Not sure when I will.
“Damien,” I called out loud enough. The clicking of my heels on the tile floor interrupted the silent hallways of the hospital. It was emptier than I thought on a Friday night at 9PM, although I wouldn’t have to be here in the first place if it wasn’t for Damien.
I found him leaning on the vending machine with his arms crossed against his chest. When he looked at me, I saw his red eyes, resembling those of a vampire.
“Are you high?” I asked in hushed tone. I furrowed my brows in unbelief. This nigga really did carry drugs with him where ever he went.
“Damn, it’s more common for me to be high than to be crying?”
That was even more of a shocker.
I had never seen Damien cry, not even when he found out his dad was diagnosed with cancer in the eleventh grade. No matter how hard a situation was, a tear droplet would never fall from the brim of his eyes, which was why this proved his true feelings for Abigail.
“Can I just tell you that you really fucked this up for yourself?”
He glared over at me from the corner of his eye with annoyance. I gave him a sheepish chuckle, tapping my heel on the ground in a rhythmic manner.
It was evident that he cared for Abigail, which reassured me that I wasn’t doing this without a reason. It did change things. Abigail probably wouldn’t leave as quickly as I had hoped, and Aubrey would obviously catch on to what was going on.
“You brought her here,” I blurted in realization.
He turned his head to me, his eyes now flashing a look of hopelessness, “What the fuck else was I supposed to do? She fainted again, but this time she was bleeding.”
“I told you not to talk to her until tomorrow! You know, when she’ll be calm?”
“Doesn’t count as talking if she was unconscious.”
I violently shook my head in complete disbelief. The nerve of him was almost humorous enough to make me laugh, but was angering enough to make me want to slap him.
“You are such a fucking child, you know that?” My voice involuntarily rose, but I didn’t bother quieting myself down, “You’re irresponsible – you never dare think of how consequential and effective your actions really are. If you hadn’t have brought her here, I probably wouldn’t be going insane about what Aubrey might be thinking right now!”
“And if you had known how to keep your man interested, Abigail and I wouldn’t be here in Toronto in the first place,” he quickly shot back.
I inhaled deeply, quickly racking my mind for the fastest comeback, “Yes, but if you hadn’t used Abigail as your personal punching bag, I wouldn’t be speaking to you right now. In fact, if you hadn’t fucked things up, like I said, you probably would still be with her, but instead she’s in there with my boyfriend.”
His lack of conversation told me that I had won that round.
He remained staring at the ground. I knew I had probably taken it too far by referring back to his mistakes, but it needed to be said before he got out of line.
I turned away, planning on walking back into Abigail’s room until his voice held me back.
“At least I haven’t killed anyone.”
I spun on the heel of my pumps, turning to face Damien with a look of disgust, “You haven’t killed anyone, but you’ve killed that girl’s confidence, self-esteem, trust, and happiness. That’s the worst type of killer there is,” I shook my head to emphasize my point, and turned around again to leave before Damien could come up with any more stupid shit to insult me with.
I knocked twice before twisting the doorknob to walk in, “Heeey,” I dragged out, quietly pushing the door to close it behind me.
Abigail looked up, though a weird smile spread across her lips. Aubrey looked at her, and then me, and then stood to his feet.
His demeanor was awfully awkward and I wondered why.
“Could I talk to you?”
His voice was uneasy, but a little persistent – two unwell ingredients that didn’t mix well in the Aubrey Bowl. You could stir all you wanted, but it would only result into something unexpected.
He led me outside again, back to the vending machine. Damien had vanished and I thought he went to the bathroom in the next hall. I just prayed that he wouldn’t go into Abigail’s room again. Lord knew what the hell would come from that.
“So that guy…”
“Is that what you wanted to talk about?” I laughed at him. He was the least bit sneaky and it was amusing that he had tried, “You probably want to know all about him, don’t you?”
He replied with the lift of his shoulder, “Imagine that you’re in my shoes – completely confused and frustrated as to why we’re all here, especially him.”
