Chapter 1: The Purest of Pain (Son by Four)


I'd done all the things that Brittany had asked of me all year long and it had literally pulled me to shreds in every conceivable way possible.

But she was worth it, how could she not be?

As badass as I may seem, I'm a lover before anything and when I fall, look out below because I'm falling like a motherfucker straight into all that love has to offer.

The only problem is that I don't think that I've ever met anyone that loves me back the same way...until Brittany.

We just get each other, plain and simple.

Usually I know where her head is, even if no one else does.

Every single day during the school year we never spent more than a couple hours apart.

Then of course she was whisked away by her parents to Arizona to go see her Nan before the last day of school with the promise that she would be back for my big 18th birthday bash.

I hugged her tight and made her pinky swear to call me every day and she had been doing so well until two days ago.

And now, I'm panicking a little.

Papi gave me his credit card to buy something special for the party and Mami dropped me off and told me to get a manicure on her.

So, I came straight to Britt's only to see no sign of life when I peaked in the windows.

I knocked until my knuckles ached before finally parking my ass on her front steps and pulling out my phone.

B...where are you? :/-Ana

I didn't expect an immediate response since I hadn't gotten one in days but boom, seconds later her message came through, loud and clear.

Um? In New York, what's up?-B

Since when? You were in AZ two days ago! We were supposed to shop for today. You do remember what today is...right? You promised!-Ana

Umm...Been here since yesterday mrng. Sorry about shopping, something came up. 2day is Saturday silly :P J/K of course I know 2day. Happy birthday! :)-B

Yea thanks. So you're not coming to my party?-Ana

Should be there...hopefully. I gtg super busy I will txt u l8r, k? Xoxoxo-B

I was beyond pissed!


I shoved my phone in my purse and stood on her steps for a moment, wiping at my burning eyes while I tried to figure out what to do next.

Finally, after getting annoyed without my own self-pity, I yanked my phone back out of my purse and just texted Q.

Yo Q! Wanna come shopping with me? I have the credit card and I will buy you something really pretty! ;)-S

You had me at something really pretty! ;) Get your ass over here!-Q

Be ready!-S

;)-Q

By the time I walked the few blocks to Quinn's she was already in her car, air blasting, waiting for me.

I shook my head and got in, annoyed that I hadn't just driven today.

"So Lopez, what happened to Britt? Did she finally get wise and find a better girl to spend her time with?"

"Haha very funny."

"Why didn't you drive?"

"B was supposed to drive us...plans changed."

"Why?"

I ignored her and just flagged my hand towards the road.

"Do you want something pretty or not? This card isn't going to swipe itself! Let's get moving Fabray!"


Three hours and a thousand dollars later, nails fresh and my mood moderately improved, Q dropped me off at home, so I could soak in a bubble bath.

Q had insisted that I needed to relax because I spent most of my time at the mall anxiously checking my phone for messages from Britt but I still hadn't heard from her and when I had asked Q if she wanted to hang out after the mall so we could get ready for the party together she gave me that pitying smile and told me I was on my own. She had plans already and she wasn't going to change them for me. Which, RUDE, but whatever.

Something must be wrong when my two best friends don't want to be with me on my 18th fucking birthday.

My bubble bath came and went with no messages from B and I felt like I was going to completely lose my shit.

How could she do this to me?

It's not like New York was on the way from AZ, you literally had to pass Ohio, it just doesn't make any sense.

Bathed, buffed and alone, I lit a cigarette and paced my tree house for at least an hour before I caved and texted her.

Hey B, I'm home and I got you something nice ;) Be safe out there! Love u!-Ana

I knew that I sounded pathetic, but I was getting desperate to talk to her, even if I tried to play it cool.

This was supposed to be a day for us, just her and me celebrating ME.

I stared at my phone begging it to ring for way too long and tried to be patient, but I finally figured out that Britt was either ignoring me (unlikely) or she lost her phone again (possible)...and decided that had to be it.

So I called her hoping that she would answer.

"Hey, you reached Brittany S. Pierce leave me a message if you wanna and I will call you as soon as I hide lord tubs cigars." *beep*

That was the final straw. I hung up, refusing to leave her a message.

Instead, I brushed my hair into submission and threw on my cutest summer outfit.

I was a woman now, officially, I didn't need to rely on Britt or Quinn, I needed to go be an adult.

Buy cigarettes legally, maybe play the lottery...something other than sulk around for another moment.

I shoved down my sadness and promised myself that I wouldn't allow anyone to steal my joy today, especially not someone that I should be trusting to show up for me.

Brittany had rarely let me down, I knew I should trust her and so I took many deep breaths.

I could do this, so after an hour of way too much sulking, I grabbed my keys and set out to find some fun.

I had hours to kill before my party, hours that I had been hoping to spend getting my mack on with Britt Britt but since she was "super busy", I wasn't going to sit around like some loser and wait for a phone call.

