying. Because this whole beating around the bush and pretending everything was perfectly fine thing was only annoying me.
"Not bad," I answered shortly, keeping the details to a minimum. "What about you?"
"Pretty good," she answered, her answer sounding a bit more genuine and content than mine had.
"Awesome," I said sarcastically, coming off as a jerk I'm sure.
"Lucas—" she frowned.
"What?" I cut her off, standing up now. "What the hell do you expect me to say, Sandra? That I'm happy? That I'm happy you broke up with me out of nowhere!" Her eyes flickered with hurt at my words, I could tell. But why shouldn't they have?
"I just wanted to talk," she said quietly. "We haven't in a while."
I scoffed and shook my head at her. "Maybe because you won't return my calls. Or my texts. Or any way I try to get in contact with you. Maybe because you completely cut me out of your life when I didn't do anything."
I saw her eyes momentarily water up the slightest bit, but she quickly blinked them back. "I'm sorry," she whispered.
I felt that pang in my heart that I had been blocking out a lot lately. I ran a hand through my hair and sighed loudly, looking back up at her desperately. "Why do you keep saying that?" I asked quietly. "Why can't you just talk to me anymore?"
"Lucas I just… I think it's be better if we were just friends. It'd be better for our relationship."
"You ended any relationship we had! And we can't just be friends!" I shot out rather loudly. There was no doubt everyone in the house was secretly listening to the two of us semi screaming at each other. Well, it was more like me screaming at her, which didn't exactly make me feel any better. I took a calming breath again and gazed at her and shook my head. "You and I can't be friends, Sandra. We tried that before and it didn't work."
She didn't look convinced at all. She just looked apprehensive. I was at the point where I was ready to get down on my knees and beg.
"Sandra, I love you," I said, my voice slightly cracking from the overwhelming feelings this conversation was bringing on. "Please, Sand," I begged desperately. "Just talk to me."
"Move on," was all she said to me.
I stared at her, completely at a loss for words. "What?" I deadpanned.
"Stop caring about me so much," she said, gaining some strength in her voice. How could she possibly be saying that to me? The girl who I had been with for the last three years, been through so much with, and more than anything proved my feelings towards her. How the hell could she ask me to move on, and expect me to do it at the moment she insisted?
She stared at me, with wide, beautiful, yet pleading eyes. "I just want us to be friends, Lucas."
I felt hostility flood throughout my body. The feeling you got when you purposely wanted to put people down. I shook my head with a distasteful face. "I don't want to be friends with you," I said. "So I guess we're nothing now."
I watched the vulnerable look that was previously on her face gain the strength that I knew she had. Sandra was strong, and could fend for herself. If I was going to push her around, she was going to push me right back. "Guess so," she said evenly with a careless, half shrug of the shoulders. There was a finality in the way she said the words. That was it. For the conversation, and for her and I.
She walked over towards the picture I had faced down and set it up, so that it was visible to everyone again, as if that were her way of saying that even though I was straight out refusing, she wanted us to be friends. It made me think that there had to be some part of her that still cared about me, until just before leaving, she addressed me with the shortened version of my name that, coming from anyone else would mean nothing, but coming from her, ripped me apart.
The brunette on top of me just stared at me, with a slightly dropped jaw at my abrupt order. She seemed like the kind of girl who didn't usually hear that from a guy. Which only made me wonder why I was even with her in the first place. She was half naked on top of me, and her mouth had been mauling mine, until I snapped.
"Luke, what is your problem?"
I sat up and gently nudged her off of me. "Will you just leave? Please." I tried keeping my emotions under check.
"You are such an asshole," she growled. She climbed off of the bed, grabbed her clothes and stalked out into the hallway, letting the door slam behind her, not before loudly yelling that she was going to tell all of her friends that I must be gay.
"Go for it," I deadly muttered to the now closed door. It reopened about five seconds later, and for two seconds, I thought it was going to be her coming back in, until Troy stepped in, grinning at me.
"Hot girl leaving the room. Getting some action?" he smirked, sitting in his computer chair and spinning around, eyeing me. "About time."
"No," I gritted. Just like every other fucking time. It had been three months since I last saw Sandra, at Thanksgiving. Which meant five months since we broke up. And every time I had a girl in here with me, it would get right to the point where we were about to go all the way, then I pictured Sandra. And for whatever reason, it felt like I was cheating on her, then I freaked out and pushed the girl off of me. And it was fucking annoying.
"Why not?" Troy laughed.
I lifted my head and raised my eyebrows at him. "You know why."
He sighed and turned around, opening up his laptop and turning it on. "Man, it's been like, almost half a year. Maybe you should try getting over it."
"You think I like sulking around and not being able to get past making out with girls?" I shot him a look. "Trust me, if I could get over it, I would."
He spun back around in his chair and rolled his eyes at me. "It's not like you have to see her everyday. That should make it easier."
"That's just it, I can't see her, or talk to her, or anything. Which means I still have no idea why she broke up with me, and it's driving me crazy. She won't call me. She won't call you."
"Well you are the one who said you didn't want to be friends, therefore the two of you are nothing," he quoted me.
I stared at him with narrowed eyes. "How'd you know that?" I asked slowly. I noticed the way his eyes almost flickered away from me when I said that. I could feel my suspicion and anger rising. "She didn't call you right?" I asked him slowly. He didn't respond right away, so that gave me my answer. "You've been fucking talking to her?!" I stood up quickly. "What the fuck Troy? Why wouldn't you tell me? Or put me on the phone or something?"
"Calm the hell down," he slid his chair back, a little further from me. "I talked to her a few times. It's no big deal. She's my friend too. It's not like she broke up with both of us."
"I can't fucking believe you. Why wouldn't you tell me then, if it's no big deal?"
"Because you'd act like this," he deadpanned.
This made so much more sense now. All those times I had walked into the room and he was on his cell phone, he'd all of a sudden go quiet, then tell who he was talking to that he had to go. Because it was Sandra.
