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A Storm of the Heart

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‘Come on, Max!’ Chloe growled at me, her arms wrapped around her stomach; her cramps must have been terrible. Her eyes were fierce, with such fire I found myself buckling under that intensity. It was hard for me to even look at Chloe like this, she was so angry and in such pain; I had to do something.
‘You promised.’ Chloe snarled again, walking closer to me. I remember taking a step back. She advanced quickly, Chloe’s long legs catching up to me faster than I realized. She aggressively grabbed my hoodie and forced me inches from her face. That close to her, I could see her pain, her desperation; the Chloe Price I knew was breaking and my heart shattered.
‘Please, Max—‘ she pleaded, her voice so quiet and strained, ‘—I need your help…’

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

I force myself up from my bed, panting loudly as my phone vibrates so much it falls from my nightstand.
“Shit-!” I exclaim as I hear that overpriced plastic square fall to the floor. Scrambling, I grab it and shut the alarm off with an angry press of my thumb. With that annoyance out of the way, I fall back on my bed and groan, eyes locked to the ceiling. The images of Chloe’s pain, and desperation still vividly filling my eyes and my heart breaks all over again. I press my palms into my hands and try and rub the images of my best friend’s pleading face away; it doesn’t really work. Dropping my useless hands to the mattress, I just groan loudly and force myself off the bed. Blackwell doesn’t stop just for my problems, so I’ll have to deal with this at another time.

I grab the old reliables, my favorite doe T, my jeans and hoodie and lay them across my bed before turning to my closet and grabbing that little toiletries bag they still make us use.

‘Jeez, the whole counseling campaign lasted for, like, four days after Kate’s rooftop incident, but this is the thing they keep enforcing?’ I think to myself as I leave my dorm, eyes still on the floor. I’m going through my usual zombie morning routine as I make my way to the bathroom, I hardly even notice Dana and Juliet talking to one another not too far from me. I glace up and the two of them are just, looking at me, playful smiles on their faces. After a moment of Dana just, staring at me with her bottom lip between her teeth, Juliet pushes her back into her room and follows the cheerleader inside before closing the door.
‘That was, weird. Dana, Juliet and I are cool. Last year proved all that, so, I doubt they’re, like, trying to prank me—‘ I lose myself in my thoughts as I enter the bathroom, and barely even notice Kate Marsh at the sink brushing her teeth. I don’t even realize she’s talking to me before she’s right in front of me, looking at me with worry.

I blink.

“Oh, hey, Kate.” I say, trying not to let the sleep enter my voice, but I was never good at hiding my feelings.
“You look exhausted, Max.” Kate says, looking me over; I must look more like a zombie than normal. “How have you been sleeping?” Kate asks, folding her hands in front of her.

I rub the back of my neck and sigh, “Uh, not great, if I’m being honest.” I probably have gotten around twenty hours of sleep all week. I’m pretty sure I still have my powers, and I know for sure I have all the baggage that came with all that. My nights are filled with such detailed visions of so many things that happened last year, it’s like I’m reliving all of it again. The storm, meeting Chloe again, the alternate timeline, Kate on the roof and, even—
The Dark Room.

The way Jefferson, Mark Jefferson, loomed over me, needle in hand, that cold and dead stare on his face. I still remember the way the tape felt around my wrists and legs and the way he touched me, like how someone was touching me now.

I jump a bit, gasping and see Kate, her eyes wide and hands recoiled back to her chest. I exhale a breath and rub my hand across my face before looking back at Kate.
“S-Sorry, Kate-“ I say, trying to calm my beating heart. I feel her hand on my shoulder again and I relax; I’m safe with Kate, she couldn’t hurt a fly.
I can’t help but smile when I see Kate look at me. She’s so calm, patient and gentle and I feel so safe around her. I get the faintest hint of her scent and my smile grows wider as Kate moves in to embrace me in a gentle hug. I return it, gently squeezing her in my return embrace.

“It’s alright, Max.” Kate said, gently, “We survived. And we’ll continue to survive-“ she says, leaning back from the hug, “-because we’ll help each other. No matter what.” And I can’t help but smile at that. Kate’s become such a strong person since I helped her on the roof, and I really haven’t had to help her much with it.

“You’re amazing, Kate.” I say, moving back from her hug and exhaling a long breath.

“I do what I can, Max. Even angels need angels.” She beamed.

