I spend the next day avoiding Jake as best I can. I fill my family in as soon as I wake up, my mum hugging me as I cry. The worst thing about the whole situation is that it’s impossible to get away from. 1
Jake comes to my apartment door, knocking until my mum asks him to leave, saying I don’t want to talk to him. In truth, I miss him. Already, I miss laughing with him; I miss his easy smile and the way he made me feel. But I can’t bear to look at him.
All this time he’d had a girlfriend back home.
Every kiss, every hug, every interaction we ever had was laced with lies. Every memory I had of him and me together was now corrupted with doubt. Did he ever really like me? Or was I just some entertainment for the summer?
I can’t sit on the balcony to read, because he’s out there, calling my name. I simply stand and walk back inside, sliding the door shut behind me. I’m trapped in this apartment.
My family didn’t want to leave me on my own, but I insisted that I wouldn’t ruin their holiday over a boy, so they’ve gone to the beach. I’m dying to swim. Dying to channel all of my feelings into the smooth routine of my strokes through the water. But I don’t want to face Jake.
I go home tomorrow. +
I get on a plane, fly home, and leave all of this behind.
But I need one last swim.
I refuse to let a boy ruin my holiday; to keep me holed up in a room on a glorious day and cry. So I get myself ready, and I leave the apartment.
I manage to make it to the pool, and swim my laps without a single sign of Jake. The cool water calms me, clearing my head and allowing me to go back to how I was before Jake; content and collected.
It’s when I get out of the pool and pick up my bag that I start to regret my decision to leave my room.
I look up. “Dan? Hi.” I give him a tight smile before attempting to move round him, but he side steps, blocking my path.
“I don’t see your lapdog, have you let him off the leash?”
I tense slightly. No matter how hard I try to make myself not care, hearing Dan talk about Jake like that drives me insane. +
“He was never on one to begin with.” I reply, keeping my voice calm and steady.
Dan shrugs, nonchalantly. “Well if he’s not around…” He brings his hand up to my waist, resting it there. “Maybe we can get to know each other a bit better.”
“Sorry Dan, I would, but I have to get back.” I lie, attempting once more to step round him. 2
His other hand comes to my waist, preventing me from moving, “Hey, where do you think you’re goi-” 4
He’s cut off by the connection of a fist with his jaw.
“She said she had to go.” I stand, stunned, as Jake stands beside me shaking out his right hand. 13
“I was wondering when you’d show up.” Says Dan, rubbing the side of his jaw with his hand.
“Just piss off, man.” Jake tells him, his voice tired.
Dan simply shakes his head, but turns and walks away nonetheless.
“Are you ok? Did he hurt you or…?” Jake asks, acknowledging me for the first time.
“I’m fine.” I say curtly, walking past him to start making my way into the hotel. 1
“Amber, please just let me say what I need to say to you.” He begs, following behind me.
I wipe away the tear that escaped down my cheek. “No, Jake. There’s nothing to explain.”
“There’s so much, Amber. Please just let me talk to you.” Jake replies, desperate.
“Just leave me alone, Jake.”
“No,” I interrupt, shaking my head, “don’t even try to explain this.”
Every memory of him putting his arm around my shoulders, every memory of his hand holding mine, every kiss, every word, every laugh, everything. All of it floods back to me in an instant, almost taking my breath away. 1
“All of it was a lie. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. I’d finally met someone who I thought was genuine, someone I could laugh with. I trusted you.” Tears flow freely down my face as my hands shake in anger. 5
Jake’s face crumbles as if I’d slapped him, his eyes turning glassy.
I can’t even look at him as I shake my head readjusting my bag on my shoulder, and walking away.
I’ll leave tomorrow, and I’ll forget Jake ever happened. Once I start back school, Jake will be a distant summer memory. 11
He has to be.
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