-And I pray to god I’ll forget her name, because I got lost inside her little game.-
The sound of New York surrounded me as I sat in the busy café, taking in all of the bustling stranger’s around me. None of them were Elena, though I didn’t really expect to run in to her on the street. Or here. I didn’t even know if I wanted to see her yet, and if I did see her… then I didn’t know if I’d be able to do more than rudely demand my sweats. Did I want my sweats? Not really. They looked better on her. They were better on her. I liked that she was wearing something of mine, but she might have thrown them away… much like how she’d thrown out my heart.
I had her address scribbled out on a piece of paper stuffed in to my jeans, but I didn’t think I had the guts to actually go knock on her door. What would I say? I didn’t even know how I really felt yet. Gerard said I shouldn’t blame her, but I did. I hated her for what she did to me. I hated her for using me. I wanted to know if she meant any of it… I wanted to know what was real, and what was fake because it was messing with my head.
Along with her address I had her note crumpled up in my pocket, hiding away. I read it every now and then, but often couldn’t get past the first sentence. Sometimes I just read the part where she said she loved me, and pretended she actually meant it.
It hurt a little less.
I had spent the last two weeks in this fucked up city, just watching people go about their day to day activities. I’d spent time on my ass in this café, and time out and about. I’d had pictures taken, and people asked for autographs. I walked through it all like a zombie on uppers. It was like I didn’t care. I couldn’t care. I didn’t want to. But I just kept going, going, going.
Gerard told our parents the truth. Frank was by his side. I think they are together now. They might as well be. Someone should get a little happiness out of the shit storm we all encountered, since Gerard was too fucking afraid to come out of the damn closet.
Because we are totally the most judgmental people ever.
My parents hugged him. They hugged Frank. They each got kissed on the cheek. No one asked about Elena. No one cared, but me. Gerard was the one that paid her, but I was the one she affected.
I hadn’t forgiven Gerard. I wasn’t sure I could. I don’t know how Frank did. Turns out they had sex. That’s probably why. Sex is a pretty powerful motivator. Had T- Elena told me who she really was in bed then I probably would’ve forgiven her out of stupidity, because her touch was mesmerizing.
But I couldn’t.
I couldn’t forgive this.
But the more time I spent away from her… the less I understood where I stood. I missed her. I desperately missed her. It wasn’t fair. She was wrong. Gerard was wrong. So why was I suffering? Were they even suffering?
Did she ever even really love me?
That was the question that kept me up at night.
The city lights shone brightly as I stared out the window of my apartment. The newspaper showed that Mikey was in town, but why? Maybe the whole band was around, but only he’d been seen…
The picture of him made me cringe.
He looked horrible.
My cell phone felt heavy in my hand, as I contemplated… once again, calling him. I tried to reason that I didn’t want to bother him but truth was… I was just afraid that he would hang up on me, or call me a whore or something equally hurtful. I deserved it, but that wouldn’t make it any easier. He probably wouldn’t even answer.
I took a deep breath and scrolled through my contact list, finding his name. I didn’t give myself the chance to back out as I quickly pressed talk and held the phone to my ear.
Too late to go back. He would either answer or he wouldn’t.
I was just about to toss my cell phone on to the hotel bed when it started vibrating in my hand. I paused, gazing down at Taylor’s name.
Taylor was calling me.
Elena. It was Elena.
It was still hard to get her name straight in my head, and I hadn’t even thought to edit her contact information. It wasn’t exactly a common occurrence after all.
My voice caught in my throat, and at first I thought I wouldn’t answer but then… “Hello?” My voice sounded weak. I was worried. She was calling me. Was something wrong?
There was a long pause, and I could hear her breathing on the other end. “Hi.” She finally replied, so softly. Her voice made me stop. It was like my heart temporarily stopped, and then started back up making me feel flustered and nearly dead but alive at the same time.
I didn’t speak, didn’t move, didn’t think. I just waited. The temperature in the hotel seemed to spike up, and suddenly I was sweating. “I heard you were in New York.” Elena finally spoke again, though she sounded uncertain.
“And you what, wanted to have a cute little reunion?” The angry statement came out before I could grasp on to what I was doing, and how it sounded and… I didn’t know how to feel around her, even over the phone. My heart was being torn apart. I thought she was done with it, but the pain just kept coming, and I wasn’t sure how much more I could take.