“Heh, yeah,” I answer, rubbing the back of my neck, “Don’t worry, I’ve got an appointment with my therapist tomorrow, and they’ll know all about my jacked up sleep schedule.” I say, trying to reassure Kate. She just beams at me, and my heart flutters seeing Kate smile with that genuine warmth I’ve always known Kate had.

“That’s wonderful news,” Kate says, before turning her gaze back to her own handy-dandy toilet bag. “I need to finish getting ready. So, I’ll see you in class?” Kate asks and I nod, being rewarded with another sunshine-bright Kate Marsh smile.
After Kate leaves, I prepare for my shower while trying to keep my mind from drifting back to my most recent dream. But, as the warm water splashes across me and begins to sooth my sleep deprived body, I can’t keep that promise to myself…

Her sheets smell of weed and cigarettes, but when she presses her body atop me, her hands gripping my wrists above my head, I can only smell her. Chloe’s always been so intense, and her scent reflects that. My brain is fogged with her, and I find it so hard to concentrate on anything other than the intense warmth in my gut and my lungs full of Chloe. Blue tresses tickle my face and bring me back to reality and that Chloe’s only inches away from my face. She’s panting and I can smell the pot on her breath, and before I can react her lips crash to mine. She’s hungry and desperate to douse her heat, after all, why else would she choose me for this? Only because I’m close and a pushover.
Her lips move from mine to my throat, leaving such fervent kisses and painful bites along my neck. I whimper and squirm under her attention, even the faintest kiss sends shivers throughout my body. God, I’m so pathetic. When she presses her hips against mine, I feel such a fire in my gut I nearly double over. I feel how eager she is, how ready she is, and when she moves back to look down at me, I know I can’t say ‘no’ to her…

I snap out of my vision when I hear familiar voices in the bathroom. It sounds like Victoria and Taylor. I never could stop myself from being nosey, so I lean closer to the shower curtain and peer out at the two of them in the curtain gap. Victoria’s bent over the sink, her hands gripping the sides and Taylor’s doing her best to comfort Victoria. They’re talking, with Taylor rubbing Victoria’s back, but it’s hard to tell what they’re saying over the rushing water of the shower. I see Victoria stand and push Taylor’s hand away before turning and walking out of the bathroom. Taylor slumps and rubs her forehead for a moment before following Victoria out.
‘Trouble in paradise.’ I think before turning the shower off. I redress in my PJs and leave the bathroom and trudging my way back to my room, full zombie mode engaged once again. I’m halted and shook back to reality with Taylor recoiling and staring down at me with a sneer.

“Watch where you’re--!” she begins, but softens a little when she sees me. “Oh, hey, Max.” Taylor says with a hint of remorse in her voice.

“Hey, uh, sorry, I didn’t mean to—“ I try and say, but both of us are forced to look at Victoria Chase’s closed door as an angry groan erupts from within. We both keep looking at the door for a moment before I look at Taylor, who sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. “—everything okay?”

“Uh. Yeah.” Taylor says, folding her arms over her chest, “Victoria’s just—“ she ponders for a moment as she looks through the door, “—a bit stressed, ya know?” she said quickly, turning to look down at me. “What with Nathan—“ she catches herself and lets things go quiet at the implication, but like the PR pro she is, Taylor continues “Victoria’s really throwing herself into the Vortex rebrand. ‘Out with the old’ kind of stuff. So, new rules for members, stricter punishments for rule breakers, and opening up all of our events to everyone. All that stuff.”

“Yeah,” I begin, instinctually moving my hand to rest on my opposite arm, “Sounds like she’s got a real full plate, huh?” as if on cue, another growling groan erupted from Victoria’s room and, of course, I jump from it. Taylor rolls her eyes and waves at me.

“Wish me luck, Max.” she says before opening Victoria’s door and heading inside. In the brief moment the door is open I’m smacked with a wave of scent. I linger at the door for a moment, staring at it like it was a priceless treasure.

‘Victoria’s an-‘ I begin before I shake my head. ‘W-Whatever. I need to get ready for class.’
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Aside
“Any reasons you’re here at my door so early, Juliet?” Dana asked, still in her night clothes, arms crossed over her chest and leaning against the door frame as she shot an accusatory look at Juliet. The other girl just beamed, smiling a wide ‘cat-who-ate-the-canary’ smile on her face as she leaned in closer to the tall cheerleader.
“Actually, yes.” Juliet says with a grin, “I’ve got a juicy little detail I recently learned, and I’d like to share it with my best friend.”

