Dark Corners

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“All of them? That's crazy! Sam is obsessed with you.” Jade laughed, pouring more coffee into her cup.

They were sitting at her kitchen table, sharing intimate details over cups of tea and coffee, accompanied by a plate of cookies.

“That's a bad wordd! I'll just use what he says. He calls himself ‘a man in love.’ So cheesy.” She smiled into her cup, taking a sip of her tea. “Jay, I'm about to be married. Married. Who would've thought?”

“Whoa whoa WHOA. Married? He proposed?? You didn't tell me anything!” She screamed, and Zelah covered her ears, laughing.

“I'm sorry! I'm telling you now, right? We've just been so caught up in each other. It's been amazing!”

“Ew, keep the details to yourself. I don't wanna know about all that.” Jade shook her head, a mischievous glint in her eyes.

Zelah wagged her finger at her friend, giggling. “Why is your mind so filthy? We just talked a lot about everything, went shopping..oh, and we kissed a lot, like a lot. I'm not sure he can wait anymore.”

“Oh he can. He can wait, these men know how to wait. They just don't want to. Don't believe me, ask James.” She got up to place her cup in the sink at the kitchen counter.

“I don't have to, I know how you're torturing that poor man. You're evil.” Zelah smiled down into her phone.

“And you're not? Talk about double standards.” She turned around and leaned against the counter, staring at Zelah. “So you're happy huh?”

“I feel happy, Jade. Or whatever that feeling is when I'm with him. If it's not happiness, I don't know what it is.” She said, honesty shining in her eyes, accompanied by a small smile when she thought of him.

“I love that you are..but are you really?” Jade averted her gaze when she spoke the words that she wished she could take back.

“What do you mean?”

“I was there..when you broke down. I was the one you cried on, remember? My best guess is that..your mom was there that day.” Jade noticed her sudden rigidness at the mention of her mom.

She never told her why she cried so hard that day, but Jade had a good guess.

Zelah didn't say anything back, she kept her gaze on the table. She could feel the fear crawling up the walls of her stomach, making her nauseous.

The trembles that hadn't surfaced in days began in less than a second. She was so scared, just because of a few words. “Please don't..”

“I'm sorry..I didn't mean to make you think about it..I just don't want you—”

“To forget it?” Zelah's voice was harsh and raw, making Jade wince in uneasiness. “You don't want me to forget and move on.”

“No! Zee, it's not that. I just don't want you to slip back into something even bigger than nightmares! I'm scared for you.”

“Why?? Why do you care, Jay? Is it so hard to believe that I'm happy? He makes me happy! Why is that so hard to just accept?? I'm fine, damnit!” She was on her feet, the tears burning at the back of her eyes.

“I don't doubt that he does. Far from that, Zee. But what happens when he's not around? Can you truly look inside herself and come up with other reasons to be happy, one that has nothing to do with Samuel Holden?”

Regret sunk into her stomach when she saw the real bits and pieces of Zelah surface. She watched her sit down and press her palms together to cease the shaking of her hands.

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