A Month In Sin
34. For Worse
The timing of a lot of things had been crazy lately. The movie that had been my final distraction from the reality I had to face had barely hit the credits before the door was unlocking, with the man I wasn’t at all ready to have this conversation with stepping inside.
Rosemary jumped at the first sound of the keys, but at the sight of who it actually was, her little legs took off, carrying her to the door as quickly as she could run on the concrete. Luke smiled at her, kneeling down to pet her, and it made me smile too. The more I studied him, though, the more I realized that something was definitely up.
His eyes were distant when he stood back up, but he snorted, a playful smile growing across his lips anyways. “You ladies seemed to have more fun than we did.”
“We just watched football the entire time,” he said, but there was something off in his eyes, like maybe there had been a bit more to it.
If I had to guess, there probably was, and I imagined it had something to do with us. The guys hadn’t been happy when they learned that we hadn’t talked about it, so of course they would want us to sit our asses down and do that.
Was that it? Had they bugged him about it until he finally just came home to talk about it? Because that didn’t sound like fun to me either.
“Poor you,” I said, and I meant it, despite the sarcasm dripping off each word.
Claire rolled her eyes. “Yeah, Niall and Andrew wouldn’t shut up about the match on the way here.”
Luke nodded, but his mind was definitely not here in the room. Or maybe it was, but it wasn’t here with my sisters.
It was time, time to face the inevitable heartbreak. It was time to face the moment that we had spent the past thirty days avoiding. We couldn’t do that anymore because tomorrow morning, bright and early, we had to tell the world what we decided.
How could we do that if we didn’t even know?
I gave the first hug to Claire, keeping it somewhat brief but still lingering longer than usual. I didn’t particularly want either of them to go, but I would definitely need them when this was all over.
I didn’t mean for Ori’s hug to last the longest, but it did. I clung to her tight enough that my thoughts were melting into her mind, tight enough that she understood how scared I was right now. To feel her reassuring squeeze back . . . it was everything I needed.
No matter what happened, I wasn’t alone when it was over. They were there. They would always be there, and even when it worked out for Ori and Niall, I wouldn’t be alone.
It would be a lot different back home, with Ori and Claire no longer there, but they would always be there to talk to, to call up and cry on the phone with.
Luke hugged my sisters when they gave him a hug on their way out, but his eyes were so focused on me, no one really said much more than a simple goodbye. His breaths became increasingly heavy the more this went on, so by the time they were gone, I wondered if he was going to start hyperventilating.
He noticed me watching him, and I wondered if the concern showed in my widened eyes. “Everyone reminded me just how far we can run from this.”
“We can’t,” I said, but it just seemed to echo what he was trying to say.
I sighed and rubbed a hand across my forehead, but I gestured back to the couch. “Come sit down?”
His eyes moved up to me again. “It doesn’t really matter if I’m sitting or standing.”
That didn’t bode well.
My stomach was in knots, but I did my best to keep my expression flat. “It doesn’t have to be this complicated.”
“Doesn’t it?” he asked as I began to step closer, just because being around him made everything seem better, even in the midst of this really hard conversation. That safety I felt around him, that feeling of the possibilities ahead being endless . . . I was going to miss that more than I wanted to think about.
“We’re talking the rest of our lives, Eri,” he reminded me.
I nodded. “I know.”
“This is complicated,” he disagreed. “We’re twenty.”
“I know that too,” I said.
He sighed, and one hand reached out, pressing it against my face. Like it always seemed to, touching my skin melted him, and a smile started to form on his lips. “You’re so soft.”
This wasn’t what I wanted to hear, not right now, but while we were still deflecting, there was something I had to know, something he needed to answer for me. If this was it, it was time to go big because I was going home soon anyways.
His thumb brushed across the tears that started to fall, and I watched it tear him apart. I watched his pain, watched how much he hated each and every single tear that fell, and despite everything, it made me feel good to have visual proof that he did care.
Was it enough, though? Was that enough to justify staying married to a woman he just met?
“Why did you put that picture on Instagram?” I blurted out.
“You can’t hide who you are anymore,” he said.
His hand fell, and his jaw clenched a bit. “Damn it, Eri, why can’t you just let people see the good in you?”
“Because when people see good, they expect good, and then I have expectations I have to meet,” I said. “Then they have standards, and I don’t wanna have to live up to anyone’s standards. Because I won’t. In the end, I’ll just let them down. I’ll always let them down, let you down. That’s all you’re in for, Luke. You keep saying that I’m full of surprises, but I’m not. I’m full of disappointments.”
Watching his brows pull together, watching the pain fill his beautiful blue eyes faster than it had so far in this conversation . . . it hurt. I hated seeing him hurt, and I just wanted to make it stop.
