Forever & More: The Friend Zone series

BOOK: Forever & More: The Friend Zone series
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Published by Tabetha Thompson

Copyright © 2014 by Tabetha Thompson

All rights reserved.

 

Edited by Switzer Edits

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the owner and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Reference to people, events, establishments, organizations, or locations are only intended to provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously. All events, people, as well as dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real.

 

This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Do not participate in encouraging piracy of copyrighted materials in violation with the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

 

Once again, I would like to thank my family. Writing takes a lot of time away from them, but they put up with it. My husband is without a doubt my number one fan. He cooks for us when I’m in my “zone.” My children tolerate all the “give me a minutes” that turns into hours of obsessive writing. They realize what writing means to me, they accept it, acknowledge it, and support it. Their unwavering support and love is what pushes me to follow my passion and see it through.

 

Jillian, we are all blessed in different ways throughout life. But, one of my biggest blessings is you. In the beginning of our friendship, I thought it would remain a professional one. Boy, I was wrong! Our writer, blogger relation rapidly grew into an unbreakable bond. Instead of friends we have evolved into sisters and for that I am truly blessed. All the work you have done promoting this series hasn’t gone unnoticed, I love ya girly. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and devotion. Most of all thank you for having rough edges, a foul mouth, and a perverted sense of humor. Those are the things I love most about you, well with the exception of your great boobs and the way you eat a Popsicle.

 

I also need to acknowledge my Street Team! My ladies are relentless with their pimping. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all that you do! I love each and every one of you and can’t imagine going through this journey without you!

Brittany, Kim, Kayla, Mary and Dana I wanted to personally thank each of you ladies for all that you do. Every time I call for help you ladies jump in blind and head first. Thank you for EVERYTHING! Thank you for reading passages of Forever & More and telling me how awesome it is and then re-reading the book to make sure you get all the good stuff. Thank you for letting me rant to you, for allowing me to pester you every few minutes to ask a question that I had already answered before you can speak. I love you ladies HARD!

 

I would like to thank all of the bloggers and readers for the kind words and feedback on The Friend Zone Series. You will always have my gratitude and love for your support. Without all of you, Chloe and Skye wouldn’t be able to share their story.

 

Sometimes, the invisible rope that binds us together is the same rope that will wind around our unsuspecting neck and hang us from a thick limb, attached to the tree of deceit. Never would I have guessed that my life would have landed me here. As a child, you think about what it would be like when you’re grown. When the future runs through your mind, the only images that you conjure through your rose-colored glasses are of happier times. The what-if’s and possibilities of things to come are endless and exciting. When you’re a kid, everything is so much bigger, brighter. A new day brings a new adventure. Fear is reserved for the monsters that hide under your bed and inside your closets.

Each day you wake up wishing for the next, until suddenly, you’ve wished your entire life away. You wonder how you’ve gotten to where you are, what you did to make things turn out the way they have. Then you wish you could take it all back, to be a kid again. You yearn to feel the innocence you lost so long ago. To hide within the naïve mind you once possessed. To revel in the purity of the child you once were.

I miss being able to see the good in everything that surrounds me. Now, when I look at the things and people that surround me, I see them in a new light. No longer do I see the soft smiles between lovers as affection, I can see past that. I immediately spot the secrets and lies behind their eyes. When I look at a flower, I don’t see its beauty, I just look for the bee. Looking into the mirror through the shield of tears, I don’t recognize the stranger staring back at me. I can hardly see myself hiding behind the pale skin and the black rings that line my dark eyes. The once tropical color has taken on a deep, mossy tone. They could almost be considered beautiful if the sadness weren’t so evident in them.

I hear everyone shuffling around in the next room through the thin barrier of sheet rock. I’m annoyed instantly, why they feel the need to smother me with their constant presence is beyond me, but I never tell them that. How do you tell the ones you love the most that they are no longer wanted? My soul and mind are forever at war; it’s extremely exhausting.

My hands shake as I reach up and open the medicine cabinet. The bottle of pills call to me like a siren’s song to a sailor at sea, false promises of finding peace in the chaos ring out from the shrill voices inside my mind. It never works, I know this, but I continue to reach for the bottle anyway; my heart races in excitement as I twist the cap.

My excitement calms before the anxiety starts to take hold. I feel like an athlete amped up for a huge game, but when the clock starts, my nerves set in, making me unsure and anxious about how things may play out. I know my heart is not in the game enough to win it. My breathing increases rapidly and becomes labored, causing the area around me to spin. My still trembling hands pour the Xanax from the bottle. I watch as they shake from my unsteady palm to the floor in slow motion. The tiny footballs cascade from my hand, creating a waterfall of false tranquility. I drop to my knees, ignoring the pain as they hit the cold, hard tile.

My movements are quick, jerky, and frantic in my efforts to gather the only source of happiness I have left in my life. The pale blue color taunts me, standing proudly against the glowing white floor. I shove two in my mouth and swallow them dry, uncaring that they go down like razor blades and taste like dust.

The moment the pills disappear, my erratic beating heart begins to slow its pace. I sigh in relief, thankful for the oxygen that has returned to my deprived lungs. The trembling in my digits subsides for a moment until I hear him coming down the hall, the deep timbre of his voice moving closer toward my room. In a panic, I climb to my feet and shove the bottle in the cabinet. The little wooden door shuts at the same moment the bathroom door opens.

