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Authors: Mercy Amare

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BOOK: I'm Over It
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I’m over the threats.

Game on, Brian Asher.

10 p.m.

Not as dead as I thought.

Veronica and I stayed at the furniture store literally, until they closed. But, thankfully, we picked out everything. Or
she
did, I just approved. And it’s going to be delivered on Friday morning. They weren’t going to deliver until next week, but Veronica offered a lot of extra money for a rush order. Apparently, cash is a language that everybody speaks. Honestly, I would sleep on the freaking floor to be out of Gabe and Ty’s dorm room. I’m not sure how much I can stand of the two of them.

After shopping, I don’t feel like heading back to the dorm, so I go to the gym. There is only one other person here, and they’re on the other side of the gym. I climb on the elliptical and put on my headphones.

I told myself I would be at the gym every day, but I end up coming three or four times a week. I guess it’s better than nothing. I don’t eat healthily at school, so I need to exercise to make up for it. Though, eating healthy will be easier now that I have my own apartment. I have a kitchen and a stove. They don’t let us have anything in the dorms that could potentially burn down the building. It’s probably for the best.

I am nearly half way through the first K-Pop song on my workout mix when somebody walks up beside me. At first, I think they’re getting on the elliptical beside me, which annoys me. Because, really, out of all the empty ellipticals in here, they choose the one
right beside me
. But then I notice they don’t move to get on. I look over and nearly jump off the elliptical when I see Brian Asher standing there. He’s leaning against the workout equipment with a smirk on his face.

I stop and yank the headphones out of my ears.

“Hey, Beautiful,” he says, as if everything is completely normal between us. Like he would have said when we were dating.

I roll my eyes. “Hey, Stalker.”

He grins.

“How did you even get in here? You have to use a student ID to open the door,” I say, then frown. “You know what, never mind. I don’t think I
want
to know.”

Brian has made it pretty obvious he can get in anywhere he wants. Nowhere is safe. Not my dorm, not Gabe and Ty’s dorm, and not my new apartment. I wouldn’t even be safe in another country, because no matter where I go, Brian will follow me.

“I guess you got my note,” he says.

“Which one?” I ask. “I’ve got a lot of messages from you.”

He almost looks confused by my words. “I let you a note.
One
note. On your car.”

“And the text messages?” I ask.

“I didn’t send any text messages,” he says. “But I did break your phone. Sorry about that. It was bugged, so really, I did you a favor.”

“What are you talking about?”

He opens his mouth to say something, but I cut him off.

“Never mind. I know exactly what you’re doing. You’re trying to manipulate me,” I say. “It’s not going to work. I’m not the weak little girl you messed with last year. I didn’t give in then, and I’m not going to give in now.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says.

“I do know that you’re an asshole,” I say. “I got a message from Olivia today.”

His face flinches when I say her name. At least that got some kind of reaction. Maybe underneath the hard shell, he has a soft spot after all. Obviously, Olivia is his weakness. Maybe I can use that to my advantage.

“She was telling me how much she misses you.”

He doesn’t say anything, he just looks at me.

“You are disgusting,” I say. “How could you do that to her? To me? I really did think you loved me.”

“I did love you,” he says. “I
do
love you.”

“If you did, you wouldn’t be doing this.”

“You aren’t seeing the whole picture. You’re just seeing what is right in front of you,” he says. “You know, I really thought you loved me. But you so easily believed that I wronged you.”

“How could I not believe?” I ask, stepping closer to him. I don’t want him to know how truly scared I am right now. I want him to think I’m brave. “I saw a video, Brian. There was proof. Not only that, but you confessed.”

“You and I were inseparable for three months. Do you really think I am the kind of guy who is capable of all those horrible things?”

“I didn’t think so, no,” I say. “But obviously you’re good at hiding who you really are. God, I feel so stupid. I
trusted
you. I gave you my heart, and you just ripped it apart. What you did messed me up bad. I don’t know how I will ever be able to trust another guy.”

“Kihanna, look in your heart,” he says. “Don’t believe everything you see and hear. What does your heart say?”