"So tell me then, are you trying to pick her up or something now that we're broken up?" I asked crossly.
"Come on man, you know it's not like that," he reasoned with me. "I wouldn't do that."
Talking on impulse, I found myself saying, "Yeah well you did kiss her that time."
He stared at me incredulously. "Luke…" I knew this had nothing to do with Troy. He was just the closest person to take it out on right now.
I was so sick of this. Clearly I wasn't succeeding at getting over her, and the only possible solution I could see was getting her to talk to me. But how could I do that unless I actually went to her school...
"I'm going there," I said abruptly.
"I'm going to her school. She can't ignore me if I'm actually there."
I was dead set on this idea. I wasn't going to think it through, I was just doing it. I had already grabbed a bag and was packing it. Troy sat there, watching me with surprised eyes.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" he asked hesitantly.
"Don't care, I'm doing it." I threw some clothes and hygiene stuff into the bag. "She belongs to me. So I'm going to go and get her."
He sighed and scratched the back of his neck. "Yeah but, what if things aren't exactly, what you expect them to be...?"
I turned around and raised a sceptical brow at him. "What do you know?"
"Nothing. I'm just saying," he said quickly.
"Well then I guess I'll find out."
Within the span of those five minutes, I had decided that I was going to see Sandra, and had packed my bags, and was ready to go.
"Guess I'll see you later then," I shrugged, and then left.
"Hey, where are you going to—" The door slammed and cut him off. It couldn't have been that important anyway.
The three hour drive to Sandra's school seemed longer than it usually was. Even with the constant music coming through my speakers, it seemed quiet. But the three hour quarantine provided me with lots of time to think. But as I reached her school, I had come to the fact that I had absolutely nothing, and I'd just have to wing it.
I got out of my car, and felt the sun shining down on top of my head. I could go to Sandra's dorm room, but that seemed like it would be really awkward, to just knock on her door after not being with her for five months.
But as if it were a sign, I heard a whistle blowing, and turned my head towards the soccer field, and saw her team running around on the field. That had to be some sort of sign right? For her to be just there? I was going to take it as that for now. I shoved my hands in my pocket and made my way down to the field.
She was way to focused in her practice to have even seen me walk down to the field, or climb on top of the bleachers. It wasn't like I could blend in with other people. Aside from myself, there was only one other guy sitting a few spots down from me. I sat there for a few silent minutes, watching her sprint up the field, and easily handle the ball between her feet. It looked too easy for her, and she almost looked as if she were just bored with it now.
My eyes would have stayed glued to her for the rest of her practice if the guy next to me hadn't eventually said something to me.
"You sitting through this to watch your girlfriend too?" he grinned, looking about as restless as I was just sitting here.
I let a short laugh pass through my mouth. "Not exactly," I responded. He gave me a curious look. And then before I even knew it, I was telling him the whole story about being there. About how my girlfriend for a very long time randomly broke up with me, about not talking for five months, about charging out of my dorm room and driving here out of nowhere. I felt like a girl, gushing out all my pent up emotions to one of my friends. Except I didn't even know this guy.
But honestly, I had been sitting by myself in that car for three very silent hours, and I needed to start talking to someone because I had a feeling it wouldn't get any easier when it was Sandra standing in front of me.
He stared at me with raised eyebrows when I stopped talking. "Wow," he said sounding impressed. "And I thought I was being such a good guy by coming to watch my girlfriend's practice."
"It was kind of a spur of the moment type of thing," I shrugged.
He nodded his head and seemed like he was observing me for a moment. "Do you play football?" he asked randomly.
He grinned before looking back out at the field. "I think we went to a training camp together a couple of summers ago. You seemed kind of familiar." I racked my brain to that summer that I did in fact go to a football training camp. I sat for a moment, trying to remember his name. "Tom," he offered.
When he said it, it did click a little bit. "Yeah, I think I remember actually," I said thoughtfully. "Luke," I introduced myself.
"Yeah," he said. "To be honest, I mostly recognized you because I remembered you were always with that loud blond kid," he said, surely referring to Troy. He leaned back against the row of bleachers behind him. "So where are you staying?"
…Damn. Where was I staying? I had completely not thought about that. I couldn't just expect to bunk with Sandra. Maybe that was what Troy had been trying to say when I rampaged out of the room.
He chuckled and leaned forward on his knees. "Hadn't thought about it?"
"No," I answered slowly.
"Well," he started suggestively. "Assuming you haven't turned into a psycho since the last time I saw you, I know you're not dangerous to have in my room or anything," he grinned. "So you can stay in my room if you can't find anywhere. My room mate is gone home for the week end," he offered.
I raised my eyebrows at him. He had a point. I did know him and go to football camp with him at one point. And anyone that played football, was cool with me. Besides, what other choice did I really have? "Seriously?" I asked.
He shrugged, his way of saying yes I assumed. "Just helping out, I'd do something like that for my girlfriend too."
We talked randomly for the rest of the practice, football and stuff like that. So when the whistle finally blew for the end of their practice, I remembered what I was actually here for.
"I'll introduce you to my girlfriend, then I'll show you where my dorm is at," he said, standing up and stretching as the two of us hopped off and waited at the sideline of the field. This was perfect. Luck was with me today. First: I easily spot Sandra, right in front of me. Then I coincidentally run into someone I went to football camp with, who happens to offer me a place to stay. It was perfect, really.
"Hey," I heard him smile. And when I looked up, I felt all that luck quickly walk out the door when I saw him pull Sandra into his arms. "Hey this is Luke," he motioned to me. Her eyes landed on me, and the smile slowly faded off her face. She stared at me wordlessly for a second, and beneath the confusion in her eyes, I could also see anger.
She plastered a smile on her face as she turned back to Tom. "I have to go do something, I'll call you later okay?"
