Chapter 15: The Confessions of Samara Jones

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"When do you think you'll begin dating again?" Samara asked me as we walked to our class.

I gave her a pointed look. "Noah and I broke up, like, three weeks ago."

My best friend shrugged. "It might do some good to have a few casual dates here and there. But I'm not rushing you, I'm just curious."

I laughed a little. "Yeah, you're totally not rushing."

Samara gave me one of her dazzling smiles. "I'm excited. I know that sounds wrong but we're both single and both extremely hot. Double dating could be our thing."

I burst out a laugh. Leave it to Samara to be excited about my newly single life. "Maybe in a couple more weeks. I need to have my head completely clear before I get back out there again."

"Understood," she nodded her head in finality and we continued to walk in a settling silence. But after a few moments, Samara faced me. "I know what you're going through. I've had a similar breakup."

I snapped my eyes up at her. "Really?"

My friend shook her head. "How about we skip class for today and I'll tell you all about it."

"Sounds good to me," I smiled. We linked arms and changed our direction. "Ed's sound good?"

We walked into the pub and very few bar stools and booths were filled. Ed leaned against the counter, staring absently at the television that hung on the wall.

When he heard us come in, his head whipped to mine and Samara's direction, his wispy white hair following as he did so. "Hello girls! Good to see ya', take a seat anywhere you'd like."

I gave Ed a sweet smile. He wasn't much of a talker, but with Samara and I, he had a tendency to join in our conversations. "Thanks Ed. Is Nathan in today?"

Ed shook his head and started wiping the counter down with a cloth. "Not until six. Why, you starting to fancy him?"

Samara let out a small laugh but quickly covered it with a cough. I shot her with a glare before I looked back at Ed. "No, just curious."

"Well," the pub owner said with a shake of his head. "That's too bad because I think he fancies you."

Ignoring his comment, Samara and I head to our usual booth near the back of the pub. She sat across from me, staring at me as I looked at the menu. I looked up, feeling irritated from her gaze. "What?"

Samara shrugged, giving me a slight smile. "I'm just thinking maybe you should ask Nathan on a date."

I let out a laugh as I rolled my eyes. "No way. He may flirt but he doesn't want me."

Now it was my best friend's turn to roll her eyes. "Please, he wants you."

I shook my head adamantly. "Samara, he brings home girls like I bring home books."

She squinted in annoyance and started muttering under her breath. "Well I didn't know that."

After giving the menu more of a glance, Samara and I decided to split an order of nachos. Ed brought the food and then quickly brought us over two chocolate shakes. "On the house ladies."

Samara and I gave him a thanks and my friend began to dive into the nachos before she spoke. "His name was Ryan and we had grown up together."

She had a far away look on her face, as if she wasn't completely here. "His parents were drug addicts and once he hit high school, he quickly followed suit. Soon, it was like he was a different person. I was too scared to leave because I didn't know what he'd do."

"So, I begged for him to stop, I even offered for him to live with my parents and I so he could at least get away from their influence, but he didn't want to leave his family," she nibbled a bit on the chip in her hand and her eyes started to glaze over. "He had a horrible temper when he was high and he hit me quite a few times."

"The night we broke up, he gave me a black eye and then told me he had been cheating on me essentially the whole time we were dating," as she spoke, her voice never seemed to waver. Her demeanor was strong, hurt, but strong. "When my parents found out he was the source of my black eye, we decided to press charges against him. I haven't seen him since, thank God."

I shook my head and reached my hand over to Samara. "You are so strong, Sam."

She nodded her head in thanks and then gave me a stern look. "Thank you, but you need to know you are too. You will never truly get over what Noah had put you through but you can get over Noah as a person."

"He hurt you, just like Ryan hurt me. And yes, that will stay with you for a long time, but you will overcome it. The important part to remember is that not all men are like Noah and Ryan. It took me a long time to come to terms with that," her words seeped with passion and fire as she spoke. My best friend was stronger than I had ever known. "One day, you will find a man who will treat you right, who will treat you like the princess you are. I promise you that, Audrey Holland."

Blinking back tears, I nodded my head and gripped Samara's arm. She was right, I will overcome this and I deserve someone who treats me right, just like Samara deserves someone who will treat her right. If she can move on from Ryan, I can move on from Noah.

The tears stopped pouring and I gave my friend a determined smile. "From this day on, I Audrey Holland, refuse to give Noah a second thought."

My best friend gave me her award winning smile. "That's my girl."

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