Why did my insecurities hurt him?
“Do you really believe that?” he asked.
“How? How can someone be such a damn good person and not even realize it?” He hesitated, just long enough to see if I had something to say, but what could I say to that? “You think I’m in for a life of disappointments? You have no idea what lies on the road ahead if you choose to stay with me.”
“Why would you say that?” I asked. “You’re a good person, Luke.”
“I try to be,” he said, and he shrugged. “I will give you that, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change the life waiting for you. Can you imagine, for a moment, the guys and me on tour? Off in Japan or Russia or England? Anywhere in the world we might go, and guess what. You’re still stuck here. You’ve always been stuck, Eris, and you don’t deserve to be stuck. You deserve to be free.”
I scoffed. “Stuck? Is that what you think I’ll be?”
“I know you will.”
“No, you have no idea,” I disagreed, and he closed his eyes. “Are you aware of all the horrible things people say about me daily?” He didn’t have to say anything, but his eyes opened, and there were so many tears in them. It was all the answer I needed. “Are you aware that through all of this, I learned to not give a shit? Because those people don’t know me. They don’t matter to me, Luke, and you . . . you do.”
“Why?” he asked.
Now it was my turn to lose my breath, my turn to cry. I had been stupid enough to think that I could avoid it in this conversation, but how could I avoid it? We were talking about the rest of our lives, and I didn’t imagine we both wanted the same thing.
How could we? He was who he was, and I was me—the triplet with two different colored eyes, the one that preferred to hang back and stay hidden behind the pretty one, or the sporty one that everyone loved. Elys was the good guy who stopped bullies when he saw them hurting someone, yet still could throw one hell of a pass down field.
I was just me, and the two different colors in my eyes freaked a lot of people out. Some learned to think it was awesome, but so many people saw me and stared like I was a freak, like it was my choice to be this way.
Tears fell down my cheeks, and I shook my head. “Don’t do this.”
“No, Eris, this is important,” he whispered, and he took a heavy breath in. “Why do I matter to you?”
“Because you do!” I exclaimed. “Because we’ve known each other for barely more than thirty days now, and the idea that you don’t want this with me has me physically crumbling inside!”
His eyes closed again, and I wasn’t sure what he was trying to avoid seeing. Was it my pain? Did he know it was coming and was just too scared to see it himself?
“How is that possible?” he asked.
“It shouldn’t be, if you wanna talk logic, but it is,” I whispered. “Because somewhere along the way, I fell in love with you, and I can’t go back from that.”
It was like I had punched him in the stomach. The way that he clenched, the way the breath pushed through his mouth, that’s what it seemed like. Tears fell from his closed eyes, but they didn’t open. They remained closed, hidden from me, and that was scarier than if he had just looked me in the eye.
No big deal. I just poured my heart out on the floor for him. Why would I want to see his real reaction to it?
“No,” he whispered.
My heart was hurting so much right now, and I couldn’t really handle it. Why couldn’t he just look at me? Why was he trying to pretend it hadn’t happened? Because it had, and it was becoming very clear that I was alone in feeling this way.
The answer was already obvious. It didn’t have to be said.
I took in a shaky breath and rubbed the tears from my eyes, but I wasn’t sure why I bothered. He didn’t see them anyways.
“Why?” he asked.
“Why?” I repeated. “Fuck, Luke, does it really matter? I love you. Do you want some long, drawn out explanation? Because I can’t give you one. Because I’m still trying to understand when it happened myself! I just know that I looked at one day, and I just . . . I knew. I knew that I had doomed myself, and I get it, alright? You’re twenty years old. You want to tour the world, be free for a few years before you even think about starting a life with someone. I get it. Don’t let me be your ball and chain.”
His body was trembling at this point, and I couldn’t make sense of that. Why wasn’t he looking at me? What was going on his head that he wanted to hide? I had just told him I was in love with him, and he wanted to be afraid?
What the fuck did he think I was feeling right now?
Tears continued to fall from his eyes when they opened, but even with them open, he kept them turned to the floor. “I-I have to go.”
There it was, the truth of it all. Luke had to go, and that was fine. It was his choice to make. I hated every moment of it, and it would probably always hurt. I didn’t imagine I’d ever be able to listen to 5 Seconds of Summer again, but that was okay. Because it was finally just out there and over.
The healing would come later. Right now, the truth was there.
I didn’t expect him to turn, but he did. He turned and went right back out the door he had come in, much faster this time. He left out the front door and didn’t even turn back, and that was just what I needed to see.
Luke was gone, and he wasn’t gonna look back on this time in his life. He wasn’t gonna hold onto this the way I was, and that was the reality I now had to face.
