I found myself lying on the floor when I woke up the following morning. Everything that had happened last night slowly came flooding back, the most vivid memory being when Tyler had slapped me. I couldn't help but wonder where he was now, probably hooking up with a new girl.
A loud knock on the door interrupted my thoughts and I quickly got up, dashing to the bathroom mirror to quickly check my appearance before answering it. Right away, I gasped in horror at the reflection staring back at me.
On my right cheek was an evident bruise from where I had been slapped by Tyler. My usually smooth hair was now a tangled mess and huge bags were present under my eyes due to lack of sleep. To sum it all up, I looked like shit.
I didn't bother to make myself look presentable; there was no point. Instead, I just went to the door to see who it was. Damon Parker stood there wearing a tshirt and pair of dark jeans, his hands shoved into the pockets. His eyes inspected me from top to bottom before speaking.
"Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. And why aren't you dressed yet? Doesn't your flight leave in, like, three hours?", Damon asked teasingly.
"I-I was just about to," I replied, directing my gaze at the ground. Damon cupped my face in his hand, tilting it upward so that he could take a good look at me.
"Christine, is that a bruise on your cheek?", he inquired, narrowing his eyebrows.
"It's nothing," I lied, swatting his hand away from my face.
"Who did this to you?", Damon demanded in an angry tone, shutting the door behind him as he walked into my room. I remained silent, avoiding his gaze. "Well, aren't you going to tell me?"
"Tyler did, alright? Now can you please just leave me alone?", I said, slightly raising my voice.
"That son of a bitch slapped you?!" Damon was completely outraged, which didn't surprise me. After all, we were best friends and he always felt as if it were his duty to look after me.
"He was drunk," I stated calmly.
"That's no excuse for slapping a girl! Aren't you going to do anything about it? File a lawsuit against him?"
"What's the point? It's over already," I replied, plopping down onto the bed.
"So you're just going to let him get away with this?"
"Damon, you don't understand. If I tell anyone, Tyler could get kicked off his team."
"But he deserves it," Damon said matter-of-factly.
"He doesn't," I muttered quietly, looking down at my lap so that he didn't have to see me cry.
The truth was, Tyler had been a wonderful boyfriend. We never even had a single fight, simply because he was the sweetest and most understanding guy I had ever met. What happened yesterday night was definitely uncalled for, but it was just one time. Tyler normally would never act that aggressive, let alone slap someone.
Sure, he needed to learn a lesson about playing with girls' hearts, but having him lose his job would just be too plain harsh. Besides, the Boston Bruins wouldn't be the same if their star player, Tyler Seguin, left.
"Well, I guess it is your decision whether or not to press charges against Tyler. Hey, are you ok?", Damon asked gently.
"I'm fine. It's just going to take me a while to get over all of this," I replied, reaching for a tissue on the nightstand to blow my nose.
"Listen, how about we both go out for breakfast before I drive you to the airport?", he suggested, changing the topic.
"Sounds good," I agreed, managing to smile.
Damon gave my knee a reassuring squeeze and then I got up to go take a shower. Since it was a hot and sunny day, I decided to wear a light-blue lace dress. I put on a pair of silver sandals then went back out to where Damon was sitting on my bed.
"You have all your stuff?", he asked. I nodded my head in response. "You look great by the way. No one would ever guess that you just went through a rough break-up."
"Thanks," I said, slightly blushing.
Damon grabbed my suitcase and then we both headed out of the dorm. I breathed in the fresh scent of the outdoors, letting it awaken my senses. Sooner or later, I would have to forget about the past. Tyler was gone, but I still had my family and friends who would always be there for me. And of course, there was college, too.
After Damon and I finished our huge breakfast consisting of eggs, pancakes, and muffins at IHop, we headed to the airport. I sure was feeling a lot better than I did earlier this morning. Having Damon's company really helped a lot.
"Have fun in Minnesota, alright? And let me know when you come back so that I can pick you up," he said when we arrived.
"I will. See you soon."
I gave Damon a quick hug before heading inside. The very first thing my parents were probably going to ask me about when I got home would be my relationship with Tyler. If only they knew...
