"I can't believe you're still with that bastard."
The only response I can give is a shrug. Truth be told, I don't even know why I'm still with my boyfriend. At first things were great. He was sweet. Kind. The perfect boyfriend really. But as the months went by things gradually started to change. He'd blow me off to hang out with his friends on a regular basis. The little time we did spend together was always spent in the same place― bed. It makes me feel cheap, like it's all that I'm good for. But for some reason I just can't bring myself to break it off. At the end of the day I still care about him. A lot.
"I love spending time with you, Hunter. I really do. But I'm not supposed to be the one here with you today."
I glance over to pretty blonde that is my friend Brooklyn, as we walk down the promenade. "I know, you're right. But thanks for being here with me anyway."
"Anytime, babe." She points to a little shop on our right. "Wanna go there and get ice cream?"
We cross the cobble stone street, walking up to the quaint store. A bell rings as we open the door, one of the employees calling, "Welcome!"
There is a line of glass cases, each showcasing various chocolates and sweets. We walk past the delectable treats, coming to a stop at a flat counter top. Brooklyn reaches for her purse, unzipping the center compartment before reaching in for her wallet. "Get anything you want, it's my treat."
I move back to the glass case holding the ice cream, taking stock of the different flavors. "I think I'm just going to stick to chocolate."
"Oh c'mon," she says, pulling a twenty out of her wallet. "You always get that. Live a little."
"Um... chocolate chocolate?"
"Babe, unless you're talking about chocolate fudge brownie, that doesn't even exist."
I continue to walk, tracing our earlier steps past the candy cases. The bell rings again, signaling that another customer is coming into the shop. I look up on instinct to see who. A guy who looks around my age walks in. Eighteen, possibly nineteen. As he walks past I notice the guitar case strapped to his back. I can only assume he's one of the musicians who plays here on the promenade.
Not wanting to stare, I return my gaze back to the case in front of me. "What if I get chocolate ice cream and a chocolate covered strawberry, Brooke?"
"You and chocolate," she says with mock exasperation, "I guess it's fine."
I move back to her side, waiting in line behind the guy who had just entered. I notice that he's pretty tall, standing a full head taller than both Brooklyn and myself. Neither of us is short, so it meant he had to be at least 6'3. He steps away from the cashier with what seems like a milkshake in hand. Brooklyn moves forward, glancing back to me. "You really want the chocolate covered strawberry, Hunter?"
"Yeah," I say, hearing the bell ring again.
After purchasing our treats, we continue our walk down the bustling street. It's a beautiful late Saturday afternoon and many people decided to take advantage of it. Couples, families, groups of friends... everybody is out enjoying the weather. As much as I love Brooke, I kind of wish my boyfriend was here. We work our way towards the marina, walking up the wooden pier where all the fishermen convene. We sit down at the edge and relax there for a while, mostly just shooting the breeze. Brooklyn doesn't venture back onto the topic of my boyfriend Michael, which I'm grateful for. I just want to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
As the evening creeps up, we decide to have dinner, choosing to eat and one of the many restaurants with outdoor seating. It's pleasant. To some a day like this might seem boring. But for me it's perfect. It's still dusk when we begin our walk back, hues of red, gold and blue lining the sky. The sound of an acoustic guitar floats through the air, adding to the ambience. A soft, textured voice sings familiar lyrics. A song that I'd know anywhere. Lovesong by The Cure.
We approach the source of the music as we slowly stroll forward. Sitting on the step of a receded doorway is the guy from the shop, shaggy black hair veiling his face as he strums. The sound of his voice is nice, absolutely perfect for the song. In short, he's pretty good. I reach into my back pocket and pull out my wallet, taking out a couple of dollars. I place it into the open guitar case being used for tips. He raises his head, blue eyes meeting mine. He offers a smile of thanks as he continues to sing, not missing a single beat.
When we walk away I feel oddly content. Today was a good day after all.
"Michael― stop," I say trying to push my boyfriend away.
He tightens his arms around my waist, lips still dotting kisses along my neck. I sigh, placing my hands against his chest. I push harder this time, hell bent on showing that I'm serious. After a few more attempts he finally releases, giving a grunt of frustration. "What's the problem, Hunt?"
"I don't feel like doing this right now."
"Of course you don't. You never do anymore." The brunet walks away, shaking his head. Dropping himself onto his bed, he swings his feet up so that he's stretched out. "Then why bother coming over if you don't want to do anything?"