She was walking away before he could even respond. He watched her retreating figure with a confused frown on his face. "That's weird," he scratched the back of his neck. "She's usually really friendly," he offered a smile.
I scoffed to myself. Trust me, I know.
I realised that I must have been growing up, because any other time, I would feel the urge to punch this guy in the face. But for some reason, I didn't feel any urge to hurt him. He had no idea that we knew each other, or that we dated each other. He just fell for Sandra like I had.
And then another thought occurred to me. I was at my school, incapable of being with other girls without thinking of her. And she was here, already fucking dating.
Tom had to stop in at one of his classes before showing me where I was staying for the week end. So I stood outside waiting for him, feeling absolutely furious. What the hell was I supposed to do? Tell the guy who was letting me stay with him that I came all the way here to get back the girl he happens to be currently dating? Even I was smart enough to know that wouldn't work.
I pulled out my cell phone, and sadly did the only thing I could think to do. Call Troy.
"Hey," he answered on about the twenty-third ring.
"She's fucking dating someone!" I hissed into the phone. Here I expected Troy to be just as surprised as I was. But to make my day even worse, he laughed.
"Yeah I know." I paused for a moment and let those words sink into my head. He knew.
"You knew. And you still let me come here?" The anger was dripping off of my words.
"I tried to tell you but it took you about thirty seconds to pack and get out the door," he replied casually. I needed a new best friend. "Where you staying by the way?" he asked, just as amused.
"With her boyfriend!"
This only made him laugh harder. "Seriously?! Wow, that sucks. Well I gotta go. Got stuff to do. So… good luck with all that. You'll be gone the rest of the weekend right? I've got a girl coming over." I wasn't surprised one bit that he was brushing it off this easily. I bet all the time Sandra had apparently called him, he never blew her off like this.
"You're a jack ass," I replied.
"Yeah, yeah. Bye." The dial tone clicked.
Tom came back out without my even noticing, and was looking at me weird. When I looked up at him, he grinned. "You look pissed."
I shook my head, trying to wipe off the fury from my face. "I'm fine. Just tired from the drive." That excuse must have worked well enough, because Tom nodded his head understandably and told me we could go to the dorm room now. If this were any other circumstance, I'd think how weird it is that I'm going to this guy's dorm for the week end. But by the way today was already going, I didn't really care that much anymore.
He didn't live in the same building as Sandra, thank God. But it looked pretty similar. We took the elevator up to the third floor, and stepped out into a hallway where almost every third door was carelessly left open. It was like this floor of the building were all friends who were okay with anyone dropping in.
He stopped at the fourth door on the right and stuck a key into the door until it opened up.
"Hey, Tom," a voice called out from down the hall. A tinier guy had his head stuck out his door just down the hall. "Can you come here for a minute?"
Tom looked at me then pushed his door open further. "Lab partner," he nodded towards the guy down the hall. "Go on in, I'll be there in a few minutes."
I shrugged and walked in, dropping my bag onto the floor. The door closed behind me, leaving a tiny crack opened. His room looked pretty similar to Sandra's too. Except his was more... masculine-y. The dorm rooms at this school were so much better than my own. Every room here had their own bathroom, instead of having to share a huge public bathroom on each floor like my school did.
As I focused in on the bathroom, I only just realised that the shower had turned off, meaning it had been running in the first place. I thought he said his room mate would be gone? Great, to make things even better, now I'd have nowhere to stay. Which was probably not even as bad as staying with Sandra's boyfriend.
No sooner than the shower was turning off, was the bathroom door swinging open. A tiny bit of steam rolled out, and out stepped Sandra, in nothing but a towel wrapped around her body. Of course I was shocked that she was here, standing in front of me. But honestly, the first thing that went through my mind was how jealous I was that Tom got to sit in this room and see her walk out in nothing but a towel.
She lifted her head and saw me, and nearly jumped a foot in the air. "Jesus Christ!" she flew her hand over her chest. At first, there was shock on her face. Then there was confusion, disbelief, and fury. "What the hell are you doing here?!" she said quite loudly. "Here at my school, and in this room?"
I opened my mouth to respond, and was glad when she cut me off, because I didn't really have a response that sounded logical. She ran a hand through her wet hair and almost dropped the towel covering her body. She grabbed onto it at the last minute and covered herself even more. It really bothered me that she felt the need to hide herself from me.
"There's nothing under that towel I haven't seen before, Sandra," I pointed out.
She scowled at me and rolled her eyes. "Jesus Christ, Lucas," she sighed and turned back to face me. "What are you doing?"
"What am I doing?" I finally found it in myself to speak. "What are you doing?" Okay I admit, it wasn't the best of replies, but it was the first thing that came to my mind. "I come here to see you and you're dating some guy. Who happens to be letting me stay in his room for the week end," I added on to the end hastily.
She stared at me bluntly "Are you kidding me?" she deadpanned, referring to the last part. "Do you even know him?"
She sighed again, ran a hand through her hair again, and almost dropped her towel again. "Does he know? About us?"
"No," I answered again. "Assuming you haven't told him. Which I doubt you did," I said flatly. Not seeing her for five months, then seeing her standing here in a towel was just about the last thing I needed to keep me concentrated. "So, you're dating huh?"
She snapped her head back to me and looked pissed. "Is that what this is about?"
"The fact that you broke up with me for no reason? Then ignore me for five months? Yeah, it is."
"Well... I don't have an answer for you," she shrugged. I stared at her for a moment. What the hell did that mean? I opened my mouth to respond, but the door opened up fully and Tom stepped in.
"Oh shit! Sorry Sand, I forgot you'd be in here afterwards." He stepped in front of her, successfully blocking my complete view of her.
"It's okay," she muttered.
He cleared his throat, almost awkwardly. If only he knew that there was such a bigger issue at hand going on in this room that he wasn't even aware of. "This is—"
"Lucas," she cut him off, looking past him at me. "Yeah, I know." He didn't question her about how she knew me. But it registered that he had already introduced us, so he probably assumed that was how.