“My heart says you’re a manipulative guy who is capable of ruining my life,” I say, not bothering to keep my voice down. “You stalked me, Brian. And you killed people. You’re a different person than the guy I dated. There is obviously something wrong with you... something wrong with me. How could I not see?”

My chest hurts.

The truth is, I haven’t gotten over Brian.

I’m not talking about this Brian. The manipulator. The liar. The murderer. No, I’m talking about the Brian Asher whom I dated. The sweet guy. The guy whom I fell in love with. I gave him my whole heart, and I never got it all back.

I hate that he has this power over me.

“I hate you,” I tell him. “So fucking much. And I hate you for
making
me hate you. I hate you for making me wonder what my life would be if it wasn’t you stalking me. I hate that I wonder what it would be like if we were still together. I hate that there are two sides of you. And I especially hate that part of me still loves the other side of you. I’m screwed up.
You
screwed me up.”

Brian starts to say something when I see somebody walk up beside me.

“Everything okay here?” I hear Micah’s voice.

I look over at him, and then at Brian.

How in the world am I supposed to explain this to Micah?

Brian’s face hardens. “Obviously I didn’t screw you up that badly. Seems like your love life is doing just fine. You have three guys willing to do just about anything to be with you.” With that, he turns and walks away. I watch as he walks towards the door and then walks out.

I look at Micah. He is watching me with a puzzled face. I just wish I had answers. Not just for him, but for me too.

“Who was that?” Micah asks.

What a loaded question.

“That was the guy who ruined my life last year,” I answer.

He raises an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

“Do you remember the ex-boyfriend I told you about? The one who stalked me, went to prison, and then was killed?” I ask.

He nods.

“He’s not as dead as I thought,” I say.

Micah’s jaw drops open.

“That was why I left the Halloween party early,” I explain. “Brian showed up. And it’s also why I’m moving in with Gabe and Ty. That night, when I came home, my dorm room was full of deadly snakes. Animal control got all of the snakes out, but I’m scared to stay there now.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah,” I say. “He is also the reason I’ve been avoiding you. I mean, he nearly killed me. And Gabe. And he also kidnapped a friend of mine. And he poisoned his sister’s boyfriend. Well, technically, I guess he was trying to poison me, but Olivia’s boyfriend grabbed my cup instead of his. And he killed Kasbian, though technically, Kasbian was stalking me too.”

“That is really complicated,” Micah says.

“I know. Sorry,” I say. “My life was pretty complicated last year. And I am scared that if I allow you to be a part of my life, something bad will happen to you.”

“I heard some of the stuff you said to Brian,” he says. “I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you open up like that—to anybody. You’re kind of a closed off person.”

“I guess if you piss me off enough, I’ll tell you exactly what I’m thinking.” I say it sarcastically, but it’s kind of true. I really should open up to people more often. It’s really sad that the one time I open up, it’s to my freaking stalker.

“Have you told the cops?” he asks.

“Yes, I did. Last year, it took me a while to go to the cops,” I say, then laugh. “Ironically, Brian Asher was the one who talked me into telling the police.”

“Have you told your dad?”

“No,” I say, then bite my lip. “If I told him, he would pull me out of school and force me to stay at home. That’s the last thing I want. I need to be here, away from my family. If this is happening again, I need them to be safe. I also need for
you
to be safe.”

“And what about Gabe and Ty?” Micah asks. “You’re moving in with them.”

I sigh. “It’s complicated. Brian knows exactly what my relationship with them is. It’s the same as it was last year, except now I’m not dating either of them. Even if I avoided them, they’d still be a target.”

“He’s seen me now. Besides, you’re crazy if you think I will stay away from you after that,” he says.

“Micah, I can’t. You can’t...”

“I can,” he says. “And I am. I’m not going to back off. If anything, this is going to make me stick closer to you. I wasn’t there last year, but I know whatever you went through was horrifying and scary. I am finally starting to understand why you are the way you are. You’re so secretive. And you’re a damn good liar. But I’m not going to let you hide from me anymore.”

Micah’s words excite and frighten me equally.

“You’re a really nice guy,” I tell him.

“Is there something wrong with being a nice guy?” he asks.

I shrug. “The last guy who was nice to me was Brian.”

