“You alright?” panted Ashton as he jumped in the drivers seat and accelerated. Unable to reply, I nodded. My mother hadn’t answered the phone, spreading the pain through me. “I’m sorry, Cassie. I should have told you when I suspected something but I didn’t want to kill your feelings… and besides, you needed to be focused on knowing how to defend yourself and I couldn’t do that if you were upset over him.”
“Its fine.” I managed to get out, tears rolling down my cheeks. Of course I was hurt that Ashton knew, but it didn’t mean I could blame him for Nate’s idiotic decisions. Nate was a bad guy, not Ashton. Ashton was one of my best friends, someone really close and important to me. I wasn’t going to be mad with him, I was too hurt to be mad.
“Justin doesn’t know about any of this, he’s going to be furious when he finds out.” All I did was nod in reply. I really wasn't feeling like I wanted to talk. “I’m sorry that this happened to you.”
I looked out the window, ignoring him. I didn’t care. I just felt numb. I wanted to throw up – had I seriously made out with Nate? How dumb was I?
By the time Ashton had walked me up the stairs of my building I felt like collapsing. This entire thing felt surreal, like it couldn’t possibly be happening. Nate was my loving boyfriend who would never think of using me, right? He was the same Nate as always.
You’re so pathetic. He used you.
I sighed in disappointment. Of course he wasn’t the same. I should have never listened into their conversation. Nate’s actions confirmed every teasing taunt that had been thrown around my brain by the voices that haunted me. If he didn’t really like me as someone who I had thought was in love with me…did anyone really like me? Were they all faking it, using me?
“We’re going to Justin’s.” he mumbled, grabbing my arm and pulling me to Abby’s door. I gave no response except to let him drag me.
“JUSTIN! OPEN UP!” Ashton yelled, knocking on the door.
I heard grumbling from inside and rolled my eyes. Typical Justin.
“What?” he complained as he opened the door. “Cassidy? What’s wrong?” His tone changed completely to one of concern when he saw me. “What did you do to her?” he growled to Ashton.
“Nothing! Ah…I feel like we should probably take this inside.” Ashton pushed me inside and Justin closed the door behind us. Justin grabbed my hand, holding me back.
“What's the matter?”
His eyes scanned my face as I tried to look to the floor. He had red ringed eyes like he’d been crying and he looked so, so pale like he’d been throwing up. I vaguely wondered what had happened to him and if I looked the same as he did.
“She found out about Nate.”
“But I thought you already knew he had a gang? I told you, remember?” Justin spoke, lifting my chin to look me in the eyes.
“No, Justin. He was playing her…or is. Whatever, he’s using her to get back at you.”
Justin frowned at Ashton, “Uh, how would that be getting back at me?”
“Because you like her?”
Justin’s eyes flashed in anger and let go of me like I had burned him. A dark blush rose from his neck up to his cheeks, confirming Ashton’s words. I almost smiled, finding it so cute that Justin was embarrassed. I mean, I don’t want him that way but you know. It’s Justin.
“W-what? No I don't.”
“She already knows, forget it. She heard that too.”
Justin sighed and cast his eyes elsewhere, refusing to look at me.
“Did you know about this?” Justin growled to Ashton.
“Uh, dude listen-“
“Did you know or not?” he grit out.
“Well yes but-“
“To hell with you! How could you not tell me? Tell her?”
“I was trying to let her focus…”
“So she could get more and more feelings for him and be more crushed when she found out? You betrayed me, Ashton!”
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did! It’s your duty to tell me these things, and you chose Nate! You cost an innocent girl’s feelings because of this!” he screamed, looking angrier than ever. My eyes were stinging with tears, my heart broken with rejection. I don't think they noticed, too consumed in their fight.
Before Ashton could react Justin threw a punch right at his face and I heard a sickening crack come from the hit. Ashton groaned in pain but made no move against Justin.
“Justin, stop. He didn’t do anything.” I mumbled, grabbing Justin’s hand and pulling him away from Ashton.
