I would never thought that the apex of my life would be the moment I decided to jump down an elevator shaft to save myself from body-stealing aliens, intent on having me join them. I guess that's what life is, though - unpredictable.
Unpredictability. That was something that I'd always associated with myself. I trained myself to be strong, to keep Jamie safe. My unpredictable nature was something that'd kept us ourselves for the longest time before we'd found Jared.
In fact, I think the only predictable thing in my life was Jared.
Our meeting was unpredictable, sure. Our relationship had many, many unpredictable twists and turns that no one could follow without getting thoroughly confused. A part of that equation was a direct result of having Wanda brought into our lives.
Not that I blame Wanda for this. Not anymore, though. I've come to love her like a sister, strangely. I can't imagine her not in my life, which is odd, right? I should want her dead. Want all of her slimy race out of the clean, fresh air of our planet. And I do. I want that more than anything in the world. But not at the expense of losing Wanda, surprisingly.
Anyway, back on track.
Through my life, short as it may be, I don't recall ever being as mad as I was when Jared kissed Wanda - through my body, of course, but still. He kissed Wanda as she was in control. I broke out of the whole thing, and fought like hell to get her away from him. To get me away from him. I didn't want Jared doing anything with Wanda-me that he didn't do with me.
The fact that I would still be feeling like this even after I got my body back would be something I'd never expected.
Jared looks at Wanda with a sense of wonder, of questioning. The rage that I feel when I see this is something that I have to fight to control, even though I love the both of them, I just can't bare to think that he might actually prefer her. He thinks I don't notice when his eyes stray, but I do. Oh, I do.
Maybe it's to get back at me from looking at Wanda's significant other with that same sense of curiosity.
I'd like to think it's the former.
I find myself not being able to control it, the strange urges I get to stare at Ian O'Shea.
I hate myself for it. Don't think that I like having these thoughts about one of my closest friend's boyfriend. Because I don't. I don't like it, and yet I still do it. I probably am a sadist, masochist, whatever you want to call this affliction. Because my innocent - and sometimes not-so-innocent thoughts - are hurting more people than just me.
I hate myself for watching him with this strange, voyeuristic intention.
I hate that my heart actually races when I do this.
I hate that, sometimes, he looks back.
It just goes to show how messed up each of us really is. How much this whole presence of Wanda has altered all of our lives. Not in a negative way, but…in a very strange, twisted way. I am grateful to Wanda for reasons that are obvious - she let me find my family. She led me to them without any concern for herself. She loves Jamie just as dearly as I do - and the same thing could be said for Jared. But this strange, precarious position that we have been put in because of my selfishness, and because of Wanda's willingness to help anyone, is something I could do without.
It goes to show that somethings are so strong that you can't forget them.
Like Jared and Wanda.
Like Wanda and Ian.
And - to some lesser, but still greater extent - Ian and I.
The whole truth of this strange love-square we have going on is that none of us can ever win.
Of course, Jared and I will be together for the rest of our lives. Just as Wanda and Ian will be. But none of us will able to forget the person we'd shared so many memories with. It's a sad cycle, but…that's how things are.
Because I could never forget the feeling I got when Ian first kissed Wanda - er, me.
I hated it. But I hated it because I kind of…liked it. Enjoyed it.
Embarrassingly, I enjoyed it.
The way his lips were hot and desperate, but at the same time so soft and gentle that it made my own heart ache. I was angry, though, that Ian would do that to Wanda through my body. But that didn't mean the sensation didn't feel…good.
I don't even know where I'm going with this. It feels like I'm such a bad person, but I just can't help myself from wondering. From contemplating. There is very little else to do in the fields, working during the hot days, other than think about the strange possibilities like that.
I feel…just so very confused.
Especially when you're confronted with a shirtless, perfectly sculpted Ian.
That's where I am now.
Plowing the earth, planting seeds. This is the norm for the residents that live together in this underground sanctuary.
Jared and Kyle have gone off to eat lunch early, while Ian and I gather the tools and everything, placing them in a safe corner so when we get back we can continue. I sigh and roll my sleeves up. Even wearing short sleeves can be taxing in this heat. What I wouldn't give to have a swimming pool around here.
I look up at Ian, who is cracking his neck to get the kinks out of it. His muscles bunch and coil as he does so. The strong, hard muscles of his back flex, and I take a few minutes to just stare at him. His pale skin and dark hair, coupled with those blue eyes are enough to make any girl swoon, and I find myself almost having a fangirl moment.
I hate myself.
It's not until I hear Ian coughing lightly that I realize that I have been staring at him for the past few minutes, "Yo, Mel. Anyone home?" He waves a large hand in front of my face, and I almost leap back in shock.
"Y-Yeah," I say, flustered. Damn it, I never get flustered. Ugh.
Did I say I hate myself? Because I do. I really, really do.
Ian smiles at me, at my uncharacteristic flustered appearance. Something that should only be present when around Jared. Not around him. But something about his look tells me that he understands.
He understands because, in all actuality, he's going through the same thing.
Ian looks at me and his smile widens. I think he's near about the most adorable thing I've ever seen.
"You hungry?" Ian asks, his eyes so wide and unassuming, and yet there is a slight hint of blush on his cheeks. I'm sure that isn't from the physicality of our work, no matter how much I wish it would be the opposite.
"Yeah." I tell him, trying not to meet his gaze which is so blue, blue, blue and entrancing.
Before I know what's going on, his large hand presses against the small of my back and there is a sudden heat radiating from the spot. It's enough to make me shiver, even in the expansive heat around us.
I don't do anything about his hand. I actually kind of welcome it. I think that makes me an even worse monster than I was before. In a fleeting set of ridiculous thoughts, I wonder how we would look to people who didn't know our situation. Would we look like a couple? Or would we look too mismatched to even be associated with each other in that way?
I tense, almost like I'd been caught doing something far more intimate than now. Because I know that voice, and just hearing it causes my heart to skip and then hammer wildly in my chest. I look over to see that Ian hasn't been affected at all, though his eyes do seem a bit more icy than before.
"Hey, Jared." I smile over towards him. Wanda is by his side, so small and unassuming. Her eyes are innocently looking about. She knows nothing about my strange feelings. She knows absolutely nothing about what I think about her other half when alone. "Wanda."
"Want to go eat?"
"I thought you already ate?" I cock my head to the side.
"Kyle went on ahead…" Jared says, and this next part kills me, "I went to go get Wanda."
No, no, no. This isn't supposed to hurt. You're doing the exact same thing to him, spending time with Ian. Heh, how could I think that I wouldn't be hurt in this? That Jared couldn't possibly be feeling the same thing about Wanda that I do for Ian?
Confusion seems to be the daily state of things here.
"So, do you want to go eat?" Jared eyes me, and I think I may be imagining that sense of challenge in his eyes.
"Sure." I break away from Ian's grasp and walk over to Jared - the one I love - and take his hand almost forcefully. Wanda looks at me strangely, and then makes her way over to Ian, where he bundles her up in the crook of his shoulder.
We all walk toward the dining hall, each with their significant other. It's a strange kind of compromise, I feel. One that must be kept at all costs, or that will be the end of us.
I look down at Jared's hand, intertwined with mine. The feel of his skin on mine always causes my skin to prickle and heat, but the spot on my back where Ian's hand had perched so naturally was still aflame.
I glance over at Ian to find that he's glancing back.
My heart skips slightly, and I find that my breath catches in my throat.
He gives me a kind of strange, lopsided grin, and I look away immediately.
Maybe if I ignore him, it will get better.
But as I hear his laugh, deep and rich and hearty, I know that will not be the case.