After standing there for an awkward minute, Sandra cleared her throat and scooped up a pair of clothes that I hadn't realised had been folded on his bed. A pair of clothes that belonged to her.
"I'm gonna head back to my dorm," she said in an actual pleasant tone. Pleasant because she was talking to him. He seemed confused again for her sudden departure, and I actually felt kind of bad for the guy. She re-entered the bathroom, and then quickly came back out fully dressed. Tom looked at her in the same concerned way that I used to look at her when I knew that something was wrong. Well at least it was clear that she had a decent guy looking out for her.
"I thought we were going to—"
She quickly cut his sentence short. "Yeah well you have a guest, so don't worry about it."
"We still on for tonight?" he asked quietly, ducking his head down near hers. She smiled up at him and nodded.
"Yeah, I'll call you."
He smiled back at her. "Alright." Then he did the thing I was silently praying he wouldn't do in front of me. He kissed her. And it fucking killed me. You know on cartoons when the kid runs away from home, then comes back and looks through the living room window, only to see that the family is perfectly fine, having a nice supper without them. That's what this felt like.
"I'll walk you down," he said, grabbing onto her hand. He glanced over his shoulder at me. "I'll be right back." I nodded my head and kept my eyes on her back as they walked out.
Tugging at my hair, I dropped down onto my temporary bed. When I got back to my own school, the first thing I was going to do was grab Troy and strangle him with my hands.
A few minutes later, Tom came back in with a smile on his face. It pissed me off that that smile was most likely formed by Sandra.
"So, you guys dated," he said completely out of nowhere. My head shot up faster than it probably should have. He must have sensed the confused look on my face, because he laughed after a second and sat down on his own bed. "She told me," he added on.
I nodded my head in slight comprehension. I got that she told him. I didn't get why.
"So, you wanna kick me out now or something?" I asked.
He laughed again and shook his head. "Nah, don't worry about it. She said it was a while ago." He shrugged his shoulders casually. "I try not to get crazy obsessive," he grinned. For two seconds, I wondered if Sandra asked him to say that, as a personal jibe directed at me. Seemed like something she'd do.
I wonder if he'd still let me stay with him if he knew it was his girlfriend I was here to get back. Doubt it.
"So who's the girl?" he asked suddenly. He grabbed the remote and flicked on the TV, then glanced at me.
I knew exactly what he was talking about. But I still found myself asking, "What?"
"The girl you're here for," he explained. "I mean, you don't have to tell me or anything. But I am letting you stay in my room, so I figure you could at least fill me in."
He was completely joking. I could tell by the tone in his voice. But at the same time, he had a pretty good point. And I could hear the curiousness in his voice. So then I started panicking. What other girls were on the soccer team that I even knew, besides Sandra.
"You don't know her..." I said hastily.
He gave me an amused look. "And you don't exactly know me. So how would you know that?" he grinned. Damn. Good point.
Think Lucas. Think, you dumbass. "Bridget," I blurted out, then wanted to punch myself in the face. Why the fuck did I keep making things worse?
His head snapped towards me in recognition. "Bridget. That's Sandra's room mate," he smiled. Oh trust me man, I know. "Man, that's perfect." He sat up and swung his feet off of the bed so that he was facing me. "Why don't I get Sand to bring her with us tonight. She won't mind going if Sandra's there."
Double date. With Sandra, and her room mate, who I was apparently here to win back. Jesus Christ.
"You don't have to help out or anything," I scratched the back of my neck. "I mean, it's my problem."
"No don't worry about it. Sandra said you're a good guy. So I know I'm not crazy for letting you stay in my room. So why not?" he shrugged. He turned his attention back to the TV again.
Sandra said I was a good guy. So they talked about me, and she must have said positive things. That would be a plus. Unfortunately, while I was pondering over whether my ex still had feelings for me, her current boyfriend was already on the phone with her. I caught the end of him asking to bring Bridget tonight.
I actually almost laughed, picturing Sandra's expression right now. First off, she probably wanted to kill me for now intruding in on her date. And second, she was probably laughing her ass off when she heard that it was apparently Bridget who I was here for.
Then I thought about Bridget. Sure, her and I had gotten along. But I hadn't seen her since Sandra and I broke up five months ago. And I knew that even if she did go along with wherever this plan of mine was heading, she'd never let me live it down.
"All set," he smiled.
I tried looking happy back. But it probably came out as a what-the-fuck-am-I-going-to-do kind of look. "Thanks, man."
He nodded his head again then stood up. "I'm gonna go take a shower," he announced.
And I'm going to sit here and shit my pants.
We were apparently meeting Sandra and Bridget at a restaurant that was close by. I could only imagine how much Sandra and Bridget were laughing right now on their way there. Tom had offered to pick them up, but they said they'd just meet us there.
So here I was, sitting with Sandra's boyfriend inside the entrance of some nice looking restaurant. And soon enough, in walked Sandra and Bridget. I almost instinctively moved to kiss Sandra, but luckily stopped myself. That would have been bad.
Instead, I stood and watched Tom kiss her and tell her how beautiful she looked. Basically the words on my mind.
"I'll go check on our reservations," Tom excused himself, and left me standing with the two of them. And I just waited for it to come. They both wore smiles at first, but as soon as Tom was out of sight, they twisted into amused smirks as they turned towards me.
"So..." Sandra started. "You came all this way for Bridget. I can't believe you guys never told me you dated," she faked shock.
"I knew there was a connection between us Luke, but I didn't even realise you felt so strongly," Bridget matched her grin. All I could do was roll my eyes at them.
But then the smile on Sandra's face melted off and morphed into a pissed off frown. "What the hell are you doing?" she asked seriously. "So you told him you're in love with Bridget..." she paused and looked at me expectantly, as if I would start explaining my great plan. "Now what?" she finished.
