A/N: Hello friends! If you followed me here from my other fics, welcome! I have watched Pitch Perfect like a billion times and I am harboring an unhealthy obsession. Seriously, someone find me some help. This is my first Pitch Perfect fic. I'm sorry this first one is so dark and sad. But it's been on my mind and has not let me ignore it! I promise the other handful that are floating around in my circus brain are happier and cuter and what we all wished had happened in the movie! But this one is realistic. And a different take on the Beca/Jesse relationship. I've read quite a few other fics (that have all been truly spectacular, by the way) and most of them have made Beca's walls be an issue. Or the long distance thing. But I haven't seen any that have explored the possibility that Jesse isn't as nice as we think he is. (Just because I haven't seen them, doesn't mean they aren't out there.) However, this kind of writing (breaking apart my favorite couples) is OOC for me as a writer. So this is probably one of the very few times this will happen.
Enough rambling! Let me know what you think! Heads up, I wanted to post this tonight, so any/all mistakes, spelling or grammar errors, or other unsightly things are my own fault. I don't work with a beta, so it's all me!
She missed him opening things for her. Because as strong as she was on the inside, her tiny frame admittedly made her a weakling on the outside.
It was small things like this the made her ache at the absence of him.
He had been sweet, kind, funny and unendingly patient with her. He had said all the right things, been exactly the definition of a great boyfriend. Her friends were jealous. They oohed and ahhed over him, with his chocolatey eyes and wavy dark hair. They giggled and tittered over the sweet, romantic things he said and the grand gestures he made.
She was happy. Enough. But it seemed to be lacking, the whole thing. He was perfect. Their relationship was perfect. It seemed to be perfect, anyway. But somehow, in some way, it wasn't enough.
She missed the way his hand found the small of her back when he led her through doors. The way his smile crinkled his eyes and warmed her core. The way he listened to her so intently, she thought his eyes would singe her skin. She missed his small, thoughtful actions- the way he would bring her a Dr. Pepper, even though she said she was trying to cut them out, but was secretly craving one. Or the way he would brush hair away from her face when they were in an intimate conversation.
It was ridiculous, really. And she would neveradmit to anyone that she missed those things. She would never say aloud that she sometimes wondered if she had done the right thing.
Because she had done it for all the right reasons. But it sometimes felt wrong because there had been no fight. No falling out. No dramatic reason for it to happen in the first place.
It started out well enough. His beautiful face made her heart beat to a completely different rhythm than it ever had. So different that it felt as though her heart had never actually been beating before him. His eyes warmed her soul; his laugh watered her. It made her stand tall, proud, and strong.
If she had been stronger, she would have told him no. She would have realized that her love was too big, too special, too important for him. If she had been stronger, she would have left. Gotten up and went. But she didn't. She stayed. His laugh started to flatten her, smoosh her. She let his eyes tell her stories, his mouth speak things that felt like lies. If she had been stronger….
The reasons seemed cloudy at first, but the more she thought about it and stressed over it, the clearer the reasons became. What was muddled and unsure became concrete and certain. What seemed small and inconsequential, she realized turned out to be huge and essential.
It was subtle, and sometimes vague. Which is why it took her a year to realize. There was an air, an attitude about him that smudged her heart. She felt small, diminished and less shiny that she used to feel.
She would never say those words out loud because they sounded girly and completely rebuffed her very way of life. Beca would never admit that beyond her steely exterior, the bitchy, badass attitude she put out, she really had an optimism for life. She felt shiny and excited for whatever life had to throw at her. As much as she tried to communicate that she was totally above it all, way too cool; internally, she wanted all the clichés that life had to offer.
Her shine was gone, and she mourned its loss. Her zest and tenacity had been smudged out by his arrogance, his need to be the brightest, smartest, most attractive person in the room.
She walked on eggshells in order not to hurt his feelings. Because as much as they joked around during their friendship and early stages of their relationship, he took everything she said quite seriously and was slow to forgive if she offended him.
