Chapter 29

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(I recommend listening to the song again during the dance scene)

Brielle

7:32 PM

To say that I was freaking out was an understatement.

After my encounter with Christopher on the stage, I promptly ran to one of the dressing rooms and 911 texted Sam to haul herself over here. I knew that Christopher probably thought I was crazy with how I exited, but I couldn't kiss him.

No matter how hard he tried, I couldn't bring myself to forgive him. I was a strong believer in second chances, but for some strange reason, I just couldn't bring myself to extend that same privilege to him.

I felt the anger I had for him dissipate while performing, and that may have scared me the most. If I was no longer mad at him, then how was I supposed to keep myself from forgiving him?

I shook the thought out of my mind. He was using me, and that is that.

"I stopped watching The Bachelor finale for this!" Sam said haughtily, stalking in. "So, this better be an emergency." She crossed her arms, waiting for an answer.

"Christopher's here." I said simply.

Her hands instantly dropped, and her face softened. If Sam was no longer mad at me for making her miss her favorite show, then I knew that my problem was bad.

"What happened?" she asked, sitting beside me on the tufted couch.

I let out a huff. I didn't even know.

"We leant in for the kiss and I couldn't do it."

Her head tilted slightly to the side. "Why? It's just for the dance."

I threw my hands up in frustration. "I don't know Sam! Throughout the dance I felt myself forgive him more and more, and I knew that if I kissed him I would take him back."

Sam paused, chewing on her lip, before finally whispering softly, "What would be so wrong if you did?"

My eyes grew wide. "Sam, how could you say that!"

"Just hear me out," she said, raising her hands defensively. "He seems like he's really sorry." As much as I wanted to cut her off, I let her continue.

"I've never seen you happier than when you were with him. You were just like you were before you started dating Derrick."

My jaw dropped. What was she talking about. She continued, sensing my shock.

"You didn't think that I noticed, but after you two broke up, something changed in you. You were closed off, almost like you were constantly afraid of something, so you never let anyone in."

"I just didn't want to get hurt again." I said softly.

She nodded her head. "I know. But in the process, you never allowed yourself to feel loved by so many amazing people. The only people that you talked to were me and Scott."

In a way, she was right. Looking back, I hadn't realized that to protect myself, I stopped myself from meeting new people. I stopped trying to make new friends. After having Derrick betray me, I figured that the less people that you trust, the less people that can cause you harm.

"But then Christopher came along, and before I knew it you were going to parties and breaking into football fields." She clutched me by the shoulders, forcing me to stare into her serious eyes.

"You were living your life again Brielle, and it was because of him. He opened you up again."

I scoffed. "Well, it turns out I was right in the first place. The first person knew that I let into my life broke me again." Some may say that my way of protecting myself was unhealthy, but no one could argue that it wasn't foolproof.

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