Falling Twice

Falling Twice

A Story by N


"Ten minutes till midnight!" A voice called. Kids squealed, parents cheered, couple's kissed. Fireworks spit across the black sky, lighting up the area and the hearts of the people standing there, watching. A family of four to my right licked their ice cream cones daintily, and a group of friends to my left laughed and joked. I stared up at the sky, the winter wind pleasantly whipping at my face. I felt my phone vibrate in the back pocket of my jeans, and I pulled out my phone and answered the text.


Mom: Are you still coming over for dinner tomorrow night?

Me: If you still want me to, yea.


    Every time I looked at my phone and say a text from her, my heart seemed to break in half all over again. It was still strange to me, talking to her, like speaking a language you just learned. A language that you used to know, maybe, but forgot, and had to learn all over again.

    It took me a while to forget, of course. There were times I would search for her number on my phone, trying to call her. There were those times I would write out a text message for her, and right before I hit the send button, I would remember: she didn't want to hear from me. And I would press the End button, leading my phone back to its homepage, as if I had never written it at all. And every time, something inside of me would break, knowing that the woman who was supposed to love me no matter what was to upset to talk to me. It wasn't like we were ever super close or anything, but it was just disheartening to know that the woman who gave birth to me wasn't there for me if I needed her, no matter how slim a chance that was.

    And then there was the day in December when I had come home from work and checked my phone. There was a message from my friend Ally, with news of her pregnancy with the child of her and her husband Jacob. There was one message that was from an unknown number in California asking me if I wanted to buy anything, and my co-worker had left me a text asking if I could fill in for her at work. And then there was the text from my mom, small, unforgotten. But by that time, I was already used to our stony silence. I hadn't even seen her in three years, ever since I moved out of the house. So the fact that she was contacting me surprised me to the point that I was frightened.

    My thumb stopped uncertainly over the button that would pull up her message. What in the world would she be texting me for? Did something happen? Was she going to yell at me all over again? Was somebody dead? Was my father dead? Did she want something from me? What in the world could have possessed her to text me, after three years of her hating me?

And it was this:

Mom: We're hosting a Christmas Eve dinner for the family. Be there at 6PM sharp.

    No 'I'm sorry,' or 'how've you been getting along these past three years.' Not even a simple 'hello.' Just a ‘be there. I contemplated not going. I didn't owe her anything. I shouldn't have to go. But in the end, I found myself getting into my car and driving to my old home.

    Now we saw each other every now and then. Holidays, sometimes birthdays. When she had family over, she included me. We never did speak of the era when we weren't talking. Neither did my father and I. It was almost as if it never happened at all. The only thing that remained was the pain, the hurt, the anger, and the confusion. It still broke my heart when she texted me. It reminded me of the long time when she didn't.

    I slipped my phone back into my pocket with a final sigh. The crowd around me had moved, and there was a new group of people: an elderly couple in front of me, a teen with five toddlers behind me. Two boys with their arms around each other were on my left, and on my right was a tall, lean boy, all alone.

    I found the boy next to me staring at me intently, and it took me a moment of shock to take him in and realize why. The all too familiar long hair, the sharp, thin, sculpt of his face...

    Oh, no. Not him.

    I knew this boy. I knew him all too well.

    "Amber." His lips pulled up into an all too familiar sly grin, teasing me.

    "Jasper." Jasper was my ex-boyfriend of what seemed like forever ago. Ever since we broke it off, we hadn't seen each other.

    "Fancy seeing you here. Miss me much?"

    "Not really. Just your mom's cooking." What could I say? That lady made professional chefs seem like five year olds trying to cook with toy microwaves. Besides that, she was the most loving, sweet lady I have ever met. She was more maternal to me than my own mother, and sometimes, I found myself wishing she were my mother. It couldn't even claim that my mother had ever severally wronged me. She hadn't. Yet I wished that mine were as open about her love as Jasper's was. After Jasper and I broke off, and the pain of it all wore off, I found myself missing her next.