“/Oh/.” Elena let out a tiny squeak of a noise, which filled our otherwise mutual silence. “No… I, just…” She stopped, and I could hear my own pain in her voice. “Hi.”
I cleared my throat, and it felt like I was clearing away the emotions too. “Hi.” I answered, just as awkwardly.
“I’m so-” Elena started to apologize again and I rolled my eyes, reminded of a broken record.
“Please don’t. Don’t say it again, because it won’t change shit. You hurt me Elena. You really fucking hurt me.” I sounded like a little girl, spouting out my feelings. That was just me though, and I couldn’t change… and she made me feel like I didn’t have to change. She made me feel like she loved me. She made me feel… fuck!
“I know.” Elena whispered. “I know what I did.”
“Yeah?” It was weird how anything worth saying flew from my mind, when I’d spent all day thinking of what I wanted to say to her.
“How are you?” She nervously asked the question, as if I’d explode any moment… though I guess I had already exploded on her once during our phone call.
“Tired. Sad. Mad. Frustrated. Confused. Uninspired.” I rattled off a list of emotions, letting my own words fill my head as I tried to ignore the fact that I was on the phone with, and in the same city as, the girl who had torn my heart out. “Why did you call me Tay… Elena?” The name thing was really fucking with me.
“I miss you.” Elena replied softly. “And I just wanted to hear your voice.”
“That’s selfish.” I answered, just as softly. “You want something and you get it. Do you ever think of how your wants affect other people?”
“What?” The innocence in her voice had to be faked because she was so far from innocent. She was the devil in the flesh.
She was my personal hell.
“By calling me you’re… just making me think of how much it hurts to not have you anymore. It’s not fair, and you keep rubbing it in.” I was angry now, and the anger was blinding. I could feel nothing but it, and it burned so brightly. I wanted to hurt her back, but I didn’t, but I did.
“I asked you not to say that anymore.” I replied coldly.
“I’m sorry.” It sounded like a sob, mixed in with her apology… as she apologized again, but she couldn’t be crying. Unless she was acting, over the phone. Why was she doing this to me? The game was over. She won. I lost. Why couldn’t she just leave it at that? We were done. She did what she was paid to do. But Gerard said she didn’t accept payment. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand. That’s why I was in NY.
That and because… well, you couldn’t turn off love.
And I loved her, even if she didn’t really love me.
Elena suddenly gasped, and went silent.
“Elena?” She didn’t reply.
“Elena?” My aggravation showed in my tone this time. Why the hell wasn’t she answering, and where did the crying go? I couldn’t even hear her breath. I could hear her breath before.
“Elena, fucking answer me!” I nearly screamed the words, and as they tumbled out I sounded like a mad man.
My heart started to speed up, and my palms were getting sweaty. Why wasn’t she answering me? I picked up my keys, and seconds after the hotel room door closed behind me I was searching my pocket with my free hand looking for the crumpled piece of paper… First I found her note. Then I found her address. “Elena?” This was stalkerish behavior, right? You don’t just show up at a not-quite-exes place, do you? I didn’t really have a choice.
My key was in the ignition.
“Mikey?” Elena sounded breathless.
“What the hell is going on?” I demanded, as I quickly backed out without even really checking behind me.
“Nothing.” Elena breathed out. “Look, I’m sorry for calling…”
“What happened?” I asked, cutting her off. “Just tell me.” Obviously something happened.
I was still heading in the direction of her place. I knew where she lived, and I’d even driven by since I wasn’t completely familiar with the area. Boy, that really did not help my ‘not a stalker’ reputation.
“There was a spider.” Elena whispered. “Big spider.”
“Spider?” I stared blankly ahead at the road, slowing as I neared traffic. Fucking traffic.
“I put a cup over it.” Elena replied quietly. “So that I can kill it. Or maybe it can suffocate.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re such a girl.”
“Guilty.” She replied.
“Can you kill it?”
“When I hang up I will just ask my neighbor. He’s pretty nice about stuff like that.” Elena replied.
