Chapter 22

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Fate, I think, is a thief.” - Lauren DeStefano, Wither

Things around were changing; the weather was slowly growing warmer as spring morphed to summer, the excitement of break in the air and newfound freedom. People were changing, or the way I always saw them.

Bria and I had barely spoken in the near week she had been gone. I took a break for a moment from my vicious writing to call her up through video chat, feeling the need to catch up. After a minute of calling and not receiving an answer, her dark face appeared on the screen. She looked irritated, so I checked the time. With the difference, it was only seven o'clock in the morning in Los Angeles, which meant she would be up and doing her daily routine before work. Yet, she looked disgruntled and angry, taking a gulp of her black coffee from her desk.

“Hey, B!” I exclaimed cheerily, using the little pet-name I had for her. She showed no reaction, still.

“Hi, Addy.” Bria added, sounding even less enthusiastic than she looked.

I pondered “Is it too early, I mean- did you not sleep very well?”


Bria was being to cut-throat and to the point. I knew she only gets like that when something really bad happened. And the only time she doesn't tell me when something really really bad happens, is when she doesn't even want to admit it happened to herself. Just saying things out loud makes them real, because we are always taught the fact that our thoughts aren't concrete; but words? They're forever. I just hoped she would let me in instead of shut me out like I did to her.

“Bria, what happened?” I said, skipping over the formality of asking if she was 'okay', because I knew better.

She stared at the ground, and despite the catchy song lyric, she wasn't smiling. Bria sniffled and her eyes seem to roam from one thing to another, never settling upon anything that would trigger coherent thought.

“As it turns out, 'lucky number seven' is total bullshit.” she said with air quotes, letting her arms fall to her sides lifelessly.

That explained everything. I should have seen it right away; her addiction to caffeine, not sleeping well, irritability, and loss of hope all indicated a recent break up. It happened before and she got through it fine, but then I hadn't been on the other side of the country. Mark, Matt, Matthew- whatever his name was- had just broken my best friend's heart, and I could do next to nothing to help. Consoling is a hard thing to do through a computer screen.

“B, I'm so sorry.” I comforted, pouting in that special way that shows how bad I feel for her. I hated seeing that face, the one that supposed to say “I feel your pain!” because all I see in it is “I'm so glad I'm not you.”. Unluckily, Bria feels the same way.
“I don't need your sympathy. I need an unlimited supply of chocolate and Leonardo DiCaprio movies.” she wined, putting her face in her hands and rubbing her temples.

I looked at my best friend and savior. Her hair was uncombed and unruly, sticking at odd places and in tangles so big I could see them. Her bright face was in a shadow of hurt, and her eyes always seemed ready to spill out a tear. Those bright eyes faded and clouded, so mesmerizingly beautiful still, you couldn't take your eyes away. There's beauty in pain and grace in hurt. I saw the look on her face and knew I'd seen it before, but back then, it was in the mirror. This wasn't just a break-up or a fight, this was a severing of an attachment with a blunt ax. And now Bria was bleeding.

“Bria, I don't know what to say.” I croaked, my voice shaking in empathy for her. “I wish I could help.”

She snapped then, not like a twig, but a crocodile after it's prey. “That's the thing, Addy. All you ever do is wish and hope! Wishing on a shooting star isn't going to make things better, okay? Things suck ass right now so stop wishing you could help me and go back to focusing on yourself like you always do.”

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