"Well what would you like me to say, Sandra? I came here to see the girl who happens to be your girlfriend right now?"
"Or you could have just not come," she said quietly. I stared at her for a second. Fuck that hurt.
She looked down at the floor before drifting her gaze back to me. And as I stared at her, I could see the mask she was wearing. I didn't exactly know what it was she was trying to hide, but this wasn't my Sandra. This Sandra was doing everything she could to block me out.
Tom reappeared and lightly grabbed onto Sandra's hand, making the smile reappear on her face. "All ready?" he checked.
"Yeah," she smiled, before turning and following him in through the restaurant.
Bridget chuckled and nudged me in the arm. "I tend to pick the most expensive thing on the menu," she smirked. I rolled my eyes at her back and reluctantly followed her in through the restaurant, preparing myself for a long night.
Sandra and Tom slid in to one side of the booth, and Bridget and I slid into the other. Basically, it started off terribly almost immediately. I don't know if she was doing it on purpose, but the two of them were all over each other. Okay well not all over, but always touching or something. Touching each other's arms, whispering in each other's ears. You know, stuff that made you want to stab yourself with the provided fork.
Maybe that's why people used to get so annoyed with the two of us.
I found myself sulking back into my seat as they looked at the menu. When actually, they just had the menu up in front of their faces, and were kissing behind it. That's what I assumed they were doing anyway. Bridget smirked next to me, and I shot her a look, which only made her shrug and smirk at me even more.
When the menu was finally dropped away from their faces, the two of them were smiling, Tom gave me an encouraging look, shooting his eyes towards Bridget. At first, I had no idea what he was doing, until I realised that he thought I was in love with her. After realising that I clearly wasn't about to do anything, he casually draped his arms over Sandra's shoulder and fixed his gaze on Bridget and I.
"So, you guys dated recently?" he asked Bridget and I, trying to get the ball rolling. I darted my eyes towards Sandra and could see the faintest smirk on her face. Bridget looked just as amused as she was.
"Yup," I laughed nervously, and gave a sheepish look. He opened his mouth to say something else, but I cut him off before he could even get it out.
"So how did you two meet?" I blurted out to both him and Sandra. After I said it, I realised that I didn't even want to know. Sandra kept her mouth shut and let him do the responding.
"I was gone to her dorm building to meet one of my friends, and she was locked out of her room. She was the only other person in the hall, but she was sitting on the floor crying, and looked really upset."
She was crying? That bothered me quite a bit. Whenever she was upset, she called me. Unless it was about me.
"So I asked her if she was okay," he continued, probably not realising how uncomfortable he was making her. "And, well she ignored me at first. So I sat down with her and asked her if she was just freaking out because she was locked out. She still didn't respond but just looked at me as if I were stupid," he smiled. "So I asked her if she had a breakup or something, you know? And she didn't say anything back but had stopped crying, so I knew that was what it was. So I gave her a big charming pep talk and well… things rolled from there."
My eyes snapped towards Sandra, but she was staring down at the table. She had a breakup. Even Bridget looked a little uncomfortable now.
Bridget cleared her throat and smiled. "Cute right? The whole knight in shining armour thing..." she trailed off.
"I have to pee," Sandra announced. Tom looked over at her, then slid out so that she could go. I watched her as she walked away, and realised that Tom was doing the same.
"Is she okay?" he turned to Bridget, concern written all over his face. "She seemed weird all day."
Bridget, putting on a good act, shrugged her shoulders and took a sip of her water. "No, I think she's fine."
Both of our eyes stayed glued to the door she just walked through though. I sat in silence for a moment, as Tom and Bridget talked to each other. There was basically nothing I could do now. I was screwed in this current situation.
The rest of the supper went as best as it could I guess. Sandra and Tom were all couple-y and disgusting, to me anyway. And Bridget was having the time of her life putting me through this awkward situation. Needless to say, I was extremely grateful by the time we decided to leave.
As we were leaving, Tom wrapped his arm around Sandra's waist and smiled at her. "You want to hang out for a little while before I take you home?" he asked.
She smiled and nodded back at him. "But I have to drop my car back off at the dorm first. Me and Bridget will drive back, you can just meet me there, and then we'll go?"
"Yeah, sure," he smiled again, then leaned down and kissed her quickly, telling her he'd see her in a few minutes. He gave me a specific look, and I awkwardly turned to Bridget and told her the same. She almost burst out laughing in my face.
I got back into the car with Tom and we followed Sandra's car back to their dorm. "So," he spoke up. "Maybe when I leave with Sand, you can talk to Bridget alone or something?"
"Yeah, maybe," I said sullenly, staring straight ahead at the back of Sandra's car. For some reason, it reminded me of the time I had been driving behind her, and she almost got into that car accident. Even though we had been fighting, my heart had absolutely stopped.
Since the restaurant had been close by, the drive back was short. "Here's an extra key for our room if I'm not back when you get there." He pulled a key out of his pocket and dropped it into my hand. "Good luck with Bridget."
Sandra and Bridget got out of their car, and Sandra walked over towards us—well Tom. I didn't want to stick around for that, so I walked over towards Bridget.
Once we were out of earshot, I turned and watched Sandra and Tom, Bridget by my side. You know when boyfriends and girlfriends are all playful with each other, then the boy finally just grabs the girl and kisses her. Yeah, that's what they were doing. But just before he opened the door up for her, I could swear she looked directly at me, and looked nervous, as if she knew I was watching, and didn't want me to see.
Of course it was gone as soon as it came. But she looked at me, for sure.
"You know I'm rooting for you in all of this?" Bridget suddenly said from next to me, as Sandra pulled away with Tom.
I looked down at her with a confused look. "What?"
"This whole competing for Sandra thing, that Tom doesn't even realise is going on. I'm on your side."
"Really?" I found myself asking. I don't know why, but it just seems like it was everyone against me right now.
