Chapter 1 : shattered.
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One day I fell apart. My head exploded, my fingers broke, my chest opened up and everything poured out. And I was just there, a pile of calamity and explosions, watching as the world went on while I stood still. I was broken and bitter and just waiting for nothing and everything all at once.
I thought that was it. I was just these broken pieces that would never be whole again.
I thought I was right, I thought I knew everything and that I would remain on that cold, hard ground for the rest of eternity.
But then you came, and you picked me up and put me back together.
And while you were never the best at fixing things, you managed to make me whole. Maybe not back to what I had originally been. I still had cracks and proof of what had happened. But I was living and breathing, and that was better then I could really hope for.
Because at least I had a beating heart.
The sky was gray. Varying shades that all interlaced over and under one another, creating a wilting rainbow that tricked and choked, pretending to be beautiful when it was anything but. It reminded me of skeleton bones and empty promises and the opening of a door that was supposed to remain closed. It reminded me of hopes and dreams that ended up forgotten and unfulfilled. The sky was gray, and I hated it. I hated that the sky was able to look so beautiful, yet make my world fall apart.
“Are you okay?” you asked me.
I did not look up. I continued to stare at the spot that had once been vacated by the person that I thought was mine. The empty space and hanging silence was now surrounding and wrapping me in it’s own sick form of a blanket.
How could silence deceive me so? How could silence pretend to be a comforting hand, when we all really knew that it was anything but?
“Did you hear me?” you asked again, your forehead creased with worry.
You were unsure of why I was staring at the space in front of me, because you did not understand. My world used to sit there everyday, until one day he did not. But I did not explain that to you.
I looked up at you finally, and you noticed the salt mixture dripping itself down my face. You were alarmed, and you took a step back.
I wanted you to leave. Why were you here anyway? I barely knew you. You barely knew me. We were two separate pendulums, swinging back and forth, only occasionally bumping into one another.
“I heard you,” I said, my voice a hoarse whisper. “And I think you should leave.”
More mixtures of salt water poured themselves down my face. I was a leaky faucet, and I did not want anyone witnessing the cracks in my pipes.
But you did not leave. Instead, you sat down in the spot that he used to sit in, and you wrapped your arms around me.
And I didn’t care that we were living on different pendulums. I didn’t care that we would get dizzy from all this swinging and swinging in order to remain in the same sphere. I leaned against you, and—for a little bit— the faucet was fixed.
“You need to realize that not all guys are jerks,” you said to me. We were eating in the Great Hall, which we had been doing for the past couple of days.
I did not understand why you cared, but I did not want to say anything for fear of you stopping. If you stopped then I would be alone, and being alone meant my head would fill up to the brim with all of the thoughts I’ve been avoiding, until they would all burst out and I wouldn’t be able to take them back.
“They’re not?” I asked you slowly. It was the closest I had come to making a joke in your presence.
You let out a laugh, louder than was necessary, just because of the fact that you were so happy and surprised I actually said something slightly normal. I continued to stare at you curiously as you laughed.
“Well,” you said, once you had calmed down, “I’m not a jerk, am I?”
I did not know how to answer this question. I continued to stare at you blankly, blinking occasionally.
“I don’t know you,” I responded when you continued to look at me expectantly.
You were confused about my answer. “Of course you do.”
But I didn’t. Knowing someone was completely different then talking with someone. Knowing someone meant knowing their worst fears; it meant knowing the skeletons they hid from the rest of the world. I did not know your skeletons, and you did not know mine, as much as you pretended you did.
I gave a disbelieving sigh, and scanned the Great Hall. I saw what used to be my world, sitting at the table that used to be ours. He locked eyes with mine for just a second, but then quickly looked away. I felt something inside my chest flutter and crack open, and then, finally, I did not feel anything in my chest at all.
“I am your knight in shining armor,” you said, causing me to focus my attention back on you.
I laughed. Barely a laugh, it was only for just a second. It might’ve been a cough for all anyone knew. But, that was enough for you.
You had a huge smile slapped on your face for the rest of the day.
“Do you ever think about just, maybe, talking to him?”
I did not look up from the book I was reading, and instead pretended I had not heard you. The words swam out of the page pulling me in, and I did not want to be brought back to reality, which was much, much worse than this book.
“Rooose,” you dragged out my name so that it sounded like it was more than one syllable.
I still ignored you, but you were not easily deterred. You closed the book I was reading, and I looked up at you. The world of make-believe disappeared and the thoughts I had been ignoring flooded their way back into my head. My face formed a scowl.
“Answer me,” you said. Your eyebrow was raised, and your mouth was pulled into a straight line.
