Glasovalna številka: PR128

Živa Korošec

FINDING HAPPINESS

OŠ Trzin

 

PROLOGUE

Love. The word everybody melts at. It’s a fun thing. Sometimes you love everything in the damn world. The way people help each other, laugh and talk, the way you breathe and live. You are thankful for life, thankful for your friends and family. You can’t stop smiling at silly little kids and their parents. You watch birds on the trees, running dogs and beautiful flowers. You adore everything. Sometimes you don’t want to love anything. You’re broken. You feel so alone that it hurts. You don’t want to watch anyone’s happiness. You feel sick looking at smiling faces and kissing couples. You close your eyes, because you feel like you want to kill them. Kill their happiness. I don’t really know what love means. And I probably never will. Even my parents don’t love me. 'I love you'. It’s just words. You can use them to make feel a person happy. And that person doesn’t know if you are honest. People talk those words way too often. How could I ever feel loved? True love is difficult to find. I thought I found love once. But it was only a betrayal. I won’t love again.

Hate. It’s a strong word. People often say they can’t hate. That you have to forgive. That everybody have imperfections and you have to embrace them. I don’t agree. I can hate easily. Not everyone deserves forgiving. And I’m not a forgiving person. And why not hate? You can hate every single thing. You can hate annoying kids, slow grannies, cute couples and ugly pink dresses. You can hate all things if you want. I didn’t choose to be nice person. It is not who I am. I have a lot of baggage and I don’t want to share it with others. Nobody deserves that. Let them just be happy. But why do they have to be so happy? Why can’t I be happy, for god’s sake? I hate everybody because of their happiness. I know very well that a lot of people don’t like me. I’m rude, reckless, sarcastic and I swore a lot. Well, damn it’s just stronger way to express myself. Besides that, rudeness is the best way to let people avoid you. No one asks you about personal shit and nobody loves you. Because they hate you. And being hated is a lot better that being loved.   

Elisabeth

 “Elisabeth, wake up,” my father snapped.

God, here we go again. My dad is really shitty, you know, one of those rich assholes who always try to control your life. He doesn’t let me do anything fun. And he certainly thinks that I don’t smoke and drink. But he just doesn’t know me. How could he, he’s never at home.

“Yeah, whatever,” I muttered and buried my head under the pillow.

“Elisabeth Dawn Williams, how dare you talk to me like that? We both know how important this day is! So get up and dress properly!” he yelled and exited my room.

I rolled my eyes and lay in bed for a few minutes. Finally, I decided to get up. After I showered, brushed my teeth and did make up I had to decide what to wear. I never wanted to impress people by the clothes I wear. I pulled out some black skinny jeans and white T-shirt that I haven’t packed. Today is the first day of college. I didn’t want to go to some lame private collage, but my awesome father gave me no choice. He even threatened me that he will take my new red Mustang. That car is my life so I couldn’t let him take it. I wanted to have my car at college so I can drive away anytime.

“Elisabeth! Come down, we have to go!” dad shouted and this time I did what he wanted right away. The sooner we go, the faster he will leave me alone.

                                                                                                ***

We drove in silence. He insisted that we take a limo. My car was already at college so I didn’t have much choice. I wish I could live with mom. But I suppose it wouldn't be much different from living with dad. They divorced when I was 3 years old and I ended up stuck with dad. He is the CEO of one of the most successful companies in the world. And my mom is a lawyer. She's successful too, she's leading a law company. But they’re both busy and proud. The only tolerable member of my family is my brother Jackson. He’s 21 and unfortunately he moved to his own apartment with his girlfriend.

“We’re here, sir” our driver said and I got out of the limo with sigh.

Dad decided to speak up: “Remember Elisabeth, don’t do anything stupid, don’t party and make me proud.”

I snorted. “Bye dad.”

“Hey, young lady, I haven’t finish yet. You better not mess around or I will take your car and told your headmistress to give you detention. Copy?” he continued.

“Yes, father. May I go now? I can’t wait to see my new school,” I replied sarcastically.

He sighed, but surprising, he didn’t bother to argue. “Yes, you may go. I love you.”

 “What, no goodbyes hug?” I teased him.

“Just go, Elisabeth. Good bye.” With these words, he sat into the limo and disappeared. He probably has a meeting or something else lame. 

                                                                                              ***

First, I walked to the principal’s office. I knocked on the door and stepped inside. The headmistress was an old lady but she had a slim body and she wore nice make up. Her hair was long, gray and she had piercing blue eyes. She was wearing black, pencil skirt and baby blue blouse. 

“Hello,” I greeted her. She was looking at me reproachfully and I stared back at her.

“Hello, I’m Mrs. Carter, and you are?” she asked me with narrowed eyes. I could tell right away that she wasn’t really my fan. But, who cares?  

I simply replied: “I’m Elisabeth Williams. Could you tell me where my dorm is?”

“Yes, wait a second; I have to confirm your enrollment. Okay, let’s see. Number 36, second floor. You should find it right away. Your roommate is very nice. If you need anything, you can ask her,” she told me a fake smile. It was obvious that she wanted to get rid of me.

I quickly faked a smile: “Thanks, goodbye,” and then rushed out of the office.

                                                                                      ***  

I was searching for my room for quite a long time. I snorted. Yeah, sure, it’s easy to be found. I hope my bags are there at least. Finally I found the damn room and walked in.

“Hiiiiii! Oh my god, you’re here. I’m Rebecca, by the way. I couldn’t wait to see you,” an annoying voice came out of the blonde girl, who seemed frankly happy to see me. Great.

“Hi,” I replied and looked at the girl in front of me. She was pretty. She was short, she had long straight blonde hair and green eyes. But the first thing I noticed in the room was her part of the wall – it was taped with many posters that had positive vibes, flowers and puppies on. I could just groan at the sight of that.

 

Rebecca

My roommate finally came. I was very happy about that ‘cause my last dropped school and went to live with her boyfriend. So I hoped my new one will be nice. I cleaned the room – which was always messy – and wore some fine clothes, well nicer than usual.

“You’re Elisabeth, right? How do you like the school?” I politely asked her, though she didn’t seem very interested in talking to me.

“Yup. I hate school. And the old cow is just creepy; I mean she was just staring at me like I was an alien,” she complained. Not really positive person, huh?

I watched the girl in front of me. She looked confident; she stood up straight and not a bit nervous about meeting me, though I was very nervous to meet her. She was so skinny, how could she even stand up on those legs. And her clothes weren’t normal for a rich girl. Most of the girls at our school wore dresses or minis, well in general, outstanding clothes. And she was standing there dressed simple – black jeans and white T-shirt. The most visible things were her tattoos. She had lots of them. Whole her outfit didn’t look barbaric one her, in fact it was really cool. She was very, very beautiful; with that slim body, long, wavy black hair, pale skin, full lips and high cheekbones she could easily have any boy. I have to ask her about that later. The only thing that didn’t match her figure completely was her cold blue eyes. They were lifeless, unreadable. Like she didn’t want to let people in.

“Oh, god, not you too, for fuck’s sake, do you have some staring contest or what? I will just put some colorful lights so you everybody would stare at me all time. What the hell’s wrong with you people?” she exclaimed. At those words I found myself staring at her curiously.

I started to apologize: “I … I’m so…” but she cut me off.

“Whatever, I’m leaving. I’ll be back soon.” Oh, no, she is leaving. Why am I so stupid? She could be my friend, but I probably turned out to be a creep.

I have to stop her. “Wait! I’m sorry! Can I at least show you the campus?” I ask sheepishly.  

She shot me a killing glare and left the room. What a great start. Well done, Rebecca.

                                                                                         ***

Elisabeth

I decided to take a quick look of the campus. The hallways were not really full, because students were just coming to the collage. It was two weeks left until the first semester. I checked the most important rooms, like gym and canteen. Then I just walked outside for a few hours. I missed Jackson so much. He is one of the people I actually talked to. We couldn’t be more different. He’s reflecting positive energy and cheers people. He is my light. Whenever I’m sad, he tries to cheer me up. I don’t know how he always finds the right words. Everybody likes him and I hate him because of that. I don’t get how he always sees things from bright side. Our parents adore him because he’s perfect. They like the way he speaks politely and jokes with people but doesn’t insults them. I’m just the black sheep. And I need a smoke right now. Yes, I smoke. Not a lot, just two or three cigarettes per day. When I’m nervous.

I realized I didn’t take anything with me, not even my phone. Fuck. Now, I needed to find someone who has cigarettes. I searched for people around the campus. It was late and not much students were outside. I saw a group of girls. They didn’t look like they’d have any cigarettes. They were more like those Barbie girls. Then, I saw some nerds who were probably talking about math. They didn’t look like they have cigarettes either. At last I decided to go to stadium. It was a long walk but I went anyway.

                                                                                         ***

A few guys were playing football, well just kicking ball. And some of them were sitting on the bleachers, drinking beer. I was walking towards them when they noticed me.

A guy with sandy blonde hair shouted: “Hey, what are you doing here? Go away!”

And one of his friends said: “Shit, we’re gonna get caught. What if she tells someone that we have pot?”

“Dude, are you serious? Couldn’t you shut your mouth, asshole? Now, she will definitely tell the principal. Not just about drinking in the stadium at curfew,” the others complained.

Asshats. “God, will you calm down? I won’t tell anyone, especially not the old cow. I just wanted to ask if you have a smoke.” They stared at me weirdly.

A guy with black hair and piercing in his eyebrow said: “Wow, you smoke? Not a lot of girls at our school do. I think I like you already. Of course, we have smoke. But, before we give cigarettes to you – or pot, if you want – let me ask you a question. Can you play football?”

Is this some kind of trick? Or they just want me to play with them. Well hell. I calmly replied: “Yes, I can play, but I’m not very good at it. Why are you asking?”

All of them watched me with wide eyes. “Great, you can play with us, ‘cause those two dorks are too lazy,” the guy with piercing finally said. I snorted. Who the fuck says this word? Dork.

I agreed. “Sure, why not. But first, give me some pot.”

                                                                                          ***

Sam

I swear this girl was awesome. She was different from other girls I knew. I was so surprised when she confirmed my question that she can play football. And she smoked pot. Strange.

We smoked a lot and laughed, but she didn't laugh with us or say any words. She was deep in thoughts.  Normal, all girls we convinced to smoke pot laughed and act silly.  Then, we played football and she wasn’t bad at it. She probably trained it once. God knows. After some time we split apart and she went back to the campus. I couldn’t help but watch as she walked away.

As I was back at the dorm I thought about her. I have to have her. She is so sexy. And she will be mine. The only problem here is Alex. He is the school's richest boy and he gets any girl he wants. We hang out together a lot, because he's my cousin's best friend. But I hate him. He is an arrogant flirt. He's got everything just because of his parents. They are so fucking rich. And I'm not. I have nothing but a sports scholarship. This time he won't get the girl, I swear. She's going to sleep with me and I bet she's great in bed. And at the moment Alex isn't even here. He's somewhere far away with his father. And he's not coming back for a long time. Good job, Samuel. You've just scored. All you have to do is make sure that nobody tells about the girl to Alex. Or he will come right back to college.

I have to find her tomorrow and get her straight into my bed. Oh, hell, I don't even know her name.

 

Elisabeth

Those guys were douchebags. All they were doing was drink, smoke pot and talk about girls. I could see they are nothing but womanizers. I didn't think about them as I was walking back to the dorm. I noticed Rebecca who was already asleep. I took a quick shower and then went to sleep.

                                                                                            ***

"No! Leave me alone! I don't want to do this!" I pushed my fist on my mouth to stop the scream.  I woke up. I let out a sob. I was shaking again as every night before. I had nightmares since I was 13. Since the incident. God, when is this going to stop? What if it never ends? I checked the clock and it was only 4 AM. I need some air right now. I put on grey sweatpants and a hoodie. I ran across the stairs and out to the stadium. I ran around the running track for an hour, until I was completely exhausted. Then I sat on the ground for some time. I didn't want to go to the school. It sucks. It's too many people here. Too much personal questions. But my brother once told me: "You have to live. Don't worry about other people, just live. Don't give up on yourself. You will find something what makes you happy and alive. At least try." Maybe he's right. I can't let him down because he was there when nobody else was. He helped me through the worst, when even my parents didn't. They just looked at me with disgust. So, I have to try for him.

I stood up and walk back to the dormitory. I showered and put in fresh clothes. In the mean time Rebecca woke up. She is definitely not a morning person, because she was still sleepy. She stretched her body slowly after she sat in her bed with eyes closed. When she opened them and saw me, she totally woke up.

"Oh, you're awake. I mean, good morning. I'm sorry I wasn't awake whenever you came back last night, but it was late and I went to sleep. How are you? Did something happen last night? Did you sleep well?" she started chatting immediately. Does she really care or she's just being nice to me? Probably neither. Why would she be nice or care if she doesn't know me?

I responded rudely: "Well, you shouldn't wait for me. You're not my mum. Oh wait, she wouldn’t wait for me anyway. And stop asking me questions. Do you want to know me? It won't happen."

She started to cry. Fuck. How am I going to fix this? I am not an expert for crying girls. Maybe she's crying to make me feel bad and apologize her. Well hell, I guess she chose wrong person to apologize. It's better to be rude and everybody stay away. Plus, I'm not good at apologizing.

"I don't think you would want to be my friend." With those words I exited the room and left the poor girl alone.

As I was walking outside I remember Jackson's words: "If you don't let people in, you won't make any friends. C'mon, sis, be nicer, it won't hurt you." But even he couldn't understand. Yes, on the other hand he was right. I should be nicer at least to one person. Though it is not easy for me. What if I get hurt again? Should I apologize to Rebecca? I definitely should. But what do I have to say? Just I'm sorry? I haven't really apologize to anyone. Maybe I should buy her some coffee or something. Yeah, that will work. Probably.

A few minutes later I was walking to our room with two cups of coffee. I knocked on the door and enter.

"Um, hi. I'm sorry for being rude before. It's who I am and I can't change that easily. I brought you some coffee, but I don't know what kind you like. I hope espresso is okay." I said in one breath and gave her a questionable look. She was visibly surprised and then, in a moment she stood up and hugged me. I jerked at her touch but she didn't seem to notice. We were standing there, looking like two idiots - she was hugging me strong and wasn't returning the hug. When she released me with a smile on her face I let out a relieved sigh.

She proudly said: "I accept your apology but you have to go shopping with me." After I gave her a murderous look she added: "Please? I want to be your friend."

Maybe it won't be bad. Maybe I should be her friend. I can have a friend. She actually wants to be my friend. "I.. Fine, I'll go shopping with you. When are we leaving?" I asked shyly.

"Well, we are going to take a cab, because unfortunately I don't have a car at the campus. Mostly, only the richest students get the car park. So unfair!" she replied angrily. I quietly laughed. I have a car here. Although I didn't know not all students are allowed to have car at the school.

"Oh, we can use mine if you want." I suggested.

She exclaimed: "Wait, did you just said you have a car here? Are you kidding me? You must be really rich. I'm not judging you, just asking. What's your surname?"

Here we are. The question I hated. I've been asked this for a billionth time. I sighed but responded: "Williams. My surname is Williams." "And don't look at me like that," I complained after she started to stare at me accusingly.

"B-but your father is Edward Williams. He's like, one of the richest guys on the world. And I'm sharing a room with his daughter. Do you know how rich he is? Oh well, of course you do."

I had enough of this shit. "Shut up. Shut the fuck up! Don't you talk about my dad because he's nothing but a douchebag. He is not even a father. And don't treat me like his daughter. What if I was only a poor girl? Would you be my friend? No. You wouldn't. Because everybody start to judge other people when they hear how rich they are. Or poor."

She raised her hands in defense: "Hey, I'm sorry. I'm just surprised. And I didn't want to judge you. And yes, I would still be your friend even if you were poor. I was your friend before you told me about your dad. So, can we go shopping now?"

"Yeah, fine. Whatever," I muttered

                                                                                              ***

After we grabbed everything we needed for shopping, we drove to the mall. Rebecca was talking all the time but I wasn't listening. I was just nodding. This was the first time I went shopping with someone who wasn't my family. When I was a kid I was shopping with mom if she had time, or with my grandparents. When I was a bit older my brother went with me sometimes but most of the time I was alone, buying only things I really needed. Do I have to praise everything she choose and try on a lot of clothes? God, I'm nervous.

Rebecca interrupted my thoughts: "So, Liz. Do you have a boyfriend?"

What the fuck is that? No! I don't want to talk about that! I tried to be calm. "Nope."

She glanced at me suspiciously. "Why not? You are perfect. You could have every guy you want." She was waiting for my respond. "Hey, why are you shaking? Did I say something wrong. Fine, I won't ask you about personal things if you don't want. But when we come back from mall we are going to play 20 questions. You won't have to answer, but I want to know what your favourite song is, at least."