    “Ouch. That kind of hurts. The whole time I was missing you, you were just missing my mom’s meals.” He put his hand his heart and flashed his long eyelashes at me. I rolled my eyes.

    "You? Missing me? I'll have you remember that you're the one who cheated on me." Jasper sighed, running his hands through his long, mosey hair. He really hadn't changed a bit. The same scraggly hair, yellow pale skin, small, teasing lips, and glittering green eyes. He hadn't changed a bit in two years.

    I for one had changed. I traded in my shoulder-length brown hair for a pixie cut. It wasn't something I was passionate about, but I felt like I needed a change, and I liked it. My hair had reddened a smidge, and my light peach skin had tanned a bit after a short vacation to the beach.

    “Five minutes till midnight!”

    Jasper inched closer to me as the babbling around us became more and more excited. He pretended to yawn, stretching his arms out behind his head and then placing one around my shoulder. I sighed, picked his arm up as if it were something disgusting that I didn’t want to touch (well, it was), and let it drop down to his side.

    “What do you want, Jasper?” I sighed. He pretended to think about it, before turning his face to me. I inhaled sharply; his face was too close, our noses were touching.

“You,” he breathed, his lips twisting into a smile. My breath caught, and Jasper smiled, noticing.

    It wasn’t that there was anything strange by the words themselves. If anyone else had answered that, I would have just rolled my eyes. But when I first met Jasper, that was the exact conversation we had.

“What do you want?”


“One minute till midnight!”

    “Jasper, leave me alone.” He pouted, his voice adorably sad.

“Why are you so mean to me?”

“Why are you so annoying?” I retorted.

He flashed me a grin. “Because I know you love it.”

“Ten seconds till midnight!”

    "I hate you."


    "No you don't."


    "Yes I do."

"I know you better than that."


    "No you don't."


    "Yes I do."


    "You know you argue like a little kid, right?"


    "Like you're any better."


    "At least I'm not a cheating b*****d."


    "I said I was sorry."

    I was about to cut in that sorry wasn't enough. Sorry would never be enough. It wouldn't make up for the day I walked into a Starbucks bathroom with Ally, only to find my boyfriend banging a chick in the stall. It wouldn't make up for the way my heart had snapped in four. It wouldn't take back the tears that had unwantedly slipped down my face, or the moan that had escaped my lips. And it didn't erase the memory of them turning to me, Jasper surprised, then his face turning heartbrokenly regretful, and the girl's lips, lipstick smeared all over them, twisting into a knowing smile. They hadn't even been considerate enough to close the stupid stall door.

    But I couldn't say anything, because Jasper's lips were slammed into mine.

"Happy New Year!"

I screamed into his mouth and tried to pull away, but his hand was on the back of my head, twisted in my hair, the other wrapped firmly around my waist. I banged my fists on his chest, trying to get him to let go, but he wouldn't. He only held me harder, his lips only bit down faster. My fists slowed, than stopped, but they stayed at his chest, my hands still curled up.

    I was melting, melting into the all-too-familiar embrace of Jasper. He was so warm next to my cold skin. His lips were so soft, his mouth so clean. I remembered with fondness how he brushed and flossed after every meal and snack. I remembered the countless times we spent upstairs in his room, in his bed. I remembered the pomegranate smell of his house, the tidiness of his room and his house. I remembered all the times he made me laugh till my stomach ached, and all the moments when I felt like I was too lucky to have him.

But I didn't forget Starbucks.

He pulled away from me for a second, staring into my eyes. His eyes were so beautiful. They didn’t shine, but they were deep, an almost olive color, and with just a glance, they would hypnotize you, pulling you into their warmth.

    "Get. The. F**k. Off. Of. M-" He cut me off again, chewing on my lips all the more violently. I screamed again, and he moaned contentedly, moving his hands along me. In and out, in and out, his lips slammed again and again, making me dizzy. People were beginning to stare, and the little kids were giggling, pointing. What, you think this is funny? I wanted to yell at them.

