“What are you talking about? What did you do?”
If it were anyone else, he would have lied. He would have broken up with her by now. He would have climbed back out the window without so much as a goodbye. He would have been able to tear his eyes away.
Yet, it wasn’t just anyone else. It was Emma. It was her brown eyes pulling him in, her hand squeezing his, and her voice pleading with him to let her inside.
Before he could get the words out, he tilted his face down to hers and couldn’t help but notice how naturally she leaned closer into him. He kissed her slowly, focusing on slightest movements of her fingers on his skin. It wasn’t long before he pulled away, prepared to see the love in her eyes die while the demons inside him lived.
But he suddenly he couldn’t find the words. He wanted so desperately to get them out. Instead he whispered, “I can’t.”
“Dylan…” she said looking not only shocked but hurt. “You’re really gonna keep me in the dark?”
He shrugged, looking away.
“You’re so full of it,” she yelled, jumping out of her own bed. Her parents were sleeping just down the hall, but it looked like that wasn’t stopping her. “You think you know what’s best for me? You think you can protect me? What if Jeff had raped me, huh? Do you think you’d tell me then?”
“Jesus, Emma!” he shouted, anger flaring up inside him at the thought of Jeff even touching her. He stood up too, watching her start to pace back and forth. He was surprised her dad hadn’t come bursting through the door with a baseball bat yet. “He didn’t, okay? And will you keep your voice down?”
“You’re a coward. You’re just as bad as them.”
His stomach dropped at her words. He spent his whole life trying to be nothing like his family. She was right and he knew it, but hearing her say it out loud was a whole new low. “Then why are you with me, huh?”
“I don’t know anymore,” she answered, crossing her arms.
Dylan knew she deserved better than this, and he knew he should make a move to end it. They were headed in that direction so fast; a crash landing was staring them in the face. He was ready to watch everything they’d built fall apart just because he was scared.
“Do you wanna be with me?” she asked making her voice small, pulling him from his thoughts.
Dylan focused on her eyes, shining in the dark, and tried to remember all the reasons it wouldn’t work. But he couldn’t think of anything that’d be worth walking away from her. He reached down to take her hand, “I’ve never wanted anything more.”
“I don’t believe you.” Despite the coldness to her voice, she left her hand in his. “This,” she gestured between the two of them, “is about trust and being honest with each other, and you can’t even give me either of those.”
“Please,” he pleaded, attempting to pull her closer. “Just give me a little time.”
“Get out,” she snapped and leaned forward to shove him.
He stumbled backwards, surprised. “Emma-” he tried to stop her, but she shoved him harder this time. He was so close to spilling everything to get her to stop looking at him like that.
“I said get out,” her voice cracked this time.
Dylan couldn’t look at her as he grabbed his jacket and climbed out the window into the cold, night air. With every step, the regret sunk down onto his lungs. He hadn’t cried since the day he killed his dad. But as he walked down Emma’s street towards nowhere, he choked on the sobs in his throat and stumbled blindly through his tears wishing he wasn’t what everyone thought he was.