“No,” I responded shortly. Talking to him would require saying words to him, and while I had so many words none could be said out loud. Such as:
Why did you leave me?
Wasn’t I enough?
How could you say you love me and treat me like this?
But, he could not know that I thought about him day in and day out. That all he had done was take and take and take, and when I had nothing left to give, he had finally stopped taking. That I had gotten nothing in return except for this empty feeling beneath my chest. He had broken me and made me weak.
I could not let him know that.
“Well,” you said your eyebrows arched while you considered my response, “I think you should. Just to straighten things out.”
I wanted to tell you that straightening things out would be impossible. Things were already pulled and stretched to their limits. If I tried to straighten things anymore, everything would snap.
But I looked into your eyes, which were so naïve and hopeful that I did not say anything. I did not want to make you what I had become. So I said nothing and opened my book back up where I could pretend I was another character, in another world, with a life that actually had a happy ending.
“So what’re you doing once the year ends?” you asked me doing your typical small talk. I did not want to answer you.
I think my life has now been separated into two columns, one is ‘before him’, and one is ‘after him’. Before him I liked to think of as the good ole days. The days where I didn’t know about the pain of a broken heart and shattered world. The days when the worst things that happened to me were stubbing my toe or forgetting my homework. After him is my present. I sleep, I eat, I barely talk and when I do it’s only to you. After him is what it seems like the rest of my life is going to be like. But I really hope this isn’t the case.
You might wonder why I don’t have a middle column, one titled ‘with him’. But I can think and think about it all I want, but those times do not count because I was so unbearably happy and so incredibly unknowing. I hate those times the most because I believed in him. And believing in him was really the stupidest thing I could have ever done.
And now you were asking me what I was going to do once the year ends, and the truth is that I do not know. I used to have it all planned out. It was supposed to be me and him and us creating and recreating our own world. But without him there is no world for us to create, so what is there for me to do?
“I think I’m going to become a Healer,” I said to you after a long pause.
I think this surprised you. I think you thought I would say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘ride on my parents coattails until I cannot anymore’. But I did have this one, feeble plan. It was all I had left once he ripped himself away from me.
“Really?” You asked me curiously. “I never thought you’d want to be a Healer.”
I knew what you were really trying to say though. You were trying to ask me how it was possible I could try to heal other people when I couldn’t even heal myself. You were silently judging me for thinking that I could help other people when I needed help the most.
“Well I do,” I responded to you crossing my arms defensively. And it wasn’t even that I really did want to be a Healer, it was the fact that you had doubted my abilities, so now I had to stand firm.
“That’s good then,” you replied with a smile. I instantly realized that you did not mean to insult me and you did not think I would be a bad Healer. You were just surprised. I hated myself for jumping to conclusions and thinking the worst, but could you really blame me after all I had been through?
I guess I should have expected something like this to happen. I should have known that with all the time we had spent together that one of us would wind up getting hurt. I thought it would end up being me, but it was you.
“I promise I won’t hurt you,” you said to me, your voice soft and just so incredibly hopeful. Your face was inches from mine and we were standing in an abandoned hallway. Your breath tickled my nose. The darkness surrounded us, but I could see the whites of your eyes and I knew that you really did mean what you were saying.
And I know that you promised you wouldn’t hurt me and that you thought it wasn’t possible you ever could, but so had he and he had hurt me most of all. I was not ready for this—for you— and I wished that you didn’t have to do this.
Because now that you made your feelings known I knew that we could not be friends. We were two separate pendulums, like I said, and even though we had been bumping into each other more than usual, we had a long fall looming over us.
“I’m sorry. But, I just can’t,” I said turning away from you and walking out of the darkness.
I placed my hand over my chest and I felt nothing but emptiness below it. I was right. I can’t. How can I love you without a heart?
Just because you promised that you wouldn’t hurt me doesn’t mean that I promised I wouldn’t hurt you.
I think it’s funny how quickly we can go from talking to each other to acting like the other doesn’t exist. While you are surprised, and the whole school is surprised, that I am not ready, I am not surprised.
I am never surprised, don’t you see?
So while I make my way to where I usually sit I notice the stares I get, but I do not care. I have been so past caring for a long time now. I no longer have a heart and you no longer have your smile and so I think we are even.
Maybe that has made me get a label as a ‘stone cold, uncaring psychotic bitch’ but I don’t think these labels are correct. If I did not care, I would not have stopped you. I would have let you love me and made you believe that I could one day love you. I knew that this would never happen though, so I saved you. I saved you from me.
Don’t you see?
I am trying to do what’s right. I am trying to make sure you don’t end up getting hurt. But it seems you already have so maybe I have failed myself.
