Chapter 25

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Tyson POV

After leaving the rehab, we decide to go to this small restaurant that I love. It's cute and the staff that works there are all familiar with me. That restaurant has hosted a lot my my fondest memories and entering it always felt like home. I'd love to share that with Tiana.

I glance at her as I drive towards the restaurant, thinking about the way the tension I didn't know was present in her shoulders disappeared when she was in her mother's arms. There's a nasty thought made by a green monster that has been nagging me since I saw her practically fling herself at her mother.

Why wasn't I good enough to make her that happy?

Why isn't she as comfortable with me as she was with her mother?

Aren't I enough?

It is such an irrational thought, so completely stupid that it's laughable. But it's there, edging closer and closer to my conscious thoughts.

I know, I know so well, that no one can take a parent's place. That someone you've just met is never going to compare to someone you've known your whole life. That, after what she's been through, trust isn't something that'll easily be gained.


But I want her to feel as free with me as she was with her mother. Haven't I given her so much of my time? Haven't I been there whenever she needed me to be?

I know these thoughts are irrational, completely baseless and completely unfair to her. I know, and yet they exist.

I hate myself sometimes for who I am.

"You okay?" Tiana asks, eyebrows furrowed in concern.

"Yeah, what makes you ask?" I ask, giving her a small smile.

"You're... holding the steering wheel too tight," she says and I immediately loosen my grip. Self-hate isn't something new to me, but it never occurred to me that my body actually reacted to it. I thought it existed in my head and nowhere else. I didn't know I physically reacted to it. I guess I have to be more observant of myself.

"Oh. Well, don't worry. It's nothing," I say, making sure my smile is as friendly as I hope it is.

She frowns at me for a second, then says, "If it's something you didn't want to talk about, you could've just said so."

I sigh, feeling guilty. She told me so much and I couldn't even give her this? How unfair can I get?

"It's nothing, really. I'm just being stupidly jealous 'cause you weren't as open with me as you were with your freaking mother. And then I kinda fell into that little hole called "self-hate" because of how stupid that sounds. I mean, I know it's your mother! How could I compare? Like I said, it's nothing. That's it, really," I say, a little relieved and a lot scared.

"Oh, well.... I don't really know what to say. I'm glad you told me what's up. And you... uh... well," she says, trailing off at the end.

I raise an eyebrow at her. "I... what?"

"You... matter. To me, that is," she mumbles, looking away. She starts fiddling with her seatbelt and stares intently out the window, not daring to look at me.

"You matter to me too," I say, looking foreword.

"Oh," she says, looking my way for a second before looking back out the window.

I'm about to reply when the piece of shit driving next to me that I've been keeping an eye on in the back of my mind fucking cuts.

"Fucktard! What the shit? That fucking bastard! Who the fuck does that jackass think he is?!" I yell, glaring at the red car as it drives away.

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