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Rule Number Four: Never take the advice of an old friend.

I had a hankering, one that made me superficial, one that made every girl hate me to the deepest pits of their stomach. I loved models that lived on trust funds and used cigarettes to curb their pangs of hunger in between long, drawn-out days.

I wasn't sure where the taste came from, my mother wasn't modelesque in the slightest. If I really searched I think I could safely say it came from my own insecurities, that searched for aesthetic and perfection. The willowy hipster models that had long wispy blonde hair. It didn't make me a bad person, no, it made me sure of what I wanted.

My father used to say a beautiful woman was a beautiful woman no matter what package she came in. There was truth in what he said, but for me, it wasn't that simple. I had a horrible habit where I picked people apart. I had no right, but I couldn't help myself.

If anyone were to know a beautiful person it would have been my father. He partnered with the father of the girl I couldn't help wonder when I woke up alone in my apartment early this morning.

And as I sat in his office of plastic surgery I flipped through a magazine that was supposed to tell me what to buy and how to feel. It was covered with the women I had the habit of involving myself with. I wouldn't have been surprised if a few of my ex-girlfriends ended up on the pages of the magazine in my hands.

Closing the magazine, I left it on the coffee table before me, zoning out momentarily at a poster across the room that explained that chin implants were the new boob job. I wanted so badly to argue that it was stupid but I knew that it probably held some truth.

"You got a haircut, looks good?" my brother stood off to the side with a folder in his hand. The accomplished prick that I found myself loathing more every day was the accountant for the office.

Subconsciously my hand raised to touch the newly cropped hair as if he had mentioned my nose had fallen off.

"Mom made me cut it" I shrugged, adjusting the suit jacket that had newly been dried cleaned. I felt inferior beside him, just as if I were his stupid, less successful kid brother that now lived off everyone else's wealth.

"Leave it to mom to try to whip you back into shape" he chuckled, as a sibling you knew when your brother was being passive-aggressive. It wasn't just a joke, it was intention laced with truth. He rubbed salt in an already irritated wound.

Despite the annoyance, I pulled a tight smile.

"I spoke to Ana yesterday. I graciously asked for her forgiveness, which she gave" I quickly changed the subject and left out that we would meet for a drink later on in the week. What he didn't know wouldn't hurt him.

Tom raised his eyebrows bringing the folder closer to his chest. He was surprised by my maturity. I wasn't annoyed by the impression, instead, I was relieved that someone had finally praised me for being level-headed.

"That's really big of you Harry. Ana's quite sweet, I'm sure she wasn't hard to win over".

I had to stop myself from scoffing. Sweet? As sweet as a viper if we were comparing, the girl acted as if I gave her the bubonic plague.  I had tipped over thousands of dollars of champagne that they were probably going to pour out at the end of the night anyway.

Stuffing my hands in my pockets, I backed away. My original reason for coming to see my father no longer mattered, a message on his answering machine would suffice.

"I try" I smiled weakly.

"I should get going, I promised Seth I'd have a drink with him before his wife stole him for the weekend".

Quickly, as if the conversation was fleeting, Tom nodded, few words being exchanged between us before I left out the large glass door. It was strange to think that at one point we had been inseparable, that the other couldn't go anywhere without the other close behind.


New York was full of pubs and bars that you could've pulled right from a movie. That was one thing that Harry missed when he travelled the world. The aura that New York had was irreplaceable.

It was the one thing that brought him back even if he was constantly running away. With its good things it had its bad, New York was filled with memories he could've lived without. The ones that constantly reminded him how badly he had fucked up, Harry was a person that found himself self-loathing more than he would've liked to admit.

He sat at the ultra-modern bar with his friend beside him. Gin and tonic was Harry's favorite along with a good glass of champagne. At twenty-four he felt as if everyone around him including his friends had their lives together. Seth had gotten married a year ago to a girl that would make your mother proud. She was a good girl, she made his life better and would surely make him live longer by the foods she chose for him to eat.

At some point Harry wanted that, he just wasn't sure he could settle in his twenties when there was so much more to live for. He never wanted to be a dad for he couldn't imagine himself living on two hours of sleep covered in baby vomit.

"It's strange that you find yourself having an identity crisis because your brother is getting married. Seems kind of selfish Harry" Seth took a slow sip from his glass with a knowing grin that he was being a shit disturber.

"Fuck you, it's not an identity crisis because my brothers getting married. It's because who he's getting married to" Harry tried to keep his pout under wraps, he was offended that Seth believed Harry was angry about anything besides his brother being their parents favourite.

"Tom's a recluse, who exactly was he going to marry? Ana's the same way, the poor girl is scared of any man that shows any interest. So, who exactly was going to break down her chastity belt and marry her, you?" Seth set down his glass and turned to face me waiting to see my reaction. He knew he was getting under my skin.

Thinking about Ana and Tom doing anything but awkwardly standing by each other, almost made Harry want to puke. He couldn't imagine Tom having sex with anyone, he was way too rigid to feel any sexual emotion.

"I don't care who she marries, it just can't be Tom. Can you imagine if he actually marries her? My parents will never let me live it down, hell, he'll probably get even more in the inheritance than I will" Harry sighed, resting his head on his hand.

How did you show that you were jealous without coming off petty?

It would be stupid and unrealistic to think that he could possibly stop someone from getting married. He couldn't possibly change any one's mind in this situation and even if he could, what exactly would be his reasoning? That he hated his brother having any chance at happiness, that Harry couldn't stand being one-upped all the time.

It seemed petty as if he had nothing better to do with his time than to destroy other peoples lives because he was miserable.

"What if you broke up the engagement?" Seth spoke as if he had read Harry's mind. It soothed his conscience a little to know that he wasn't the only one with horrible thoughts.

"And how exactly would I do that?" Harry rolled his eyes. He was confident that Seth wouldn't be able to think of anything plausible. One from the outside looking in would think that the two men were acting as if they were two young children.

Seth sighed debating whether or not he should say exactly what he was thinking.

"Sleep with her. Nobody can forgive a cheater".

You should hate Harry because he's sort of an asshole. But character development is the best part of a book! I hope you enjoyed, and be sure to show me some support and love because it is highly appreciated!

© 2017, thirteen13blue

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