But I tried, and that’s really all I can do.
Dawn was approaching. There was a tangle of reds and pinks, all leaping their way over one another, trying to escape from the darkness that was chasing them away. A ribbon of purple separated these frantic colors from the deep despairs of the dark blues. I wonder if the reds and pinks ever thanked the purple? Here it was, mercilessly submitting to the darkness in order to save the others. Was it appreciated at all?
I think I love this purple more than any of the other colors. This purple was not selfish, this purple did what it could without expecting anything in return.
“Rose,” I know it’s you before I turn around. I guess it was to be expected that you would bump into me here. This is where we had first collided, and this is where you had first seen me crumble. Funnily enough it was also where he and I used to spend our time. How could one spot belong to so many people?
And I know why you came here just like I know what you are thinking.
“Can you please just leave it?” I said to you before you could open your mouth. Maybe I was being harsh, but couldn’t you understand?
I did not have a heart. I could not love you and you could never love me. I had been hurt too much, broken into too many pieces. We could not ever be together, and that was that.
But you were not letting me go that easily, “Rose goddamn it, can you just listen to me?”
And so I was quiet. The silence floated between us as you regained your composure and thought over what you had to say.
“It’s just, you think you know everything, you think you know what’s going to happen. Every. Single. Moment. But why can’t you stop thinking and do what you want? Why do you have to be so difficult?” you asked me.
“You wouldn’t understand,” I responded.
You pinched the bridge of your nose and closed you eyes. “The whole point of me being here is so that I can understand.”
I didn’t know how to explain to you everything that ran its way through my head.
Because I’m not worth it.
Because I’ll never be what you want me to be.
Because I’ve been hurt too much in the past.
“It’s always complicated,” you said. I noticed your eyes drilling into me trying to get me to say more. Trying to get me to say that I will try.
“I just…” But I couldn’t say anything anymore. There was nothing left to say. I couldn’t continue to explain my case to you, and I think you knew this.
Your eyes changed from their normal open silver to a stormy gray that reminded me of the stupid sky that appeared the first time we ever really met.
“Nevermind,” you said angrily, raising your arms up in the air and admitting defeat. “I’m done, we’re done. “
You started to walk away but you stopped and turned around. I felt something flutter in my chest. But that had to be a mistake. I had no heart.
“You know for someone who acts like she knows so sodding much, you really don’t know anything. You need to stop trying to protect yourself because it’s not going to work.”
I felt another feeling beneath my chest. But it was a different feeling. The last one had been hopeful. But this one, this one had felt achingly similar to another feeling that I felt for him. I had to be mistaken though.
Because after him, my heart disappeared, and I have not seen it since. I could not have a heart, could I?
You waited one more beat before turning away and storming off. I think you expected me to call after you, but I did nothing but watch.
I thought, One day you will thank me for this.
I didn’t know it was possible to miss someone this much. I thought that after he left, I would never feel this pain again, but here I was missing you when I should have been indifferent.
I was supposed to be protecting myself, but instead I was watching as you talked to some stupid girl, one that you flashed that lopsided grin to.
I wasn’t supposed to feel anything. Why is it that my chest was hurting? It was breaking open and I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t anymore.
I guess somewhere along the way, I had gotten my heart back, and now it was disappearing again. Only this time, it was my fault.
You need to stop trying to protect yourself because it’s not going to work.
Your words rang through my entire being. You were right, in case you were wondering. In trying to protect myself I lost you and I ended up hurting myself even more.
And now I have to watch you give your stupid smiles that should only belong to me to someone else. She didn’t deserve it. She didn't know what I knew about you.
I bet she didn’t know that you still have to sleep with a nightlight or that you secretly hated your parents, or that you wished you had gotten sorted in Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. She did not know your skeletons, but I did.
She didn't deserve you.
I looked away from you before you could see me staring, and instead took comfort in the fact that she did not know these things about you.
She only knew what the rest of the school did. And that was quite possibly nothing.
I can feel myself breaking all over again. This pain beneath my chest is worse then any empty feeling I've ever had. She was not just a fluke. Now you sit with her, you talk to her, you're always with her. I see you two together so much that I'm beginning to wonder if I ever really knew you.
Did I just imagine that one month where we were friends and she was nothing to you?
I have become used to the silence. I have become used to talking to no one, and pretending I have better things to do then associate with people. I have put my guard up even more because of you, and I hate you for it. I hate you because I was just fine being broken.
And you being your stupid knight in shining armor had to come and put me back together again.
But you did a pretty shoddy job. You see I am already falling apart, and it hasn’t even been that long.