I didn't say anything back and on my luck, she didn't push me. When we arrived she happily clapped her hands and said: "We're here! Prepare yourself for the best day of your life!" I sighed. How could this girl has so much energy?

We were shopping for five hours and I wanted to choke myself for agreeing to go with her. She ran from garment to garment. I swear, she was like a little kid, excited to see everything new. I, on the other hand was exhausted and bored. She made me try on some dresses and stupid tops but I didn't buy it. Rebecca would buy everything. And all clothes suited her. She bought a lot and I mean A LOT of things. A few T-shirts, two pair of jeans, a blouse, an ugly pink jacket, another pair of Allstars, which she already had and a green dress. She was trying to convince me to buy a dress but I resist. There is no way I would wear a dress. So, I bought leather skinny jeans, white shirt and black Doc Martens. I was satisfied. After we bought everything necessary we decided to go for a pizza.

"Wasn't that a great day? I'm so happy I got everything I wanted. But you disappointed me, you know. You should've buy that dress," Rebecca started a conversation.

"I don't wear dresses," I told her.

She was shocked: "What? Why not? You looked totally adorable in the ones you tried on."

"Well, I don't feel confident in dresses." That was half a truth. I wasn't ready to tell her the whole truth. Instead I said with a smirk: "Look, that guy over there is looking at you. Why don't you go and talk to him?"

"No, I don't think so. I like someone. He is actually from our school."

I didn't exactly know what to say. Maybe I should ask her about him. "Oh, really? What's his name? How does he look like?"

And suddenly I knew every single thing about him. "Tyler. His name is Tyler and he is the most perfect boy in the world. His hair is blonde, more like sand and he's got beautiful blue eyes. He is a footballer and he practices every day. He has got a small tattoo on his wrist and it says Live fast." After that I stopped listening and snorted. Live fast, how original. I have plenty of tattoos but not because of art. They mean everything to me. They are showing my life, my favourite things. I got my first tattoo at the age of 15, three years ago. It is writing on my ankle. Find happiness. I really want to find it someday. 

"Liz? Are you even listening?" Rebecca asked me.

"Yeah, yeah I am. You really like him, don't you? Tell him." I quickly made up something. I thought she would like my idea; she is a confident girl, I was sure she would agree. But I'm not relationship expert. Her eyes became sad and she fought her tears.

She whispered: "I can't tell him. He probably doesn't even know my name. He'd never like me."

I hesitate, but then I pulled her in a hug. "Um, don't worry. Why would he turn down a girl like you? You're caring and funny and beautiful. Don't be scared."

She thankfully smiled at me. "Maybe I should talk to him. I don't know." I was glad she felt better. We could finally go back to the campus. In the car we listened to Ed Sheeran's CD and she happily sang along though I have to admit she's not the best singer.

As she promised, we played 20 questions as soon as we came back.

"Come on, come on, let play. First question," she commanded before I could say anything. "What's your favorite colour?"

"Black. What's your favourite movie?"

She laughed lightly: "Pitch perfect. I love singing. What's your favourite song?"

I had to think about that. "Uhm, I don't have one. Do you have any brothers or sisters?"

"No, but I'd like to. Do you have any?"

I thought about Jackson. I have to call him tomorrow. "Yes,  I have a brother."

"Okay. What'd you like to do for a job?"

"I have no fucking idea. You?"

"Um, I want to be a vet. I can't stand to see hurt animals." She hesitated before next question. "Why are you always so sad?"

I held my breath. My face darkened. She had to notice because she said: "Sorry, you don't have to tell me. I see it's hard for you. But if you want to talk, you can tell me whenever you want." She added: "I'm tired. I think I'm going to sleep. Good night." She lay down in her bed and left me alone, sitting on the floor. After some time, I went to the bathroom and then to bed. Rebecca was already asleep because she was breathing steady. I wish I could sleep so peaceful like her.

                                                                                       ***

The next few days went quickly. I spent some time with Rebecca and talk about upcoming classes. We've already got our schedules. I didn't know in which classes I enrolled. My father did most of the work so didn't have a clue. It started on Monday. Teachers were welcoming us, like usually. It was boring. In drama class (why the fuck did he enrolled me in this shit?!) we had to introduced ourselves. I didn't listen what the others said. All I thought was about how lame is everything.

"Miss Williams? Could you please stood up tell us something about yourself?" Professor Black said. He was middle aged, with dark hair and kind smile. He looked friendly, like a fucking Santa Claus. I was thinking whether I stand up or not. I decided positive.

I slowly push my chair back and said: "Elisabeth Williams, 18." Then I sat back.

Professor insisted I tell more: "That's it? Come on, tell us more. One thing and then you can be quiet for the rest of time. What do you do in your free time?"

I sighed. "I love reading books." Professor smiled and continued to torture another student.

When the class finished a guy came to me. I recognized him immediately. It was the one from the stadium, with a piercing. He smiled at me cunningly. "Long time no see, Elisabeth. Or should I say Liz? You can't just disappeared, you know. I missed you very much. I'm sorry I didn't introduce last time. I'm Sam."

I didn't like him at all. He was such a jerk. And he was nicer the last time. I think so. I swallowed my saliva and said: "Don't you dare call me Liz. You don't know me. Stay away from me, asshole." He tried to touch me but I shoved him away.

"Oh, come on, Liz. We could be great friends. Or something more. Sooner or later you will be mine. You will see. You're lucky there are a lot of people there. Next time I won't let you go. See you soon, sweetie."

I was shaking when he left. He was so scary. I got Goosebumps because of him. Now, I have to make sure he does not get near me. With his lazy and ironic smile he looked like a psycho. And the way he looked at me reminded me of him.

When I came back to the room I asked Rebecca about him. "Do you know Sam, the guy with piercing?"

"Yeah, he's a footballer, but he's not rich. First time, when he came to the school, he was bullied. He has sports scholarship and his parents are poor. But he's an ass. He chases girls and uses them. They don't really want to be with him but he forces them. He even uses his fists if he needs to. My friend was one of his girls. The person Sam hates the most is Alex, the school's bad boy. He's richer than Chuck Bass and he gets any girl he wants. He doesn't need to force them to sleep with him. And he slept with almost all of the girls at the collage. Not with me, if you thought of that. Well, if we already talk about Alex, he never binds. And girls don't care about it. He's a god, I mean it. You will see when you meet him. But that won't be soon. I heard he went on trip with his family, or alone, no one really knows. Why were you asking about Sam anyway? Do you know him?" she gave me too many details.

I told her what happened and she looked at me wide eyes wide open. "What? He kind of threatened you? Don't let him near you."

"But I wanted to hang out with him," I pretend to be sad. Does she have no brain or what? "No shit, Sherlock. Of course I intended to stay away from him," I scoffed.

"No need to be sarcastic, Elisabeth. I just warned you," she defended.

I muttered: "Fine. I'm going to the stadium. Wanna go with me?"

She grimaced. "Me? Running? You won't see that."

I shrugged and went outside.

                                                                                           ***

Two weeks later Rebecca suggested to meet her friends. I shook my head and escaped the room but she chased after me. She didn't stop saying please until I agreed. And I agreed fast because she was so damn annoying and I have no patience. So, on Thursday, we sat on grass outside and drank coffee. I have to admit my roommate's friends weren't as bad as I thought. There were two girls and two boys. Their names were Carmen, Ellen, Paul and Mark. Carmen had red hair, green eyes and figure a la Kim Kardashian. She smiled too much and it was annoying as shit. Ellen had dark skin and dark brown, curly hair. She used to play basketball. Paul and Mark were twins. They fought all the time. They both had similar faces - light brown hair and blue eyes, but Mark was taller. They were all nice but I didn't want to hang out with them. I was rather alone, reading books and listening to music. I decided to go back inside. First, I needed a smoke. I lit a cigarette and exused myself. I could feel their eyes on me but I didn’t care. I was walking to the dorm when two guys walked past me. One of them was Sam.

"Wow, not so fast, Liz. Come with us, let's have some fun,” he noticed me.

"Nope, I don't think so. Fuck off, what do you want?" I asked fearless.

On my surprise he told me loud: "I think you know what I want. And I know you want it to. Do you want to join us cousin? She's hot, isn't she? Let's fuck her, shall we?" God, please no. He scared a shit out of me. My gaze dropped and my eyes were suddenly wet.

"Leave her alone Samuel. Stop bothering her, she is scared," the other one, who was clearly Sam's cousin, said. Sam groaned but a weird expression appeared on his face, like he was scared of his cousin. He shoot me a glare and walked away. I mouthed a sheepish' thank you' to his cousin and then ran to my room.

When I was safe I plugged in my earphones and listened to music. The best thing would be that I stay in my room every day so he couldn't find me. I don't want that it happen again. I would break if it would. I would kill myself.

 

 

Leo

"What the fuck man!? What's wrong with you?" I yelled to Sam. "Do you have to torchure everybody? What did she do to you? Did you not see how scared she was?"

He shouted back: "Oh, now it's all my fault? What about Alex? Is he any different from me?" Can he be more dumb?He is so stupid, how could he even get a scholarship?

"Yes! He is different! He doesn't force girl into sex. Do you want to be like him? Well, you will never be. Get over it! Yes, he uses them, but he's got a reason. And he doesn't hurt them like you, asshole."

His face was angry. He stared at me speechless and then he walked away. When he came to the end of the hallway he shouted: "No matter what you do, I will get her. Remember that Leo."

I need to call Alex. He has to stop this. Or my stupid whyisherelatetome cousin will literally rape her.

Come on, man, answer me. We haven't talk for a long time. I could feel something was wrong with him. Usually, he would call and laugh with me, but this time I haven't heard a thing about him. I knew he didn't loose his phone. He would buy a new one.

A let out a sigh and wanted to hung up the phone when he answered. "Yeah?" he sounded sleepy. He was probably in different timeline.

"Do you have to answer? I want to sleep," I heard girly voice. He was with another girl. I imagined him rolling his eyes as I heard that he rose out of bed.

"Leo, how are you?" I heard a smile in his voice.

"I..Am fine. Where are you? When are you coming back? Are you alright?" I asked him. He has a lot to explain and I hope he gets back soon.

He started with a calm voice, almost too calm: "Don't panic, I'm fine. Right now I'm somewhere in Russia and I don't know when I'm coming back. Why? Did something happen?"

I told him about Sam and he was angry, I could feel that. "That son of a bitch. What did he do after you told him to stop?"

"Well, he yell at me and said he's goon get her anyway. You should see the girl. She was so scared. At first, when we met her, she wasn't afraid at all. But later when he threatened her, she almost cried. I mean, she was shaking so hard.   Please, I beg you, come back, he's afraid of you and only you can stop him," I requested.

He laughed nervously: "Dude, stop talking like a girl. He won't kill her, you know. And I don't intend to come back so soon. You can take care of it alone." It was something strange in his voice. He was never nervous like that. It might be something wrong. Something happened and now I was sure. I didn't want to upset him and so, I didn’t dig.

"No, you don't understand. He was actually looking at her like he would kill her if she wasn't with him. I believe he's never looked at a girl like that. You must come, ASAP," I exclaimed.

He sighed. "Okay, I see it's important. I will come, but not in less than a week. See you soon, Leo."

"Thank y.." I wanted to thank him but he already disconnected the line.

I smiled. He is coming back and everything is going to be normal. All I need to do is take care of a girl and clean up the room. Alex doesn't like messy stuff.

                                                                                                  ***

 

 

Elisabeth

I stayed inside my room as much time as I could and after classes ended I ran back to my dorm. But won't be able to do that forever. I was hiding for a week and it was just a few days till October. I was lying on my bed and reading Anna Karenina when Rebecca rushed into the room. She probably forgot anything like usual.

"Did you see my phone anywhere? I can't remember where it is," she asked. I knew it.

I scoffed: "If you'd clean up the room anytime, you'd find it."

"Oh come on, Liz. I hate cleaning. Do you have to be so tidy?" she complained and looked at my side of the room which was always tidy. God, I hate messy people.

"Just clean the room, Rebecca. And don't call me Liz," I snapped.

She sighed with annoyance. I snorted. "Alright Elisabeth. You still haven't told me the reason you don't like that nickname. And please, can you at least call my phone? Or you didn't save my number?" she continued.

"Your phone is under the pillow. You put it there in the morning. Now, leave already." She's so stupid sometimes. Why does she have to be my roommate?

She took her phone and looked at me sadly, but as I just stared at her with no apologize, she left the room.

I read a few chapters more and then went out for a walk. As I was walking in the dark somebody shout: "Lizzie, not so fast! Wait for me!" I got goosebumps when I heard who it was. I started to run but he caught my arm. "Why are you running from me? I won’t hurt you sweetie. Come with me, I will show you something."

"No, please no, let go off me," I cried.

But Sam didn't listen. He violently grabbed my hips and said: "Nope, that won't happen. I want you right now. Take off your clothes." What?

I tried to delay: "H-here? Why don't we go inside?"

"You wish. Inside, so you can escape? No, Liz, we're going to do it right here."

Tears rushed down my face. But I couldn't scream. I was paralyzed. God, please don't let it happen again. Please don't let him. Sam pulled of his jeans. "Do I have to say please? Please, take your clothes off. Or should I do it for you?"

I realized what was happening and screamed: "Noooo! Jackson! Help!" I called from my brother though I knew he can't hear me. I didn't know what to do, I was terrified. Then he started to undo me. I just cried and hoped for a miracle. I remembered memories I wanted to forget forever. I remembered the pain. I was standing there just in my underwear and when he touched me I thought I'm going to die. He was standing behind me and I was looking at the tree. I couldn't watch him. I cried again. Please don't, please don't...

And then I heard a punch. Somebody groaned. I tried to pull my clothes on while crying. I could barely see what was going on because of all the tears. My make up was probably a mess. When I was dressed I took a quick look of what was happening. I saw two boys who were fighting, well Sam lay on the ground and the other guy was punching his face.

                                                                                        ***

Alex

My driver dropped me at the collage. I hated that fucking building. I needed some time alone, to recover and I couldn't stand being here.

I brought just one suitcase; the others were already in my room. As I walked through the park, I heard crying. It's nothing. Perhaps is just a sad girl, who was dumped by her boyfriend. I walked forward and suddenly saw a guy and a girl. A girl was suffering, I could see. Suddenly I noticed, the guy was actually Samuel. He was torturing the poor girl. "Son of a bitch," I muttered. I ran into him and punched him in his nose. He looked surprised when he saw me.

"You... are...back?" he asked me with gritted teeth. I didn't respond but continue to punch him. In the mean time the girl put her clothes on. She was still shaking and crying. It was awful just look at her. I did a mistake when I look away from Sam. He tripped me and we both fell to the ground. I was taller and smarter than he was and I quickly stood up. I just stared at him for some time and he spat while looking in my eyes. I knelt down and slapped him a few times.

"Leave her alone, Samuel. Or I will kill you, scumbag." With this words I let him lay on the ground and took a step towards the girl. She was looking at me with wide eyes. She was sobbing heavily. I offered her a hand but she didn't take it. How weird. Usually girls would kill for my attention. I watched her closely. Her expression was sad but furious at the same time. Although her makeup was smeared over her face, she was perfect. Her eyes were cold blue, her hair black and her skin pale. Her full lips were trembling. She was wearing a hoodie and black leggings. Her body was slim, skinny. I could watch her forever. But first I had to take care of her.

"Hey, I won't hurt you, I promise. My name is Alex. I know you're hurt but I will help you, okay?" I slowly asked.

She nodded sheepishly. I gave her my jacket and she gladly took it. We walked to my room and I had to hold her or she'd fell down. I tried to talk to her, but she was in shock and didn't respond to any of my words. I kept talking to distract her. "How about I tell you something about I like? Music, I like music. Not rap, not popular, not rock music. I like classical music. It's amazing, how the composers make the music. Everything has to be perfect with a lot of details. So many different styles, so many techniques. And my favourite instrument is a piano. You can play incredible music on it. Simple, but complicated. I don't know why I'm saying this, but it's nice to talk to someone about you know, stuff. My favourite composer is Chopin. He was so incredible and his music is just... I could listen to it for all my life. And the way he played the piano. So strong, so sensitive." I looked at her. She was smiling. I was thrilled.  She has woken from shock and listened to me. She must love music.

"What's your favourite piece by him?" she asked me, her voice small.

You probably don't know it. "It's Prelude number 4," I answered.

She wrinkled her brows. "But that's a sad song," she whispered before she passed out. I caught her before she fell to the floor.

Fuck. "No, no, no, wake up," I said and took her in my lap. I hurried to my room and knocked on the door.

"Yes, in a minute!" I heard Leo's voice from the inside.

