I lent my heart to the bad boy, and he did exactly what I expected he would. He broke it.
And the guy I should have been with—he’s still here. He tries to take my mind off everything I’ve lost while showing me what I could have. I’m ready for a new start, to fall in love again … to do what I should have done in the first place.
Everything seems perfect.
Then the past comes walking back in. I thought I was over him, but one look and I know that’s not true. We went through too much together for those feelings to completely fade away.
When my past and present collide, how am I supposed to choose? They both love me, and I love them.
A heart will be broken … and it could be mine.
My eyes scan the room, full of well-dressed men, many with beautiful women on their arms. A few of them look lost like me, but most own the room like professional socialites. This could never be my whole life, I think to myself. And, as I continue scanning, I see him. He’s here. The man who stole my soul is standing across the room with his back against the wall. My eyes are locked on him, but his eyes dance around the room like I’m not here. Maybe to him, I never was. Maybe he’s looking for the next one—the girl he’ll show the world to then disappear. I look beside me—at Pierce—and I feel sick that any part of me even wants to go across the room. I feel sick because there’s a man here who I know could make me happy—who does make me happy—and yet I’m willing to throw it all away. He looks away from Royce, eyes instantly finding mine. He smiles, and I return it the best I can because for just a few more minutes, I need him to think that nothing has changed. And, maybe nothing has. “I’m going to find the restroom,” I whisper to Pierce. “I’ll come with you.” Shaking my head, I say, “No, you stay. I’ll be right back.” He nods, hesitantly, and I wait for him to turn his attention back to Royce before blazing a path through the crowd, anxious to prove to myself that this isn’t a dream. The shield cracks. My heart races. His eyes still roam, taking in everything … everything but me. I’m not going to let him out of my sight … I’m not going to let him hide from the anguish he’s buried me in the last several months. He has nowhere to run. Even if he did, I wouldn’t let him, not this time. A few long strides and I’m standing in front of him, staring into those familiar pained eyes. When you love someone, it’s impossible to look at them and feel hate. You may want to feel it. You may think you feel it, but love and hate can’t co-exist. I hate that I love him, but I can’t hate him. And, I want to hate him. It would make it easier to love someone like Pierce who deserves my heart. This man stole it months ago, and I don’t think he has any intention of returning it. Sometimes I don’t know if I want it back. But then, I think of the last few days—few months actually—and I realize another man may be winning it back for me. Maybe it’s not gone forever but simply misplaced. His hair is a little longer, but he’s the same. The way he stands … the way his fingers curl around a beer bottle. He’s exactly the same. “Blake,” I whisper, afraid of what he’ll say, what he’ll do. Still afraid he’ll find a way to run away, and I won’t be able to catch him. He stares at me like he’s never even met me, or maybe he’s spent the last several months trying to forget me. I can’t say I haven’t tried to do the same. There’s not enough alcohol in the world do erase him. “Does he make you happy?” he finally asks, practically staring through me. He sounds so broken, so sad. “Who?” I ask, caught off guard by his question. “Pierce. Does he make you happy?” My eyes well with tears I’ve left unshed … tears I left for him to see. “Yes,” I whisper, doing my best to hold them in. He deserves to watch every single one of them run down my cheek but not here … not now. He nods, reaching his fingers up toward my cheek before quickly pulling them back away. And just as quickly as he came back into my life, he’s gone. It’s really over. If any part of him wanted me, he would have fought for me.
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About the author and where to find her:
Lisa De Jong is a wife, mother and full-time number cruncher who lives in the Midwest. Her writing journey involved insane amounts of coffee and many nights of very little sleep but she wouldn’t change a thing. She also enjoys reading, football and music.