"I can't believe you!" Aria Montgomery all but screamed at her high school English teacher as she stormed out of the high school, her sleek black high heels clicking against the dark pavement as she all but ran to her car. "You kissed her!" she stopped walking and spun around to face him, shooting a glare in the direction of the building.
"Aria! I'm sorry! I don't know what happened! She just kissed me and—"
Aria cut him off, "and you didn't make any effort to stop her." She froze as two male students, each dressed in button down shirts, dress pants and ties (the traditional homecoming attire) walked by. She closed her eyes in an effort to stop the tears from forming.
"Aria, I wanted to stop her, believe me I did," he began, desperately grasping her hands in his own, but when she yanked them away he continued to explain. "But what was I going to say? 'Oh I'm sorry I can't date you because I'm dating someone you used to babysit'?"
"How about 'I'm not interested'?" Aria demanded and Ezra opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it immediately realizing she was right. Aria closed her eyes once again, and after taking a deep breathe in through her nose, she opened her eyes again and exhaled. "You know what Ezra, just forget it," she shook her head slightly and looked down avoiding eye contact with him. "She's your age and you can take her out in public and kiss her in front of whoever you want to and introduce her as your girlfriend. You're going to be a lot happier with her than you ever were with me." She told him and then turned to get into her car.
Ezra quickly grabbed her arm and spun her around to face him once again. "Aria please don't do this. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't want her at all; I'm in love with you! Not Simone or anyone else, just you."
She looked up into his eyes; little beads of water had begun to fall from her own. "It doesn't matter Ezra. Whether you wanted to or not, you still kissed her," Aria paused, letting her voice trail off. "And that's something I just can't forgive," she murmured quietly. She looked down again and turned to leave once again.
He quickly stepped in front of her, not allowing her to get to her car door. "Please, tell me what I can do to make you forgive me," he pleaded with her, his voice filled with desperation. Aria looked at him and saw that his normally sparkling blue eyes had turned a dismal shade of gray and had tears threatening to fall from them.
"There's nothing you can do!" she yelled at him, but he refused to accept that it was over. He took a step toward her and cupped her cheeks with his hands, pulling her face closer to his as he captured her lips in a passionate kiss.
Aria frowned against his lips instead of kissing back. The spark she usually felt when they kissed was gone, and now all she felt was hurt and betrayal. She felt disgusted, knowing that just ten minutes ago he had been doing the same thing to her old babysitter. The woman that Aria's own mother had so conveniently set up with Ezra since she had no idea he was in a relationship with her daughter.
Aria turned her head away from him, and he froze in place. He let his hands fall from her face and he stepped back dejectedly. She said nothing else, but instead shook her head slightly. She stepped around him slowly, and reached for the door handle and pulled on it. "Goodbye Ezra," her voice was monotone as she climbed into the driver's seat.
Ezra merely stared at the black cracked pavement as the sound of the car's ignition filled his ears. The tears that had just threatened before were now falling so hard it stung, causing him to close his eyes tightly.
When he was once again able to open them, Aria's car was gone. He looked around desperately, hoping and praying to himself that this was merely some cruel joke and she had parked her car in another spot and was heading back into the dance. But to his dismay, there were no signs of her at all. Aside from the tear droplets on the pavement, it was as if their conversation hadn't even happened.
"Knock, knock," Hanna's muffled voice came through Aria's closed door, and as only a true friend would do, she opened the door to Aria's room without waiting for approval. When she stepped inside, she saw Aria curled up under the blankets up her bed, facing away from the door.
Hanna stepped inside to allow Emily and Spencer to file into the room behind her. "Ok Sweetie, we're not going to let you wallow in your room for the rest of your life." Hanna said when Aria didn't turn to face her friends. The confrontation between Aria and Ezra had occurred last night and the Hanna, Emily and Spencer had decided to give their friend the night to cool off.
"Come on," Spencer coaxed as she sat on Aria's bed. She rubbed her friend's back. "We brought ice cream, take out, magazines and DVDs."
When Aria made no move to react Hanna stepped in once again. "Okay, come on," she grabbed hold of Aria's blankets and yanked them down to reveal Aria curled in a ball, dressed in a frumpy sweatshirt, black leggings and white fuzzy socks, a look that none of the other three girls had ever seen Aria wearing (even at sleepovers her PJs reflected her unique sense of style).
"I can't believe I was so stupid," Aria mumbled so quietly her friends had to strain their ears just to hear her.
"What do you mean you were stupid?" Emily asked, her tone dripping with her concern.
Aria rolled onto her back and pressed her palms onto her face, muffling her voice as she continued to speak. "I can't believe I let myself love him."
"Aria you can't seriously blame yourself for loving him," Spencer shook her head slightly.
"But it's so obvious now," Aria continued to speak through her hands, "It was so stupid of me to think even for a second that our relationship was going to work out. I mean, he couldn't tell anyone about us…and obviously people were going to go after him," she let her hands fall. "I just didn't think he would…" her voice trailed off.
"We need to get your mind off this. Noel Kahn's party is tonight and you already told him you'd be there—" Hanna began to say.
"Han!" Spencer interrupted in a hoarse whisper, "you can't honestly think she wants to go out after last night."
"Well sorry, I just wanted to get her out of the house. You know as well as I do that she's going to sit up here for God knows how long and—"
"Guys!" Emily interrupted, "You two fighting isn't going to help anything."
"Sorry," Hanna and Spencer said together, and gave each other an apologetic glance.
Suddenly Aria sat up on her bed, "No, Hanna's right," her voice sounded dismal and saddened. She wiped a stray tear from beneath her eye, "I should get out of the house."