Chapter 5

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"Hey, honey. How was the first day of school?" My mother asked me.

"Amanda, you can at least let the kid put her backpack down." Violet said as she walked out of the kitchen holding a tray of four iced teas. We had just stepped into the house when we were bombarded by them. I smiled at their anxiousness and happiness to see us.

"It was great." I said. Nathan nodded in agreement and put his hand on my shoulder. I subconsciously shrugged it off.

"School's great." Chris and Beth both say in unison right before running off and tossing their backpacks which were pretty much empty.

"Look at them go. Not having to worry about the assignment due tomorrow." I said and softly shook my head. A strand of hair came loose that I ignored.

"Why don't you put your stuff down and we'll talk?" Violet offered and placed the tray down on the coffee table. I sat down besides my mom, away from Nathan. My mind was still foggy from McDonalds.

"So how's the school, schedule and everything?" My mom asked me. I put on a smile. Nathan's face looked straight through me and his forehead had a wrinkle with concern. I looked away.

"Great." We said at the same time. Violet and Amanda glanced at each other in mutual worry.

"Why don't you guys go do your homework. Take a shower and be down here for dinner by 6:30, okay?" Violet said as she rusehd us upstairs. I knew she was trying to get us to work things out, what exactly was uncertain. Her help was comforting, but useless.

"Okay. Christie come into my room. I have a question for you." Nathan said and pulled me up. I fought back the resistance and put on a smile and -hopefully- an adoring look towards him. He wasn't fooled. He just pulled a bit harder and held his grip a bit tighter.

"Christie, what's wrong?" He said the second the door was closed and locked.

"What do you mean?" I said, looking away. He took a step closer. It took all my effort not to step back.

"I know something is up. Is it..Anna?" Nathan said and looked away as a flush filled his cheeks.

"No. It's us." I said before I could catch myself. The words just flew out of my mouth. Regret filled me. I shouldn't have said that. I couldn't have. After all that this person has given, done for me. He can't be cheating and he couldn't have been lying. However, you never know. What if he has been doing this all along? But what benefits would he have? Is he really just a huge player? My head hurt just with all the thinking. I was sure a minute had passed with me just standing there with a wrinkle on my forehead.

"What?" Nathan whispered. He was leaning against the bed now, staring at the floor. His breathing was rough. I could see a bead of sweat. At that moment, it was all I could do not to run over and kiss him. I loved him. But, how could I do that if I couldn't trust him? If it might be that he doesn't feel the same way about me? I had to gain some self control.

"It's so hard. I mean there's a million things in the way. Anna is just one of them. Something's been off about this relationship ever since it started and you know it. There's a constant vacant look in your eyes. I can tell you're still in love with Anna. I'm not your girl." I said and turned. The tears were brimmed at my eyes and I couldn't cry now. Crying now would mean I was showing weakness, and the second Nathan said a word I would crumble and be tricked into all of this again.

"Christina." Nathan said and the tears fell. That was the trigger. Like the trigger on the gun that released the burning tears down my face. I bit my tongue. Two tears slipped down my cheeks. I froze. I willed myself to move. Why stop now? Nathan couldn't do anything if I locked myself in my room. But I knew. It was because I wanted him to love me. If it meant that this would mean he would say it out loud. That I had been wrong. It was my tiny, sliver of a chance. I also knew that Nathan never lied when caught. Or I hope so, because nothing was sure of him now.

"You love me. I know that. Just look at you right now." He wiped the tears away. I hadn't even heard him walk up. "You're the most beautiful, smart, stunning-"

"Don't. You know you'll win me over with these worthless words. Do they mean anything?" I said and that blew it. The gun had been shot, but the bomb had been thrown. Nathan wrapped his arms around me. I had no control, I was shaking. He squeezed. That was when I felt something hot roll down my forehead. For a minute I was clueless enough to think it was my tears, before common sense told me otherwise. 

"Fine. I'll admit it. I've been seeing Anna. I have feelings for her. But it doesn't exactly mean I don't love you." Nathan said quickly.

"That's enough." I said. Hope was gone and reality kicked in. I was ready. "I'll go now. There's homework to get to." I ran.

"Christina. Please." I heard the voice, but I shut the door. 

"Go away." I said through the door. My back was against it, and I was sliding down. Tears were in my eyes, but wouldn't fall. The dried up tears stuck on my face. The face looking back at me from the mirror was as serene as ever.

 "No. I will stay here. You will stay here. I believe in us, Christina." I squeezed my eyes, as if that would shut out the noise.

I had no idea what to do. The right thing to do was just so out there. It was impossible to pick. I could end it or mend it. Break it or fix it. Follow my heart, or follow my brain. Why was the two never together? Why was life so difficult? I thought about all the different possiblities and yet none of them seemed right. Nothing I did turned out right. That just wasn't possible.

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