“I’m going to fucking kill Nate!” he screamed. Justin fought against me, trying to get to Ashton. He threw me to the side causing me to bang my head on the wall that I had been cast onto. “How could you hurt her like this?”
I frowned in anger, my head throbbing with pain.
“What is going on in here?” Abby yelled, walking in the front door with a million shopping bags. She looked around the room, probably seeing chaos. I was holding Justin, who looked like a bull wanting to burst out of its gate, and Ashton who had blood pouring from his nose.
All heads snapped toward her at the sound of her voice. Justin glared angrily at Ashton before pulling away from me with insane force and stomping off toward his room, slamming the door behind him.
I took myself over to the couch and sat down. This was not how I wanted my day to play out. I put my head in my hands and took a deep breath. I could do this. Everything was going to be okay. I took myself over to Justin’s room and walked inside, not even bothering to knock on the door.
I only got a grunt in response. “You can’t get angry. I’m fine.” I told him, lying through my teeth.
“No, you’re not. And you know about my stupid crush on you. You probably can’t stand me. I can see it on your face, you keep looking at me like I’m a puppy who has just been kicked.”
If anything was going to come out of Justin’s mouth, I never thought it would be the word ‘puppy’. A smile made its way onto my face, despite how empty I felt.
“I don’t give a crap that you like me Justin. I just found out my boyfriend, someone I thought I could trust and have always… is using me.”
His eyes softened and he held out his arms. “Come here.”
I kneeled on his bed and fell into his arms, needing comfort. Thankfully, he wasn’t angry anymore.
“I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry Ashton didn’t tell you…I’m sorry Nate is such a jerk. I’m just so sorry, cutie.”
Tears filled my eyes and I couldn’t hold it in, I was heartbroken. I didn’t want to talk about Justin’s crush on me. It would be, for starters, too awkward and I also didn’t want to embarrass him. We hadn’t even really spoken about our kiss – let alone the fact that he might have enjoyed it.
“I-I don’t know what I did. I thought he loved me.” I cried, partly ashamed for having cried in front of Justin twice now. I never cried in front of people, it showed weakness and people would look at you like you were made of glass. But Justin wasn’t like that. He never looked at me like that, he never thought I was weak. It was like he knew and understood what it was like to feel like shit. He dragged me closer to him, making us both more comfortable.
“I don’t know what he was thinking, but I can guarantee he won’t be thinking much of anything at all for much longer. I’m going to hit him so hard he won’t remember his name.”
“Don’t do that.” I said softly, not wanting to deflect his anger upon me.
He didn’t say anything, just held me and let me cry into his shirt. Violent sobs wracked my body as I trembled in Justin’s arms. I could not rid the memories of Nate and I fast enough from my mind, they hurt too much. They were mocking me, telling me I wasn’t enough.
“Maybe he just got bored. Maybe he thought I wasn’t perfect enough for him-“ I cried out, chocking on my sobs.
“Don’t you dare think that, okay? You’re more than perfect – he was the luckiest guy in the world to have you and he didn’t see it. He lost the best thing he’ll ever have over some stupid fight and I guarantee you he will regret it. Maybe not straight away, but later on. He’ll realize he lost the girl of his dreams.”
I blushed at his words, he was the most adorable guy on earth.
“We need to avenge your feelings, he can’t get away with this with just a punch to the face.”
“How are we supposed to get back at him? There’s nothing real about him. Breaking up with him wouldn’t hurt him.”
Justin didn’t say anything for a moment, trying to get an inkling of what to do.
“Wait, I have an idea! He faked his feelings, right?”
I nodded. I didn’t really feel like doing this but having Justin around felt comforting, no matter what we were doing.
“Well, maybe you could fake your feelings.”
“Huh?” I was confused – fake them how?
“ASHTON! ABBY! GET IN HERE!” Justin yelled, excitement entering his voice. Hearing him so happy made my pain break away in little pieces.
“Uh, yes?” Ashton asked, walking into Justin’s room looking nervous.
“We have an idea.”
“Justin has an idea.” I cut him off.