I groaned. "You don't have a fucking minute, asshole! Open the door quickly! Then I heard steps and my roommate opened the door.

Before he could say anything I snapped: "Give me some water and a rag. I have to put her on my bed. Do I have to say twice, Leo?" I added after he stared at me stupidly.

"Uh, no, sorry. I'll be right back."

I carefully put the girl on my bed, which was surprisingly set. In the mean time, Leo brought everything I asked for. "Thanks." I watered the rag and placed it on her forehead. She slowly woke up and opened her eyes.

Leo frowned. "Hey, man, do you know her name?" he asked me with a smirk.

I realized I didn't. I shook my head. "Do you?"

He said proudly: "Yup, that's the girl I was talking to you about. That's Elisabeth."

Elisabeth.

 

Elisabeth

When I woke up, I needed some time to figure out where I am. A guy who was with Sam back then mentioned my name. He knows me? The other guy, I didn't remember his name, was studying my face. Oh, no, my makeup is probably a huge mess. I watched him back. He was my savior. I had to thank him, but I couldn't say a word. I was completely fascinated by him. He had the most beautiful chocolate brown eyes with long eyelashes. His nose was straight, lips pink and his hair messy dark brown. I wanted to touch him so badly. Shit. I shook my head to banish the thought away.

"Are you okay?" he asked me.

Nope, I'm not. "Y-yes, thank you so much for saving me," I managed to say. God, what's happening to me?

"Anytime," he smiled. His smile was so perfect, plus, he had dimples. Dimples? Fuck, I'm gonna die right now. What the hell is wrong with you, Elisabeth!? Stop acting like a stupid teenage girl.

"Hey, are you sure you're alright?" he asked, smirking. I just nodded. "What is your name?"

Put your shit together, girl! "I'm Elisabeth. Sorry, I forgot yours, can you tell me again?" I shyly asked.

"Alex."

What the fuck? That Alex who uses girls? The womanizer who is adored by all girls? Fuck, no. I have to go away. What if he wants the same thing as Sam? But, no, he just saved me. I can't risk.

I hesitated before stood up. "I...um...have to go. My roommate will panic. Bye." I saw a sudden expression in his eyes as I said that but I decided to ignore it and exited the room.

"Shit," I murmured as I was standing on the hallway. My heart was beating fast. But how? How can a guy, perfect and sweet like him uses girls? I had a strange feeling inside and it scared me. No, I can't like him. I don't like him. But Rebecca was right; he was a god. I punched myself in my mind for such thinking. He's just an ordinary man, not important to you, Elisabeth. He's nothing but a womanizer who saved you by coincidence. I walked fast to my room. As I came Rebecca was already in the room and she raised her eyebrows when I entered.

She asked me with a annoyed voice: "Where were you? I was waiting for you."

"It's not your damn business. You don't know anything. So shut the fuck up," I snapped.

"No, I will not. You always tell me what to do and you never tell me anything about yourself. I'm sick of it. You're right, I don't know anything about you and that's because you never tell me. Remember when I said I want to befriend? I won't be your friend if you act like a stranger to me. You yell at me all the time," she exclaimed.

Maybe we shouldn't be friends. I haven't had friends before and I can live without them now. Maybe Jackson was wrong. I'm not ready for this and I won't try. And she will be better without me. "Fine," I said with a shaky voice.

Her face lit up: "Really? Are you going to tell me your story?" She was so excited I almost gave up.

"No. I won't tell you. I'm not that kind of person. I agree for not being friends." After she sadly opened her mouth I added: "And don't you dare blame me for that. You said it yourself." Then I opened the door and went out again.

I really needed to call Jackson. I sat under the tree calling him.

"Hi, sis. How are you?" he didn't make too much questions because he knew I hate that. I smiled as I heard his voice. I missed him so much.

"Hi, Jack. I'm fine, you?" I lied. I was always good at lying and he was quite naive.

He seemed to be in a good mood. "Great. I wanted to call you soon, you know. Tia and I are going to get married. I propose her and she said yes."

Wow, he's getting married. And he didn't intend to tell me soon, I felt that. He knows what I think about love. And he knows that I hate weddings. But how can he be sure about marriage? He's so young. Not much older than me. At the moment I was so sad and he was so happy.

"Oh. I mean, that's amazing. So, when is the big wedding?" I asked lamely.

"It's in about two months. Probably on 17th December. Mom is already planning everything. She's so happy. I expect you'll be there, Elisabeth. I know you don't like wedding but as I am your brother I believe you'll come," he told me. Hate, I hate weddings, I corrected him in my mind.

I snorted. Yes, of course mom loves weddings. She always helps with planning and when I was a kid she would drag me with her. "Yeah, yeah, I'll be there. But I expect you to send me invitation."

He laughed with relief: "Okay, cool. So, how's the school? Do you have any friends?"

"It's fine, I guess," I avoided to talk about friends. Fortunately he didn't notice.

"Great. Uhm, could you please come home next weekend? I just want to see you, you know I really miss you." He was hiding something from me. That wasn't the real reason he wanted me to come home. Dad probably convinced him to ask me.

"Jackson, why do you want me to come home? And this time, tell me the real reason," I said impatiently said.

He was nervous as he said: "I-I truly miss you. I want to see you before wedding. That is the real reason."

"God, Jackson. Just tell me, or I won't come home. And you can tell dad to stop whatever he's planning. You, don't listen to him. He can tell me by himself, you don't have to be his sel."

He sighed. "Alright. He wants you to come home. But I swear, I don't know what he wants. I believe it's something about the wedding." Great, now I can't even trust my own brother.

I snorted. "Awesome. I'm happy to come. I can't wait to see dad," I said sardonically.

My absurd brother said naively: "Really?"

"No, of course not! I don't intend to come because of a stupid sermon about acting nice at your wedding. You tell him to go fuck himself. Bye." I ended the conversation before he could say something. If dad wants to talk to me he can call me whenever he wants.

                                                                                                    ***

The following days I didn't talk to Rebecca. We didn't have classes together and I didn't spend much time in our room.  I caught the school's scene. Everybody talk about Alex and only Alex. He has to be important for them. I could google him but I didn't know his surname and even if I would, he's nothing to me. We had a few classes together and I saw him glancing at me. It was annoying as shit. I couldn't concentrate. On Wednesday evening father called me. I answered the phone with a smirk on my lips. This is going to be fun.

"Yes? What do you want, father?"

I could see his angry expression which appeared every time he talked to me. "Good evening, daughter. I heard that Jackson told you about wedding. And you refused to come home at the weekend. Why is that?" he said already annoyed that he has to talk to me.

I replied: "Well, dad, Jackson told me you wanted to talk to me about wedding. So why would I have to come home when you can call me and tell me?"

He groaned. It was obviously Jackson didn't tell him about that. "I want to talk to you in personal. And I command you to come. That's the end of discussion."

"Oh really?" I laughed humorlessly. "At first you drag me to college and now I have to come home. Seriously, what is it, just tell me now."

"No, Elisabeth. You will come home. You have your car there. I can send someone to get you but I believe you wouldn't want that," he continued.

I gave up. The last thing a want is that he sends somebody to get me. "Fine. I'll come. What time?"

"Twelve o'clock sharp. Be accurate. We're having a family lunch so wear something nice. Goodbye," he was satisfied.  What a great conversation. I just can't wait for Saturday. Fuck, not just a boring preach but a lunch too.

He told me to wear something nice. I definitely won't. I never wore dresses or pretty blouses. I usually wear some skinny jeans and a shirt. It's quite cold so I am going to put on a sweater. It doesn't matter, really. Thinking about clothes was so boring to me. I could just put on something. It not like anyone would notice.

                                                                                            ***

Business class started. Of course father enrolled me in. I came fifteen minutes earlier and sat down. There were only two students beside me who were talking too loud. I plugged in my earphones and listen to music. Slowly, the classroom started to fill. Professor walked in and the lesson started. I quickly looked around and noticed Alex at the back. Fantastic.

"Hello, I'm Professor Cruz and I am going to teach you about business. I assume most of you want to work in business, well probably lead your own company. Let me tell you some basic things for success. First; work hard. If you want to succeed you have to be confident and try hard. Second; learn about business. You have to be aware of other companies, their strategy and understand market. Third; make good ideas. Think hard. Find a solution of every problem. Forth; have a good team and be even a better boss. Work late at night and come early in the morning. And fifth; have a strategy. If you want to make something, a deal, you need a good strategy. Think fast, but effective. Now I want you to tell me your name and your parents' job, so I can see your potentials. Next time you'll have to show me something to buy. Make up something, but speak strongly. You'll have to convince me that you have something valuable. Because if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to convince the others quickly. Let start with you, young lady," he picked some girl near me. That means I'm going to speak soon. But why do we have to speak about our parents' jobs? So he can see our potentials? Nope, I don't think so.

He appeared in front of me. "What's your name?" he asked me.

"Elisabeth." I told him only my name.

"I mean your name and surname. And what do your parents do for a job."

I scoffed: "And why do you want to know that? That you can judge us? Is it really so important to know about our families? What if someone wants to start fresh, without family address? Did you thought about that? No, I bet you did not! What if my parents were just some poor cleaners? Would I be good for business? No, probably no one would think that. Everyone can have potential, not just the one from the rich families!" I yell at him and everybody in the classroom was looking at me.

Professor answered with a smirk: "Well, that was quite a speech. So, does that mean you're poor? You can tell us if you are. I'm going to ask you again. What is your surname and what do your parents do for a job?"

At that moment I was so angry on him. "Fuck! No, I'm not poor! Is that what you want to hear? Are all people in business the same? You sound like my precious father! The same stupid businessman who cares only about money! My surname is fucking Williams and my father work as a CEO! Yes, I'm daughter of the man who owns Williams Corporation! And my lovely mother is a lawyer! What now, when you know I'm rich? Will you be nicer to me? Because that is what all people do! And you know what?" I stood up and looked around the classroom. Then I stared right in professors eyes. "Rich people aren't any nicer because of money." And then I rushed out.

Before I opened the door professor shouted: "See you next time!"

God, why do so many people think that rich guys are great and nice to everybody? I sat on the hallway and wanted to cry. Why? How did I deserve this life? What have I done wrong? I sobbed and thought about unfair life, when the door opened. I quickly wiped my tears before observing who the person next to me was.

"So strange I always see you crying. What's wrong?" Alex asked me. It can't be worse. Now, he is going to see how pathetic I am.

I muttered: "What are you doing here? Go away." He didn't listen to me, but instead he pulled me into a hug. No, no, no, go away. Why the hell does he have to do that? Does he not know how difficult this is? -Oh, c'mon Elisabeth, just one hug. You will feel better. And you should tell him about your problems. It will help, my stupid inner voice reminded me. For the first time I gave up and inhaled Alex's smell. Fuck. He smelled like cinnamon mixed with laundry detergent and mint. It was so sexy. But I can't have him. I can never have a good life. I started to cry again. He didn't say anything but hugged me harder.

"I... He doesn't understand, you know. Nobody does. They don't know how it's like to live with my parents. I know most teenagers would kill to have a life like me." I swallowed my saliva. "It was bearable when I was a little girl. I loved my daddy. He bought me whatever I wanted. I had everything; toys, clothes, a lot of friends. We all used to play in my big house. Sometimes when he needed silence, he would pay my nanny and me a trip to somewhere far. Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, America. Wherever we wanted to go. And I hated my mother. She was never around and I never visited her at home. Later when I grow up I needed my mom to tell me about boys and stuff. Nobody was there for me. Dad was working, I didn't need a nanny. I wanted to live with mom, but they didn't let me. They were at work all the time. They didn't care even when I was sad, very sad. The only one who helped me was my brother. But even he didn't understand. After the incident I lost my friends. I was depressed but my father wouldn't notice even when my scars weren't covered," I couldn't speak anymore so I just buried my head in his neck.

He tried to calm me down. "Sshh, it's going to be alright. I can help you if you want. I understand you." It will never get better. How can he understand? He probably has nice parents and a lot of friends. "No offence, but I think you don't want to be seen by all our business classmates. We can go somewhere else if you want."

I quickly stood up and almost lost my balance. I was still dizzy from everything that happened. Alex caught my hand and held me tight. It felt so right, so good. My hand in his, his other arm wrapped around my waist. I felt so safe with him. His support and help were so sincere. And when he stood next to me I felt like nothing can hurt me. He was tall, almost 2 meters. I was like a little girl next to him although I wasn't short. I'm actually quite tall, a bit above 1.75m.

"You like classical music, right?" I asked him and he nodded. "Can you play any instruments?"

He respond positive and said: "Yes, I can play a bit of piano, but I'm not very good. Why are you asking?"

At first I didn't know exactly what to say. "Uhm, can you play it for me, please?" I said sheepishly. "I mean, if the music room is free." He just looked at me curiously. "You don't have to do it, if you want. Sorry," I added.

"No, I'll play for you. It's just, nobody ever asked me to play, you know. But I warn you, I'm not really a pro, so don't run away," he said, a grin appearing on his face. "Come on, let's go."

We walked to the music room. On our luck, it was empty. He sat for the piano and awkwardly stood next to him. He said smirking: "Come on, sit," and patted the place on the seat. I hesitated before sat down. He took a deep breath and started to play.

 

Alex

It was amazing how this girl felt. Elisabeth was something special. When I heard a séance between her and the professor I was in awe. She told her opinion so firmly and emotional. It was obvious she hated her parents and when she walked out of the classroom something towed me to go after her. I excused and exited.

She was crying as I was walking towards her. I had to comfort her so I decided to hug her. At first she didn't hug me back but when she did I realized it wasn't a good idea. So many emotions went through me. Sadness, happiness, anger and love. Love? What the hell man? You can't love her idiot. You just met her and beside that you don't love. I needed her so badly. When she took a deep breath I couldn't help but smile. Wow, she smelled me. I just hoped I wasn't sweaty and took a small breath, so it wouldn't be so obvious. Man, she smelled like vanilla. We sat like that for some time and then at the moment she started talking about her family. How her parents ignore her. I felt so sorry for her. My parents were also rich but they weren't such asses. But something caught my curiosity. I wondered what she meant by saying incident. Perhaps something bad happened to her. Really bad.

Later she asked me about playing piano for her. It was incredible and weird at the same time. I expected her to laugh about playing an instrument but then when she asked me I just stared at her. Elisabeth is something special, I knew that for sure. The way she thought, her mysteries, her figure; it attracted me more that I'd want. And I wanted to know more of her. I wanted her to be mine.

At the moment we were sitting behind the piano in silence. I breathe deep and started playing. It was a simple song I've learned a long time ago. I watched her as I played. She had eyes closed, a happy expression on her face. It was so beautiful sight. At the end of the song, she opened her eyes and thanked me.

"So, how is that do you like piano?" I asked her with a smile.

She shrugged. "I like all kinds of music. In music I can see so many different emotions. In one song there is usually just one main emotion. But in piano I can feel two emotions at the same time. There is very thin line between them. Happiness and sadness. It just depends of how you see them. And that's why I like it.

I stared at her with admiration. She is so smart and sensitive. It's incredible. "Wow," was all I could say. She blushed lightly at my comment and then quickly stood up.

"Huh, I think we should go. I'm starving, I didn't eat anything today," she made an excuse.

"Yeah, okay. Do you mind if I go with you? It's lunch anyway," I asked carefully. She hesitated before agreeing to let me go with her.

We walked to the lunch room and then decided what we're going to eat. She took two slices of pizza and a bottle of water. I chose steak and salad. When we sat down at the table together a lot of folks glanced at us. They were mostly girls and I sighed. Elisabeth seemed to be very uncomfortable about it.

I felt like it was my fault and I apologized: "Sorry, they are only curious and jealous because I'm sitting with a girl. I never do, really." She looked at me and smiled shyly. At the moment I was so angry about myself for sleeping with girls. She has to have a bad opinion of me. But she doesn't know the whole story. If I'd tell her all from sudden she'd probably freaked out and think I'm a stupid boy.

Maybe I should change the subject so it wouldn't be so awkward. "What are you doing on weekend?" I asked and hoped she's free.

She grimaced. "I'm going home. We're having a lame family lunch. My aunt is going to torture me all the time and my father is going to talk about nice behavior. What are you going to do?" she asked conversationally.

"Well, I don't know. I'll probably stay at campus and do nothing or hang out with Leo," I made up something. So I won't be able to see her.

When we finished our lunch we walked back to our rooms. I went to my dorm and she went to hers. "Bye, see you on Monday," she said. "Thank you for everything."

God, I wanted to kiss her. But instead I just responded with a goodbye.

