"So," Isabelle said, taking a deep breath, "You cheated on me?"
They were seated in a small corner table at the Starbucks down the street. He had called her half an hour before, begging, no, pleading, for her to meet him there. Although she had other places to be (her job, then to Katie's house to help her get ready for a date), she made the time for him. She always would.
Alexander Lenearts was considered one of the 'popular' guys at school. By no means was he the most popular, charming, or rich. Possibly only popular by association, his best friend and him had been friends since kindergarten. His best friend being the most popular guy in their high school, it was only to be assumed that Alexander, otherwise known as Alex, would be popular as well. They, along with a few others, were part of a group that the rest of the school deemed 'The Crew'.
Alex was the brooding one. The mysterious one. The man of little words, but infinite amounts of insight. He was tall, almost six-five, with jet black hair and dark blue eyes. Most girls were scared by his intense nature, and although admired his attractive looks, barely gave him a second glance when compared to his friends.
Except for Isabelle. Isabelle Faye wasn't the most popular girl in school. Nor was she the smartest, the most athletic, the wittiest, or the funniest. But she was the kindest. Hands down the 'Miss Congeniality' of her school, she was well-known and very much liked by everyone. Isabelle was small, delicate. She stood at five-one, with golden blonde hair that seemed to almost float around her down to her waist. Isabelle was pale with honey brown eyes and a small but very well rounded figure. Many boys at the school fell in love with her because of her kind nature and stunning beauty.
The unlikeliest of the couple took the school by surprise. Isabelle Faye, nicest girl in school, suddenly dating Alexander Lenearts, resident brooding bad boy. It just didn't make sense to anyone.
They had met during an English assignment. Random partners; obviously the two would not have chosen each other any other way. The project was dissecting human nature, and the two disagreed vehemently.
"People are good," Isabelle argued, slamming her small fist onto the table, "Everyone has some good in them. Some sense of right."
Alex shook his head, reaching for the paper they were supposed to write on. "No, Belle, they aren't. People, by nature, turn on each other to save themselves. They're selfish, not compassionate." She shook her head, but remained silent and stared out the window to let him finish writing whatever he wanted.
Since that day, they talked frequently during class, reveling in each other's different opinions. It was fun for them to exchange views and playful banter. Then slowly, gradually he would walk her to her next class, carrying her books. From there it was after school, after his football practices, on weekdays, then finally on weekends. They disagreed about almost everything. The existence of God ("God loves you," She'd try to say. "No," He disagreed, handing her a bag of chips, "He doesn't exist. Just let it be, Belle."), types of movies, environmental issues, human nature, everything they could talk about.
And with all the time they spent together it was only natural to assume attraction would appear eventually. The passion they had while they fought somehow transferred to romance.
It was a subtle change. Alex had invited her over to his house after declining a party invitation to watch a few movies. After arguing over movie types ("Comedy!" Isabelle would insist, picking up the latest Blockbuster film. Alex would shake his head, picking up an action movie starring Vin Diesel. "No, no. With action movies you won't have to sit through a mindless plot just to hear crude and awful timed jokes."), then debating over the actors involved in the movie Alex sat down on his large, comfortable couch. Isabelle smiled before curling up against him.
She was barely focused on the movie. Her body was hyper sensitive to every move that Alex was making, every breath he took, every shift in his position. Alex couldn't stop thinking about reach over and bringing her body to rest against his. The more he thought about it, the more he thought he should.
His arm moved slowly to wrap around her waist. If she was surprised, she didn't show it. Isabelle moved closer to him, burying herself in the warmth his arm provided. Alex shifted again until Isabelle was against his chest with him behind her cradling her softly.
Isabelle had a small smile on her face before she turned around to face him. Alex sucked in a breath staring at her eyes. Isabelle placed a small hand on his chest, and found herself entangling her other hand into his dark hair. His breathing quickened when he stared into her brown eyes.
The small smile spread across her face when she saw he was leaning down to kiss her. No, really! He was! Isabelle giggled softly before he slammed his mouth against hers.
Their kissing techniques reflected their major personality differences. She was soft, her lips moving passively against his. Isabelle pressed her body against his and ran a hand delicately through his hair.