As smart as he was, I thought he would glue some pieces together, even if they hadn’t fit well. I never expected him to be this clueless while the world went on around him. It really did prove that all he focused on was Abigail. He never asked about me while I was out with Damien when he was at his sound check. He never tried calling me when realizing I was missing at the dinner two days ago. He didn’t care.
“Why should I tell you anything?”
“Are you ser–you have to be fucking kidding me,” a smile filled with masked annoyance plastered itself on Aubrey’s face. He raised his eyebrows in what I would call the feeling of regret while he tapped his Timberlands on the tile floor.
“I think I deserve to know who he is, you know, since you were thought to be cheating on me with him and Abigail screamed her damn brains because he was in her room.”
My heart skipped a beat once he finished his reason, the sudden memory of that one day flashing over my mind.
“Wh-what is that?”
He slowly turned to me, his expression as readable as a blank page, “You tell me,” his tone matched the wood floors – cold and hard. I had never heard him speak like that over the years we had been together.
He was hovering over the dinner table, where his Mac rested open on an unfamiliar BlogSpot page. There was a picture of Damien and me from three days ago at the park. We shard mutual grins on a bench. Another picture was where he and I both sat on the curb of a parking lot at my favorite bistro, Sebastian.
The last photo was miraculously incorrect. I was grabbing his hand while looking far off. Taken out of context, the photo looked as if I was intentionally intertwining his fingers within mine.
The headline made me shudder.
“Is Drake being cheated on?” Aubrey read the text aloud, “Am I?”
“Don’t believe this,” I assured him as seriously as I could while I shook my head in disagreement.
He slid from his seat and stood to his feet. Stepping closer to me, I was taken aback by how tall he really was. His stature towered over mine in defeat, “You lied to me – you said you were going to see your sister.”
I couldn’t back my lie up with another lie.
“Who is he?” He asked calmly at first, but after my nonexistent reply, he heightened his voice to a louder level, “Who the FUCK is he?” He gritted. His large palms took a hold of my shoulders, rattling my upper body probably in hopes of shaking an answer out of me.
“Aubrey let go of me!” I tried to shout over him. Reluctantly, his grip had loosened and he made his way straight to the door.
I watched him grab his keys from the coffee table and open the front door, letting in the windy air of Vero.
“Where are you going?” I tried to catch up with him.
That whole night I wondered if he would come back. I waited, and waited and waited for his arrival. I wistfully pondered on when he would come back. I remember getting a text from Kyra – a photo of a naked Aubrey and Kyra in bed while a blanket covered their major attributes.
And long story short, I killed her for it.
“First of all, I never cheated on you,” I explained, “His name is Damien. He was my boyfriend before I met you. He was a trouble-maker and I was always by his side. We sort of just separated ways after high school.”
A long period of silence notified me that he was trying to process all of what I had just said.
“So, why couldn’t you tell me this when I asked who he was?”
“I didn’t want you stressing.”
“What would you do if I were stressing right now?” He challenged me.
I raised an eyebrow, stepping closer to trail a finger over his collarbone up to his jaw line. I noticed him flinch under the pad of my fingertip, but I chose not to acknowledge it.
“I’d tell you to calm the hell down; the past is the past and should be nothing more than that.”
I couldn’t help but notice how hypocritical my words were, since I was the one who practically judged Damien over his past mistakes.
“So why is he here?”
I cleared my throat, instantly going through my essence for a logical lie, “Well, he heard that an old friend was here and was desperate to reconnect,” I said, which wasn’t a lie at all.
Giuliana 1, World 0.
“Do you know how they know each other?”
“They used to date, but they’ve got a terrible past, so don’t bother asking anyone else,” I gave him a solemn warning followed by a smile dripping of animosity.
“What kind of terrible past?” He continued to press me. His persistence was a little pressuring; I didn’t feel comfortable having this conversation with him at all.
I gave out a sigh of exhaustion, “See? You’re doing it,” I whined, “Look, Aubrey, I don’t want you stressing over something that isn’t worth stressing about. If anything, just back to the hotel and get some sleep. I’ll take care of things.”
And by “take care of things,” I meant I would handle shit my way without anyone’s consent.
Aubrey finally gave up on his questioning and nodded slowly, turning around to walk back into the room.
