Author's Note: This story does not contain Noah. If you were familiar with my username and were expecting a story that contained Noah, I recommend reading something else.


In a small, well-kept room is a small, well-made bed. Behind the bed, is a headboard with a photograph sitting atop it. The photograph was of her love; the one she had loved and lost. It was never fair; the good girls always wanted the bad boys, but for some reason could never keep them. Perhaps it was for the best, she thought. After all, all he ever did was get her into trouble.

This way, she could continue to live the life she always dreamed of when she was a child: a well-kept room, with well-organized items. She could cook for herself, clean for herself, and never have to worry about the bad influences of the man she had once known. Although it had been fun to unleash her inner devil sometimes—and it's true that she would have stifled her id twice as hard had she not been under the influence of an attractive anarchist—she knew that there would be no point dwelling on the past.

He always told her that he would stick around forever. She believed him, because he had no reason to lie to her. He was never afraid to speak his mind. She remembered the first time that they admitted their love for each other. They were just beginning to become the couple they had each secretly wanted for quite some time, when an outside circumstance—Harold—had caused them to separate.

If Courtney wanted to place the blame on anyone, it was Harold. He was the one who caused their separation; and if that had not occurred, perhaps she would never have been forced away from him; perhaps he would never have found the other one. Courtney would also blame Trent for this, because his extreme devotion had gotten so out of hand that Gwen was no longer satisfied with him; and had to look elsewhere.

If it had been up to Courtney, Gwen would have stayed with Trent, and, lacking that, would have gotten together with another nice boy; she would never have expected that she would steal her own man. Courtney was not bitter, however. After all, Duncan would get what he wanted, and that's what really mattered to her.

No, Courtney was not bitter. She may have been locked up in her house alone, never leaving except to attend school, but her grades had vastly improved because of the greater amount of time she spent on studying. Her life may have been predictable, and while some would call it "boring", Courtney would call it "great."

Of course it was heartbreaking to see her boyfriend leave her so brazenly. And it's true that she had lost more than a boyfriend, she had also lost a confidante. And while she sat alone at night she would think of the betrayal, but nothing could cause her to regret this. It's better this way, she would tell herself each night. It's better this way.

Tears would flow down her face, and she would think about all the fun she could be having. Then she would think better of it, and realize that the fun was nothing more than a cleverly disguised set of death traps. She had a motto prior to meeting Duncan, and that was risky behavior is never okay. She abandoned that motto when she dated him. She became interested in the risky behavior she so long condemned. She loved him unconditionally.

Perhaps she was to blame for the breakup. Maybe she came off as too pushy, as too bossy, or as too uptight. The problem was that, if that was not what charmed Duncan in the first place, what could it have been? It's true that Gwen was always more easygoing than she was, and perhaps Duncan was attracted to that.

She should have seen this coming, she thought. She was an upper-middle-class academic, most of whom Duncan couldn't stand. And she knew the other high IQs looked scornfully at her for her taste in men. She didn't care; she didn't like them anyway. She wanted to be with Duncan.

This was a risk she should never have taken. She readopted her motto. Risky behavior is never okay. Risky behavior is NEVER okay.

She got up, and prepared for her new day, now in a shell. She refused to let anyone into her life. She would never leave the shell. After all, risky behavior is never okay.