Alex, on the other hand, was trying to overpower her. One hand was making his way under her shirt to rest on her bare back, while the other was gripping her neck in a hard, but not painful, way. He slowly twisted their bodies so that he was hovering over her with their legs intertwined. Alex groaned when he felt her hand run through his hair, and he pressed closer.
Isabelle tore away from him, gasping. He stared at her.
"Why," Alex said, his eyes boring into her, "have we never done that before?"
Isabelle giggled, running her hands over his broad shoulders. "I don't know," She replied, attempting to tug him downwards, "but let's do it again." Joy flashed through his eyes before he rolled them, and proceeded to comply.
Ever since that night the two had been dating. Alex, brooding-bad-boy-with-an-attitude-Alex, was dating the sweet and kind Isabelle. He refused to tell anyone but Isabelle's best friend Katie, and his best friend Michael. Katie was perfectly accepting. On the other hand, Michael was a little suspicious. He hated Isabelle, the fact that she was 'lower' than them on the popularity scale.
But Alex insisted on continuing to see Isabelle, much to her delight. He refused to hold hands, or even kiss her, in public. The school didn't believe they were dating, since there was no proof visually. But, Isabelle didn't push the fact Alex didn't want them to be seen publicly, for which he was grateful. It hurt, she admitted to herself, but she would rather be with him than make him uncomfortable with her accusations. Besides, she thought, as long as he was sweet when they were alone it was fine.
Fast forward five months later, toward the end of the school year. Isabelle sat staring at Alex in shocked silence.
"So," Isabelle said, taking a deep breath, "you cheated on me?" She waited for his confirmation. He wouldn't even look her in the eye. She knew in her gut that it was true. Her heart was aching, and she had to look away to brush away the tears that fell before he saw them. Not here. He doesn't need to see how much he hurt her.
"Yes," Alex said finally, glancing up into her eyes. "I did." His dark blue eyes rolled with turmoil, but she was oblivious.
"Who?" Her forehead creased and she began to concentrate very hard on the coffee in front of her.
"Melody. Melody Moon."
Oh. That does explain some things. Melody Moon was, by far, the prettiestsexiest girl in the school. Long, shiny brown hair that flowed in soft waves, framing her tan face with dark green eyes. She had a killer body that she flaunted at every chance, and was normally Michael's on and off again girlfriend.
The fact pained Isabelle more than it should have. She was practically the exact opposite of herself. Was it her then? She began to doubt herself. It must be. Something was wrong with her. He didn't want her for a reason. Why did he even bother staying with her? He stays with her, but goes after a girl her complete opposite? It just didn't make sense. It had to be her fault. This fact felt like a punch in the gut. Isabelle wrapped an arm around her stomach as if to keep herself from falling apart.
Her lungs hurt to breathe, but she managed to suck in a breath.
"Are we…" Isabelle looked for the right words to say, before plowing through. "Are we breaking up, then?"
Alex shrugged. "Whatever. Five months…Didn't you feel like it was getting a little too drawn out?"
Drawn out? Her mind echoed. No. She would never have had enough of him. Isabelle forced a smile.
"Yes, I completely agree. I'm glad you…Well, I'm glad you made this clear. I really hope you're happy with her." The most awful part about this, Alex thought, was that she was completely serious.
Isabelle was genuinely hoping that they would be happy together. No spiteful, vindictive, mean, callous thoughts focused on the girl that helped her boyfriend cheat on her. Just hope that they would be happy.
"I guess. I don't even think I'm going to get with her." Alex shrugged again, leaning back in his chair.
"Oh." Isabelle's tears flew freely down her face. "I…I have to go see Katie." She refused to look at him while she gathered everything. "I guess…" She hesitated, "I guess I'll see you around."
"Guess so." Isabelle stumbled her way out of the coffee shop, her vision blurring because of the tears that refused to fall. She fumbled with her car keys before getting in and driving haphazardly. The farther she drove from Starbucks, the more her heart hurt. It was a throbbing ache that originated in the heart and flowed through her body. She wasn't used to be in any sort of pain, physical or emotional. This blow hurt in a way she didn't understand.
