Always, Arizona

Rusty Brooks is the "life virgin," according to Arizona Oliver, anyway. He's never done anything worth talking about and what's life if you don't have a damn good story to tell? On Rusty's seventeenth birthday, Arizona leaves a letter in his mailbox inviting him on an adventure beyond his wildest dreams. The letters keep coming and the adventures never stop. As Rusty learns the ins and outs of Arizona, he learns that there is more to her than meets the eye and that she's not the happy-go-lucky girl she leads everyone to believe. Rusty, feeling as if he owes it to her, make it his mission to make her happy, but you can't put people back together with super glue, kisses, and sweet nothings.

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1. Prologue - Letter #100

Rusty, 

Please don't throw this away. If anything, read it and scowl it and hate me fervently. I know that you must--hate me, I mean. And you have every reason to hate me. I have treated you so terribly when you have showered me with nothing but love. I'm so stupid, Rusty. I know it. 

All these things I've done, all these things I've said, all the things we did together, I did them for you. Every motive is you. You were, you are, you will always be my love. I love you; I do. I remember loving you so clearly in my head and in my heart, but even  more so, I remember meeting you. 

It was the fifth day of the third week of the second month of that summer. I saw you sitting in your cul-de-sac with Fitz and Sawyer. You were like an angel on Earth and I was the devil in disguise. I broke your heart so many times, but you never minded. In December, you told me that it was mine to break. I was a jigsaw, but you never quite fit into my puzzle. You were a blank page and I was the jet black Sharpie that bled all the way through.  

It was the sixteenth of July when we met and you were skinny and awkward, but I liked the way your hair was a mess and how you towered over everyone. You went to church every damn Sunday and I swore in the chapel. You listened to your parents. I played by my own rules. You're going to Yale. I hardly ever even show up for class. You've always done all the right things and said all the right words, but none of that every even matter because life's a game of poker and you kept handing me all the cards. 

I love you, Rusty Brooks, and it breaks my heart that our game has come to an end. 

You're not my other half,  Rusty, because I'm not a half at all. I'm a whole person, a broken one, but  a whole one, nonetheless. You're a whole person too, but you keep wasting so much time trying to be perfect for me that you're shrinking yourself and soon, there won't be any of you left. Go be whole. I'll always be here. 

Always,

Arizona

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