A/N: So, I feel like I have to explain. I'm still working on my other story, Continuity Error, but while writing that one I was clubbed over the head with an idea for a sequel to The Con. I literally had to stop writting my other story to get this down and as a result, I will be writing both stories simultaneously so bare with me. Anyway, Read and Review and tell me what you think. Thanks...
Keep on fighting to remember
That nothing is lost in the end
When you burn, burn, burn your life down
It won't get better until its worse.
I can't even remember when or where I heard the saying before and I don't know if its because its honestly no longer in my memory or if its because I'm so nervous that my brain is broken and glitching, either way I hope the anonymous source is right because right now it's the only glimmer of hope that I have.
The promise that this feeling, this emptiness taking up too much space in my body, will go away, will get better. It's the only reason that I have the strength to do this.
To sit here on this uncomfortable couch with its hard, thin cushions that Mrs. Benson insisted was good for spinal alignment when she bought it for the apartment that I share with Freddie. The apartment that she insisted on decorating in pale neutral colors with stupid names, like Dorian Grey and Egg Shell Yellow and boring, thick patterns. The apartment that was supposed to be equal parts me and Freddie but instead is all Freddie and his mom and I probably should've objected stronger to the black, plastic corner protectors on every pointy edge in the too big apartment but this place has never really felt like home.
It doesn't feel like somewhere I want to be, a self imposed prison because this is every girls dream, living with her boyfriend and finishing school and it should be sunshine and happiness but its not.
It's not because there are heavy curtains blocking out the sun since Freddie's mom told him that the suns rays cause dust and I'm not really all that happy.
That's what it comes down to… I'm not happy.
I'm so, so tired of bending and twisting myself into a mold I don't seem to fit.
I'm not happy.
And I've known it for a while, probably from the beginning, deep down in my stomach but a series of recent of random but connected events have brought that feeling, that feeling that's sort of like a caged animal, to the surface.
A series of random events that include the world's fattest priest having successful gastric bypass surgery, the local Chili My Bowl burning down, a statewide recall on turkey jerky and finding a beat up, old back row of car seats on the side of the road.
The leather is ripped and shredded, dust settling, a possible animal taking up residence between the cushions and springs of it and its ridiculously out of place on the side of the road, tangled with the grass and trees but the sight of it makes something hot and painful expand in my chest until there's just no more room behind my ribs. Until there's no where for my lungs to go.
It's the damned seats that do it. I pulled my car to the side of the road and got out, sat on those seats with tears burning hot in my eyes and it was more comfortable than this too expensive, fancy couch.
They remind me of Sam, all of these things do, and all of my memories and thoughts and feelings about her that I've taken and folded up into something small and tiny and hidden somewhere behind my heart are opening up again and its like a switch is flipped.
It's like someone took a squeegee to my eyes and all of sudden I acknowledged, pulled over on the side of the highway, hunched on over the steering wheel and trying to just take a fucking breath while I stared at the stupid seat through the tears burning my eyes, that I wasn't happy.
I can suddenly admit that I miss Sam so much and the heart fluttering text messages we send that proclaim that we'll be BFF's till the end of time and the awkward emails I get in my inbox every once in a while, aren't enough.
I admit that for as much as I miss my best friend, the curve of her lips and the blue of her eyes, I miss that awkward, intimate, eager place we were for that short period of time when I could kiss her mouth and touch her hips and it was fucking beautiful even though I had a boyfriend and it was terrifying.
And missing her makes me realize that I miss everything. I miss Spencer and his art and his quirks and I miss our loft, full of bright, bright colors and dizzying patterns while we soared above the city and I just miss everything.
For everything I miss, I realize that it comes down to the fact that, God, I don't want this.
I crack my knuckles nervously, a habit that I've always associated with Sam and that I just started recently despite Freddie's warnings of Carpal Tunnel and Osteoporosis, while I wait for Freddie to get home from class…so I can leave him.
Just the thought sends a cascade of nausea sweeping through me because Freddie is still my friend and I love him and I don't want to leave him because he's all I've ever known but I know I have to. Ya know, spread my wings and fly and all of that crap.
My fidgeting hands knock over the suitcase at my knees and I curse a little as it hit's the thin, pale carpeting, thin because fluffy carpet is obviously a tripping hazard, just as the front door swings open.
"Hey Carls…" he greets and I straighten quickly, suitcase clutched in my hand and for as many times as I've gone over this in my head, the ability to speak is completely failing me right now.
Freddie's dark eyes fall to the suitcase in my hand, to my face and back again, smile slipping from his face as his eyebrows dip down in confusion.
"Freddie." I manage, choking on the rest of my sentence while my heart pounds in my chest so loud that I'm sure he can hear it from across the room.
"Where are you going?" He asks softly and I swallow and wonder absently if maybe I was putting on too good of a front, if my con was too good, and Freddie had no idea that everything wasn't good between us.
"I, uh, I'm…leaving." I whisper, shifting on my feet and Freddie licks his lips carefully like he's thinking and putting things together and I can literally see the realization of what's happening, dawn on him.
"Where are you going?" He asks again, harder this time like he's spitting bullets and his frown deepens.
"I dunno, Spencers?"
"Why?" He asks, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment like maybe this is a dream but its not and I readjust my sweaty grip on my suitcase.
There's so many reasons I can give him but I settle for the bottom truth.
"Freddie, I love you…"
"I love you too." He cuts me off quickly, so sure in his words and I falter a little, blinking hard.
"I'm not happy." I whisper and the way he flinches makes me think that it would have been easier if I just yelled it, screamed it at him until my voice went raw.
"What?" He breathes even though I know he understands what I'm saying but I talk anyway.
"I think I just need some space." I croak weakly, staring down at my shoes for a moment before meeting his eyes.
"Space? From me?" He asks in disbelief and I swallow hard.
His head drops then, I watch his shoulders rise and fall while he drags in deep, hard breaths and I note that it feels like there's absolutely no air in the room right now.
"When are you coming back?" He asks, looking up at me and I focus on the stripes on Freddie's shirt. They match the couch.
"I don't know."
"Are you coming back?" He hisses and I lick my lips, gazing over his shoulder at the door.
"I don't know."
He moves then, heavy steps and powerful movements across the room and I don't move until he slams the bedroom, our bedroom door shut, so hard that the walls vibrate and I flinch.
Then I go, dragging steps towards the door and I open and step into the sun.
I once heard somewhere that it won't get better until its worse.