When she pulled into her best friend's driveway, she broke down into sobs that wracked her body. She practically fell out of her car to reach the front door. Katie opened the door quickly, and gasped when she saw the state her best friend was in.
"Isabelle! What happened?" Katie frowned, bringing her best friend in a tight hug while simultaneously pulling her into the house. It smelled like fresh baked cookies and warm vanilla. Isabelle began to breathe normally with the soothing atmosphere, but she still couldn't stop tears from pouring out of her eyes.
Her friend attempting to wipe the tears away with a tissue, but she couldn't stop crying.
"A-Alex," She blubbered out when she was placed on the couch. Katie looked concerned.
Katie had been Isabelle's friend since elementary school. She was plain looking, with boring brown hair and expressive brown eyes. She wore plain jeans with a solid colored shirt, but Isabelle never even noticed the girl's plain looks. She just noticed how caring, thoughtful and intelligent she was.
Katie pushed Isabelle's blonde hair from her face. "Is he okay?" She had seen the couple's dedication to each other. The thought of them breaking up never occurred to her. This question made Isabelle cry harder.
"T-that's the…" She sniffed, "problem." Katie's eyebrows rose.
"H-he doesn't w-want m-me anym-more." Isabelle buried her face into her hands in misery before breaking down into sobs again. Katie looked even more confused by her friends sudden outbreak.
"What are you talking about?" She tried to get Isabelle's hands away from her face to explain what happened.
"M-melody M-moon." Isabelle began to calm down, realizing just how ridiculous she might seem.
After ten minutes of silence with her just crying, she was reduced to just a few trails of tears running down her face. She snuffled into her hand, and wiped away the remaining tears.
"Izza, what happened?" Katie asked softly, stroking the girls hair in a motherly fashion.
"Alex cheated on me." Isabelle told her, looking to the ground. Katie was floored. Alex? Cheating on Isabelle? The thought made her uncomfortable, and she fidgeted trying to clear the thought from her head. No way. Alex loved Isabelle. No matter what he did or said to anyone at school, he was so completely in love with her.
"With who?" Katie asked incredulously.
"Melody. Melody Moon." As if Katie couldn't believe it before, now it's just ridiculous. There's no way. Absolutely no way. Alex hated Melody. Maybe if it was someone who looked like Isabelle, or acted like her…Katie shook her head. Not even that. Alex was hopeless in love with Isabelle, even if he refused to tell her.
"No." Katie said finally, not believing that it was even possible.
Even when Alex got drunk (which he stopped doing as frequently since he met Isabelle. He refused to acknowledge the coincidence, but it was still something), Alex would still laugh and talk joyously about Isabelle like a fool.
Katie remained doubtful, but sympathetic with Isabelle until she decided to leave.
"Thank you," Isabelle sighed out softly as they walked to the door. "I'm sorry for being such a pain. You know…" She hesitated, "I'm fine. I'm just glad he told me now before-" Isabelle stopped talking abruptly.
"Before what?" Katie asked sharply. Isabelle shook her head.
"I'm sorry for being such a bother. I feel so embarrassed!" She gave a forced giggle, turning to leave. Katie rolled her eyes, knowing she couldn't do anything else to convince Isabelle.
"Izza?" Katie called out when she was about to enter her car.
"Yeah?" She called back with a small smile.
"Just…don't give up yet. Okay? I know you want to. But…just don't." Katie shook her head before shutting the door behind her. Isabelle remained confused, but got in her car.
Normally Isabelle was an optimist, considering Monday a brilliant day that held promise for the rest of the week. Today, however, she considered it an awful, awful curse on humanity. She didn't want to face Alex, not so soon after he hurt her so badly. And worse, Melody would be in the same class as she would be. Her chest ached, but she pushed away the pain and smiled at everyone as she passed them by in the hallway.
She refused to look at him when she entered their English class. Isabelle could feel him staring at her, but she didn't feel strong enough to take the initiative to return the stare. Would they have to talk about what happened? She hoped not. She felt humiliated, upset and devastated. Isabelle would most definitely not want to bring up those feelings again.