                                                                                               ***

Elisabeth

On Saturday I woke up at seven. I was intending to go for a long run but it was raining. I groaned and lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. I decided to grab a coffee, so I dressed and went out of the room. It was cold and I reminded myself to put on something warmer later. I was planning to get home at twelve sharp and not a minute earlier. My family would use every second of time to talk to me about school and life. Or to compare me with Jackson. After I got some coffee, I went back to the room. Because I didn't know what to do I decided to study for some time. I've done some math and philosophy. When it was time to go I just put on a black sweater and black skinny jeans. Over that I wore a green jacket. I quickly pull my hair into a bun and put on some mascara. I was ready to leave. Before I left I wrote a note for Rebecca, who was still sleeping.

I drove fast; I liked that about my car. When I arrived, at the exact time - 12 o'clock, I looked at the house. Nothing changed. It was still an ordinary big villa with white facade and big windows. A big, neat garden was posed in front of the house and the big maple was standing at the side. Loads of cars were parked at the yard; one of them was my brothers. So, he and Tia were here too. I took a deep breath and walked in. I heard voices coming from living room as I was taking off my shoes.

"Maybe she won't come, Edward. She probably lied to you," I heard my grandmother. I snorted. What a grandma.

My grandpa contradicted: "She's not like that, Nell. Of course she'll come." Well that was nice to hear. Grandpa was my favourite member of our family. He was always on my side no matter what. He knew what happened in the past but he couldn't help. My father did not let him because by his words grandpa was bad influence. But whenever he saw me, he tried to comfort me and cheer me up. If I'd say who I love the most in this world, that would be grandpa.

"Hello, grandpa. How are you?" I decided to come in. Everybody looked at me. Father narrowed his eyes when he saw my 'not pretty enough' outfit, Jackson and Tia smiled nervously, aunt Sophie stared at me with appraise, grandma cleared her throat because I didn't say hello to her. And grandpa happily greeted me.

"Elisabeth! Hello to you too. I'm fine and even better now when I see you. How are you?"

I smiled and responded: "I'm okay. It's good to see you. Have you lost weight? Did grandma force you to go to gym?" I glared at grandma who dropped her gaze with an odd look.

"No, don't worry. You probably just imagine things," he said cheerfully. I shrugged and sat on the couch, looking at dad.

"So, what's the big deal of this family lunch? Would anybody tell me?" I asked smirking.

"We'll talk about it at lunch. Come on, let's sit at the table. Food will be here any minute," father said. We sat; dad was at the end of the table in his usual place, grandma, grandpa and I sat at one side of the table and Sophie, Jackson and Tia were in the other side.

At first, the butler - yes, my dad has a butler - brought us potato soup with shrimps. We ate in silence, well they ate and I stared at my soup with disgust. I hated shrimps. Dad started talking.

"As everyone knows, my son is going to marry Tia." I snorted. He never says like 'they are going to get married'. Nope, he always talks how his family or friends are going to do something. Other people were just side effect for him. Dad ignored me and kept talking. "Today we're going to plan the wedding. I want everything to be perfect. We'll talk about your clothes, especially yours, Elisabeth. Then, we are going to talk about guests. I want you all to cooperate, no exceptions. Grace and her family will join us later." Now that's wonderful. My mother is coming. How great. 

How on Earth do my brother and his fiancé bear this? The whole family will take over their wedding without asking. That's awful, I'd never let them do that.

We continue eating. We got roast beef for main dish and some vegetables for an appendix. It was like usual; meat and vegetables and not many carbohydrates. Butler offered us a salad but I didn't take it. Our lunch. It was always like in some expensive restaurant. Dad told us to dress properly and to not eat much. We got a little portion of food on big plates. The butler was wearing his penguin suit and act friendly. What a job.

Soon after we ate, the bell rang. I groaned. This is going to be the most awful weekend in some time. The whole family together, pretending to like each other. Butler went and opened the door. My mother piercing voice came from the outside.

"Oh, Charles, nice to see you. Does Edward pay you well?" It was a rhetorical question and Charles knew it. My mother, always fake and trying to be polite.

"Good afternoon, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin. Come in, I will make some coffee," the butler politely said. He must be tired of all that.

A moment later they walked in and greeted us. "Hello, everyone. How are you?" my mom asked. They all replied with fine while I just stood at the side. Father said: "Grace, Mr. Baldwin, Mrs. Baldwin, I'm glad you came. Come and sit. We have to plan everything." My grandparents sat down and my mother looked at me.

"Elisabeth, I haven't seen you for ages. How are you doing?" Here we go again with rhetorical questions. It's not like she actually cares. "Oh my god, why are you wearing that? Are we on funeral? Do you not have something more colourful?"

I rolled my eyes as she turned around to talk to my brother. I watched my family. They all fall within the picture of a rich family. My father; good shape as a product of running and playing golf, dressed in a suit, with perfect fake smile and expenssive cologne. My mother; tall with tanned skin and dyed hair, dressed in the newest Ralph Lauren outfit. Father's parents; grandma with no wrinkles because of Botox and too much make up, and grandpa with a big sincere smile and nice matching clothes. Mother's parents; both proud, grandpa with ice cold eyes, always perfectly dressed and grandma smiling politely with a perfect bleached teeth. Aunt Sophie with the most glittering dress on the world and a lot of accessorize. Then there were Jackson and Tia, smiling at each other, Tia dressed in a beautiful conservative dress and Jackson with a dressing shirt and a tie, matching his fiancé’s dress. Nobody really stood out. Not showing too much skin, not wearing cheap, boring clothes. Everyone knew everything about each other, even Tia. She and Jack were dating since high school. Boring life. I was the only one outstanding. The black sheep, rude and dressed horrible, as they say.

"Are we going to plan the wedding or we'll just talk like a normal family? If we will, I'm leaving right now," I said. They stopped talking and mom decided to start sharing her ideas with us.

"Here's what I think. The wedding should be in the castle. It'd be perfect. We should write down all the guests and then together pick the ones who we all want at the wedding. And then the food. We can have canapés and champagne after the ceremony. In the end of the whole thing we'll go and eat at the restaurant..."

I butt out of the conversation. It looks like mom has already planned everything. I bet dad won't agree with her. They will argue about lame details. I thought about marriage. How stupid it can be, the whole thing. Some get divorced soon and some live the same boring life every day. They wake up, go to work and stay at work until evening. They don't have free time for doing anything fun. I will never marry, I guess.

"Elisabeth, did you hear what we said?" Sophie suddenly exclaimed and pulled me out of my thoughts.

"Nope, please say it again."

They all sighed. "You have to wear something pretty and this time I mean it. And you have to bring a date," father said and added after I looked at him with wide eyes: "I don't care who you will bring or how you're going to convince someone to go with you. Just come and be beautiful. You don't have to do anything for Jackson and Tia, just be here with a date. Or do you think we're asking you for too much?"

So he thinks I can't find a date. How nice of him. Well, the truth is I'm not sure either. But I have a month to figure it out. "Yeah, sure I'll find a date. Is there anything specific you want me to wear? Colour of my earrings maybe?" I added sarcastically.

"Stop it, Elisabeth," mom snapped and I rolled my eyes.

My next question was aimed to my brother. "Jackson, who's going to be your best man? Or you intend to agree about that with our parents either? Do you have a life?" I said cynical. "And Tia, what about your family? Do they have any word there? Oh, did my parents pay them to stay out of it?" Not that Tia's parents were poor, but still.

"That's enough, daughter!" my father shouted and everybody jerked.

"What, do you not agree with me? Look at you! You always stick your nose in stuff that is none of your business. What if Jack and Tia want to plan things by themselves? They obviously have no word and it's their wedding! In the end you will choose the place their honeymoon. Or have you already done that? I have a feeling you have," I didn't stop.

Jackson had enough and he calmly said: "Oh, c'mon sis. It's fine, they just want to help. Don't fight, we're family."

I snorted. "We're family," I imitated his too calming voice. He was such a sweet pie, never wanting to fight. "Can you just listen to yourself once? You already sound like a slave, Jack. I'll stay out of this shit. If you want something from me, call me next time. I'm leaving. Bye."

As I was driving back to the campus I thought about Alex. Maybe I should go and ask him if he wants to hang out. I remembered how his smile disappeared when I told him I was busy on weekend. I can try. I can be happy. He is nice to me; maybe he won't just use me. I remembered when he said that he's never lunched with a girl at the school. What if he's busy? I decided to meet him tomorrow. It was quite late anyways. When I came back, I quickly ran into my room and change my clothes. Rebecca wasn't there like most of the time. I went for a quick run to burn the calories I ate today.

It was a great feeling, being exhausted from running. When I came back Rebecca was in and I greeted her. She was still angry on me so instead of responding, she just glanced at my direction. I washed my hair later and decided to watch a movie on my laptop. I watched The Giver and it was quite interesting. At 10.30 pm I went to sleep.

                                                                                                   ***

I was so nervous as I knocked to Alex's room but I wasn't sure why.

"Oh, hi Elisabeth. What are you doing here?" he was surprised to see me. I quickly looked at him and made a big mistake. His hair was messy and he was wearing nerdy glasses. His sweatpants were low on his hips and I could see his 'v' line. I saw a book in his hand but I couldn't see the title. Fuck, it was so damn sexy. I could barely breathe.

"I...uhm...hi. Sorry if I interrupted you, I came a bit earlier, you know. My family meeting wasn't really successful. What... What are you reading?" I said finally.

He smiled amusing. "The Maze Runner. It's pretty good. Do you want to come in?"

"Okay, if you don't mind." I smiled and stepped inside.

For the first time I observed the room. It wasn't really normal, messy boys’ room. It was tidy with a big bookshelf in the corner. There were two beds, one from Alex and the other from his roommate; I still didn't know his name. There was also a big wardrobe.

"So, what brought you here?" he asked me.

I answered truthfully: "I wanted to ask you if you are up to do something? I mean, if you're not busy."

"Sure," he grinned. "What do you want to do?" He closed his book and took of his glasses. They were probably just reading ones. I was thinking for some time. What did I want to do? God, I'm so stupid. I came here to hang out and I didn't even thought about what to do.

"I don't know. Do you have any idea? Sorry, I don't really hang out with people often."

He seemed to be thinking. Then he smiled mysteriously: "I know just the right thing. Come on, let's go out."

"What? Where are we going?" I was afraid that we are going to do something weird.

"Shh. You'll see when we get there. Now, let's go. We just have to take my car." He pulled my hand in his and didn't resist. It felt so good.

We came to the parking lot and he pressed the button on the remote to open his car. It was white Porsche Cayenne GTS. This car was awesome, I tell you.

"Wow. It's power is about 320 kW. So cool," I said with admiration.

He was surprised: "You know that?"

"Yeah, I like cars very much. When I was young I travelled a lot with my nanny and she was crazy about cars. I became too. She'd teach me everything, you know. I knew all models, their price and power." I laughed quietly. "When I mention that to people they kinda freak out. Nobody'd think I like cars. It's useful though."

"Amazing," he gave me a compliment and I looked away so he couldn't see my blushing face. I liked the way he drove. He knew the car's abilities and used that well. I glanced at him. He was focused on the road and humming the song which was playing on the radio. It was like he'd feel my look on him; he turned his head at my direction and I quickly looked through the window.

I started a conversation. It was too silent. "So, Alex. You know my name, now, would you tell me yours? I mean, surname."

He laughed. "Sure. It's Ross. Alex Ross." I was amazed. Ross, like Alex Nathaniel Ross. Well hell, this guy had a real life. Money, a family and friends. I was so jealous on him. I heard about him before. He was rich as I was if not even more and he was literally famous. A hot boy loved by girls. Who thought he is actually that nice? Me? Never.

"Do you sing?" he asked. I turned back to him.

"Excuse me?" I said stupidly.

"Can you sing something for me? Perhaps your favourite song?" He played a piano for me, I should return a favor. But I can't sing well, he'll just laugh at me.

I sighed. "It's not my favourite, but yeah, okay. I'll sing for you." I decided to sing Wake me up, from Ed Sheeran.

 

I should ink my skin, with your name.
Take my passport out again,
and just replace it.
See I could do without a tan on my left hand,
where my fourth finger meets my knuckle.
And I should run you a hot bath and fill it up with bubbles.

'Cause maybe you're loveable,
and maybe you're my snowflake,
and your eyes turn from green to grey,
in the winter I'll hold you in a cold place.
And you should never cut your hair,
'cause I love the way you flick it off your shoulder,
And you will never know, just how beautiful you are to me,
but maybe I'm just in love when you wake me up.

And would you ever feel guilty? If you did the same to me.
Would you make me a cup of tea, to open my eyes in the right way?
And I know you love Shrek, 'cause we've watched it twelve times.
But, maybe you're hoping for a fairy-tale too, and if your DVD breaks today,
You should've got a VCR, 'cause I never owned a blu-ray, true say.

And I've always been shit at computer games, and your brother always beats me,
And if I lost, I'd go across and chuck all the controllers at the tv, and then you'd laugh at me,
and be asking me, if I'm going to be home next week,
and then you'd lie with me, 'till I fall asleep,
and flutter an eyelash on my cheek, between the sheets.

And you will never know, just how beautiful you are to me,
but maybe I'm just in love when you wake me up.

And I think you hate the smell of smoke,
you always try get me to stop,
You drink as much as me, and I get drunk alot,
So I take you to the beach, and walk along the sand,
And I'll make you a heart pendant, with a pebble held in my hand.
And I'll carve it like a necklace, so the heart falls where your chest is,
And now a piece of me, is a piece of the beach, and it falls just where it needs to be, and rests peacefully.
So you just need to breathe, to feel my heart against yours now, against yours now.

'Cause maybe I'm just in love when you wake me up.

Well maybe I'm just in love when you wake me up,
Maybe I fell in love, when you woke me up.

 

He was breathing fast and looked at me with wide eyes. "Elisabeth. That was so beautiful, I mean it. It's just... I can tell you how amazing you are. Your voice is so beautiful." He actually liked it. It was the first time someone said that to me. I started sobbing.

"Don't cry. Why are you crying?" he was worried.

"It's nothing. It's stupid." I said quickly. He let it go and drive forward.

After some time he pulled over next to the wood and said that we arrived. We got out of the car and walked to the woods. My hand found his and he looked at me with a small smile. He led me to the middle of the wood. There was a beautiful waterfall and a lot of small stones were lying on the ground. It was wonderful. There were so many different trees and a lot of colourful leaves have already fallen off.

I whispered: "Thank you for showing me this."

"This is not all I wanted to show you. Just be quiet and listen to the music," he whispered back.

I listened and there was no music playing. And then I realized it was music everywhere. The water was humming and the trees rustled. Some birds were singing somewhere far. It was amazing. I closed my eyes and listened. The sound was something rare. You can't hear it anywhere. I was so grateful that Alex showed me this. I took a step towards and hugged him. He was astonished as he hugged me back. I buried my head into his neck and breathe deeply. This was the best day of my life. Alex slowly turned my head, so I was staring into his eyes. I could feel his beating heart. He gently touched my cheek and my lips. I stepped on my toes because he was a lot taller than me and I buried my hands into his soft hair. It felt so good. His lips gently travelled down from my forehead to my cheeks and nose, then to my neck. I was so happy, I was trembling from his touches. Then his lips stopped on mine and he slowly kissed me. It wasn't very passionate, just a gentle kiss, from which I felt every cell of my body. The kiss lasted long and when we pulled apart we were both breathing fast. I smiled. He smiled back. We stayed there a bit longer and then we went back to the car.

The drive was silent. We were both thinking about the previous event and it was a bit awkward. I was thinking hard. There was no way I could be with him. Nobody could possibly love me and I don't think I'll ever able to love. But it was so good. He makes me feel alive, happy. I'm so fucking happy with him. It's that simple. -No. It's not that simple. What if he betrays me? What if he uses me? What if I fall in love with him and I get betrayed again? -He's so nice and handsome and caring. He wouldn't do anything to me. -But what if he's just pretending? Like HIM? -No, no, no, he's not like that. I was fighting with myself. I was drowning in thoughts. What can I lose? Everything. My life. -Well, don't say it's worth anything, Elisabeth. Why do you worry so much, for fuck's sake?

And then it hit me like a truck. I have fallen for Alex.

 

Alex                                                                                            

You idiot. Why on Earth did you kiss her? You never date. Remember what happened. It's easier just to sleep with girls. It's not like they'd care so much. -But she's different, special. I could never use her. I like her too much. She’s the happiness. It's so natural being here with her. What can I lose? My heart. My dignity. -But if you use girls you haven't got much of a heart. -Only for her. I can have a heart for her. I can love her. -Love her? What the hell man?

We arrived on the campus and I jumped out of my car to open her door. She smiled when I did that. It wasn't old-fashioned, right? Oh god, I was so nervous about everything. What should I do?

Before I could do anything she said: "Thank you, Alex. I had a great time. It was actually the best day of my life." I was thrilled at her confession and scared at the same time.