When the tears started falling again, it became very clear very quickly that they weren’t gonna stop anytime soon. I always hated crying for the pain it left behind after, but I knew it was inevitable at this point.
I couldn’t remember a time when I had cried like this, but maybe calling it that was wrong. This wasn’t crying. This was my heart screaming, into an empty home where no one could hear. If a tree falls and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? If a heart screams, and no one’s around to see it, is it really screaming?
Yes. My heart was broken, into so many pieces that I wondered if I’d be able to count that high. Sobs shook through me, bringing me to my knees, and it hurt. It hurt so much to feel the cold concrete beneath the skin, but that’s all I had.
The reminder that I wasn’t actually alone, that there was a tiny little puppy here, it gave me the only comfort I could find right now. She started with my hands, licking the tears from my hands, and the smallest cries sounded from her.
How could she know? How could she feel this pain with me? She hadn’t been here that long, but it had become clear that she had attached, to both of us.
What was this going to do to her?
The relief I felt from the distraction was gone in an instant. What was it going to do to Rosie . . . and me? What was this going to do to me?
I didn’t want to get up off the ground, but if I was going to be doing this all night, I didn’t want to do it here. Maybe it didn’t matter where I broke down. Maybe it would destroy me wherever I was, but I could at least be warm and on the comfort of the bed.
When I tried to stand up, it was harder than I was prepared for, but I managed to pull myself up. The stairs had railings, so I could use them to hold me up. Rosie came with me, jumping up each stair like it was a hurdle. She was so small, and to her, maybe this was the hurdles she faced in life.
There was a time in my life where stairs were probably the biggest hurdles in life too, but not anymore. Now, I was stuck with pieces of a heart, shattered inside my chest. I was stuck with loneliness ahead.
Sure, I could find someone else, but would I really find someone else who did the things to me Luke did? Because all it took was one look, and everything was different. He was the first person I had been around that I felt safe, that I felt like it was okay to be me.
But he didn’t feel the same way, and I had to make sure that sunk in.
By the time I got to the top of the stairs, my body still trembling with the sobs trying to break through, it had sunk in alright. My stomach churned, and it was all I could do to get into the bathroom inside our bedroom. My legs were running, but they almost weren’t fast enough.
I had never cried so hard that I threw up, but I had never really felt pain like this before either. My stomach was trying to rid my body of the pain by forcing out everything inside, but it was only making it all so much worse. As if sobbing uncontrollably wasn’t enough, let’s add a bad taste in my mouth and elevated body temperature.
It hurt to throw up like this, and I just hoped like hell my hair was pulled back enough. The low bun I had thrown it in before seemed to be holding, but if it didn’t, I didn’t have the strength to hold it back myself.
The nape of my neck was already growing sticky, the sweat build up running down my skin, but it was in the back of my mind while my stomach continued with its decided purge.
Hot tears fell down my face, moistening it further, and I just wanted to die in this moment. There was so much to live for, but right now, I didn’t want to be alive. I just wanted it all to stop. My body was aching, and each time I puked, I had to force myself not to actually pee. The muscles of my body constricted and heaved so violently, it was becoming harder and harder.
The vomiting stopped abruptly, but the tears didn’t. The sobs still tremored through me, and the only comfort I found was the cool toilet beside me. Pressing my stick face against the cool porcelain, my eyes closed, but it was momentary relief. I got just a single moment to feel something good before my heart shook up the pieces, reminding me how I had gotten here in the first place.
The only piece of anything good there was left to find was the thought that I got lucky. It didn’t feel like luck, and it probably never would, except when I thought about how horrifying this would have been to find out on live television.
That was the last thing I needed, this kind of misery shown on live television for all of the world to see and mock me for later.
I got to cry in the privacy of my home, or Luke’s home anyways. I got to keep this to myself, and that was the only thing keeping me alive right now.
It’s not that I wanted to die. I just didn’t want to be alive right now. There was so much to live for, but this moment wasn’t one of them.
I didn’t care if it would make me stronger in the long run. I didn’t care about the long run. I only cared about the pain of right now, and the pain of right now was enough to kill someone—except it didn’t.
That was the worst part of heartbreak, wasn’t it? It was enough pain to kill, yet it left you alive, ensuring you suffered through every single moment of it.
What a bitch.
I know... we've left you hanging... and it's been way too long. We apologize. Things have just been crazy.
I'm currently without a computer because my dad's computer broke, and he is in college online, so he kind of needs my computer to pass college. Lol. So, with that, writing is extremely difficult for me. My sister and I also gained a niece! For everyone who doesn't know, my sister and I have an older sister, who just had a beautiful baby girl.
We love you all and the wait shouldn't be too awful long on the next chapter.
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