The way her smile made me pause, the way her stare made my belly flutter, the way her bloody bruised knuckles looked in the moonlight after a very large alley fight; all of it.
I should have realized. I should have known.
When she got drunk and slipped her hands on my thigh and nibbled on my ear it made my breath quicken and my heart shudder painfully. I sometimes would leave to go out with her drunk and groaning on the couch just to crouch down and lean back against the brick wall of my apartment, breathing in quick short gasps of bitingly cold air.
Sam would tag along with us some days, all innocent smiles and oblivious looks as Jenny sat and pined after her like a school girl. And I was an idiot who thought that shoving both of them together would solve my problems and make it all go away.
Once, when the two of them were dancing around eachother like the idiots they were, I left the table in favor of the bar and found myself slapping down more money than I really should have been. When a girl with long curly hair slid on the barstool next to me and groped my ass, I vaguely wondered if Sam would have freaked out if I told her that me and her possible girlfriend had had our tongues down eachothers throats not even three days ago.
I wondered a lot of things when I was dragged out into the alley and thrown up against the wall, and contemplated many other things when the curly mass of hair slid down and a pair of teeth scraped my belly button through the thin cotton of my shirt.
When the girl had purred in my ear that she had seen me staring at my best friend like a lost puppy and that she might be able to fix my problems with her tongue, I was not about to argue with that.
Its strange, sometimes, how your world seems flipped upside-down one day only to be perfectly settled in orbit the next, and how that can affect your judgment. Like then, right then, those lips on my skin were not her own in my mind, but later on as I recalled them not even a day later I remembered the dark eyelashes and thick hips and small smile and no scars, all positively someone else and not her, not my friend, not the person who I would never get to have, but someone else that was not Jenny.
And it made my hips ache and my heart hammer, and that's when I knew I wasn't broken by her, that I wasn't swept away by her current, that I could stand with my pants down to my ankles with a stranger's face buried into my personal core in an alley way and not be slammed down with guilt or interrupted by thoughts of her, of Jenny.
My head hurt and my neck twinged the next day and I regretted not asking for the girl's number.
Fate seemed to love me, though, despite my obvious horrible-human-being status, because that same pair of wide eyes stared at me from across the cereal aisle in the local grocery store not even a two weeks later, and a slow molten lava of hope started to stir within my stomach. Maybe I wasn't quite a wrecked from her as I had thought.
Maybe I had a chance at this girl currently nicking a pair of headphones from the shelf and sliding them smoothly in her jacket pocket.
And I did.
Her hands made my lashes flutter and her nails made my back arch. She loved to watch, and loved to scratch, and her mouth was as filthy as my mother's criminal record, and her thighs were thick and hot and my hands couldn't leave her alone, but her arms slid around me afterwards and my vision turned white and I knew I was leaving a piece of my heart with my friend, my old-time lover, my only family, Jenny, but it wasn't enough to stop me from handing the rest of my soul to someone else.
And Sam found her way to my doorstep and she asked me questions I admittedly knew the answers to but I told her I didn't know.
It was a present, I guess, something friends do for each other--lie. I told her I didn't know what Jenny looked like after a drunken tumble under the sheets, I told her I didn't know what the scars on her back looked like, and I sat and smiled and told Sam to find out all of this by herself.
And I let her go, let her leave my house with a new sort of spark behind her eyes, and I let her walk out with a spring in her step and a little velvet box in her pocket and a smile on her lips.
I didn't cry and I didn't say a thing. I let her have this, I let her keep it, because what was the point in hurting her when she was happy and I was happy? Why sabotage something that she needed, now, more than anything else?
I smiled as I closed the door and leaned against the hard oak and tilted my head back to bump my head against the wood.
I wanted happiness. For her, just for Jenny.
Because I finally got mine.