This one shot was my contribution to the Jacob Black N Pack 3rd Writing Challenge. The prompt was "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood.


Comfort

It was a beautiful wedding, even if the bride wasn't. Yeah, yeah, I already knew that was a bitchy thing to be thinking, but it's not like I had said it out loud. The fact that I didn't rip the damn dress off her and spit in her face was enough of an accomplishment for me.

It couldn't have been just any friend; it had to have been my best friend. And it couldn't have been just any old best friend. It had to be the one I was related to, that showed up to all the family gatherings. It was like a crappy mother-in-law. You didn't get to choose her, but you were damn well stuck with her.

I tried to drink my sorrows away, but I couldn't get enough booze to fit inside this insanely ugly bridesmaid's dress. I wondered at first if she had chosen out this putrid turquoise in an attempt not to be upstaged by me, until I realized she just had bad taste. One look at the frumpy white dress confirmed it.

"Hey, look, there's Leah," I heard someone say in a hushed tone. They were probably pretty far away, but of course, the damn animal ears never gave me any reprieve.

"She was a real trooper. I don't think I'd be able to stand there being her bridesmaid if he had dumped me like that." Did that twit actually think she was whispering? Not only could I hear every word, I recognized the voice. It was some girl I used to go to high school with about a million years ago, when I was a normal human being.

"I guess she didn't have much choice. I mean, Emily's family. I bet her mom forced her to."

"I would have refused, no matter what my mother said."

"Maybe she didn't care."

"Oh, she cares. Did you see her looking at Sam? It's written all over her face. She's still in love with him."

Was I that transparent? All this time, I had been trying so hard to appear strong, and those two dimwits knew it was an act. What was the point in even trying? I might as well just break down and cry right here, right now.

I tried. I really tried hard, but no tears escaped.

It would have been better if he had done this in a more traditional way. If he had been sneaking behind my back, screwing around with some bleach blond whore he met in town, I'd at least be able to get angry. I could hate the bitch for taking my guy, I could hate the guy for being a cheating bastard, I could talk about them behind their backs and commiserate with all the other jilted girlfriends in this stupid little village. But no, I couldn't even have a normal break-up.

It had to be some mystical, magical voo-doo that Sam was powerless to stop. It had to be the nicest, sweetest girl I knew, and then she had to go and get disfigured so no one could say a bad word about her. Great.

I stood up and walked further away. How far would I have to go before everyone's voices were out of hearing range?

It was dark. The sky was overcast, hiding all the stars and it was a new moon, leaving the sky completely black.

I got close to the edge of grassy lot, when I noticed a large, black truck. It was Sam's truck. It was his new truck.

My hand somehow gravitated to it, without my knowledge. It felt cold and smooth under my too hot skin. There wasn't a speck of dirt stuck to it yet. I could still smell the new car smell emanating from the interior, even though all the windows were rolled up. He loved this truck so much that he wouldn't even put bows or ribbons on it.

I pushed with the palm of my hand, making a small depression appear on the door. Crap. I hadn't meant to do that. What had come over me? I bent down to inspect it. It didn't even look like a parking ding. Tears began rolling down my face. At first, I didn't notice them, but they started dripping off my chin and that was difficult to ignore. It was infuriating to be standing here crying over having made a dent in my ex-boyfriend-who-dumped-me-for-my-best-friend-slash-cousin's truck. Knowing it was unreasonable didn't make the crying stop, though. It got worse. It got bad enough that I hit the truck with my fists, angry with myself, the situation, and the damn truck for not being able to withstand the pressure of my stupid hand.

Oh hell, the truck looked pretty damn bad now.

"Argh!" I screamed. Why did I care? It was one thing to still be in love with him, but why did I care about his damn truck? "I don't want to care! I want to be like every other jilted girl who gets dumped for someone else!" I yelled, picking up a huge tree branch.

I swung it around and whacked the windshield, but it just bounced off. Damn modern cars. The branch dropped from my hands as I looked around for something else. Aw, hell, who was I kidding? I wasn't a normal girl who got dumped under normal circumstances.

I curled my hand into a fist and swung full force, making contact with the driver's side window. It broke on impact, sending glass all around it, as blood streamed from my hand. I ignored the blood as I reached in, grabbed the steering wheel, and tore it out, throwing it into the woods.

The tires. No car trashing was complete without slashing tires, but I didn't have a knife. There was no way I'd find some rock that just happened to be sharp enough. Oh well. I shrugged, hiked my dress up and got down on all fours, biting my teeth into one of the tires.

It tasted like crap, but still better than biting into a leech.

"Leah, what the hell?"

I looked up, afraid it was one of the guys. I don't know why I was afraid. None of them would do anything to me, not even Sam.

I had nothing to worry about.

"Seth, you stupid little shit, what are you doing here?"

"What am I doing here? How about I tell you what I'm not doing here? I'm not trashing Sam's brand new truck on his wedding day. Now what the hell are you doing here?"

