Chapter 24





"Your mom makes really good cookies," he says after Pamela has left us to the silence of the living room, "goes great with the 7-UP!"

His enthusiasm is lost on me and I wonder how long this is going to take. for the first time in the last five minutes I am looking at him and truly examining him. He no longer dyes his hair a bleached blond and he is now sporting a sweater of not, I realize, my old high school where he still attends, but of some University in Florida. So he had gotten the scholarship and had been accepted for something else other than his poor marks.

I watch him practically swallow down the cookies while crumbs collect on his lap and wonder how I could have let myself fall for a boy like this. And then he looks up, with the same blue eyes that had enchanted me and I can see the sadness behind them.

"Jenna," he finally says, putting down the last cookie and softly pulls at the string of my heart. "I have so much to say to you, but I don't know where to start."

I look at him and strive to keep my heart from melting, this boy had been my past love, my past everything--how could a girl who thought she had nothing not be tempted by a promise of something?

Before I can make any sense of the current situation, Tommy is sitting beside me holding my shaking, cold hands. I remember the last time that I had been in this situation. It had been a week before I had moved and I hadn't told anyone, especially not Tommy.

I had been silent, focusing on something ahead of me that had not been there. He had been trying to explain away his infidelity, he had blamed it on everything that he could. He had tried, but I had been lost. I had felt the chills run through my spine every time he had touched me, trying to remind me of our love, but I had been paralyzed, afraid to say something that would go against my better judgment.

That was much like now. His arms and hands are on my back, they occasionally linger to my face and hands, but I am speachless.

"Please say something," he echoes, having said the same phrase more than once all ready. "I love you Jenna, please."

Suddenly the world isn't so quiet anymore and everything has returned to normal speed. I find myself waking up from my psychological slumber and face Tommy.

"You love me?" I ask as I try to hide my intentions.

"Yes." He says, hopeful.

Too bad for him that I slap him. My hands work on their own, they have become accustomed to creating pain for anyone who has slighted them in any way possible, including myself.

Irresponsibly, I start to cry. He looks stung, but still remains beside me. I use my guilty hands and cradle my tear stricken face with them. I feel Tommy's arms go around me and I shake him off.

"No," I murmur through my fingers. "Don't touch me."

"Jenna," he whispers, soothingly. He wraps his arms around me and all the anger I have felt for the past months surfaces and I burst. I feel the anger of all my losses and the loss of my emotions. I feel the sharpened shards of my heart ripping me inside out from all the blows my heart has taken. I wince as I feel the ghostly pain of my scar burning like a flicker of fire on my cheek and I stand up onto legs that are stronger than I ever imagined.

"You," I whisper menacingly, "have no right whatsoever to touch me right now!"

"Jenna--" Tommy looks shocked, he has never seen me so angry before.

"You need to get the Hell out, right now!" I scream, and for added measure I say, "Don't you ever come back, so help me God, you do not want to ever come back."

He doesn't move and I glare at him, "Do you have any idea what I have been through? What I have lost? Of course you don't. You have your cheerleading girlfriend, who by the way, was MY BEST FRIEND, a football scholarship to 'Sunset Paradise' and you have finally stopped lying to yourself about being a natural brunnette." I am out of breath and I gasp my last words out, very slowly. "I...don' you."

He sits on my mom's prized leather couch and I swear he has forgotten how to blink. His face is pale, I finally see, and he looks thinner under his over-sized sweater.

"Get out," I whisper, "now."

He stands up, still shocked and slowly walks towards the doors that lead to the outside world. With a shy look back we exchange the last expressions that we will ever see of each other. His, a face of regret, somber loneliness—me, a face of repulsion, not just for him, but for myself and not being able to control my emotions.

"Will you ever forgive me?" He asks quietly, hand on the door knob.

I look away from him, so he can't see the tears that are blindling me, "No, but I will forget you."

I hear the door open and click close and he is gone, taking my anger with him. My legs being strong was just an illusion of my anger because when Tommy left my life forever, I weakly crumple to the ground ignoring Pamela's cries of confusion.

The End

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