It's A Love/Hate Thing.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
My entry for the Lover Blooms Contest, a short story based on the track 'I Hate You, I Love You' by GNash.

Submitted: July 10, 2016

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Submitted: July 10, 2016

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It's A Love/Hate Thing.

First day back after the holidays and the corridors are packed. Students catching up, making up for lost time. Sue and Martine come running up, each grabbing hold of one of my arms. They are bubbling over with news of their summer, so full of themselves they don't seem to notice that I don't say a word.

Oh, I wear the obligatory smile. I nod and laugh in all the right places, look happy and sad in response to their stories. I must be making a good job of it. I just don't want to tell them about my summer, about you....

And right on cue there you are. And there she is, arms around your neck, staking her claim. Do you even see me? I don't think so. And it hurts so much to see the way you are looking at HER. My breath catches in my throat.

I look away quickly. Do I laugh to loud at Sue's story? I haven't even been listening, all senses tuned in to you. I can still feel you there but I won't turn, not even for a glance.

My tears have got to be held in check. I will not cry in the corridor, in front of all these other students. I turn to Martine and talk, don't know what I say but I know I do not mention your name.

* * * * * * * * * *

Trisha is all over me. Sometimes I just wish she'd cool it a bit, give me some space. But, hey, she's not ashamed to be seen with me. She is not trying to keep me separate from the rest of her life. I know her friends and she knows mine.

I've seen you looking. I saw that flash of jealousy.....And was that a touch of pain. I know all about pain. It could have been so different if you hadn't turned away that day.

But you turned your back without so much as a wave. I'd come across town, walking for miles, to surprise you. I wasn't good enough for you around your friends though, was I. A bit of an embarrassment.

Trisha means nothing to me. You meant everything. We could have had something so special, so deep and lasting. I'm glad for that glimpse of pain on your face. I want to you to suffer just a bit of what I have been, am still, living through.

I laugh at Steve's joke, at Gary and Baz falling around all over the place. My eyes follow your journey into class.

* * * * * * * * * *

We don't share many classes so that's a relief. I don't think I could stand spending much time in the same room with you. I would not trust my eyes not to seek you out, to try to make contact. And that would be just too humiliating, especially after your earlier duet of passion with Tricia.

What do you see in her? She is the total opposite of me. Is that it? You wanted someone totally different? I don't know whether I should feel flattered or insulted by the thought.

All those weeks you looked at me as though I was the most beautiful, the most desirable girl you had ever met. The bikini-clad girls that paraded back and forth on that beach didn't get a look in, even though I was always in t shirt and jeans. Your eyes were for me, and for me alone.

And we talked of the future. Not in any fixed terms. No engagement, no wedding plans, but time when we would be together; the things we could do together, the places we could go. Do you say the same things to HER now? Are you planning out your year together?

It didn't have to happen like that. If you'd just given me a few minutes to compose myself I'd have had a chance to think. I'd have turned and drawn you in, done the introductions. The guy you saw me with, he was a neighbour. He meant nothing to me and I meant nothing to him.

Why did you have to jump to conclusions? Why did you let your insecurities around my friends ruin everything.

* * * * * * * * * *

Our first class together, well this is going to be painful. I'm late getting in and take a seat near the back of the classroom. Trisha is still pretty firmly clamped to my arm, laughing too loudly and attracting attention. Not yours though.

You are sitting near the front with your two constant companions. If you had just turned round and said, 'This is Jake, and we're in love', it would still be you and me.

You'd be sitting at the back with me or, hey, I could have been down the front with you. I'd have done that for you. I'd have done anything if you just hadn't made me feel not good enough.

I can't do that. Not even for you.

English Comp. Your favourite class. And as so often happens you are called up to the front to read out your essay to the class. Reluctant to go to the front today though, aren't you. What will you do? How are you going to avoid looking at me then?

Trisha doesn't know about us. None of them do. A holiday romance – is that all it was? An escape from reality?

Your voice from the front is making me feel so sick. Your words are blurring to those words you'd said to me just that so short time ago. Each sentence is like a physical blow and it is just in self-defence that I turn to Trisha and laugh.

I can see people glance our way, some in amusement, some in disapproval. I watch you from the corner of my eye. You don't look up from your book, and as you make your way back to your seat you keep your eyes firmly fixed to the floor.

I find myself willing you to look up before your back is turned to me once more. I can almost feel your hair under my finger tips.

You don't look up. Trisha's giggling next to me breaks the spell.

* * * * * * * * * *

I hope my cheeks aren't burning as much as they feel like they are. At least with my head down my hair will pretty much hide them from view.

Did you really have to laugh with her? You know how important my writing is to me. An extra opportunity for humiliation, handed to you by Mr Jeffers, that's what it was!

And you couldn't let the chance pass, could you? You and Trisha.

I did phone you. I did try to apologise. I did try to explain. I guess you saw my number and ignored it, dismissed it. You didn't answer, anyway.

Had you already replaced me with Trisha. She certainly seems to think that you are hers now. I wouldn't have believed it just those few weeks ago. Where has that sensitive and intelligent guy that I got to know gone? Surely it wasn't all just an act?

If it was you gave an Oscar worthy performance. I certainly believed you, anyway.

I don't know how I'm going to get through the rest of the day. I don't think I can take any more of this. I know you think I hurt you deliberately but it wasn't like that at all.

If I could just go back and do things differently, believe me, I would. You think I'm not suffering. You think you have to hurt me. You don't have to; I'm already in agony. Whatever pain you think you are feeling can't be as bad as mine!

* * * * * * * * * *

Why do I find myself hanging around in the back of the class. Virtually everyone else has gone to lunch, gone to hang out. Just gone....Why are you still here? Your friends are nowhere to be seen. My friends are nowhere to be seen.

I wrote you a text. I felt bad for blocking your calls, not answering. So I typed it out, said what I wanted to say. My finger had hovered there above 'send'. Will I, won't I; will she, won't she? I don't chance it, press delete.

Maybe we could have saved things then. Talked it out, talked it through. Got back that feeling of connection.

And maybe there is still a chance. I can see that you are getting ready to leave. If I'm going to make a move, I'm going to have to make it fast. I stretch my legs, stand up. Two steps towards you and  Trisha's back, calling, freezing me in place.

Too late! The chance has gone. You look at me for just a moment, and in that moment I can see your hate.

I say nothing to you. I turn and dash towards Trisha. Laughing, I pick her up and carry her into the hall. I'm not going to let you know that your look of hatred hurts so bad. I won't give you the satisfaction.

* * * * * * * * * *

That one last act, to hang around, to flaunt you and her in front of me. I can never forgive that. I love you so much. No one is ever going to be able to take your place.

I couldn't even look at someone else; they would never measure up against you.

But in that single moment, I hate you so much too.

 

 

 

(1622 words inc. title.)

 

 

 

 


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