Dana exhales through her nose and raises an eyebrow at Juliet, “Kay? Well-?”

Juliet straightens and turns her head from left to right swiftly, trying to see if the two were private enough. When she felt safe enough, she bent forward and whispered to Dana, who had followed her in her conspiratorial stance.

“I learned, from a reliable source, that there’s an Alpha living in the girl’s dorm-“ Juliet began, but was interrupted as Dana groaned and sneered at Juliet.

“Yeah, no shit. Victoria Chase lives in the dorm.” Dana said shaking her head in frustration. Juliet just smiled and wagged a dismissive finger.

“Oh, trust me, it’s not Victoria.” Juliet said, another grin on her face. Dana gave her a disbelieving look. Victoria Chase ticked all the boxes, ambitious, brash, bold, ‘never-taking-any-shit’ attitude; who else could it be?

“So, who is it?”

“Someone you’d never expect.” Juliet said, smirking at Dana as she crossed her arms over her chest.

“Brooke?” Dana guessed, but furrowed her brows when Juliet shook her head. “Alyssa?” No. “Kate?” Nope. “Then, who?”
Juliet turned to look down the hall and smirked before using her eyes to direct Dana’s gaze. Shambling like an arthritic grandmother down the hall, bedecked in a long t-shirt and baggy plaid sweatpants was Maxine Caulfield. Dana’s eyes widened.

“No.” Dana said, shaking her head slightly. “I’ve been around Max. She doesn’t have a scent. You’re bullshitting me.” Dana pierced Juliet’s argument.

“It’s true she doesn’t have a scent, but she’s an Alpha. What? Don’t trust my super-sleuthing?” Juliet said with such smugness that Dana could have smacked her. If Dana was even looking at Juliet, instead her eyes were on the waifish ‘Alpha’. Max was small, thin and even fragile looking, but she was also the kindest person Dana had ever met; right alongside of Kate Marsh for ‘Biggest Heart at Blackwell.’

Dana had never thought about it, really, but, Max was attractive, in a hipster kind of way. A lovely mop of hair to run your fingers through, soft lips, those adorable freckles and enchanting eyes. Yeah, yeah. Dana could do worse, she had done worse. Maybe—

But before she could finish her thought, Juliet had pushed Dana back into her room and closed the door. “Could you be eye-fucking her any harder, Dana?”

Dana looked back at Juliet and huffed, crossing her arms. “Whatever, Sherlock. Get outta my room. I need to get dressed.”
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I try to focus on my school work, really, I’m trying over here. But. I just can’t focus, no matter how hard I try. It also doesn’t really help that Mr. Jeff—Mark’s replacement had such a monotone voice. I have to use my arm propped up just to keep myself from falling asleep at my desk; maybe I can play these lectures at night to solve my sleep problem. I close my eyes for the briefest of moments and am instantly back in Chloe’s room. My best friend above me, panting heavily, her hands on my chest and bouncing on my—

‘Jesus, Max.’ I chide myself, shaking my head a little and rubbing my forehead. I dare a glance over at Kate, and our eyes meet after just a moment; she’s much better at listening than I am, apparently. She smiles a small smile at me and waves a little wave. I can see the worry in her eyes, but I do my best to smile back at her.
I push myself back up in my seat, rubbing my eyes slightly. When I put my hands back down, I notice something out of the corner of my eye and, just to distract me from the droning professor and the growing pressure to sleep, I look over to see Victoria glaring in my direction. She’s looking at me intently, her mouth hidden by a clenched fist. Weird. I can’t really do anything but stare back at her until she aggressively jerks her gaze from me and turns to face the front of the class. I blink, but notice her leg beginning to bounce up and down. She really must be stressed out, like Taylor said, but why stare at me like I’m the one causing it?
‘Maybe she hasn’t really changed. Big shock. Nothing changes at Blackwell.’

Before I have a chance to fall back into these stupid visions, the bell mercifully releases me from this prison of boredom. I gather my stuff into my bag as quickly as possible and make for the door. I’m in such a hurry to just, get out of here, that I barely notice Victoria shouting at me.
‘Calling me Lamefield, or something, I’m sure.’ I mentally groan as I walk as swiftly outside as possible. Just need to bask in that fresh autumn air, despite everything, I still love fall. But, I don’t even have any time to enjoy it, because as soon as I push open the front doors, my phone is vibrating.
‘Damnit. Can’t I have, like, five minutes, universe?’ I groan as I pull my phone out and look at the latest message. Messages.
Shit. It’s Chloe.

