LOVE AND EGO

There was heaviness weighing down on her brows when he said he lied, that he didn't truly love her. There goes the mystery of his feelings for her- all of them were nothing but proof of her idiocy and shame. Both of her grayish blue orbs twitched, not because she was about to cry, but because her eyes were too wide that they have gone dry. If his words pained her, the only signs were her bottom lip dropping and her cheeks paling. If this new vision of her delighted him, she kept it to herself. The modest and weakened expression made her look oddly like a normal girl, a little too serious, a little naive. "Adam," but he was finished, not even an apology with its fashionably late entrance would make him change his mind. Sprinting towards the bedroom, Samantha slammed the door shut, locking herself in and shunning him out. This was them breaking up, and this time it's for good.

Chapter One: The Suite isn't so Sweet

"You two have been together for six years. There's no way he didn't love you after spending all that time with you. I don't think it's humanely possible to share z's with the same person night after night for six straight years and not feel anything. I am positive he must have lied." Kelly Lively was not just a girl that was born with a head full of golden hair, she was also Samantha Teagan Upshaw's best friend since getting through high school in New York. Slim, curvaceous and rich, the two girls were found at the backyard of one of the houses in Hamptons. There was something about the way their long flawless legs stretched out on the recliners, something that said they undergo no trouble with being called beautiful because they were pretty much used to it growing up. Being physically captivating may promise potential suitors but never a love story that would go for miles.

"Whatever," this was not the typical I-don't-care response by a twenty two year old girl who would roll her eyes and flip her hair at anyone who defies her. This one, rather, came out sad with a hint of a tired sigh. "For the record, I also don't think someone who fell in love could conjure 'I don't know why we became a thing. You're nothing more but an annoyance that tries to control me.' in two straight sentences without a single pause." It's been two months since the dreadful break up inside their shared apartment in Indiana. Even if the young miss knew that the abode was only chosen due to its close distance to their precious Purdue University and lacked fairy tale magic, she never suspected that the nest would be brimming with late night deceit and quarrels.

Right at this moment, she was wishing she could go back in time, even if she had to relive high school, just to avoid the day of meeting Adam Westwood in his flourishing glory. Though he was one of those rich kids who wore expensive jeans and shoes, one of the few who got a car at age sixteen, she didn't get to notice him until her parents suggested that she does. Both families were buddies, chums, cohorts, and the rulers would not be any more proud of their offspring if they were to immerse themselves in the same belief- to couple and produce the most beautiful and richest babies from Sand Point to Lattingtown. It was a tough start but it didn't take long for her crush on him to ripen. And when he said he loved her too, she believed him.

"Maybe he fell out of love," Kelly shrugged her shoulders, admitting defeat that her optimism could be overshadowed by a broken heart with just one opinion. "Yes, thanks. That feels so much better," the sarcasm was not lost in the air. Even if she was grateful to have a very helpful best friend, she would rather fix herself upon reality. If there's a person taking a vacation in the Hamptons who was exasperated of false hopes and sugar coated venoms, it was Sam... and she would appreciate it if they just stop talking about the goddamn break up and get on with their lives. Adam is out there somewhere partying it up and it's about time that she does too. The female college student will no longer let herself be kept in the shadow for one more day.

Standing from the recliner, she had enough tanning for one morning... even if her skin only started to get pinkish just slightly. Entering the house through the glass sliding doors, Kelly followed from behind and the two casually sauntered towards the kitchen to get some refreshments while still being dressed in their bathing suits. For a moment, the air felt thick and the aura grew darker. "Wait a minute," like Spiderman with his extraordinary senses, the girl felt trapped and her best friend idled by the refrigerator, bewilderingly staring at her.

Wavy brunette hair dangled gracefully on Samantha's shoulders, her five foot and seven inched posture stood near the sink, her grayish green orbs overwhelmed her flushed face. Adam walked in with his Nike sports bag slung over his right muscular shoulder. Getting onto the advantage of his ex-girlfriend in her slender one-piece, he took in her radiant appearance as he remained by the doorway, a smug written all over his handsome face. "You look stunning, Sam, or are you just happy to see me?" Yes, he's a real jerk.


It was exactly twelve noon when Kelly was found seated by the mid-end of the lunch table in a summer dress with a v-neck that showed a little of her cleavage. Now, the brunette never had to worry about her man taking delight in another's chasm because she was not one to be passively jealous over anything and everything like most girls would be if they had that role model boyfriend everyone wanted. And especially not now since Adam was too absorbed with his undying talkfest with her parents.

