On The Edge

After being separated for four years, will these two young lovers find what their hearts long for after denying it for oh so long?


8. Mind Fucked

Later that evening, I was at home eating dinner with my mom, trying to clear my head with a glass of wine. It certainly was not working but I could pretend. My mom was telling me about her day and I was just nodding along like I was listening and I know for a fact she knew I was not listening. She just knew I didn’t want to talk about my day yet.
I couldn’t be thinking about Harry the way I was. I was engaged. It’s not like this was some silly fling that wasn’t going anywhere, I was in a serious relationship with Tyler and that was not going away any time soon and I had to almost shove it through my head tonight and I knew that was a problem. I shouldn’t have to be telling myself I’m engaged and should have conflicting thoughts. It wasn’t okay at all.
“So how was my little girl today?”
“Who? Aubree?”
“Of course.”
“Oh she is the cutest little thing. She looks just like Harry. She took to me right away, I won’t lie, it definitely surprised me.” 
“Oh we talked you up for years, don’t get me wrong. She almost knew you before you even thought about coming back.” I half smiled and nodded.
“Oh I’m sure.”
“Is everything okay, sweetie?” I nodded and looked down.
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t really want to talk about it to be honest.”
“Okay. How is New York without you?”
“To be honest? It is a complete disaster. But I am spending my summer down here so they will have to learn to run with me on a phone call or on their own for a bit. Brooklyn can handle everyone so it will be just fine.”
“Brooklyn seems like a sweet girl.”
“She is, very hard working too which is something I really need back there. She handles so much, makes my plate slightly less full. It is still overwhelmingly full, but she helps.”
“That’s what matters. But uh when is Tyler coming down?”
“He should be here by the beginning of next month.”
“Oh good! I’m so excited to meet him!”
“I’m excited for you to meet him.” I said, feigning excitement. This was bad, this was so bad. I should beyond thrilled this is happening, not freaked out. I felt like I was losing my mind and it has only been a couple days and this was not good.
“Are you staying in tonight?”
“Yeah, I barely slept last night so I really need a good night’s sleep.”
“This is true…I’ll clean up, you get settled, okay?” I nodded and headed up to my room only to stare at my ceiling and continue to mentally freak out. It was times like this where I really wish I had a friend to open up to and tell them everything I was feeling because I felt totally overwhelmed. I needed someone to talk to, someone who wasn’t Harry.

“Hey mate, what’s up? You have Aubree, why are you calling my over this late?” Louis, my best friend asked.
“Yeah…I know.”
“What’s on your mind? You look so out of it.”
“It was always her, huh? High School, now you two are back in the same town so it’s the same all over again but this time she’s engaged, right?”
“Of course, we all saw this coming.”
“Who is we?”
“Oh shit, everyone in the group. Rita, Cara, the guys, everyone. We all saw this coming. We knew this was going to be a mess for you. But you need to remember, she’s engaged.”
“I know I keep telling myself that but everything else is saying fuck that guy and try and win her over…it isn’t good.”
“No, you’re right; that’s not right.” I looked at Louis and raised my eyebrow.
“You hesitated.”
“Well yeah, we all wanted you to end up together. This guy…I don’t know. None of know him so we can’t make a solid judgment but we still all have our original thoughts after seeing you two the other night together.”
“That’s really not helpful…”
“No, but we don’t know Tyler so of course we’re going to side with you and your choices. When he gets here, who knows, it could all change so we really didn’t know what to tell you.”
“What? You guys already discussed this? “
“Yeah of course. We’ve been planning for this. We knew at some point you two would see each other again; it was inevitable.”
“Fuck.” I grumbled, falling back on my couch.
“Look, do you for the month. When this guy gets here then we can either tell you to stand down or to screw him and keep going after her. But right now, we don’t have a good judgment call, as I said.”
“Yeah…I hate this. I don’t want to screw up her relationship but at the same time it was like we were all meant to be…”
“You mean you, her, and Aubree?” I nodded, feeling defeated. “Aubree took to her, just like you thought, huh?”
“You have no idea. It’s like I didn’t even exist when Bethany was in the room and when Bethany wasn’t, it’s all she could talk about. It hurt, man. Like at some point she is going to leave again and I’m going to have to explain why. I’m not ready for that and no amount of planning could prepare me for that.”
“It’ll all work out the way it is supposed to. If she’s meant to be with you, she will be and if not then it just means going back to moving forward. I know you love her but sometimes that means letting go.”
“I don’t want to…”
“I know, but that’s what it means. You said the same thing when we talked about this after high school graduation, we’re going to talk about it now and I am sadly going to say the same thing.”
“I hate it all.”
“Daddy?” We both turned and saw Aubree rubbing her eyes and holding her teddy.
“Yes sweetie?”
“I had a scary dream…”
“Okay, go get some water and I’ll be right there.” She nodded and wandered off.
“I’ll get going okay? But seriously, think it through before making any rash decisions.” I nodded as Louis headed for the door. “But just so you know, I do back you 100%” I half smiled and nodded.
“Thanks man. I’ll see you later.” Louis nodded and left while I went to go check on Aubree. She was snuggled back in bed with her small cup of water on the nightstand.
“Are you okay, daddy?”
“I’m okay, why?”
“You look sad.”
“I’m worried that your scary dream hurt you. Are you okay?”
“Yes daddy. I’m okay now.”
“Good. Do you want me to lay here for a couple minutes?” She nodded so I stayed, hugging her as she fell back asleep. I felt like I was going to cry looking down at her. She was my world.

