With that, she leaves. After a few moments, I hear the front door close, and the dam breaks. Everything comes flooding out, and I can’t hold it back. The pain of being alone again takes over, and it’s as if I’m a foster kid all over again. It’s a feeling I thought I’d never have to experience again. Maybe I’m meant to be alone forever.

Chapter Nineteen


* * *

Paige opens the door, and I push away from the wall, walking over.

“I told you this was going to happen,” she says as she locks the door behind her and pockets the key. I should have changed out that goddamn lock she put on there the first time I saw it, but I thought I had time.

This was all supposed to come out later. Long after I had Mallory to myself and had made her mine. I was supposed to have her tied to me in every way possible before her world came crashing down. Make her love me, need me, make her feel a little bit of what I felt for her.

“How did you fuck this up?” I snap at her. I want to blame anyone but myself for this. My fucking plan was perfect. Was being the key word until I fucked it up a little myself a week ago, that first night at the bar. I wouldn’t have had to do that if Paige would have kept me better filled in. Paige shouldn’t have taken her to that bar in the first place.

“I don’t know.” She looks away, and I see the tears roll down her cheeks. I forgot how long she’s been with her and how close she’d gotten to Mallory. That she wasn’t there to protect her. Not anymore. My sweet Mallory got to her, too.

“Where are you going?” I look at the bag over her shoulder, wondering what the fuck is going on. “Get back in there and talk to her.”

“She needs time, Miles. She’s heartbroken. Can’t you understand that? Try and put yourself in her position. I think she fucking loved you. She was like a sister to me. And now all of this is broken. She’s going to need time,” she says, emphasizing her point. I can be bullheaded especially when it comes to Mallory.

She walks past me, and I reach out, grabbing her arm to stop her. She looks at me with watery eyes, and it’s the only time I’ve ever seen her cry.

“Apologize, Miles. Apologize a lot. But give her time.” With that, I drop my arm and she passes by me. Before she gets on the elevator, she turns back to me. “I think she’s going to go back to work. I’ll still be watching her.” She gets on the elevator, the doors shut and she disappears.

I look back to Mallory’s apartment door and I walk over to it, unable to leave. Pressing my palms to the door, I try to feel her inside. She’s the other half of my soul; I should be there to help her with the pain. Pressing my ear to the door, I close my eyes when I hear the sounds of her sobbing. The sound hits me right in the gut. A sound I’d heard before, from another woman, a sound I told myself I’d never hear from Mallory. But here I was, all my plans falling apart, causing the very thing I’d promised I’d never do. Be like him.

“Mallory. Please. Let me in, baby. Let me explain.” I try not to shout but still make my voice loud enough so that she can hear. I wait a few moments, and nothing changes. I hear the sound of her cries, and I can do nothing to fix it.

I’ve broken the single most precious thing in my life, and nothing can mend it.

I fall to my knees and press my side against her door. I deserve to hear her heart being ripped to pieces. I’ve caused this pain, and I should have to hear every sob. Putting my head in my hands, I cry with her. Because all I ever wanted to do was to love her and have her love me. Everything I’ve done has been so that she could have only the best. But in turn, I’ve stolen away all that was good and left her in ruins.

It’s hours later when her cries quiet and I can no longer hear her. I hope that she’s found sleep or that maybe she’s gotten some peace and has been able to pull herself together.

My legs cramp and my back aches, but I don’t move away from her door. I won’t give up the chance to talk to her, even if it’s her yelling at me.

* * *

I sit in front of her door all night.

And all day Sunday.

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