"I do want to do something," I say walking to the side of his bed. "We can go out."
"And do what? Go to the mall? You know that's not my scene."
"We can go see a movie," I say weakly. "Or go out to eat."
"That gets boring after a while, Hunt." Michael rolls over onto his side, propping his head up with one hand. "Which reminds me. I'm going to have to cancel our plans for Friday."
"My mom wants me to go to my grandparents house with them. Actually she said that I have to go."
"Oh," I say, unable to hide the disappointment in my voice. I try to ignore the pang of sadness shooting through my chest. Something tells me doesn't even remember why we were supposed to go out on Friday. "Can you meet up with me afterward?"
He shakes his head, sitting back up. "Don't think so. We're probably not going to get back until late. It's quite a drive."
"Don't be upset, Hunt," he says taking my hands. "We can reschedule for Sunday."
"Sunday?" I say, eyebrows drawing together. "What about Saturday?"
A sheepish smile crosses his face, letting me know exactly why he couldn't make plans without him even saying anything. "Uh, I can't. Ryan's having a party that I already said I go to."
I shake his hands off. "You and your stupid parties. Is there ever time for anything else?"
"C'mon, Hunter. Don't be like this," he says, getting back on his feet. He grabs my wrists as I try to walkway. "You always get upset over stuff like this."
"Because it always becomes an issue," I reply. "You know what― I don't even want to argue. I think I'm just going to go home."
"Hunter, come on... we never spend time together."
"Whose fault is that?" I mumble, turning on my heels to walk away.
"Alright, fine. Do whatever the hell you want to do," he says once I reach the hallway. "Call me when you're less pissy."
I don't even bother to reply back, letting the sound of my footsteps thudding down the stairs be my answer. When he says spend time together and I say spend time together, we mean two different things. Typical. I pull my cell phone out as soon as I make it outside, slightly hurt by the fact that he can brush me off so easily. I hit speed dial praying that Brooke will pick up. No dice. After ringing for a while my call goes to voicemail. With a sigh, I simply hang up.
In my rush to leave, I had forgotten I didn't drive to Michael's house today. He had picked me up with the intention of driving me back. So in essence, I have a very long walk ahead of me. With no other choice, I begin the journey back to my house.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again―"
"I know, Brooke. You don't know why I'm even still with that bastard," I say, finishing her sentence.
"If you know, then why are you still with him?" she chastises from over the phone. "I thought even he would know better than to cancel your plans for today."
Despite the fact that she can't see me, I shrug. "I don't think he remembered to be honest. He hasn't even called yet."
"Ugh." The tone of her voice softens as she says, "Hunter... I wish you had told me earlier. I would have spent the day with you."
"It's okay, Brooke."
"No, it's not. How about we meet up in a couple of hours at your favorite spot."
"The marina?" I say, brightening a bit. I'm so simple.
She laughs, and I can picture the blonde nodding her head. "Mmhm. Let's say eight o'clock?"
"Sound good to me." I pause for a moment. "Thanks, Brooke."
"No problem, babe. I'll see you soon."
I hang up and move to my closet to pick out something to wear. Even though we wouldn't be meeting for another two hours, I had nothing better to do. I might as well just get dressed and go there now. Waiting for Brooklyn while enjoying the nice breeze by the water didn't sound like too bad an idea. Especially on a hot day like today.
I pick out some denim jeans and a band t-shirt, since I really didn't have anyone to impress. Brooklyn really wouldn't care what I'm wearing, so being comfortable comes first. I take the clothes with me into the bathroom, deciding to shower before heading out. Fifteen minutes later, I'm downstairs in my car and on my way. The drive is fairly quick since I only live about twenty minutes from the water. I pull into the parking lot at around 6:45, leaving roughly an hour for me to wait for Brooke.
With so much time to kill, the best place for me to start would be the promenade. Most of the shops have already begun to close, save the ones that serve food. But it's still an interesting place to wander. As I'm walking, I see a familiar head of brown hair ahead of me. Unsure as to whether or not I'm correct, I quicken my pace. As I near him, I hear him laugh at something the girl next to him says and I know I'm right. I frown since someone was supposed to be at this grandmother's house.
