"You said: I know that this will hurt, but if I don't break your heart things will just get worse." (Relient K)
It was going on two weeks of staying at Eric's. Which was so great. It made me feel so much better that I knew I had someone to count on. And that I didn't have to go back to living with Mrs. Bitch.
Speaking of which, Liz was really pissed at me. She had called me one night to tell me not to come back - to pick up my things when I had the chance and, pretty much, GTFO. I had told her to go fuck herself, actually. I would find my own place eventually.
I had been looking. The only places that I had found were grungy and in awful parts of the city. I had decided to wait a little longer. Meanwhile, I had Eric.
The fact that we had had sex... that was hard for me to wrap my head around. It was something I had told myself I'd never do with him. And then... it just happened. It wasn't that I was unhappy about it, although, I felt a little disgusted with myself that I would let down my own morals and boundaries for a guy. But, it was in the past now. What was I supposed to do about that? I had enough problems as it was.
And that brings up the next problem.
Yes. I had Eric.
But. I still hadn't told him anything. And I felt guilty.
Here he was, giving me a place to live - free of cost, FYI - and here I was: lying to him. At least, that's what it felt like to me. I felt like I had done terrible things, and that I needed to tell him. It would effect the way he felt about me, yes. But if he really loved me, he would do anything to stay with me.
I thought I knew him that well.
One night after work, I got a drive back with Simon again, and we talked things through. He was happy for me. As long as I was content with my situation, he would be supportive.
"Thanks for the drive, Simon. You know I appreciate it. And, thank you for cheering me up. You always seem to." I smiled at him before opening the door to the car, but he stopped me with his voice.
"Remember, whatever makes you happy, you should do. Don't think about anyone elses feelings, or their thoughts, or what their reaction would be to your decision because, in the end, it is your life. You make the decisions, and you experience it all. If you're not happy with your own life, how can you live a good life?"
I nod again, and thank him for the millionth time.
I run up the stairs, eager to get home to Eric, and also to sleep. Working while going to university, as I've said, is rough on the body. I was so exhausted that I didn't want to think.
I was definitely going to put off telling him about everything for another night.
But, as I came inside, Eric stood from the couch awkwardly, as if I had caught him doing something he wasn't supposed to. He looked like a child, ashamed.
"Ah, Kate. You're home."
I nod slowly, trying to encode this cryptic behavior. It was confusing me.
"Yes... I am. What's going on, Eric?" I place my hands on my hips.
"I, ah... we've got to talk." He said.
My mouth literally dropped to the floor.
Isn't that the girl's line? What the hell was going on?
"Alright..." I walk over to the couch, sitting. He decides to keep standing. "What do you wanna talk about...?" I ask, still completely dumbfounded.
"I can't do this anymore." He said, avoiding my eyes.
"What?" I ask, not clueing into his words at all.
"I'm breaking up with you." He made his best attempt at an angry face. I knew there was something up with this.
"No you're not." I say, being the stubborn person that I am. My eyebrows furrow as I stare at him. He's still awkwardly standing, looking down at his feet. "What the fuck, Eric?"
"I'm breaking up with you." He said again, as if I hadn't heard him the first time around.
"Yeah, I heard that. What do you mean, 'you're breaking up with me'? What the hell happened that made you decide this?" I ask, getting a little pissed off. More than usual. And it's not usual for me to get angry.
"I can't say." He said mysteriously.
"What the..." I trail off, my hands flying in the air. "Eric, you better fucking explain yourself to me right now. I want to know why you're breaking up with me."
"It's too complicated."
"Fuck you, it's too complicated."
He rubs the back of his neck, making a stressed face.
"If you really wanted to break up with me, there would be a reason." I say, throwing my hands up in the air appropriately.
"I do have a reason, Kate."
"Then tell me what the fuck it is."
There was a pause for a second.
"I know what you did."
And I froze.
I choked up.
"How?" I asked finally.
"That doesn't matter. All that matters right now is that I'm breaking up with you." He said, finally sitting on the coffee table. "Please, just pack your stuff and get out."
"I was going to tell you. I promise." I say, finally looking up at him. He was looking into my eyes now, and he looked hurt and sad. Of course.
"Yeah. Fucking right you were." He didn't say this angrily, but with sadness. And hesitation in every word. He was holding something back.
I took a moment. Then I spoke.
"And that's the only reason you're breaking up with me? Because I drank a little, and smoked a little?" I cross my arms over my chest, trying to fight back a little. I don't like to go down without a fight.
He paused, his mouth forming into a hard line. He shook his head.
"I don't want to talk to you anymore, Kate." He shook his head again. "Please, just leave."
Then it hit me.
I was stupid. I was an idiot.
I was losing my boyfriend because I decided that I would put off telling him about the things I had done. And now it was coming back to bite me in the ass.
I was losing the one person who took me in when I had nowhere to go.
I was losing the person I loved.
A tear fell from my cheek, and it hit my jeans. I nodded to him, but didn't look up.
"I'll get my stuff out by the end of the week, I promise. In the meantime, I'll find somewhere else to stay." I said, my voice shaky. He clenched his jaw, and shook his head for the millionth time.
I got up from the couch, grabbed a suitcase, and started shoving clothing into it messily. Eric sat on the coffee table like an idiot. I cried more. When I was finished, I went to the door, opening it loudly. Suddenly Eric turned and looked at me.
And that was all he said.
I suppose I should have seen it coming. I suppose I should have predicted that I would get into some sort of shit with my own actions. I always do. And yet, at the same time of being sad about it, I was relieved. I was happy. I was ready for something different and for something new.
I was grateful for the things I had experienced with him. And the lessons I had (hopefully) learned. I knew there were more to come. And of course, more stupid decisions and mistakes and discoveries and thoughts. There always would be. This was me: Kate Abbott.
It was the end of the beginning. But the beginning was never over.