The boy had been showered with compliments and flatteries since they all sat together in the garden. It was almost the entire lunch talk was a tribute to his praise. Samantha felt disgusted, her appetite for steamed salmon withering each chortle her ex-boyfriend makes. "Oh, I do not believe that one bit," he exclaimed when Sofia Upshaw marked that he was going to be a good lawyer once he goes forth with Law School. Oh please, the girl slightly snorted while staring down at her plate. With the constant parties he threw that rattled the neighbors and mind you, dismantled their own apartment, Adam can never be a defender of any charter. "I am not kidding," she heard her mother's sweet tone before she turned a bit and faced her daughter, "what do you think, Samantha?"

Kelly found it obvious that her friend was caught off guard. With that grimace visible in her face, it was conclusive that she didn't plan on butting in on any conversation, let alone utter a peep during lunch. Thank the heavens that she was silently listening while forking her grape or else she would have looked like a buffoon... and she was exhausted looking like one in front of the revered son. "I..." she began, her grayish green orbs darting from her parent, to Adam, to his parents, and back to him, "I do not believe it either." The blonde would have applauded after she drew an austere smirk that curled her lips as it did her ex-boyfriend's brows.


"You're disgusting, Adam," she dully commented in disinterest without looking at him when he caught her by the house's front lawn, ready to trudge on the sidewalk. It was half an hour later when he was finally freed by her parents, giving them the grin and wink that perhaps they longed for some quality time together. "We wouldn't have broken up if you cheered me as much as your parents did." With that, Sam stood by her statement that he was sickening. "Oh please, you act like you've never been flattered before... when each day of your life you feed on admiration that swelled up your head so bad."

Adam inserted his hands inside his beige pockets as they stopped behind a tree that cloaked them from the eyes of anyone who should peak through the curtains. Setting his eyes upon the road because it was too difficult and tiring to glare at her, he found this scene all too familiar. They've dated and broken up and it seemed like nothing has changed. It was still the same old feisty exchange that, mind you, never led to a heated sex in the bedroom. They were like an old couple without the cripple and the oversized wrinkles, but with their amount of fighting, he expected that they should have. "It's not my fault if your parents love me so much... which makes me wonder..."

It was low, so low, of him to use the 'L' word and the devil should be banned from using such a sacred term. Still, her eyes were fixed on his dark brown ones that began to shift back to her face. "You never told your parents that we've broken up!" though he said it with anger, the victory in his voice was palatable like how Archimedes screamed 'Eureka!' in the bath. Sam crossed her arms at that and readied her self for a quip. "You being here with your parents? It also occurred to me that you haven't told them either!" Sweet retaliation, she thought, but still she wished he hadn't agitated her so much. For the past two months she had done nothing else but to forget him and heal herself and now that he showed up, her strength was being tested and all she can make out was that the wall she built was made out of pudding. If only, she hoped, that she was as thick-skinned as him so it wouldn't hurt so bad.

Adam folded his arms upon his chest like she did, claiming authority. "You're the talkative one, the tattletale, it's your job to seek your parents and tell them that we're through! Can you imagine how aggravated I was when I got a distracting phone call, ordering me to pack my things and drive to the Hamptons!?" Whatever he was doing or who he was with at the time he was disturbed by his own folks, that was none of her concern and frankly she didn't want to know, but he can't boss her around like this after he claimed once more about the borderline of their goddamn relationship. Eyes widened, neck stretching out to his, her temper was rising and it was time to cut this argument- "You're so high and mighty all the time, why don't you stop being a wuss and defy your parents? I can't do that to mine because I am a girl. What's your excuse!?" Before he was able to utter a word when she watched his mouth open up, she turned her heel and marched out of their tree so she can go to someplace else, somewhere better.


That night, Samantha was glad to have dodged all of the run-ins with Adam that either of their parents might have forced them to. Just returning to the house at nine in the evening after dispatching and seeing Kelly off at the bus stop because she needed to get back to the city, she found the place soothing with its peaceful aura now that her ex-boyfriend's presence was missing. Should he not be found at the tennis court having a rematch with his father, he may as well be caught tangled with some half naked ladies on the streets, getting drunk and wasting his life away. Much to her chagrin, the image of him disorganized with other females still stung her but she mastered enough will power to just stay inside her bedroom and prevent herself from getting into cat fits and scandals. With a good movie on the screen, a laptop seated next to her on the bed, and a good read matched with her favorite red wine, she believed she was armed enough from any heart ache she may come across. Reminding herself that she was here to relax, she may as well fool herself that the ghost of someone in her past should not be a big deal.

Four hours later, she found herself waking up from an unplanned slumber. Stood proof were the turned on television and the book that propped open above her chest. Before she could sit up and collect the remote control, she took in an alcoholic scent that came from something or someone nearby. "ADAM, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE!?" she bellowed in horror as she noticed how he must have relocated her laptop from the sheets to the table. The boy remained half unconscious on the bed, his arms plopped sideways and his mouth hanging open. Heavens, what did she see in this man? It was clear that he was a pig! "It's the Hamptons," his eyes tried to fight back the dizziness as he shifts all of his attention to her. "There's a grandeur party by the pool. You know... something you aren't technically aware of because you don't like anything fun."

