That Girl

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It's silent for
a long time -
too long -
before I can speak
past the roughness
in my throat.
Even then, it's in
barely a whisper:
“That's not true…”
It doesn't even
convince me.
My head is spinning -
how did he
find out?
The only other person
who knows is Addie, and
Seth doesn't even know her.

“It is,” he says,
triumphant - but
a little hysterical.
It vaguely occurs to me
that maybe he hadn't
actually known, and I
had confirmed it for him.
“How could I have been
so stupid?
Why didn't I see
it before?
And now, here I am
dating a freaking les-”

“Seth, please,
just stop.”
I know what word
he was going to use, and
just the thought of it
brings a bad taste
to my mouth.
That's not who
I am, part of
me screams.
But who am I,
then? What
am I?
I'm obviously not
straight any more, so
Seth must be right.

But I don't
want him to be.
I just want
to be
normal.

The other part of me wants
to reconcile with him,
even if he is being
over the top and, quite
honestly, is scaring me
a little, so I reach
out towards him, across
the table - but he yanks
his arm back, like my hand
is actually a knife
benton slicing him open.
After a moment, I pull
back too, stunned, but
soon recover.
“Seth,” I start quietly,
calmly, like he's
some wild animal on
a rampage.
“Maybe it…
Is sort of true.
But I still
love you, too.”
He flinches, looking
disgusted; I try
to ignore it as
I continue.
“You're being unreasonable,
okay? It's just
a phase. I don't
even think it's
really love, all right?
I'll get over it, so
please, Seth, calm down.”

Silence again.
It's begun to
scare me now,
his silence.
It's like the
calm before the storm, the
eye of a hurricane.
“I told you to stop
lying to me,” he
mutters at last.
“You've hurt me already -
don't you see that?
And now you're
making it worse -
look, just go and
do whatever, I don't
care any more.
I don't care.”

I do see it, the
hardness in his eyes that
I'd disregarded earlier,
but now can see for
what it really is:
fear, pain, anger.
He doesn't want to
lose me, but he
doesn't see that he
already has, before we'd
begun dating, even.
Because if what he'd
said before is true, I
never loved him, never
saw him as anything more
than my friend.
And it's true, in a way
that shocks me and
makes me want to cry.
I'd wanted nothing more than
to make him happy, and
I couldn't even do that.

“Seth,” I try
again - but he stands
abruptly, nearly knocks
his chair over in
his haste, and strides
to the window, where
he stands glaring out
into the late afternoon sun.
“Seth, would you listen
to me, please-”

“No,” he cuts me off,
“and you know what?
I can't even look at you
right now, Matty,
not after what you've done -
what you're still doing
to me.
Just get out,
go do whatever it is
lesbians do with
that girl
and leave me alone.”

“Well,” I sigh, trying
fruitlessly to make
light of the situation,
“it isn't like anything
could come of...this.
I mean, Nat’s straight.”

I don't have to look at him
to know that he's laughing, almost
before the sound hits my ears.
And I can imagine, too, the hard,
dark light in his eyes
glinting cruelly as he says,
“You seriously think that?
Jesus, you're an idiot.”
When I say nothing
in return, he turns,
starts to pace along the back wall -
and he still won't look my way.
“She told me,”
he continues.
“She told me she's gay -
and look, now
you are too!
You'd think it's
contagious or something.”

“But no, wait,”
I protest, trying to
ignore his last comment.
“That's not true.
Look at all the guys
she's dated - how
is that possible?”

“Well, you're
dating me.”

He has a point, but
I'm still not sure I
believe him.
“When did she
tell you this?
Why?”

“Oh, you know, around
the same time she told me
that even though she
set us up, she didn't think
we should actually date because,
you know, she has the hots for
my girlfriend! So look, now
it's clear for you two freaks,
because I am officially
out of the picture!”
And, having run out
of steam, Seth stomps back
to his place at the window.

My heart had stopped about
halfway through his tirade.
I'm not mad any more -
just confused, my head spinning
with so many unanswered questions,
too many answers that fit nothing
I had originally been asking.
Natalia has feelings
for me, too?
It seems too great
and terrible to believe.
And should I really
believe Seth when he's
this angry?
He looks so small and
upset, angry and afraid
there by his window, and I
want to comfort him, but I
know I can't now, not after
all of this.
Why did everything have to
go south after all that had
been so great last semester?

But I do want to help,
if I can. Even if I still
am a little upset with him,
I don't want to leave him
all torn up like this.
It doesn't feel right.

My bag is already packed
so, quickly and quietly, I
gather up my coat and bag and
move to stand behind him;
he barely even notices.
Or so I think, until
I hear a faint “Get out.”
Steeling myself, I speak.

“We can still be
friends, can't we?”

That alone shows
my inexperience with
relationships. I don't know
why I thought it would
go over well, but I was
very, very wrong.

But that's not what
shocks me.
Before I can react, before
I can fully finish
my question, Seth
spins around, eyes glinting.
Something cracks solidly
across my cheek.

Get out,”
he growls -
and then his back
turns on me
once more with
a severe sort of finality.

Less than a minute
later, I'm out on the
street alone, desperately
struggling to keep tears from
falling loose, and the pieces
of my aching heart from
shattering even further.

×

And this, my friends, is why we hate Seth. It's also why it's so great that Cam slaps him in Misalignment. Serves the douchebag right tbh.

Oh, but don't think it's over yet. Seth has not yet reached his full level of douchiness. That will come soon enough, trust me...

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