Man, I really hated hospitals.
When Giuliana told me we were going to the hospital to see Abigail, I didn’t ask any questions or dare disagree. I didn’t have a thought of regret when cancelling the concert last minute.
When we got to the hospital, I followed her in the elevator. I asked no questions as to why Abigail was here. I was distracted by my concern. I wanted to know if she was okay.
Even when we entered the room, I held my tongue. I saw the same guy from the blog post – the same guy who was holding Giuliana’s had at the bistro in Florida. I remember Giuliana coming home from a photo shoot, and I remember confronting her roughly about it. She had told me he was just a friend.
I didn’t believe her, and after the fight I had gone to Kyra; the rest was fucked up history.
He wasn’t just a friend. There was evidently a stronger connection between them if he was at the hospital for Abigail. Maybe he knew Abigail too?
What the fuck was going on?
“She’s just moving in her sleep,” the nurse explained after Abby shifted to her left. Her thick bandages caught my attention. A possibility germinated in my mind.
Did she self harm after realizing I would never tell Giuliana about us? Although my words had been convincing this morning when I said them, I could never tell myself that I’d do it. I would never go through with it because I didn’t have it in me.
I didn’t know what the problem was; I had broken up with plenty of girls in the past, but there was a reason Giuliana was different. She stood by my side through all the shit that happened in the past years – from the death of my ex girlfriends, Kyra, and to the hatred of my mother. I had stood by her through her sister’s death and helped through her shattered family.
Who was I to end it so abruptly? After all, I had tried once and it didn’t work.
“I’m awake, actually.”
I looked down again to see her blue eyes widely open. Under them were mascara smudging and heavy bags. She looked the least bit rested as she turned back to her other side. Her eyes traveled from every person in the room, and flashed a large amount reassurance at me.
However, when she saw the stranger beside her bed, her eyes flashed a mood I had never seen from her.
So, she did know him.
“Get out,” she instructed calmly at him, but he only stared at the ground. Her nails dug into the palm of her hands as she shouted, “GET OUT OF HERE!”
I was drawn aback by her force of tone, and so was he as he mumbled an apology then left the room.
I was confused and alarmed, desperate to know what the hell was going on.
We were all left in silence, and a short minute later, the nurse left the room too. I knew I would soon burst if the questions in my mind weren’t answered soon, and almost as if on cue, Giuliana cleared her throat and said she was going to the bathroom.
The door shut quietly behind her when she stepped out.
Abigail now avoided my eye contact.
“Abby.” I let my fingers trail across the texture of the bandage wrapped around her wrist, rubbing my thumb gently on the palm of her hand, “You want to tell me why you’re in here?” I suggested with a small chuckle strong enough to lift the mood.
I didn’t want to become too persistent; I left the subject alone and decided on asking later.
“Do you know who that guy was?”
“Who is he?”
Abigail’s eyes trailed up my arm and finally met mine. I could see water daring to spill and decided on another subject for the second time. How was I supposed to get answers if she didn’t want to tell me?
“I cancelled the concert for you,” I said, desperate to get her to talk to me. Although I was frustrated inside, I was careful not to show it around her, “Giul told me you were here and we rushed as fast as we could.”
That was somewhat a lie. Giuliana had demanded she drive since she knew where the hospital was. I wondered why she was driving as slow as she was, but didn’t bother on picking an argument when I obviously didn’t feeling like being in one.
“Why did you do that?”
“I wanted to know if you were okay.”
She cracked a small smile that reflected off of mine, “Did you tell her?”
I couldn’t lie, but I couldn’t tell her the truth, so I changed the subject for the third time, “I’m desperate to know about him because Giuliana knows him.”
“Giuliana knows him?” Abigail echoed more so to herself, her voice filled with hatred and surprise, “Do you know how?”
I shrugged, tracing the shape of her fingers, “A while back there was a rumor that she was cheating on me with him.”
She gasped and I chuckled, her blue eyes widened and eyebrows rose to the farthest extent, “And what did you do about it?” She asked out of curiosity.
I had sex with my friend, Kyra.
“I – uh, don’t remember, actually. It was a long time ago.”