Too much of my childhood was spent being alone and there was no way that I was going to bring in my adult years the same way.

Papi's old car sat in my parking spot, needing a paint job and some serious love...I never drove it even though it was mine.

When I had gotten the car as a sixteenth birthday gift, I had been excited but after a few years of scrapes and dents it wasn't looking so pristine anymore.

I wanted a new car but Papi had insisted that I get all my driving kinks out first.

Such is life.


As I drove around and tried to figure out what I could do to entertain myself, my phone rang, and I nearly caused an accident answering it but righted the car before impact with the wall.

"Hello?"

Please be B!

"Anita?"

That voice sent tingles through me, but I didn't want to believe that after all this time...it couldn't be...could it?

"Who the hell is this?"

"Happy birthday Anita, It's Marco, long time, no talk!"

I hesitated and threw my head back against the headrest.

Why today?

"How did you get this number, Marco?"

"I ran into Quinn and she gave it to me! Damn, she looks smokin' hot these days. Little Lucy has definitely grown up to be quite the looker. Anyway how is my Ana doing? 18 today, wow!"

I pulled the car onto the side of the road and just sat there in shock as I listened to a voice that brought back so many unwanted memories.

I couldn't believe after everything that I had gone through with this fucker, that Quinn would just voluntarily hand out my phone number.

My whole body was trembling and so now I was sitting there thinking of how I was going to kill her!

"I don't believe you."

"And yet I'm calling you, I'm in town for a few days...at Abuelo's old place in West Lima...it's where I stay when I'm back home, you remember it right?"

"Please don't call me anymore Marco."

I begged, and my voice actually quivered. As much as I hated it, he had a hold on me still, what the fuck!

I was about to hang up when I heard him say the unthinkable.

"See you tonight! I can't wait to meet your new friends!"

He made a kissing noise and then the line went dead.


I couldn't hold back my anger as I wiped away my tears and rested my head against the steering wheel silently praying that I had just imagined that phone call even though I knew that I hadn't.

"Damn-it Britt, where are you?"

I tried calling her a second and third time and was forwarded to her voice mail both times.

Fuck!

I banged on the steering wheel venting my frustration with Britt and Marco and fucking Quinn!

And even though I was feeling so much rage at Q, I called her ass too, but she forwarded my call.

Bitch.

My sobs were out of control and my hands were sore as I clenched the wheel.

I knew I was losing it and that I needed to pull it together before I did something stupid.

Breathe Lopez

No, I had to ignore the bad stuff, today was my day!

Still sobbing, I sped towards a store, loaded up on cigarettes and convinced a sleazy old guy to buy me some booze.

I was definitely losing my shit and I didn't think there was any way to stop.

Maybe I should have called Q again or even Puck or anyone that had been around when Marco was tormenting my life but instead I blasted my music and tried to push past the memories that were flooding my mind.

Drinking and driving, swerving and speeding, it's a wonder that I didn't kill myself.

Instead...I did something just as bad.

I stupidly started guzzling the harsh liquor at red lights and stop signs.

My mind was racing as I pulled into West Lima, the world spinning as I sat still, staring at that house.

He couldn't be back.

It was all in my head.

Had to be.

Right?

Please God?


I blacked out at some point and woke up hours later, curled up on a couch on the other side of town.

Fuck my life!

To top it off, my mouth tasted like shit and my head was aching something terrible.

I looked around and immediately recognized my surroundings.

Marco's house.

It all came rushing back to me.

I had driven to West Lima and parked outside Marco's house and continued to drink away my sorrows until the bottle was empty.

My head pounded as the rest of the thoughts came back to me.

I had somehow gotten up the courage to confront Marco.

Liquid courage in my veins, I banged on his front door, hoping to intimidate the shit out of him but I should have known better.

Instead of being tough, I cried in his arms and ended up on my knees blowing him right on his couch so that he would agree to not show up at my party.

I gagged as I thought of what I had done.

My sobering mind quickly remembered just how my day had gotten to this point and immediately I saw those blue eyes that I claimed to love so much.

Oh God!

Britt!

I quickly found my purse and keys by the front door where I had apparently dropped them, the house had been empty when I woke up, thank God for small miracles, my walk of shame was a little less shameful.

This was the richest and more rural part of town and so I knew that the chances that I was going to be seen by any gleeks were slim.

I did know though, that if I was seen, Papi would know in a heartbeat.

There was no stumbling from the house, I had to hold my head up and walk slow and poised.

It was supposed to be my day.


My head was pounding, my throat felt raw and my jaw felt like it was going to fall off, there was no forgetting what I had done.

I worked hard not to stumble towards the sidewalk in my heels, but I managed it.

In fact, I managed to calmly climb into my car before I lost it again.

I chanced a glance in my rear-view mirror and saw the wreck staring back at me.

My eyes began to water as I wiped at the white crust that lingered on my lips.

