Chapter Nineteen: Blundering Heights (Austin's POV)

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A few minutes after Aria stormed off, the doctor came in and set me free, giving me instructions about how to shower and stuff.

            “No strenuous activity, got that?”

            I nod. No problem, Doc.

            For a moment, I contemplate just staying at my parent’s house. But then I decide to just take the subway home. It’s already late, and people are just beginning to either go to or come back from bars.

            A group of either overly-exuberant or drunk girls is standing on the other side of the train. They eye me the way a wolf eyes its prey. I shift uncomfortably.

            “Hey!” I yell. “I got a girlfriend!”

            Immediately, they all redden. For a moment, I feel a little bad. But I’m in a bastard-y mood tonight, so my regret fades quickly.

            You’re always a bastard. That’s why you’re going to lose her.

            I feel it in my bones. I’m on my way to losing her. And it sucks.

            It’s your fault.

            After a depressing train ride during which I contemplated the nature of my stupidity and how it has affected my life, I finally arrive home. But of course, my roommate, Josh, is home. And making out with some slut on the couch.

            Josh is rarely home. From what I’ve seen, he seems to be involved in some pretty shifty things. He’s always whispering into his phone and going out with little Ziploc baggies full of strange, unknown substances. When he does come home, he sleeps the whole day, then sneaks out at night. Like I said, shifty.

            The girl looks up. She’s kinda pretty and kinda familiar. “Uh, your roommate’s home.”

            Josh mumbles something. Why any girl would go for him, I don’t know. He’s kinda greasy-looking. His curly black hair always smells vaguely of day old ash, and he always stinks vaguely of cheap cologne. Axe, or some shit. I suppose they don’t have the best plumbing in drug hoarding houses.  

            “Oh, hey, Austin. This is my date for tonight, Anna,” Josh says nonchalantly.

            Holy shit.

            “Yeah. Hey.”

            Anna narrows her eyes. “You look familiar. Oh, you’re the guy Aria’s dating! Austin, right?”

            And the guy you slept with. But, you know, whatevs.

            “Yup. Aria’s right.”

            “About what?”

            “You are a slut.”

            “She said that? She is so dead!”

            “She said it, not me.” I smirk evilly.

            Just digging myself deeper.

            I know we’re done. Might as well go out with a bang. I wave to Josh.  “See ya later.”

            I head into my room and lie down. For a while, I just stare up at the ceiling, connecting the cracks in the paint, making them spell her name. Then I pick up a book and read. I’m gradually slogging through some of the classics for an English course. The current pick is Wuthering Heights.

            Great story for the end of a relationship.

            As I read, I realize Aria’s kind of my Cathy. I’m the simple, wild, slightly angry Heathcliff, the guy who she loved, but couldn’t deal with. She’s probably going to find some rich Edgar Linton and marry him. Though I somehow doubt that she’ll be pining for me, the way Cathy pined for Heathcliff. I don’t deserve to be pined after. Not by her, at least.

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