    "Jas- per. G-et. Of-off. Of. Mee. NOW-" I managed between his kisses. But ‘kisses’ was the wrong way to describe it. His lip-smashes. He hugged me onto him, sighing and breathing into my mouth. I squirmed for the countless time, and slowly, he pulled his lips away from me. But his hands were still around me, keeping me from pulling away completely. I growled at him, my face a mask of anger, and he smirked, pleased with himself.

    "You still wear that vanilla chapstick?" I blinked, my anger temporarily dispatched. The stupidity of the question surprised me, when there were so many more important questions that could be asked.

    His first hand was still in my hair, but the one around my waist had consciously slipped down to my a*s. And then came the squeeze. I nearly began yelling and cursing at him in front of everyone, which would have only caused more attention to us, which I did not want. Especially now that people had seemed to stop staring, and were now caught up in their own New Year celebrations. The crowd was dispatching, too, and as people packed their things, I realized thankfully that we were the least of their attention.

    My mouth opened, then closed, my teeth grinding together in frustration. "Let go of me before I kill you." He moved his face closer to mine, the stupid grin still plastered on his face. I wanted to punch that silly smile right off his smug little face. I wanted to kick him where he deserved it. I wanted to scream at him for cheating on me when I had finally thought I had fallen in love again.

    "I'm sorry, Amber," he told me, his face once again serious. "Sorry isn't enough," I growled. He sighed, his grip on me loosening, and I took it as the opportunity to knee him and beak free. Thrown into a fit of gagging which turned to laughing, Jasper let go of me. I took one last look at the sky, where the fireworks were long gone, and I turned and took off.

    "Amber, wait!"

    I only sped up, dodging through the clumps of people leaving. I sensed him speeding up too, pushing through the people to get to me.

    "Amber, wait!"

    Hell no I thought. I'm never waiting for you again.

    There was an eerie moment where I didn't sense him anymore, and I hoped against hope that I had lost him. But of course, I hadn't, because when I turned a corner, I ran right into him. I screeched and fell backward, and if it hadn't been for Jasper, I would have smashed to the ground.

    "Amber, just listen to me," he pleaded. His face was hovering above mine, pleading, his eyes hypnotizing me. His arms were wrapped around my waist again, making me uncomfortable because they felt so comfortable. I didn't even bother answering, just steadied myself and stomped off to my car. He followed me, his face masked by the darkness. I tried to pretend he wasn't there, in hopes he would leave me alone, but it was to no avail. "Amber, I'm sorry-"

    "What?" I snapped, spinning around to face him. "You think sorry is going to make it all better?" I sneered. "Do you think that's enough? Do you think that's going to explain to me why I wasn't enough for you? Is that going to take away all the confusion and pain you left me with? Is sorry going to take away the past two years and make it all better? Do you think I'm just going to forgive and forget and start all over? Why should I do that? So you can break my heart again? Is that… funny to you or something?" I stared at him, my nostrils flaring, puffs of air forming in the cold, crispy winter air. I stared at him, waiting for him to answer me, but he didn't. He just stood there, his face broken and lost and sad. If I weren't so angry with him, I would have felt sorry for him. But I didn't.

    "You know Jasper, if you really wanted me back, then you could have chased after me two years ago." Maybe I would have forgiven him. Maybe if he had apologized and explained thoroughly, and made it up to me somehow. I probably wouldn't have, but it was better than what he did. If he apologized, it would have at least shown some remorse. But he didn't. When I flew out of Starbucks that day crying, Ally chasing after me, it was the last time I heard from him. There was no apology, no explanation, not even a text or a call. He just abandoned me. And it took me an entire month to come to terms that I was never going to hear from him again.

    I could forgive him nothing.

    "I didn't think it would have made a difference." Jasper's head was bowed down in shame, and his words were so quiet I barely heard them. But I saw his breath in the cold air, and I knew he had spoken. He breathed in, a heavy, shaking breathe. "I was too afraid that you wouldn't forgive me anyway. I was so young, so stupid." I inhaled sharply at his words. And inside of me, something changed. I was still furious, of course. Still hurt. But it was something else...

