Well, he knows now.
The whole world knows.
My cell starts to ring again.
A number I don’t recognize.
“Fuck off!” I yell at my phone, like the person on the other end can hear me.
I should turn it off.
But Speedy might call.
She’s betrayed me. Fed me to the sharks in return for a cash bonus. And I won’t turn my phone off in case she calls.
Not that I would answer. I just want to have the satisfaction of knowing that she called.
She sold you out, you pathetic piece of shit.
I laugh out loud. The sound echoes around my empty apartment, reminding me that I’m alone.
And alone is how I should be. It’s how I should have always been. I should never have gotten involved with her.
I can’t believe how fucking stupid I was. I told her everything. Spilled my guts out like a little bitch. When what I should have done is gotten rid of her. I should have tossed her out on her ass the second I fucked her.
Needing a smoke, I grab my cigarette pack off the floor, but the box is empty.
“For fuck’s sake.” I crumple the box in my hand and toss it aside.
Then, I drag my sorry ass off the sofa and go in search of some smokes. I think there are some in the kitchen drawer.
I go into the kitchen and stop dead, hit with a barrage of memories of her in here, cooking.
I can almost see her here, at the counter, cutting up vegetables for that fucking goat. And that time when she was making pizza, and I moved behind her and slid my fingers inside her—
“Fuck!” I roar.
I shove everything off the counter with my arms, the items crashing to the floor. Then, I’m grabbing anything I can get my hands on. The cups on the rack go smashing into the wall. The pan sitting on the stove goes flying across the room. I pick up a kitchen stool and start smashing it against the wall until only pieces of wood are left in my hands.
“Fuck!” I grip my head in my hands and slide down the wall to the floor as I start to cry.
I’m fucking crying.
I haven’t cried since…it’s been so long that I can’t remember. And, now, here I am, bawling my eyes out like a pussy because of her.
I fucking hate her.
And I love her.
I want her.
I didn’t know it was possible to feel such strong conflicting emotions for one person, but Ava’s shown me that I can.
The first and only woman I’ve ever fallen in love with, and she guts me like this.
Why did she do this to me? How could she do this to me?
I thought it hurt when my parents were taken to prison, leaving Tate and me alone. But this feels so much worse. Ava took my trust and used it against me.
And for what?
Fuck, if that was all she wanted, I would have given it to her.
I would have given her anything.
Done anything for her.
But it’s all just so fucked up. Because she’s never been about money. She’s never seemed to care about it.
So, why sell me out for cash?
It just doesn’t make sense.
But then maybe I didn’t know her at all. Clearly, I didn’t.
And it’s not like I’m known for having a good judge of character. I didn’t know my parents were murdering psychos, and I’d known them for seventeen years.
I laugh out loud at my own fucking stupidity, my head thudding back against the wall.
It just…fucking hurts so much.
I loved her.
I love her.
It hurts too much, and I need it to stop. I need to stop feeling.
I rub my hand over my face, drying away my pussy tears, and get to my feet. Stepping over the mess I just made, I go to the freezer and get the bottle of vodka from there.
I unscrew the cap and take a long drink. The liquor calms my pounding pulse, chilling my veins.
I retrieve a cigarette pack from the kitchen drawer and go back into the living room.
That fucking song is still playing.
I go over to my iPod system and turn the repeat off. I click forward a song. Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” starts to pump out of the speakers as I flop down on the sofa.
I get a cigarette out, put it between my lips, and light it up. I inhale a long pull of smoke.
I screw the cap off the vodka and take a long drink, letting the smoke out through my nose.
Fuck, that’s better.
This is all I need in life—cigarettes and alcohol. Wasn’t it Oasis who sang that song? They had it right. I don’t need anything else but these two things in my hands right now.
Fuck Ava. And her lies and deceit.
I don’t need her. I never did.
And fuck the rest of the world, too.
I don’t need anyone.
Everything I need, I’ve got right here.
It’s early morning. I’m not sure of the time. I only know it’s morning because the sun is up.
Miley is on the TV, swinging on a wrecking ball and singing her little broken heart out.
I feel your pain, Miley. I really do.
Men are assholes.
Maybe I should get a wrecking ball to swing around on. It might make me feel better.
As you can probably guess, I haven’t slept all night. My eyes are swollen and puffy, and I’m mentally drained. I’ve alternated between bouts of crying and then feeling angry and confused to eating my body weight in chocolate to make myself feel better. I’m an eater when I’m sad.
And I’m definitely sad right now, and this song is not doing anything to help my mood.
But I don’t turn it off. Clearly, I’m in the mood to torture myself.
I look over at the box of chocolates.
I clamber off the bed and go over to the mini bar. There are bars of chocolate in it. But the prices are astronomical, and I can’t afford to waste my money on overpriced chocolate, no matter how much I might want it.
“Looks like another trip to the store,” I say to Gucci.
She’s asleep on the bed. I’m pretty sure she didn’t even hear me.
I put my hair up into a messy bun. I pull on my hoodie and push my feet into my flip-flops.
Then, I look down at myself.
I’m wearing my Little Mermaid pajamas.
I consider this for a moment.
Screw it. I’m going out in them. It’s not like I’m out to impress anyone right now. And, honestly, I don’t give a crap what people will think.
I can just be the crazy lady in her pajamas.
I’m just about to get my wallet and room key when someone knocks on the hotel door.
Don’t be stupid Ava. He doesn’t know where you are right now. And he hates you.
I go over to the door and open it without checking the peephole to see who it is, and I find Charly standing there.
I open my mouth to speak, and I burst into tears.
She wraps her arms around me, hugging me tight, and I sob into her shoulder.
“It’s going to be okay.” She soothes me, rubbing my back with her hand.
“I’m sorry.” I sniffle. Pulling away, I wipe my face with the sleeve of my hoodie.
“Don’t be.” She closes the door behind herself and drops her bag to the floor. She takes her jacket off and tosses it on top of her bag.
“I know, but you’ve just gotten here. You don’t need me bawling on your shoulder.”
“Bawl away.” She lifts her shoulder in offering, forcing a smile from me. “That’s why I’m here. So, you can cry, scream, and do whatever you need to, to make yourself feel better.”
“Thanks,” I say, sitting down on the edge of the bed.
Gucci gets up, wanders over to me, and climbs in my lap.
“I’m so glad you’re here.”
“Me, too.” She tosses her cell on the bed and comes to sit by me. “This Gucci?” She reaches out and strokes her.
“Yeah.” I smile.
“She’s super cute. Aren’t you, Gucci?”
Charly scratches behind her ears, and Gucci, the attention whore, climbs off my lap and onto Charly’s lap where Charly continues to lavish attention on her.
“Have you slept at all?” she asks me.