We were best friends from the day we met, soul mates. We did everything together and I loved her unconditionally. I didn’t feel complete without her and never had any reason to be. We practically lived at each other’s houses, went to school together, hung out together. I couldn’t remember anything before her. She was my world, until he came along.
Pete started at our school in the final year, but I didn’t get to know him until we started college. He was handsome and tall, muscular. Blue eyes and blonde hair kept short and a little messy. Funny and charming, the girls fell at his feet. But he only pursued one, with determination. All the other girls were so jealous, but the object of his affection paid him no attention. Turning him down repeatedly for months...until I finally said yes.
I was drunk again, that’s what you did at weekends when you were a student. Although I admit, drinking alone was not technically the same thing. I couldn’t go out though, I might see her. I hadn’t spoken to her since the argument over a year ago. I had lost my best friend to a boy, and I’m not being over dramatic.
We were best friends from the day we met, soul mates. We did everything together and I loved her unconditionally. I didn’t feel complete without her and never had any reason to be. I couldn’t remember anything before her. She was my world, until he came along.
I pretended to be pleased for her when she agreed to go on the first date with him. I wasn’t though, I hated it. The more dates she went on the more my insides began to twist with jealousy. She would tell me vague details about the dates, she didn’t seem overly excited about him. She asked me every time, “Do you mind if I see him again?” I would laugh and tell her not to be silly. But I would never actually say the words, I did mind.
One night she stayed over, we curled up together in my bed as usual and put on a slushy movie. Towards the end of the film I noticed she had tears silently falling down her cheeks. “What’s up?” I asked concerned. “Nothing, stupid movie!” she laughed, wiping them away. I put my arm around her and it was right then, seeing her cry over a soppy movie. That I realised I didn’t just love her, I was in love with her.
The revelation played on my mind for the next few days, unsure of what to do. When she told me that she was going on a date with Pete that night I asked her if she was coming to stay at mine afterwards, as she always did. She paused before saying she might be staying at his. I felt physically sick. It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. “Please be with me tonight!” I blurted out. To my amazement she didn’t question me, she agreed. “I knew you were feeling left out” she said. I decided that I would tell her that night. Before he could ruin her.
I paced my room that night, horrified at what I was about to do. But I was equally excited although I didn’t have a clue what the outcome would be. I waited anxiously, the hours passed. I text her, I tried to ring her but no answer. By 4:00am I had curled up in my bed, sobbing. She wasn’t coming, she had chosen him over me without even knowing it.
The next morning I hid under the duvet, still fully dressed. Thankfully it was the weekend. I felt broken inside, tears leaked from my eyes. I wanted to stay there forever. My mobile began to vibrate, it was her. I angrily cancelled the call. She tried again so I turned off my phone. About an hour passed before I heard an urgent thudding on the door. My Mum was out so I ignored it, my face was all red and swollen, I wasn’t going to the door! It didn’t stop, it got louder. I swore and went downstairs, even angrier now. As I opened the door she pushed past me. I shut the door and crossed my arms, staring at the floor. “Good night then?” I snarled.
“I’m so sorry…” she began.
“Don’t be! I get it, crystal fucking clear!” I snapped, “Hope he’s worth it!”
“It’s not what you think!” she pleaded.
“Course it is! Girl meets boy, slag fucks boy. I become a nobody!” I shouted spitefully. “I hate you...” I said slowly “...and if you ever cared for me at all, you'll never speak to me again
She sobbed and I wanted more than anything to look up at her, to hold her. To tell her the the real reason I was angry. But I daren’t raise my face in case she saw the evidence of my grief. She walked past me and opened the door, “I’m sorry you feel like that” she said quietly. I didn’t even look up to watch her leave, if I had I would have seen her bruised face. I slammed the door and collapsed, crying. She never spoke to me again.
So here I was, drunk again. Tonight was different though, it’s her Birthday. The drink made me weak which is why I normally stayed in, but tonight I allow the need to see her establish itself. I want to tell her how much I hate her for ruining my fucking life! I order a taxi and stand outside, to sober me a little if anything.