    "You were wrong," I whispered, and as tears filled my eyes, I realized they were true. Intent on keeping them from him, I turned to make my way to my car again. He hesitated, watching me go, but he made up his mind and took after me. It wasn't as confident as before, but he followed me.

    "Let me drive you home tonight," Jasper tried. "My mom's having a huge feast," he teased, but when I ignored him, he turned back to serious. "Please, Amber," he said, laying his hand on my arm. I froze, but I didn't look at him. "I... I understand that you're mad. I'll understand if you never want to start up our relationship again. But, please, just give me a chance to talk with you. Give me a chance to at least be your friend. I've changed. I really have. I... we're having some family and friends over to my house. You can come, too. And you can stay the night. We have the guest room open and..."

    "I have my own place," I snapped. "Do you really think I still live with my parents?" Jasper knew all to well about my parent's and I's anger toward each other. I used to stay over at his house, eat at a dinner table where there wasn’t a stony silence and tension as thick as pudding. I liked having a mother tell me goodnight, even if the mother wasn’t my own. I liked sleeping somewhere where I could just feel the love the family had for each other. I liked waking up to Jasper coming into my room and kissing me. But I didn't forget the pain.

He was silent for a moment, taking in what I had said. "Carlie misses you." I remembered Carlie. She was my dream little sister, the most adorable little kid I had ever met. My heart ached to see her again, but I resisted the temptation.

    Climbing into my car, I thrust the keys in. Jasper was still outside the car, standing on the sidewalk, watching me prepare to drive away.

    "I'll stalk you down by your license plate," he called to me. I didn't put it past him. "Don't you dare!" I yelled back, slamming my door after me. I pulled my seatbelt on, and turned the keys and... Oh no. Not now.

    My car wasn't starting.

    Jasper seemed to notice this, and he came around to my side of the car. I could just feel him grinning. He tapped on the glass, and reluctantly, I opened the door.

    "Need a ride?"


    "What, are you going to sleep here till somebody comes to tow you?"
"Exactly." And with that I shut the door. Jasper shrugged, and I just knew he was sighing at my stubbornness.

    He didn't leave. It was 10, 15, 30 minutes, and he still stood there, waiting on the sidewalk, leaning up against my car. Finally, I sighed, getting out of my car and giving in.

    "Let's go," I groaned. He grinned. "About time."

    The walk back to his car was silent, save for the sound of our footsteps echoing in the chilly air. I welcomed it, raising my face and staring at the sky. The ghosts of the fireworks were still there, along with the stars decorating the sky.

    We came to his car and climbed in. I pulled on my seatbelt, but Jasper just sat there, staring at the wheel.

    "Amber?" I heard Jasper whisper. I didn't answer for a while. I just listened to the familiar sound of his breathing, breathed in the scent of his car. It smelled like the drycleaners, which I supposed wasn't an odd scent for him. "Yea?" I asked softly.

    "I still love you."

    We drove off to his house. His mom hugged me warmly, and Carlie nearly burst into tears at the sight of me. And that night when I laid in the guest room bed, staring at the clean ceiling, the night sky peaking through the small window to my right, I thought about what Jasper had said earlier. When he told me that he didn't think apologizing would make a difference. That feeling I had, the one I couldn't determine what it was.

    Of course I was still angry at Jasper. Of course I was still hurting. But there was that new feeling, too. And it came through all the other ones, pulling them into it's embrace and comforting them, putting out the flame that had ignited in them two years ago. It calmed them, and crawled from my heart, through my chest, and into my mind. I sighed contentedly. Sure, I was still angry. I was still upset. But the feeling I had:

It was understanding. I understood.

And just maybe I could forgive.

© 2012 N

Author's Note

This was supposed to be a sequel to something I'm currently writing on my laptop, but it can be read with or without, before or after. At any rate, the base story will pry not be posted for a long time, if ever.

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Added on August 31, 2012
Last Updated on August 31, 2012
Tags: girl, boy, New Years, love, exe




Ever since I could remember, I have loved to read. Reading helped me escape from my life and enter a new one that always made more sense to me then the life that was mine. I began escaping into my da.. more..