"Y…. you're breaking UP with me?"

I chance a look at his face and immediately wish I hadn't. The hurt in his eyes nearly makes me hate myself, but I give myself a mental slap across the face and recompose myself.

"Mmm. That's about the gist of it, yeah." I shrug nonchalantly, glancing away, as if thoughtful. Make him hurt. Make him never want to look back.

"W… Why?" he asks, shocked.

Because you don't love me, My mind responds. I know you don't. I've seen the way you smile at her... I can't compete with that. I can't possibly make you happy... "Well, you know… I just don't think we're right for each other anymore." I shrug again. "I mean, it was fun and all, but I think it's time we called it quits, don't you?" Be cold, be cold, be super cold.

"O-Oh…" This time, I don't even have to look at him to feel my heart breaking, and I feel as fridged as the snow on the ground. He stares at the ground in silence, biting his lip.

"Hey," - I can't help myself - "Don't worry. After I showed you the ropes, I bet the girls will be banging down your door. Right?" I try to smile, mainly for my benefit, admittedly, but it comes out as more of a grimace. The look he gives me shoots a cold chill down my spine, and I wince, but forge onward. "… Especially Kelly. Don't you think? I think she likes you." The bitch.

"Feh," he says, but he can't hide the fact that he's blushing, and I feel a squirming feeling in my stomach.

"… Or maybe someone else. I dunno." I say lamely, but the seed has already been sowed. I shove my hands in my pockets, and kick at a piece of ice that fell from the root overhang. He doesn't say anything, but just stands there, kicking the piece of ice back to me. "…I should probably get going. You know how the old-man worries."

"… Yeah. Bye." He turns and walks back into his trailer.

"… Bye." I say back, and turn to leave.

I walk past the rows of trailers and mobile homes, back to my own hell hole. He didn't love me… Anyone would react like that at having just been dumped by the first girl they ever fucked. Right? He'll be over it in a snap… he'll be happier with Kelly.

But somehow, this fact just makes me feel worse.

As I get to my door, I stop to wipe my muddied feet on the door mat, and I hear a loud CHOP from behind me. I look around to find our across 'the street' neighbor busy chopping firewood.

At 20 years old, he's 4 years older than I. He's like the cool older brother to all us neighborhood kids, and a prize catch to all the girls, though he always seemed out of our league.

I stand and watch curiously as lifts up the axe and swings it again, chopping the log in two. He stands back, and a white plume issues from his mouth as he wipes at his forehead with the back of his glove. I tilt my head, and he looks up, catching my eye.

For a minute, I forget all about what's-his-face and Kelly, and I grin widely, walking over to him.