He was not as careful. On the regular, he said things that barely made her flinch outwardly, when on the inside she was breaking. His snide comments and dismissive attitude flecked at her wounded heart. He seemed to be perfect at listening, and being attentive. But while it seemed he was unwavering in his devotion, he was merely coming up with his next response. The measured way he listened to her speak, with attention that made her twitch with discomfort, she realized was really his practiced effort to have the most clever, well-crafted response in the discussion.
His need for acceptance and attention took her from being sassy and clever, with endless things to talk about, to the quietest person in the room. She had no opinions. She had no replies. Not anymore. She stifled her intelligence, stifled her humor. Now, she only served to smile and laugh, and make him look good. She was his toy, a possession for him to do with as he pleased. She was small, quiet. A shadow of her previous snarky, self-assured, independent self.
It was like any other day; the day she woke up and realized everything. She was shocked. She had known all along that the relationship was flawed. But in no way had she ever believed that from the beginning it was destined for ruin. She wasn't normally a person who talked a lot throughout her day. If she had someone important to talk to, or a specific story to tell, she would speak. But if nothing was that important, she could finish a day, saying barely a sentence or two.
This day, however, Beca didn't utter a single sound. Her realization about the main relationship in her life had struck her speechless. She barely breathed. She was overly tentative in every move she made. She felt as though she were floating above her life, watching the shell of a person who masqueraded as her. She was more aware of how awkward she truly felt. Awkward, not in the sense of being ungraceful or strange, but in the sense of knowing your relationship is about to implode. She didn't know what to do with her hands. Her tongue felt uncomfortable in her mouth. Her legs moved stiffly, and she felt like she had to move them manually, rather than them moving fluidly, reflexively.
She sat on her decision for days, only telling Chloe very small snippets. Chloe grew worried about Beca, not knowing the gravity of Beca's decision. She barely spoke, barely ate, and truthfully barely moved. She avoided him at all cost. Ignored his texts and calls. Squirmed away from his touch when it was necessary for them to be in the same room. Avoided eye contact. She was truly awkward. So uncomfortable and painful to watch, that Chloe finally demanded that she come over for a girls night. Beca agreed, stating that Chloe had better have enough alcohol to give a giant a hangover.
Beca showed up at Chloe's apartment, wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt, with her hair pulled into a messy bun. Aubrey was there. Beca was glad, because it meant that Chloe's attention would be split between the two of them. Aubrey looked bad. But Beca rationalized that she probably did too.
Aubrey was having serious problems in her brand new marriage. Beca cringed inwardly, wondering if all relationships were destined for failure. Aubrey cried and drank, and wondered aloud how everything could get so screwed up. Out of nowhere, Beca burst into tears. She had consumed an entire bottle of wine by herself and was working on a pretty strong vodka somethingorother. Chloe and Aubrey turned to stare at Beca's uncharacteristically strong display of emotions. Beca felt as though she had word vomit, spilling everything thought and feeling that she had. She told them of her decision to break off her relationship. They talked for a few more minutes, but decided not to talk the situation to death. They diverted their attention to putting up shelves in Chloe's guest room, which turned out to be a disaster. They consumed more alcohol and finally piled into Chloe's bed together. They slept quite soundly.
Aubrey woke early and left, explaining the need to fix things with her husband. Beca was quiet and Chloe was content to stay quiet as well, waiting until Beca was ready to talk. Even though she was sure she was still drunk, Beca felt calm and more certain than ever about her decision. There was a strange clarity in her groggy brain.
She helped Chloe clean the apartment and then took her leave. She returned to the dorm she shared with Amy and showered. She was going to a wedding with him later that night and needed to be clean and fresh. She also had the unsavory task of picking out a fancy dress. As she mulled over her choices, it struck her as strangely ironic that she would be ending her relationship with him after an event that marked the indelibility of another. She knew she had to look extra spiffy; she was destroying a man that night.
