All The Truths (Lies & Truths Duet #2) - Rina Kent
The night of the assault
Life is unfair.
Its parallel lines and never-crossing patterns are like a curse.
No matter how much you run away from it, you always get pulled back.
Friday night lights fill the stadium as my squad’s members smile and jump. The crowd’s noise is like a rush of adrenaline for both the cheerleaders and the football players.
A small smile tugs on my lips as I stop near the exit and throw one last glance behind me, at Bree and Prescott, Lucy and Naomi, Owen and Seb.
And everyone else.
I never thought I would miss them, but then again, the whole robotic act was just that: an act. I never once thought they weren’t important, but I was a professional at making them believe they weren’t.
My gaze strays up of its own accord, to the spectators—the section for players’ families.
That’s where he always sits. In his closed-up, black mind, he still considers Owen and Sebastian family.
Which can never be said about me.
My fingers snake to my bracelet, feeling around the dainty material as I roam the crowd.
I know I won’t find him, but I still search anyway; that says something about my desperation.
It says something about how dysfunctional we are.
I wish this had started three years ago, but it’s been going on since Uncle Alex and Dad decided we were to be engaged.
Our relationship has been wrong and refused to be right ever since.
We just keep missing each other, over and over again.
Then he told me those words, the ones that shattered the remains of my heart into tiny, bloody pieces, impossible to collect or to touch.
There has been a constant ache in my chest since I finally realized the painful truth: we live in parallel lines. Our worlds are never meant to cross.
We were never meant to be.
Giving up on finding him in the crowd, I spin around and walk the long empty tunnel. The cheers and the music eventually fade, turning into nothingness.
With every step I take, my spirit loses balance. My limbs tremble as if begging me to go back in there, search for him, tell him what I couldn’t all these years.
Everything is over.
Now, I have to save the only other person who matters more than I do.
I retrieve my phone and pull up Instagram. It doesn’t take me long to find the conversation from a year ago. I wish I could’ve gone one more time or told the jerk these words in person, but despite my tough act, I’m a coward in so many ways.
I just know how to hide my cowardice well.
For a long time, I learned how to turn weakness into a strong façade, something solid and hard no one would suspect.
With trembling fingers, I type.
Reina-Ellis: I won’t meet you again.
The reply is immediate. Sometimes, I get the feeling he’s never there, and others—like now—it’s almost as if he’s breathing down my neck.
Cloud003: Nice try, my slut.
Reina-Ellis: I mean it. I’m turning the page and you chose not to be part of it. I know you’re blocking any feelings you have for me and I understand. I probably should’ve done the same. I’m sorry and goodbye.
As I hit send, my eyes blur, and I close them to fight the onslaught.
It’s all over now.
All the bad blood and unsaid words.
All the secrets and lies.
There’s no reply—not that I expected one. He’s a jerk that way, always making me wonder what he’s thinking.
I hope it’ll stop with this goodbye, but I doubt it will.
This thing is already flowing in my blood, and unlike common belief around Blackwood College, I do bleed, both physically and emotionally.
I’ve just mastered the art of deception and don’t show it.
With one last touch to my bracelet, I forge ahead.
Tonight, I’m leaving everything behind and reuniting with the one person who always loved me unconditionally.
The one who gave me their life.
Asher’s silhouette becomes a blur as I struggle to catch my breath.
There’s something paralyzing about pain. It’s not the agony itself but the brain’s reaction to being metaphorically stabbed.
It shuts down at the onslaught and chooses numbness instead, because sometimes, being numb is the only way to survive.
I wish it were physical pain. I wish it were that assault and the agony at the back of my neck and shoulders each time I moved.
At least back then, I lived with the belief that it would soon go away.
This pain won’t.
It’s at its rawest, truest form.
My thighs still ache from how Asher took me last night. My insides are still sore from his