twenty-third: revelation

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I was broken.

Why was the world still turning?

I clenched my jaw, gazing at the road ahead. I couldn't understand how everything remained the same. Each golden-reddish ray of the dusky sun as pristine as every single day. Like my heart wasn't bleeding. Like my world wasn't ripped. Like everything was just the way it had been before the sky came crashing down.

I wasn't rationalizing anymore. I was angry. At myself. At the world. At everything around me. Except him.

Because no matter what I did, I was way past the point of salvation. He could tear me into shreds, and I'd still love him with an intensity that made my soul rip.

I pulled up into Rosalie's silent driveway and made my way to the front porch. I rang the doorbell and waited for Scarlett to answer it. She opened the door after a good five minutes, which made me wonder if she had been in her room.

She smiled brightly when she saw me. "Mason! What a surprise!"

She flung her arms around me. I let her embrace me, reacting with extra enthusiasm. When she leaned back I kissed her cheek and gave her my most winning smile. "Hey."

Her eyes shone, widening in surprise. Her cheeks were coloured with a rush of pink. I grasped her hand in mine and started walking inside.

"Did I interrupt something?" I asked as I gazed at her outfit. She wore brown jeans and a floral top. Her hair braided. The blush on her cheeks deepened and she shook her head. "Er not really."

"What did I interrupt?" I asked, grinning at her.

She sighed, "Well...I was just trying to decide what I should wear on my first day." She shook her head. "To make an impression you know. I'm really nervous."

"I could help you with that. I'm a bit of a mogul."

She laughed as she led me into her room. I dropped her hand finally and gazed around at the room, bewildered.

"When did you raid clothes from the entire country?"

She chuckled, taking my hand in hers and leading me towards the bed. A huge pile of clothes littered the mattress and most of the floor. The clashing hues of colours made me a little dizzy.

"I'm actually kinda closing in on this-" she plopped herself on the mattress, sitting on a pile of clothes and taking out a pair of shredded, light blue jeans. "Maybe pair it with a white shirt or something?"

"I don't know if a shirt is the way to go," I said shrugging. "Maybe you're overthinking."

"I have to be casually carelessly purposefully chic," she sighed and shook her head.

"There's a bunch of stuff you said there that I don't quite understand."

She grinned. "That's okay. Come here." She patted her hand on the tiny bit of visible mattress, devoid of the avalanche of clothes. I sat beside her, gazing at her intensely as she rambled on. It felt like she was speaking slowly, as if through underwater. Or perhaps it was simply my uncomprehending brain.

"I think I could go with something really over the top and opt for like a dress or something."

In my head, I pictured Gray, with a faceless woman. Envy, anger and crippling sadness ravaged my insides. How could I have meant nothing to him? How insignificant had I been? Like a fool, I had confessed. The way he'd held me. Kissed me. Made love to me. How could he be so cruel? Could I truly never be his equal? Was it my fault for reaching for the stars?

Perhaps. But I had merely wanted to be enough. Just for once. 

"- but that'll I'll make me appear really weird and I'll stand out-" Scarlett rambled on. I wasn't really listening, tormented by his memories.

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