Give Your Heart a Break

Author's Note: This is an entry for A Drop of Romeo's Star-Crossed Round 9 writing contest. This round was a one shot. I am not really that much of a romance writer, so I am afraid that it is rather, um, cliché (I think . . . If not, go me.) So, enjoy.

Oh, I did "Sleeping."

To fall in love is like taking that first plunge into the cool water. Once you are in the water and wet, the pool becomes a relaxing spa that you never want to leave. You find yourself floating laps in this small body of water and you never want to get out, never want to escape.

Giving your heart to someone is a little like that first jump. You never know what is going to happen. You don't even know if it will be good or bad.

Okay, let's stop and think about this for a minute. Have you ever heard of a play called Romeo and Juliet? Did Romeo and Juliet know how their love was going to end? Did they know that something bad was going to happen? Granted, it was probably in the back of their mind because their families were always fighting and whatever, but that's beside the point. Did they really know what was going to happen?
The answer is no, but because they were willing to take that first jump, they went down in history as the greatest love stories of all time.

Or maybe that was because of a sort of famous dude called...Oh, crap, I can't think of his name right now.

Must think...

Beats head against the desk...

William Shakespeare! That's it!

William Shakespeare was/is sort of famous guy who wrote a bunch of plays a long time ago. However, he's not important at all to this story. I am the important one here and so is my so-called loser of a boyfriend, Kyle, who can't even remember that today is my birthday.

If any guys are sitting out there reading my waste of both time and space blog, take note: DO NOT FORGET YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S BIRTHDAY! Okay, just make a note of that in your pile of notes of things that you are supposed to remember.

Great, now that we have that accomplished, we can move on to the good stuff.

So, my story doesn't start out with once upon a time or any of that Disney crap. Sorry, if you were hoping for something like that, I suggest you go check out somebody else's story. No, mine starts out with my alarm not going off and me being late for my first lecture of the semester, which is a fantastic thing to do, in case you were wondering...

So, let us begin by going back in time to six months earlier...

I look over at the clock next to my bed. It's only eight o'clock in the morning, meaning that I probably can get a few more hours of sleep before my first lecture at one. I'm just about to roll back over and go to sleep, when my heart stops. It's Monday and that means the dreaded eight am class.

Swearing, I jump out of bed and look at my schedule. Maybe I don't have a harsh professor and he will let me off easy. Of course, not, it figures that I would have the hardest professor at the university on the very first day of the semester and whose class I just happened to be late for.

This is going to be such a great semester; I can just feel it in my veins.

As I throw on the closest clothes, my mind is racing with excuses. I could always blame it on my noisy neighbours who were up until after two screaming about one thing or another. My mum keeps telling me that I should report them to the RA, but there is one little problem with that: my RA was the one screaming. I could always blame it on the freshman girls who enjoy screaming in the courtyard below my window until five. Let me tell you something about university freshman, they are just a race that needs to go away. Nobody likes them.

I rush across the campus, knowing that none of my excuses is going to work. I couldn't even play the card that I didn't know where class is because I've been here for two and half years. Great, just great.

I walk into my class and slip into the back, where hopefully my professor won't notice my tardiness. There is only one other guy sitting in my row. He's staring down at his notebook, not even taking notes or looking at anyone else in the room. I know his type: he's only here because his parents are making him get a higher education while he is perfectly content working at a nine to five job at minimum pay.

I quietly try to pull my notebook and textbook out of my bag. That's another problem, whenever you try to be quiet about doing something, it never seems to work out that way. However, I do manage and am soon taking notes.

I look over at my fellow back rower. He still hasn't moved and I find myself wondering if he is still alive. Should I poke him?

The class passes by without any problems and soon we are gathering up our belongings and on our merry way.

"Abby, can I have word with you?" Dr. Dickerson asks from the front of the room.

The only bad thing about going to a small university is that everyone knows your name. Sighing, I make my way toward the front. My fellow back rower is almost through gathering his stuff up (I guess he is alive, after all.) and watching me.

"Yes, Dr. Dickerson?" I ask as I reach him. I put on my confused face. It almost always works.

"I hope you don't plan on making a habit of this," Dr. Dickerson says as he starts to erase the board.

"Make a habit of what?"

"Of coming in late. I do not allow my students to come in late, which you would have known had you been on time."

I give him my puppy dogface. "I'm sorry."

Dr. Dickerson snaps his brief case shut. "Don't let it happen again."

I nod slowly. After this, I won't let it happen again.

When I leave the classroom, I am very surprised to see my fellow back rower leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest and a big smirk on his face.

"So, how did it go?" he asks as he pushes off the wall.

I shrug. "Same old, same old. You know how is he, right?"

He looks back in the direction of the classroom. "Yeah, but he's a good teacher."

I snort and start to walk down the hall. "Why does everyone use that as their defence?"

He shoves his hands into his pockets. "What do you mean?"

"If a teacher is a jerk, everyone seems to use the line that he is a good teacher." I pause. "It bothers me. How can a jerk be a good teacher? Shouldn't a good teacher not be so jerky?"

He shrugs. "Maybe, but everyone's definition of a jerk is different. You might think Dickerson is a jerk, but I may have other opinions. Does that mean he's a bad teacher?"

I frown. Is this guy just trying to confuse me? He has to a philosophy major; they always confuse the crap out of me.

"I mean, you might he's a jerk for calling out on being late, but you may end up liking toward the end of the semester and be sad whenever you have to leave his lovely class. Then, you will sign up for his class again and brag to your friends what a good man and great teacher he is."


He smiles at me. "I'm Kyle, by the way. Thanks for asking."

I eye him.

"This is the part where you tell me your name."


Kyle nods. "Nice to meet you." He hands me a piece of paper with something written on it. "Here's my number, call me, maybe."

I look down at piece of paper. "Lame line by the way."

Kyle smiles. "Well, I'm going to be the one to give your heart a break."

I snort. "Yeah, right. We all know that's not going to happen."

He walks down the hall. "I would love to keep talking to you, but I have a class!"
I roll my eyes as he disappears. There is one way I am going to call him. However, I take my mobile out and put his number in my contacts. It really couldn't hurt; I may need his help somewhere down the road.

