I watched the car slow in my peripheral vision, I heard a door slam

I watched the car slow in my peripheral vision; I heard a door slam and groaned. What did he want? What could he want? Trust fund baby from day one, never worked for a thing. Yet he was trying so hard. Too little, too late. Why the hell did he care?

"Please." I instantly recognized the cool bass of his voice. I didn't turn or break my stride. "Just give me a chance." I paused. And for a second, I considered it. I truly considered it. But like I said, it was only a second.

I turned on my heel to face him. His reaction was priceless. He halted mid-step and looked up. Yeah, he was attractive in that pretty boy type of way, light eyes, groomed shaggy dark hair, medium build, wide grin. But I didn't go for that sort of thing. He was Mr. Perfect, Mr. Right, if you will, but I wasn't looking for perfect or right. I wanted damaged. Just like me.

"Mel—" My face fell instantly. I felt it grow hot and my breath instantly caught.

"Don't you dare call me Mel like you know me! You don't know the first thing about me, pretty boy!" I smiled satisfied with myself for the outburst. But he just stood there, smiling, unfazed.

"Then give me the chance." He held out his hand. I smacked it away. I didn't need his pity or his charm or his concern. Whatever it was, I sure as hell didn't need it. And I didn't need him.

"In your dreams." I turned and ran. I wasn't exactly sure what I was running from, but I just needed to think.

"Happy birthday." I jumped. I had totally zoned out in the middle of the library. But I didn't jump because someone had spoke, it was because of who that someone happened to be.

"How did you—" He laughed musically.

"Jenna told me," Grr, loud mouthed bit— "Sixteen, eh?"

"Actually, I'm seventeen." He smiled.

"I know, I just wanted to see if you would actually continue the conversation long enough to correct me." I scowled.

"Well, conversation over." I turned to walk away, but felt someone grab my wrist lightly. I growled and tried to pull away, but his grip was firm. "What is your deal?" I snarled.

"Sorry," he let go, "it's just…I dunno." I halfway grinned. Pretty boy was struggling for words. How cute. How…satisfying. I walked away without a word. And he just stood there, mouth gaping, unable to do a thing.

"You have a phone call, honey." I stood up and walked toward the bright orange walls. Didn't anyone ever tell my mom that it was bad manners to paint your kitchen orange? I guess not, because as I entered the room, there the walls were, obnoxiously bright orange. I shook my head and grabbed the receiver from her hand.


"Hello Melrose." I don't know if I was more angered by the voice coming from the phone or the fact that I recognized it so quickly.

"I'm hanging up," I lifted the receiver to slam it down, but then, thought better, "please, leave me alone."

"Is that what you really want, Melrose?" He asked quietly. I pondered it for a moment. Was that really what I wanted? Yes.

"No," I replied, "but it's better that way." He exhaled heavily before he spoke.

"Well then I'll respect your wishes." Really? Was he really going to just give up that easily? Had I really won? Then why did it feel like such a defeat? Why did it…hurt?

"Anyone call, mom?" she shook her head, not even looking up from the TV. I groaned. Isn't this what I had wanted? My life felt so empty without, him. I found myself turning corners expecting to see, him. Every passing car could be, him. But in the end, I realized he was gone. And that made me feel something that I've never felt before. Longing.

"You okay, hun?" I jumped. My mom rubbed the palm of her hand softly against my shoulder. I must have looked pretty upset because she didn't do that often. I called it the, 'it's-gonna-be-okay' pat, and in most cases it usually was. But I doubted the same logic applied here.

"Yeah, I'm fine." She didn't look convinced.

"Mark hasn't called in a few days." Reverse psychology, I think.

"I think he finally gave up." My voice broke.

"And is that what you want." I tried so hard to hold the tears back.

"I don't know, mom, I don't know." I failed. She held me there for about an hour. Just rocking me back and forth, telling me it was going to be okay.

"Hi Melrose, long time no see." The bubbly secretary smiled at me. I smiled a weak smile back; this past week had been pretty rough on me. Mom decided it was time for me to see Doc Martin again. I used to see Doc Martin when I was younger, when mom first found out I was cutting. She was scared that I was doing it again; I wasn't, at least for the time being. I guess it was because the pain I was in now could not compare to anything I could have caused. But In a way, I did cause this pain. It was my fault. "The Doc will be right with you, he's just finishing up with another patient."

"Where's the bathroom, it's been so long, I forgot." I felt sick. I needed to be in the vicinity of something empty, fast.

"Along the wall to the left, honey." She smiled again, but I couldn't find the strength to smile back. I followed her instructions.

"I know Doc, but I can't live with that!" I passed by a door on the left of the hallway. "I wish she knew." I froze. It couldn't be. Was I crazy? That voice was too familiar.

"Have you struggled with SI recently?" My breath caught. SI? As in self-injury?

"No, I've been pretty okay lately. But Jenna tells me she's not doing too well." My knees weakened. My stomach churned.

"I know, she called and made an appointment." I heard a sob.

"It's all my fault." His voice cracked.

"It's not." I whispered. I knew he couldn't hear.

"Well, we'll resume next week, Mark." He sniffed then I heard chairs shifting. I didn't move, just stood in front of the door. Then it opened. And in that second, I realized something. He was Mr. Perfect, Mr. Right. He was perfect, right, and just what I was looking for. He was damaged. Just like me.

He leaned out the door and our eyes me instantly.

"Mel?" He said, surprised. I smiled.