Song for this Chapter: Lost In You, Three Days Grace
Hayden's Point of View
I tossed and turned after Jace left the room. I felt so tired, but I couldn't sleep. I just kept thinking about Lance. Lance… No matter what he did to me, I can't make myself think that he's a bad person… I guess I always see the good in people.
I can't stop thinking about him. I'm in love with Jace, that much is sure, but you never stop loving someone, and I just haven't found closure in Lance.
That first month without him was so hard. I couldn't tell anyone. I only had Taryn to talk to, and there's only so much I can say to my sister before getting embarrassed. So I suffered through it. And the minute I thought I was over him, there he comes again. Laughing about how I really believed he loved me. I was so stupid. Why couldn't I see that disgusted look whenever we walked hand in hand? He was an amazing actor, I guess.
But that night… It was the perfect night. Lance set everything up. We were at a theme park. We rode rides all day, and just before closing time, we got on the Ferris wheel…
I smile up at Lance and he smiles back. "Ferris wheel? Please please please please please please please?" I beg. He shrugs and nods.
"Sure, let's get in line." He says. There are only a few people in front of us, one group of thirteen year olds, an adult couple, two teenagers, and us. The park is about to close, so everyone has gone home for the most part.
The worker grumbles, saying something about staying late and not getting paid enough. Lance gives him a weird look and helps me up onto the shaking blue and white cart. When we're both safely on it, I shut the swinging door and sit down, really close to Lance. I take a minute to look at all the still-lit rides, the trees and houses and flowers in the distance. It really is beautiful.
I adjust myself so that I'm basically laying on top of Lance, my face tilted towards the dark night sky.
With my head in his lap, he starts running his fingers through my hair, making me tired.
Half-asleep, I say, "Do you know how many times I'll have to wash my hands when I get home?" He laughs and says something along the lines of 'only you, Hayden', which makes me smile.
My love for Lance is almost driving me crazy. Not being able to come out and say it because of my shyness is killing me. I'm just too afraid he won't say it back. And that would kill me. That is, if not telling him doesn't kill me first.
"You know what I like?" I ask randomly.
"Me?" He asks hopefully.
"Well, I was going to say penguins, but your answer works too. You're just not fuzzy and penguin-y like penguins are." I say, my face all serious.
"And how could I be more 'penguin-y', Hayden?"
"Well, I guess you could waddle around, but that would be incredibly unattractive, so don't do that… Oh! I know! You could slide down a hill on your belly! That would be adorable!" I cry out.
"So you're saying you want me to slide down a hill. On my belly. Why?"
"Duh! So you can be like a jellyfish!"
"Don't you mean penguin?" He asks, laughing.
I think for a minute and nod. "Oh yeah. You're right. Penguins slide down hills on their bel— holy poo! That's a huge house!" I scream, pointing at a tall building made of a lot of glass.
"That’s not a house… That’s a realtors' office building." Lance says calmly.
"Oh. Darn," I pout. "I wanted to buy it. And then I could live in complete solitude."
"The ride's over." Lance laughs at my stupid antics. My pout gets deeper.
"But I like Ferris wheels."
"So do I, but the worker might forcefully kick us out if we don't get out ourselves."
I frown. "Fine. Will you give me a piggy back ride?"
He sighs playfully and kneels down a little, letting me hop onto his back. I cheer and wrap my arms around his chest.
"Can I tell you something?" I ask, biting my lip, something I've been doing a lot when I think about telling Lance how I feel.
"Yes," He says, clearly looking forward to something.
"I love you," I announce. He drops me off his back, not careful enough because I go tumbling to the ground. I reach a hand up and rub the back of my head, frowning.
He whips his phone out of his pocket and says, "Can you say that again?"
Embarrassed, I ask, "Why?" still lying on the ground.
"So I can use it as my ring tone. I want to record it."
"Oh. Um… Yeah, ok. Uh, I love you, Lance. A lot. I didn't want to tell you, because I was scared you'd break up with me or something. I didn't want that to happen, but tonight was so perfect, I just had to tell you. So yeah. I love you."
He presses another button and then smiles, some kind of look in his eye, something I can't place. I stand up brush the dirt off my body quickly.
"Thanks, Hayden." He says and then starts walking away. I'm confused for a second, and start following him, when he says, "No. Stay here." He's got a disgusted look on his face.
Hurt and flustered, I stay put. What's he doing? Why's he leaving? I think. I give him precisely three minutes before starting off in the direction he walked in, getting the feeling that he was going to leave me here. And he's my ride home. And I want to know if he's mad at me, or disgusted by me. I tell myself repeatedly that he's just in shock, and he'll eventually say it back. At least I hope. Really, I'd be willing for him to not love me back as long as he just lets me stay with him.
I peek around a bush and see him. He's talking to someone. At first I think it's my cousin, but when you look closer, you can see that he's got darker hair than my cousin does. But it's dark outside, so it's hard to see anything.
"He did it?" The guy asks. Lance nods, a grin on his face.
"Proof right here, sweetheart." He says, acting sarcastically gay, and handing his phone to the guy. I instantly hear my voice coming out of it.
"Uh, I love you, Lance. A lot," I hear, but I'm breathing so hard I don't hear the middle of anything I said. "…So yeah. I love you."
"Aw man! Damn! I guess here's the money." The guy sighs and hands him a wad of cash. I strain my ears to hear what they're saying as they start walking away from the bush I'm standing behind.
Finally I get what's happening when Lance says, "It wasn't worth it man. Just five hundred bucks for two damn months of pretending I'm gay? It was fucking disgusting. He was fucking disgusting." He sneers.
My eyes widen, and tears start filling in my eyes. My mouth opens wide, and I clasp a hand over it so no sound can escape.
