LATE$T

This is the last part of the short story series

Your eyes were red like you were high and the anger in your face was visible through the veins popping out. The tears boiled in your eyes until the levy broke and flooded the city.

 

“You happy now?” he asked. He was strapped to a chair and I sat directly across from him.

 

“Not yet,” I responded. The smirk on my face was visible from the moon.

 

“You might call this revenge, but you’re no longer you,” he said, “You’re me.” His voice sounded like all the glasses falling out of the cabinets in the kitchen on the floor during an earthquake. I walked on the glass with bare feet and felt it tear into my skin. Blood trickled on the floor, but I didn’t feel a thing. No matter how sharp the glass was or how deep the gash left, he deserved it all. “Look at yourself!” he screamed. I picked up the mirror and I wasn’t me. I was him, we looked like identical twins. Then I woke up.

 

It rained on the day that everything fell apart. It was time to leave for your birthday party. The dream had danced out my mind and I would forget it until it would become important.

 

I can’t lie, it felt magical to be your girlfriend. You were attentive and caring. You’d always tell me how beautiful I looked and I almost forgot what you’d done. Until Braxton walked in. We both sat on one side of the rectangular table. He sat down right across from us and stared me in the eyes with his laser beams. He looked so confused.

 

“Thanks for coming Braxton,” you said awkwardly, but Braxton kept staring at me. Then you waved your hand in his face. More guest walked in and you got up and greeted them. So Braxton and I were alone.

 

“Why are you here?” he asked.

 

“He wanted me here. Excuse me, I need to go to the restroom.” Braxton got up and walked behind me and continued speaking.

 

“No he doesn’t, you didn’t tell him what you did, did you?”

 

“Why are you questioning me like you’re innocent? You mean what we did? If I had told him you wouldn’t be here.” I walked into the stall, but he grabbed me.

 

“He can’t know. Veroníca, you can’t tell him.”

 

“I don’t have to. You just did.” I smiled. A girl from the party stood listening and when she knew I saw her, she ran back to the party.

 

We started to walk back to the party. “What are we going to do?” he said nervously.

 

I laughed at him, “Oh honey don’t act like you care about him now.” He stood there in the middle of the hallway and watched my heels click down the hallway. I entered the room and everyone stopped talking. Then Braxton ran behind me. He grabbed my arm in front of everybody. My boyfriend looked at us puzzled.

 

Braxton whispered in my ear, “Veroníca, he’s not good for you. We can leave right now.” I looked in his eyes and I wanted to leave. Then my boyfriend was behind me.

 

“Come on guys let’s blow out my candles.” Everyone finally sat around the table and sang happy birthday. Then he wanted to do a toast, “I wanted to thank all of you for coming out for my birthday. I want to especially thank my wonderful girlfriend for planning this event and always being there for me.” Then he kissed me and squeezed my arm hard. Braxton couldn’t take it. He got up and left. My boyfriend was angry and I smiled,“We need to talk,” he whispered in my ear.

 

***

Braxton had a good reason to be mad, but I never expected him to act like that. I could see the love in his eyes for me after we first met. I knew him before my boyfriend. We met at a summer camp. The first time we talked it was like something out of a romantic novel. I was talking to some girls about my favorite artist and Braxton overheard us. He jumped in the conversation and said he was his favorite too. We walked and talked about the artist and we even shared the same favorite song from his latest album. It was the weirdest thing. Your friend Miles became jealous of our conversation and he interjected, “Too bad you’ve got a girlfriend.” We kept talking like we didn’t hear what he said and we became closer throughout the week. We got so close that I got to a point where I forgot about your girlfriend and I think you did too. Our world wouldn’t last, the last day of camp was approaching swiftly. That’s where my now boyfriend comes in. He went to our camp too and made his feelings known throughout the whole camp that he adored me. I didn’t want him though, I wanted you and I knew you felt the same. I waited, but you never said it and I couldn’t wait for you.

 

Six months later, you and your girlfriend were well done and my boyfriend had cheated on me. We were on the phone reminiscing on camp days and you finally did it. You finally said how you felt. “I wonder what would’ve happened if I would’ve ended up with you instead of him,” I said.

