Chapter 3: It Hurts

Kyoko went completely red. She couldn't believe it. Not only were they treating her like an object, they actually referred to her as an it. She was beyond mortified. She wanted to freak out; she wanted to go out there and shout at him until her voice gave out, then promptly beat the shit out of him. Or, at least, she wanted to want to. In reality she was just sad. She didn't want to lash out the way she did at Sho. She just kind of wanted to curl up and cry. She had trusted him, she'd trusted Sho too, but this time it was different. When she learned of Sho's betrayal she saw red, now everything was just a sort of dull grey ache. Because with Sho it was so many emotions coming together at one single point and Ren had only one thing to offer her: betrayal.

She took a deep breath, and everything seemed different. It was as though her hopeless gasp for cool, forgiving air had shaken the world around her as much as it had rattled her ribs in its desperate depths. The world shifted beneath her feet, and she was alone. Kanae was angry and would surely refuse to speak to her, and she could never face Ren again. She wanted so desperately to be strong, but she felt broken. She took a few more gasps of air, hoping for the world to shift back, but she fell short on her luck. Tears welled up in her eyes and plagued her with an unforgiving sting. She let a few stray tears roll down her cheek, knowing she had no power to hold them back, but soon regained her composure and straightened her back.

She was a lot of things, she was hurt, betrayed, confused, but she wasn't angry. She refused to be angry. Anger is the fool's emotion, She told herself for those too dimwitted to feel anything productive. She took another deep breath and held it, swallowing her pride. She had work to do with him and she wouldn't just let him make a fool of her.

She wouldn't let him take over her life and destroy her like Sho had. She willed herself to replay all the times he had treated her poorly, to remind her that he was not worth crying over, to show that this behaviour was completely in character and that she shouldn't be surprised.

She wouldn't let him control her. She was wounded, but not dead. She wasn't broken. She was strong and independent and she didn't need to rely on him for support. She was infallible, indestructible, untouchable. It seemed like it could be true, and she wanted to believe it, but her heartache weighed down on her like a merciless illness. She was strong, she really was. But just the same, she was was hurt.

A/N: I know that this one was short too, but I don't write during the school year much so this is just my "I'm not dead, don't forget about me!" Chapter. Also I couldn't find a good transition to make this chapter and the next one into one long chapter.