Hey, you never know, Jack!

Great first lame songs and now I'm quoting Duck Dynasty. I really need to get a life.

I manage to get to the rest of my classes without any difficulty, meaning I get there on time and the teacher doesn't acknowledge my existence. It's fun times, really. Plus, we don't have that much homework, which is another gain, because I know I'm not going to be able to study with the screamers.

I start back toward my dorm with my head down. I really don't want to go back there and put up with a bunch of noisy people. Plus, my roommate enjoys having people over all the time. Normally, I don't mind, but today I am not in a people mood.


I turn and see Kyle waving at me. It really doesn't make sense why he's on this end of campus, considering the male dorm is on the other end of the school. I really don't understand why there is such a strong to keep the sexes separated; must be an old school thing.

Kyle catches up with me. "What's up?"

"Going back to my room."



"Don't you want to live a little and do something fun?"

I eye him. "This is university; it's not supposed to be fun."

"Are you one of those crazy people whose sole purpose for being here is to get a degree?"

"Yep, that's why most people go to university and I'm taking you as one of those people who isn't."

Kyle gives me a small smile. "How did you know?"

"How did you know about me?"

Kyle shrugs. "I'm good at reading people."

"Maybe I am too."

"Maybe we're a lot alike."

Now, there's a scary thought. I shift my bag to my other shoulder. "What makes you think that?"

"Well, the fact that we are both standing out here in subzero degree weather is the first sign. Then, we both are in the same class," Kyle says.

"Everyone has to take that class," I point out.

"True, but the fact that you signed up for an eight am section indicates that you are a morning person, like me."

"Maybe it was the only other section open, plus I was late."

"Yeah, but I bet that was a onetime deal. You're one of those crazy people who prefer to have a normal sleeping pattern."

I don't answer because that it mostly true, expect for the morning person part. I take that back; I just hate Monday mornings.

"I can also see that you don't let people in easy because you've been hurt before," Kyle gently says. "Baby, I'm not here to hurt you."

I blink. There's no way he could have known this.

"Do you want to know how I know all of this?" Kyle leans in close. We clearly need to have a talk about personal space. "It's in your eyes."

Creepy much?

Kyle smiles. "I'm here to show you a good time."

I snort. "I believe I never said I wanted your help."

Kyle's smile widens. "Sure, you do because you and I are partners for Dickerson's class."

I frown. What is he talking about?

"Had you shown up for class on time, you could have been paired with someone else."

Why didn't anyone tell me about this? I hate group work!

Kyle reaches into his bag and pulls out a sheet of paper. "It's all right here. I even got an extra copy for you."

I take the paper from him and quickly read over it. Why did he have to be right?

Kyle smiles. "I was thinking we could get a start on this soon so we don't have to worry about it later on in the semester. You know how it goes, everything starts out nice and slow, then it keeps doubling, by the end, you are pulling your hair out and having mental breakdowns."

I blink.

"Not to mention, the sooner we get this done, the sooner I'll be out of your hair."

I grab his hand and pull him toward the library. "Then, what are we waiting on."
Kyle laughs. "I like your thinking. I also like how you won't admit that you are looking forward to spending time with me."

I pause and turn around to look at him. "That is not what this means. I am not looking forward to spending time with you."

"Are you sure? I've been told that I have a very charming personality. Maybe that's why so many girls fall in love with me."

Why am I always stuck with the people who have big egos? Does anyone want to pause and take a moment to explain this to me?
Kyle smiles. "I want to make a wager with you."

I cross my arms over my chest. I can't resist a good bet.

"I bet that you will fall in love with me by the end of this project," Kyle says.

Well, that's not going to happen. "And if I don't?"

"Then, you never have to see my again."

This is a very good wager indeed. It's almost too good to be true. "It's a small campus; we are bound to see each other at some point."

"I'll transfer."

Huh, well what do you know. He's willing to step this up a notch.

I hold out my hand. "It's a deal."

Kyle shakes on it. "So, let's get started."

I start toward the library. "Yeah, the sooner the better. You'd better get ready to transfer."

Kyle chuckles under his breath. "We'll see about that."

Mr. Arrogant follows me to the library without saying a word. I'm very thankful for the silence because his nonstop chatter has the tendency to get under my skin. I know for a fact that I am not going to fall in love with someone like him; I will not bow.

We go into the very back of the library where no one else is.
"Okay, what's the first step?" I ask as I pull out a pen and notebook.

Kyle reads over the assignment sheet. "We need to pick an element of literature and, then, outline how it affects our chosen work from the semester's reading list."

"I like how they say we get to chose as long as it's from their list. To me, that's not really a choice," I say as I look over the reading list.

"I think they just enjoy making us feel like we have to choice."

"But we actually don't."

Kyle nods and puts his pen in his mouth for a few seconds before speaking. "No, we don't. It's kind of like that whole thing where they say we can do whatever we want to do with our lives, but that's not really true. For example, when I was a small child I wanted to be a stunt man, but that didn't happen because here I am talking to you."

I nod. "Like we don't have a choice that we are stuck together working on this project."

"Exactly, which we do need to get started on in order for our wager to begin."

I groan. "You really shouldn't get your hopes on that one. There is no way I am going to fall in love you and I will never let you forget that."

Kyle points his pen at me. "And I'll never let you forget that you will fall in love with."

I snort. "Yeah, keep dreaming, boy."

"I've have you know that I am over the age of eighteen and that, therefore, makes me a man."

"Age has nothing to do with what makes someone a man. If you were a man, you would stop getting off topic and let us actually get started on this project." I read over the assignment sheet. "So, we to-"
"I am so a man," Kyle interrupts. "You really shouldn't make fun of people. Haven't you ever heard of a thing called bullying?"

"Haven't you ever heard of getting your work done?"

"I always do my work."

"Yeah, the night before it's due."

Kyle crosses his arms over his chest. "What's wrong with that?"
"You do realize that you would do so much better if you started early and took the time to think about what it is that you are doing."

"At least, I show up to class on time."

I slam my notebook shut and start to rather my things up. "I've had enough of this. I'll do this myself."

