Title: End of a Hearthache
Author: Amanda Risucci
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Lies, deceit and destruction seem to be the only thing plaguing the lives of these few people. Anna May does her best in life to get by without getting hit in the face by reality but that’s being made difficult by her best friend, Lauren and Sean, Lauren’s fiancé. Lauren is what you call a flaky, flighty, needy human being with only one mission in her life. Get whatever she wants and she doesn’t care who she hurts in the meantime including her fiancé Sean. Sean loves her more than anything in the world and she could care less. Anna May and Lauren work at The Purple Elephant night club dancing on bar tops in short shorts and tall boots and there is where she met Vincent the new bar back. The second they laid eyes on each other she was hooked on him and left Sean out to dry. Anna May did her best to comfort him but as much as she tried she couldn’t talk him off the ledge and eventually he lost it. Stalking is the best term for the way he was but not only was he stalking Lauren but was coming after Anna May as well. Anna May did her best to protect her friend but is having trouble protecting herself. The only axe in the middle of all this horror is everyone’s real feelings, mostly Anna May’s feelings for Sean. She was in love with him and she couldn’t deny it. So the real question is, is lying really worth the pain? The pain of the truth?
My name is Amanda Risucci and I’m a simple human most of the time. I was born in West Palm Beach FL and I’ve been here my whole life. I’ve been writing since I could talk and that is my only real passion in the world, the thing I love most in life and nothing can take the place of words on a page for me. I like to read, paint and watch YouTube videos when I’m not writing but there never seems to be enough hours in the day for everything. I still live in West Palm Beach and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m very aware of that moment when the truth must come out. Truth is always a good thing to stick to, but not all truths are good. Not all truths make things shinny and new wiping out all of the depravity. The bad will always be there but honesty is what makes people think about their actions and how they can be fixed. Some cases are different though. The truth hurts but the wrong most of the time disappears after the truth is revealed, however sometimes as much as we try to deny it the hurt still remains. The art of keeping secrets is very difficult when the secret you’re keeping is from the person you love. I happen to be in that position right now with my best friend and her fiancé. I’m the one in the middle, the secret keeper and I hate my job and right now was my moment to quit this part of my job. But there is always that one. That one secret you have to keep because it happens to be one of your own. So here I am sitting on Sean’s couch getting ready to tell him of Lauren’s betrayal and my own. To be honest I’m not sure how well this is going to go, for both of us. The art of secret keeping should be a dying art if you ask me. The only thing left to do now is do what I do best, give a hug, a really big hug.
I reached out and embraced him knowing internally that he would hate me for what I was about to tell him. I held him in my arms tightly taking in the wonderfully enticing smell of his cologne, as I always did. I couldn’t hold back the truth any longer and now was the time to let it out, even if he despised me for it.
“She cheated on me didn’t she?” He asked, lowly in my ear. My eyes went wide in surprise and I went over what he just said to make sure it actually happened. I pulled away from him, but still lightly had my hands on his shoulders. I looked down at him sitting on the couch looking into his captivating but lonesome eyes. I have been in love with Sean Alexander since we met in high school. I hated to tell him that my best friend, his fiancé, was cheating on him. But I had to.
“How did you-, yeah she did.” I said, guilt behind my voice.
“How could Lauren do this to me?” He asked staring up at me with his wounded hazel eyes. I loved his eyes and I hated to see them in pain, hated to see him in pain.
“I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you before but I couldn’t, she’s my best friend and I couldn’t betray her.” I confessed.
“Then why are you telling me now?” He asked. I looked away from his face and down at my hands. Linked together tightly I could feel the uneasiness sinking into my stomach making it impossible to open up my mouth.
“Anna May?” He breathed my name and a chill went up my spine. I raised my head slowly, our eyes meeting. I took a deep breath. Readying myself.
“I’m telling you now because I don’t want to lie to you anymore. Yes I knew about it and I know that makes me a horrible person for not telling you, but when we were on the phone last week and you asked me what was wrong with her? Why she would leave you like that? You needed to know. It wasn’t fair to you.” I continued to confess, feeling anxious I got off the couch to stand in front of him. Trying to make my point. “She pissed me off this week! She’s been doing nothing but using me; my car, my house so she could be with her new “man friend”! She knew it was the only way she could see him! She didn’t even think about me or you!” I ranted louder feeling my skin getting hot and sweat starting to bead on the back of my neck.