 

“Me too,” you replied, “I can’t waste anymore time. I want to be with you and I promise I’ll make up for being a coward. He isn’t meant for you. Veroníca, please.” I was ecstatic.

 

“I don’t know Braxton,” I said knowing that of course I would give into it, “I’ll think about it.”

 

Next thing you know we’re inseparable at school and I started to fall for him. Maybe all guys weren’t bad.

 

***

Back at the party, my boyfriend held my arm like an anchor and I knew I couldn’t be there anymore. I ran out the restaurant looking for Braxton, but I couldn’t see him. I walked to the parking lot and there he was. I had to run across the busy intersection to get there and the light was red. I could hear my boyfriend running after me. I ran in my heels across the street. The timer on the sidewalk was counting down. I looked back and saw him. I’d never seen him that angry or run that fast. The light turned green, but he didn’t stop running. He thought he was invincible, but the engines of the cars revved. Braxton grabbed me from off the sidewalk. There was nobody to grab him.  

 

***

 

I was there almost everyday. I watched you lie in that bed and I looked to god. I thought about the first time you kissed me and how you eyes bent up in those weird shapes when you smiled. I thought about how you’d left that girl for me and how happy I was to be yours. I talked to you about what was happening in the world, who won what tennis match. I read to you books that I knew you read before and loved. Your family wasn’t around much, but I was always there.

 

Eventually you woke up, it was the middle of summer. I was at the snack machine and then I walked in and you were looking around the room. I went to your side and held your hand. Your eyes were bloodshot and when your eyes met mine you looked at me in horror. When most people meet that closeness with death they come back enlightened about life and appreciate it, but it seemed like you had come from somewhere else.

 

“Why are you here you bitch,” you whispered with the little breath you had. It was almost like you’d come from hell. I looked at you and I could feel the tears coming in my eyes. I could’ve yelled and said I’d been here beside you and taken care of you, but why bother telling you something you already knew. So I did what I had planned to do.

 

“Your scores came back from all those projects I did for you. I forgot to tell you that I didn’t do them, so you failed out of those classes and you have to attend summer school too. Oops! I think you missed that too while you were sitting in the hospital. How does a repeat of ninth grade sound?”

 

The machines around you started going haywire, but I continued, “Oh and I also forgot to tell you that that girl who was your “girlfriend” never came here once.”

 

He tried yelling with his weak voice, “You’re lying!”

 

“Don’t believe me? See for yourself.” I opened instagram and threw the phone at him. His so called girlfriend had replaced him while he was in a coma. There were dozens of pictures of a new dude and her. Your rage filled you like helium in a balloon and the machines started to move. I knew I had to get out of there, but Braxton ran into the room.

 

“What’s wrong with him?” When he saw Braxton the machines shook even more. I started laughing and grabbed Braxton by the neck and kissed him. Then I walked out the room. The doctors finally ran in. Braxton kept behind me like a lost sheep. We’d made it down to the lobby and the huge automatic sliding doors opened and we stood under the awning where ambulances and cars rolled under.

 

“Veroníca, come on let’s get out of here.” I laughed uncontrollably. You looked confused.

 

“You really think i’m going anywhere with you? Like you’d ever stay by my side. You betrayed your best friend for a girl you met at camp. You don’t love me. It’s always fun on christmas morning huh? When the toy is shiny and new. Then you use it until it gets old. After that you lose it or forget about it.” My eyes were like rays and the fire burned somewhere deep down inside.

 

“Veroníca. Who are you? You’re not acting like yourself.”

 

“I am myself. I’m just not doing what you want me to do.”

 

“What if he’s dead? What if you killed him?”

 

“He’s already dead don’t you get it? Being dead has nothing to do with him actually dying. I killed him in a different way. His life is all screwed up. If I would’ve actually killed him, I would’ve done him a favor. He would’ve escaped this world of pain. Now, he has to bathe in it.” I smiled. My eyes started to curl around and make that weird shape like yours did when you smiled.

 

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