"Oh, yeah and are you going to ask your good old friend, Dr. Dickerson, to be in a new group?" Kyle asks me as I get up from the table.

Grr...Why did I have to get an annoying partner who makes good points?
"Just let me give your heart a break," Kyle tells me as I sit back down.

"Why do you keep quoting some cheesy pop song?"

"Because there is wisdom in Demi Lovato."

I give him a look. "There is no wisdom in Demi Lovato songs."

Kyle smirks. "What about Miley Cyrus?"

"Let's not go there."
"That's what I thought. So, Demi it is."

I roll my eyes. "Look, can we just start over?"

"Fine, but this doesn't change out wager. Plus, we have nothing to start over with because we haven't started working on the project yet."

I face palm. This is going to be a very long semester.

Two days later, we are back in the library.

"So, I was thinking we do theme for Frankenstein. We could tie it in to knowledge, which is always a good thing. Plus, Dr. Dickerson is one for theme," Kyle is saying.

I nod.

"One thing I don't understand about this book is why it portrays knowledge as being so dangerous." Kyle flips through the book. "Society today seems to embrace knowledge, but this book seems to shy away from it."
I just nod. I've never actually read the book and don't care to do so.

"Plus, Frankenstein isn't even the name of the monster, which kind of puts a damper on the spirit of things."

"Frankenstein's not the monster?" I ask.

Kyle shakes his head. "Frankenstein is the name of the scientist."

"Well, Hollywood clearly got that wrong."

"Hollywood gets a lot of things wrong. For example, how in the world can every movie that comes out be the best film of the year?"

"I've always wondered about that." I pause. "Books are the same way. There's no way that every book can be a best seller."

"Unless, selling one book means being a best seller."

I let a small laugh escape my lips.

Kyle smirks at me. "That's the first sign of falling in love with someone."

I eye him. "Huh?"

"Laughter is the key to a man's heart."

"I thought that was food?"

Kyle waves his hand at me. "I'm not like most guys."

I snort. "That's for sure."

He gives me a look. "What's that's supposed to mean?"

I look at a random page in my book. "Oh, nothing."
"There was nothing about that comment."

"Well, you just read too much into things."

"You don't read enough into things."

I sigh. Is this ever going to end?

Kyle stands up. "I'll be right back. I need to print something off that I think will help us."

I nod and watch him disappear.

I'll give him some credit. He is a decent person, even if he does make comments. He does certainly lighten the room up a little. He's smart and not terrible looking. I mentally slap myself. No, these thoughts always lead to bad things happening. I will not allow myself to fall in love with him. I will not give him the pleasure of winning our little wager.

However, he probably would not be a bad boyfriend for someone else. I have a lot of single friends who probably would not mind having him for a boyfriend. Maybe I'll have to bring him to dinner one night. It certainly would get him off my back.

Kyle slides across me and hands me a couple pieces of paper. "What?"

"Nothing," I say as look down at the first sheet of paper. It's full of Frankenstein stuff that I really don't understand; guess I need to start reading the stupid book.

"Nothing is ever just nothing. We've been over this already today."
"Well, maybe sometimes nothing really does mean nothing. Did you ever think about that one?"

Kyle doesn't answer.

Two points for me.

"I think if we just read over this then we should have enough information to write most of our project," Kyle says.

I attempt to read what is in front of me, I really do, but it's impossible with Kyle sitting right in front of me. His eyelashes are so long, the kind of long that doesn't belong on a boy. His face his angular, but not to pointy that you wouldn't want to reach out and touch it. His hair looks soft enough to touch and I can only imagine what he looks like shirtless. He's one of the guys who looks like a geek, but secretly has a rock star body.

Great, Abby! You really need to stop staring at him or he's going to think you're falling in love with him!

Even, though he's good looking, I am not about to fall in love with him. I will not let that happen.

"So, did you see what I was talking about?" Kyle asks.

I nod. "Lots of good stuff in here."

Kyle nods. "Too bad, it's about Romeo and Juliet and not what we need."

"Oh..." I drift off. "I mean-"

"I saw what you were doing."

"Saw what?"

"You looking at me."

"And look who is so full of himself?"

Kyle smirks. "You just won't admit the truth."

I slam my hand down hard on the table. I won't be doing that again anytime soon; seriously, that hurt. "I wasn't doing anything wrong."

"There's nothing wrong with staring at a beautiful person.

I take back every nice comment I ever thought about him.

"The fact that you are trying to so hard to deny it is reason enough."

I can feel my blood pressure climbing. "Will you just shut up?"

"Will you just admit it?"

"I'm not going to admit anything that isn't true."

"You're a liar then. Haven't you ever watched Pretty Little Liars and did you see where lying got them?"

I blink. The fact that a guy has watched Pretty Little Liars is amazing to me. What is even more shocking is the fact that he admits aloud that he has done so. This really makes me question him.

Kyle crosses his arms over his chest. "What?"

"Pretty Little Liars?" I ask.

Kyle shrugs. "I wanted to see what the hype was all about."

I roll my eyes. "Well, this has been a fun study session and I must say that I am ready for bed." I start to gather my things up. "We can pick this up later."

Kyle smirks at me.

"What now?" I ask.

"You just don't want to keep going because you want to see me again."

Gr...Mr. Arrogant strikes again.

"We'll see about that one."

"The sooner you just admit it, the better."

I snort and walk away from. Yes, I'm well aware that I'm letting him have the last word for now, but my time will come.

I walk out into the cool air, plotting my comeback. I really need to one up him and bruise his ego a little.

I flop down on my tiny dorm bed and look at the pictures on my wall. I have tried to make this room as homey as possible, but there's only so much you can do in a dorm room. Even though I only have happy pictures on my walls, I can still feel a sense of depression.

I'm just glad that my roommate is off getting drunk somewhere.

I reach under my bed and take out my computer. It's time to a little digging of my own and find out who exactly my partner is.

I sort through the various club pages on the university's website finding nothing. So, he's not involved in university activities? That's really not that uncommon; everyone knows that our clubs are lame.