Not that Ty and Gabe aren’t nice. They are. But, their flaws are very apparent. I knew what I was getting into when I dated both of them. Brian, however, was a great guy. Sweet, kind, gentle, but he obviously had a side of himself he kept hidden from me. So, I’m more than a little scared of getting too involved with Micah.

“What do I have to do to prove that I’m not like him?” Micah asks.

“I know that you’re not like him,” I say. “You just need to be patient with me. I’m not ready to give anybody my heart right now, and I might not be for a long time. All I can offer you is friendship.”

“Friends who date?” he asks.

I nod.

“I can live with that.”

“For now,” I say. “But you’ll eventually get tired of waiting.”

Ty did. He says he’s not tired of waiting, but I can see it in his eyes. He’s ready to be with me, and I hate that I can’t offer him my heart. But how am I supposed to, when Brian still holds such a big piece of it?

“Maybe,” he says.

“As crazy as it sounds, I’m not completely over Brian,” I admit.

“What was your relationship with him like?” Micah asks.

“It was good,” I answer. “After coming out of a relationship with Ty, who cheated, and a relationship with Gabe, who lied, Brian was refreshing. He was a sweet guy, who was very caring. He has a big family, and I love all of them. I had plans with Brian. I was going to go to Stanford and we were going to get an apartment together. Brian wanted more from our relationship than I did. He wanted to marry me, but I was only seventeen. He was twenty. If he wasn’t completely crazy, I’m not sure if we would’ve worked out, but Brian was the type of guy who would’ve been worth fighting for. I never in a million years would’ve thought that he was capable of the things he did. I still have problems believing it. The guy I knew and dated was a completely different guy than the one who stalked me. I don’t know if I will ever get over that. I trusted him so completely.”

“That is probably the most honest thing you’ve ever said to me,” Micah says.

“Is it bad that I said that?” I ask, playing with the end of my hair. Being honest makes me feel exposed.

“No. It’s a good thing,” he says. “You should be honest about what you’re feeling more often.”

Maybe I will. I was honest with Ty about my feelings and it seems to have brought us closer. Maybe I should open up to Gabe about what I’m feeling. Maybe if I had been more honest with Gabe, we wouldn’t have broken up.

No, I don’t believe that. Gabe and I had an expiration date. Neither of us were honest with each other. If he and I were ever going to get back together, that is something we’d have to work on.

But Gabe and I aren’t getting back together. Been there, done that. I’m so over him. I do like having him in my life as a friend. I’ve really missed having him around. Gabe was my first love. I will always have a piece of him in my heart.

Micah walks with me back to Ty and Gabe’s dorm. He kisses me on the cheek and then leaves.

One thing is certain—Micah is
nothing
like Ty. Micah is sweet. Not that Ty isn’t, but if Ty was going to kiss me, it definitely wouldn’t be on the cheek. I wouldn’t mind though, because as much as I try to resist Ty, I know I’m losing the battle.

Friday, November 5

8 p.m.

Let’s get wasted.

I am sitting on my couch. In my apartment. For some reason it makes me feel very grown up, even if my dad is paying for it.

“This is awesome,” Andrea says. She’s currently stretched out over one side of the sectional. I’m sitting on the other side between Gabe and Ty.

Yeah, this isn’t at all awkward.

“It is,” I agree with her.

“You’re so lucky. I’m still stuck in my dorm. I swear, my roommate has brought her boyfriend over every night this week. It sucks. I wish they’d have sex in
his
dorm room,” she says.

“I don’t understand how anybody could have sex if there was a chance somebody else would walk in and catch them,” I say.

“Or wake up,” she says. “Which I do wake up. Every single time.”

I laugh.

Andrea throws a pillow at my head. “You can laugh. Your roommates don’t actually share a room with you. You won’t hear Gabe or Ty going at it with some girl at three in the morning.”

“That would be awkward,” I say.

“Yeah, it would,” Gabe agrees. “I would rather not hear that. It’s bad enough that I know you hooked up with Ty.”

I roll my eyes. “Right, because I didn’t pick you up from some random girl’s dorm room two days after we broke up.”

BOOK: I'm Over It
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