“How long ago?”
“It happened last year.”
Abigail sat in thought for a long time. The silence was almost uncomfortable as I wondered what could possibly be on her mind. She knew him, and Giuliana knew him, but I still didn’t know how.
“Aubrey, I want you to do something for me.”
“Anything,” I offered a smile.
“Can you talk to Giuliana–“
I thought she would ask me to talk to her about us, and how I couldn’t be with her a day longer. My heartbeat quickened as she said her name.
“–about him? I would, but it would be awkward coming from me.”
“How so?” I wanted to ask, but held in my inquiry and instead answered with a simply “ok” and a head nod.
“Only under one condition.”
She raised a perfectly arched eyebrow in curiosity, “What do you want?”
“I want you to tell me what happened between you and him, and why you’re in here.”
She gave me a look of impression, almost as if she wasn’t expectant of me to make a deal like this. She adjusted her position on the hospital bed and nodded once, “Well, you go do what I ask you first, and then I’ll do what you ask.”
Those millions of questions would soon be answered, and maybe I wouldn’t have to suffer being oblivious to everything anymore.
“Shit, what do we do?”
“Uhh, bring her to the bathroom and put her in the tub!”
Our movements were quick. I could sense him feeling the same shock and panic I was feeling.
Her limp body was hauled over Damien’s shoulder, legs dangling down his back and her hair spilling helplessly over her face.
Oh, the irony.
I watched as he kicked his way through the cracked door, transferring her from his arms to the circular bathtub.
“What now?” He rushed. A bead of sweat began to form by his temple—he was more shocked than I thought.
I stared at Abigail. I figured it was for the best that this had happened, but I also wasn’t done with her yet. I needed to know things and I couldn’t know them without her.
And most importantly, I wanted her go home and she couldn’t go home if she was unconscious.
I peered at the faucet and twisted it more over to the side with the blue marking over it, indicating cold. The water shot out of the shower head and down to Abigail. Her dress was doused and so was her hair and makeup.
A cough, and then a scream. It came from her sequentially and roaringly. She struggled with sitting up, so Damien looped his arm behind her waist and gently tugged her upward.
This, of course, had been a bad move—Abigail swatted Damien’s arm away and swung her legs out the tub. Next came her arms, which forcefully pulled her out of her seating position and into a shaking estate.
At first, she pointed at me.
“Y-you planned this!” She shouted. She shook vigorously from the cold; I didn’t know if she was actually crying, or whether it was the shower water staining her cheeks.
“And you—” she swerved her finger at Damien, “Stay away from me. Far away.”
Damien was stricken by her hard-hitting words. I figured aggression wasn’t much of Abigail’s thing, which is why her warning contained no threats or curse words like mine would have.
He let her walk out with nothing to say. He was probably stifling a scream, a yell—something, at least—but his expression told me otherwise.
“I have to go talk to her,” he rushed, water brimming at his green orbs.
I held out my arm to hold him back, “D, she just needs to cool off.” I convinced myself that I was looking out for him. After all, I wasn’t planning on having to drive him to a nearby hospital after he gets punched in the neck by Abigail.
“Well, what now?” He breathed, although his chest still heaved from his mix of emotions.
“Well, I have to go to Aubrey’s concert. The later he finds out that things are going bad, the better,” I sighed, “Go back to your hotel—do not talk to her until tomorrow.”
I cried to the point where it wasn’t even called crying anymore. I bawled, I screamed, I threw things with all the force my body consisted of.
There were plenty of times where I heard knocking; I chose to ignore them.
Three smashed vases later, I recognized two new bruises on the back of my thighs from when I fainted, and four new cuts from the shattered glass, all aligned on my wrists.
I didn’t want to examine myself in the mirror. I was confined that I looked like a teen who experienced a prom gone wrong.
I took my seating position on the ground, head leaned on the wall with my chin up in the air. My hair dropped cold droplets of water on my bare shoulders, making goosebumps arise on the surface of my skin.
I realized I was shivering; my bones frigid in movement to the point where I didn’t have the energy to shift my body. My eyelids grew heavier by the second.