I pull up a new tab and type in his name. If he has done anything or posted anything on the web, Google will find it. Google is a wonderful tool for stalking, it's even better than Facebook. The only problem with Google is that Kyle Brown is a pretty common name. I don't know his hometown, so I try our university name.

That narrows it down by a few million hits. The first link looks promising. I click on it and a short news article pops up. I read it and push the back button. I don't care that he graduated top of his class. I want real dirt on him, the kind that would make even his greasy hair turn on end.

I click on the next link and scan the next article. An evil smile fills my face. I click the print button and soon this article is tapped on my wall next to my so-called happy pictures. He is so going to hear about this one.

For the first time ever, I can't wait to see him.

I flop back onto my bed and look at my pictures. I really should just take them done because they really don't add anything to the room; they don't make me feel. The pictures are just a symbol of the life I once had and it's rather silly to hang on to the past.

I really do need to take them down, but I can't.

I pull my blanket over my head and my eyes, dreaming of getting back at Kyle.

I wake up on time the next morning. I'm actually surprised that I am able to do so without five million alarms going off. I look over at my roommate's bed and see that she didn't make it back in last night, typical.

I really amazes that some people are still in university. You think that all the alcohol would've fried their brain cells by now.

I get dressed and quickly rush off to Dr. Dickerson's class. I slid next to the seat that Kyle normally sits in and wait. The rest of my classmates file in with sleepy expressions. A few give me greetings, but I only half heartily return them. I am only interested in one person.

Kyle comes in right before the lecture is supposed to start. He slides into his seat and looks at me. "What?"

Without a word, I slid my blackmail over to him.

Kyle looks at the paper and his face gets red for a brief moment. "So, who's the stalker now?"

I shrug. "I just wanted to know what kind of person I was working with."
"Nothing wrong with that, I suppose." He looks down at the paper. "So, how hard was it to find this?"

"Not that difficult, actually."

Kyle nods. "Look, it was a really long time ago and I'm not that person anymore."

"That is the most clichéd line in the world. It ranks right up there with I didn't do it. It was the other guy's fault."

Kyle rolls his eyes. "No, it was actually my fault."

This isn't going at planned. I had hoped he would beg me not to tell anyone. He is supposed to be at my mercy and instead he owns up to what he did. What kind of criminal is this guy!
I sigh and stare ahead at the whiteboard.

"Are things not going according to your plan?" Kyle whispers.

I gave him a look.

"So, if your luck keeps going the like this, the chances of you falling in love with me are quiet high," Kyle pips in.

I give him a look. "I'm not the one who assaulted a teacher."

Kyle points his finger at me. "You make a good point, but we must not focus on the past."

I groan, which earns me a few looks from my classmates.

"Now, I would appreciate it if you would shut up so I can work on my drawing."

"You mean taking notes and paying attention to the lecture."

Kyle snorts. "I don't have time for that nonsense."

"Isn't that the point of going to university?"

"I'm here by force."

Well, at least, I was correct on that assumption.

Neither one of us says a word for the rest of the lecture. I try to pay attention, but I find my mind wonder as it often does whenever I'm in classes that I really don't care about. Why they make us take these stupid extra classes is beyond me.

No, my mind keeps going back to the person sitting next to me. How can he brush something off like it's no big deal? Speaking of assault, how did he even get into this school? Did he have to pay off the university to get into here?

So many question, yet so few answers.

It's not like I can ask him theses questions either, he will think that I am falling in love with him, which I'm not. I don't even know how he can think of such things like that.

I see that Dr. Dickerson is looking at me. I bend me head down and pretend to write something. I really think this professor has it out to get me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I can see that Kyle is smirking at me. Stupid person...I really hate people like him.

I stare ahead and pretend to be fascinated by what Dr. Dickerson is saying. However, I can't completely tune Kyle out. Why does he have to be so annoying?

As soon as the lecture ends, I rush out the door before Kyle has the chance to say a word to me. I can hear him coming behind me, so I pick up my pace. Swearing under my breath, I look for a place to hide, but it figures we are in the one building that only has a giant lecture room on a floor.

Kyle grabs my arm and guides me to the wall.

"Will you just leave me alone?" I snap at him.

Kyle's face briefly falls. "I just wanted to give you your book that you forgot. Maybe next time I won't be such a nice person."

I snatch my book from him. So much for winning nicest person of the year. Why is whenever he actually does something sweet that I end up snapping at him?

With a tug, Kyle takes the book back from me. "Maybe I won't give it back to you after all and just leave you to fail the quiz on Friday."

I kick him in the shins, hard. He drops the book on the ground with a groan. "You're forgetting one thing," I say as I bend down to pick up my book. "I'm a girl and we fight dirty."

I stomp down the hall. All of my plans were just failing today for some reason. I am normally better at this game.

The rest of the day passes without seeing Kyle. Unfortunately, my roommate shows up at some point of the day and makes me listen to her drunken stories for close to three hours. To be honest, I don't care how many people you threw up on. As usual, the screamers are screaming, making it impossible to go to sleep. Grr, just another annoying day in the life of an university student.

To make matters worse, Kyle is in my dreams. I'm not sure what corrupted my mind in order to make me dream about him, maybe my roommate spiked my milk or something; it really wouldn't surprise me if she did.

I wake up the next morning feeling like a zombie. I go through the routines of getting ready for another exciting day of class.

"Morning, sweetheart!" As soon I step outside of my dorm, Kyle is face to face with me. "I brought you coffee."

I take the coffee from him. "This doesn't change anything."

Kyle gives me a smile. "Oh, we'll see about that. It's awful early in the day to be saying things like that."

I snort. "No, it will never change anything."

"Whatever you say, Abby."

I start toward the lecture halls.

"What do you say we skip those today?" Kyle calls.

I turn. "What do you mean?"

"To be or not to be is the question you should ask, my dear."

I eye him. "Are you drunk?"

Kyle smirks at me. "Nah, I'm just trying to come up with witty things to say."

"You're failing horribly at it."

"Good to know." He pauses. "So, are you game?"
I look down at my feet. Was I game? I didn't want to sit through a day's worth of lectures. On the other hand, I really didn't want to spend the day with Kyle. Why did life have to be so difficult?

