[Birthdayyyyys. I bet you're completely surprised. ;) ]
Zephyr and Reece <3
Everleigh and Avalon <3
Carlise Rapture, Baby 59.
Cash Rapture, Baby 60
"So why am I here?" Aria asked.
She was sitting in Carter's living room and Mila and Carter were sitting opposite her. She still hadn't been told what was going on, and frankly, it was starting to bother her. The two of them looked at each other before nervously looking back at her.
Aria rolled her eyes. "Are you two, like, dating or something? Is that what this is about?"
Both of their expressions went blank, and then they looked at each other, erupting in laughter. Aria kind of thought maybe they were going insane. She crossed her arms over her chest, annoyed, and waited for them to stop laughing.
"Aria," Mila said, still partially giggling. "I'm not dating Carter. That's kind of gross. He's like a brother to me."
Carter made a face at her. "Yeah, thanks. You're pretty gross yourself." She scowled and slapped his arm, turning back to face Aria.
"On a serious note, though. We really did ask you to come because we're worried about you."
Aria raised an eyebrow. "Why? I'm not going to try and kill myself again. I know that was stupid."
Carter shook his head. "Not, It's not that, It's-"
Mila interrupted him. "That thing you call a fiance." Carter smirked at her comment and Aria couldn't help but smile a little.
"You guys act like he is such a terrible person, but he really isn't. I wouldn't marry someone i didn't love. He really is amazing. At least he used to be..." Her voice cracked unexpectedly and before she knew it, she was crying. Mila moved to sit next to her and pulled her close.
"I feel like you know what you need to do, Aria. We just wanted to let you know that we are here to help you if you need it." She whispered in her ear.
Aria looked up at her, mascara making lines down her face. "It was supposed to work. I was supposed to be able to do this. I have loved him for so long Mila, I really have. I can't believe I failed at this again." She put her face in her hands, crying harder.
Carter mumbled something under his breath and then cleared his throat. "Aria, you two never would have worked out. It's just not meant to be. You have fallen apart every time you have tried to be together. Don't you take that as a sign?"
Aria glanced at him before hiding her face again. "Of course I did, but I just wanted it to happen. It was supposed to. It was meant to be to me."
Carter scoffed. "It was fucking not."
Mila shook her head at him slightly. "Now is not the time." She said, hugging Aria tighter.
They were quiet as Aria cried. She felt so barren. Her heart was in pieces. She hadn't felt like she had failed this badly in a long, long time. "I- I think it's over." She whispered, "I think Levi and I are over. For good this time." Her voice wavered on the words, but she knew she meant them. "I can't believe I am going to give up. I'm so pathetic."
She was silent as she thought things over in her head. Then, She stood, walking towards the door.
As she walked by, Carter caught her arm, and she turned to face him. "This wasn't you, Aria. This was him. And he knows that. We all do." He released her arm and got to his feet. "Do you want me to come with you?"
Aria stared at him for a second. The way he was acting was odd. He was being extremely protective. It triggered something in her that she couldn't figure out. She nodded and he passed her, grabbing his keys. She watched him walk out the door, that strange feeling still lingering in her chest. She looked back at Mila, who was texting on her phone.
"Is it okay if I borrow some clothes? It looks like it started snowing again." Mila nodded and Aria headed upstairs, slipping on a sweater and different jeans. She stopped by the mirror to fix her makeup and her hair and then went back downstairs.
With a last hug, she waved a little and sent her a weak smile.
"I love you sis. I'll see you soon."
They pulled up to her house and Levi's SUV was parked in the driveway. She could feel her stomach knotting. "You can do this, Aria. It was over before it started." Carter's voice was reassuring, but Aria still felt that emptiness in her heart.
Carter put his hand on hers softly. "It's okay."
She nodded. "Thank you for coming with me. I don't know if I could do this alone." He smiled at her gently. "I'll always be here if you need me." He squeezed her hand. "I promise."
She felt something cut into her when he squeezed her hand and she looked down at the ring that Levi had given her not so long ago. She carefully slipped it off, holding it tightly in the palm of her hand.
She sighed, pushing open the door and getting out. The door seemed so gigantic in the moment before she opened it. She felt Carter's presence behind her as she turned the handle.
Aria's pulse accelerated the moment she saw Levi's face. He walked over to them, assuming a stance Aria was beginning to know well with his arms across his chest. He glared at both of them with a vacancy that made her stomach tumble.
"Why is he even here?" Levi asked, staring at Carter. Aria sighed. She wasnt ready for this. But would she ever be?
"I asked him to come with me. I need to talk to you." The silence that proceeded those words was heavy in the air.
"You have got to be kidding me.." Levi said, glancing at Aria's hand where the ring no longer appeared.
"Levi, I-" He cut her off, putting his hands up. "Save it, Aria. This has been a long time coming." He held his hand out, and she placed the ring clutched in her fist into his. He shoved it into his pocket and she stepped closer to him. He looked up at her, his face etched with an emotion Aria didn't really recognize.
"Levi, I love you with everything I could possibly have, but this... This is killing both of us." His eyes met with the floor and Aria bit her lip, touching his shoulder. He shoved her hand away, roughly, making Carter tense up, clenching his fists.
He gently pulled Aria away and stood in Levi's face, a few inches away. "Don't you ever fucking touch her like that again. You understand me? I will put you in the fucking ground."