I don't know why, but I smiled, "I'm being a normal girl."

"I don't know where you've been hanging, but normal girls do not bite tires."

"You wouldn't understand."

"You know Sam's going to find out about this," he said in an all to familiar tattle tale voice.

"So?" I asked casually.

"You're not scared?" he questioned, shocked.

I shrugged. "Why should I be? What's he going to do?"

Seth scratched his head and stared at me. "Aw, hell! He's just going to take it out on all of us! Shit, Leah! Really, you just had to do this?"

I shrugged again, before giving the bumper a good kick, knocking it right off. "Look, I'm sorry you're going to have to deal with his pissy mood for the next few days, but like I said, I'm just being a normal girl, for once." I jumped up, landed on the hood, and stomped my feet, making dents all over. Then I did a cool karate kick, bashing in the windshield.

Seth grabbed my legs and pulled me off, sending me tumbling to the ground, on top of him. I struggled to get up, but he had me in a strong hold. Shit, the damn kid was getting strong.

"Leah, you have got to stop," he shouted.

"The fucking thing's already trashed. Why don't you just let me have some fun?" I struggled more, but he wouldn't ease up.

"The damage is just to the body so far, we can all help pound out most of those dents, but you have got to stop, now!" he persisted.

"I just want to be normal!" I yelled, feeling the damn waterworks start up again.

"This is not normal, Leah!"

"Yes it is! This is what normal girls do when their boyfriends dump them for their best friend! They get to be vindictive bitches, and no one calls them a bad person! They get to talk about the other girl behind her back, and call her a slut! I want a chance to do what everyone else gets to do! It's not fair!"

"I know, Lee, I know it's not fair. I'm sorry it's not fair," Seth answered quietly. I stopped struggling as I felt my body go limp. Seth turned me around, hugging me. I let my head drop to his chest, weeping. "Look, you can call her a slut to me anytime you want."

"What for? So you can tell me what a wonderful person she is?" I stuttered out between sniffles. Seth lifted his shirt out of his pants and handed me an edge. I looked up at him a moment, questioningly. He nodded; I shrugged, and blew my nose into it. He really was a great brother most of the time.

"Just try it, now," he insisted.

"Fine. Emily's a slut," I answered without enthusiasm.

"Yeah, I know, right? What a skank?" He replied, in a slighter higher voice.

"Can you not do the stupid voice? It makes it sound fake."

"Okay."

"She could have said no," I continued, getting a little more inspired.

"You're right, and if she were a good person, she would have," Seth added, sounding quite convincing.

"I hate her," I spat out.

"I hate her too," he spat back.

"Sam as good as cheated on me."

"I wouldn't stop there! I'd say he did cheat on you! What kind of ass goes from being in love with you one minute, then dumping you the next? That's worse than cheating!"

I had to admit, the kid was pretty good.

"I bet he doesn't even really love her," I continued. "I bet he can't help himself, like blinking, you can't make yourself stop."

"He probably wishes he could stop so he can be with you again and have a real relationship."

"She gave in to him way too easily," I said, steering us away from dangerous territory.

"I'm not even sure she tried to stop him."

"This…" I said, pointing to the damaged truck "is retribution."

"It's like… Karma."

"Karma is her face. That shit had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with them being wrong."

Seth was quiet after I said that, not answering right away, but he only paused for a second. Everything else in the world may be fucked, but my brother still loved me most.

"She deserved it, and he deserves to look at it for the rest of his life," Seth responded, with venom in his voice, something I had never heard from him before.

I burst into tears again, some of the tension leaving my body as Seth held onto me, rocking me gently.

"It's okay, Leah. You can talk to anytime if you need to, okay?"

"Okay. And… Seth?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm sorry," I said.

"You should be saying that to Sam. It's his truck, not mine."

"No, not about that."

"Then what?" Seth asked.

"For what Sam's going to do to you."

"Aw, I'm sure he'll stop taking it out on us after a few days. Besides, it'll be worse for the other guys. He still thinks I'm a kid," Seth replied, unconcerned.

"No, I don't mean that."

"Then what?" he asked.

"For you calling Em a skank and… the other stuff."

"You're not going to tell him, are you?" Seth asked, aghast.

"Seth, think about it. None of us have to tell anyone anything. We all find out eventually."

"Shit." Seth was still holding onto me. "Whatever. You can still talk to me, and I'll still call her a skank, okay?"

"Okay," I answered, as I let my brother comfort me.

The End


Some of you may have heard of The Truly Anonymous Twilight Picture Prompt One Shot Contest. Well, I have entered it! There are many great stories there, so make your way over, read a few and vote (voting begins in March). Just remember, there are very strict rules. You can not promote, identify or even talk about any specific story (not even to recommended it to someone) or that story, and its author, can get disqualified! Make your way over to: ficcontest(dot)info for complete rules and the story database.