Harsh Truths & Kind Lies

Tore, ripped, broke.

Harriet did it to her best friends ex's face.

Alex did it to her best friends heart.

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1. Chapter 1: Harriet

I sometimes got the urge to just hug her and never let go.

Cheesy, right? Completely dramatic, extremely over the top… but true nonetheless. I wanted to sit her down, give her a hug, hold her hand, make her tea…

Maybe a few kisses on the side…

No. I can’t be selfish. All she has ever wanted was the perfect person. All she has ever wanted was love. And she deserves every ounce of love that seeps through the cracks of her broken life. She deserves the perfect person.

And that person isn’t me.

I picked up my phone that night. I picked it up, and I nearly crushed it with my grip. My eyes were blurry, my muscles tense. The room was crackling with tension. 

Why do I do this to myself?

I put down my phone that night.
And I let her go out with him. I let her go to dinner, I let her laugh, I let her smile, I let her kiss him, I let her do stuff I don’t even want to think about with him. 
I let him charm her. I let him flirt with her. I let him pay for the meal, I let him drive her home, I let him put his hands on her body, her beautiful body, until they sank into a peaceful oblivion.

And I never forgave myself for it. 

 

Alex just stared. She did that a lot lately. I was used to it. I was used to her moods. It might make it easier if she was ever in the mood for me, but life’s unfair, so I let it slide. The mumbling of people crowded around me, which almost made it easier to ignore. I gave Alex the signal. Time to bail.

We went to where we met. The bakery. Cute little building just off main street. We walked in a comfortable silence. At least, I was comfortable. I never knew how she felt most of the time. 

Probably a good thing. Kept me hoping, kept me going.

I opened the door for Alex, making her roll her eyes. We seated ourselves on the brown leather of a booth, my hands resting on the table, wanting so desperately to touch her. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.

So, instead, I started babbling.

I said I was sorry. I said I didn’t mean to do that to you. To hurt you like that. But I just couldn’t stand the way he treated you. He was a torturer dressed like a mourner. He pretended to be sad, he would guilt you into everything. You must understand that. 

 

My greed for love got the better of me. Like it had before, like it will again.

 

So I punched him, I said. So I broke his pretty face. What? He deserved it. He deserved every little nerve to be put on edge, and to have every one of his ribs broken. Eight years of karate finally going to good use. 
I’m sorry, I said for the millionth time.
You’re not really, she said for the millionth time.
Well, I’m not sorry that I hurt him. I’m just sorry that I hurt you, I said.
I know, she said.

The most important thing about what people say is what they don’t say. And the ghosts of her words still haunt me today.

I just wanted you to let me in. 

Guess I should have knocked first.

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