“Matthew was the best thing that ever happened to me. He was! And he ruined everything! He ruined our relationship, he ruined our future!” Brittney cried, her body shaking as she curled up on my sofa. Her snow shoes and coat had been thrown on the floor, and she now held her knees, shivering and sniffling as she cried.
“I’m sorry, Conner, I’m so sorry, I just…” She sniffed, wiping her eyes, “I just… I needed to tell someone, and… and…”
I glanced outside, where blankets of snow still crowded the kitchen window, then finished stirring her hot cocoa. “Hey, don’t apologize. What are friends for, right?” Picking up the two mugs, I walked back to the sofa and handed one to her. “But, I’m not sure if you’re going to make it home tonight.” I smiled.
Brittney took her mug, and held it in her hands as she stared off into the distance. “You won’t mind if I crash on the couch will you…?” She asked. Then, she glanced at her mug to take a sip, and tears began to well in her eyes. “I don’t wanna go home… I don’t wanna be alone… tonight… or tomorrow…” She closed her eyes and began to cry. “Tomorrow… tomorrow would have been six years… six years of being together… January first…” She choked on a sob. “We could have made it, right…? I mean… didn’t our past mean anything to him? Anything at all?”
I sighed and took her mug from her hands before she dropped it. I set both of ours on the table and sat down next to her, putting my arm around her shoulder. I did not have any words for her. Any at all.
Brittney rested her head against my shoulder and simply cried, bubbling out broken sentences and nonsense as the night passed by.
“If… If only he had talked to me… If only he had told me he was lonely… that he needed companionship and comfort…. and attention… he just shut me out… he would not tell me anything was wrong… After… After he lost his best friend… he just shut everyone out.” She breathed, steadying her voice. Then, it cracked again from the pressure in her throat. “That was why the women came! Those stupid women! Because he was stupid and greedy and selfish! And I wasn’t enough for him. I wasn’t! He had to get new girls, and start new relationships! God, he was dating three of them at once!”
Apparently the cheating still bothered her, even after six months. I did not blame her, though. Not many people knew, and the secret was probably eating her up inside.
“Of course, then he just started sleeping with them… even though he says it wasn’t about the sex…” She hiccupped. “It was always about the sex, wasn’t it? He was lonely, a-and, I wasn’t enough for him. Apparently, t-the promise rings meant nothing to him… even if I wore mine every day… it meant nothing…” She breathed, burying her head against my chest. “… It wasn’t like he ever wore his anyway… I had to get it resized twice, but it was still too big for him… and he didn’t really like it anyway… maybe…”
Brittney lifted her hand up to wipe her eyes. “Then, there was Merissa… the stupid whore… who he drove all the way to Seattle to meet and sleep with.”
Merissa was the worst, the main one, from what I understood.
“He lied three times, you know… about needing to stay over the weekend for ‘group work.’ God, I can’t believe I trusted him so much… I still do, too… I always believed him, no matter what he ever lied about…” She bit her bottom lip. “The last time was when we were supposed to go see Mad Max together… over memorial day weekend… he lied and went and watched Mad Max with her… they went to West Seattle and went to the beach… and he slept with her, a-and… she made him breakfast…
“I’ve always wanted to make him breakfast… but, noo… my cooking wasn’t good enough for him… and he hates driving in Seattle, I always had to drive… and he hates water… and I always wanted to take him to the beach.” She babbled on. “I had spent the whole weekend praising him to my family, too… It was on Tuesday when he finally couldn’t take the pressure, and told me everything…”
Brittney took a few deep breaths, then her lip began to tremble. “I forgave him for everything! Everything! And it still wasn’t enough! I told him I loved him more than I hated the cheating, but nooo, he had to still have ‘feelings’ for stupid Merissa! It’s always about Merissa! I had done everything for him, and I was willing to do so much more, but stupid, freaking Merissa was a baby, and a brat, and she was having ’emotional’ issues, so he had to care about her, more. I’m the one he cheated on! Me! It doesn’t matter that the other girls didn’t know, he was mine first!” The tears came like buckets of rain, splashing against my t-shirt, almost like a cartoon, as she gripped my waist, and just yelled at the top of her lungs.