He picked her up later. She was polite, but detached. She knew that he noticed. He asked if she was okay, told her numerous times how beautiful she looked. She nodded and smiled. She grimaced internally when she realized the smile didn't reach her eyes. He stared at her, his eyes calculating the difference in his girlfriend. She broke eye contact, looked away, concentrating on the road and scratching nervously at her arm.
The wedding was beautiful. Beca would never say out loud that she was the type of girl who believed in marriage. Even after her parents' nasty divorce- she wanted to be married. She looked at their friends who were saying their vows. She looked at how blissfully happy they looked. She saw forever in their eyes. The more beauty she took in, the more she realized she didn't want it with the man sitting next to her, his arm wrapped around her shoulders. She didn't want this celebration with him; because she knew she didn't want to spend the rest of her life being made to feel small. She didn't want to be resented for being smart and funny. Beca wasn't conceited and was not quick to point out her good qualities. But she knew that she was intelligent and humorous. She knew she had a lot to offer that the man to her left simply didn't appreciate.
It had started out well enough. He had seemed perfect. He had been exactly what she wanted at some point. She shook her head and willed away the tears that threatened at the thought of crushing the heart of the man who, for all his flaws and all the ways he made her hurt, was her best friend.
Dinner went well enough. The wedding cake was cut and the guests were called onto the dance floor. She faked a headache and asked if they could leave.
The drive back to campus was rough. Beca was trying to find the right moment.
When he sighed heavily for the umpteenth time, she knew it was the right moment.
"Jesse, I want to break up." The words plummeted out of her mouth.
His eyes flashed to hers.
Confusion. Hurt. Anger. Betrayal.
Beca took a calming breath and gave him an answer that was true enough. They did want different things. They were different people than when they first got together. They were headed in different directions. She stayed startlingly calm. He cried and grew angrier by the mile.
Beca looked out the window, searching for the strength to deliver the final blow. She knew she needed to tell him about all the hurt he had caused her. With a last breath, she let the words spill.
His eyes flashed to hers again.
Wry amusement. Confusion. Disbelief. Anger. Hurt. And something she couldn't decipher.
She finished talking and let out a slow, measured breath. He began to speak and it was suddenly clear, the emotion that she couldn't pinpoint.
He was devastated that he had hurt her so intensely. He'd never meant to. He never knew what he was doing to her. He'd had no idea that his very presence had left her as a ghost. He cried hardest over that.
They finally arrived back at Barden. They began the walk back to their dorms. Beca was hesitant. She didn't want to leave him but was unbearably uncomfortable still being near him. He asked for a hug. Beca agreed, and was met with the warm familiarity of his hug and the brokenness of his responding sob. She allowed him to cling to her for another moment, then with tears enough to fill the ocean, she pushed away from him and continued the walk to her room alone.
As soon as the door closed behind her, Beca let go of the tiny grasp she had on her control. The floodgates opened and her walls came crashing down, harder than she ever anticipated. Amy was bewildered but called Chloe. Chloe came over at once and held Beca. She helped Beca change out of the dress and into pajamas and then she let Beca cry and hiccup. Tears stained her face, Chloe's shirt and pillows. It took hours for Beca to calm down. Chloe stroked her face and hair and Amy held Beca's feet in her lap.
When Beca could breathe normally again, she looked at her two friends and took a steadying breath.
"It's going to be okay."
Chloe and Amy looked unsure and apprehensive. But the determination and resolve in Beca's wavering voice convinced them.
Those five words were what helped Beca map the road of grief she walked down for the next month. She'd lost the most important person in her life. Not only that, it had been her decision to lose him.
It was what she repeated to herself day in and day out. It was her mantra. She knew it better than she knew any other words in the English language.
It's going to be okay.
Yay? Nay? Happier one-shots to come! Let me know if there's a specific prompt you've been dying to see fleshed out! Or a song you reallllllly want me to incorporate!
Btw: the song reference in this fic is to Ingrid Michaelson's Sort Of. Tell me if you can spot it!
Hugs and kisses!