Chloe: sup Maxipad. I’m hungry. Two Whales later?
Chloe: I’ll meet you there. 3
Sent: Sorry, class. But, yeah, I’ll be there.

I look down at my phone and sigh. Can I even face Chloe today? All these damn dreams, visions. You don’t just fuck your best friend and then, like, have lunch, right? Everything will be all awkward, right? Or maybe it’s just me. Chloe knows I like her, she was my first kiss and all that, but, has she really moved on from Rachel? Would she even see what we did as special? Or did I just scratch her itch? Is that all I am? All I’m really good for? Could I be anything more than, what, a tool? Do I deserve anything more than that?

I barely have time to contemplate further when the bus pulls up. I decide to just give my over-thinking mind a break and pull out my headphones. I look at my phone and select something, something to mellow to. My phone decided the perfect thing for me was some good ol’ Syd Matters. I smirk as I hear those gentle acoustic notes fill my ears and, in that moment, it really does feel like he’s singing ‘To All of Me’.

Even as the bus pulls up, I’m surprised by the amount of cars in the parking lot. It’s absolutely packed.
‘Dang. Two Whales is the place to be, huh?’ I say to myself as I make my way towards the door, hands gripping tightly on the strap of my messenger bag. I’m swallowed by sounds as I enter the diner; all manner of chatter, music, orders being called out. I barely am even able to give Joyce a wave as she hurriedly walks past with six plates perfectly stacked up full of that delicious smelling food.

‘And people say I have a super-power…’

I take a seat at the far booth, hoping to melt into the background for a moment and try and drown out the sound of the busy diner. Joyce makes it a point to come to the booth, but we can’t really talk before she’s being called away. I make sure to order a black coffee before she leaves, and I sink into the booth couch, eyes stuck to the table. I don’t even really have time to think about anything before something crashes into me, and I can’t help but yelp.

“What’s up, nerd?” Chloe barks, before wrapping an arm around my head and pulling me into a hug. I barely smell the cigarettes as her scent fills my nose, and holy shit does she smell good. I desperately push back against Chloe as hard as I push back my memories, but both are gripping me with a strong grip I am accustomed to.

“Ugh, get off me. You stink like tar.” I say, finally breaking Chloe’s headlock.

“Oh, what? Don’t want to sit next to your best friend?” Chloe asks, playfully being offended. She places a hand over her heart and winces. “Ugh, Max, you wound me.”

“Yeah, yeah-“ I say as Chloe gets up to sit across from me, “-cry more tears, Price, they feed me.” I say with a smirk.

“Oof. Dark.” Chloe chuckles a little, raising her arms to rest on the spine of the booth. “So, what’s up? How’s school going an’ all dat?”

I shrug, my eyes returning to the table. “Okay. I mean, as okay as they can be, I guess.” I notice Chloe nod, “-given, ya know-“

“Hate to interrupt-“ Joyce says after placing my coffee down, “But I got a dozen truckers waitin’ for their specials, so-“ she expertly whips out a notepad and pencil and looks at us expectantly.

“Oh, shit, uh, cheeseburger, no pickle.” Chloe says quickly and looks at me expectantly.

“Uh. S-Same.” I stutter out as Joyce finishes writing and gives us both a smile before walking back to the lunch counter.

“Thanks, mom!” Chloe cries back, sending Joyce a wave. I can’t help but smile. Chloe and Joyce have really begun to reconnect recently, and I’m so happy to see it. Chloe’s even talking to David, a little; baby steps are better than nothing. Chloe settles back into the booth and looking back at me and smirking before pushing herself forward, “Oh! Yeah, dude, I need to tell you the fucking craziest thing that happened-“

I raise my mug slightly and give Chloe a look. She rolls her eyes.

“Look, compared to, like, normal-life shit, okay? Cut me a break.”