"Uh... Anytime. I had a great time too. So, do you want to do anything else now?" Please, say yes.

"I'm very tired, sorry. Again, thank you. Good night," she said and I noticed her sleepy eyes. I shouldn't push her, god I'm such an asshole.

"Okay, sleep well and I'll see you tomorrow. Bye." I leaned closer and kiss her gently on her forehead. She smiled and walked to her dorm.

I watched her as she walk. So elegant. And she was so incredibly sexy. She could be my girlfriend. I'd take care of her and love her with all my body and soul. I needed her in my life. Now, when she appeared, it was different. Not the same shitty days filled with doing nothing and sleeping with girls. If I admit, I thought about her a lot. The day is better when I see her on the hallways or when we have classes together. I have to try for her.

                                                                                                          ***

It was Tuesday afternoon and I still haven't seen Elisabeth. Maybe she was avoiding me or it was just a coincidence. But it couldn't be. I was worried that she doesn't like me. I mean, why would she. I used a lot of girls so she is probably scared. I decided to go to her room. But first I needed to find out where her room is. I asked at the reception and the young woman told me the room's number. It was 36. I quickly thanked her and ran to Elisabeth's room. Be inside, be inside, baby. She opened the door when I knocked. I let out a sigh of relief.

"Alex. How did you know where my room is?" she was nervous.

"I asked at the reception. Are you avoiding me? I've been trying to find you."

"Come in," she told me, still nervous. Her room smelled nice, like her. One side of the room was very messy, with a lot of posters on the wall. On the nightstand there were pictures of a girl with her friends and family, I suppose. I didn't saw Elisabeth on the pictures so it was probably her roommate's side of the room. On the other side, I believe Elisabeth's there were none personal things. It was just a regular bed with black and white blanket. On the table there was a laptop and some books. Everything was stacked perfectly.

She stared at me with raised eyebrows. I realized I should start talking. "You know, it's not fair. After Sunday you just disappeared. I wanted to talk to you about...stuff. I believe it's right that we talk about the kiss. It meant something to me and I doubt it meant something to you, because obviously you don't want to see me. If you don't like me, tell me right away and I'll go. But if you do like me at least a bit, I won't stop trying."

"You don't know anything, Alex. You don't know a shit about my life and about my feelings. Yes, I like you. And I don't like that I like you. I'm terrified." She hesitated before continued. "Why do you like me anyway? Nobody likes me. Don't you think I'm rude and unsocial? I'm not good for you, you are too perfect and you know that. You don't want to like someone like me, a person with that kind of feelings."

That's what she thought? So doesn't hate me after all. "Why wouldn't I like you? It's true, I don't know you well, but I want to. And I like what I saw. I can tell you what I know." I smiled. I noticed a lot of things about her. "You love music. All kinds of music. It means something to you because when you hear it you close your eyes and your face become blissful. You sing with emotions, so that means you feel something deep in every song. You don't fear people and standing up for yourself but when it comes to physical contact you become a little scared girl. Your face is blank. You hide your emotions before people because you don't want to be hurt. You don't care about people's opinion but you still hide behind eyeliner and black clothes. You don't want to let people know you. Even your room is empty, without any personal things. And you hate your family. It's like they damaged you badly. You didn't receive love so that's why you're so afraid. Whenever someone touches you, you jerk away. And when you're nervous, like now, you bite your lips all the time. You think I'm perfect, but I'm not. You don't know me either. I want you to know me and let me in."

Her eyes were full of tears. I had to be right. I embraced her into a tight hug. "You know, I'm afraid too. I know you probably hate me for using girls, but you don't know how difficult it is. If you let me, I'll try for you. And I promise I won't hurt you."

She smiled sadly and nodded. "Want to watch a movie?" she asked quietly.

We ended up watching The White Chicks. She smiled every time when something funny happened and I smiled at the sight of that. We were lying on her bed with her with her laptop in front of us. I barely watched a movie. Elisabeth was like an angel. When the girls in the movie danced - well they were actually guys - she laughed so hard and it was so funny. I swear her laugh was the most amazing sound I've ever heard. I watched her carefully, because, well, she doesn't laugh really often.

"Will you be my girlfriend?" The words came out of my mouth before I could stop myself. Elisabeth froze and her jaw dropped. I cursed myself quietly. Why did I ask her so soon? Of course she'll say no.

I almost got a heart attack when she whispered: "I will." My eyes went wide and I gave her the biggest smile I could. She hesitated before kissing me through her smile. I warm feeling went through my body as I kissed her back. It was so natural kissing her.

"You know, Elisabeth, I will never understand you completely. You're like a piano; simple but complicated."

                                                                                                       ***

It was almost three weeks with Elisabeth and it couldn't be better. We went to a few dates and she was very spontaneous. I thought it is going to be difficult for both of us, because I wasn't in a relationship for a long time and Elisabeth, well, she was Elisabeth and I honestly didn't know how she is going to act. Although she didn't let me to touch her a lot. We kissed a lot but that was all. I wanted her but I didn't push her into anything. I just wanted to figure out why was she like that. Leo gave me a lot of relationship tips. He had a girlfriend for a long time and he knew a lot of stuff, like how to prepare a perfect date. I've never taken a girl to a date, I just slept with them. When I told him about Elisabeth he was really happy for me. He said it was already time. Whenever Elisabeth came to our room he acted friendly and didn't bother us. We even went to a double date with him and his gf Kim.

We were walking to the music room because I promised her to teach her a simple song. I hoped nobody will be there because Elisabeth was a little shy in front of other students. Girls shoot glares at her because they were jealous. Some people were surprised I was having a girlfriend. I have to admit, I was a really jealous boyfriend. When someone, especially guys looked at her I wanted to choke them. She was mine.

"Can I ask you a question?" she said. I nodded slowly and she continued. "I heard you were somewhere at the beginning of September, well the whole month. Why were you absent?"

I swallowed my saliva. She'd find out sooner or later. "My." I took a deep breath. "My sister died in summer and it really depressed me."

Elisabeth put her hand over her mouth and looked at me with wide sad eyes. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry. I didn't want you to remember. I'm so sorry she died."

"It's okay. I'd have to tell you anyway," I faked a smile. She noticed and hugged me.

"I'm so sorry, babe. What was her name? Was she sick?" she asked me with a small voice.

I told her. "Her name was Phoenix and she was 15 years old. She wasn't sick. She did a suicide. Her classmates bullied her because she was rich and spoiled. They called her Barbie. And in the summer she cut her hair. They laughed at her that she looked like a boy. She couldn't bear it ," I almost started crying. Elisabeth was holding her breath and she was sobbing fast. I remembered everything.

                                                                                                     ***

"Hey, Alex, don't forget to take care of Phoenix. We'll be back soon," dad yelled from the door. They were going to the restaurant for their anniversary. Mom was wearing a sundress dress and dad was happy like he wasn't for a long time.

"Yeah, I will. Have a nice date!" I shouted back and sat on the couch. I was watching a stupid broadcast on MTV for an hour and my sister was in her room, reading a book. As I watched, her favourite band appeared on the TV and to make her happy I called her downstairs.

After I called her name a few times, she didn't answer. "Phoenix! Come downstairs! Now!" Everything was quiet.

"Fuck," I groaned. I ran upstairs and opened my sister's room. She wasn't in. Where the hell did she go? She left her phone on the table with a small note next to it. 'I'm sorry. I'm never good enough.' I swore under my breath and hurried to the bathroom. The doors were locked.

"Damn it, Phoenix, open the door!" No answer. "Please, sis, don't hurt yourself." I broke the door and held my breath. She laid on the floor, a razor in her hand. She had her beautiful white dress on and she wrote 'pretty' on it. Her eyes were closed, a peaceful expression on her face. Her arms were covered with blood, her veins cut. She wasn't breathing. I fell to my knees and scream. I was so desperate.

"No! Sister, why have you done that? And leave me? Why didn't you fight?"

That night I cried my heart out.

                                                                                                  ***

I was crying and hugging Elisabeth. "The worst part is that is all my fault. I was supposed to watch her but I thought she's fine. I was watching TV and she killed herself."

"Shh, it's not your fault. It's the bullies'. Come on, let's go back. We won't play the piano today if you don't want. We can talk. You can tell me about Phoenix."

I agreed. I wasn't in the mood for playing the piano anymore. We went to her room and I told her everything about my sister.

"She was the biggest child in the world, I tell you. When she was younger she would knocked on my door in the middle of the night and begged me for playing with her. Then we'd play video games or something. She loved video games since she was a baby. When I played Wii she watched me nonstop. As she became older, things changed. She wasn't happy anymore and the teachers told us why. She wasn't concentrated in school because her classmates started to make fun of her. She was too ugly for them, too stupid. They even thought she was fat. For me she was like a little princess. She wasn't ugly at all but beautiful in her own way. She had those big, almost too big green eyes and a cute nose. She had freckles all over her face and dark brown-red hair. And she wasn't fat, just a bit stronger. She always wore her necklace, with a diamond heart. I've never understood how she didn't like music. Really, she never listened to it. It was strange. That summer she seemed happier. She lost her weight and cut her hair. We went to the seaside together and she laughed all the time. Mostly it wasn't sincere laugh but we decided to let it go. When we came back, her schoolmates saw her in front of the house. They didn't like her hair and she was sad again. I often tried to comfort her but she started to lock her room. On that day, when she died, our parents were at the restaurant. And I didn't take care of her."

I added thankfully: "Thanks for listening me, baby. You're the first person I told."

Elisabeth was stroking my hair and sang to me quietly. It was a happy song and soon I fell asleep.

                                                                                                           ***

"Will you go to the wedding with me? My brother is getting married over one week. Please?" she asked me the next day.

I laughed: "You don't sound very enthusiastic. Do you really want me to go with you?"

"I hate weddings. And all my family is going to be there," she mumbled. "You're my boyfriend; of course I want you to go." These words put a smile on my face. I agreed to go with her and she chuckled.

"Uhm, I have to wear a dress," she started nervously. "But I don't have any dresses as I don't wear them. Can we go to the mall and buy one? It's Saturday anyway." I had to study for a test but I really wanted to see her trying on dresses. I nodded and we drove to the mall.

She obviously had no idea what to buy because she wasn't allowed to wear black dress. "So, what kind of dress do you have in mind?" I asked her.

"I have no idea. Let's go to some of the shops and see if there are any nice ones. When I'll see it, I'll buy it. Let's go to Bershka first," she suggested.

We walked from shop to shop for at least two hours and she still didn't find the dress she'd like. She'd tried on loads of them and she looked beautiful in all of them. We both hated shopping so I suggested: "Why don't we go to Valentino and buy a dress there? They all suit you anyway."

"Yeah, okay," she agreed

Finally we found a perfect dress. It was navy blue dress with long sleeves and it fell right above her knees. The dress was tight and it fitted her body perfectly. The back of the dress was lace. Elisabeth looked like an angel and I was so proud to be her boyfriend.

Then we bought black pumps and we can finally go home. She was happy with the purchase and sang loudly on our way back.

                                                                                                      *** 

Elisabeth

It was 17th December and I was dressing for the wedding. First, I wanted to do my hair but I had no idea what to do. I usually wore them down or pulled into a bun. I decided to just make a messy braid bun and it looked okay. I applied just a bit of makeup. This time I didn't put on eyeliner, just mascara and light lipstick. I dressed in my new dress and put on my shoes. It was cold so I had to wear tights. Alex and I were meeting at his car.

He was already there, talking on his phone, when I came to the parking lot. I stopped at watched him for some time. Fuck, he was so damn perfect. He was wearing a white dressing shirt, black pants and black blazer. His hair was messy as usual. I saw him hung up the phone as he noticed me. His jaw dropped and he gave me a smug smile. God, it was so sexy. I walked towards him and he waited for me, smirking.

"What?" I laughed. He grabbed my waist and kissed me passionately. He licked my lips as a request for me to open them. His tongue found a way in and I moaned quietly. I could kiss him forever. For the first time I let him grab my butt and he grinned. His lips were on my neck now and he gave me small kisses. I curved my neck back as he gently bite it. My hands were buried in his hair and he surprised me with lifting me on the engine cover.

"Fuck," I moaned and then realized where we were. "Alex," I whispered but he continue to bite my neck. It was so good but we really had to go. "Alex," I hissed. "We're on the parking lot and we have to go to Jackson's wedding."

He was breathless when he said: "Sorry, let's go. Did I tell you how gorgeous you look?" After a shook my head, smiling, he added: "Well, you do. You the most perfect girl on the world."

"Thank you," I said blushing. "You look handsome today. I'm not saying that you don't at other days, but you're really sexy in that suit, you know." He smiled cocky. That was the first time I called him sexy. I was kinda proud of myself. I was getting really confident about him and that was a good sign.

"Oh, shit." I realized I forgot to tell him about my family. He's going to meet them. "Damn it," I muttered.

He slowed the car and looked at me. "What is it? Did you forget something?"

"No, fuck, I forget to tell you something." He raised his eyebrows and I kept talking: "Today you're going to meet my parents. It's going to be awful, they are so terrible. We need to get back to the campus."

"Why? I can survive. I'm sure they're not so bad." He just didn't know a thing.

I snapped: "You don't know them. They are going to interrogate you. What's your surname, how much money you have, how did you meet me? They don't actually care about anything else!"

"Hey, don't worry. We can handle them, okay?" he tried to calm me down. "It doesn't matter to me. We'll go on that silly wedding and meet them." He took my hand into his and smiled encouraging.

"But..." I tried to object.

He cut me off: "No but. Stop thinking about that. It's gonna be fine."

                                                                                                   ***

The wedding was beautiful, I have to admit that. The castle was decorated perfectly. Mom would probably kill the workers if they'd screw up. In the garden there was a big pavilion. Around it, chairs were placed on two sides. Every chair had a little light on it and on the pavilion there were lights all over. The ceremony started at five and a lot of people came. Tia and Jackson probably didn't know half of them. Jackson was standing on the bottom of pavilion and he couldn't stop smiling. The music started and we stood up. Tia came with her father and some of the guests held their breath. She was wearing a gorgeous white dress with a long train and she had a tiara in her light brown hair. The most beautiful thing on her was her expression. Her face was so, so happy. It was heart-warming.

After the marriage vow everybody congratulated them and gave them presents. Mom and dad were already talking to some guests. They were dressed perfectly like always. Mom had a light green dress on and a strong red lipstick. Dad was in a suit. I quickly pulled Alex in a line of guests so my parents wouldn't notice us immediately. We brought the newlyweds new stereos.

"Hi, Jackson, hello Tia. Congratulations! It's an amazing wedding, Tia, you're very beautiful," I said.

"Thank you, sis. I see you brought a date. Aren't you going to present us?" my brother replied while Tia just smiled.

I looked at Alex and squeezed his hand. "He's actually my boyfriend. Alex, this is my brother Jackson and his wife Tia. Tia, Jack, this is my boyfriend Alex." They greeted each other and Jackson winked at me.

"We'll talk later, at the dinner," he whispered and the next one in line came to congrat them.

Alex tickled me and I jumped. "Stop it," I laughed and tickled him back. Unfortunately, he wasn't ticklish and he started to chase me all over the garden. His legs were longer and I had heels on so he caught me and lifted me up.

"No, please stop. I hate tickling," I begged him. He looked in my eyes and kissed me quickly. Then he started to tickle me again. I laughed so hard. If we wouldn't be on the wedding I'd fall to ground. Someone cleared his throat and we both looked up. It was my parents. They were both sipping champagne.

I repaired my dress. "Fuck."

"Watch your mouth, Elisabeth. You're not a cowboy. I see you found a date," my mother scoffed. They both glared at us with raised eyebrows. I smirked. They are going to be so surprised when I'll tell them about my 'date'. Alex had a serious expression on his face but I saw he barely held his laugh back.

"Hello to you too, mom, dad. That's my boyfriend Alex," I told them, chuckling. They almost spitted their drinks and I laughed to myself. "Aren't you going to present yourselves? He doesn't know you."

They both straightened up and present themselves. Dad started: "Hello, Alex. I'm Edward Williams, as you probably know. Do you like the wedding?"

"It's nice to meet you, sir," Alex nodded. "Hello, ma'am." They shook hands.

"I'm Grace. Baldwin. So, tell something about yourself, would you? What do you do in your free time? Do you play any sports?" she started and I rolled my eyes. Mother shoot me a glare.

Alex answered: "Alright ma'am. I play a violin and dance ballet." My parents just stared at him, so he continued. "Yes, I know, right? You can't imagine me dancing ballet, don't you? It's difficult, you know, because I'm very tall." They were wide eyed. I've never seen them with an expression like that and I high-five Alex in my mind for pulling them like that. I couldn't held my laugh so a started coughing.

