February 2013

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"Oh my god, you're so lucky!" Millie, one of the girls in my English class who I'd not spoken to much to before, declared, almost with frustration. "Not only is Scott the best-looking guy here, but he's sweet too. How long have you been together now? Like, a lifetime, right?"

"Erm, yeah I know. He's great." I nodded awkwardly. I didn't matter how long we'd been dating, I couldn't get used to the attention we attracted. It was overwhelming at times. "We've been together four months. Not quite a lifetime."

"It is when you're at uni! I don't know anyone who lasts."

She ran her eyes up and down me, the criticism shining through. Millie didn't ask what the hell someone so amazing was doing with me, but I felt the implication. It wasn't the first time either, I'd actually grown accustomed to that look.

Even if it destroyed me.

"So, four months, huh? That's wild. And you're, like, legit? Because my friend, Freya, was saying..."

"Freya?" I snapped into high alert. "Freya Matthews?"

"Yeah, she said she wanted him back. She's super gorgeous, isn't she?"

Okay, this was definitely the worst one I'd had. This wasn't just a suggestion Scott was too good for me, but an outright declaration of it. Like a threat of war. No one could make me less aware of my perfection than Freya.

"They weren't really together though, were they?"

My timid voice made Millie smile. This had to be the reaction she wanted. "Oh, you know Freya. She's never really 'with' anyone."

They didn't have sex, not as far as I knew. It didn't get that far. Scott told me as much... didn't he?

My blood boiled, it burned inside me making the freezing snake of panic coiling through my intestines that much more obvious. I clutched onto my belly, willing it away. Showing vulnerability wouldn't help my case.

"I'm sure it won't matter anyway." Millie flipped her hair over her shoulder. "If you're, like, all secure in your relationship then what does it matter what Freya wants?"

Secure. That was a joke. I hadn't been secure from minute one, and with Freya breathing down my next like a terrifying storm cloud threatening to rip a tornado through us at any given moment, I had no hope.

I wasn't sure I could survive this.

"Erm, yeah sure." I smiled thinly and fixed my eyes downwards. "Like you said, four months is a long time. I don't think Scott's going anywhere."

I wished I could feel as secure as my words, especially when Millie's face fell, but I couldn't even feel one bolt of satisfaction. If everyone else could see how incompatible me and Scott were, how long would it take him?

He had to know he was wonderful, he had to see how incredibly he treated me, how damn perfect a boyfriend he'd been. Scott must've known I didn't deserve it.

"Yeah," Millie grumbled. Her arms folded defensively across her chest, "I suppose he'd be gone already. I know I would be if Freya wanted me."

"Well, it is what it is." I shrugged, hopefully acting blasé. "So, I'm not worried."

But Millie couldn't let it go. "It's not just Freya. It's everyone."

My chest tightened, I couldn't get enough air in however hard I tried. My fingers clutched at my top, trying to pull it away, but of course, that made no difference. My clothing wasn't too tight, it was panic consuming me. My lungs squeezed, the were flat in my chest, if I didn't fill them soon I'd die.

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