My so-called friend, Ben sighed. “It’s pathetic!”
“No, it’s romantic,” Kerry argued. At least one of them was on my side.
“Romantic? It’s been four years, and he still mopes around like a teenage girl that’s just found out Justin-what’s-his-face is off the market,” Ben countered and pointed his finger at me as if it wasn’t clear who he was talking about. “Back me up, Cole. It’s pathetic, right?”
“Thank you,” I muttered. I wasn’t completely pathetic. There had been a few dates since Oakley left but they never turned into anything. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t force myself to want a relationship with any other women, which fucked me over royally because she left. She rejected me and then left.
Ben held his hand up as Kerry opened her mouth to argue her side again. “I’m just sayin’, maybe it’s time to give Chelsea a chance. She’s a great girl, and she lives in England.”
I sighed and rubbed my jaw. Chelsea was a great girl. She was pretty, had a good sense of humour, and was intelligent, but she wasn’t Oakley. I met Chelsea on the first day of university, and we had been friends ever since. She had hinted a few times that she wanted more, but I didn’t want to lead her on just on the off chance that I could grow to like her romantically.
Kerry slapped Ben across the chest with the back of her hand. The sound made a solid thud. “Don’t tell him that, Ben! Oakley is clearly his soul mate.”
“Who ditched him to move half way across the world.”
That fucking hurt.
“Because she thought she was doing the best thing for him. He should have gone after her. They could be sunning themselves on a gorgeous beach in paradise right now.”
I tried to go with her. She didn’t want me.
“But he didn’t, and it’s been four years. She’s probably with some other guy now, sunning themselves on the beach!”
I closed my eyes and pushed away the thought of another man touching her. Would she even allow that? She let me, but we had been friends forever. She knew I would never hurt her. Oakley’s trust meant everything to me, and the fact that she felt comfortable and safe enough to get that close made me feel a thousand feet tall.
Half of me hoped she would never let another man near her, and the other half hoped she would. I wanted her to be happy, and for those bastards not to have completely ruined any chance she had of being happy.
Four years on, and I still thought of her as mine.
“Either change the subject or I’m leaving,” I hissed. The whole conversation was making me feel sick. Kerry was right about one thing; I should have followed her. Staying here was the biggest regret I had, but it seemed like she didn’t want me to go with her. I was scared to go flying out there and surprise her in case she told me to go back.
For the first few weeks, we sent text messages. Well, it was mostly me plaguing her with texts. She kept apologising for everything and saying that I should forget her. Forgetting her wasn’t going to happen: she was a huge part of my life and had been since we were both kids.
I understood completely that she couldn’t be here any more. After what those fuckers did to her of course she wouldn’t want constant reminders, but she was wrong about my life being here. I didn’t get enough time to convince her; she just left. It was too late now, of course.