Chapter Three

3.2K 78 49

"Lie to me like you used to

Tell me everything is how it should be

Lie to me, did you have to?

Because in the end it never matters what I think

And I can barely tell the sky from the shoreline

And I can see myself reflected in your eyes

And this was all a dream

And it's coming back to me

A portrait in grey scale

A perfect betrayal

And I can't even breathe with this weighing on my chest

You knew me at my best

Now I can't even stand on my own."

-Tigers Jaw, "Plane vs Tank vs Submarine"

I laboriously pushed open the car door, my left foot hitting the pavement with a thud that would make even Eeyore glare at me in utter disbelief of my drudgery.

My head swam, the concrete bending under my blurry vision-its lines curved upward so rapidly I half-wondered if it would snap in two once it got high enough. Crisp, cool air struck my nostrils and my body nearly fell out of the driver's seat as I leaned against the inside of the car door, holding back a retch in my throat as the taste of whiskey, potent and stale, caused waves of nausea to roll through my insides. My hair shrouded my pale face, damp, brown waves smelling sweetly of flowers that couldn't quite cover the scent of cigarette smoke and cheap cologne.

My lips pursed, blew out a breath, pursed again as I frowned to myself, refusing the onslaught of flashes, glimpses that begged to dance before the backs of my eyelids.


No, no, no.

If I denied, if I didn't think about it, nothing had happened, not really.

It was OK. I would go to this meeting. I would maybe go grab a cheeseburger afterwards-a triple one. With large fries. My liquor-sick stomach growled at the thought of something to quell its emptiness.

My mind wondered what would quell the emptiness that was bubbling up in my chest-heavy and yet so vacant I nearly screamed as I stood myself upright, swaying slightly on my feet and slapping my palm against the cold glass of my driver's side window as I slammed the door shut, almost jumping at the loud thump it made as it closed.

I inhaled deeply again, the fresh scent of fall heavy in the air as I made my slow way towards the sidewalk, the leather straps of my purse clutched tightly in my right hand as I pulled my phone out of its depths and checked it again for new messages. My heart leapt at the notice of a text, then plummeted just as quickly when I saw the name.

Not him.

Not him for over 48 hours.

And now I had ruined everything.

I shook my head to clear the thought, denial raging through every atom of my being as I shoved open the right side of the double glass doors, the smell of cleaner and stale air hitting me in the face as I swallowed, turning bleary eyes on the receptionist and smiling mechanically.

"Hi," I greeted her, shoving my phone into my pocket and shrugging my jacket more snugly around my shoulders. "I'm here to see Ashley?"

The tired-looking receptionist smiled back at me, swiveling in her chair to look at her list of appointments for the morning.

Fade InWhere stories live. Discover now