I take his hand into mine. "I'm driving."

Laughing, Kyle lets me pull him toward the parking lot. We climb into my mid-90s car. I pull out of the campus and onto the highway.

"Where to?" I ask.

Kyle lounges back in his seat. "Wherever you take me, sweetheart." He closes his eyes.

An evil smile comes across my face. This is going to be good.

I drive toward downtown. A girl might as well have some fun while she can. I pull into an empty parking place in front of an old building. The place isn't falling down, but it certainly has seen its better days.

Kyle looks around. "Um, where are we?"

I get out of the car. "Have a little fun, Kyle."

Kyle gets out of the car. His eyes are darting around. "Um, are we going to get mugged here?""
"Nope." I open the building's door. "Now, come on."
"Guess you are nothing but a wuss."

Kyle gives me a look. "You did not just call me a wuss."


Kyle comes closer to me. "You are so going to pay for that."

"Well, make me pay for it." I dance around the door. "Come on, show me you're not a boy and are actually a man."

Kyle's eyes narrow. "I am a man."

"Then, prove it."

Kyle sets into through the door. Who knew that questioning someone's masculinity would get them do what you wanted? I should have thought of this a long time ago.

I turn on the light and a grimy room appears in front of us. Like I said, everything needs work, but it is still usable.

Kyle looks around the room. "What is this place?"
I jump up on the stage. "This is my world."

"Your world?"

"Is there an echo in here?"

Kyle falls silent.

I give him a big smile. "You're not the only one with a secret past." I walk around the stage. "I did some digging on you. I know that the assault isn't the only thing that you've done."

Kyle eyes me. "What do you mean?"

I reach under the stage and pull out the guitar I kept there. "I you know play a mean guitar solo and wanted to go and make a career out of it, but your parents wouldn't let you."

He has a look of disbelief on his face. "You're good, you know that?"

I shrug. "I did my homework." I hand him the guitar. "Now, show me what you got."

Kyle looks at the guitar, then at me. "I don't play Justin Beiber."

I roll my eyes. "Don't insult me by thinking that's the kind of music I listen to."

Kyle gives me a smile. "Are you flirting with me?"

"Just shut up and show me what you got."
"So, you are flirting with me."

I give him a look. "You're really starting to make me regret bringing you here."

"Regret means that you're feeling something for me."

I fight the urge to scream. Why doesn't this guy just give it a rest already? He's just too full of himself; it makes me sick.

"So, what kind of teenie bopper song do you want?" Kyle asks.

"I don't want any of that. I can't stand that kind of music."

"But you know Demi Lovato!"

"That's beside the point." I pause. "Besides, I never said she was my type of music."

"I guess you didn't." Kyle strums a chord on the guitar. "So, what is your type of music?"
I smile. "Do you want a clue?" I ask sweetly.

"That would be helpful."

"Boy, you are so asking for it."

"Whatever you say, Abby."
I walk into the centre of the stage. People are always surprised by my taste of music. They say that I am a sweet little girl who shouldn't have an interest in this music or be able to sing that way. In the eyes of the public, I'm supposed to be the kind of girl who sleeps in flowered sheets under her pictures of the past listening to good girl music.

I can't let myself be that girl.

"So, me what you got!" Kyle exclaims.

Should I go all out?

"I bet you won't amaze me!"
I enjoy people egging me on.

"You'll probably just make fall sleep."

Now, he's asking for it!

I open my mouth and start to sing The Agonist's song "Business Suits and Combat Boots." I know didn't go all out, but I didn't want to shock him too much. I am standing up here on stage in a pick flowered dress after all. Let me get into my singing clothes before I give him all I got.

Once I am done, I look sweetly down at Kyle. "So, how was that?"

Kyle's mouth is hanging open. He's not blinking. To be honest, I'm not even sure if he's still breathing.

I hop down from the stage, go over to him, and wave my hand in front of his face. "Hello?"
Kyle jumps back. "You're a metal chick!"

I smile sheepishly at him. "It happens."

"Metal girls creep me out."


"However, I can't look away whenever a girl is singing metal to me."


"In fact, there is nothing better."

Huh? How did we go from creepy to nothing better? I need to work on my moves.

Kyle leans closer to me. "In fact, I think you knew that and this is just another way for you to deny your feelings for me."

Wait! What? NO!

I cross my arms over my chest. Why isn't this going the way I want it too? Doesn't this guy see that I'm not interested in him that way? He says that I'm who needs to give my heart a break, but I think it's really him.

What does that term mean anyway? If you're giving you heart a break, doesn't that mean you shouldn't be trying to get with someone?

"Hello," Kyla says. "You really need to work on that spacing out thing."

"I don't space out," I say, "not that much."

Kyle snorts. "Yeah, right."

I cross my arms over my chest. "Do you have something else to say about me?"

He puts his hands up in the air. "Nope, not all."

"I really don't."

I eye him. "I can tell you want to say something else, so just go ahead and spill."
"I really don't have anything."

"Stop trying to deny it."

"There really is nothing else."

"You might as well just go ahead and say it."

Kyle sighs. He really does look like a little boy right now. I do feel like of bad for him, but, yet, I can't stop. There is something pleasurable about seeing someone suffer. I know, I'm an evil person, but I can't help it. It's just human nature.

I lean down close to him. "Just say it."

Kyle leans in close to me. "I think-"


He is moving closer to me. "I think..."

He really is not thinking about doing what he's thinking about? That did not come out well at all.

Oh, no!

Our lips meet. I want to pull away, but I find myself unable to do. There's just something about kissing a guy that makes a girl want to stay. I mentally slap myself. I just need to make these thoughts disappear.

I pull away. "What were you thinking?"

"I thought you wanted to!"
"NO! You shouldn't judge based on body language."

Kyle gives me a look. "What are you talking about?"
I sit down on the stage. "I really have no idea."

Kyle sits down next to me. "So, where does this leave us? I'll understand if you don't want to work on the project together anymore."

"I'm fine with the project, but I think that's all we should talk about."

Kyle nods. I can see the hurt in his eyes.

I am a really horrible person.