My mind went blank for the fragment of a second, and when that second was over, I released a heavy scream able to be heard countries away.
* * *
“I told you not to touch my shit!”
It wasn’t a surprise to see him like this. It was more of a routine. I would make an accidental action, but would soon be punished greatly for it by him—I believed that he fed off of my pain, my scars and bruises having the tendency of giving him a masochistic feeling of pleasure.
He was a sadistic person, but that wasn’t the worst part.
The worst part was that I thought there was still some innocence deep and hidden inside of him. I believed that it would overcome his abusive attributes.
A slap in the face told me no.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured, the copper taste of blood beginning to fill my mouth. The pain had distracted me—I forgot what I was being punished for.
“Yeah?” His voice was mocking, “Get on the fucking bed.”
I didn’t want to understand what he was saying. I wasn’t dumb, and I could predict what was to happen next. I tried to crawl away as fast as I could to the edge of the stairs, but he tugged my back brown my brown locks.
I knew I’d be feeling a bruise there the next day.
He pulled me back into the bedroom. Not bothering to order me once again, he dropped me onto the uncomfortable mattress.
Suddenly, the bed I knew once to be welcoming was now the chamber of my morals.
I heard my shorts being unzipped, and as I looked down, I sighted Damien’s red scleras, indicating he was high off of God knows what.
My pleading left as hoarse whimpers. He knew I was a virgin, and that I wasn’t planning on losing my virginity until I was sure about it.
My body shook uncontrollably while tears streamed down my battered cheeks.
He held his fingers in place over my zipper for a while. His eyes pierced through to mine, his expressing unreadable. My vulnerability was constantly revealed to him, there was no use in hiding it under the self-esteem I no longer had.
Unexpectedly, he left me. He left me on the bed, cuts adorning my face to the point where I was unrecognizable. He took nothing with him, but I could hear his feet rapidly traveling down the stairs and out the front door.
* * *
I heard a heart monitor constantly beeping to the left of me. I turned my head the opposite direction in attempts of silencing it my own way.
“She’s just moving in her sleep,” an unfamiliar voice said. Rather female than male, I supposed.
“I’m awake, actually,” I intended on saying louder, but only came out as a hesitant mumble.
I opened my eyes.
Bright ceiling lights, white walls, ugly patterned chairs and a counter with a sink. I knew where I was, just not how I got there.
Four people stood around where I lay. Two of them were the reasons I was in here in the first place.
Other than the nurse, there was Giuliana.
Her expression was the least bit concerned, just rather annoyed. Her arms folded solemnly across her chest in a serious manner. Her eyes never met mine even when I stared at her.
His eyes remained on me, shifted to the heart monitor, then back at me. His brows furrowed deeply in worry. I wanted to reach over and give him a consoling rub on his hand, but I knew better than that.
Then there was Damien, who stared down at his sneakers with his arms stuck by his sides.
His eyes were at my attention. He heard me, but stayed in the same position.
Sudden rage kindled in the midst of me when he didn’t react.
“GET OUT OF HERE,” I yelled with the remnants of my energy. With my fist balled, I realized I had bandages wrapped around both of my wrists. Now I knew why I was here.
My heart palpitated wildly inside of my chest. I knew that because of the rapid beeping from the machine beside my bed.
“I’m sorry,” Damien whispered before making his way outside the room.
I wanted to scream, scream so loud that my lungs would ache and I couldn’t hear my voice anymore. I wanted to hit something so hard that my hand would go numb.
I wanted to cry so loudly that it echoed off the walls, but all I could do was sigh and stare at the direction he walked in.
“Hello?” This would have been the umpteenth time I had woken up, but at least this time I would have a reason for staying awake.
“Giuliana, honey?” My mother’s voice was stuffed with elation; it might have been authentic, but I wondered why. Last week, we held a funeral for my twin sister and I left the next day, leaving my mother with nothing but a lame excuse for my leaving.
I adjusted my position in the hotel bed, trying hard not to shift the mattress under Aubrey’s limp body, “What, Mom?”
“I’ve got some news to tell you.”