I chuckle a little and sip as Chloe begins her story. I, for the life of me, cannot focus on what she’s saying. Chloe’s speaking, obviously, but all I can focus on is her. Not her words, not even the way she uses her hands to illustrate the story. Just her. The way she smiles, the way her eyes light up, the way the sides of her eyes pinch when she’s especially excited. I sip my coffee and I can’t help but feel like I look like the most doe-eyed virgin ever. What am I even stuck on? Chloe’s looks?
No. It’s more than that. It’s the little things she does, even when talking. It’s thumping in my chest and the warmth that erupts when I look at her.

“Dude?”

My wild and passionate best friend being carefree and unbridled-

“Dude.”

-her just being so unabashedly Chloe, not caring what anyone has to say-

“DUDE.”

I blink, shaking my head a little. Chloe’s looking at me with concern in her eyes, brows furrowed. She’s leaning over the table slightly and examining my face. Wait, has our food always been here? And, why is Chloe’s mostly gone?

“You seriously zoned, Max.” Chloe says, more worry in her voice. “You feeling okay?” she asks, reaching to place a hand on my forehead. I wasn’t feeling hot before, but with Chloe’s hand on my forehead and her face inches from mine, I’m suddenly feeling like the surface of the sun. My cheeks flush a bright red and I jerk away from her hand.

“I—I’m fine. Just, sleeping problems.” I say, covering my face by grabbing the burger and taking a few quick bites. I keep my head down slightly as I chew the heavy bites, hoping that’ll distract Chloe long enough that she’ll stop with interrogation. It seems to work, but I can tell she doesn’t fully believe me.

“Yeah?” she says, tilting her head slightly. There’s a silence between us for a bit as I nosh on my burger, slowly chewing and doing my best to not look at Chloe. I know she’s examining me, her gaze feels like a hundred pounds just dropped onto my shoulders. It feels like she’s probing into my soul, trying to sus-out my secrets and my heart is pounding at the fear she’ll somehow know about these feelings. That with one right glance in the right spot, or one little slip up and she’ll know—

I love her. I’ve always loved her.

“Get that ‘to-go’.” Chloe finally says, her gaze softening as she reaches into her pants pocket. I blink and look down at the food, suddenly realizing I can’t really stomach it anyway. Chloe slaps a wad of money onto the table, and a few coins come rolling from her clenched fist. She stands and looks down at me, holding out a hand. “Come on. Let’s get your mind off of all this crap.”

I shiver as I look into her grinning face, and take the proffered hand. Chloe pulls me out of the booth and I stand inches from her. I get a whiff of her scent and my knees nearly buckle, but Chloe’s slap on my back jolts me back to reality. We leave the Two Whales and head for Chloe’s ratty old pickup. We jump in, Chloe’s ignites the engine, cranks the radio and we’re off down the road.
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I kept my arms close to my chest, shivering slightly as more ocean air rolled in. We still couldn't go back to the junkyard, not after everything that happened there. So, we found another regular hangout place. The beach.

Chloe didn't seem to mind the wind, taking another drag of her cigarette and swinging her legs off the side of the back of her truck. I glance over at her and, despite my roiling emotions, I can't help but smile. She still has a way of making my heart pound, even with something as simple as lounging in her truck, puffing a cigarette.
She turns and sees me, smirking as she puts the cigarette out and puffing a cloud of smoke from her lips.

"What're you smiling at?" she asks playfully, giving me that famous Price coy smirk. My heart skips a few beats; I probably technically died for a few seconds.

"You." I say, grinning.

"Yeah? I make you smile?"

"Obviously."

I must have emboldened her, because she shifts to face me, her grin somehow even cockier than before.

"Is it my undeniable charm? My stunning good looks?" Chloe grinned, wiggling her eyebrows.

I rolled my eyes and gave her a playful push.

"More like your dumbassery." Chloe cackles.

A silence grows between us when Chloe turns to look out at the sunset. Even the stunning beauty of nature can't keep me out of my thoughts, and I stare at my hands, rubbing my palms on my jeans.

The elephant in the room is coming dangerously close to trampling us, and after what seems like forever, I say it.

"Chloe," she turns to look at me, "About--" I try, exhaling softly, "About last week..."

I could feel the weight of Chloe's stare before I even saw it. Sheepishly, I met her gaze and shivered under her cold glare.

"Yeah? What about it?" she growled and I couldn't help but drop my head down. Maxine Caulfield, Alpha in her prime, dropping her head in submission to an Omega; classic Max.

“I just—“ I instinctually move my hand to rub my arm and keep from looking at Chloe’s burning gaze, “—I just need to know, Chloe. Did it,” I pause, my tongue suddenly feeling bloated and useless, my throat dry and voice cracking as I speak. “Did it mean anything to you?”