He was using me? For money? What kind of sick person does that? I think, And I'm disgusting? Am I really? I scratch at my clothes. Does he mean I smell bad, or that just me being me is disgusting?
Despite my best attempts at keeping quiet, a sob manages to come out. Lance and his friend both turn towards the bush, and then they look at each other with a wicked smile. I cover my eyes with my hands and turn away, trying to run. Trying to escape their cruel words. Lance could punch me a million times, but it would never add up to the amount of pain I feel by hearing their words.
…At the remembrance of that night, I curled up into a ball and tried not to cry. Because then Jace would come back in, and try to relate to me, like last time. I'm not sure if I could handle feeling any more alone than I do right now. Because even if Jace were sitting right in front of me, listening to me, he wouldn't be able to hear me. To really hear me. Because he doesn't know what I'm going through. If he says something stupid again, like, "My ex-girlfriend was a bitch on her period." I might just die. I feel so alone. No one gets what I'm going through. Well, at least, no one I know. But I'm sure there are people just like me. People incredibly different, just like me. That little thought that I'm not alone is enough to make me stop crying.
I never tell anyone that I love them anymore. I'm too afraid that they'll leave me. I haven't even told my dad or Taryn that I loved them ever since that night. Because I'm scared that another person I love will be taken away from me. There was Mom, and then Lance… I'm too scared to lose a third.
Finally, after two hours of tossing and turning, I realized that trying to sleep if futile. I needed to talk to someone. To Taryn, because she's better at relating. At least she's been through a break-up before. Whereas Jace has never been broken up with before. He breaks up with them. That is, if the girl is even lucky enough to actually be his girlfriend and not just a one night stand.
I sat up and grabbed the blanket that was on top of me. It was wet from my hair. Great, now I need to replace the bed sheets. Stupid rain. Stupid me, for not drying off.
I stepped out of the room, pulling the blanket over my shivering body.
"Taryn?" I whisper-yelled, knowing that at least my dad must be sleeping.
I walked into the living room, expecting to find her alone, watching TV or something. But she wasn't alone. Jace was in there too. And they were looking at something. A photo album. My eyes widened and I walked a little faster, praying that it wasn't the photo album I thought it was. Why would Taryn bring that? After a whole year?
I quietly walked behind the couch, them not noticing I was there. I bit down on my lip and tasted blood.
"Here's Lance skateboarding. Hayden took the picture." Taryn said, pointing to one of the pictures in the corner of the page. Jace smiled when he saw that my thumb was partially in the way of the lens.
Taryn flipped the page, and my breath caught in my throat. A picture of us kissing. We were standing in front of my house, so Taryn must've taken the picture from a window when we weren't paying attention. Now that I think about it, I was always the one that initiated the kisses… Why didn't I realize that before?
"That’s mine." I snatched the book from their hands and glared at them.
Jace realized that I wasn't laughing, and knew that I was pissed. I laugh when I'm mad. If I'm not laughing, I'm either not mad or really mad. "I'm so sorry! I just found it at the bottom of my bag, and so I brought it, and I didn't mean to mess anything up, I just tho—"
"Just shut up for two damn seconds!" I yelled— not loud enough to wake up my dad, but loud enough to get my point across— and threw the book on the ground. I stomped on it a few times, but when I realized it wasn't breaking, I picked it up again. One by one I pulled the pictures out, making a neat stack in my hands.
"Don't, Hayden," Taryn warned, knowing what I was going to do.
"Don't tell me what to do!" I yelled. I ran into the kitchen and got some scissors, cutting up the stack of pictures until you couldn’t distinguish a thing.
"He ruined everything!" I cried, a few tears falling onto the shredded paper. I needed to get away, from Taryn, who I thought I could trust. It's not that I didn't want Jace to see the pictures… It's more that I didn't want him to see how vulnerable I am now that Lance is back. Or, really, how vulnerable I've been since telling Jace that I'm gay.
"I hate theme parks, and Ferris wheels, and penguins, and piggy back rides, and I hate how I can't just be happy anymore." I said to myself, forgetting that Taryn and Jace were behind me. They both gave me a sympathetic look, and Jace started to open his mouth.
I covered my ears and said, "Stop. I don't want to hear it."
When he shut his mouth, I cautiously removed my hands from my ears. Taryn and Jace sighed simultaneously, turning to each other.
"But you've seen him happy before, right?" Taryn asked Jace, completely pretending I wasn't there.
"Well, yeah, but he's not the same. I noticed it, but I didn't say anything. He's not the random, fun, stupid, person he was last year. I knew it, but I figured it wasn't my business. He just stopped pointing out obvious things, and definitely got less energetic."
Taryn huffed, and then turned to me. Finally, I thought, maybe I'll finally get to talk to her like I thought I'd be able to. But the funny thing is, I don't even remember what I wanted to talk to her about. I mean, not specifically. All I can think about is Lance, and how he ruined my life without even trying.
"Come on, we're going to go somewhere." She announced, crossing her arms impatiently.
"Where?" I croaked, my voice hoarse with tears.
Wow, way to be descriptive there, Taryn.
"Ryn, I don't want to go anywhere. I just want to sleep. Or die. Or whatever. I don't even care anymore." I gritted my teeth and glared at the ceiling as if it’s the ceilings fault for making me gay, making me meet Lance, making me fall in love with him and Jace; two guys that'll never want me.
"Too bad. We're going somewhere."
"How do you even know where anything is here?" I whined.
"I saw it on the way here. Just trust me. Come. On."
I frowned and nodded, knowing she'll never stop bugging me until I follow her.
A/N: Where's Taryn taking them??
Who liked Hayden's old personality? Comment if you want to see more of it! :D
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