From the looks she was getting from everyone else, she knew they knew that they broke up. It was sympathetic, but surprisingly not hostile toward Alex. Michael, Alex's best friend, smirked at her when she passed him by in the hallway. She turned her head and pretending she didn't see him. Instead she talked with a few of her friends from her Econ class.
And so it went, day after day for a few weeks. Isabelle had never been more miserable, and no one could even know why. Alex had made Isabelle swear not to tell anyone about their relationship, anyone but her best friend that is. Her new down-trodden attitude left everyone confused and in turn miserable like she was. It went by unnoticed the fact that Alex was twice the asshole he used to be, being more brooding and just heightening his image as a 'bad boy'.
It was one day a few weeks later that Michael approached her after school. She was uncomfortable when he came toward her as she stood by her locker. Isabelle smiled awkwardly at him, brushing her hair out of her face.
"Hi, Michael," She greeted him warmly, "how've you been lately?" Michael just grunted.
"I need to talk to you." Isabelle froze for a split second, before snapping out of it and giving him a forced smile.
"Oh? About what?"
Isabelle shook her head. "I can't do that." She began to walk away when Michael grabbed her arm roughly. She winced at the pain, but refused to let him know he hurt her.
"Listen," He hissed, flipping his hair out of his face. Isabelle just stared at him with wide eyes, and jerked her head to indicate she was listening. "You are no one. You aren't good enough for my best friend, and never have been. I hate you. I hate how nice you are to everyone. No one is that nice. You have no social standing what-so-ever, and are barely passable as hot. You're too short, too small, too delicate, and too sweet for my best friend." Isabelle felt her eyes water.
"I-I know that. That's why he went to Melody. I'm not stupid." She stared at the floor, refusing to meet his eyes. Michael gave a frustrated groan.
"I absolutely hate you. You're pathetic, weak, and a nobody. But Alex, for some reason, loves you. And he's like a brother to me, so I'm going to explain this to your stupid-ass self." Isabelle shook her head.
"I know what you're saying, Michael. I refuse to be humiliated by you just so you can laugh about this later. It was nice talking to you, though." Shaking her head, she turned to leave again.
"You aren't listening." He grabbed her arm again, swinging her against the locker. "Alex loves you. He didn't even cheat on you. When you guys broke up, I was probably the most happy about it. But then I heard what he did, why he did it. He's being a dumb ass, but so are you. Go talk to him. You guys deserve at least that." With that, he turned and walked down the hall, shaking his hands as if in disgust.
Isabelle couldn't decide if she wanted to cry in despair or laugh in joy. She stood at her locker for quite some time in shock about what Michael had just said. She mulled over it for awhile before figuring out what she was going to do.
Isabelle waited outside the gym until six o'clock when football practice was over. She watched as the huge, beefy guys sauntered cockily in small groups out of the locker room. The last one out was Alex. Isabelle scrambled to her feet, shoving the book she had been reading back in her purse.
"Alex?" She called out. He stopped walking, his back to her. Isabelle took another few steps toward him, her heart aching. Alex spun around to face her, looking at her incredulously.
"Isabelle?" He asked doubtfully. Alex looked…well, like he had gone through a few rough weeks. Isabelle's heart melted in sympathy, wishing she could've been there to comfort him to sleep. She shook off the thought, pursing her lips and stepped forward.
"Yeah," She said softly, taking a few more steps forward until they were only two feet from each other.
"What're you doing here?" His voice was cold now, but his eyes betrayed him. He looked…relieved to see her again. Isabelle was thrown off by his vicious tone, but shrugged it off.
"Michael…." Isabelle searched her mind for the right words, "told me it would be a good idea to talk to you." Alex scoffed in disbelief.
"Michael? As in, my best friend Michael? Told you to talk to me? I seriously doubt it." Isabelle was quick to be hurt by that statement. If it wasn't drilled into her head that she wasn't good enough for him, that statement surely did the trick.
"Um," She shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, fiddling with her long blonde hair in her hand. Isabelle had to look way up at him to meet his eyes due to their height difference, but there wasn't much she could tell anyway. His expression was guarded, his eyes expressionless now.
"Yeah," She said finally. "He told me that I should ask you why…why we broke up." The words were doubly painful to be said out loud. Isabelle wrapped an arm around her stomach as if to keep the hurt contained to that area of her body.
