Authors: Claire Adams
book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are
products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not
to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual
events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
© 2014 Claire Adams
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“I don't think I can have another
shot, Julie,” I yelled over the music.
All around me the
of the bass was felt right in my
bones. Why must they play the music so obscenely loud? Was it so that you
forgot that you were in a normal world? You stayed because you didn't realize
there was anything else out there? I suppose it appealed to the people who came
there to dance. I wasn’t one of them. As I peered over, I judged them for their
carefree nature as they sweated all over each other on the dance floor. A bar,
especially a dance bar, was an illogical place to go to have a conversation,
but they had cheap drinks, and there was enough eye candy to keep Julie happy.
Julie needed her entertainment as well. My friend just giggled as she ordered
us another round. There was no point in arguing with her. I was feeling dizzy,
but I allowed it, as I only really came there to forget. Forgetting was easy
when it came to drinking. If it wasn't for hard liquor, I would not be able to
function as a human being, and that was fairly important. All I needed at that
moment was to forget that I was who I was. Because at that moment in my life, I
didn't like whom I was.
Partying had become a regular
occurrence for me these past few months. I was never much of a drinker, but
times were tough, and a girl had to do what a girl had to do. Thank God I had a
partner in crime in which to do my deeds with. I had only even known Julie for
a couple of months, and she had seen me as the party girl, and only that. She
had no idea that I was a good girl only a few months ago. The old
would never have spent so much time in a bar. But there I
was, and the reason for that was because my whole life, my whole world in fact,
had spun out of control recently, and I hadn't begun to pick up the pieces from
that. Life, in fact, scared me at the moment. I had never expected to be in the
position that I was. I had thought things would have turned out much better. I
always had a plan; everything was in order in my life, until it all started to
fall apart, of course. It was funny how life often snuck up on you like that.
Not only had things not gone as planned, but it gave me an entirely different
horizon that I didn't look forward to meeting.
Unbeknownst to me, the man I had
loved most in the whole world had carried on an affair with my best friend for
months before I found out about it. Months! Months! God, the very idea baffled
me. How did I not know? Was I just blinded by my love for him? Finding them out―it
was not something that anyone should ever have to experience.
The betrayal of a best friend.
You almost expect it from a
man, but not a girl you grew up with from the time you were nine years old. Men
were always the ones whom you feared would stray. It never occurred to me to
not trust a beloved best friend. She and I had been through thick and thin; we
had shared many scraped knees, broken hearts, and provided one another with a
shoulder to cry on when needed. And all it took was for her to become attracted
to my man. A man I thought I would marry one day. Shouldn't that have been
sacred―something no other should think of touching?
There truly was no amount of
alcohol that could erase the image of catching them having sex. He had her bent
over the couch, doing the unthinkable. I had walked in just as she had been
screaming out his name. I could have killed them both right then and
The shock had been incredible,
and I felt ill every time I thought about it. Walking in early from class,
excited to surprise him with pizza and beer, it had all dropped to the floor as
I rushed in and saw him having sex with her on the couch. Right there, right
where we often watched movies and cuddled, he had done the unspeakable with one
of my oldest friends. I may have even been able to forgive it had it only been
a one-time occurrence, but that wasn't the case at all. They were in love, and
just didn't have the heart or the balls to tell me about it. They had been
involved for months, right under my nose. I often wondered when it had first
begun. Had he and I been going through problems at the time? What made him look
at her in a different light? I thought about it a lot―too much, in fact.
I wondered who had initiated it; which one of them crossed the line first? I
couldn't bear to think that it was she who made the first move. The thought was
just too evil, how could she betray me in such a way? Take away the only thing that
really mattered to me. How could I not have seen? How do you miss something so
There must have been lingering
looks between them when they were around each other, text messages to his
phone, and every time he wasn't with me, had he been with her? Had he been
responding to her messages while he was with me? Surely he would have been. He
received many texts in my presence. Who knows how many had arrived from her
phone? There was nothing in the world that could make a girl feel more stupid than
to realize I had been made a fool of for months. Did they often laugh about me?
Joke about how I had no idea about what they were doing? Did they talk about
me? Discuss how they would have to eventually tell me the truth? I could bet
money on the fact that it was he who decided to avoid coming clean. Women were
different, she would have wanted to lay claim to him as soon as possible. She
must have been bugging him for quite some time to come clean, or at the very
least, break up with me so that they could begin their own love story. Love
One that used to be mine.
It was thoughts like
that which could cause me to be in a bar on a regular basis.
After walking in on the two of
them, I could do nothing but run out of the room crying; I didn't even have it
in me to confront them. I should have, I should have clawed her eyes out, and
left his body unidentifiable. I had heard my best friend call out my name as I
left the apartment, as if the girl could possibly have anything to say to me at
that point to ease the pain I was in. Though I wouldn't lie, the curiosity did
kill me now, after the fact. I wondered what she intended to say.
snooze you lose? I love him? He doesn't want to be with you?
