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The Smoke after the Fire

February 13, 2016

"May I go to the bathroom?" she asked her teacher, hoping no one else had heard her voice crack slightly. Her teacher nodded at her, and she walked out as quickly as she could without running, feeling thirty-two pairs of eyes on her. As soon as she was out the door, she managed to run to the end of the corridor before she collapsed, the sobs she'd been holding in bursting out all at once. She sat on the empty steps looking onto the deserted parking lot, contemplating what she had done to deserve her life. 

A year ago, she would never had expected this situation. A year ago, she wouldn't be sitting alone. Her best friend would have been by her side instantly, holding her in his warm arms, giving her the strength to hold on. Then a memory came flooding into her head, the reason she was alone. It was so stupid to think about the fact that she had lost her best friend over a crush, but she liked to think it was his fault. Of course he'd been the first person she told. Of course she'd assumed he wouldn't tell anyone. But, for some strange reason, he had told everyone. 

Suddenly, she felt like someone was watching her. Turning around, she saw the aforementioned ex-best friend standing there behind her in silence. "Do you mind if I sit with you?" he asked, gesturing to the stair next to her. She shrugged, relived that he hadn't asked if she was okay or what had happened. He sat himself down beside her, his warm hand brushing against her cold one. "You're freezing!" he exclaimed, shrugging off his jacket and putting around her. She could have sworn she saw a blush there.

In a matter of seconds, there tears were gone, unfortunately not taking the hollow feeling in her stomach with it. Instead she felt something familiar creep into her with it. The familiar feeling that she wanted to run away and never come back. "Uhh... I'm sorry you-" she started, but he cut her off, "Don't."

"I don't normally cry in front of people." 

"Don't worry about it," he answered, making to put his arms around her. 

"Don't touch me. Why did you come out here?"

"I could tell you weren't okay, so I thought I'd come and check for myself."

"I'm sorry you felt the need to come give me company." I wasn't really sure if I was being sarcastic or not.

"I'm sorry I butted in. I realize that I shouldn't have, but I just couldn't help it."

"WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE HELPED IT THEN!" she yelled, her voice raising with every word. "This is none of your business. Don't think I haven't noticed you watching me. If you're thinking you can do something to make what you did better, it's not going to happen."

"I said I'm sorry. You're the one crying in the cold, I thought you might appreciate the company."

"Well I don't. Just go."

"Will you at least let me explain?"

"It took you eight and a half months to pluck up the courage to talk to me?"

"I've been trying to talk to you! You've been ignoring me."

"You made me the object of gossip for the whole of last year. I knew he had a boyfriend, and I never meant for anyone to know. It was a stupid crush and you turned it into something huge. I think you just didn't know what to say, and you know I hate your excuses, so unless you think what you have to say is going to fix this, leave."

Without another word he left, leaving her in a whirlwind of emotions. Once upon a time, she would have been extremely glad to have him by her side, his protective arms around her, the smell of his strong deodorant wafting up to her. Once upon a time, she would have been glad to have her best friend to hold her as she cried, but she knew that was ridiculous. The reason you're crying and the person you cry on can't be the same person. It just doesn't work that way.

I guess our friendship was too good to last. After all, when the fire had been strong, it had scorched many a thing. I guess it was only fitting that when the fire died out, it would be felt strongly. 


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