I guess I don't need to be fixed anymore. You have her and she's perfectly put together. She's ready for you and I was not. I can just sit here with my broken heart bleeding open and you can be with her.
I think I hate you. And that’s okay. I’m allowed to hate you.
“Hey,” you said coming up to me wearing your graduation robes. You had just stepped away from her, the same her from a couple months ago. You two were still together, and you are happy. With her.
I was surprised you came up to me. But I figured it’s just for old times sake. You want to say goodbye and all of that rot.
“Hey,” I echoed.
“So,” you said running your hands through your thick blond hair, “we graduated, eh?”
“Yeah.” I was not trying to make an effort. I was too bitter. You may be able to forget about that short time when we were friends, but I sure as hell can’t anymore.
All I do is fall asleep at night with nightmares chasing me round in circles until my legs are worn and my breathing is ragged. Every one of these nightmares are filled with your face.
“Look,” you said to me, sensing that this conversation was going nowhere. “I hope we don’t leave here with any hard feelings. I’m over it. I’m happy.”
This did not make me feel better, it made me feel worse. Why did you have to be happy without me?
“Okay?” you repeated back, only more so as a question.
Thoughts burst their way through my head. Everything I have ever tried to forget about you—your smell, your laugh, your eyes— all flooded back over me and I wanted to say something, anything that could change what had happened. How could everything be so different? I felt my head starting to swell and swell with all the thoughts, and I knew I was about to burst.
“I think I’m in love with you,” I blurted out. As soon as the words escaped my lips I wished I could chase after them and catch them and lock them back into my head where they were supposed to stay.
“What?” you looked totally taken aback.
I couldn’t move. I was frozen still with the fact that I actually said what I thought. Maybe I could just pretend I never said anything? It was too late anyway. You had her and we had just graduated. There was nothing left of us.
“Nothing,” I said finally managing to move my legs backwards and starting to turn away. I began to walk as fast as I could away from you, away from the crowd of my fellow classmates, away from my family, away from him. I had somewhere along the way broken into a jog and I wished I had worn different shoes.
But how was I supposed to know I was going to say something so incredibly stupid?
I finally reached the rock that I have learned to think of as my own. I sat down on it and did not look at the sky, instead I looked at the Forbidden Forest stretched out ahead of me with its mass of swirling greens and I wished it would swallow me whole.
I heard soft footsteps behind me, and I whirled my head around to see you, standing there your breathing haggard, your eyes bright. I widened my eyes at the sight of you.
You walked towards me, until you were standing right in front of me. You finally caught you breath.
“Did you mean it?” you asked stepping towards me. Your face was questioning but I didn’t know what answer you were expecting.
“Mean what?” I responded slowly. I could just pretend I had not said anything and then we could go along on our merry way. I could go to healing school, you could go work at the Daily Prophet and be happy and maybe even marry her.
You rolled your eyes at my response and stepped towards me again, until there was no space between us. I had no choice but to look up at your silver eyes and I really hoped you could not read what I was thinking.
“Rose, just say it,” you said annoyed. I looked away from you and down at the grass only to have you put both hands on the side of my face and turn me towards you, forcing me to look at you again.
My heart started to pound in my chest. The blood pumping through my ears, through my body. I had a heart and you were inches away from me and all I had to do was say what you needed me to say. My tongue was trying to force these words, trying to push them out. Please, all I had to do was say it.
“I…love you?” I pushed out, and I watched your face split into that amazingly heartbreaking, jaw-dropping smile that I knew so well. Your hands cupped my face even tighter, and I hoped that I said the right words.
“I love you too,” you said before leaning towards me and pressing your lips against mine.
And I felt my whole insides combust. Blood was racing through my veins, adrenaline pumping through my entire being and clouding every amazing thought that burst its way into my head. There were angels singing and trumpets playing and birds chirping. The world was flipping itself inside out and upside down. My whole body ripped apart and stuck itself back together from that kiss, and my heart exploded into my chest.
And so, now I have a third column, one titled ‘with you’ and I really hope that there will be no more columns to add.
A/N: Hello to all of you who read this! This is my submition to the Sunrise Challenge by HopelessRomanticx, and my topic was:
"depending on one person for the majority of your life and having them suddenly leave you, breaking your heart and leaving you with literally nothing because your whole life was with them."
I hope you guys all enjoyed this oneshot, it took me a while to create and develop it but I'm quite happy with how it came out! Shout out to my best friend Olivia who beta'd this story for me. Love you girl!
Tell me what you think in that review box below as I always am wanting constructive critism/thoughts about my one shots because they're the ones I'm very unsure about as they're pretty personal.
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