The last week has been brutal with essays to hand in, projects to finish and just a general freaked out mood because of seeing Blaze not once but twice in a single weekend. I’m not sure how I finished everything, but at least it gave me something to focus on instead of diving into a depression. I guess that was an advantage.
But by now, I’ve slowly gotten back to myself. Lizzy and Hunter still look at me like I’m going to freak out at any moment. But they don’t know this side of me, this girl who had to help herself when she was left by her boyfriend.
There is no reason for me to not overcome it again, just hopefully a little faster this time around. I don’t want to have to keep fighting depression again for months, but I’m hoping that I won’t have to. It was just two meetings, twice that I had to face him, and I survived both of them.
I grab my bag and go down the stairs, the house is quiet, my parents are already at work and Lizzy is either still at her own place or waiting in the car. I’m not exactly sure what her plan is, as she’s not allowed into the workshop right now as we’re taking it over with Tamara’s masters project for a couple of days. We’ll be moving into another building soon, but it apparently isn’t ready or free for another week.
As I approach the car, Lizzy is already sitting in it, waiting and I can see her breath coming out in little clouds. I slide into the car and Lizzy glares at me.
“You could have been quicker.” She grumbles and wraps her arms around herself tighter.
“You could have come into the house.” I turn the car on and crank up the heating, hoping to at least warm us up a little. “So, where are you going today?”
“Hunter is picking me up at the college and we’re going to his parents’ place to work.” She shivers.
“That sounds fun.” I look at her sideways, she looks really happy and when she finds me staring at her she raises an eyebrow. “What?”
“Nothing. Just glad you’re happy.” I slowly drive down the street, I’m not exactly sure how much ice there is and people aren’t that good at keeping the streets clean here.
“Well, I’d appreciate it if you could move to a different building soon with your project. The workshop will be much warmer than having to drive to Hunter’s parents’ place.” She looks out the window.
“You’re not going on his motorbike, right?” That wouldn’t be a good idea, it started snowing a couple of days ago.
“God, no. He’s got his car. Even he’s not that crazy.” She laughs as she shakes her head. “You don’t have to worry.” Well, I do worry, I’m her sister and it’s what I do.
“Well, fine then. Would you need a ride back or is Hunter dropping you off at home?” I turn onto the main road and drive in the direction of the college. There aren’t a lot of people on the road right now, the snow keeps them away, but also, the morning traffic is already over.
“I think he’ll be dropping me off.”
“So…” Lizzy looks my way. “Are you looking forward to Tamara’s class?”
“It’s not really a class, is it?”
“Her teaching style then?”
“I guess. It’ll be a lot different from what I’m used to.” Taking mostly literature and creative writing classes means a lot of just doing work on my own and not so much doing work as a group. So doing this huge group project with all the different disciplines will be different.
“I heard that Damon is also part of the project. He’s great. You’ve seen him at Tamara’s workshop before, he was also there way back when I first started going. He’s mostly into photography these days, but he’s also great with staging and such.” She sounds so excited for a project I’m doing and not her, maybe even more excited than I am right now.
“Well, I’ll keep that in mind.”
We drive in silence for a while and I realize I’ve just totally killed the mood. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m just not really in a good place now.”
“Because of Blaze?” Lizzy only says his name quietly, but it still hurts to hear it.
I nod, trying to keep my eyes on the road. I don’t want her to see my pain.
“Will you tell me what happened between you two?”
I shake my head. “I can’t. Not now.”
“Okay.” Lizzy looks up. “Can you drop me off at the corner here? That way Hunter doesn’t have to drive all the way onto campus.”
“Are you sure? What if he’s already there?”
She laughs. “He’s not.”
“Okay.” I get to the side of the road and stop the car.
Lizzy climbs out, smiling at me. “You just try to have fun at the project, okay? Get your mind off things. Go make something cool.”
“Thanks. You be safe and don’t get into too much trouble.” I look at her but Lizzy just grins back. Those two… Like Lizzy and H aren’t enough of a trouble maker on their own sometimes, but they do the weirdest things when they’re together. Although, at least they seem to stay safe, most of the time.
“Nah. Just gonna bend some metal today.” Her eyes shine. “See you this evening.”
“See you at dinner.”
Lizzy closes the door and waves at me as I pull out of the spot.