My father was the first who woke up from shock. "Okay. What's your surname, young man?"

"Oh, I believe it's not important, sir. You probably wouldn't know it. Our family isn't really rich. So, Elisabeth told me about your company. Can I ask you something? How did you became a CEO? I want to work that too, but I don't have any connections. Perhaps you could say a word for me? Or help with an internship." Alex acted stupidly.

I looked at my parents. Their faces were green from shock. They couldn't speak and this time I couldn't help myself. I burst out laughing. I laughed so hard, my jaw and abs hurt. Alex laughed with me and my parents just stared at us, clueless. They surely didn't want me to be with someone poor or stupid, but at the moment I wasn't into fighting. I was laughing too much.

"What's going on?" my father said, his teeth gritted. We laughed even harder. I couldn't breathe. Put your shit together.

I cleared my throat. "Father, I've important news for you. Alex and I are going to live together in a house. I'm pregnant, you know. And we'd be very grateful if you could borrow us some money. Not much though."

He yelled: "That's enough; I can't listen to this anymore! You won't live with him, daughter!" It was the most funny thing I've ever seen. My dad was desperate and my mom almost passed out. I decided to tell them the truth, if I wouldn't they'd banish us out of the country.

"Calm down, for god's sake. We were just joking. Alex does not play violin or dance ballet. Or so I know. " I looked at Alex and smirked. He laughed back. "And he doesn't need any help with connections. He's richer than you, dad. Oh, god, if you'd see your faces. You were so shocked, I almost peed myself from laughing."

Mother snapped again: "Watch your mouth!"

And dad asked: "Wait, what do you mean? You're not pregnant?" After I confirmed his claim, he let out a sigh of relief.

"No, I'm not. And as I said, it was all just a joke. Alex's surname is Ross and yes, dad. The Alex Ross. I'm not in the mood for arguing so I will ignored the fact you'd separate me from my boyfriend because of his money. Now, we'll go. See you at the restaurant."

After we walked away, they still looked at us like we fell from the moon. "Oh my god, that was the best prank on the world. Alex, thank you, I can't believe you actually prank my parents," I laughed.

He grinned: "Yeah, I can't believe it too. I just thought about meeting them politely but then I just decided to make a little fun of them. It was so good to watch you laugh."

I smiled when I heard that. "You're the best boyfriend ever. God, have you seen their faces?"

"And you're the best girlfriend. Your parents would kill us if we'd continue. They hate me, don't they? Oh god, the last thing I wish is that my girlfriend's parents hate me."

"Oh, c'mon, they don't hate you. They'll get over, believe me," I said truthfully. "Hey, do you want to play a game?" I didn't know what was wrong me, I hated games. But with Alex it was different. I really fell in love. Fuck.

His smile was huge as he said: "Sure, what game?"

When I saw his excitement I became excited too. I chuckled. "Hide and seek. I hide and you seek. Count to 30. Let the best girl win." He laughed loudly and started counting.

I had no idea where to hide. At first I thought about standing behind a tree, but then I decided not to. I was jogging through the garden and searched for the perfect place. A noticed a small wooden house for kids. I went inside and wait. He didn't show up for a long time. I heard him asking a few people if they saw a beautiful girl in blue dress. They respond negative and he searched further. The next moment a little girl's laugh appeared as she opened the door.

"Mummy, why is there a big girl inside the house? Is she hiding?" she asked.

Her mum looked inside and saw me. I showed her to be quiet and on my luck, they left. I was breathing fast. That was so close.

"Baby, I know you're in there. Come out or I'll come and get you," I suddenly heard Alex's voice. Oh shit.

I was quiet. Maybe he was just guessing. Then he yelled again: "Elisabeth, come out! I'm serious, I'll come in if you don't come out."

"We both know you can't squeeze in here, Alex."

"Don't make me. I will tickle you when I come in, I swear," he laughed and opened the door.

I grimaced. "Fine, fine. I'm coming. Just don't tickle me."

When I was out he exclaimed, happy: "Found you. Now it's my turn to hide. See you tomorrow, looser." Yeah, he wishes. I had an awesome strategy to win this.

"...30!" I started walking around the garden. There were a lot of things he couldn't hide behind. I shouted his name for a few times. Maybe he would confuse and respond to me. But he didn't. I tried with luck. I hoped he phone wasn't on silent mode. After some time I finally heard his ringtone.

"Got you," I screamed. I saw how he ran from a big bush and I thought I will have to chase after him. But instead he ran to me and lift me in the air. I screamed. A few people looked at our way and he rolled his eyes. I tried to make him let me go but he didn't listen to me.

"You cheated, baby. That means I won," he said, proud of himself.

I argued: "No! That's not cheating. Besides that, I haven't found you yet. You ran out of that bush."

"Shh." He tickled me.

"You idiot!" Laughter. "Alex!" More laughter. "I will shove you ass in the lake. Come here!" I started to chase after him and I wasn't really successful. Then, after some time, he turned around to face me and as I looked at him I stumbled over a stone and fell into his lap. He wasn't ready to catch me and we both fell to the ground. I laughed and leaned to kiss him. He rolled me below him so he was on the top. He moaned loudly when I bit his lip and I smiled.

Somebody shouted: "Hey, everyone! We're going to the restaurant! Get in your cars!" We both groaned and ended the kiss. He stood and then helped me. I looked at our clothes.

"Shit." They were all dirty from mud and I didn't have anything to change. He laughed and I lightly punched him in his arm. "I have nothing to change, idiot. What do we do now?"

He thought for a moment. "Come on, I have some clothes in my car. You can wear that, I guess." We went to his car and he took two pairs of sweatpants and a checkered shirt from his trunk. He gave me a shirt and grey sweatpants and he took the black ones.

"Seriously? We're on the wedding. We can't just wear that."

My hot boyfriend gave me a flat look and said: "Do you want to wear your wet, dirty dress or warm, clean clothes? It's your choice." I sighed but agreed to wear his clothes. They were huge. I had to roll up the trousers and shirt sleeves. My bun was a mess so I just wore my hair down. I looked silly with my heels. Alex, on the other hand looked really good. His white shirt wasn't dirty so he just put on sweatpants. It was so unfair.

"So sexy," he said to me, his voice low. I blushed slightly and grimaced. I looked awful. In two steps, he was facing me and I blushed deeply. His expression was lustful and I froze. "It's not fair, baby. You are so beautiful and sexy but you don't let me do anything. I want you everyday more." He saw my face and smiled. "Don't worry; I won't to anything until you let me. May I kiss you, Elisabeth?" I nodded slowly and he pressed his lips on mine. I could felt his desire in the kiss and I liked it. He wanted me. But I wasn't ready. Yet. I kissed him back and he deepened the kiss. What if I give in just a little? It's so good. I pulled him closer but suddenly, he stepped back and cleared his throat.

After I looked at him curious, he explained excusable: "Sorry, but I couldn't stop if we'd continue. Now, let's go. We're going to be late."

 

Alex

God, it was so unbearable. She was so fucking sexy and I couldn't resist her. When I saw her in my clothes, I became so damn horny. I needed her, but I would wait. But for how long can I wait, when I have a girl like her? Yeah, if the kiss would last only a few seconds longer I don't know how I'd stop.

Of course, her family chose an expensive restaurant. It was fancy with Michelin's stars. Some of guests were still outside, smoking. Elisabeth watched them, obviously wanted to smoke. I didn't know she smoked.

"God, I feel so stupid. My parents are going to be so mad," she laughed nervously. I noticed she probably didn't want to smoke in front of people.

"Uhm, do you want a smoke? We can go to our car if you want." She smiled sheepishly and nodded.

"How do you know I smoke? Oh fuck, I made a mistake. You don't want girls who smoke, right? Do you smoke?" She was so nervous. I tried to calm her and pulled her in a hug.

I said: "I saw how you were looking at people who smoked. I don't mind if you smoke, really. Here, give me cigarette, I will smoke too. Don't worry, baby." She smiled and took a pack of cigarettes out of her bag. She lit hers and then mine. It was funny how she calmed down when she smoked. For the first time, I found smoking really sexy. The way she inhaled and let out smoke, wow. When we finished I kept myself from kissing and took her hand instead. We walked in the restaurant and some folks looked at us with disapproval.

"Elisabeth, for god's sake, what are you wearing?" her mother asked immediately.

She sighed. "Well, our dresses were muddy and we changed. Don't worry, we won't stay long. After we ate something and talk with Jack, we'll go." Her mother nodded and turned around on her hell, then walk away.

We sat to the table, in the corner. It lasted some time until they brought food and Elisabeth looked tired. Before they brought food, Jackson and Tia came to sit with us for some time.

"Where are you going for honeymoon?" I asked them.

"Australia. Well, Sydney. I can't wait to see the famous opera house," Tia answered. Elisabeth looked she'd fell from her chair and she excused to go to the bathroom. Tia went with her.

Jackson started: "So, Alex, how did you meet my little sis?"

"In school. I.. Can I asked you for advice?" He nodded. "The thing is, I love Elisabeth. I know is sound ridiculous, but it's true. And I don't know if she feels the same. I don't know how I should tell her."

He stared at me. "Huh, you love her? Well I suspected you do. I see how you look at her. It's a silly question though, if she loves you back. My friend, she couldn't love you more. Yes, she's a complicated person when it comes to love, but believe me; she loves you with all her heart. The way she acts around you, it's amazing. So easy-going and free. She's not tensed at all. I'm a bit sad our honeymoon is just the same time as her birthday. I wanted to surprise her with something..."

I cut him off. "Wait, what did you just said? Her birthday? Why didn't she tell me?"

Jackson laughed: "Yes, it on 21st December. She probably didn't tell you because she never makes a big deal out of it. But, now you know." I have to make something really special for her. "Oh, and Alex, do push her into anything. You know, especially sex. Just an advice which would be good to listen," he quickly said after noticing the ladies were coming back.

Tia and Jackson went back to their seats and I asked my girlfriend: "Hey, baby, you look very tired. Why don't we skip the dinner and go home? We can order pizza and watch a movie." She smiled thankfully and nodded.

We didn't even excused to anyone. I took her in my lap and carried her to my car. She fell asleep at the moment we sat in the car and I drove slowly so she wouldn't woke up. When we get to the campus I carried her to my room. I left her on my bed, wrapped in blankets. While she was sleeping I ordered a pizza and made a plan for her birthday.

"Oh god," she stretched her body. She didn't sleep for a long time.

"Hi, beautiful. Are you hungry?" I asked her and when she responded positive I told her that pizza is going to be here soon.

"I'm so sorry, Alex," she whispered a moment later. What? She wouldn't go, right?

I asked slowly: "For what?"

"Your clothes are crumpled. Shit, I'm so sorry." She looked so sad when she said that and I burst out laughing.

She was watching me curiously. "Are you kidding me? You apologized for crumpling my clothes while sleeping?" I sad with a smirk. "Sorry, but this can't be right." She smiled too and patted the empty place in my bed. I lay down with her and started stroking her hair. The phone rang and I groaned.

"I'll be right back, baby. It's the pizza guy." I jogged outside to the entrance of the school. I paid for the pizza and ran back.

When I stepped into the room, Elisabeth was looking through my books. When she saw me, her face lit up and she smiled to me.

"So, what movie should we watch? Any ideas?" I asked with a smile. We chose Django: unchained. It was a great movie, well, I've seen it before but it was still as good as the first time I saw it. Elisabeth wasn't the girl who'd hide her face whenever blood splashed. When I looked at her I knew exactly what I'm going to do for her birthday.

Elisabeth turned her gaze to me. "What?"

"I love you," I blurted. Fuck, I screwed up again. Jackson said she likes me but, well, love is stronger than just liking. And I can't possibly know what she thinks.

She smiled, insecure. "I...uhm...love...you...too," she mumbled and I tried to hide my happiness. I was the happiest person alive. Now that I knew she loves me I could tease her.

"What did you say? I didn't hear you," I said with a big grin.

"Fine. I love you. I love when you make me laugh, I love that you always comfort me, I love how much you like music, I love the way you smile every time you see me, I love the way you look at me when you think I'm not looking, I love your hair, your arms, your beautiful eyes, I love the feeling when you hold my hand, I love all the angry looks from girls who are jealous of me, I love the way you kiss me, I love how sexy you are and I love how much you love me." Her face was a bit reddened and she looked away from me in embarrassment.

I smiled: "Hey, look at me." When she did as I said, I kissed her. It was kind of different, now when I knew about her feelings. It wasn't really different kiss, but the feeling when we kissed. It felt like, more real and relaxed. My heart still pound like crazy when her lips met mine.

                                                                                                          ***

Yesterday, a day before her birthday I asked her if she can ice-skate. She replied negative.

"What? How could you not know how to ice-skate?" I was horrified.

"I guess my parents never took me," she smiled bitterly. I gave a sympathetic look. "My nanny went with me for a couple of times but that's it. I can ski very well, but I can't ice-skate." It was so awful that she never ice-skated. The good thing was I knew exactly what I'm going to do for her birthday.

And today it was 21st December. I planned everything perfectly for her birthday.

I knocked on her door and waited. "Happy birthday, baby!" I exclaimed as soon as she opened the door. She looked surprised.

"How did you know it was my birthday?" I told her about the conversation with her brother and she grinned. I pulled a big bouquet from behind of my back and she hugged me happily.

"Thank you, babe. You shouldn't buy me anything, you know," she said. I laughed. I had something more for her. I pulled her with me and led her to the music room.

When I saw how confused she was I explained quickly: "Just listen." I sat for the piano and started to play. I sang along a song that I wrote for her.

The first moment I saw you,                                                                                                                                                                                     I couldn't believe my eyes.

Tears falling down your face with broken soul.

Your eyes so blue, like the bluest sky

And hair so dark, like the darkest crow.

 

The first moment you impressed me

was when I saw your face.

So sad but so beautiful at the same.

I wished I knew better than now

The reason you're broken like that.

 

The first moment I kissed you

Was really insane.

I felt all the world's butterflies.

The feeling of your lips on mine

I wouldn't replace it for anything.

 

Oh baby, you don't know

How you make me feel.

Still beautiful,

Dressed like a caveman.

 

The first moment I heard you sing

It was like you fell from heaven.

Voice so lovely and so bright,

Like angel who flew from the sky.

 

The first moment I heard you laugh

Believe me there's not the sound

On the world,

Which could compete with that.

Your face lighten up and body so free.

 

The first moment you told me you love me,

Everything changed.

I felt so blessed, the happiest I could be.

You knew my flaws, you knew me well

But you still decided to love me, hell.

 

And baby, every time

I look at you,

I fall for you,

All over again.

 

Elisabeth was crying when I finished. It wasn't a great song but it still touched her. She embraced me into a hug and whispered: "You wrote that for me?" I nodded and she repeated: "You wrote a fucking song for me? Alex, I love you so, so much. I can't tell you how. And you wrote a song for me? Oh god, I've never felt so special." She cried harder and I kissed her on her forehead.

"It's okay; everything is going to be okay. I love you. I have something for you." I took a box from my pocket and open it. She was holding her breath as she saw the necklace. It was simple and in her style. At the end of black string there was black, small heart which could open. I put my picture in it.

Her smile was wide when she saw the picture. "I put in there so you'll know I'm always with you. In your heart," I told her with a nervous smile. She chuckled and pecked my lips.

"I love you. Can you buckle it, please?" I helped her and look at her. She was so beautiful, it always amazed me.

"Okay, so I have a surprise for you." She looked at me, her brows raised. "Go back to your room and change in some warm clothes. The best'd be if you put on some gloves and a beanie, too. I'll meet you in 10 minutes."

"But it's Wednesday. We have classes," she complained.

"I know, I already excused you." I kissed her quickly and pulled her with me, out of the classroom. "Come on, go." She finally went back to her room and I went to mine.

                                                                                                          ***

We met at my car and she was dressed as I told her to be. She was wearing warm black leggings, white woolen sweater and black jacket. She put on a gray beanie.

"Where are we going? Tell me, tell me," she exclaimed enthusiastically. I laughed and shook my head.

"You'll see. Patience, baby." Elisabeth glared at me accusingly and I grinned at her. While we were driving, she was deep in thoughts. I smirked. There was no way I'd tell her.

She sighed. "Oh, come on, tell me."

"Nope. We're almost there, you'll see soon. I'm not going to tell you anything. Do you have any idea how cute you are when you're angry?" I teased her. She grimaced and blushed lightly.

We arrived at the place I she asked me, wide eyed: "Ice rink? Really? You know I can't ice-skate."

"That's why I'm going to teach you, silly. It's going to be great, and, at the end of the day you'll skate like a pro. Don't worry, I'm an awesome teacher," I said laughing.

