Living Again~ Thirty

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Ethan didn't even have the guts to talk to me about what he did. As soon as the bell rang, he fled out the door. Hannah and Hailey stayed out of my way the rest of the day, they knew I was distracted and needed some time alone. 

When lunch came around I decided to check up on Luke. I knocked at the nurse's office door then stepped in. She nodded at me in greeting then I rounded the corner towards where Luke was sleeping, but stopped at what I saw instead. 

I gasped. What the..

Ethan spun around as he heard me come in. He muttered something then brushed past me and out the door. I was utterly speechless, not at the fact that Ethan was here, but his face.. he looked so upset, and angry. It made me shudder. I never knew Ethan could be so harsh.

I heard Luke clear his throat. He had a slight smile on his face. "Marissa, don't worry, he just wanted to talk."

"Luke. Did Ethan do this to you?" I looked pointedly at his distorted body. Plaster wrapped everywhere, ice packs covering his bruises. 

He looked at me for a long time, his dark eyes searching mine, until saying, "Yes."

I clenched my teeth. I can never forgive him. "Why did he do it?"

Luke shrugged, "I think you know the answer to that."

I inhaled deeply, "But I want you to say it."

"He did it because he thinks I haven't changed and that I'm trying to steal you from him."

I bit my lip, trying to hold back the tears. How could Ethan even think that I would betray him like that? Did he trust me at all?

"Marissa, don't cry about this.. it's just a misunderstanding, you don't have to worry about it. I told him we're just friends."

"He didn't look like he believed you." I said between sobs. "His face was so... I never knew he could be that fierce."

"There are a lot of things you don't know about him." Luke murmured, then his eyes widened, "Shit, don't listen to me, I'm just talking to myself."

But it was too late. What else did I not know about Ethan? What was he hiding? 

"Marissa, really, just stop worrying so much. Everything is fine."

I blinked away my tears and went up to him so that I was standing right next to his bed. "Luke, what else do I not know about Ethan?"

"Uh.. n-nothing. Just f-forget I s-said anything." He was stuttering, I learned that he does this when he's lying. I kept looking at him until he looked away. 

I whispered, "Luke, please tell me." 

He must have seen the desperation in my eyes because he let out a heavy breath, flinching a little because it must have been painful to do so. Then started fumbling with the hem of his shirt. Finally he started speaking, I had to lean in closer to comprehend his words. It was clear he didn't want to be saying whatever to was about to say,

"Look, Marissa, you have to understand that this was some time ago, so Ethan would not do this again, specially not to you... I think. I mean, of course not, he wouldn't. You don't need to be scared, or anything.."

"What did he do?" I asked firmly, hoping he would just get to the point. 

He sighed, giving up. Then said in a montone voice, "The last proper girlfriend he had was a year ago, her name was Miranda, they were really close and seemed like the perfect couple." I couldn't help but feel jealous. He took another breath and continued, "As you probably know, Ethan is very protective. And Miranda felt restricted to have fun while she was with him. So she talked to him about it and he became very defensive. Slowly, it got worse. She said she would break up with him if he didn't change. And then he.."

By now I was breathing heavily, pain coursing in every vein. Ethan.. I would have never known. Luke continued, I must have looked normal on the outside, because he didn't comment on how my heart was being shredded off slowly. "And then what Luke?"

"He... he hit her." I gasped, my hand flew to my mouth. Tears poured down like rainfall. Luke continued anyways, "It turned into an abusive relationship. It became so bad that she was afraid to leave him, because of what he might do to her."

"W-what happened to her?"

"Finally, she got the guts to tell her parents and her she moved away."

My body shook with fear. "Marissa are you ok?" I barely heard him. Everything was going in circles. Nothing made sense. Ethan.. he was..

"But Ethan is so sweet to me.." I whispered. Luke must have heard me because he replied, "He was an amazing boyfriend to Miranda too."

"I don't understand though... if everyone knew what he did to Miranda, why is he still so popular? What about Brianna, she knows too? And she still wants to be friends with him?"

"That's the thing... no one else knows."

"What? Then how do you know?"

A long silence followed.

"Miranda was my sister."

My jaw dropped. It took me a while to take that in, and as soon as this new knowledge sinked into my brain, my mind was filled with even more questions."You said your sister's name was Lia.. and that she died two years ago, because of cancer."

He shook his hair, his head fell down, and he said, "I'm sorry. I lied to protect you."

"So she's not dead?" He shook his head. "Is that why I remind you of her? Not because of my personality, but because I'm with Ethan?"

He nodded hestitantly. Then suddenly something clicked. I looked at him, my eyes wide, "He wouldn't do that to me, would he?"

"No, no. I'm sure he won't. Just don't do anything to piss him off."

"Luke, our friendship pisses him off."

He nodded sadly, "I think you should stop hanging out with me. I don't want you to end up like my sister. I care about you Marissa."

He put his arms forward to embracce me and I hugged him, it was comforting, exactly what I needed. "What do I do Luke?"

"Ethan wouldn't do that again. I think. Just stay away from me."

The tears stopped. My body tensed, I pulled back. "Why on earth would I let him screw me up like that? He can't control me!"

Luke's eyes widened at my sudden outburst, "Marissa, I'm not going to let you do this.."

"Well, it's not your choice to make." I barged towards the door. 

"Wait! Where are you going?"

"Breaking up with Ethan!"

I slammed the door shut. As soon as I exited the office, I spotted Ethan sitting on the bench opposite, he must have been waiting for me because when our eyes met, he stood up. 

"Marissa? Are you ok? What did he do to you? I swear I'm gonna kill him!" He was going towards the office but I tugged on his arm and pulled him back.

"HE didn't do anything. It's not HIS fault that you're such a controlling freak! I thought.." oh no, tears were pouring out again and I said between sobs, "I thought what we had was amazing, that it would last, and it would be perfect. But I guess I was wrong! I told you everything about my past and you still kept secrets!"

"What are you talking about?!" he snapped back, his voice louder than mine. "Don't listen to him! Marissa, please, just hear me out.. we should talk and work this out.."

"There is nothing left to talk about. Until you decide that you want to change your attitude and stop controlling every little thing I do, maybe then we can 'talk'. Until then Ethan" I looked at his flawless face one last time, "good-bye."

And I ran off, away from the one person I loved more than my own parents. The person who had changed me, and taught me to live again. The person I found I could easily be myself with. The person I was in love with. 

The person who lied to me.

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