“Chloe? You ready?” Skye asks, startling me. The concern in his eyes warms me from top to toe. I ignore the tingling organ and breeze past him. I can’t allow my soul to feel. Those types of feelings just blind you and cause you to see what you want to see, not what’s really there. It causes your psyche to build people up, putting them on a pedestal. Your neck aches from staring at them, seated on their high perch, and you miss what’s going on down below.

That’s where the lies lurk, the truth of a person’s nature. I can’t live my life constantly being blindsided by the ones I care so deeply for; so, if I shut myself down and learn not to care or feel anymore, I won’t get hurt again. It pains me terribly to feel this way, but I have to. No one is going to protect me but me.

“Yeah, let’s go,” I say a little too harshly. He walks behind me and wraps his arms around my waist.

“Talk to me, baby. I can’t help if you don’t let me in.” The pleading tone in his voice makes my knees go weak. Guilt weighs heavily on my shoulders; the pressure threatens to break me in half. My eyes prick, then the thought of what I have to do today slams into me. It hits me hard, right in the fucking gut, knocking all the air from my lungs.

Fucking Tom, he deserves to rot in a box in the middle of the woods, somewhere where the wild and rabid animals can tear at him until there’s nothing left. He doesn’t deserve a memorial service or the tears I know I’ll spill for him. This wasn’t my idea. If I’d had it my way, I would hide away in my room. Hide from the world with the one person I trust the most. ME.

“Chloe!” Skye grips my shoulders and shakes me gently. I spin to face him; the tears I was desperately trying to hold back spill down my cheeks.

“Oh, baby,” he consoles, pulling me into his chest.

His large hands palm the sides of my face, and with a gentle motion, he lifts my face to look at him.

“It’s okay, baby; it’s okay to cry for him. It’s okay to feel and be confused or scared. Don’t let this twist and harden that beautiful heart of yours. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere,
ever!
” He attempts to assure me.

I pull out of his grip before I give in to the overwhelming need to cling to him like a spider monkey and let him take away all the bad things. Quietly, I enter the front of the apartment. Sara and Harley are dressed in black, waiting patiently in the living area to go honor the memory of a traitor, a criminal, my tormentor, my best friend.

See, this is where the problem lies—when his name comes to mind, the first thing I think of is my friend, my brother, and my protector. He was the one person in the world that has lived and survived all of the heartache and pain I’ve suffered with me. Then my mind ventures to his most recent betrayals and my blood runs frigidly. Love and memories of laughter twist into rage and tears; disappointment wreaks havoc through me and turns my heart cold and black.

My knees finally buckle under my frustrations, causing me to collide brutally into the carpet.

“I hate this! I hate him!” I scream to no one in particular. A painful wail leaves my throat, leaving it raw as if I had just swallowed glass. Sara gasps, I can hear heavy footsteps coming toward me. Within seconds, Harley is hovering over me.

“Get the fuck out! All of you! Just fucking leave!” I gasp. A hiccup comes between the forced words, each one harder to get out than the last.

I can’t do this; I’m broken, beaten, and dried up. Why would anyone want to be around all of this misery? That’s what I am now. I’m not Chloe, I’m not a person, I’m misery in its purest form. If you were to cut me right now, I would bleed black ooze. There’s nothing left of me to give, I’m an empty shell of what I used to be. Everything good in my life has come back to sucker punch me in the gut and spit in my face. Sara and Skye are the only good things left in my meaningless life, and once the inevitable happens, they’ll leave, and I’ll truly be alone.

It’ll be the straw that breaks my back; I’m not strong enough to survive the devastation their betrayal will cause. My chest hurts at just the thought of it. I dry heave until my lungs feel enflamed, burning with the intensity of my emotions. My vision goes dark and my thoughts are the only sounds present around me.

A big, toothy smile lights up my face. Everything is gone, the pain, the mental and emotional turmoil, the voices, they’ve all vanished. I want to stay here forever, I’m finally free.

That was the first and worst, of the many panic attacks I’ve suffered over the past few months. I ended up in the hospital that day. Although the attacks are growing further and further apart, they’re still there, lurking just below the surface, threatening to incinerate me without a moment’s notice. Sara, Harley, and Skye still stand firmly by my side, no matter how hard I try to push them away and shut them out.

They’re the reason I’m still standing here today. If they only knew the dark, twisted thoughts that run through my mind on a daily basis, they would run. They would leave me alone to wallow in a sea of self-pity, turmoil, and despair that I’ve inadvertently dragged them into.

As, each new day passes, I find it a little bit easier to get out of bed, but not without the aid of my medication—Xanax—my new, mind numbing best friend. I’ve come to accept that I can’t live without her. I’m weak without her there to hold my sanity intact. As the sun rises and sets, I become more and more reliant on my new friend to dull the ache growing inside of me and push me through each day.

I realize the hypocrisy in my actions and my situation, but I couldn’t fucking care less. I’m not an addict, I’m a person so fucking damaged and diluted that I would rather be dead than wake up the next morning. She motivates me to become the fully functioning zombie that everyone has grown accustomed to. It’s that or die, because truly that’s what I want to do.

When I lost Tom, somewhere along the way, I lost myself. My soul is shrouded in darkness, calling out to me, begging me to find her, but I can’t. I’m not too proud to admit that the reason I can’t is because I’m terrified. I’m so fucking scared of the person I’ve become, but I’m even more petrified of fighting her to get back the person I once was.

BOOK: Forever & More: The Friend Zone series
5.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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