The next morning, I was drinking my coffee on the front stoop, still exhausted. I didn’t sleep all that great last night either. I kept thinking about Harry, Aubree, and Tyler and I felt like I was going crazy. I just needed an escape for a few hours to clear my head but that didn’t seem like it was going to happen.
“Breakfast?” I turned around and saw my mom. I nodded and followed her inside. I ate in silence, my mom didn’t try and force anything out of me knowing something was up. But bless her, instead of peppering me with questions, she knew to let me figure this out on my own.
After eating, I headed into my dad’s old office and set up my work stuff and started getting some approvals done since my inbox was filled with shit that needed to be approved before anyone could move forward on their projects. I’m sure Brooklyn wanted to kill me since I hadn’t really done much of anything since I had gotten here but at least today she would have a shit load of stuff to go through with everyone. I needed a day to just hide out and pretend the world around me didn’t exist and sadly, this was what it was going to be since I didn’t have really anyone I wanted to open up to, or anyone I still trusted enough to open up to.
After a whole morning and early afternoon was spent working and on the phone with Brooklyn, I decided to take a beach break. I walked the couple blocks to the beach and sat down watching the water rush up the sand. I watched all the families further down the beach play and joke around and the teenagers lay there tanning and just wished my life could be that simple still. I wish this was an actual vacation for me like it was to all of them. I never took time off for anyone or anything and I knew it had an impact on every relationship I had or could have had. I always chose work, I always buried myself when it came to any kind of friendship or relationship knowing it could be a distraction and it included family and that made me feel devastated.
“Thinking too much, huh?” I looked up and saw Natalia, an old high school friend, or better yet, my best friend from high school.
“Uh, yeah you could say that.”
“Well…welcome home stranger.”
“Thanks…” Natalia sat down next to me and watched the water with me.
“Congratulations on your engagement, by the way.” I looked down at my hand and barely smiled.
“Look, if you’re feeling guilty right now, don’t. You worked your ass off for what you have. Yeah, we all fucking missed you on breaks and shit, I missed you a hell of a lot and was angry you never called, or even texted, but now that I’m older I realize what you were doing. You set your life up and built a whole damn company up under your name. You should be damn proud of all you’ve accomplished. You should not be feeling guilty.” 
“It’s like you never stopped reading my mind.” I joked.
“Well duh. Of course not. I am still your best friend.” I smiled and looked over at her.
“You haven’t changed at all.”
“Oh I have, you just haven’t seen all that yet. We have a lot of catching up to do. You know, I almost didn’t recognize you with all the damn stress all over your face? Do you even remember what it is like to have some fun?”
“A little…Harry and I went out the other night.”
“So you met Aubree to then, huh?
“Yeah, she’s a cutie.”
“She sure is. How was Harry?”
“I mean, good I guess.”
“You guess? Girl, you know him better than any of us.”
“So? Girl he still fucking loves you. Shit. This is probably just as hard for him as it is for you.”
“You didn’t even tell anyone about your engagement, you didn’t get excited or offer up any information about Tyler when I said congratulations, you’re in the same exact funk.”
“I’m out here trying not to be.”
“And is it working?”
“No…” I said slowly.
“Yeah, exactly. So let’s go shopping so you can tell me everything instead of me guessing like I always had to do.” I laughed a little and stood up alongside Natalia and we walked over to her car. “Shopping, like usual?”
“Just like we used to, yeah.” I said, smiling. Natalia smiled at me as we got in her car.
“It’s nice to have my best friend back home.” Natalia said, smiling.
“Yeah I couldn’t agree with that more.” We started our trip into the town and I couldn’t stop smiling. It was almost as fate would have it, I needed someone and here my someone was, my best friend, all ready to forgive me without demanding answers or asking a million questions…she knew me the best all along anyway.

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