I wasn’t really a jealous guy, but the thought of some other guy killing spiders for her kind of bugged me. Okay, so it completely bugged me. “It’s late. You probably shouldn’t bother him.”
“Yeah. I’ll probably just put something on the cup to keep it in place.” Elena answered quietly. “Until the morning.”
“But knowing you you’ll stay awake on the couch watching it all night.” I replied, thinking of a late night conversation we’d had.
“Blanket is already on the couch.” Elena joked.
“Well… I am in New York, as you know.” I spoke softly, unsure as to where I wanted to go with this. Could I even handle seeing her? I was still on my way.
And I was close.
“Mikey…” Elena breathed out my name, causing knots to form in my stomach. “Will you come kill my spider?” She sounded nervous. I was nervous.
“I’m on my way.” I answered softly. “Now, what kind of spider am I facing exactly? Cause I’m not armed with anything other than my shoe.”
“I have a broom.” Elena answered. “But it’s pretty vicious, and angry.”
“Angry?” My lips pulled up in to a smile against my wishes. I didn’t want her to make me laugh. I wanted to be mad at her, because she hurt me. She hurt me badly. “What did you throw at it Elena?”
“My shoe.” Elena’s voice lowered. “My coffee maker.”
“You threw… your coffee maker?”
“Technically I didn’t throw it… I just pushed it off the counter. It’s broken. I can buy a new one.”
“Gerard told me you didn’t accept his money.” I brought the subject up, but I was hesitant. It was something I needed to question though. It was something she needed to explain.
“Well, I told him I didn’t want to but… he’s kind of sneaky.” Elena whispered. “He wired it in to my account. I totally question the legality of his actions but… I haven’t returned it. I wouldn’t know how.”
“Don’t.” I pulled my car to the curb, not even bothering to elegantly park. In New York that shit didn’t matter. I was lucky if I didn’t crash. It was a rental car too, not like it was my beloved car. Though I didn’t really have the attachment to my car that most guys seemed to have. “He really wanted you to have the money anyway.” I paused, “And you said totally, didn’t you?”
“I’ve been watching reality television all day.” Elena admitted. “Certain words wear off on you.”
I groaned. “What about work?” It was cold outside, but I still felt hot. Talking to Elena made me all hot and bothered… even when I hated her, though I knew deep inside I didn’t hate her at all. Why couldn’t I hate her? I hated myself for not hating her.
“I’m taking a break.” Elena admitted. “I might even go back to school. I have an associates degree. I could work towards my bachelors.”
“You never told me that.” I was on her door step, awkwardly waiting to knock. I felt like it would ruin everything though. “I’m here.”
Elena went quiet for a second, but then the door was pulled open. She had the phone to her ear as she stared at me in shock.
I ended the call, slipping my phone in to my pocket. “Being in a band isn’t nearly satisfying enough. I’m now employable as a door to door spider killer. I heard you had a spider in need of being killed.” Lamest hello ever.
Elena swallowed hard, as she set her phone down on the table beside her door. “Right this way.” She gestured down the hallway and I stepped inside.
I didn’t pass her though, instead glancing down at her hand. She kept it at her side, out of view. “What’s wrong?” She pushed the door closed and shrugged. “Show me.”
“The spider is in the kitchen.” Elena replied, ignoring me.
“Yeah, but something is wrong with your hand. You’re hiding it from me. Did the spider bite you?” That could potentially be serious.
With a loud, irritated sigh Elena raised her hand. There was blood dripping from the small, though deep, cut on her hand.
“How?” I asked, as I gently took hold of her wrist. As I touched her soft skin I breathed in, stung by the soft sensation. She had a similar reaction, gasping at my touch.
“I broke a cup when I saw it.” Elena answered. Her cheeks became pink. She was flustered. She was also… wearing my sweats.
While I looked like I’d been drunk all month long… she looked perfect, as always. That just made me angry, and I felt like I meant nothing. Was this having any effect on her, or was she just continuing to play the game for some twisted entertainment?
“Where is your gauze, and Neosporin?” I tried not to look directly at her, though she was looking at me. I could feel it.
“Bathroom.” She started walking, while I still held on to her wrist. It was awkward, but I didn’t want to lose the physical hold I had on her. Touching her hadn’t lost its charm.
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