"Oh." Alex's black hair fell in his eyes, damped with sweat. His tan skin glistened with it as well, and he seemed to glow as the sun set behind her. His dark blue eyes inspected her closely before he nodded. "Sure."
He motioned to sit on the grassy field of their school. It was soft and green, with small patches of field flower daisies. Isabelle followed him to the middle of the field, where he plopped down tiredly. She mimicked his movements more gracefully, sitting next to him with her knees to her chest.
There was a long period of silence before Alex broke it. "I'm so tired." He whispered, shutting his eyes tightly. Isabelle felt the same pang of sympathy, and acting on it, she reached over to soothe the hair from his face, caressing his cheek.
"What's wrong?" Isabelle asked, forgetting what exactly she was supposed to be asking.
"I haven't been sleeping." Alex shrugged this off as no big deal, but Isabelle was concerned.
"For how long?" He smiled dreamily when he felt her hand run through his sweaty hair.
"A few weeks." He mumbled, catching her small hand in his large one. He opened his eyes to look up at her from his position on the ground. "God, I miss you." Isabelle blushed, but couldn't forget the fact that he broke up with her.
"I miss you too." She couldn't help but whisper back. Alex smiled. Isabelle shifted until she was laying on her side looking at him. "But…" She hesitated, "But why did you cheat on me? Break up with me?" Alex's eyes hardened before turning his gaze to look at the setting sun.
"A few reasons, I guess. Number one, I didn't cheat on you. I wouldn't. Ever." Isabelle almost fell back from the shock from it.
"Y-You didn't?" Her voice was just above a whisper, but he still heard her. Alex shot her an, 'Are you really that stupid?' kind of look.
"Of course not. Especially not with Melody Moon. I'm insulted you think I'd lower my standards that much." Isabelle cracked a small smile, but was still confused as to what happened.
"Then…then why…?" No matter what he said next, she felt so much better knowing she wasn't replaced by an Isabelle 2.0 or something like it.
"Because I love you." Isabelle's eyes widened in surprise.
"Y-you what?" She choked out, hardly believing what he had just said.
"I love you." Alex told her, turning to look into her honey brown eyes. "I love you so much, but I was so…confused. I didn't want to love you." At this, Isabelle turned away in hurt. He grabbed her hand again, forcing her to look at him. "But I did. And I was scared. And I knew, just knew, that no matter what you would stay by my side. And it freaked me out. Then there was Michael, the guy who was practically my brother telling me that I didn't need you. That I shouldn't even want you. And the thing is…" It seemed as if he was talking to himself, not her any longer. "The thing is," He repeated, "I hated him for saying it. I wanted to absolutely kill him. But after I created this stupid, stupid plan for you to leave me alone…I realized that was last thing in the entire world I wanted you to do. I wanted you to stay with me forever. And I wanted…want everyone to know that you are mine." At this, he poked a finger to his chest. "But I knew that you would never forgive me for what I did."
He turned to look at her again. "I thought I would never get the chance to even speak to you again, but here you are." Isabelle smiled softly at him, tears rolling down her pale cheeks.
"I love you too," She gasped out, scooting over to be closer to him. He wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close enough that they were connected from chest to legs. "And I forgive you." She placed light kisses around his face; on his forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, on the circles underneath his eyes, before giving him an Eskimo kiss. She rubbed her nose tenderly against his, smiling when she saw him do the same. "And I missed you."
Alex placed a hand gingerly on her neck, pulling her slowly down so her lips met his. He moved his lips tenderly along hers, sliding his other hand to rest at her waist. Isabelle pressed herself closer, missing their intimacy. Alex groaned into the kiss, deepening the kiss. Isabelle broke off to start giggling.
"What?" His voice was husky, but his eyes were amused.
"You tickled me." Alex could feel her breath on his lips, and feeling the need to be close to her again, he pulled her down for another kiss.
Somehow Isabelle knew this time things were going to be different. People were going to know, and acknowledge and beware of their rekindled relationship. They were going to be stronger, because they had something no one else they knew had.
WOW. Epic cheesiness. I'm sorry. I kind of just like, thought of it and wrote and failed at it. Love it anyway?