Everything ached; my legs, my lungs, my head, and most importantly, my heart. I saw her car disappeared around the curve and I knew I'd never catch up to her. I dropped to my knees on the sidewalk and cried out her name. My fingers were still clutching the envelope that contained the photos that had driven her away, hurt. I wished I had run faster after her, begged her louder to stop her car and let me explain, but she wouldn't have any of it. I was hurt, naturally, and some part of me blamed her for not being understanding and for not hearing me out. If she had loved me enough she wouldn't have exploded in rage and run out of the cafe, she should have trusted me. Now nothing mattered, she was gone and I was crying, because there was a void where my heart once was.
I turned around, half-hoping to find Sasha, but it was only Sam standing behind me with a concerned face. His car was parked meters away from us. I snarled at him, "Go away! I hate you!" I hurled the envelope at his face, not caring to tear him apart anymore. He dodged it and then bent down to pick up the envelope, examining its contents. He was appalled.
"Cerice, I swear it wasn't me who took these pictures," Sam started, kneeling down beside me.
"I don't care!" I shouted, allowing the waves of misery to crash on me. "I don't care anymore!" I wailed, as if letting those angry cries out would help heal my heart. I was hurt badly, and for the first time in my life I didn't care about concealing it.
"Come on Cerice, let me take you to your car and drive you to the dorm hall," Sam slipped an arm across his shoulder and pulled me to my feet. Half dragging me to his car. He sat me on the passenger's seat while he took the driver's seat. He ignited the car and let it slowly roar to life.
"She didn't even let me explain her," I mumbled, looking straight ahead and beyond. Tears were unavoidable from now on, "she said I was like Amber, and walked out on me." I turned my head and stared blankly at Sam, "why do you do this Sam?"
"Please Cerice, you have to believe me, I didn't do it," his eyes begged for me to believe him, "after you left my dorm I went straight to the party. Nothing else. I didn't know you'd come into my room when I was half-naked."
I just stared at Sam, feeling numb.
"Listen, this might just be someone's twisted idea of a sick joke. Let's just talk to her, both of us," he suggested, "we're witnesses of what happened last night in my dorm. We only talked, I didn't lay a finger on you, much less have sex."
I laughed at his suggestion, "Sam, she wouldn't believe either of us. She'll think we're plotting this together, just to cover ourselves up. I never realized this before, Sam, but we're part of the same group of bad people. Tainted with shadows of suffering. I've only met two people in my life that are pure, Sasha and Oscar, and I just lost one of them." I giggled and sobbed at the same time.
Sam drove us away.
"Take me to the library," I said, "I just want to be alone with the dust."
Sam did as told, when we arrived, before I climbed out of his car, he said, "I will talk to her."
I shrugged, "do whatever you want." For once, I didn't want to think about anything other than myself and the broken pieces of my heart still lying around. I didn't even bother leave her another message after the tenth. She wasn't the only one suffering, I was too. I entered the library and dropped on a chair, I nestled my head in my arms and slept my agony away.
I stirred as somebody was murmuring my name in my ear. It was a soft and tender voice.
"Sasha?" I opened an eye and saw the moon rising into the sky through the window.
"No, I'm not Sasha, sorry. It's Terry."
"Oh," I didn't conceal my disappointment or rudeness, I was still groggy and annoyed. "What are you doing here?" How long had I slept?
"I came to the library to finish an assignment when I stumbled into you," said Terry, she was sitting dangerously close to me. "You look so unhappy that I thought I might stay with you until you woke up. Wanna talk about it?"
"I'm fine," I muttered. "I don't want anyone's pity or concern. I'm fed up of the world wondering about my problems and I hate having to explain my tears."
"It's okay if you don't want to," Terry said soothingly. She placed a hand on my shoulder and squeezed it. "Everybody has bad days."
"I don't care about anybody else," I retorted darkly. "From now on it's just me and the voices in my head, like it used to be. At least, I get less hurt that way."
Terry looked at me kindly, "oh honey, you'll go through it. I promise. I was also hurt by one of my ex-girlfriends. She heard a rumor of me and decided to break our relationship."
"I don't want to relate my experience with anyone's else's," I responded, "I just need an escape."
We were in silence for some time, and with each passing minute I could feel her closer to me. I didn't welcome her warmth as much as I welcome Sasha's. "I have the perfect escape. Come on!"
I let her drag me out of the library and into the open air, we walked through the gardens and in an empty pergola. She reached in her bag and took out a packet of cigarettes. "Want one?"
"I don't want to die, either," I said, regaining some control.
"Come on Cerice," Terry sounded inviting, "just one?"
I tentatively took one and Terry lighted it for me. It was the first time I ever had a cigarette and I had enjoyed the smoke getting at me, forcing me to forget Sasha for a moment.