We pull up at the pub, I stumble out of the car. I can hear the party going on inside and head to the door. It’s crammed with people and I struggle to manoeuvre my way through. I order a shot at the bar and down it. I scan the place and I see Pete, my hate begins to bubble. As I move in that direction he moves and I see her sitting behind him, surrounded by friends. They are all laughing, laughing at me I bet!
I take a deep breath and try to swallow my heart back down from my throat. Her friends go quiet as I approach, she looks round and our eyes meet. My mind has gone blank, the anger has evaporated. She looks stunning, every part of my body aches to reach out to her. I stumble forward and strong hands grab me. I’m carried through the pub before the cold air hits me.
Pete hurls me to the floor, I hit my head and land in a dazed heap. “You’ve got a fucking nerve! Coming to start something on her Birthday!” he spat. I looked up at him, his face was screwed up with anger. He provoked mine back to the surface and I stood aggressively. “Fuck you! It’s got nothing to do with you!” I growled.
“It’s got everything to do with me! Stay away from her!” he threatened. I smiled at him, nothing was going to stop me. “Make me!” I scoffed and pushed past him. He caught my arm and pulled me back, his hand closed around my throat and I choked for air. I began to black out as I struggled against him. Shoving me to the ground just as I thought my lungs would burst.
“Don’t you fucking touch her!” she shouted at him, appearing from inside. Pete grabbed her wrist, she snatched her arm away from him. I was trying to catch my breath, unsure if my blurry vision was caused by him or my alcohol consumption. She crouched by me and touched my face, I pulled away sharply, she looked hurt. I couldn’t let her touch me, I had to be angry with her. “Come back inside” Pete demanded. She ignored him and my protests, touching my head to check the cut that had begun to bleed. “I’m warning you!” he said quietly.
She stood up and marched towards him, “What’s fucking new? Get out of here Pete! This is all your fault in the first place!” Pete glanced at me, there was a nervousness behind his eyes now. “You better pray I’m in a forgiving mood tomorrow” he said before going inside.
“Don’t touch me!” I protested, pushing her hands away from my head.
“Stop!” she shouted “Just let me help you! If you ever cared for me at all you will let me help you!” Her words stopped me in my tracks, I obediently put down my hands and she helped me up.
The next thing I remember is tugging at my clothes, I smell those familiar bed sheets that I have been missing so badly. She wraps me up in her duvet and climbs in next to me, she’s so warm. My head feels like it’s exploded but I vaguely recall her gently wiping my face with a cold flannel. She positions my head on her chest and wraps both arms around me, resting her cheek on the top of my head. This is the most peaceful I have felt in a long time. I sigh contentedly and focus on her fingers, gently stroking my back. “Happy Birthday” I whisper, she squeezes me a little in response.
I must have drifted off to sleep, but something makes me stir. I'm on my side, I can feel her pushed up close behind me. I can feel warm skin, her legs against mine. Her soft breasts on my back. Hot breath on the nape of my neck causes desire to pulse through me. I realise that her arm is wrapped round me, her hand between my legs. Fingers gently caressing and exploring my softness. As my body reacts she groans quietly, appreciative of my wetness. I let her touch me, keeping as still as possible in case I scare her away. She feels incredible, conjuring feelings inside me that I never experienced before.
I feel her other hand pressed between us, she is touching herself. I can’t help but let a gasp escape my lips. I grind back into her as she moves her fingers backwards and forwards, a little faster each time. It’s building fast, our breathing quickens and I grip the bed sheets. “I love you!” she whispers into my shoulder, completely taking me by surprise. “I love you too!” I reply breathlessly, turning my head to look into her eyes. To see it's real. Our bodies tense against each other and a wave of pleasure washes over me. I shudder uncontrollably and she buries her face into my hair. We hold each other tight and she begins to cry.
I pull back to look at her, “What’s up?”
“Nothing, stupid movie!” she jokes, wiping away her tears. I don’t smile, realising that every time she had claimed to cry at the movies we watched, it was actually because of me. “I loved you then and I love you now” she says. I struggle to take in the words I have always dreamed of hearing. Even after the beautiful thing that just happened between us, I couldn't believe her.
“So why did you date Pete?”
She laughs at me, “I asked you so many times if you were ok with it!”
“Well obviously I wasn’t!” I snap, suppressed anger leaking through.