"Conceited, aren't we? Fine, let's go kill ourselves," she laughed back.

We borrowed ice-skates and walked to the rank. She almost fell and I caught her. Today is going to be so funny, I could laugh already. I stepped on the ice and Elisabeth hesitated. I offered her my hand and slowly, she came with me.

"Easy, baby. Give me your hands," I said once we were both on the ice. We were standing at the fence and she was holding upon the fence, scared. She gave me her hands carefully, not wanting to fall. "Now, slowly move your legs like I show you, okay? One after another." I let go of her hands and showed her how to do it and then I took her hands again. She smiled nervously while I skated backwards and she skated facing me. She was like a frightened calf, her legs so unsure as she moved.

"I can't do that, Alex. I can't. What if I fall and everybody is going to laugh at me?" she cried all from sudden. There weren’t a lot of people, only a few and mostly they were kids with their grandparents.

I calmed her: "Hey, baby, don't worry. You won't fell, just be confident, okay? And hold my hands. We'll skate for some time and then we can go for a break."

She was a bit happier and she learned quickly. She didn't have to hold me anymore and now I waited for her to skate to me.

"Don't fall, honey," I teased her and she snorted. She skated to me fast and when she was almost here, she stumbled and fell in my lap. We both fell down and I groaned when I ended on the stiff ice. She tried to apologize but I cut her off with a kiss. I bit her bottom lip and she moaned quietly. At first she was a bit tensed, because we were at the rank and people were around us. I didn't care about them. It was just Elisabeth and me. I moaned loudly when she started to bite my neck and she smiled. She pressed her lips on mine and it was so fucking good. We were probably kissing for 15 minutes and when we finally stood up a lot of kids were watching us. Elisabeth buried her face into my chest, embarrassed.

"That was gross, you know?" a little boy said. I laughed.

"When you'll get older, you'll kiss too, kid," I answered. All of them just grimaced.

A girl said: "But otherwise you are so adorable. Your girlfriend is really beautiful, you know. I want to look like her." I felt proud. Elisabeth looked at her and smiled.

They went back to their teacher, probably, and we went for a break. We drank some hot chocolate and talked. After that we skated for another two hours and then we drove back to school.

"Thank you, Alex. It was the best birthday of my life," she told me.

"It's nothing. I'm glad you liked it. Do you want to do something else now?"

She shook her head and said sadly: "No, I can't. I promised Jackson to call him and I have to hang out with my roommate, I guess. We're not really friends."

I wrinkled my eyebrows. "Oh. Why don't you get along?"

"Well, I was being a bitch, I guess. And she's annoying sometimes, so yeah."

At that remark, I laughed lightly. Yup, I can imagine Elisabeth being rude, no offence. "Okay, see you tomorrow, baby. Tell Jackson I say hi." I kissed her lips and went to my room.

"Dude, where were you?" Leo asked me as I stepped inside. I told him about my day and he raised his brows. "Wow, you really love that girl, don't you? You don't even have fun with me. How about going out for a drink? We haven't hang out since last year."

I thought for a moment. "Sure, why not. Let's go."

                                                                                                             ***

The bar was full. We were often there, though now when I was in relationship, we didn't go even once. There was loads of girls and recognized a few of them. I slept with them but I didn't remember their names. Leo lead us to the counter and the bartender asked us what are we going to drink.

"Scotch," I told him.

"Give that double."

So we drank and talk about stuff. A girl came to us and smile: "Hi, Alex. I haven't seen you for a long time. You just disappeared. I want to repeat that night again. What do you think? I'm sure your friend wouldn't mind."

I sighed: "I have a girlfriend. So, that'd be no."

"You? You have a girlfriend? How did that happen? She's probably a slut, right? Do you fuck her every night?" she scoffed.

"Don't you dare talk to her like that. You know nothing about her so shut the fuck up! She's the most perfect girl on the world and she's not a slut. If you call her like that again I'll kill you, bitch," I snapped. Nobody is going to talk like that about my gf.

She smirked. "So that means you haven't fucked her yet? Well, that's something. Do you cheat on her? As I remember you don't survive without sex for a long time."

"No! I don't cheat on her. And besides that, my love life is not your business. Leave." She took my advice and left. I was like that most of the time. Rude. But to Elisabeth I was nicer. And it scared me. The girl was right. I can't survive without sex. And Elisabeth don't seem to give me that any soon. I have to hold my temper and try not to yell at her.

"Another one, please," I commanded. Bartender gave me another shot.

Leo laughed. "Oh god. It's so good to have you back, Alex. Tell me, why were you absent?"

I was so drunk, I didn't hesitate. I told him about my sister and he almost cried. "Oh, man, I'm so sorry. Why didn't you tell me?" I just shrugged and continue to drink.

"Was that girl right? You didn't sleep with Elisabeth yet? Dude, are you sick?" he laughed. "How long can you live like that? I mean, I can see she's hot. Man, that ass."

"Fuck, Leo, you're not making this any easier. And yeah, I haven't sleep with her. She not really comfortable around that. I'll wait as long as I can, I guess."

We left soon and I drove. I laughed all the time. "Oh shit, it's police." I pulled over. Yeah, I was probably driving too slow.

"Hello, sir. Show me your ID and driving license, please," the policeman said.

I gave him my wallet, I couldn’t find it myself, I was too drunk. "Okay. Sir, I can see you're drunk. Please step out of your car. And your friend too."

We stepped out of the car and I almost fell to the ground. My head was dizzy. "Fuck," I laughed. The policeman went to his car and talk to his fellow. I could hear their conversation.

"Hey, Dave, that's Alex Ross. What if we just let him go, he was driving slowly anyway? And as I see, his school isn't far from here." The other one agreed.

I giggled: "Leo, they are going to let us. I can't believe they're gonna let us go. It's so good to be a Ross sometimes."

Policeman came back and cleared his throat. "You can go, sir. I'm sorry for bothering you. Drive safe."

                                                                                                                ***

I woke up with a headache. "Fuck." I took some pills and dressed up slowly.

"Alex! You woke up. Hurry up, we're going to be late for classes," my roommate shouted.

"God, Leo, not so loud. I have a hangover. How can you be so awake already?" I complained. Leo murmured something to himself and pushed me through the door.

First class we had English. I didn't listen at all. I remembered that Christmas is in two days. And didn't have a present for Elisabeth. I had to buy her something today. But the problem was I had no idea what. "Oh, man," I said loud.

"Mr. Ross is there anything that bothers you?" professor asked me.

I quickly shook my head no. "No, sorry." She shook her head in disapproving and continued talking.

"Alex, what was that?" my best friend asked me.

"Nothing, it just Christmas. I don't know what to buy for Elisabeth. And I remembered that I have to go home for the holidays. So that means she's going with me. And I don't know if she is going to like that."

"Dude, don't worry, she loves you. Of course she'll go with you. And you'll find a perfect gift, I'm sure of that." I felt a bit better and waited for the end of the classed so I could go to the mall.

 

Elisabeth

It was good having my friend back. It wasn't easy though. After I came back to my room Rebecca was ignoring me. I sighed and decided to talk to her.

"Look, I'm sorry. I know I was bitchy and I hate myself for that. But in the past something happened to me and I'm still a bit unsure around people. Especially those who want to be my friends. I don't know a lot about friendship and you were right. If I want to befriend with someone I should let the person in my heart. So if you still want to be friend, I'll tell you." I was scared that she doesn’t want to be my friend and that I'm going to tell someone about my biggest fear.

Rebecca was looking at me with raised brows. She was waiting me to tell her. I swallowed my saliva and started to talk.

"As you know, my parents are really rich. They didn't have any time for me when I was younger, well they still don't. I was completely fine with that. I was 14 and they bought me everything I wanted. If I wanted to have a horse, they'd buy me one. I went out every night, yes, at the age of 14. I met a guy, he was 17. He was really popular and all girls wanted to be with him. But he decided to date me. He said I was the world for him. He took me on dates and bought me flowers every day. I felt so special. All my friends were jealous and I was so proud. For me, he was the most perfect boy on this planet. He had those blue eyes and brown hair. I remember his smile. I loved it and he smiled so often. I smiled too. Now, I get goosebumps every time I remember that sly smile. Anyway, his name was Nick, Nicky as I liked to call him. He called me Liz. Every time he called me that my heart melted. I loved him so much. I remember the day. It was 25th March and he asked me to come over his house. I couldn't wait. I was dressed in my gold dress, with sparkles. He promised we're going to watch my favourite movie, Spiderman. As I came he kissed me as always. We ate some ice cream and watch the movie. Then at the middle of the film he started to kiss me passionately. It didn't seem wrong until her started to undo me. I tried to stop him but it was like he was deaf. I was naked in front of him and I was so terrified. I had never been so afraid in my life. He had no pants and he was putting on a condom. I was screaming but there was nobody who'd be there. He raped me. I was so weak. I couldn't do anything. He pressed me to the wall and raped me. I cried so hard and when I asked if he just used me for sex her confirmed. He said that he could never be with someone ugly and fat like me. After that I built a wall around myself. I was depressed. I didn't eat, I believed him that I was ugly and fat. I never wore anything but black and I became rude to everybody. My parents knew what happened but they didn't do anything. They left me when I needed them the most. I will never forgive them." I was on my knees, crying when I finished and Rebecca was hugging me.

She was crying too as she said: "I'm so sorry, Elisabeth. I'm so sorry I pushed, I can't believe what happened."

We were talking late at night and I found out that she's been talking to that guy Tyler a lot. I was happy for her. Yes, I missed her a bit. And it was good for a change talking to somebody about girl's stuff.

"I heard you're dating Alex Ross. Is that true?" she asked and when I nodded she stared at me with eyes open. I burst out laughing. Her face was so ridiculous.

She laughed back: "Oh come on. You can't laugh at my face, you're dating Alex Ross, holy poop." I laughed more. Who says 'holy poop'?

After some time she asked: "So, it has to be awesome, huh? Dating Alex. How did you do that? I know you're beautiful like a princess but still, he does not date. What did you buy him for Christmas?"

I froze. Christmas? Shit. I totally forgot about fucking Christmas. I hated it. "Uhm, I haven't bought a gift yet. I forgot it's Christmas already. Can you do me a favor?" After she nodded I said: "Will you go to the mall right now and buy some gifts?"

"Sure, let's go."

                                                                                                                ***

I couldn't wait to see Alex. It was two days after my birthday and one day 'till holidays. I bought a gift for him and Rebecca. I bought something for Jack and Tia too. It was morning, the time he usually come to my room. I was getting nervous that he won't come. And then I heard a knock.

"Hi," Alex smiled when I opened the door. He looked a bit scared to talk to me. I raised one eyebrow.

"What is it? Why are you so nervous? Is there something wrong?" I shoot.

He laughed humorlessly. "Nope, there is nothing wrong. I just wanted to ask you something. Well, I really hope you'll agree. Let's go to the class and I'll tell you on our way."

"So," he started. "It's almost holidays and as every year I'm going home for Christmas. And I want you to come with me. Plus, mom and dad really want to meet you." Okay, now I understood why he was nervous. As I heard what he said I became nervous too. And excited, on the other hand. I always wanted to meet them.

"But I didn't buy them a present. Only if I buy them today," I said. His face lit up when he heard what I said.

He said slowly: "Wait, you're saying you'll go with me? Baby, that's great! God, I thought you won't want to go. And you don't have to buy them presents."

 

At the end of the day we ended up buying presents anyway. I wanted to buy something but I didn't know what. I asked Alex what to buy them but he wasn't very helpful.

"Put your shit together, babe. Now, what does your mother like? Books, clothes, anything?" I was starting to get inpatient. He seemed to be thinking the whole day.

"Yeah... My mom likes to listen to some shitty bands, like some unknown ones. She always goes to concerts in a bar or somewhere, just to find a regular group," he finally said.

I sighed. "Okay, what about your dad?"

He answered: "He loves art. He collects weird paintings, famous and infamous." Fuck, what is wrong with him?! He never acts like that. Maybe he is just tired.

"Look if you don't want to shop with me, you can go and sit on the bench or in the car, okay?" He nodded. "Alright. I'll call you when I finish."

So I searched for gifts alone. I went to all the shops and all I bought were some pralines. At first I wanted to buy some jewels for his mom and a scarf for his dad. But that'd be just too lame. Then I got a great idea. Fortunately, I knew a painter. He was my schoolmate in primary school. I googled his address and phone number.

"Hello, Tim. It's Elisabeth Williams, if you remember me. Primary school?" I said when he answered the phone.

"Oh, hi, Elisabeth. Yes, I remember you. Is there a special reason for calling me?"

"Yeah, it is, actually. You're a painter, right?" I asked and when he confirmed I continue: "Well I already googled your address and if you agree I'd like to come and buy a painting. A special one."

He sounded excited: "That's great. You come and we'll see if you'd like any paintings. What time?"

"Uhm, 20 minutes? Okay, bye."

Now I needed to find something for Alex's mother. I didn't know any bands but I guess I can buy her a vinyl. I phoned Alex.

"Alex, does your mum have a gramophone? No? Okay, great. Uh, one more thing. Can you meet me in 10 at your car?" I said.

He responded slowly. "Yeah, sure, see you." What the hell is wrong with him? The worst thing was I knew what was wrong. We still haven't have sex. And he was the person who, you know, kinda couldn't live without it.

I ran to the music shop and hoped they had a gramophone. "Excuse me, do you have any gramophones?" The shop assistant nodded and I let out a sigh of relief. She showed me where they were and I picked up the best one. I chose some vinyls and paid. I was satisfied.

"Hi, babe." I gave him a quick kiss. "Can you please drive me to this address?" I showed him the address and we were there in 7 minutes and 12 seconds. Yes, I counted. Alex waited in the car and I entered the small gallery. It was a bit messy, with a lot of paintings.

Tim was there and he greeted me happily. I watched how he grown up. He was thin and he had thick glasses. His smile was nice and he really looked like an artist.

"Hello, Elisabeth. It's good to see you. How are you?" he asked me, smiling.

"Good, I guess. I'd chat with you but I have to hurry. My boyfriend is waiting in the car and he's a bit moody, you know. But I'd be great to go for some coffee sometimes if you want."

He grinned. "Yeah, sure, So, paintings. What kind would you like? I know, something special, but do you have anything in mind?"

"No, not exactly," I admitted. "I will look around and decide, okay? And some help would be welcomed.

We walked around the place and he talked about paintings. He knew a lot of things. I noticed a small painting. It was black, but in the middle of the dark there was a little light. I fell in love with the picture right away. It was like me.

"I want that one. But I need another one," I commanded.

"Okay. Can you help me a bit and I'll help you? Who is the person you want to buy a painting? Age, gender maybe?" he asked.

"It's my boyfriend's father actually. I don't know what he likes. He's a businessman."

After some time we found just a perfect painting. It had a lot of colours and it was unclear. I couldn't tell what it showed but it was interesting. "This one. I'd like this one. I think it's really nice."

He looked at me with surprise. "You have an excellent taste, Elisabeth. Here, let's take those two to the counter. I'll take this one." He took the bigger one and I carried mine. I paid and thanked him.

"It was really good to see you. Thank you, Tim. Bye!" I went back to car and barely carried my paintings. Fortunately, Alex came out and helped me. I was a bit angry on him.

"So, what did you buy?"

I snapped: "You'll see when we come to your house, tomorrow." He looked hurt. "What? I just said you'll see tomorrow, damn it. You were in the car the whole time, what's wrong with you today?"

He sighed. "It's nothing."

"Of course it's something. Do you expect me to believe you?" I knew what it was but I wanted him to tell me. We needed to talk about this anyway.

"Fine, I want you. I couldn't watch you after Wednesday. After you went to your room, I went to bar with Leo and we talked. You know that I slept with girls and I need sex. You have no idea how long I haven't have sex. I'm nervous all the time around you. You're so fucking sexy I can't bear it." Oh, well.

"Why did you sleep with them anyway?" I had to ask him that.

He was thinking, probably whether he should tell me or not. "Okay, here's the thing. First I'm gonna tell you about my love life. The truth is I haven't been in a relationship for two years. My last relationship was kind of unreal for her. She was a slut, she used boys. I knew that but I loved her. It wasn't true love but she was really the thing, you know. We dated and we had sex the third day we were together. She dumped me two weeks later and I was angry. Not sad, but angry. I hated her for using people and I wanted to be like her at the same time. I wanted to show people how it was like. To be used and hurt. It was addicting, to have sex every day. Girls wanted me and I liked that. So now, when I have you, I don't need girls every day. You're the only one I want but it's unbearable. I'm so fucking horny all the time."

It was a bit weird to hear that but on the other hand I was touched. I had no idea he was used like that. And I had no idea he wanted me that bad. Well, I was not completely ready.