"Well, I guess we should head back and get to work."

I nod. "Yeah, I guess we should."

The ride back to the university is really awkward, either one of us saying a word for fear that it would be the wrong thing to say. I liked it better whenever things were simple, but now there is just nothing. I try not to keep looking at him and I can see he's trying to do the same thing to me. Why did I have to be a mean person?

As soon as I pull into the parking lot at university, Kyle jumps out of the car. "I'll go get my things and meet you at the library."

I watch him run to his dorm. Sighing, I get out the car and gather my things.

I am a dream ender; I know he really did like me. I'll just go ahead and admit it: I was starting to fall for him too. I guess he was right: people do fall in love with him. It's too late to take it all back. I just know it is.

I sit down at our usual table in the library and wait. Would I still be a horrible person if I invited him to come play with my band? Would that make things better between us?

I do really think I'm just overanalyzing the situation. Why can I analyze this, but not a stupid piece of classical literature? There is seriously something wrong with my head.

Kyle arrives a few minutes later. He looks normal, which I'm not sure how I feel about this. "I think we need to look a little more at Victor Frankenstein's education and what really caused him to go down this route."

I nod.

"I mean we all know what causes him to go down the dark path, but I really just to do think we need to make that more of the centre of our paper."

I can tell that he's not really into this because this is what we went over last time.

Kyle looks over what we have done so far.

I am a really horrible person. Kyle never forgets what we go over during our sessions.

"I think if we add that and do a little clean up, then we should be done and out of each other's hair."

How does he not remember? Is he really that upset?

"Then, I guess I'll start looking at other schools."

I nod, knowing that I should feel great about winning the bet, but I know in my heart that I didn't. I did fall in love with him. I want to scream it, but I know it is best for each of us if we go our own ways. Look at love through history. Had Romeo and Juliet gone their own ways, they both would have lived through their teens.

Except, we're not in our teens, so we've already got one up on them.

Kyle is studying our project. I can tell that he really is wrapped up in the project instead of trying to get my attention. I never thought I would enjoy a quiet Kyle, but I am very sad at it. It just makes us partners instead of something more.

Maybe I shouldn't invite him to my band, after all. It may give him the wrong idea.

Its strange how opening up can cause this awkwardness between us. I thought that opening up would bring people closer together instead of building a wall. If only our project had something to do with fronts and I could talk to him about it.

"Yeah, I'm sure if we just do that, then we will be done with a week to spare," Kyle says.

I nod. "That sounds good." I pause and look at him. "Look, you don't have to transfer if you don't want to."

Kyle shakes his head. "It's not about the wager. I was going to transfer anyway."

I twirl my pen in my hand. "Why?"

Kyle shrugs. "It's personal."

"That bad, huh?" I'm thinking about his past.

"No, it's not anything like that." Kyle sighs. "I don't know if you'll understand, but I feel trapped here. It's the same old thing every day, the same people, and whatnot. I'm just sick of it. Everyone acts like friends, but you know that will all change in the job market. These people will become your competition."

"So, you don't want to compete against person? That's why you're leaving?"

He shakes his head. "No, I just don't like it here."



"Then, why did you come here?"

"My parents went here and they wanted me to. I wanted to go to another school and they wouldn't pay for it."

"Oh." I'm glad my parents really didn't have a say in where I went.


"So, what do you want to do?"

Kyle shrugs. "I don't know. I'm young, so I've got plenty of time to figure that out."

"Uh-huh." I don't believe in his personal philosophy. Now is the time to figure your life out.

"So, why aren't you with your band a lot?"

I eye him. How did he know I was in a band?

"You're the only one who can do research."

"Um, it's complicated."

"Do you still talk to them?"

I nod. "Yeah, we still do a few shows, but not like we used to. We've just kind of lost interest."

"But you guys are really good."

"It happens."

"I know, but you shouldn't let it happen to you."

"There's only three of us left."
"And? It can't be that hard to get more."

"I suppose." I look down at my notebook. "I don't know."

"You should."


Kyle leans close to me. "Trust me, you should. It would be a shame let talent like that go away." He pauses. "Plus, I really digged the purple hair."

I groan, remembering that horrible fashion from my past. "Well, I like my brown."

"I do too, but purple stood out a lot more to me."

"I really don't know what to say to that."

"Once you go purple, you should never go back."

"That's really cheesy."

"I know." Kyle gathers his books and stands up. "Trust me, it can get a lot worse."

"I was afraid of that."

He smirks at me as he walks away from our table. So, does this mean everything's okay between us? He's kind of sending me mixed messages here.

I gather my own things and leave the library. I just really want to know where we stand now. It's driving me crazy and it's not like I can just go up and ask him.

I go back to my room. As usual, my roommate is nowhere to be seen, which is just as well. I'll be honest. I try to make it sound like we are great match, but we're not. The only reason we are roommates is because both one of us had no one to live with and the university doesn't have single rooms anymore.

I through my bag on my desk chair and look at the pictures. I really do just need to break down and take the down. It really is stupid keeping them up.

I go over to the wall and start to pull them. Even though I look at them before letting them fall on the ground, I get nothing from them. I don't have the same life anymore and I'm certainly not the same person, as Kyle has already pointed out.

Expect, Kyle thinks I can go back to that life.

But I don't want to.

I look at a picture of my band at a gig and a sense of longing fills my heart. Okay, maybe a small part of my wishes I could go back that life.

I look at my mobile that is sitting on my desk, begging me to pick it up and make the call. I know the guys would gladly take me back, which is probably the reason why they haven't hired a new lead singer.

It's just a phone call, but why can't I make myself make it? Why I am so afraid of going back to the way things used to be?

I tear down a couple more pictures, but I keep looking over at the mobile. Sighing, I jump down from my bed and walk over it. I dial a number.

It goes to voicemail. "Hey, Derek, it's Abby." I look around the room. "I was just wondering if we could talk some time. Look, when you get this, can you just give a call back? Um, bye."

I snap my mobile shut. What more could I do? I wasn't even sure if Derek would get my message.

