She stood up in her dark bedroom glancing at the bright clock that sat on her wooden dresser. Only five am, she thought to herself, I should lay back down. Go back to sleep. Her head pounded and her body felt weak, but sleep was not going to happen and she knew it. A thin blanket on the floor just wasn’t that inviting to her. Not like the pillow top bed they had checked out at Menard’s the day before with the self cooling pillows. Now that was a bed worth curling back in to.
Rubbing the mounds of sleep from her eyes she stumbled out to an empty coffee pot. It was actually six o’clock, she knew. The time change had happened again. Technically she was waking up the same time she always did. Not sleeping in a single wink the entire weekend. She thought of a saying she had heard referring to daylight savings time, that only the government would think they could cut a foot off of the top of a blanket sew it to the bottom and think they had a longer blanket. She giggled to herself, knowing that it was true.
After washing a mug and fetching a cup of freshly brewed coffee Audrina sat at her computer scrolling through her social media site. She noticed his name sitting there in her chat box as she always did. Seven hours, she thought to herself. Counting the time change he had been logged on until midnight, exactly. Just as he was every night of the week. Come to think of it, she thought, he had been logged on yesterday at midnight as well. Maybe he was out of town this weekend. Or maybe, she thought, the one he stayed up talking to wasn’t the same one he was living with. Audrina wouldn’t put it past him. That was just who he was, and she guessed, that part of him would never change.
Her line of thinking and pounding headache further soured her mood. She scrolled through the site a moment but found it dreadfully boring and logged out. She felt no desire to write. Her head pounded and her heart ached, drenched with ill feelings about him, dripping with assumptions of the negative feelings he had for her. She closed her laptop. Lit a cigarette. Sipped her coffee and stared into the dark house that surrounded her, letting her thoughts and feelings flow wildly free.
She knew why he didn’t reply to her. Why he never messaged her first anymore. She wondered if his log on times had less to do with talking to someone else, and more to do with avoiding her being online. She knew how he acted when he was interested. This wasn’t it. She wondered to herself, if that was what really burned her so deeply. Maybe her desire for him had waned many moons ago. Maybe, her true cry was merely for him to desire her.
He was the only guy she ever dated that didn’t want her. Didn’t desire her. Couldn’t be easily bent to her will if she wanted. Maybe that was what truly plagued her. The challenge of the one that got away. That hadn’t fallen under her spell. Or maybe, he truly was the player that she sometimes deeply believed. He might know how much he kept her tied up on him by ignoring her, his only reason for letting go was knowing it made her hold on even tighter. That he was merely playing a game, as all players played.
Audrina thought what it would be like if he flipped the script on her. If he was the one periodically messaging her. If he had the freak out moments of insanity where he poured his heart out, longing for something he thought he couldn’t have. She wondered, if he were really interested, if she achieved her goal, what would she do. The answer haunted her. She knew exactly what she would do. At that moment, the single moment where she knew without faltering that he was hers, it would merely leave her with a choice to make. A choice, between him or Aaron. Though she had no idea who she would chose and refused to linger on the question, a tiny part of her knew that if her life were but a day, that at the end of the day Aaron was her forever.
It pained her to think about it. If this were true. If Aaron was her forever. The man that lay peacefully in her bedroom. That every word she had ever said to this other guy was merely a game of the hearts. A destructive, sinister, game of painful results. A game that players played. She wasn’t that girl. That girl wasn’t her.
She physically shook the painful thoughts from her mind, took a large sip of her coffee and a long drag of her cigarette.
Audrina got up and went into the bathroom, running the cold water and splashing it upon her face. She leaned on the sink taking a long look in the mirror. She saw the laugh lines painted around her eyes. Wrinkles, she thought. They’re really wrinkles. She stared longer, looking deeper. This wasn’t her. Not this woman that stared back at her. She felt so weak and insecure. Unwanted and undesired. The woman in the mirror though was strong and happy, focused and successful. She needed to forget about him. To focus on her and bettering herself. To become the strong woman she was before he destroyed her insides.
Audrina dried her face and set about to do just that very thing.