“Well, yeah whatever. I know how we can get back at Nate.” His voice then took on a somber nature. “I mean, as long as I know I can trust you to be on my side.”
I looked between the two best friends, waiting for Ashton’s reaction.
“You’ll always be able to trust me. Your side is the only one worth fighting for.” Ashton agreed, holding out his hand for Justin to shake.
They have the weirdest friendship. I thought, unable to stop myself.
Justin shook his hand and Ashton sat with me on the bed, waiting for Abby to follow. The way they made up so easily hit my jealousy nerves hard. My pain was fading, slowly turning into anger. Anger at Nate for ruining me and ruining what I thought was a perfect relationship, minus his recent behavior.
“So, what’s this plan?”
“Well, Nate was a bitch and faked his feelings for Cassie, so I thought maybe we could turn it around.”
“How?” Abby asked, looking as confused as I felt.
“Cassidy could pretend she never heard any of it, and act like everything was normal.”
“That’s fucking brilliant! I didn’t tell Nate I found you, Cass, so you could have left before you heard anything. The only thing I don’t understand is how that's any benefit to anyone?” Ashton asked, looking like he was deep in thought.
“Yeah? Right now I’d much rather just go and punch him until his face is blue.” I muttered. Ashton and Justin both let out barks of laughter at my words. “What? It’s true.”
“Yeah, we should totally all just kill Nate.” Abby agreed, grinning at me.
Justin wiped his eye, barely managing to get his words out. “You’re so small – how would you hit him?”
“Excuse me? Nate wouldn’t hit a girl, I could easily get him.”
Both boys stopped laughing immediately. “He would hit a girl, if it came down to him losing.”
My eyes widened in surprise but I said nothing about it. “How would it benefit you guys?” I asked.
“Well, you could gain his trust so he tells you about his plans for the gang and give us an advantage.” Justin said quietly, like he didn’t really want me to hear them.
“That's a kick ass idea, Justin! He would never suspect her. And Cass, you could go undercover for us! You could save so much shit from happening.”
I smiled, but inside I was hurting. I was hurt and angry and I felt like ripping my hair out. I don’t think I would be able to face Nate again, certainly not pretend like everything was okay.
Justin recognized my uneasy nature. “Uh guys, give us a minute?”
They both left the room, no questions asked.
“What’s the matter?” Justin asked, sounding more like a statement.
“I don’t know if I can see Nate and act normal.” I mumbled.
“You don’t have to. You told me you were going to Nate’s to tell him off, right? You can just pretend you’re still mad at him for that even though you’re just…”
Justin’s concerned look made me want to cry again. “I’m still going to hurt him. Just because you’re pretending not to know doesn’t mean I can’t know.” He mumbled. “You mean a lot to me, Cassie. I’m not going to let you be ruined and broken by some jerk, okay? Even if I have to piece you back together myself.”
My heart swelled at his words, he was so sweet. It was such a change to the normal, sarcastic Justin. Then again, he had been abnormal all week.
“I don’t feel so bad about cheating on him now.” I mumbled, smiling at Justin. He smiled back and slowly leant in closer before his eyes widened and he stood up like I’d zapped him.
“I think, um I have to go.” Justin said abruptly, picking up his jacket and opening his door. “I’ll be back later – stay with someone!”
He disappeared out of the room but I was hot on his heels.
“Fuck fuck fuck.” I heard him mutter, before saying something inaudible to Abby and Ashton.
“Justin?” I called, seeing him bolt out of the apartment.
“I’ll be back later!”
I frowned in confusion and looked around at Abby and Ashton sitting on the couch.
“What the hell was that about?”
They both shrugged, as clueless as I was. Ashton looked down at his phone before looking at me, a huge smirk covering his features.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be back soon.”
I frowned in confusion. Justin is, and always will be, the most mysterious person I have ever met.
A/N: sorrry if this was majorly boring. I got 1k reads! Wowwwww! its all thanks to all of you. you're so amazing! What do you think (or want - whatever) to happen next? Comment your ever important thoughts ! x