Artie missed her. God, he missed her. He knew he had been a crappy boyfriend. He knew he deserved it. But that didn't stop the ache he felt rolling through the halls alone. Watching her, so happy, with Mike…
Maybe he wouldn't be so jealous if Mike wasn't such a good dancer. Maybe it was only in his head when he saw a gleam in her eyes during rehearsals that wasn't there before, because she was dancing with someone that could. Maybe she still loved him, Artie, and was dating Mike to make him upset.
Lying to himself eased his pain.
He lied to himself all the time now. He wondered if she remembered all they had gone through. How much she had tried to help him with his dream. Artie certainly hadn't.
After a week in school, Artie had asked Mr. Schue if he could quit the club. It was too hard to be in their presence. Then Mr. Schue had lectured him about happiness, and dedication to the club, and forced him to stay. Arthur Abrams had always been a pushover.
So he did his best to ignore them, as hard as it was.
She laughed a lot lately. He missed that laugh. It was like music, vibrant and radiant and contagious. Her laugh was the hardest thing to ignore. The way that Mike was no longer "Other Asian" but "Asian's Boyfriend" was another. Artie insisted on calling him Mike.
Kurt and Mercedes tried to help, but they tended to spend more time with Tina and Mike as of late. So had any of his other friends, now that it was just Artie, not Tina and Wheels. Who was he without her? The chair, he had convinced himself. At least before glee he had her as a friend. She wouldn't even look at him now.
Rachel had asked him if he still loved her. He lied and said no. She told him that she knew he did, because even though Jesse broke her heart, she had sill loved him for a little while. Artie had screamed at her for comparing Tina to Jesse. Rachel had looked at him pityingly before running away. Probably to Finn.
How come everyone else was paired off? Quinn and Puck had broken it off, but both of them were desirable enough to get by. Quinn had even gotten herself a boyfriend. Puck didn't have a girlfriend, but he had gotten back to his old routine of sleeping with every hot girl in school. But Puck still loved Quinn. So why didn't he feel what Artie felt? Then maybe he would have someone to talk to, someone to confide in, since Miss Pillsbury was no help when it came to student's love lives (Neither was Mr. Schue, for that matter).
Sometimes he wondered if he even loved Tina at all. He had never had a girlfriend, never kissed anyone, and had no one to compare her to.
But no. He had loved her, and he screwed it up, just like everything else in his sad excuse for a life.
So when she came up to him and said she missed him, asking if they could be friends again, he had accepted her offer in a heartbeat. Because he had her as a friend. And that was enough for now.