When I Fell

Falling in love is tricky. There are so many movies and books that make it seem so easy and passionate and right but in the real word it's confusing and exciting and fun and frustrating and in the real world, things get in the way.

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31. XXXI

Ruby's point of view

That night, Chris comes into my room by himself. It's late, Jonas must be asleep. I'm in the exact position I was in when they both left the house that afternoon. He looks at me and sighs, shaking his head and shutting the door behind him. I sit up.

"You're unbelievable." he says bluntly, looking at me. 

"Chris, don't." I say wearily, not wanting to hear this. He's angry, he thinks I'm doing this for no reason. I can't stand that. I can't stand him being angry at me when I have no way to stop him. 

"No, this stops now." he says, firmly. "What the hell is the matter with you? It's been almost a month now of you just lying there by yourself and not doing anything."

"Chris, please don't be angry with me." I say, my voice barely above a whisper. I can't stand this. 

"I am angry at you!" he tries not to shout. "You're being ridiculous! You're wasting your life away, I have no idea why, you're probably just going through some phase but it's stupid, Ruby. You're being stupid."

I'm crying now. I'm not sobbing, it's just tears and heartache. This is all such a mess. 

"Chris-"

"And don't try and say it's because we broke up because you left me." he says, looking at me and I can see the hurt in his eyes. It's not as apparent as the anger, but it's there. "You left me with no explanation, no warning, no anything! You hurt me and then you just leave it there and go off by yourself and don't talk to anyone or do anything. I don't know what kind of phase this is-"

"It's not a phase." I tell him, desperately wiping my eyes. 

"Then what is it?!" he demands. "Are you just being moody?" 

"No, Chris-"

"I bet you're just trying to get attention."

"No!" I exclaim and then get scared someone might hear us arguing. "Chris, no, it's not that."

"Then what is it?" he demands and my stomach clenches. I remember how it felt when I realised that I was about to tell Carrie that Chris and I were together. It was just this moment of anticipation and acceptance as I realised that that was the moment it was happening. The same thing is happening now but I don't like it as much. Chris sighs. "Ruby, I don't know what the hell is wrong with you but I think that you're just upset that Jonas has all of these friends and this life and you're just tagging along. I think you're doing all of this for attention. So either you tell me what's going on with you right now or I'm giving up on you."

"It's Jason." I whisper. Saying his name out loud is awful. 

He looks at me, doubtfully. "Jason?" 

I nod. 

Chris laughs bitterly. "What, you had some fling with Jason? I saw him following you around all night, is that why you left? So you could go and sleep with him? So you could go and sleep with him, forget all about me and get whatever the hell it is you wanted and-"

"He raped me." I whisper. 

Chris' face drops completely and he looks at me for a moment. "What?" 

"Jason raped me." I can hardly stand to say it out loud.

Chris' eyes water and so many emotions cross his face. He's shocked and sad and sorry and maybe still a tiny bit angry but not towards me. 

"Ruby." is all he can say and he pulls me into a hug. I so badly want to stay in that hug, I so badly want it to feel comforting but I can't stand being held like that. I push him away and then begin shaking. 

"I'm sorry." I say, my voice still barely above a whisper. "I'm so sorry, I just... I can't..."

That's when the sobbing starts. And that's when Chris begins to cry too. That's when we both sit on opposite sides of my bed and he listens while I tell him everything, while I tell him how I hate Jason, while I tell him what it's been like for me, while I tell him there's nothing more to my life. It's hard telling him that. It's hard having him right there and telling him that I can never be with anybody and that my life is just dealing with this now because he looks heartbroken. 

"Oh Ruby." he sighs, wiping his eyes. "I am so so sorry. What do we do now?" 

"You can't tell anybody." I tell him. "Not the police, not Jonas, not anyone."

He frowns. "What do you mean?"

I start crying again. "This is why I didn't want to tell you! I didn't want you to have to carry this around-"

"Ruby, shhh." he whispers, shaking his head. "I'm glad you told me. But why can't we tell anybody else?" 

"I don't want to ruin his life. Please don't ask why not, I have no idea, I just don't. And I don't want for people not to believe me. And I don't want people to not believe me and then hate me because they think I was trying to get him into trouble. And I don't want him not to get into trouble if people don't believe me and then him hurting me. I'm terrified of telling people."

"We can't not tell people." 

"Chris, it's my decision." I say, looking at him. "I'm begging you, please do not tell anybody."

He looks at me for a moment and then nods. "Okay. God, I'm just so sorry Ruby. You're not on your own anymore, okay? I'll be with you all the time."

"No." I shake my head. "You have to hang out with them still."

He frowns. "I can't be around Jason."

"I know, I know, but you have to. If you stop hanging out with them and start spending all your time with me, he's going to know I told somebody. Plus, we still can't tell Jonas that we're together. Please, I know it's going to be hard, but I'm asking you to act like normal. If you could just do this one thing-"

"I'll do anything." he nods and then puts his hand out in front of me on the bed. I slowly take it, warily at first, but then I realise that something Jason never did was hold my hand. I intertwine my fingers with Chris' and look at him. 

"Thank you so much." I whisper. 

"I'll do anything for you, Ruby." he says again and I know he means it.

I still don't feel like myself. I still feel like Jason has a hold of me. But I feel less alone.

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