Page 150 of The Dancer

He’d made me believe in him. Had this all been some sick joke? But he’d gone to such lengths. Who does that? Is it a male thing? Are all men just wired that way?

All those thoughts and more ran through my head in a matter of minutes as I tried to make sense of what was going on. Why does my life keep imploding like this? Am I cursed? Am I destined to be alone? To be constantly hurt by the people I trust?


I don’t know how long I sat there, but the room kept filling up with people. Sherrie and her mom were there. I only knew that because she put the baby in my lap.

Travis kept calling my name but I couldn’t even answer him. I saw our life being turned upside down again and anger finally took over from the pain. I should’ve known better than to let my brother get tangled up in this. I got up from the chair and headed to the bedroom to pack.

“What are you doing? Where are you going?” My brother followed behind me. “I don’t know, but I can’t stay here.” I couldn’t think about how my life was going to change, how everything that I’d been looking forward to had come to an end with one photo.

Sherrie came into the room and sent Travis out. “Babe, you need to calm down. There must be an explanation, I know Max and this is not his style.”

“You saw the same picture I did. He had some woman all over him last night.”

“I know that’s what it looks like, but there could be a million reasons for that. Did you even look at his face? Did he look like he was having a good time? Wait until he gets back and talk this thing through. I just called Tony and they’re almost here.”

She talked, I packed. It wasn’t much because I wasn’t taking any of the things he’d bought me only what I’d brought with me. It’s a good thing I hadn’t followed his advice and thrown out all my stuff.

“Now I don’t have a damn coat. And I gave up my studio.” I dropped down on the bed when my legs went weak. What am I going to do about the school? I’d had so many plans for the future, and now this.

I looked at my phone again, but the picture hadn’t changed. It was still a photo of Max sitting at some bar with some chick draped all over him. I couldn’t bring myself to look at it too long and closed it up again.

His mom blocked me from going out the door, my brother pleaded with me to wait and talk to him and Sherrie took my bags and hid them somewhere.

I didn’t scream like I wanted to, I had gone ice cold inside. I was strung so tight I knew that if I released what was inside me I’d end up in a padded cell somewhere.

And just when I was at my breaking point, he walked through the door. “You lying son of bitch.” I threw the phone, hitting him in the face before taking off down the hallway.

Now that he was here all that I’d been holding inside wanted to break free, but I couldn’t even face him. I felt like such a failure. Obviously something was wrong with me that first my dad and now him, the only man I’d ever given my heart to, had betrayed me.

I locked the door and threw myself across the bed when I looked down from the window and realized it was too far a drop for me to make a jump for it.

I wanted to go back out there and rip him a new one. I wanted to scratch his face and hit him until the pain in my chest went away. But I knew that wouldn’t change anything.

He’d still be the asshole who’d pretended to want me, to not want to leave me, when he knew he was going to be with someone else this weekend.

I ran to the bathroom and threw up the few sips of coffee I’d drank and rested my head on the cool marble floor until my world stopped spinning. I made my way back to the bed and curled into a ball, wishing the day would come to an end.

MAX

“What the hell, what’s that about?” I looked around at the three women and one teenage boy who were gathered in front of my door.

“You fucked up bro.”

“Sherrie, language.”

“Not now mama. Max what did you do?”

“Uh, somebody wanna tell me what the hell is going on?”

“Look at the phone.” Sherrie’s words made no sense and I didn’t like the look on Travis’ face, it was the same look he had when his dad was here.

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