I knew I shouldn't have said anything.
I was now pacing the cliffs, the wind had picked up and was tangling my damp hair across my forehead. I wiped it out of my eyes angrily, also smearing tears across my cheeks. The guilt was horrific. The way that Nate had looked at me, so heartbroken... I felt like the worst person in the world.
The door to his car was still open, he'd forgotten to shut it. Seeing as how I was only wearing some shorts and a vest top, I decided to wait in the vehicle until he'd cooled down. I wasn't sure when exactly this would be; I'd never seen Nate react like this before. I knew it was entirely my fault but still didn't know how to go about apologizing.
The warmth from the car and my serious lack of sleep the night before seemed to catch up with me all at once. Before I knew it, my eyelids were drooping and a velvety blackness started to creep in around the edges. A simple glance out the window told me Nate wasn't coming back anytime soon, so I decided to give in to my fatigue and welcome it with open arms.
* * * *
I was woken up rather brutally as something icy slapped against my cheek. My eyes fluttered open to see Nate sitting down in the drivers seat, closing the door behind him. The thing that shocked me the most however was that it was already getting dark. Jeez. How long had I been asleep?
More importantly, how long had Nate been out on the cliffs?
'Nice to see you making yourself comfortable,' he muttered, switching the engine to life.
'How long have you been out there?' my voice was thick with sleep.
'Three, four hours maybe.' His voice was cold and detached and my eyes threatened to well up again. I swallowed the lump down in my throat before continuing.
'Nate we have to talk,' my tone was soft but his gaze was venomous.
'Hannah. Don't talk to me right now. Just give me chance to calm down.'
'And that's going to be when exactly?' I cried out exasperated.
'Don't raise your voice at me,' he said incredulously. 'You have absolutely no right to be pissed off with me. You're the one sleeping round.'
'Sleeping round?!' My voice was rising, anger bubbling within me. 'I did not sleep around, Nate for crying out loud. It was a single, stupid kiss. Nothing else!'
What he said next tore straight through me, something that I'll never forget: 'Why should I believe you Hannah? You've always had a rep for being a slut.'
The silence that followed was profound. His hand flew to cover his eyes and he sighed, regretfully. I was sat in pure and utter shock. He had never said anything like this to me before. There was a dull, painful thud in my chest as though he had just plunged a knife straight through my heart.
It would have probably hurt less if he had.
'Hannah,' he said in a low tone. 'Look I didn't mean it. I'm sorry. I'm just so angry at the minute.'
Oh no. Here come the water works. Fresh, hot tears spilled over my cheeks, dampening my neck and chest. I kept a steely gaze through my clouded vision outside the window, knowing that if I looked at him, if he saw me like this I would be weak.
I subconsciously squeezed the locket hanging round my throat, like I did whenever I was upset. Nate seemed to see this and groaned.
'Hannah please. Don't be sad.'
'I'm calling my dad for a lift,' I said quietly, stepping out of the car. We were still at the clifftops and the sky was fully covered by the clouds, giving everything an eerie shadowing. It was a little bit frightening, but I was determined to not go back into the car.
Fueled by anger and regret, I pounded on forwards, simultaneously pulling my phone out of my pocket, glad I had brought it with me.
'Hannah get back in the car!' Nate called after me.
I ignored him and carried on walking along the deserted path.
The phone rung twice before I heard my dad's familiar voice, laced with panic, which almost caused me to burst out crying again. 'Hannah? Where are you? Do you know what the time is?'
'Dad,' my voice cracked. 'Please can you come and pick me up, I've had a bit of a problem.'
'Hannah don't be stupid, get in the car I'll give you a lift home!'
I whirled round to face Nate. 'So now you want to talk to the stupid slut do you?'
'Hannah what's going on?' dad's voice questioned through the speakers. 'Are you with Nate? Has his car broken down?'
'We've had a fight. A bad one. Please come and pick me up. I'm at the cliffs.'
'Oh for Christ's sake Hannah, what are you doing at the cliffs? Be careful. I'll be there in ten minutes.'
I broke off the connection and sat down on a nearby rock, facing away from Nate's car. A few seconds later I heard a door slam and footsteps across gravel. Because it was dark, he couldn't see my face and for this I was thankful. Crying seemed to be something I did a lot recently.
He took a seat beside me and I childishly inched away from him.
'You wanna talk? Let's talk.'
I shook my head stubbornly.
'I'm sorry for calling you a slut, but you need to tell me what happened at Tyler's party. Truthfully.'
I wanted to, but my mouth refused to work. It seemed as though the majority of me insisted on being silent and angry.
'All I know at the minute is that you slept in the same bed as Tyler, kissed him and possibly something else. Can't you see why I'd think the worst?'
'You're supposed to trust me,' I said pitifully.
'How can I trust you when you're kissing him?'
I bit my lip, knowing he had a point but my tenacious nature overruled any justifications I could make. We lapsed into total silence then. The wind still whistled sharply around us and all too soon I was shivering. Nate tried to get me to go back in the car, but I refused.
Bright yellow headlights came into view and a large black landrover pulled to a stop directly beside me.
I got in the car, not looking at Nate once as my dad pulled away.