The drive to the actual part of the college where I need to be is only short now. I park at the back of the parking spaces, though many of the spots around here are already filled, probably by other people from Tamara’s class. The rest of the parking spaces are almost empty, but that’s understandable. It’s almost nine in the morning on a Monday, very few classes actually start this early. Though, I guess, remembering Lizzy’s schedule from last semester, Tamara is one of those professors who actually chooses to have nine in the morning starts.
I get out of the warmth of the car, the freezing cold taking my breath away for a moment and my breath is visible in little clouds. It really is crazy cold right now. Bleh.
I hope that H picks up Lizzy soon, that she’s not waiting there for long, because it’s too cold to stand still.
I’m hoping that the inside of the workshop is warmer. I shiver and start walking towards the workshop.
I nearly lose my footing twice as I slip and slide my way to the door. If I thought that our neighborhood was bad… This is even worse and I have to really concentrate to make sure I don’t face plant all over the place. But at least I’m not as cold anymore when I do actually reach the door.
I quickly step inside and close the door behind me.
There are already voices coming from the main room of the workshop and there are a lot of jackets and wet shoes next to the door. I strip off my jacket, putting it on one of the rare empty hooks, but as I look down, I realize that I’m not taking my shoes off, they’re not too muddy or covered in snow and I don’t want to walk through the wetness on my socks. Just, no.
I walk into the main room, looking at how much Tamara has been able to clean it out from how I know it only looked a week ago when the art show was in here. No big projects in the middle of the room anymore, though I suspect that there are quite a few things hidden behind the curtains at the far end, as the room is definitely not as spacious as it normally is.
When I look to the other side, towards the voices, I see a circle of chairs and many of them are already filled. I see different people who I’ve seen around college before, many of them from the same year as me so I’ve shared some mandatory classes with them.
Then one of the people in the group laughs loudly, a laugh I recognize deep in my bones, a laugh that I’d recognize anywhere. There, in the middle of a cluster of people is B.
I automatically take a step back, my chest constricting and hurting. No. This cannot be true. He can’t be here. No.
I stumble back more and at that exact moment B looks up, finding me with his eyes and I see the surprise in them too.
I reach behind me, grabbing the edge of the door and let myself back into the hallway. No. This can’t be. I sit down on the bench, all the energy leaving me. No. This was not supposed to happen. We were supposed to not see each other anymore. I can’t be in this project if B is here too. My breathing comes out in little gasps and I can feel the panic eat at the edges of my mind. No.
No, no, no.
The door to the outside opens and when I look up, Tamara comes inside. She’s smiling until she sees me, then she comes over, her face serious. “Hey. Are you okay?”
I nod, but then shake my head. I’m not okay. I don’t even know how to be okay right now.
Heavy footsteps from the main room reach us, even the sound of his footsteps is still the same. The heavy boots slamming against the floor, then they stop.
I look up, straight at him, and I see a pain in his eyes I don’t want to recognize.
“Lo.” His voice is soft and I shake my head at him.
“I can’t do this. I’m sorry. I’m going to have to leave. I’m sorry, Tamara.” I stand up, stumbling, and then sitting down again. I can’t, I still can’t. I want to leave but my body isn’t there, the panic still too strong.
“You two know each other?” Tamara’s voice is careful.
“Yeah. We used to date.” B’s voice is distant.
We used to do so much more than just date. Calling it dating takes away from all the pain I’ve been through, we’ve been through. But maybe that’s just what it was for him. ‘Just dating.’ Nothing else. I let out a silent sob and quickly cover my mouth with my hands. He can’t see this. He can’t see how much he broke me.
“Right.” Tamara doesn’t sound convinced. “So, how are we going this solve this problem then?”
“I’ll leave.” That’s the only thing I can do, right? What else is there to do for me? It’s not like I can just stay.
“Wait. Why?” Tamara puts her hand on my shoulder.
“I can’t. Not with him.” I can’t be near him.
I look up at B. We both know why not. We know why we can’t be in the same group, why this is a bad idea. He left me. I needed him and he left. He left and never looked back.
“I want you both in this group. I chose you because you’re great at what you do. I don’t want to lose either of you. But I also don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. How are we going to solve this?”
“I don’t know.” I don’t know if I can ever be comfortable when B is near… It hurts too much. Even the way he stands there, looking at me with his beautiful green eyes, his handsome face, his sexy body filled out in ways I could only imagine those years ago…
But he’s not mine. Not anymore.
Next chapter is next week! <3
Please, remember, this is just cleaned up, not fully edited, so some errors may be still in here. They will be fixed before publication!