Alright my readers, there's something you should know:

The first part of this story, (the dancing scene), is loosely based on a real event that happened to me not too long ago. This is more of an emotional dump that evolved into a story, rather than a story itself. I needed to get a lot of angst and sadness out and this was the result.

I was involved in a one-sided relationship for quite some time, and finally one night my big heart was used against me and left broken and bruised. I'm getting through it but your thoughts would definitely help.

Also (on a happier note) please check out my cover of "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, directions to my YouTube channel are in my profile.

The quote in the description is from the DC comic "Blackest Night: Flash" Great comic if you're a DC nerd like me! :)

I hope you enjoy the story.

You find yourself watching her again, looking at how she moved as she danced. The room was hot, stuffy, and a bit too crowded for your liking, but watching her was worth it. You have to watch her, because she's all you have.

You only know her, the rest of the dancers on the floor are complete strangers, and she only knows you. Going into this situation with only her at your side provided a sense of excitement, because she was finally all yours.

No other guys or other friends could get in the way, no well-meaning teacher could pull her away from you, and nothing could go wrong. Today you would tell her how you feel…you could feel it bubbling up inside of you.

She's dancing for you, every swing of her hips, flick of her hands, and twirl of her hair was all for you. Her limbs move with the music, as if she is conducting it and molding it in the air around her. The songs changed, but her motions remained the same and yet so different. An extra stomp there, another twirl there, two hand flicks instead of three…things only you would notice about her.

She catches your eyes for a brief moment and flashes you a smile that sends all the oxygen out of your head and your heart going from 0 to 60. You smile back, but she's already twirling again and doesn't see you. You take several deep breaths in an attempt to get your body back to normal and you partially succeed, getting oxygen back into your brain, but unable to calm your racing heart.

Finally a slow song comes on, and you advance towards her, feeling your heart go to 70 beats per minute as she slides her hand in yours. A familiarity settles over you as she places her other hand on your shoulder and you both begin swaying to the music.

You curse yourself as you misstep on the waltz, but she simply smiles and picks you back up keeping the dance going. You stare into the face that you've looked at for almost two years, two years of perfect friendship and mutual respect, fully willing to take the next step with her and tell her how much you've loved her all that time… and how you'll always love her.

Just as you feel the music and your emotions reach a crescendo you open your mouth, fully prepared to let your big heart take over…

When you feel a tap on your shoulder.

You turn to see a boy with brown hair, perfect teeth, and far more muscles than you have gesture to the girl in your arms "May I cut in?"

You pause and look to the girl you're holding…. Who is looking at the boy with nothing short of adoration. She blinks and her jaw drops "Oh my goodness…Seth! Is that you?"

You close your eyes for a moment, it would be the right thing to do, and more slow songs would play tonight.

So you let her go, noticing how she almost eagerly slides out of your arms and into his.

You walk back into your corner, reassuring yourself that you truly did the right thing, you were a gentlemen and it wasn't if you had lost all your chances. You'd waited for two years, a few more songs wouldn't hurt at all.

You idly watch the pair dance, trying hard not to let your mind wander into unpleasant thoughts. So what if she knows another guy here? She seemed just as surprised as you were. He's nothing to her… nothing to you.

The dance would be over soon and you could take her back for the next slow song and carry out your plan, no big deal at all.

The dance ends and you begin to advance as another slow song comes on, hoping she'll notice you and dance with you.

You can see her eyes, and they remain glued to his, her hands clutch his shoulders tightly as they continue swaying, lost in each other.

"Alright ladies and gentlemen we're playing the last song of the night, so find your partner and get slow."

You hear the announcement and hope she does too, hope it's enough to snap her out of whatever revelry she's lost in. You need to dance with her, need to steal her away from him and tell her you love her.

Then they keep dancing, and you're definitely standing close enough to be noticed by her. She's whispering something and then blushes and looks down. Seth cups her face and whispers something that makes the biggest smile you ever seen grace her features.

Then he kisses her, and she kisses back.

You slowly back away, apologizing to other couples as you bump into them, trying hard not to let tears fall. The kiss is way too long and romantic to be an accident or a spur of the moment thing….no they had cared about one another for a long time. A long time before you ever showed up in her life.

You rush outside the room, then out the door, feeling the cold air sting your lungs and your skin. It doesn't matter, your anger warms you up.

Your fists clench, and your nails dig deep rents into your palms as you resist the urge to go back in there, to punch Seth in his perfect, girl stealing, moment ruining face.

She was going to be yours! Your face twists into a bitter scowl, as you painfully remember the ease that she slipped out of your grasp and into his, the way she simply dropped you and moved onto another guy, the way he made her smile.

What memories did they share that made you so obsolete? What made him so important that she let go of you and didn't look back? What memories made them comfortable enough to kiss with such familiarity?