I sighed. "I'm sorry, babe. I want you too but I'm not ready yet. Please, wait just a bit. Not long, I promise."

"Yeah, okay, I understand. But I want only one thing. No kissing. I know, I know you want to kiss me and I want that too but I'm afraid I couldn't stop myself. So, please, we'll both have to hold on," he said, apologizing.

                                                                                                          ***

I checked again if I packed everything. I had all presents and my suitcase in Alex's car. I took with me some sexy clothes if I decide to be ready. Yeah, I know, stupid. When I left in the morning, I put a present for Rebecca on her desk. I bought her Swarovski earrings and necklace I saw she was looking at the other time in the mall.

"Uh, baby, can you drive please? I'm a bit unconcentrate," Alex asked and I smiled. It was so funny watching him like that. I wanted to kiss him but I couldn't. Ugh.

I nodded and he was telling me the way to his home. I was nervous, of course but I didn't think about that, really. I decided to dress like usual; well I had on my leather black skinny leggings and a flannel shirt. I pulled my hair in a high ponytail and put on my Doc Martens.

We arrived and now I was very nervous. I was going to meet his parents. They had a big villa, similar to ours. Alex rang and a woman came to the door. She was beautiful. Tall, with quite short hair and brown eyes. I watched her perfect figure and realized that the woman was Alex's mother. Oh god.

"Hi, mum! How are you?" Alex hugged her mother and smiled.

"Hello, sweetie. I'm great. Oh, so this is Elisabeth? I heard so much about you, it's like I already know you," she turned to me. I was so jealous on my boyfriend. His mother was so nice.

I smiled to her. "Good morning, Mrs. Ross. It's very nice to meet you."

"Call me Caroline, honey. Home inside, you'll freeze out there." They had a lovely house. It was warm and colourful. Like a great home. There were loads of paintings on the walls and Caroline noticed that I watched them. "They're all from my husband. He's crazy about paintings, you know. Come here, he can't wait to meet you. He's just making lunch. We decided to make it ourselves. We're making pizza." It was like home. She was so nice.

We walked into the kitchen and saw Alex's father. He was making the dough for pizza.

"Hi, you must be Elisabeth. You're even more beautiful like Alex told us. I'd shake hands but my hands are dirty. How are you? Is our son nice to you?" he laughed and looked at Alex. We talked for two hours and then the lunch was ready. It was delicious. And his parents were so friendly. We talked about random stuff and it was nice. Later we watched some tv.

"Elisabeth, honey, would you like to sleep with Alex or in the guest’s room?" Caroline asked me.

I looked at my nervous boyfriend and replied: "The guest’s room would be fine, thank you."

Before I went to sleep I placed the presents under the Christmas tree and then went to bed. Alex was sitting on my bed, looking at his phone. When he saw me his body tensed.

"Fuck, Elisabeth, can you wear anything sexier?" I looked at my clothes and rolled my eyes. It was just his pullover and shorts. It wasn't sexy at all.

Before I could complain he was standing next to me, breathing heavy. He closed the door and mumbled: "I want you, baby. Why don't you want me? I fucking need you."

"I want you too, but it's not so simple for me, Alex."

"What? You're still a virgin? That's not a problem for me. Don't be scared, baby," he muttered.

I took a deep breath. "Well, yes, I'm kind of a virgin." I felt how my eyes became wet. I didn't want him to know, but I needed to tell him. 

"How do you mean, kind of? Don't cry, honey," he hugged me.

I looked him right into his eyes and whispered: "I was raped." My heart felt lighter now when he knew. I expected him to step back but he hugged me harder.

"Oh, god, I'm so sorry. Shit, I'm so sorry I pushed you like that. I will wait, baby. Come on, you can sleep in my bad this night. And tomorrow we'll open the gifts," he smiled. We went to bed and I fell asleep in his hug.

 

I laughed when I saw their faces, opening the presents. I ended up in Caroline's hug.

"Elisabeth, this is the best thing I got. Thank you, thank you so much. Open your presents now," she exclaimed. But before I could do anything, Mr. Ross pulled me into a hug.

He smiled: "You're the best gift buyer on the world, I swear. This painting is so amazing, how did you find it. And you have to tell me where you bought it. But it was probably expensive, you shouldn't buy that much, you know."

"Mom, dad, stop torturing her. Let her open her presents already," Alex saved me from his parents. They were so nice.

I opened the first present, from Mr. and Mrs. Ross. I was breathless when I saw what they bought me. It was the first edition of Anna Karenina and cute Christmas pullover.

"Oh my god, thank you so much. Where did you find the first edition? I can't believe it!" I hugged them both and they just laugh.

The other gift was from Alex. It was the most beautiful dress I've ever seen. Long, black with no sleeves. It was elegant and sexy at the same time. I just stared at it. I turned to Alex and looked at his eyes. I whispered if I may kiss him and on my luck he nodded. It was a quick kiss, there were his parents watching us after all.

He opened his present and I waited for his reaction. He smiled widely as he saw it. I bought him a book of Chopin's songs. But not just regular one. It was old and it had his signature in it. I found it in a pawn shop next to the mall. Alex looked so happy. He kissed me passionately, not worrying about his parents. 

                                                                                                           ***

Days went by quickly. Alex and I didn't kiss a lot because he'd jerked away every time. It was the last day of holidays, the new year's Eve and we were planning to stay inside and watch a movie. His parents were at their friends' house and Alex was in the shower. I was choosing a movie when he came to the room. I glanced at him quickly and froze. He was shirtless, wearing only his white Calvin Klein's boxers. He's abs were so fucking hot and I couldn't stop watching him. He turned his gaze to me.

"Damn." He watched me, lustful, and I watched him back. I wanted to kiss him, touch him. And at that moment I decided to be ready. He watched at my over knee socks, and his hoodie on me. Under the hoodie I was wearing only a bra and matching panties. I high-fived myself in my mind for wearing this.

I stepped towards him and none of us looked away. We just stared in each other’s eyes. I decided to make a move. I put my arms around his neck and kissed him hard. He moaned and placed his hands on my ass. I smiled through the kiss. He lifted me and I wrapped my legs around his back. He bit my neck slowly and I took of my hoodie. Alex's eyes went wide as he saw me in my underwear. He threw me on his bed gently and continued kissing me. I took off my bra and he started to bite my nipples. I moaned loudly. He was already hard for me and a bulge on his boxers grew. Fuck.

"Are you sure, baby?" he asked me breathless. I just nodded and he took a condom out of the drawer. He took off my panties.

"So beautiful," he whispered and kissed me all over my body. I pulled off his boxers and smiled at the sight of it. He put on a condom and leaned over to my thighs. He kissed me between them. Damn you, Alex.

His smile was smug. "So wet for me already, huh?" I rolled my eyes but blushed. I wrapped my legs around his back and he entered. Oh god, fuck Alex. I wanted to scream but I couldn't. It was so good. I digged my nails in his back and he groaned quietly. 

"Faster," I whispered and he obeyed. I felt my climax and I moaned loudly. I rolled my eyes back. My heart was pounding fact.

"Fuck, I'm coming baby. Oh, god." He moaned as he reached his climax and he slowly fell onto his side of the bed.

"I love you, Alex Ross."

"I love you more, Elisabeth Williams."

We lay in bed and his fingers were touching my tattoos. I was still trembling from his touches.

"So perfect," he whispered.

                                                                                                               ***

Alex

It was more than three months of our relationship and it was getting boring. I loved so much and the best thing was that she loved me back but we always did the same things. We watched movies, listened to music, went to the mall or walked around the campus. I was glad she hung out with her roommate Rebecca so I had time for myself. Not that I didn't enjoy spending time with Elisabeth, but I needed some fun. Though I knew she had problems with having fun and meeting new people, it was getting on my nerves. She could try, at least.

Well, I can't say she didn't love me. She had new tattoo 'Found happiness' and she loved it. When I asked her what it means she replied: "I found you."

Today took her to the restaurant. We were both dressed up and she was telling me how she convinced Rebecca to smoke.

"She's such a goodie, you know. When I did her hair, she promised me to return a favor and I told her to smoke with me," she told me happily.

We ordered food and I stayed silent. I wasn't really in the mood for talking. Her phone rang. She sighed and decided to ignore it. It was her father and I understood her. She didn't wanted to talk to him. The phone rang again. It was annoying as shit.

"Answer the damn phone, Elisabeth," I snapped. She looked at me sadly.

"Yes, what's up dad?" she answered and listened to her father. The next thing she did was falling on the floor, sobbing. I didn't know what's wrong with her.

"Baby, what's wrong? Did your father say something bad?"

She was crying and I couldn't understand what she was saying to me.

I sighed: "Can you repeat, I don't understand you?"

"My grandpa fucking die! Just leave me alone Alex, I'm going to walk back." She just left. Huh.

 

We didn't attend funeral. Elisabeth was too sad to go and I didn't push her.

"He was the best grandfather on the world. He comforted me every time I was sad and when I was a child he took me to his house and we played cards. He loved playing poker and he was good at lying. I learned everything from him. He was so angry when I beat him in cards. I learned from the best," she laughed humorlessly. "I loved him the most from all our family. He never made fun of me or ignore me. I was perfect to him. He called me his 'little girl' and I loved that. God, I miss him so much."

"Shh, it's going to be alright. You will be alright," I tried to comfort her.

She snapped: "No, it's not going to be alright. Did you get over your sister's death? If you did, you're a strange person, Alex. I can't get over my grandpa's death. You don't understand, he was a world to me. He was there for me when my parents weren’t. You will never understand how it's like to be alone. Never. To feel lonely all the time, when the room is full of people. When nobody gives a shit about you. Damn you, Alex, you have no idea."

                                                                                                                 ***

Elisabeth was tensed and angry for another two weeks and it was annoying. I didn't have energy to comfort her because she'd always find an answer to shut me. I needed a party, a good drink and I decided to go.

"Come on, honey, go to the party with me. It's been two weeks you can't be so sad. Just have a drink and forget about everything for a moment," I said.

She retorted: "The point is not to forget. Some things aren't just forgettable. It's good to feel the pain. But okay, I'll go with you to the stupid party and drive your drunken ass back."

"Thank you."

The party was great. There was a lot of people dancing and drinking alcohol.

"I'm going to get a drink. Wanna go with me?" I asked Elisabeth but she shook her head no. What a party pooper. I went for a drink alone. There were a lot of hot girls and I watched them dance. I needed sex. My damn girlfriend wasn't really in the mood and I was getting pissed.

A girl came to me. Her hair was red and eyes dark green. I'd recognized her everywhere. It was Laura, the girl who used me. She was still got and a lot of guys were looking at her. Man, she was something else. Her energy was strong and she knew how to use her hot body. She was wearing little red dress and high heels. She was even sexier than a few years ago. Her body had curves at the right places and her smile was shining.

"Hello, Alex. How are you?" she asked me, her voice cunning. I poured another drink in my throat and smiled at her.

It would be good having some fun. "Hi, L. I'm great. Would you like to go somewhere else with me? Like more private?" She agreed right away and we went up the stairs to the bedroom. There was a couple kissing and I told them to leave.

"I've been missing you Alex. I heard a lot about you," she said through kissing. I pulled her dress off. I could feel my body tensed up when I saw her and she pulled my pants down. I kissed her hardly.

The door opened. I didn't bother to look. All I could see was a girl in front of me, in her sexy underwear. Laura decided to look at our visitor and I turned my gaze to the door too. There she was. The girl I loved. The girl with the prettiest smile on the world. The smartest and most sensitive girl I knew. The girl who understood me. The girl I decided to let go. She was too good for me, too loyal. I needed something wild, something more fun. Exotic. And she couldn't give that to me.

Her eyes were the most sad I've ever seen, tears falling down her face. Her expression lifeless and cold. When I didn't stop hugging Laura, her expression became furious. The most furious I've ever seen on her.

"Alex Nathaniel Ross, how dare you? How dare you do that to me? At first you tell me you love me, than you fuck me and avoid me and now you cheat on me. You haven't changed at all. You aren't any different from the girl who used you and you aren't any different from Samuel. Fuck you! I hate you so much! I thought we were similar in some ways but no, I was wrong. It was the worst thing I've done, being with you. Damn you, you son of a bitch."

I tried to calm her: "God, why are you so angry, it's just one sex. You're still mine, Elisabeth."

She cut me off: "Don't you dare talking to me. I'm not yours, and I never will be. I can see you don't love me anymore. Have a nice life Alex and don't you dare come to me after you've done with your shit."

"Oh, yeah? I know you love me, baby! You'll come after me, I bet that. And I won't give a damn about you, because you know why? You're like a dead woman. And this girl here is powerful. Look at her body, so much better than yours," I teased her.

Her expression was blank. Nothing, none feelings. It was scary as fuck. She looked at me straight in the eyes and turned on her feet. That's when I did a biggest mistake in my life. But I decided to not give a damn. I can live without her.

                                                                                                              ***

Elisabeth

Two months and it still felt the same. The pain was unbearable. And he didn't even send a text. On the hallways he didn't even glanced at my direction, not once. That's how we broke up. So fast. I couldn't understand. He was my love, my life. And he let me go so easy. Like I was nothing to him. Just another toy. Replaceable.

I didn't get out of my room for a month. I said I was sick and they believe me. I was sick. Not ill but sick. Hurt. When he said that girl had sexier body I started to look at myself. He was so right. I was nothing. Fat, ugly. Everybody thought that, I was sure. I didn't eat anything. I drank water and ate a salad per day. There was no energy inside me. Now, I was more beautiful. My weight was perfect. It was only 40 kg and I was satisfied. It was so good how my bones sticked out and how my thighs didn't touch at all. My face was prettier, cheekbones showing nicely.

I was feeling happier and I decided to go to the class with Rebecca. I wasn't a good friend, I just cried and sleep. She listened to me when I told her to stay out of it. I wore my skinny jeans instead of big sweatpants and I felt pretty though I hated the belt I had to put on. It didn't look nice.

"Oh my god, Elisabeth, you're so skinny. It's just bones, why did you do that for? How come I didn't notice?" Rebecca exclaimed worried. Maybe because I was in my bed all the time or wearing huge sweatpants, you moron.

"It doesn't matter, let's go to class."

It was a mistake thinking I could be happy and live normal. Students stared at my body like a was a monster and I was nervous. Was I still too fat?

The next moment I saw Alex, his arm wrapped around some girl’s hip. He was smiling sweet to her and she watched him with admiration. It felt so unreal. I should be that girl; I should be holding his hand and kissing him. The worst thing it hit me was how fast he moved on. I was clearly nothing to him. I felt like a dirtbag. Why couldn't I have a good life? Why can't somebody love me forever? Life was useless. I had no reason to live. I realized there isn't any things to try for. Mom and dad were ignoring me like always, Jackson lived his happy life with Tia, I had no real friends, Alex left me and my grandpa died. He died.

I excused to Rebecca and said that I forget something. I knew exactly what to do. I looked myself in the mirror and froze. The person I looked at was so miserable. Life sucks if you miserable. Why is she so miserable? Did someone die to her? Why does she live? I wanted to scream, my head burned. The feeling inside my chest was unbearable. My hand took a razor and did a cut on the other wrist. Then I cut the whole arm and put the razor in the other hand. The other hand cut the first hand, like a machine. Blood was all over the bathroom and my arms were all from scars. I didn't hurt at all. The feeling in my chest was worse. My hand continued cutting and blood my face became paler. But before that I had to do one more thing. I took a pen and write on my white T-shirt. 'Lost happiness.'

 

EPILOGUE

I was lying on the ground. It was so peaceful. I remembered Alex. I remembered every fucking single thing about him. Every moment we spent together. I remembered his brown deep eyes, his perfect messy hair, his hand holding mine, his lips, his smile so big and sincere. I remembered the first time he kissed me, I remembered the song he wrote for me, his voice singing. His tickling, so annoying and his laugh so happy. I remembered how he pranked my parents and then make me wear his clothes. I remembered when he took me to the cinema and we watched a horror movie. It was so scary and he held my hand all time. I remembered the time when he was angry on me because I didn't tell him what my favourite book was. I remembered the time when we went to the mall and helped the boy who has lost. Alex took his hand and took talked with him about his mother. I remembered the first time we danced together on his favourite song Prelude number 4. I cried that time. I remember every single kiss and hug I received from him. And then I remember my grandpa, talking how he loves me. His friendly, smiling face. I remembered him saying how I just imagine him lost his weight. I dropped it but I realized it was my fault. It was all my fault. Maybe I could stop his illness and cure him. I felt so happy. I'm going to see him again. I wanted to cry but there was just blood everywhere. I'm going to see him.

The last thing I remembered was the quote from my favourite book, Anna Karenina.

'Love. The reason I dislike that world. Is that it means too much for me, far more you can understand.'