I knew my Aunt wouldn't be home this week. She had taken Teddy to a special medical facility in Vermont to get his cough checked out. So I broke down as soon as I reached my bed, sobbing and squealing into my pillow. But when I laid my head down I got a full burst of Ben's scent from earlier today, and I threw it across the room. It collided with the lamp on my desk and it crashed against the wall, shattering to pieces. Much like my fragile heart. I never knew heartbreak could hurt this badly. I cried myself to sleep, but got no reserve from the pain. Marissa's kiss just played again and again in my dreams, breaking off another piece of my heart everytime the two of them touched.
I was sound asleep, dreaming nightmares when I heard something crash and someone swear. My eyes popped open, but I froze. Did I recognize the voice? I heard footsteps coming closer and closer, until they were finally beside my bed. In a swift movement I karate chopped my hand behind me, hoping it would make contact with the unwelcome visitor. Instead, my hand was held steady in a steel grip. I turned around to see Ben's face in the darkness. A swell of hope engulfed my heart as the motion of him and Marissa played in my head. My joyful smile dissolved.
"What do you want?" I whispered, turning back over on my side.
"Jenn, please," he jumped over the bed before I could insult him, his face inches from mine. I scowled at him, putting as much broken effort into the face as I could.
"Please, just hear me out."
"Hear you out? After what you did to me! How can you even- ugh!" I cried. "I can't believe you!" I threw my face into my mattress, because I wasn't sleeping with a pillow. Under the mattress, I felt something. I dug around until I found the two halves of a torn picture of me and Ben on a ride at the carnival. Split right down the center of the two of us.
"I probably deserve that," he muttered under his breath. I felt the tears trying to start, but my eyes were all dried up. I had cried myself out. I laughed at how pathetic that sounded when Ben laid down next to me, his eyes burning into mine. I couldn't avoid him now.
"What made you think you could do that to me?" I asked him incredulously. He didn't look away from me, though his expression looked ashamed.
"I never wanted to kiss her. Everything those girls said to you was a lie. I never, ever liked Marissa. In fact, I try very hard to avoid her at school."
"Then why did you kiss her?" I asked plainly. He took a breath and closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were a bright, blood red.
"I told you, I didn't want to. Something was forcing me to do it. Something else was controlling me, it felt like." Yeah, I heard that one before.
"Yeah, something else you pig!" I slapped him on the arm and jumped out of the covers, ramming myself into the wall. Ben just watched me in disbelief.
"Me too!" I shouted back at him. Somehow, I had found more tears to shed. My head hurt, and I ran out of my room and down the stairs. I needed Advil. The kitchen was dark, and I didn't bother to stop and turn on the lights, so I tripped on a chair and fell to the hard linoleum floor. Picking myself up I dove at the medicine cabinet, throwing open the door and grabbing the first bottle my fingers touched. Ben was there in a second, taking it out of my hand. I growled at him.
"I.Have.A.Headache. From you!" He put the pills back and took out another bottle.
"First of all, those were heartworm pills for dogs. Forgive me if I'm incorrect, but I hope you don't have worms." I was too mad to laugh. He held out his hand and I took two of the small, white pills, throwing them into the back of my throat dry. I leaned back against the cold marble counter, closing my eyes. There was so much to think about.
"Just tell me one thing, Ben," I said wearily. "Do you like her?"
"Jenn, really? I wouldn't go for her if she was the only other living thing on Earth. And beyond." He walked over and wrapped his hands around me, and I felt safe again. "And anyways," he added, "I love you." And with that I fell asleep in his arms, my headache melting away.