She rolled her eyes at me and gave me a look. "I spent the whole first year of university getting kicked out of my room so you and her could have your alone time. I'd see her balling her eyes out, then talk to you on the phone and be perfectly fine again." She looked around and then shrugged. "I don't know. Tom's great, and treats her like she's the best thing in the world. But you two just seem right. The fact that you both find it fun to piss each other off and pick at each other just works for the two of you. She needs that."
Whether it sounded cocky or not, I couldn't agree more with her. We were right.
"She still wears it you know?" she said quietly.
I looked down at her and raised an eyebrow. "Wears what?"
She smiled at me and started backing up towards her dorm entrance. "Figure it out." She spun around and started walking towards the door, then looked over her shoulder at the last second. "You can come in if you want. You know, if you're trying to woo me or something," she smirked.
Tom had been late coming back to the dorm the night before. I tried not to pay attention to how long the two of them were gone, but ultimately, I did. And as stupid as it sounded, I pretended I was asleep when he came in for two reasons. One: I didn't want to hear about his night with Sandra. Two: I didn't want him to ask me how stuff with Bridget went.
Saturday morning, I sat in his room by myself. He had some extra lecture thing to go to. So I was on my own for the time being.
Until there was a light knock on the door. I looked around for a second, as if Tom would pop up out of nowhere to come open the door. As I got up and walked to the door, I actually kind of hoped it was some other girlfriend he secretly had. Then I'd have a better reason to hate him. But when I opened the door, it wasn't some slutty girl looking for a hook up. It was Sandra.
I stared at her for a moment before scratching the back of my neck. "Tom's at some class thing..."
"I know," she said flatly, pushing past me and walking into the room. I stood there frozen for a second, staring out the door before slowly shutting it and turning around to face her. She was sitting on the edge of Tom's bed, watching me.
Then the words just started falling out of my mouth. "Coming to get mad at me some more? Tell me how I'm just ruining stuff for you? While I'm back at my school being miserable, you're here just having a great life?" I could see the hurt clearly written across her face, and I felt like the biggest piece of shit in the world. She didn't say anything back to me, but just stood up and moved to walk straight back out the door. And then I saw it. What Bridget had been talking about.
Sandra was still wearing my promise ring.
That was all I needed. That little tiny bit of hope. I don't even know if it meant anything, but right now, it had to.
"Sand," I said apologetically, grabbing onto her hand. She shrugged out of my grasp. "Sandra, please. I'm sorry." She had the door opened now and was still leaving. "Andy," I said softly. And that was clearly the right thing to say, because she stopped dead in her tracks, then slowly stepped back into the room and closed the door behind her. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that," I apologized.
She shook her head and looked down at the floor. "No you're... you're right," she said quietly. I watched her as she silently padded across the room and sat back down on Tom's bed. "I'm sorry," she whispered, looking up at me with tears rimming her eyes. I kind of panicked at first because I didn't handle situations well when she cried. It freaked me out.
But I prepared myself and knelt down in front of her. "I just want to know why, Sandra. I'm not telling you that I want you to automatically fall back in love with me." Even though that was exactly what I wanted. "I just need to know why," I stressed, tipping her chin up so that she would look at me. Two tears were trickling down her face, and I reached my hand up to brush them away.
"Lucas, I..." She looked down at the floor again before looking back up at me. "I am still in love with you. So much."
Hearing her say that made a fire automatically flare inside me. This could only be good right? "Then why did you break up with me?" I breathed.
She stood up so that she could take a few steps away from me. When she spun around to face me again, she took a deep breath. "I know we have this conversation all the time. And that you said you were fine, but you couldn't have been. Because I wasn't, and we were both in the same situation."
I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, and she could see that by the look on my face. So she continued.
"I was miserable, Lucas," she said flat out. "And I was scared. I know, I sound like the ridiculous whiny girl that goes on about not being able to see her boyfriend, but it was killing me," she frowned. "Anytime something good would be happening, I'd think of you, and I'd be down again. It was like thinking of you made me sad, and I didn't want it to be like that," she stressed. "I'd talk to you on the phone, and get depressed once you hung up. People were constantly asking what was the matter with me, Lucas." She took a deep breath, and tugged at her hair.
"I called your phone one night, and it was going straight to your voicemail, so I assumed it was dead or something. So I called Troy to see if maybe he was in the room with you. He wasn't; he was at some party. So I asked if you were there, actually hoping you were, and Troy, being as blunt as he is, told me that you were back at the dorm room because you didn't feel like going out, probably something to do with sulking over me. His words, not mine."
My face boiled with anger. Why the fuck would he say that to her? The idiot probably didn't even realise the mistake he was making though.
"I felt terrible," she said, barely more than a whisper. "I knew you'd never say it to me, because you were too sweet to say anything, but I was ruining everything. I realised that you were probably feeling just as miserable as me. And then I realised that us trying to make this work was only stressing the relationship and slowly ripping it apart—"
"No it wasn't," I cut her off, wanting to get my point across from her.
"Lucas, please. It was only getting worse, and it was eventually going to just end all together. All of our conversations consisted of trying to reassure each other. And I didn't want that. So the way I saw it, we had two options. One was that we stay together, slowly ruining the relationship to the point where it could never be fixed. And the second was that we just break up, take the pressure off each other, and then once we could actually see each other again, bring it back to where it was. I didn't want to risk losing it completely. Because if we kept going at that rate, it would have been ruined." She paused and I could see numerous tears streaming down her face now. "If staying apart for a while was what we needed then I figured I could do that. So I did. And I just wanted to be brief about it because I wanted you to just get over it and not be sad over me. I thought you'd just get pissed at me and… well be like Troy." She looked up at the ceiling and then to basically sum up all of what she just said, she said, "Basically, we would have ended up ruining any relationship we had if we stayed together."
She was completely losing me now. I thought back to what she just said about wanting me to handle things like Troy. "Why would you want that?" I crumpled my eyebrows together.
