Introduction Two relationships gone wrong.
Two heartbroken friends searching for consolation.
One night of "sympathetic passion."
One big problem.
(originally posted on www.justinbieberfanfiction.com)
Chapter 1 - Chapter 1
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She felt tears prick her eyes as she brought the car to a stop and stepped out, looking down over the water. With a sigh, she started to carefully make her way along the narrow dirt path that led down the steep incline, progressing slowly so that she would be less liable to fall. She remembered how on the night that he had brought her here for the first time, she had applauded herself for deciding to wear a pair of Converse sneakers, but had second-guessed her decision to wear white shorts. Thankfully, he had taken her by the hand and guided her down, making sure that she didn't lose her footing; watching out for her in a way that made her heart feel all warm and fuzzy.
While it was a little difficult and involved a few slips that almost resulted in falls, she eventually managed to reach the bottom of the hill. Pausing momentarily, she shielded her eyes from the harsh light of the sun to scan the lakeshore until she located the spot where the two of them had been sitting on that night. It was right where the grass met the dirt; where she had thrown caution to the wind and reminded herself that bleach had been made for a reason. She remembered how mosquitos, ants, and stingweed had pretty much wreaked havoc on her exposed skin and was glad that she had shown up wearing jeans this time around. Pulling her knees up to her chest, she looked out at the water as her mind flashed back to the time that she had spent with him in that very same spot.
"So...would it be weird for me to kiss you right now?" he asked, his large, blue eyes reflecting the late-March moonlight in a way that made her feel weak in the knees. He gave her a heart-stopping smile, his full lips so tantalizing that the force between them and her own felt almost magnetic. She couldn't believe that she was actually feeling this way, seeing as how not even an hour ago, she hadn't been particularly interested in him. In fact, she had only agreed to go on the date because she hadn't been able to think of a valid excuse to get out of it and hadn't wanted to hurt his feelings by just flat-out saying no. She had been planning to deliver the trusty, old let's-just-be-friends line at the end of the night and pray that he would decide to leave her alone after that. And she was absolutely going to strangle their friend, Marcus, for seeing fit to give him her cell phone number in the first place.
In that moment, however, as he waited for her to give him permission to lay one on her, she found herself feeling one-hundred and eighty degrees different from the way that she had felt at the beginning of the date. Now, rather than telling him that she just wanted to be friends, she was planning on letting him know that she already couldn't wait for their second date.
"No...it wouldn't." She flashed him an inviting smile, chewing on her bottom lip as she stared into his eyes, captivated by their overwhelming beauty. He closed them about halfway and started to slowly move his face toward hers, tilting his head and parting his lips ever-so-slightly. Drawing in a deep breath and hearing her heartbeat thump loudly in her ears, she mimicked his actions and waited for the beautiful moment in which their lips would meet; the moment that was going to end up turning her whole entire world completely upside-down.
"Malarie?" she was ushered out of her reminiscing and back into reality when she heard the voice address her from behind. Turning around, she saw a familiar form making its way across the grassy lakeshore to where she was sitting.
"Justin," she said in response as he sat down next to her, bringing his knees close to her chest the way that she had previously done hers. "What are you doing here?"
He didn't say anything for a moment, just fixed his gaze on the water ahead of them before finally turning his eyes to meet hers. "Oh...just reminiscing," he sighed, shaking his head before focusing on the water once more. "Callie and I broke up yesterday, and this was our special little place. We used to come here all the time." He paused, sighing once more before continuing. "I know it sounds really stupid, but...I thought coming here might help me get over her quicker. Kind of give me some closure, you know?"
"That doesn't sound stupid at all," Malarie replied, her own eyes taking in the sight of the lake. "I'm here for the exact same reason...except that Thomas and I broke up this morning. This lake was a special place for us, too...even though we only came to this exact spot one time. He brought me here on our first date; this is where we held hands for the first time, where he put his arm around me for the first time, where we had our first kiss..." she trailed off, feeling a lump rise in her throat. "And it's where I decided that giving him a chance was a good thing to do."
"Deciding to give out chances seems like a pretty dangerous thing to do sometimes," Justin observed. "Believe me, I know. I almost didn't give Callie a chance, either. But after that first date..." he sighed, shaking his head, "she had me hooked."
