It's hard to take in at first. The fact that 'retrac' is actually the Father of the kid I babysitted the other day. And when I say hard, it's an understatement.
I should have known all along. The way he looked at me when I entered their house, frozen on the spot like some kind of ice block. And as for his name, how haven't I noticed before? The world 'retrac' is actually just his name backwards. Carter. Retrac. They're the same being
Why did I ever think someone my age would really like me? Because everyone who is fifteen knows nothing about a nice personality. All they know about is how to be cool.
And why did I ever think I could actually get success in a relationship? Like any of the past ones I've been in ever worked out. Because they didn't. In fact, two of the people I went out with were bullies pretending to like me to hurt me. I've only ever had two relationships. Three counting Carter.
Now, I stand beside Carter at his front doorstep. As soon as he saw me he at the restaurant he told me this couldn't go on any longer. That now I know I just have to forget everything we ever had. But do you know how hard that is? To forget? Gosh, everyone goes around telling you to pretend like something's never happened, but it isn't that easy. Not when you're already stuck in the mud.
"I can explain." Carter's words to Isabel pierce my heart. I can tell he loves her deeply. He's sorry. I know he's sorry. We both took advantage of the attention and it's only fair that he goes back to his wife. But whether his wife takes him back or not is another matter.
"This is it!" Her words sting, even to me. She pushes the paper's hard against his chest, her face inches away from his.
"I've seen it. I've seen it all! Don't give me excuses because I know exactly what happened. I have it all here!"
She flings the paper's into the air, before they fly slowly, gradually, down to the floor. When they hit the ground, Carter speaks up.
"But you saw them! You saw the way I was hesitant to meet her! You know I knew it was wrong, and I'm sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you but I couldn't let Ava down."
Isabel's face turns crimson, anger fighting through her veins. "But she's our babysitter! How could you even think of allowing that in the first place!"
"I didn't know it was her, okay? I only knew when she turned up at our doorstep that night and I saw it all for myself!"
"Hell yeah you did! But what did you do about it? Nothing. You still met up with her, you still told her you loved her. It's ridiculous!"
He sighs, frustrated. "I needed the attention okay!"
He flings his arms to the side. "We've never been as close since the kids and I needed someone to tell me that they cared, someone to wake up to and feel that love all over again."
Isabel pushes a hand through her bedraggled hair. "But I have. I've been here the whole time, caring for you, and you haven't noticed everything that I do for you. I love you Carter, do I have to show you to prove it? I thought you knew that."
I keep my eyes from pricking with tears. I did this. I made this a mess.
"Just forgive me, okay?" The pleading in Carter's voice sets me off. I hear the sobbing of Leah beside me, who I forgot was even here. With her party cancelled, she only thought she was tagging along to a work meeting. Before this all happened.
Isabel leans her head back, fighting away the tears herself. She wants to. She's pulling herself back but she wants to fall into his arms.
"Bella, I made a massive mistake. And I'm taking all the fault for this. I'm sorry you had to find out this way. I was going to end it tonight, I promise."
"He was." I butt in, and immediately regret it.
Isabel steps back. "Oh my gosh, she's here."
"Bella, she won't be for much longer. She..."
"I'm sorry." I cut in. "If I'd known you were married I would never have started this. I..."
I feel my whole body shaking, bottling up. Tears spill from my blurry eyes.
"I never meant any of this to happen. I only wanted attention because no one has treated me so nicely since...since I can remember. Carter is amazing, but I know he loves you. All this time I can tell he's been holding back and now I know why. Forgive him. You guys are meant to be together and I'm sorry I ever came between you. Please."
Isabel opens up her arms and I hug her, the pain flushing out of my system. She kisses my forehead before letting me go.
"It's okay." Her soothing voice calms me until I see Carter still waiting by the door, waiting for forgiveness.
"Look at him there? What do you think he wants?" Isabel jokes.
"A kiss." It floods out my mouth before I can even think.
"Do you think?" Carter raises his eyebrows.
"I think so."
And before I know it Isabel is rushing into Carter's arms and I watch as their lips press together, fireworks alight. And I know that amidst the pain, the anger, the hurt, we're still here. We're all still here to relive this moment.
The moment where a computer screen no longer determines the love you have for someone, for it's only when you meet someone in person, that the sparks really fly.