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   I knocked on the door lightly before entering. I saw a figure curled into a large ball on the bed. Slowly, I crept in. I was wondering where Jace was, of course. He hadn’t left her side before. It’d been hours since I’d left Ava, and I wanted to apologize for disturbing her sleep.

               I also wanted to continue our conversation, which we had started- before we were so rudely interrupted.

               I left the door open just a crack, moving towards the bed. Ava… I couldn’t see her face. Her long brown hair fell in a curtain of layers against her face. Her face- which was right next to Jace’s.

               I gasped, my heart tearing to shreds. My chest felt empty and hollow. The pain was unbearable.

               Quietly, I hurried out the door, closing it securely behind me. Is this… Jealousy? I’ve never been jealous of anything in my life. Just when I think I’ve gained her trust, she goes and betrays me, I thought.

                But how can she betray you? In her mind, I’m sure she did nothing wrong, the other side of my brain offered. I protested, “Oh, it was wrong.”

               When I was back in my room, I began nervously scratching at my arms. Tears were threatening. She looks so beautiful, so peaceful, when she’s asleep, I though, pinching my arm. I needed to feel pain, to distract myself from her. I ground my teeth together, my head spinning. I glanced down at my arms. Oh, look. I’ve drawn blood, I thought with a sigh.

               Blackness crept into my vision when I blinked next, then more the next time, and so on. I felt the softness of my wooden floor as my head exploded in pain.

                Soft… my mind insisted.


   My eyelids fluttered open, and I gasped, flinching away from Jace. His eyes opened at the same time, surprising me. His smile was lazy. He stretched out his arms. I sighed, trying to slow my heart rate.

               “Morning,” he whispered. His eyes hinted at laughter. 

               I rolled my eyes and pushed his shoulder back. “Shut up.”

               “You look beautiful,” he said. I ran my fingers through my hair.

               “Oh, nonsense. I’m a mess,” I insisted.

               He shrugged. “Nah, you look fine. I think Victoria left a brush in the bathroom along with some face wash and-“


               She was already in the bathroom, the water running. “Ok-ay,” I breathed. I pulled on black dress pants and a blue button-down shirt. “I’ll be in the restaurant in the lobby. You know where I’m talking about, right?” I called to Ava.

               “Yea, sure!” I heard her yell back.

               I pushed open the door, still somewhat nervous she would be lost or…something… while I was downstairs.

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