Chapter Twenty

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My mind is racing, trying to piece together jumbled thoughts. Pull them apart and categorize them. But it's no use, I'm a panting mess of confusion trying to comprehend everything that happened five minutes ago. When I saw Blue dressed up, I did a double take and I nearly collapsed from how handsome he looked. His appearance wasn't the only thing that made it hard to breathe; it wasn't just how perfectly crazy his hair was, or his broad chest on display, or even the sexy slant of his lips, it was how unbelievably happy he was to see me. There was a certain glow surrounding him, contrasting drastically to his normal darkness. I wanted it to stay, the light in his eyes to never dim, but then he lost it when his father commented on our odd situation.

But I don't blame his father for his curiosity; Blue and I have been blurring a delicate line as I contemplate forgiving him or not. I couldn't help but notice everyone else sending us curious whenever I laughed at one of Blue's rude jokes about the people sitting around us or he stared at me for a beat too long to be considered casual. We're playing a dangerous game, and the loser gets their heartbroken. Again. I'm just confused about what I should do. On one hand I wanted to bring our entwined hands on top of the table and out of the shadows, and on another I want to switch to the seat on the other side of the table. I used to think I was entirely done with him, but now... now I'm not so sure.

Now is not the time to think about this, I tell myself.

First-aid kit in hand, I nervously tap my fingers against the metal. I had to track down one of the nurses who was aiding a small boy that accidentally hit his head earlier. Luckily, he doesn't have a concussion. After lightly reprimanding him, she guided me back downstairs to her office and suggested I bring in Blue to attend to his injury. But I sheepishly turned down her offer, even though I agreed with her. He needs professional help. All I know how to do is clean cuts and wrap bandages, but she can tell if a bone is broken. With me, he'd put on a blank face and hold back from flinching. The bastard. I can't but laugh at how annoyingly prideful he is.

On my way to the patio, I wonder how this night would have ended differently if Samuel hadn't said what he did. Again, I am nowhere near blaming him. Blue dressed up, though it could easily have been for himself, something tells me he wanted to impress me, and had that mesmerizing glow surrounding him. There was a hint of something new, a spark of a fire that wouldn't burn me, but warm me up from the inside out. Would the rest of dinner have gone by smoothly? Would Blue join in one of the conversations? Be a gentleman and help me out of my seat like how he pushed it in as I was sitting down? I have so many buzzing questions about the boy that I desperately want, and seeing how he is a totally different person, one who may listen without jumping down my throat, maybe he'll answer them and promise me a new future without the malicious side of him?

As I approach the patio, smiling at the moonlight shining across the marble floor, I imagine about what we will talk about as I patch him up to the best of my abilities. I think it's time we walk about what we will do, on the count of whether I forgive him or not. I tried so hard to hate him, but it's hard to hate the person who means more to you than literally anything else. I want him back. I really, really do, and I don't know how to feel about it. Won't I look foolish for forgiving him after I swore him out of my life? The greater question is: how much longer can I survive without him in my life? I'll give you the answer: not much longer.

"Are you ready for my healing touch?" I joke as I enter the porch. My smile dissolves when I don't find his tall shadowy figure waiting for me. The black table and chair in the corner are laying on the floor, and white peonies are scattered across the floor. Lying next to the pretty flowers is a black iPhone with a shattered screen, some pieces of it surrounding it. I accidentally step on a shard as I bend down to pick up the bouquet of flowers, a few petals falling to the ground around my feet.

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