You begin to head home, cursing yourself for not bringing a jacket, but the cold numbs the pain. You only wish it had numbed your ears when you hear her yell your name.

She's running after you, all smiles and red cheeks, and you turn away.

"He kissed me! Seth kissed me!" She yelled, seemingly not caring if the whole neighborhood heard.

You close your eyes and bite back your anger, willing it under control "I'm…happy for you."

Unfortunately she notices that the spoken happiness doesn't reach the tone of your voice and she reaches for you. "You okay?"

You continue bite back the tide of anger that threatens to burst as you move away from her. You always treated her well, you moved mountains for her, every single time she had a bad day you listened. You remembered every single birthday, holiday, and event that held meaning for her and at least made sure to acknowledge it, and at most make her a gift. You worked so hard to make her see the good in you… and all that effort didn't matter in the slightest.

Being a nice guy had one perk with her however, she had trusted you enough to tell her secrets. Secrets that no one else knew, and secrets that no one would ever know. You could form those secrets into barbed projectiles that you could fire with your words and bury into her heart.

You could hurt her so bad, and she'd deserve it too.

However, could and would are too different words, and unfortunately your nature forces you to choose could.

"Fine" You snap, letting some of the anger slip out. "Happy for you."

She drops her hand and her eyes fill with concern "You sure?" She asked softly.

You nod curtly "I'm fine okay….I just need to be alone." She opened her mouth but you spoke first saying a "Please!" through gritted teeth.

Her eyes widen with shock and she stepped back, in all your friendship… you'd never spoken to her like that.

You take that opportunity to walk away and give your frozen muscles some relief, leaving her speechless behind you.

You head home and walk straight to the garage, where a punching bag is all set up and inviting you to hit it. You do.

You go at it barehanded, not even thinking about gloves, just letting your hands hit the punching bag again and again and again.

You don't even register the pain at first, not feeling when the skin breaks and when your knuckles start bleeding. You simply keep punching and punching imagining Seth's face is the target.

Until finally the cold leaves your hands and the pain signals start going to your brain.

You scream on the inside, at the raw physical and emotional pain that is still burning like a fire in your blood. You scream at Seth, and at her, and at yourself, and at everything that went wrong tonight.

After that you turn around, flick off the garage light, and walk away….you just need some sleep. Everything will be better in the morning right?

Sleep doesn't come easy for you.

You toss, you turn, you take two sleeping pills, you hit your pillow, you fiddle with the air conditioner…Nothing works. Heck you even try counting sheep!

When you do fall asleep, close to 1:00 AM, you wake up in tears an hour later.

Nightmares.

You relive that same situation over and over and over again, as if you're a broken DVD player and can only play that five minute segment. Over and over again you see them dance and kiss and you feel him tap your shoulder and pull her away. Over and over again the emotional pain crashes into you like waves, each one bigger and more potent than the last.

Finally after what seems like an eternity of torture, you wake up with tears in your eyes and a cold sweat running down your everywhere. The wounds still burn and your heart is still broken with the pain of rejection. More recent memories flood your brain, she has the audacity to ask if you were okay after she kissed another boy right in front of you?

More pain heaped up on more pain seemed to be the order of the night, and you feel it uncomfortably press you down into the mattress causing sleep to elude you even further.

You don't sleep for the rest of the night.

…..

The next morning you call in sick and take the day off, watching re-runs and cartoons, playing videogames, and eating anything that got in your way.

Over the course of that self-indulgent day you forget about her, and Seth, and the events of the previous night. The pain is numbed by you doing whatever you want, and eventually you stop feeling anything except for hunger.

The hunger eventually forced you to get out into the world, and you decide to grab a pizza, wings, mozzarella sticks, anything with sugar, and have a movie marathon, heck it's a Friday… so you've got three days of self-indulgence.

After you clean up, you take a walk to the closest pizza parlor, smiling for the first time. You feel your old self starting to come back as you take your order, then sit down as it's prepared.

As you debate which movie you will start with, she walks in with Seth.

You quickly bury your head in a menu, looking for something you'll never buy, as they walk near you hand in hand.

You notice how she's wearing that same big smile, and her eyes are still filled with adoration as they chat. She doesn't even seem to notice you sitting a few feet away, and even if she did, she doesn't seem to care.

They order a slice of pizza each and then carry it to a corner booth, out of sight of every other patron except for you.

You watch them cuddle as they eat, feeding each other and kissing, confidant that no eyes are upon them.

The sight of her being so happy, so valued, so adored by someone who isn't you churned your food filled stomach and you begin to feel sick.

You stand and run to the bathroom, retching and heaving into the nearest toilet until there is nothing left, and still you keep gagging and choking, the pain flaring up in your heart.

After a few minutes you wipe your mouth and leave the bathroom, seizing your food and walking out the door without a look back.

….

The weekend passed quickly and yet painfully at the same time, and the dreaded Monday fast approached. That meant back to College classes, making things up, and back to seeing her on a daily basis.