"Because we'd have to!" she said, raising her voice. It cracked slightly from being overwhelmed. "What would be the point of breaking up if you just sulked around. That was the whole reason I did it. So you'd stop feeling so miserable all the time."
"Or we could have just not broken up! Jesus Sandra, why didn't you just talk to me?" I took a step closer to her, and she seemed to have inched back a bit.
"Because it would have been the exact same talk as always! I would have started freaking out and you would have said everything would be okay, and then I'd be temporarily okay until I freaked out the next time. And the two of us would go on acting as if we're happy when we both know we weren't." She swallowed before looking back at me this time. "And then I met Tom. And... I was actually happy. Not that I wasn't with you," she added quickly. "But he was here. And I did feel terrible because every time I was with him, I knew I had every intention of being back with you. I just figured, if someone could stop me from feeling so shitty all the time, someone could for you too. I just didn't want to be that burden for you, Lucas."
She started biting on her bottom lip, so I knew she was holding back an outburst of tears. "I know. It sounds stupid. And it probably was. But I didn't know what to do. I just didn't want us to be ruined completely and unable to be fixed."
When she stopped talking, the two of us stood there staring at each other. And that was all I could do. Stare at the girl who I had fallen ridiculously in love with in high school. And the only thing I could think to do was step forward and grab her into my arms. She automatically crumpled against my chest.
"You were never a burden," I whispered into her hair. She continued to sob into my chest, just like she used to.
"I'm still so in love with you." Her words were muffled against my chest, but I still made them out pretty clearly. She started to regain her composure and pulled away from me, and stood there looking helpless.
"He really likes you, you know? Tom," I found myself saying. "I can tell because he looks at you the same way I do."
"I know," she frowned even more. "He's so good to me. And I love him. But… I'm in love with you."
I picked up on her loving him, but being in love with me. Girls always said there was a difference didn't they? Either way, I was going to assume I was on the upper hand here.
"I'm sorry, okay?" she said again. "I didn't realise it would be so hard. And I thought you'd get happy too. But whenever I talked to Troy, I found out it was pretty much the opposite of what I intended. And then at Thanksgiving…" she trailed off, probably thinking back to the day like I was. "All we did was fight with each other." She looked at the clock on the bedside table and sighed. "I should go," she murmured. "Tom's gonna be back soon."
She turned to leave, but I felt like there was something else I had to say. "Sand, wait." I grabbed onto her wrist and gently pulled her around to face me. "Listen, I know you're probably going to hate me for asking you to do this. But I want you to pick me."
She stared at me, completely at a loss for words. "Lucas..."
"I know. You're with Tom. And I like him Sand, he's a good guy and he cares about you. But sometimes this stuff happens. Not everyone can win. I have to go back tomorrow. But I want you to pick me. I want you to come back to me. Please, Sandra. You said it yourself, you're still in love with me. And you're still wearing my promise ring." I felt like I needed to add on some of my well known arrogance. "And come on, anyone that knows us, know that you're mine."
She looked down at her ring, then at the clock again. "I have to go," were her last words.
I was up early the next morning to pack. I just wanted to get the hell out of here as soon as I could. I also wanted to get home and beat the shit out of Troy. Tom had asked me about Bridget, who he still assumed was the reason I was here. I kept my answer brief, and told him that things were alright. And still being oblivious, he offered for me to come back down and stay with him anytime I wanted to come see her. I had a feeling this would be the last time I would be coming back here though.
With my bags in hand, I slowly walked towards my car. But as I got closer, I slowed my pace and squinted my eyes. Was someone sitting in my car? Had I left it unlocked all night. I cursed under my breath as I walked closer to it, then stopped all together. It was Sandra in my car.
I opened up the driver's door and bent down to look in at her. She wasn't even looking at me, she was just staring lifelessly out the window.
"Sand?" I said carefully.
I swallowed and looked around, as if doing that would make this make more sense. "What?"
She turned and looked at me and I could tell she had been crying. "Just put your stuff in the car, and let's go."
I was still very confused, but I was going to go along with whatever she was doing. So I put my stuff in the backseat without a word. When I got back in my car and started driving, I expected her to start explaining why she was sitting in my car, but she stayed absolutely silent for a half an hour. It almost felt like I was kidnapping her or something.
It wasn't until we were in the middle of the highway that she finally spoke up. "Pull over."
I took my eyes off of the road and onto her. "What?"
"Please just pull over."
So I immediately did. It probably wasn't the safest thing to do but as soon as we were safely parked on the side of the road, she got out. "Sandra!" I hollered after her.
I quickly got out on my own side and ran around to her. I stopped in front of her as she sat down against the side of my car. She looked like she was on the verge of tears, yet no tears actually came out.
"Hey," I said softly and knelt down in front of her. "What's going on?"
She looked straight at me and sighed. She caught me a bit off guard when she reached out and ran a hand through the back of my hair, causing me to lean into her touch.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," she frowned, taking her hand away from me and dropping it onto her lap. "I thought about you all night," she said bluntly. "I don't know who I was kidding thinking I could just find someone better than you," she shook her head. She looked at me again and raised an eyebrow. "I picked you in case you didn't get that. Even though you pissed me off big time by making me pick," she rolled her eyes, but I could tell she wasn't actually mad. "I still wanted you," she sighed and dropped her head back against the side of my car.
I reached out and cupped her chin in my hands so that she'd look at me again. "Well I'm glad you did," I smiled.
She cracked a small smile, but quickly replaced it with a frown. "I didn't tell Tom yet..." she trailed off. "God he doesn't even know the truth about why you were even there. I feel really bad about it, and I don't know what to say to him, and—and I think I'm going to get sick," she ran a hand through her hair.
She was starting to make me feel a little guilty now. I mean, I kind of just walked into the picture and made things a whole lot more complicated. "I'm sorry I put you through this," I frowned. "Maybe I should have just left—"
"Shut up," she smiled. I immediately stopped talking and raised an eyebrow at her. "You annoy the hell out of me so much sometimes," she smiled. "And for some reason, you keep winning me over."