Sam rolled her eyes. Of course, she knew the famous white parties even if she didn't attend regularly but it entirely didn't mean she didn't like frolicking amidst the splurges. Nonetheless, that wasn't the answer to her question. "Get off and get out!" she demanded, not caring if he was too drunk to stand and to walk to the point that he might hit his head on the door and wreck his skull. Well, she wished he would. "Now!" Lifting her leg, she regretted that she was wearing a nightie. Even if he had seen her in her naked nobility too many times before, he was now nothing more but a stranger that reminded her of all the things that questioned her self-esteem. With a heavy effort, she kicked him on his ribs so as to push him, and she shoved him right off the mattress.

"What the fuck!?" Oh yes, he was wide awake now. It was perhaps one in the morning and he just got back from an awesome party. Adam did not prefer to stay there and be lectured about a night of fun that could have been spent in boredom. "See here, Sam," he stood, his figure reappearing from the depths of the floor and now rising above the bed. "It's you who didn't tell her parents that we're done so I am forced to use this room, sleep and have sex with you!" A pair of twenty two year olds, though they may be pass their teen years, were still hyped with their hormones that they are very much expected to engage in intercourse as horny high schoolers do. The brunette was once again repelled. The boy was groggy and, darn the bad faith, he reeked! How can someone sober make love to that being no matter how godlike he looked without his clothes on! Back then, she tolerated it because she believed she was in love, but now, she had every means to think twice. For all intents and purposes, she was also well aware that he was joking... wasn't he?

"Not tonight, Adam. We're not having sex. Never in a million years!" After that unbelievably long span of time, with sheer darn luck, if a fairy would cast a spell on her to survive, she might as well kill herself so as not to contradict this statement. Death is a better choice than submitting to him. "Well," he grinned, the lamp light masking his intoxicated features and just highlighting the charms that remained timeless no matter what disaster he walked out from. Lifting his hand, his finger casually pointed her, "You look like you're ready, seeing how comely you seem in that nightie." "PIG!" she screamed, flattered and offended at the same time, a row of red paint exploding on her cheeks as if she was more drunk than him.

A manly laughter erupted in the bedroom, the very same one that made her feel he liked her. Though it was always about him winning, there was a sense of fulfillment like one of a servant to his master. On rare occasions, she was glad to let him have the throne and strut with his crown. If he had always treated her as his queen, she would not have the need to rise higher and seek for her worth. "Now scoot! I'm tired," he turned off the television and the last light that exposed their visibility. Now that it was dark, she was free to frown and now that it was quiet, she heard her heart pumping loudly in her ears. Sam remained in her seated position, dumbstruck how a genuine smile of his still managed to move her. Once more, she hated her self that she was only human, that she was weak. Feeling his body lay next to hers, his hand forced her down to a resting position. The same time her head dropped on her pillow, she felt his touch snaking above her arm and trapping her in an embrace. As soon as he began snoring silently, she already guessed that the warmth will keep her up for the rest of the night.


The next morning after brunch, it was time for everyone to once more abandon the Upshaw residence in the Hamptons and head back to the city, to their own lives. Adam couldn't be anymore happier that this was just a one night thing. Years back, it would last for three days and sometimes for a week! Even at the time when he and his girlfriend still hadn't kept score in their controversies and superiority, he had always found the luxurious vacation a bore. If it weren't for his parents who always threatened him of cutting him off, he would have settled on just sending Sam a bouquet of flowers while she's here and he's halfway around the country, partying it up with the boys. If making her feel adored was all it took without the judgment of his methods, he could have done it gladly just as long as he wasn't caged in classy cashmere and pinky lifting tea.

Leaned upon his white Audi S4, he watched her drag out her luggage and that look on her face that said he didn't need to put up a phony gentleman act by walking up to her and offer help. It seemed it was easy for her to act cheerful in front of her parents as it did with his own when she had to throw her arms around the Westwoods like she still dated their son. Adam's folks have always been nice to her and rooted for her from the beginning. Sometimes he was thankful that they at least know how to make her feel welcome and liked it, in all opposites to him who always practiced to stir clear of her romantic plans.

"We haven't caught up much, but I trust Adam will get mad if he weren't to be the one to take you back to Indiana." That very own mother of his had been yearning to bond with her as she had been in making it official that she be the daughter-in-law. Well, recess is done, it's time for a new semester in Purdue. "I'm sure he wouldn't mind." For some reason, her answer caught him off guard. Samantha didn't hold any antipathy against the people who wanted to replace her surname but she sure didn't seem like she would choose them over the world. Surely, she just did not want to spend hours in his car. As much as she hated being alone with him, she can be certain that the feeling is mutual. Then again, this was interesting and it's been so long since she last amazed him.