She hits me, a little harder than I would consider playful. She tells me I’m an idiot, that she wanted me to give her a sign that I returned her feelings. I silently recall all the times she did indeed give me a chance to let her know. I feel like an idiot.
“But that night? I was going to tell you! And you never came! You stayed with him and…I really thought you were coming!” She held me close as I broke down and cried. She stroked my hair and softly said “Nothing could stop me from coming to you that night.” I looked at her, frowning. “But...you didn't?”
“I went to Pete’s to tell him it was over, I told him I was in love with you.” She paused, “He didn’t take it well…”
“What happened?” I asked gently, taking her hand. She smiled briefly at the first tenderness I had showed her. She paused, as if reluctant to tell me and I waited.
“He hit me… knocked me out cold” I squeezed her hand, anger rising. “I came to at gone four in the morning, he'd left me where I fell and went to bed”
“Why didn’t you call me?” I stressed.
“I left my phone at home! I wasn’t going to his for long. All I had was my return bus ticket, but they weren’t running at that time!” Her head was down, she looked up to meet my gaze. “I walked home... it took hours. I stopped at mine to grab my phone so I could call you…”
“But I didn’t answer…” I muttered.
“When I got here, well you know the rest…” she trailed off. It was only now that tears began to form in her eyes. “I never knew you could be so cruel, you didn’t even give me a chance to explain”
I felt tears spill from my eyes, I was so disgusted with myself. “I did this…”
“No! I should have just told you how I felt!” she said firmly. I wiped my eyes, I was still confused about one thing.
“Why were you still with him?” I asked with bewilderment. She sighed and kissed me on the forehead.
“When I got back home he was waiting for me. He told me that if I forgot what had happened ...then he wouldn't have to hurt you” She put her head in her hands and broke down. “I was so upset! You said you hated me! I didn't know what else to do!”
I held her tight and promised to never let her go again. “I'm so sorry!” I whispered. As I sat there, my world complete again a new sickening thought entered my mind. I knew I wasn't going to like the answer but I had to know. “Are you sleeping with him?” Her silence confirmed it for me. “He forces you?” I asked slowly, trying to remain calm.
“I've only ever wanted you” she whispered.
It was my fault, because of my hot headedness I left her vulnerable to him. I was so angry. At myself for not listening, at her for believing I could actually hate her but mostly at him for what he had done. My mind began to race with revenge. “I'll kill him!” I growled.
“You won't do anything!” she said firmly “It ends now!” I sat up and my head swam with hangover. “You can't be serious? He can't get away with what he's done!”
“Just let it go! Isn't it enough for you that I'm here now...that we can be together now?” she pleaded. I smiled and kissed her hard on the lips.
“No” I said flatly as I climbed out from under the duvet and pulled on my clothes. “He has to pay for what he's done!” She grabbed my arm, trying to hinder me.
“I'll go to the Police!”
“Oh and they're going to be able to do a lot!” I laughed, pulling on my sneakers. "You don't have to be scared of him anymore!"
"I'm not!" she sounded insulted.
“I'm doing this for you, for us!” I said and went back to kiss her. She grabbed me hard and looked at me.
“There won't be any us if you walk out that door right now!” she said slowly. I looked at her, taken aback, she was serious. “Even if you really mean that...at least you'll know how much I love you” I walked away from her, I couldn't watch those beautiful eyes cry any more. Equally I would never be able to forgive the guy that had abused her. My hate was more powerful than my love. It was the only thing I had known for so long, I didn't deserve happiness.
When she walked out that door I knew I'd made a terrible mistake. I had gone through all that to keep her safe from harm. Only to expose her to it anyway. I called the Police to warn them, she was right. They did nothing.
She went back to the bar and put a brick through his car window. Pete heard the commotion and came out. He must have been so angry anyway, he lost it. Pete never raised a hand to me in front of anyone. But he beat her so violently in that car park. She didn't stand a chance. Despite what I had said, I sat by her in that hospital for weeks. Begging her to open her beautiful eyes, to look at me. She never did.
We were best friends from the day we met, soul mates. I loved her unconditionally. I don’t feel complete without her. I can’t remember anything before her. She was my world, until he came along.