Chloe’s lips tightened together and she turned her gaze away from me. After a moment, she angrily adjusted her beanie and snarled, “Why would it mean anything? Just two adults fucking. Why’s it got to be more than that?”

My heart plummets into my stomach.

“It really was just—“ I try and say, but Chloe turns back to me an interrupts me, her voice competing with the crashing ocean waves.

“It was scratching an itch, Max. That was what we agreed upon. You scratch my back, and I scratch yours. No feelings, no bonding, none of that stupid shit.” She pushed herself off her truck and turned to face me; her whole body was twitching, as if she were some big jungle cat eager to pounce on unsuspecting prey. I instinctually cave in on myself until my knees are to my chest.

But, even ball Max isn’t safe from Chloe’s wrath.

“I just—“

“Just what? Just because an Omega wants to fuck an Alpha they gotta get married now? They can’t just fuck and leave it at that? I can’t be the one using an Alpha for a change? It’s just—“

My eyes meet Chloe’s and I feel, agitated. That inner Alpha, that thing I’ve tried keeping in check my entire life, finally begins to come loose. I move off the truck, taking steps towards Chloe, getting in her space and glaring up at her. She takes a step back, taken aback by my advancement, but still holding her ground. My fists clench tightly at my hips and I peel my lips back into a snarl.

“Use an Alpha? Is that all I am to you?” I growl at Chloe, surprising both her and myself. Chloe opens her mouth to reply, but I cut her off. “Am I just some tool? Some toy for you to use? Do my feelings not matter!?”

I’m not sure what startled Chloe, my words or the fact that, for the first time in my life, I was acting like an Alpha. She looked baffled at me for a moment before finally shaking her head.

“What, the fuck are you talking about?! That was the deal, Max! Why did you even agree to it in the first place, then? What? Were you feeling sorry for me? Just wanted to get your Alpha jock off?!”

“No! I did it because I wanted to help you! Because I--!” I shout, my face red from screaming at my best friend, my fists so tight I feel like I’m gonna bleed any second ‘—I wanted to be close to you! To be more than—“ my fists tremble and I try and hold back tears.

Chloe, dumbfounded, glares down at me and moves around me in a huff. “I can’t take this shit right now. The one person I thought I could trust to just help me, no questions asked can’t even do that.” She opens her driver’s side door and slams it shut, before turning her truck on and speeding off down the road. As I watch her truck drive away, the Alpha quiets, and I’m just left there, alone, trembling, and crying.
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My feet aren’t the only thing that hurts as I stagger onto Blackwell’s campus, my back also hurts from carrying all of this guilt the whole trip. I drag my legs towards the dorm room, my eyes on my phone, hoping to see something from Chloe. At this point, I’d be fine reading some long-ass angry rant about how much of a terrible person I am; at least she would be thinking about me. But, there was nothing back at the beach, and there wasn’t anything now.

I can’t help but feel like I really fucked up.

The trip from the door of the dormitories to my room’s door is uneventful. Everyone’s either asleep or studying at this late hour. Using the last of my strength, I push open the door and nearly collapse onto the floor; I’m just so tired. I can’t sleep yet, I need to do one more thing. I look down at the phone in my hand and sigh, struggling to tap the screen with my thousand pound thumbs.

SENT: I’m the biggest asshat ever.
I’m really sorry for everything I said, Chloe. I shouldn’t have gotten so angry. Or pushed you. We made a deal, and I ruined everything with my stupid feelings. I
shouldn’t have put you on the spot and bring it up. I’m such an ass, and I don’t know if I’ll ever stop saying sorry for making you feel so awkward.
I’m not asking you to not be mad at me. I just want you to know that, even after what happened today, you’re still my best friend. I’ve always had your back and
been in your corner. Even with this. Even if you don’t want to be friends anymore, I’ll always be here for you, Chloe.

I stare back at the messages, pondering if I should have sent them at all. Would it really help? Were these messages for Chloe, or were they just for me? Did I really want to apologize because I wanted to make Chloe feel better, or just to appease my own ego?

The longer I think, the heavier my eyes become. It’s almost impossible to stay standing, so I lean over my bed and collapse where I lay. I lock my heavy eyes onto my phone and, with thoughts of her in my mind, I drift off to sleep.