The day goes by, surprisingly, with no incidents as does the day after that and after that. It isn't until two weeks later that something happens.

You get asked on a date.

A girl named Sasha, black hair, brown eyes, and freckles all over her face nervously asks you to a movie. You accept.

The date goes perfectly and by the end of the first, you two are planning the second.

More weeks pass and you and Sasha grow closer, and you finally begin to feel her healing your wounds and putting your heart back together. Seth and his girl become faint memories and when Sasha kisses you for the first time… they become obsolete.

Until you see her again, in the campus courtyard, with a bruise under her right eye. It's so prominent it's not even hidden by the makeup.

Instantly the white knight inside of you jumped up, begging you to help her, to see what formed that bruise.

You would have listened to your faithful white knight, if not for the girl beside you. Sasha.

You don't want to leave Sasha the same way she left you, you don't want to put her through the hell that you were dragged through, so you remain seated with your suspicions, hoping that bruise is nothing.

…..

Then you catch him in the act.

You're walking with Sasha behind the school when you see Seth holding her by her shoulders against a wall a hand raised.

Slap!

She whimpers in pain and you act as rage fills your body. You turn to Sasha and order her to go get a teacher, which she does, as you rush into the fray.

You haul Seth off of her and scream something, something that you can't even hear because of the blood pounding in your ears. You receive a punch in the mouth as an answer and you see stars.

"Don't hurt him!" She screams, clutching at her face. To your surprise, the remark is directed at you. She doesn't want you to hurt Seth.

Crazy as it is you follow the command and attempt to dodge the fists that fly your way.

You fail, and are kicked, punched, thrown, and are subjected to the beating of a lifetime. The rage against Seth is only cooled by her command not to hurt him, so you only attempt to defend yourself, not fight back.

You wince as your back collides with the ground and he stands over you, raining down punches. Blood drips down your nose as you wordlessly turn to look at her, just watching the fight. Why isn't she helping? Why does she put up with the abuse? Why doesn't she care about you getting hurt? Why doesn't she care about you?

All you can mouth through bloody lips and lost teeth is "Why?"

She looks down and whispers, in a voice so low only you can hear it. "He loves me."

More yells are heard as Sasha returns with a teacher and several of your guy friends in tow. Your friends haul Seth off of you and then stand around your body like a phalanx of warriors, fists raised and eyes burning with anger.

Sasha cradles your head in her lap as the teacher and some security officers take Seth to the office. Then you black out.

911 is called and you are loaded into an ambulance with Sasha holding your hand all the way. Even unconscious you can feel it.

You hear nurses talking about broken bones and blood loss and other things as you are wheeled into an operating room, but all you care about is Sasha, holding your hand until the last possible moment.

You wake up in a white room, and the first face you see is Sasha's, still holding your hand, with tears of joy in her eyes. You attempt to raise your head, but she gently pushes you down and smiles "Easy, you've got a lot of bandages on, nurses won't be too happy if you rip them."

She then tells you that you were out for a day, they reset your bones and stitched you back together, and you were expected to make a full recovery after a few more days in the hospital.

You smile at her and she leans down "You know, the nurses won't be in here for a few hours…..but that doesn't mean you can't be healed. I'll fix you right up." She whispers before asking "Where does it hurt?"

You open your swollen mouth to speak, but close it again as pain lances into your skull.

Sasha smiles and presses her lips softly to yours, careful not to aggravate them further. She kisses every inch of your face, her cool lips and warm hands pushing the pain aside, and you even manage a broken smile.

Your heart pounds rapidly as she finishes her kissing tour of your face and slips under the covers, wrapping her arms around your bandaged torso.

Her fingers graze the bandages and you should have felt pain, but you didn't… you simply feel happy to be with her.

That's how the nurses find you both, two hours later. And for the first time since coming in, you're wearing a smile.

The days in the hospital go by fast and through the grapevine you hear that Seth has been expelled and is moving to another state, you're saddened to hear she is going too.

You almost expected her to come in and check on you, after all you took that beating for her, because of what she said. She never came.

It hurts that the friend you thought you knew so intimately is lost in this cycle of abuse. Unable to help herself and unwilling to receive help. She is powerless to follow Seth and his ways, all because he deludes her into thinking she's loved.

And you can't do a damn thing about it.

She might be lost, but you aren't. Sasha is here and always will be, she loves you and always will.

So no matter what life throws at you, or what way the road turns, you've got to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward….

With an open heart, not a cold one.

You've made your choice, and you know you can live with it.

...

Whew! I feel better already!

I hope you enjoyed the story, because even though the circumstances around it stunk, the story itself came out good (in my opinion).

And to anyone who might be in a one-sided or abusive relationship, know that you are strong and not alone, and things will get better. That I think I can promise.

Please leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day.