My eyes slide down to their hands, interlocked like they belonged together. That pang I've grown accustomed to returns to my chest, a stinging at the back of my eyes soon following. This whole thing just had to be a joke. I stop in my tracks when I see Michael lean down to kiss her. No. It isn't a joke.
I want to march over there and give him a piece of my mind. I want to tell him how he can just go to hell and that he just isn't worth the pain anymore. But even with all the anger and all the hurt buzzing through my head, the only thing to come out is a broken, "Michael?"
The shock on his face as he turns around is clear. He apparently hadn't considered the possibility of me coming to one of my favorite places on a night he ditched me. He definitely never considered the possibility of getting caught. I can practically see the wheels in his head spinning as he tries to come up with an excuse. "Hunter..."
I can't help the tears welling in my eyes, even as I try to force them back. All those excuses and all those times he couldn't see me... I really should have known. I wipe at my eyes before the tears actually fall, determined to not to become a blubbering mess in public.
"Hunter, I'm sorry. I―"
"You what? Forgot to tell me you had a date?" I laugh humorlessly. "Or is it that you finally remembered my birthday?"
The expression on his face shifted from panic to surprise to remorse. "Hunt, I'm so sorry―
Unable to handle the situation any longer I turn away, not even wanting to hear the rest of what he has to say. What could he say anyway? I'd already seen everything I had to. I walk through the crowd blindly, not paying attention to anything but the weight I felt in my chest.
I eventually find myself sitting on the pier. Away from Michael. Away from the people. Away from what seemed like the world. I don't even know how much time has passed, every minute just blurring together in my haze. I hear the dull thump of footsteps behind me, the wood creaking as someone moves closer to where I'm sitting. Maybe it's Brooke. Maybe it's Michael. Either way I can't bring myself to look up.
An immaculate white box comes into my line of sight, followed by a chocolate ice cream cone. The pair of hands in front of me seem unfamiliar. Out of curiosity I lean my head back to see who my benefactor is. I'm startled when my eyes meet a pair of blue ones.
"Hey," he says, offering a small smile. "Happy Birthday, Hunter."
"Huh?" I say unintelligibly. How does he know it's my birthday? For that matter, how does he know my name? I open my mouth to ask, but he beats me to the punch.
"I overheard back there," he says, a slight blush tinging his cheeks. "Sorry, I know it seems weird."
I stare at him for another minute before realizing that he's still holding the box and ice cream he offered before. I take the two items with a bit of embarrassment, allowing him to drop his hands back to his sides. "Oh, um... thank you?"
He chuckles, setting his guitar case down before taking a seat next to me. "No problem. If I'm going to come off creepy, I might as well come off nice too. I'm Owen by the way."
"Hunter... although you already know that." I lift up the ribbon wrapped white box, inspecting it. "What's in here?"
The blush on his cheeks deepens, the light pink turning into a crimson color. "Chocolate covered strawberries."
I throw my head back in laughter. I can't help but find the whole situation amusing. "You were actually paying attention that day in the shop?"
"Hey, you obviously were too since you remember me being there," he mumbles in embarrassment.
I smile for the first time that night. "True."
We go quiet for a few moments, me still giggling a bit off and on. I decide to eat the ice cream, since he had gone through the trouble of getting it for me.
"I'm glad I got you to smile even a little bit," he says, breaking the silence.
It's my turn to blush, the heat slowly creeping into my cheeks. "Thank you again," I say quietly.
"I can't say I know much about what's going on... But I can say that a guy who makes you cry isn't worth it." Owen reaches back for his guitar, a shy smile curving his lips. "I've got one more present for you if you want it. Although, I 'm not so sure how great a present it is."
He opens the case, plucking out the acoustic guitar. Placing the instrument in his lap, his fingers strumming the first few chords. I've never heard the song he's singing, but the sound of his voice is soothing nonetheless. As I sit there listening to the music, feet swinging off the end of the pier, I find myself smiling. Even with the end of my relationship, I feel like something good has happened. Something rare. Something that might just turn this night into a good night after all.
When he's finished playing, he places the guitar back in its case. "Happy Birthday, Hunter. I hope this creepy guy has encouraged you to see him again."
My smile only widens as I look at the blue eyed boy in front of me.
No, tonight is definitely not a bad night at all.
A/N- So, this is my first oneshot ever. I'm hoping a I did okay. I'm posting this now, but I will be searching for any mistakes I may have missed. So if you see any, please forgive them.