"Yeah, I was the same way with Thomas." Malarie rested her chin on the top of her knees as she continued to gaze out at the water. "I only agreed to go on our first date because I couldn't think of a really good excuse to get out of it...and I didn't want to hurt his feelings by just saying no. By the end of the night, I went from wanting to tell him that I just wanted to be friends to wanting to ask him out on a second date."
"The same goes for me and Callie," he said, resting his own chin on his knees. The two of them were silent for a few moments before he turned to look at her. "So, what exactly happened between you two? I mean, you always seemed so strong."
"We were," Malarie responded, feeling the lump return to her throat as her eyes began to sting with tears. "Well, when we first started out, anyway. Then, there was the break-up that had to happen since...well, you remember...his ex-girlfriend found out that she was pregnant with his baby. But after she cheated on him and he came back to me...it was like we had never been apart for even a day. And it stayed that way for most of the summer."
She sighed, feeling the first tear slip down her cheek as she continued to tell the story. "But for the past two months, everything has been falling apart. He suddenly started saying that he wasn't happy in our relationship anymore. Then, last week, he told me that nothing makes him happy anymore, and nothing is fun to him anymore."
She sniffled and wiped at her eyes, which had produced several more tears after that first one. "His family, my family, his roommate, and I all think that it has something to do with Alyssa miscarrying the baby and him being so stressed-out from work all the time and having a lot of debt...but when it all comes down to it, none of us are entirely sure. He's too stubborn to really talk to anyone and let them know what's going on. All I know is that this morning, he decided that he doesn't want to be with me anymore." Sniffling and wiping at her eyes once more, she turned her gaze from the horizon to Justin's face. "What about you and Callie?"
He sighed, closing his eyes momentarily before focusing on the point where the land met the water at the edge of the shore. "She said she was sick," he began quietly. "She didn't come to school...which made me believe that she really was sick, because she hates to miss school. So, I went around to all of her teachers and got all of the assignments that she'd missed. After I got out, I went to the flower shop and bought a dozen roses and a little teddy bear to try and lift her spirits."
He paused for a moment longer, sighing and running his hands through his hair before continuing to speak, which was obviously getting difficult for him to do as he drew nearer and nearer to breaking down into tears. "I got the key from above the door and let myself in the way that she had always told me to do whenever I needed to. I walked down the hallway to her room as quietly as I could because I figured she'd be asleep...and besides, I just wanted to surprise her.
"There were all these weird noises coming from the other side of the door...and when I opened it, I saw that she was screwing another guy." He paused for a moment, a tear falling off of his cheek. "I gave her a choice right then and there--him or me. And I guess it's pretty obvious which one of us she chose."
"Aw, that must have been horrible," Malarie said sympathetically, placing her hand on Justin's arm as he bowed his head, tears leaking from his closed eyes. "I'm really sorry."
"And I'm sorry about what happened with you and Thomas," Justin replied, raising his head and wiping at his eyes with another sniffle. "I know a break-up like that couldn't have been easy. It actually sounds even worse than being cheated on, to tell you the truth."
"Well, I don't know so much about that," Malarie responded. "I've never actually had it happen to me, but being cheated on has always been one of my biggest fears, and I've always heard that it's awful. And actually seeing her with the other guy must have made it about ten times worse."
"But having all of that other crap get in the way of your relationship can't be much better," he insisted. "I mean, at least I know why my relationship with Callie ended. But you...not knowing exactly what it is that's making Thomas so unhappy must really suck."
As more tears pooled in her eyes, Malarie simply nodded in response to his guess. The two of them were silent for a few more moments, just looking out at the lake before Justin turned his head toward her. "Do you want to get out of here?" he asked.
"What do you mean?" she questioned in response, turning her gaze to meet his as she wiped at her eyes.
"I mean, do you want to go somewhere else? Somewhere more...I don't know...neutral? Where we don't have a mess of memories weighing us down and making us feel even more miserable than we already do?"
Justin honestly wasn't even sure why he was making that suggestion. For reasons that she also did not fully comprehend, Malarie found herself managing a slight smile through her tears and replying, "Sure, let's go."
"Okay, then." With a smile of his own, Justin rose to his feet before taking her hand and pulling her up as well. "Follow me."
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