"Sweet child," his mother caressed her cheek and it made him feel eerie, "there will be plenty of time in the future." Adam wanted to object! Badly! For now though, he did not have any other choice but to accept this with a wide beam. Examining how his ex-girlfriend sighed in defeat, he noticed the dark circles under her eyes. Was she crying last night? No. If she were, it would have woken him up. Plus, it's been approximately four years since she last shed tears in his presence. It was a wonder why she seemed like she did not get any rest because with his part of the bargain, he slept great!

It was a silent car ride after he distinctively opened the door for her. The quiet screamed awkward! so Adam was left to no choice but to turn on the music and perhaps maneuver the volume to a blast to die out any complaint she might throw. Apparently, within the six hour drive, she just slept and even when they made a stop over, she still didn't talk to him. Anything that interested him about her withered during the mundane road trip, so far as questioning himself what made him look at her again. If Sam was mad, he didn't care. To him, she was just downright boring. All she ever mused about was her dramatic life and how he didn't have a white horse instead of a white car, why he wasn't a charming prince rather than a party boy and why he never wrote 'I love you' in the sky in lieu of his claim that he never had real feelings for her. This was sappy and he deserved a punch in the head because he prolonged their prosaic relationship for six damnable years.


"Where do I turn?" Adam can feel that she was hesitant to tell him where she lived now. After their break up in their apartment two months back, the love nest was immediately abandoned and new tenants have instantly swept in. They had a great place and it was no surprise that people lined up to be the next lodgers. Since she was silent all throughout the drive, he can safely admit that he was in a fairly good mood... except for this minute where he believed she was ultimately required to answer. "We're in fucking Purdue, Sam, just tell me where to drop you off! It's not like I'm going t-" "Pull over to the curb."

Tilting his head to the side, he did as he was told. Puzzled why she insisted on getting off here, he felt irritated that she didn't trust him that he will never bug her, let alone not letting him finish his sentence just so he can rub it into her face that he's not interested in anything that needed her cooperation. "I'm in the dorms now," she said simply, opening the Audi door so she could once and for all get out. "What?" it didn't mean he didn't hear her, it just emphasized that he did not understand her. "What the hell are you doing in the dorms, Sam? It's... fucked up in there." It was not like he cared too, or did he? As far as he was concerned, he just never saw it coming that she would get off her high horse and immerse herself in the commoner's inn.

"Nora was very persistent," she shrugged her shoulders as she pulls out one of her designer bags. Nora Roberts was as shoddy as Kelly Lively was reputable. Samantha never saw it but Adam had always deemed her two best friends as the angel and the devil who took turns in whispering in her left and right ears. A dark skinned sexy girl who can't go out with the same guy for more than a month, he never trusted that squalid feline. As expected of him, he was going to lecture her for dropping that friend and never speak to her again... only that he decided against it at the last minute. They were through so he had no rights to tell her what to do as much as she had none with his life.

"Okay then," he said, but nothing at the moment seemed to feel okay. The revered son stepped out from the vehicle and pulled out the last her of things. After handing her one bag, he examined how it was difficult for her to hold up numerous carryalls. Catching sight of his dark brown eyes, Sam truly felt uncomfortable because it almost seemed like he was really going to help her despite the lack of audience. Heavens know he only pulled the works of a gentleman when people were watching. This observation was just a secret because no one who fancied him would ever believe her; she would be a slanderer for all they cared. Turning her heel, she did not feel the need to express gratitude by giving her a lift. Adam lived somewhere in town, she suspected, so there was no additional expense in his gas consumption.

Right at this minute, he can inhale every emotion she was feeling. The discomfiture being alone in his presence, the hesitance in saying 'Thank you' and the urgency of walking away, he could put all dishes in one plate! "Hey, Sam," he simply called out, his stature fixed in front of his car with only the Audi's headlights and the lamp posts bringing radiance in their separation. Upon the mention of her name, she turned around, saw the dishonest and insidious smirk on his lips and waited for the words he decided to say- "I love you."

Grayish green orbs widened, cheeks flushed and jaw dropped. That one, she never saw it coming. Animosity behind her eyes dimmed her judgment, sending negative vibes traveling down to her right wrist. With a quick discard of one of the bags clutched in her grasp, her hand hastily lifted and served him with a burning slap right across his face.


Author's Notes:

Adam Westwood: Age 22 | Born in Sands Point, New York | Goes to Purdue University, Indiana

Samantha Teagan Upshaw: Age 22 | Born in Lattingtown, New York | Goes to Purdue University, Indiana