I am in time's hands right now. It always amazes how much of life truly depends on time. You can spend your whole life waiting for something to happen or for some amazing event to happen. You can wait for the right person to come along and sweep you off your feet, but by the time, you realize what you have, it's already too late and he's going away to some far away land.

Why I am thinking about Kyle? None of that is true; I don't have feelings for him.

But what if I am denying myself? Is it really that awful to deny something as simple or complex as liking someone?

I bend down at pick up my pictures. Maybe it's just as simple as walking away from an old life.

My mobile buzzes and right away, I know it's Derek.

I look at, unsure if I should answer it. I know I am the one who called him, but cold feet are hitting me. I just don't know what I should with me.

At the last time, I pick up the mobile. "Hello."

"You called, Abby," Derek's voice fills my head.

"Yeah." I run my hand through my long hair. "I wanted to ask you something."
"Like getting the band back together?" Derek's voice sounds hopeful.

I sigh. "Yeah, look if it doesn't work out this time, then you just need to find a new singer and go on without me."

"Yeah, yeah. You just need to have a little faith." Derek pauses. "So, what gave you the courage to come back?"
I am not going to tell him about Kyle yet. "I really don't know."

"It's all good."
I close my eyes. "Look, I am serious. If it doesn't work out, then go on without me. There's just no sense in me holding you back. It just wouldn't be right."

"Abby, you really do need to stop being so negative. You need to take risks and live a little."

Why does everyone keep saying that? I do believe I have a good life and fulfilling one that matter. I think the others just need to open their eyes up to what is a good life. It's not always black and white.

"Abby, are you still there?" Derek asks.

Crap, I forgot that I am still on the mobile. "Um, yeah."

"Listen, we can give it try this weekend if you don't have anything else to do."

"I'm an university student, so what do you think?"

"You either have so much to do that you can't sleep or you have nothing to do, which is it?"

"It's somewhere down the middle, but I should be free this weekend."

"Good, my place Saturday two o'clock."

"Sounds good."

"Okay, then."

As soon, I as we hang up, I scroll through my contacts until I find Kyle's number and send him a quick text about Saturday. I am actually hoping that he will be able to join us. What am I thinking?

I plop myself down on my bed and pull my flowered blanket around me. I have no idea how long it will take Kyle to get back to me. I really should pick my discarded pictures up before my roommate gets back and thinks I'm trashing the room.

But I can't make myself move.

Why am I reframing from doing my normal activities?

I unfold myself from my blanket and pick up the rest of my pictures. I go over to the bin and without a second thought I toss them away. My old is gone and it's time to start with my new life.

And it feels great.

I go back and check my mobile, still nothing from Kyle. What is taking that boy so long? Shouldn't he be glued to his mobile like everyone else in our generation?

"Come on, Kyle," I hiss at the mobile.

I go through my contacts until I find Derek's number. "I'm bringing a guest, if he ever decides to pick up his mobile."

Derek quickly texts back, which is how it's supposed to be. "Okay."

I resend the text to Kyle. Seriously, what is up with him?

It is almost three hours later that Kyle finally texts me back. "That sounds good. It's not like I have anything better to do."

"Bring your guitar," I text back.

No answer. Seriously, where could he have gone in matter of three seconds? It always amazes how quickly people can disappear.

It takes him a full thirty minutes to answer to me.

"Okay, where and what time?" Kyle texts back.

"Outside my dorm at one thirty." Well, here's going to be another half an hour of my life gone.


It's amazing! He does know how answer right away. This is hope for society.

"See you then," I send to him.

I wait for my mobile to buzz. Nothing. Figures.

As usual, Saturday comes. I wish I could tell you that my week was exciting but it wasn't. I don't understand why people think university is like this one big, grand exciting party when it's really not. It is so not like the way it is in the movies.

I make my way downstairs and not all that surprised to see Kyle, with his guitar case at his feet, leaning against the brick wall outside. He may not always answer his mobile, but he is always on time for meetings.

"Hey," I say as I step outside.

Kyle nods and bends down to pick up his guitar case. "I thought you didn't want to see me again."

I stuff my hands into my pockets. "I never said that. I just said business terms only."

"So, what business is this about, then?" Kyle asks as he follows me to my car.

"That's for me to know and you to find out."

Kyle steps in front of me so we are standing somewhat face-to-face. "How do I know you're not taking me out someplace to kill me?"

I give him a smile. "You don't know that, but I'm sure you trust me."

"After that smile, I'm not all that sure about any of this."

I grab his hand and pull him to my car.

"This is kidnapping, which is illegal!"

"Shut up!"
"What everyone's hungover anyway, so I might as well add to their misery."
"Go for it," I say as I think about my roommate, who is sleeping a hangover off.

Kyle opens his mouth and lets out a loud man scream. "Your turn," he says once he is done.

"I don't think so." I quickly shove him into my car before we get arrested for disturbing the peace or something lame like that.

I slid into my side.

Kyle looks me in the eye. "You spoil everything."

"Good to know," I say as I speed out of campus.

Kyle had on to his seat. "Are you trying to kill me or something?"

I look at him innocently. "Am I scaring you?"


I go faster as we merge onto the motorway. "What about now?"

"Maybe just a little," Kyle says in a small voice.

I laugh. "Well, I'm going to have to do something about that."

"Please, don't say that."
I don't let up on the gas. Kyle's face gets green, which I thought was something that only happened in the movies, but I guess I was wrong.

I keep speeding down the motorway.

"Um, you know there's a random red light up here, don't you?" Kyle asks.

I don't let up.

His eyes start too looked panicked. "Abby?"

I keep going.


I slid to a stop as the very last second and smile at him. "What? I had it all under control."

Kyle just snorts. "You didn't know that."

The light turns green. "Driving is a risk. You really need to live a little."

"I need to live a little! What about you?"
I drive onto a small street. "I believe what I just did qualify as living."

"Yeah, living does not mean almost dying."

I roll my eyes as I pull into Derek's driveway. "Whatever you say, mate."

Kyle crosses his arms over his chest. "We need to work on your life skills."

I open my door and get out. "Are you coming or are you just going to sit there all day?"
"I'm coming. I'm coming," Kyle mutters as he gets out.