“I wasn’t going to hide it anymore. I can’t take it.” I looked down at the old brown carpet as my voice grew louder with disdain for my friend’s actions.
“Wow.” He said simply. I looked back up at him seeing his wonderful face being bathed in the purple black- light illuminating from the flat screen T.V mounted on the wall. His thin “Guy Fawkes mask” looking go-tee shining with the light. I began to imagine running my fingers along his facial hair, taking in every feeling underneath my fingertips, wondering what it must feel like. Afraid of getting lost in my imaginations it was time to come back to reality.
“You’re not mad that I hid it?” I asked, picking my jaw up from the floor.
“No, of course not. Trust me you’re not the one I’m mad at right now.” He said.
“Sean.” I breathed.
“I should probably be more surprised than I am though, Right?” He asked, and I had nothing to say.
“Think about it. She hasn’t talked to me in days and I know it wasn’t because she was mad at me. Damn, I had a feeling it was going down like this. I gave her everything!” He continued to rant loudly. I sat back down next to him. “I gave her my heart, I gave her a ring, and I gave her this house!! And this is what I get? I loved her and she throws it in my face!! Tell me. What did I do wrong?” He asked loudly. Being put on the spot my face got hot and my words were sitting my throat. I spat the first thing I could think of out of my mouth.
“You didn’t do anything wrong.” I said knowing that it sounded so lame, but I continued.
“You didn’t do anything. SHE did everything wrong. She was in love with you and all of a sudden she’s not. Why? Because once new man strolled into town she had something else to ogle at work.” I said knowing I didn’t mean it. It was just my jealousy talking.
“This is a nightmare.” He breathed the words solemnly as he laid back against the couch rubbing his face with his hands. I admired his hands for a second,- large, strong, with the little green veins popping out. I wanted to hold them. Make him feel better.
“I’m sorry.” I said looking away from him. We sat in silence for a while.
We spent the next two hours talking about it and I told him everything. Everything I knew, everything she said to me, and everything that happened between Lauren and her man friend. It didn’t feel good to do. Lauren has been my best friend since the beginning of high school. She has always been there for me. In turn, I was there for her, no matter what happened. After a while of knowing her, I felt I had to take care of her because she had a horrible, horrible home situation. So I took care of her. When she came to me with the ring on her finger screaming at my door with joy, I just wanted to be happy for her. I didn’t want to tell her she was crazy for wanting to get married at 18. If that was what she wanted then I was going let her have it. I only wanted her to happy. I had no idea it would end like this. In dirt and shambles. As her best friend, I stood by her side, even though she knew I didn’t like this thing she had going with Vincent and as her best friend I don’t think I’m supposed to fall for her fiancé. I was in love with him since we met in Spanish class freshman year and she can never know. That will be the one thing that I keep from her.
We sat together on the couch, me getting as close to the other end as I could. Not to make him uncomfortable being too close. We didn’t say a word again for a while. I watched him run his hands through his perfect head of thick dark brown hair thinking about how it matched mine. I thought about my fingers in his hair and how it would feel. If he would run his through mine. My body erupted in goose bumps for a quick second, and as quick as it came, it left as he got up from the couch and walked towards the kitchen. His thin, well-built body, walking away from me. I wanted to reach out and touch him. Wanted to pull the green and black buttoned shirt from his body. How I loved him.
“You want a drink. I’m going have a drink.” He called out from the kitchen.
“What kinda drink?” I asked from the couch.
“I think you know.” He answered loudly.
“One for me too, please.” I said. Then I remembered that I don’t drink. I got up and walked towards the light coming from the kitchen. He was there pouring two glasses of straight vodka. I cringed, but didn’t want to seem like a wuss so I picked up the glass. He already knew I didn’t drink, so I wasn’t sure what I was trying to prove. He chugged his straight down, no phasing. I stared into my glass then took a sip. It burned my insides as it flowed down throat, I put the glass down on the blue plastic counter top. I didn’t need to prove anything anyway. I stared up at his beautiful, hurt face and fought the urge to hug him again.
“Are you going to be alright if I leave?” I asked hoping he would ask me to stay.
“I’m gonna be alright for now.” He said, stabbing my hope right in the chest.
“Okay. I’m going home. Call me if you need me?” I asked my hope poking its head out again.
“I will.” He answered and my hope drew a smile.