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Vinnie

I woke up pretty early the next morning.

It was 6:45 am and the sun was coming up slowly. Cleodora was asleep on her bed, so to not wake her up I crept out of my bed quietly, before throwing on a sweatshirt, my coat and a beanie.

I made my way out of the cabin, and sat down on the little balcony chair that sat up against the cabin. I fiddled with the pack of cigarettes in my hand before pulling one out and lighting it. This addiction only started a few months ago, unbeknownst to Cleo.

I found myself being stressed a lot so I picked up this habit that I can't break at the moment.

Sitting in the cold, early morning air, I took a few pulls of the cigarette. I would find myself staring out into the snowy balcony area for a long while until I got right back to inhaling the nicotine stick. I don't even know how long I'd been out here, but the sound of the balcony door opening made me jump in my spot.

When I turned around, there stood Cleo in her yellow north face coat, and a black beanie covering her curly black hair. She looked so warm, but I could still tell she was freezing due to her nose and cheeks being a rosy red color.

"What're you doing out here at 7:15 ? It's early." I mumbled, flicking the ashes into the ashtray.

"I could ask you the same thing.... When did you start smoking?" She questioned, sitting across from me, legs crisscrossed. "I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep." I say, dismissing her second question. She eyes me for a bit before getting up and sitting in the space next to me, looking out at the snow that covered the frosted lake.

"I started smoking maybe in October? The beginning of the month... at first it was vape's but I switched to something... more... sufficient." I truthfully state.

"Why?"

"That was the first time I felt disconnected from you so I used that as a distraction... I wouldn't smoke them religiously, I only did it whenever I got stressed and couldn't think about anything else other than you."

"You been thinking about me, Vincent?" She smirked looking at me. "Always." I replied, a small smile dancing its way onto my face.

I watched as she looked down and toyed with a strand of her curly hair before she made eye contact with me again. "So in the month that I've been gone, what have you been doing that's productive?" She questioned.

I took one last pull from my cigarette before shrugging my shoulders.

"Nothing at all... I've been posting my tiktoks like always, I've been streaming a lot more..." I say.

"You also moved into the hype house? Didn't like sway gaming anymore?"

"The house just had so much bad shit tied to it and I wasn't happy anymore... Thomas offered me a place their and I couldn't say no, so yeah I moved. It's been cool being there, I mean I only just moved in but I like it. Everyone's chill." I tell her truthfully. "I'm happy for you. I could kind of tell you weren't your happiest their anymore, but I hope us breaking up wasn't what pushed you to get away. I want you to still have your friends that you came into this with. It's not good to be or feel alone." She says just above a whisper.

"If I'm being honest, you were definitely a part of the reason as to why I decided it was best for me to leave but not the first reason. I already started to feel like I was drifting away from those friendships even thought I lived with them and was around them 24/7, I just didn't feel the real connection anymore... And then I thought about you, and that kind of solidified it for me that maybe moving wouldn't hurt...Couldn't be in that environment anymore if I knew I wanted to get you back." I say. I was trying to tread lightly, and not say things that would make Cleo feel pressured into us getting back together but It's like I can't tell her emotions anymore because she's not the same person she was a month ago.

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