I lead the way to the door. I put my finger on the doorbell and ring it. I wait a few seconds before doing so again.

"Must you keep ringing," Derek grumbles as he opens the door.

"Well, pick up the pace." I push past him.

Derek steps aside and lets Kyle in. "See, he's got more class than you do."

I roll my eyes. "You haven't even really heard him talk yet."
"He's giving me a much better opinion of himself than you are," Derek says.

I shrug. "You already know me, so I don't have to improve."

Derek snorts. "Everyone else is downstairs."

Kyle looks around. "Are we the last ones here?" He checks his watch. "Are we late?"
I grab his arm and pull him downstairs. "Naw, everyone else is simply early."
"Are you actually late," Derek informs me.

"Shut up," I say.

We go downstairs. Jake, Lucas, and Michael, hair and all, are already downstairs waiting on us. It's really not fair for Derek to say that we are the last ones here and late because they all live here together.

I slide in between Lucas and Michael. "How's it going boys?"I reach across Lucas and take the bag of chips from Jake.

Lucas pauses the game. "Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes."

I bat my eyelashes at him. "Did you miss me that much?"

Lucas just laughs. I'm not sure what that means.

Meanwhile, Jake is busy studying Kyle. "You know there are some rules you have to follow in order to be cool with us."

Kyle crosses his arms over his chest. "Like what?"

"You have to take a turn in providing food for sessions."

Kyle nods. "Done."

"You have to actually show up to practice," Jake goes on.

Jake and Lucas exchange smiles. "And you must never forget your girlfriend's birthday or we are done with you," Jake says.

Kyle starts to nod, then pauses. "Wait! What? I don't have a girlfriend."
The guys' laughter fills the room.

I hit Jake on the arm.

Michael leans forward in his chair. "Any idiot can see that you two are nuts about each other."

I cross my arms over my chest and Kyle stares them down.

Derek smirks at us. "I give them two months."

Lucas snorts. "That's being generous, mate."

Jake nods. "More like a few weeks."

"Naw, I give them to the end of the day," Michael says as he leans back in his seat.

I get to my feet. "I've had enough of you guys."

I start to leave the room.

Derek grabs my arm and looks at me. "Don't be like this, Abby."

"Like what?" I snap.

"The way you are. You just came back and now you are leaving." Derek looks at me with pleading eyes. "Just give it one afternoon."

I yank my arm away from him. "Fine."

Derek smiles. "Glad to hear it."

I sit down in the lone chair.

Derek looks Kyle up and down. "You must be pretty good at something or she wouldn't have brought you here."

Lucas elbows Jake. "I would what that something is."

"Shut up!" I hiss at them.

Both boys give me a smile before falling silent.

Kyle shrugs. "I guess I'm decent."

Derek hands Kyle a piece of music. "Prove it."

Kyle looks over the music for a few minutes before taking his guitar out and starting to play. Let me just say that Kyle's playing is better than decent, it is downright good. I feel like I am at a professional concert, listening to a bestselling band. He just makes it look so easy, but I know he is focusing like crazy. I can tell that the rest of the guys are impressed.

Once done, Kyle sits his guitar calmly down and looks at us. "Well, what do you think?"

The guys exchange looks and are silent for a few minutes.

"That was really good," Derek says finally.

Jake gives Derek a look. "That was better than good that was awesome!"

"Is he a keeper?" I ask.

"He's a keeper," Derek says.

"Glad to hear it," I say as I get to my feet. "Well, boys, it's been fun hanging out with you, but I am a very busy girl."

Kyle smiles. "Thanks for having me."
"No, thank you," Derek says. "We have a band now."

I shove Kyle out the door. "Let's go!"

"Just don't forget what we talked about!" Lucas calls after us.

I roll my eyes.

Kyle follows me out to the car. "So, that's the band?"


He climbs into the car and we go back to campus without saying a word. I think both of us were afraid to bring up what had been discussed.

Once back at school, Kyle climbs out of the car as I drop him off in front of his dorm. "I won't forget your birthday."

I grip the wheel. "You'd better not."

Kyle smiles and shuts the car door.

I sigh and drive away. What did I have to lose?

Back to the beginning...

So, that brings us back to now. I'm laying here in bed with my flowered sheets and blankets. The pictures are back up on my wall. They are not the ones I tore down, but are ones of Kyle and me and the band at different shows. That stupid mirror stands front and centre.

I look at my alarm clock. I really should stop mopping over the fact that my boyfriend forgot my birthday and move on with my life. It's just one day, no big deal.

I kick back the covers and start to get ready for the day.

Knock. Knock.

My head jerks up. I'm not really sure if someone is knocking on my door. No one ever knocks on my door.

Knock. Knock.

Yep, that is definitely coming from my door.

I sigh. Speak of the devil...

"If you don't open this door, I'm going to kick it in!"

I'd like to see him try.

"I'll give you to three."

I might as well have some fun.

Or would it be too mean?


No, there's nothing wrong with getting a giggle out of someone's suffering.

I open the door as Kyle prepares to kick it in. He lands inside the door with a loud thud.

I cross my arms over my chest and look down at him. "Can I help you?"

Kyle gives me a dazed look. "I have your present." He rubs his head. "Was that really necessary?"


He slowly gets to his feet. "I have your present. I didn't forget."

I give him a small smile. "I know, but you make for a great story."

Kyle looks at me. "What do you mean?"

I go over to my laptop and show him the document I'd been working on. "I mean, girls dig this kind of crap."

His eyes look at the screen. "Do you have a good ending?"

"Why don't we make that happen?" I whisper as I lean in and kiss him.

We break the kiss.

Kyle looks back at the screen. "So, I'm a loser who forgets his girlfriend's birthday and you are upset about it?"

I slam the laptop's lid shut. "Dramatic effect, just go with it."

Kyle snorts. "Whatever you say."
I give him a smile.

"So, I suppose you don't want this then?" He waves a small bag in my face.

I snatch it away from him.

"Greedy girl."

I reach him and shove him down onto my bed. "You are just starting to find out how greedy I can be." I kiss him.

"I can see that," Kyle whispers as our lips touch once again.