"Slut." I whispered to myself and then more tears came.

Of course, I wanted nothing more than to die right then and there but I am Santana motherfucking Lopez and that meant that I couldn't let shit break me!

Not him, not again.

I didn't have time for an emotional breakdown.

Sure I felt like a slut and I had fucked up BAD, but my party should have started thirty minutes ago.

There was no more time to pity myself, I knew that I had to rush home, get to my room unnoticed and change into something fabulous.

Tonight was about me and I knew that I would be the center of attention...that should have been enough for me earlier but apparently on top of being a slut and a major fuck up, I'm also an idiot!

But I didn't have time to think about what I had just done.

I needed to think fast.

Really, what I needed more than anything was a fucking decoy, someone to distract people for me.

I wracked my brain for a good distraction while also, taking the opportunity to check my phone.

I had been out of touch with the world for at least five hours, so of course I had six missed calls, two from my mom, and three from Quinn but the one that made my heart break was from the only person I wanted to talk to.

Text messages had filled up my inbox to capacity and suddenly, I was thinking of all the places that I could have gone instead of fucking up the way that I did.

I had a bunch of birthday messages from various family members and one from Q telling me I should stop trying to make an entrance and hurry up but again the message I was most interested in was the one from Britt.


Hey Ana...looks like I'm not going 2 make it 2nite. Lo siento! I will pick u up for a makeup bday brunch tomorrow, 10 sharp. K? Love u! Have fun!-B

I wasn't expecting the tears to come flooding down again, but I knew I had to let all it out or fucking explode.

And so finally, I allowed myself two whole minutes to fall apart before I pushed it all back down.

I needed help and I needed it now!

I picked up my phone and called the only friend I had.

"San, where the heck are you?"

"Q, I need you!"

"Should I be worried?"

"Always...please?"

"You haven't sounded like this since-"

"Just...I need you to come through for me, Q."

"Anything."

"Thank you." I sniveled.

Damn it, the tears hadn't stopped.

I begged Quinn to help me and because a bitch always helps a bitch in need, of course she came through for me!

She agreed to sneak up to my room and grab my outfit and then she would meet me at her place, so that I didn't have to worry about showing up looking like this.

I owed her big time!


I don't remember the drive over to Quinn's which wasn't very far, so I didn't crash, thankfully.

Like a pathetic stalker, I tried to call Britt back and there was once again no answer, so I left her a voicemail this time.

"Hey B…I just wanted to let you know that I love you so much! I hope that you are having fun in NYC, just think, B...a year from now we will be moving there and starting our lives together! I can't wait to see you for brunch tomorrow. I love you! This year is going to be OUR year! Call me later okay. Bye!"

Leaving a message without crying while trying to sound happy was the hardest thing yet!

I had cheated on her in the worst way, with the worst person on the planet.

How could I do this to her?

"Fuck!"

Barely holding on to my sanity, I made my way through Quinn's dark house and stumbled into her bedroom.

Everything in there brought back a million memories and even some of Britt which made me feel even worse.

I sat on Q's bed bouncing my feet off the ground, rocking slightly while thanking the heavens that I had a spare key and that Judy wasn't home.

Judy was of course, at my house celebrating me and so I knew that Q and I wouldn't be interrupted.

The last thing that I needed was her mom to see me like this.


I waited anxiously for Quinn and because I was trapped in my own depression, I didn't want to move until I knew she had managed to get my outfit from my room.

I know that I should have gotten in the shower, it would have been easier to hide what I had done but I was too busy sobbing and worrying over Britt that I couldn't seem to think straight.

Quinn burst into the room holding one of my shopping bags and my makeup case.

She took one look at me and rushed to my side, dropping my stuff on the bed in the process.

Her eyes were sweeping over my face and I felt a blush color my cheeks.

She just there stood above me and examined my appearance before saying a word, I could only imagine what I looked like to her.

I knew that I looked like hell and at this point there was no sense in hiding it...she would have been able to tell even if I was freshly showered.

I finally looked up at her and tried to smile through my tears, but she just shook her head and lifted up my face with her finger.

She turned my face one way and then another and then looked like she wanted to gag and then she leaned in and sniffed me before going pale.

I watched as she took a deep breath before stooping lower so that she could see me better.

"Thanks for helping me." I whispered.

"What the hell is going on, San? What happened to you? You smell like vodka and smoke! It's gross!"

"I know."

"Oh my God! Please tell me that isn't jizz on your face too…it has been like five hours and somehow, you've managed to completely fall apart! I can't leave you alone for five fucking hours? Is that jizz in your hair, too? If this was Puck, I'm going to kill him!"

"Marco."

Her jaw dropped, knowing that this was way more serious than Puck.

I looked up at her feeling defeated and dirty and just shrugged my shoulders.

"Help, please?"

"I've got you, okay...I'm not going to let him ruin you...not again."