If it were not for my loud music, she could have popped my ear drums.
“And then-then, because me forgiving him wasn’t enough, he dumped me, and left me to drown my sorrow in a tub of ice cream!”
I might have laughed a little at that comment, if she had not been so upset.
“You know, he didn’t even want to get married… or have kids… or even live with a dog… at least, not anymore… I was even willing to move in with him… before we got married, to see how things went, but nooo, he was too much of a baby, and he wasn’t willing to move out of his parents’ house and grow up and be an adult. He just wanted to live with his parents, because it’s ‘easier’. And since they paid for his college, he somehow thinks that that means that they get to dictate the rest of his life for him.”
She went silent, and I was secretly hoping that she had finished her rant.
“Then, the stupid idiot ignored me for three freakin’ months… at some point in time, he had stopped loving me… and then he had stopped kissing me… and even stopped hugging me… he told me that he would just pretend that I was his cousin when we hung out… so he wouldn’t feel awkward not kissing me…”
She closed her eyes again. “He cheats on me because I wasn’t showing him enough attention, when I gave him everything! Then, I forgive him, but that wasn’t good enough for him! And then, he ignores me for three freakin’ months and claims that he’s too depressed about being a terrible person to have room for anyone else in his life!” Brittney actually screamed. “I gave him everything, and I would have given him more, but it wasn’t enough for him! I wasn’t enough! I wasn’t pretty enough, or paid enough attention to him, when I shaped my whole future around him!”
I looked up at the ceiling, trying to breathe deeply since she was still squeezing my stomach to death.
She took in a few more breaths and her grip relaxed slightly. “I even wanted to still be his friend… Matthew… he had pushed all of his friends away, and… I just wanted to help him with his depression, and show him he was still a good person… but he doesn’t care about getting better, or changing his life around, he only cares about complaining about his life.”
She breathed again, and my first thought was ‘please, god, please let her be done with the screaming.’ Then, I instantly felt guilty about the thought.
Brittney sat up and I moved my arm away. “I even bought him a birthday present, and a Christmas present, and his brother, too… But, he doesn’t have the guts to come over here and face my family to get them… and, apparently, he doesn’t want me anywhere near his family, like I ever did anything wrong to them…” She sat back and picked up her hot cocoa, sipping it. “You know, he even told me that his parents aren’t fond of me anymore.”
Her hazel eyes looked into mine, the tears making them sparkle. “Of course, they probably only think that because Matthew is a coward and he doesn’t have the guts to tell them that he’s the one who cheated on me, and ruined our relationship… He’s the one with the problem, not me…” She looked down at the sofa, sitting on her knees. Her new shorter hair cut was rather cute when she wore it down. “I even made him a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving… but he only said he wanted one because he thought that it would make me happy… more lying… the stupid thing just rotted on the kitchen counter. I had to throw it away. I even wanted to go to see the new Star Wars movie with him and his brother, but now I have to wait to watch it with my parents…”
Brittney leaned against the sofa and sighed. “I really am sorry, Conner, for dumping all of this on you… I just… My family doesn’t know about the cheating, or the other issues… I was too afraid to tell them because I didn’t want them to hate Matthew… even now, I’m still trying to protect him… when he isn’t willing to do the same for me… and I’m too afraid to tell them…” She looked up at me again. “I had to tell someone…”
Even with her stained cheeks, she looked simply beautiful.
I smiled. “It’s no problem. What are friends for, right?”
She smiled. “Yeah, thanks for being such a great friend.” She set her mug down and leaned over to hug me, her breasts pressing against my t-shirt. “I just care about him so much… I still have a hard time getting over him…”
I sighed and hugged her back. Yep, a great friend. That was all I would ever be. Happy New Year, Conner, you’re the world’s greatest ‘friend’.