I did regret, however, the lack
of hysterics I showed toward them. Thinking back on it, I should have allowed
them to try to explain the disgusting show they had put on for me. To see what
kind of excuses they would give me, what kind of fine, veiled apologies. In the
end, however, it wouldn't have mattered. As far as I knew, they were still
together; isn't love grand? I had hoped it would be a fling. That he would come
back begging for another chance, so that I would have the opportunity to slap
So insert booze, and I suddenly
forgot how pathetic I must have been not to know that the two people I had
trusted the most had been lying and running around on me behind my back. Maybe
another shot was a good idea, the more I thought about it.
Julie and I sat at the bar in one
of the more popular places in the area, and downed large amounts of alcohol.
The bar was certainly a
' place if you were
into picking up. I wasn't one to notice, however. I usually stared sullenly
into my glass for most of the night. Poor Julie, she must think I'm an alcoholic.
When the shots arrived, Julie
handed me one and raised it to toast. “What should we toast to?”
I snorted, “I know! Let's toast
to becoming cat people, and watching old reruns of
I Love Lucy
“Screw that. Are you crazy?
Natalie, you are gorgeous. Your ex was an idiot, and what he did was
unconscionable, but you will find someone else―someone much better. Just
wait and see.”
“I don't want anyone else. I
loved him, and look how well that turned out. How could I possibly trust anyone
ever again? I know what you're thinking, I'm being negative. But sometimes it's
a good thing, really.”
“I don't think you will see any
motivational posters saying that.”
I laughed despite myself. “I
We downed the shots, and I
cringed for the tenth time that night. I hated thinking about my past. It had
just been so awful. When did it ever get easier, when did the pain lessen? When
would I stop seeing that image of the two of them together? It was bad enough
that I lost the man I loved, but losing my best friend at the same time had
crushed me. I had never felt so alone in all my life. Three years I had been
with him, and it all was thrown away, for nothing.
What a waste
thought. Three years of loving and caring for him, and I still had no idea why
he did it. Why had I not been enough for him? I loved him, and had thought we
had a really good sex life. What made him want her more than me? These were the
questions that plagued me relentlessly until I lost the ability to sleep, lying
awake just waiting for morning to come.
At first, I had tried to be
productive about the breakup, being motivational, positive thinking at all
times, mostly working on my homework and drawing whenever the mood struck me. I
thought I could get lost in my art and forget my broken heart. Unfortunately,
things never quite worked out that way. Instead, here I was, dangling off a bar
stool with a girl who did not know how to stop ordering tequila.
“Should we do another shot?”
“Are you high?
I can barely see, and somehow I am still thinking about my ex-
boyfriend. This isn't working. If alcohol can't make me forget, then what the
hell are we doing out tonight? I need to forget him!” I noticed that Julie was
looking around. “You're not even paying attention to my whining,” I laughed.
“You should be listening to my whining; my heart is broken, for crying out
Julie smiled at me, finally
focusing her attention back on me. “No, I wasn't ignoring you, Natalie. There
is this ridiculously hot guy over there, checking you out.”
“Oh, give me a break.” What could
he possibly be checking out? What friend of mine could he sleep with?
“Oh my God, it's Jet. He's
totally checking you out.”
“Are you kidding me Natalie? You
don't know who Jet is?”
“He's only one of the most
popular guys on campus. All the girls have been drooling over him for years
since he started dominating in MMA.”
“He’s a fighter? Jesus, Julie.
You know athletes aren’t my type and in case you don't remember, up until a few
months ago I had a boyfriend. That's who I have been drooling over. My
boyfriend was so hot.”
I was pathetic.
“You still have eyes, don't you?
How could you not have noticed him by now? You're crazy, girl.”
“Sorry, I'm just not someone who
keeps up on that sort of thing. I could care less who the most popular guy on
“He's a jock, and sexy as hell.”
“Well there you go, I'm an
artist. I don't exactly keep up on the latest sports.”
“I don't care. Let's get another
I had been watching this beauty
for the better part of the night. I rarely did such a thing, but it was like
watching a well-acted theatre performance, or better yet, a movie with a twist.
You watched because you were just dying to know how it ended.
I couldn't help myself. I had to watch her;
she was absolutely stunning. Long red hair that cascaded in waves down her
back, and the most gorgeous green eyes I had ever seen. She had alabaster skin
that almost shone in the light, reminding me of the girls from those vampire movies,
with skin that almost glowed. It made me want to touch her, trail my fingers
down her skin just to see what it felt like. She was the perfect package, and I
couldn't believe that she wasn't surrounded by men, vying for her attention.
Were they crazy? Couldn't they see who was sitting there right before their
eyes? It was madness. I had never seen anything quite like her before. She had
a fit body, with the longest legs I had ever seen. She was wearing one of those
club dresses girls always wear when they hit the town, and it hugged her body
in a way that made me ache to pull down the zipper on her dress. They didn't
make girls like that on campus. For the most part, they were all the same
dimwits I’ve dated before. This girl however was very different, and I
different these days. I could tell by the way she
carried herself that she had brains before beauty. She could hold a
conversation, which is something a lot of the girls I know are unable to do.