Chapter 15 The "I love you"

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Flora

Sean called me after his exam and I suggested lunch. I took some time getting ready and when he appeared at my house, for once I didn't let him wait for long. I felt glorious since getting up. The air tasted fresher, my hair shone brighter, and even the WiFi connection seemed to be working better. Hanging out with Raymond turned out to be exactly what I needed, as it made me a lot less clingy and I became more open-minded about the fight with Sean, which seemed pretty trivial now.

Sean barely said a word on the way to the restaurant. He looked as great as always, but I could see a perfect blue storm forming behind his eyes. I figured he didn't do well on his exam and hoped he wouldn't blame me for it.

"So, was the exam hard?" I inquired carefully.

"No."

"Do you think you did well?"

He did not answer right away. "Flora, did you have fun last night?"

"Me?" That was a weird change of subject. Apparently he didn't do well on his exam and wished to drop the subject. "Yeah, I had an okay time."

"How's Sarah and Jess?"

"Oh, they're fine. I haven't seen them for some time so it's pretty good to see them." I stopped myself from blabbering because I knew I was a terrible liar. Now was probably not a good time to tell Sean I was with Raymond, and I fully planned on coming clean once we were back on track. Maybe when he was in a better mood, like right before we had sex or something.

"I'd much rather spend last night with you," I added quickly.

"Sure you do."

We were silent for a few seconds, then I thought enough was enough. "What's wrong with you?"

He heaved a sigh. "Flora, I can't do lunch like this." I watched him pull over to the side of the road, and we were nowhere near the restaurant. "We have to talk."

"Is this about ditching me for your exam?" I asked. "I have decided to leave it at that."

He turned over to face me. "I did not ditch you. Ditching you is when we agree to do something then I back out in the middle of it and leave you suddenly, which is something I never do."

"I thought you took physics this morning, not an English vocabulary test." I was surprised at how serious he was and tried to lighten the mood.

"It's always about you, isn't it? I told you taking the test is really important to me, and you have to give me a really hard time and make me feel guilty. If you wanted to do something, I would've supported you."

"You didn't really support me when I wanted to buy that Burberry coat," I couldn't resist saying, hoping to bring a smile to his face. The truth was Sean had never talked to me like that before, and I was getting a little nervous. He was King to me after all, and deep down I was intimidated by him.

"Flora, quit trying to be cute. It's funny the way you twist my words when we're flirting, but I sure as hell am not flirting with you now," he snapped.

I was too stunned to speak. I felt tears starting to well up at my eyes but I quickly blinked them away. I could tell Sean was really angry this time, although his expression was blank and his voice even, and I realized I didn't know how to handle him being this angry.

"I don't know if I'll ever have the chance to have this discussion with you again, so I'm just going to say everything I've wanted to tell you." His eyes flashed, and I found time to notice he still looked hotter than ever. "I think you're a piece of work, Flora. You're self-centered and insensitive. It's challenging trying to keep up with you everyday. I really tried. I let you decide what we do, what we eat, who we hang out with, and when to meet, but apparently that's still not enough for you. I can't drop everything else just so we can be together every second, and even if I did I doubt you'd be satisfied. I don't know what more you want from me."

My brain couldn't process so much information at once. I just randomly picked a sentence and answered to that. "I didn't ask you to drop everything!"

"Well, the minute I couldn't deliver, you just gave up on me right? You just have to punish me."

What did he mean by that? I lost my temper? I slammed his car door? I didn't answer some of his calls and forgot to call him back? "I'm sorry I forgot to call you back yesterday, but it wasn't deliberate," I said carefully.

"Well, that's just one of many things. I'd never have forgotten to call you. When you have more interesting things to do you don't care less about me, but if you're bored I just have to show up instantly. I think you're just really selfish."

"How can you say that? I care about you above everything else!" My hand clutched the edge of my seat tightly. "I more than care about you, actually. I love you!"

I hadn't planned on saying that, but in a moment of panic attack I said it and realized it was true. "I love you," I repeated.

Sean's jaw clenched. "You don't love me, Flora. All through life everyone around you spoiled you and you're just really in love with yourself."

That was just uncalled for. When I imagined myself saying I love you to another person, I kind of expected that person to do one of the following:

a. Say I love you too

b. Say thank you

c. Smile

d. Tactfully avoid the question by kissing me

Never would I expect that person to lash out at me about me being in love with myself. I had never told anyone the magic words before, but Sean disregarded it just like he did everything else: the gifts I gave him, the date I planned, the invitation to my parents' beach house, and my sincere heartfelt confession of love.

My hurt and confusion smoldered and erupted into anger. "What's your problem?"

"You don't take this relationship seriously. I'm really disappointed in you," he said, each word dropping with weight on my heart, crushing me. I didn't know why he was doing this to me. He was deliberately hurting me.

"I'm really disappointed in you too! And for the record, I put a lot of effort in this relationship and I'm sorry you find it challenging to be with me. I decide the dating agenda because you sure can't come up with anything fun to do, and funny how you never complained about it before." I took a deep breath. "You know what? I didn't beg you to go out with me. If you're so unhappy in this relationship maybe we should just break up."

I said it out of spite, of course. It seemed to finally snap Sean out of whatever drug he was on at the moment and he stopped his ceaseless ranting.

He was silent for a few long seconds as I waited for him to calm down. Then he said, "Yes, maybe we should."

I stared at him. I must have heard wrong.

He stared back at me with total control of his emotion like the king he was, and I knew he meant it. My heart stopped. For once it wasn't because of how cute he was.

"Fine." Too stunned to react, I replied out of reflex. I got out of his car and slammed the door again, as this seemed to be how we ended every conversation lately. It was not until I was standing in the cold winter air that I found I had tears streaming down my face.

***

Please read the next chapter to hear Sean's side :)

Dedicated to elliptical for making me the beautiful cover, thanks so much Lana x


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