"Look at me. How couldn't you be falling all over me?" I smirked.
She smiled again, and started looking a little less sad. I stood up and held a hand out towards her. "Come on," I helped her up. "So, do you want to come back with me for a couple days, or do you wanna go back?"
She latched onto my hand and pulled herself up. "Trust me, I'd love to go and hide out with you. But I should go back. I have a boy to talk to."
"Alright," I nodded.
She turned to get back in the car, but I grabbed onto her hand at the last second, and spun her back around. "Hey," I smiled. "You do realize it's been about a half a year since I've kissed you, right? And I did just see you in nothing but a towel two days ago. So you should know that I'm kind of craving—"
She laughed and cut me off with a kiss. And then promptly told me I was an idiot.
Sandra had been upstairs for about twenty minutes, breaking up with Tom. Admittedly, I had gotten a little worried a couple of times. It certainly hadn't taken her this long to break up with me. What if he was winning her back over? Or—
"Hey," she was suddenly behind me. Her hands were dug into her pocket, and she was looking a little less than happy.
I pushed myself off of my car and stood up straight. "You alright?" I checked, ducking my head to look at her.
She lifted her shoulders and then let them slump back down in a shrug, and nodded her head. "Yeah, I just feel like shit."
"Was he mad?" I asked, actually wondering the answer.
She shook her head. "He's too sweet to just get mad at me. He said he understands. I'm sure he is pretty pissed, but he won't let it show. I kind of wish he would have just freaked out at me though."
I stared at her for a few moments in silence before eventually rocking back on my heels. "I'm going to go talk to him before I leave."
"What?" she nearly screamed, eyes suddenly alert and on me. "Why?"
I turned back to her and shrugged my shoulders. Seeing her feeling so guilty kind of made me realize that I should be feeling just as guilty. "I feel like shit now too. I got to go say something before I go."
She seemed hesitant at first before briefly nodding her head. "Yeah, okay."
And so for whatever reason, I found myself walking back up towards the room I had stayed in all week end. What was I going to say to him? I had no idea. But I kind of felt bad for the guy. I mean, he let me stay in his room all week end when all I was trying to do was get his girl friend away from him and towards me.
Before I knew it, I was standing in front of the door. I knocked on the door and waited for him to answer. And when he did, I felt even worse for him. The guy looked seriously... sad. At least he didn't exactly look like he wanted to kick my ass.
"Uh, hey," I greeted uneasily.
"Hey," he replied back. And after a bit more silence, he spoke again. "So it wasn't Bridget, huh?"
"No, not really."
He walked away from the open door and sat down on the edge of his bed and raised his eyebrows. "Guess I should have seen it."
"Listen man, I'm sorry. It's just, she—"
"Yeah I know," he cut me off. "She told me about the two of you, and what happened. I mean, it sucks for me, but if she's happy, then..." he shrugged, leaving it at that. "I don't want to be the thing standing in between what she wants. Just makes me a burden, you know?" The word burden made me think to how Sandra thought that was what she was to me.
I dug my hands into my pocket. "I really didn't come here with the intentions of splitting things up. I didn't even know she was with someone."
"No hard feelings," he stood up and shrugged again. "But I'm still gonna be friends with her, so you might want to watch yourself now. Because I won't give her back so easily next time," he grinned. "Because if you break up again, I'm gonna be the one here."
"I'll hold onto her, don't worry," I grinned, even though I think the two of us were being semi-serious there. "So you don't want to kick my ass?"
"Well right about now I do," he said honestly. "But give me some time to cool down and I'll be okay."
"Fair enough, I should probably go then. I just wanted to come and, well apologize for kind of screwing you over."
He sighed and shrugged again. "Like I said, no hard feelings."
I opened the door but turned back to him. "If it makes you feel any better, you handle breaking up with her a lot better than I do." And as an after thought, I added on, "You could always go for Bridget?"
He laughed and opened the door. "You should go before I do want to kick your ass." And so I did, because if it were the other way around, I'd want to kick his ass. I had to give Sandra some credit on the guy though. He actually was pretty decent.
She was leaning against my car when I got back. I could see her looking back and forth for me, and when she finally spotted me, she was up and looking anxious. "You didn't fight did you?" were the first words that flew out of her mouth. I laughed and shook my head.
She put her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow at me. "Well then what happened?"
"Don't worry about it," I smiled. "It's fine." She sighed and folded her arms unhappily from my lack of information. "Hey," I wrapped my arms around her waist and ducked my head to look at her. "You gonna be okay?"
She pouted as if in thought, then looked back up at me. "Mind if I call you every night to talk about my stress?"
I smiled and leaned in to kiss her. "Not at all."
"You know, it's weird," she looked up at me. "We've been broken up for like half a year, and now that we're together again, it doesn't even feel like we were ever apart."
"Yeah, so how about not doing that to me again," I smiled, although I was serious. I tilted up her chin to get her to look at me. "Now you listen to me, Sandra Hennesey," I smiled. "The next time you think we're falling apart, tell me, got it?" She laughed and nodded her head. "Because if you start freaking out again, I swear to God I'll end up transferring here to this school."
She rolled her eyes at me. "I think I'll be okay this time."
I leaned in and kissed her. "I love you, Sand. You know that, so don't freak out okay?"
"Yeah, I know," she sighed.
I twirled a piece of her hair around my finger. "So, you want to go have a quickie in my car before I leave?" I grinned.
"Lucas!" she pushed me away from her and rolled her eyes at me.
I laughed and grabbed onto her again. "I'm kidding."
A/N: Phew, didn't think I'd get this out before Christmas. I actually started this FOREVER ago! So I figured I should get around to posting it. Hopefully you liked it, they'll be lots more to come soon enough. Have a wonderful holiday!