Levi's expression changed and he looked as if he desperately wanted to say something, but decided better of it. He was quiescent for a second before the next words left his mouth. "Don't worry. I'm never going to touch that whore again." Aria's eyes widened and she looked at the floor, eyes stinging. " In any way."
Aria looked up just in time to see Carter's fist collide with Levi's face. She stared at Carter in shock as Levi regained his balance. He stepped towards Carter, but remained motionless besides that. Carter said nothing for a few moments, his face colored with anger. And then; "You don't deserve her. You never did."
Levi scoffed, rubbing the point of impact on his face. "I wish I had never met her. She has been nothing but trouble since the day we first saw each other. She's pathetic." Carter stepped closer to Levi, his voice barely audible. "Do I really have to fucking hit you again? Just go Levi."
Levi glared at Carter for a long time before looking Aria straight in the eyes. He paused, his face unreadable.
"I just want you to know that I will NEVER love anyone the way I loved you." He took the ring he had shoved in his pocket and set it on the table, the clink as it hit the wood louder than it should possibly be. "And I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
He turned and left, leaving the air dead and still behind him.
Aria could feel a piece of herself walk out of the door with him, and as it shut, she broke. She grabbed her car keys and without a word to Carter, exited through the back door. There was only one person she wanted to see. One person who could make this better.
"Aria, what are you doing here? Why are you crying? What happened?"
Aria pushed Bluejay to the side, crossing into the room. "It's over. I'm done. I broke up with Levi." He just looked at her, disconcerted, as her emotions got the best of her. "I just. Need to get my mind off of everything. You okay for some company?"
He pointed behind him. "Of course I am, Aria."
She made her way to the living room, slumping into a heap on the floor in front of the couch. "I'm so over everything. I hate everything. I hate this fucking challenge. I hate that I have come so far, and that I'm ready to give up." Bluejay quietly sat on the floor next to her. She looked at him, at a loss. "I hate that I couldn't make it work."
He breathed out, exasperated, with a hint of a smirk on his lips. "If you're asking my opinion, that guy was a dick and you deserve better." She smiled at his words. "I put so much time into what we had. I feel like I lost a piece of who I am."
Bluejay shrugged. "I don't think you have. I think it just feels like that right now."
The fire in the grate crackled away and the room they were in smelled faintly of cigarette smoke. "I don't think the feeling is going to change."
He tossed a ball of paper that had been sitting on the floor next to them into the fire and looked at her. "I don't think he is worth your time, let alone your pain."
Aria sighed, staring at the fire burning. "Thank you for hanging out with me, Bluejay, I really needed someone. I just feel like I don't matter anymore, and it sucks." He sighed, leaning back against the couch they were sitting in front of. "Don't start talking like that again, Aria."
Aria knew he had a point. She should really start being more positive, but it was harder than she had thought it would be. The stereo in the corner was playing music softly, it resounded throughout the room.
Aria could feel the tears in her eyes as they spilled down her cheeks and she buried her head in her knees. 'Just what he needs, to see me cry. I'm such a moron.' Her thoughts only made her cry harder. The entire situation. With Levi. With Danielle and Rene. It was all so ridiculous. It was like she would never be okay.
Bluejay put a hand on her shoulder. "Hey, don't cry. It's going to be okay. Aria, stop." He stood, taking her hand and pulling her to her feet.
A song she recognized, by Anberlin, flowed out of the speakers and Bluejay put his hand on Aria's waist, pulling her closer. She took a breath, startled. "What are we doing?"
He smiled. "We're dancing. Is that okay?" She was surprised , but put her hand in his, nodding. "Why are you being so nice to me? I'm a mess. All I do every time I see you is complain about my life or cry, like I'm doing now. Why is it that you still want to be around me?"
Bluejay laughed a little. "I'm sad too, remember?"
She looked at the floor, smiling a little in response. "Yeah, I remember." They swayed quietly, the music was beautiful and Aria almost felt.. better. "You know, I didn't even know you could dance. I thought all you did was skateboard." He smirked. "Uh huh. I thought all you did was pop out babies. I guess we're both surprised."
He winked and took her hand, twirling her in a circle and she laughed softly. "Yeah, yeah. Lots of babies. I'm thinking about just giving up. On everything. I'll never be happy. Not really."
Bluejay stopped moving, his hand still interlocked with hers. He pulled her a little closer. "You can't say things like that, cause you don't know. You aren't doomed to be sad forever Aria. When you hit rock bottom, the only direction you can go is up." Aria looked away, tears springing to her eyes again.
Bluejay touched her face, gently making her look at him. "I'm serious. You're beautiful, Aria. And you will be happy. I know you will."
A few seconds stretched between them, the only sound being that Anberlin song in the background. Aria wasn't quite sure why she decided to kiss him, but she did. She was even more stunned when he kissed her back.
Maybe she shouldn't do this. He was so young. But he was possibly the sweetest guy she had ever met in her entire life. His entire presence was intoxicating. "I'm so sorry," Aria whispered, pulling away and leaning her forehead against his. "Don't apologize to me, Aria." She looked up at him.
"You have nothing to be sorry about."
He kissed her again, melting her resolve in seconds, and she followed him to the couch, sitting in front of him. She sighed, what was she doing? They were only supposed to be friends. "Hey, come here." He touched her arm and she moved towards him, and he pulled her into another kiss.
At that moment, Aria gave in. Maybe she would regret it later. Maybe he would. But right in this moment, it didn't matter.