"I swear, if I ever see that bastard again, I will kill him," my brother threatened when I finished telling my family about what happened with Tyler.
Like Damon, both Aaron and my father wanted me to press charges. My mother on the other hand just wished that none of this had ever happened. She even thought that Tyler and I would eventually get married someday. What upset her the most, though, was that fact that she had trusted him to never hurt me. But he did.
I met up with my friends, Sierra and Hayley, that night and we all went out for dinner. They were both currently in relationships and I was happy for them. Sierra nearly cried when I told her about Tyler. She had liked him a lot too, including Hayley.
"Well, Seguin is definitely not my favorite hockey player anymore," Sierra remarked as we ate our steaks.
At that moment, I looked up at one of the TVs in the restaurant. It happened to be showing the Stanley Cup game at TD Garden in Boston. The Bruins were currently losing to the Pens, but it was only the second period. I looked at the bench and suddenly noticed that Tyler was missing. He was nowhere to be seen out on the ice either.
"Hey, do you guys know why Tyler isn't playing tonight?", I asked my friends.
"Apparently, he broke his wrist. Brandon told me about it," Sierra replied. Brandon was her boyfriend, who played hockey for the University of North Dakota.
"Oh, that's too bad," I said halfheartedly, sliding the remains of my salad around with my fork.
"You miss Tyler, don't you?"
"I'm trying my best to forget about him, but it's hard to when he's constantly on TV," I sighed.
"How about we go shopping after this? To cheer you up?", Hayley spoke.
"Well, I can't say no to that," I replied, my face lighting up.
We all headed to the mall after dinner and I spent every dollar that I had in my purse. Going shopping did keep me from thinking about Tyler and I had to thank Hayley for coming up with the idea. As I was walking out of the Nike store, I accidentally bumped into someone. And it just so happened to be Karl, my ex.
"Whoa, Christine, is that really you?", he asked with a surprised tone.
"Hi, Karl," I greeted with a smile.
"Wow, I haven't seen you since high school. How's life?" Oh great, now he was trying to get a conversation going.
"I've had better days," I said honestly.
"Ouch, that doesn't sound too good. Hey, do you want to grab some coffee? We can talk about it if you want," Karl offered.
"That's really nice of you, but I have to go. My friends are waiting for me," I politely declined. I was about to leave when he grabbed my arm, causing me to let out a small squeal as I was pulled into his chest.
"Christine, I just want you to know that of all the girls I've ever been with, I liked you the most. God, I was such an idiot for letting you go. But anyway, I hope that you find someone that won't hurt you like I did. You deserve a good guy."
I simply stared into his blue eyes, taking in everything he had just said. To be honest, I was quite flattered by his thoughtfulness. But wait a minute, what ever happened to Lizzy? I decided to not bring her up in case something had happened between them.
"Thanks, Karl. That means a lot," I said with a genuine smile.
"Hey, I'm just telling the truth," he replied with a grin, revealing his swoon-worthy dimples. Man, he really was a charming and handsome guy. No wonder I fell for him back then. "So, I heard that you and Tyler-".
Ok, I seriously needed to shut this guy up now.
"Good-bye, Karl," I said, wriggling out of his arm and cutting him off before he could continue.
Man, he was quite the flirt, I thought as I walked away, laughing quietly to myself.
The Boston Bruins ended up claiming the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row during the third week of June. Tyler had scored the winning goal and I couldn't have been any prouder of him.
After all, he had shown nothing but hard work and determination throughout this whole entire season. Although he undeniably was the Bruins' strongest player, I sure didn't like him as a person anymore.
In July, Sierra, Hayley, and I took a road trip to Chicago and we all stayed there for a week. Their boyfriends, Brandon and Evan, came with us too and I had a great time getting to know them. Like my friend Damon, Evan also wanted to start his own business once he graduated from college.
As the weeks went by, I got used to being without Tyler. He had probably moved on already and that's what I would try to do, too. I realized that I didn't need a man in my life to make me happy. My family and friends were all I'd ever need.
Maybe one day, I'll find someone that truly loves me, like Karl had said. I just hope that I'll be able to love them back the way I had loved Tyler.