Tangled Page 49

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Or was it here? In my apartment? In any one of the hundred times I touched her…

God, why didn’t I see it sooner.

All those weeks—all those months—wasted. All those women I f**ked, whose faces I can’t even remember. All the times I pissed her off, when I could have been making her smile. All those days I could have been loving her. And getting her to love me.

Gone.

Women fall in love quicker than men. Easier and more often. But when guys fall? We go down harder. And when things go bad? When it’s not us who ends it? We don’t get to walk away.

We crawl.

I shouldn’t have said those things. In my office. Kate didn’t deserve that. It’s not her fault she doesn’t want what I want. That she doesn’t feel what I feel.

Christ, this is awful. Just f**king kill me.

Where’s a stray bullet from a random drive-by shooting when you need one?

Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever held something that meant…everything to you? Maybe you caught a home run ball as it flew over the fence? Or looked at a picture of yourself from some sweet, unforgettable time? Maybe your mother gave you a ring that belonged to your grandma’s grandmother? Whatever it is—you look at it and swear you’ll keep it forever. Because it’s that special. Precious.

Irreplaceable.

And then one day—you don’t know how or when it happened—you realize it’s gone.

Lost.

And you ache for it. You’d give anything to find it again. To have it back with you, where it was always supposed to be.

I curl myself around the pillow. I don’t know how long I stay there like that, but the next time I open my eyes and look out the window, it’s dark. What do you think they’re doing right now? Celebrating probably. Going out. Or maybe staying in.

I stare at the ceiling. Yes, those are tears. Liquid regret.

Go ahead—call me a pu**y. Call me a bitch. I deserve it. And I don’t care.

Not anymore.

Do you think he has any idea how lucky he is? How blessed?

Of course he doesn’t. He was the idiot who let her go. And I was the idiot who couldn’t keep her.

Maybe they won’t last. Maybe they’ll break up again. When Kate realizes she deserves better. But I guess that won’t make a difference for me, huh? Not after what I said. Not after I put that look on her face.

Jesus.

I roll off the bed and fall toward the trashcan. I barely make it before I wretch and heave. And anything that was in my stomach isn’t.

And that’s the moment—there on my knees. That’s when I tell myself I have the flu. Because this…this broken wreck can’t really be me.

Not forever.

If I’m just sick, then I can take some aspirin, get some sleep, and I’ll feel better. I’ll be me again. Eventually. But if I admit I’m crushed, if I acknowledge that my heart has been shattered into a thousand f**king shards…then I don’t know when I’ll ever be all right again. Maybe never.

So I get back into bed. To wait it out.

Till I’m over the flu.

Chapter 19

SO THAT’S IT. That’s my story. The rise. The fall. The end. And now—here I am—in this lousy restaurant Alexandra and Matthew dragged me to, where I just finished telling them pretty much the same story I told you.

When I was six, I learned how to ride a bike. Like all kids when they first take the training wheels off, I fell. A lot. Any time it happened, Alexandra was the one who was there. She dusted me off, kissed the scrapes away and convinced me to climb back on. So it’s only natural that I expect my sister to be compassionate about my heartache. Gentle. Sympathetic.

What I get is, “You’re a goddamn idiot, you know that, Drew?”

I bet you were starting to wonder why we call her The Bitch. Well, here you go.

“I’m sorry?”

“Yes, sorry is exactly what you are. Do you have any idea what a mess you’ve made? I always knew you were spoiled and self-centered. Hell, I was one of the people who made you that way. But I never thought you were stupid.”

Huh?

“And I could have sworn you were born with testicles.”

I choke on my drink. And Matthew laughs.

“I’m serious. I distinctly remember changing your diaper and seeing those cute little guys hanging there. What happened to them? Did they shrink? Disappear? Because that’s the only reason I can think of to explain why you would behave like such a pathetic no-balls coward.”

“Jesus Christ, Alexandra!”

“No, I don’t think even He can fix this.”

Defensive anger seeps into my chest. “I really don’t need this right now. Not from you. I’m already down—why the f**k are you kicking me?”

She scoffs, “Because a swift kick in the ass is exactly what you need to pick yourself up. Did you ever even consider that when Kate said they were ‘really good,’ perhaps she meant they were civil? That they had decided to be friends? Part amicably? If you knew half as much about women as you think you do, you’d understand that no woman would want to end a ten-year relationship on bad terms.”

That doesn’t even make any sense. Why would anyone want to be friends with someone they used to be able to f**k and can’t anymore? What would be the frigging point? “No. You’re totally off base.”

She shakes her head. “Regardless, if you had acted like a man instead of a wounded little boy, you would have told her how you felt.”

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