I sighed, swinging my legs over the bed and standing up to walk to the bathroom. It must have been good news, other wise, she wouldn’t have told me at all.
I propped myself up on the counter of the sink, phone wedged between my shoulder and ear, “Tell me.”
There was a moment of silence after I spoke, one filled with something I wasn’t sure of. I was eager to know and was about to force it out of my mom before she replied.
“Your father and I are getting remarried.”
“Remarried?!” The sudden rage mixed with shock was strong enough to make me shout. I didn’t bother apologizing for my outburst, or ask any questions about why the fuck would my mother remarry such an asshole.
Instead, I hung up, hopped off the counter and walked out the bathroom.
I needed to go home, but I wasn’t going home until Abigail and Damien were gone.
Eight hours later, it was 6PM. As far as I knew, Abigail was still in her hotel room and Aubrey was gone; he said he was getting things situated for his concert tonight, although it started at eight.
“Why are you so antsy?” Damien questioned when he caught me pacing. He reclined himself on the chair in the corner of the hotel room, dressed in a fancy shirt and his favorite dark-washed Levi jeans.
My attire was rushed.
I wore a short white dress (inevitable to get stained) and tall black heels, my hair pushed back into a bun. My shoes would dig into the carpet each time I walked, uncomfortably but reassuring me that maybe this plan would work, and maybe Abigail would leave forever.
“Because,” I simply said.
He chuckled and I sighed, “I’ve been waiting to see Abby for about three days-“
“You saw her at the sound check.”
“Well, can I talk to her? Go get her!”
“Quit fucking rushing me!” I shouted, balling my fists at my sides, “You know what? You’re right. I’ll get her so you can shut your shit-complaining.”
I turned my back to him and left the hotel room. Breathing out slowly, I attempting at centering myself. The anger from this morning never ceased to haunt me. The fact that my parents were getting remarried was stressful enough.
I wanted to turn back and apologize to Damien, but I wasn’t going to seem vulnerable.
I knocked twice on her door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Giuliana,” I said loud enough, “I want to show you something.”
A few apprehensive seconds later, the door was unlocked and door was opened to reveal a fancy Abigail. I hated to admit that her dress was nicer than mine, short but modest, red, black and lace.
“You’re into cheer leading aren’t you?” I recalled Damien going on and on about how sexy Abby looked in her cheer uniform in college. Although I found it odd how someone old enough to college, but not in college dated someone at the time they were at college.
She peered awkwardly at me, hesitant to trust me and I mentally applauded her for that.
I panicked, “Well, I found this routine on YouTube and wanted to show you. My laptop’s in my hotel room, if you wanna see it.”
Abigail looked at my toes, then trailed her eyes back at my face, the same look of confusion never left her mask.
“I’ll be there in a sec,” she said abruptly before closing the door.
“Bitch,” I rolled my eyes obnoxiously before making my way back down the hallway to my room. I hoped the whole thing would work out smoothly, even if Damien had abused her. Maybe she was forgiving enough to overcome it.
Or maybe she was stuck up enough to stay in Canada.
I walked in the hotel room again, closing the door behind me quietly.
A look of gratitude (or what looked like it) was all Damien had shown. He stood to his feet and reached to hug me. I received it stiffly.
“Thank me later,” I said and sat down next to him.
Thoughts swirled around my head like a merry-go-round. All day I had been avoiding the main thought that I hated most - my mom. I wanted to assign her to a ward. Maybe she was crazy, that’s why she’s re-engaged.
Or maybe it’s Steven.
Or maybe it’s both of them.
Steven was stupid for asking, my mom was stupid for saying yes. On both of their parts, they were idiotic.
A subtle knock echoed through the hotel room, and I stood to my feet once again, “Come in,” I instructed smoothly.
The next moments came quickly.
The door opened and expectantly, it was Abigail who visited.
A look of horror flashed on her face when she saw who was behind me.
And that was it.
Before she fainted.
I was an over thinker.
I made situations more complex than they really were by making assumptions. Those assumptions soon took over my mind quicker than the quickest and it made me anxious. Vibrant
I knew over thinking ruined me; there was nothing I could do to stop it.
I couldn’t prevent…