The next morning, I woke up expecting to see Michael lying next to me. But all I saw when I turned over was the broken guitar standing in the corner of my room.
The events that happened the day before flooded back into my mind, leaving a lump in my throat and a hole in my heart.
I rolled over to the other side and reached for my phone on the bedside table. I was disappointed to see nothing from Michael. He hadn’t called back or replied to any of my messages.
And why would he? I messed up. I ruined something so dear to him because I was dumb and reckless and just.. dumb.
I rolled back onto my back and stared up at the ceiling. It was a dark brown, a contrast to the white ceiling I was accustomed to back at Michael’s place.
As I shut my eyes, I tried to envision what he was doing at that very moment. Was he staring up at the ceiling as well? Was he thinking of me? Or did he have his arm around a girl he’d met at a club the previous night? Was she wearing my clothes? Or did he give her his T-shirt to wear?
I shook my head vigorously to get the thoughts out of my head. They were only going to make me cry again.
Getting out of bed, I got ready to take the guitar to the music shop nearby to get it repaired. Michael had said it wouldn’t be the same, but I did want to try.
Maybe it was my sad attempt at repairing the tear in the bond we had. The tear that I put in it as I did with the guitar.
When I got to the music shop and sheepishly showed the guitar to the woman at the counter, she didn’t laugh like I thought she would have.
Instead, she took it from me and promised that it would be fixed in a couple weeks.
The only problem was the cost. I was still in college and I was already struggling to pay for my tuition. Michael had offered to pay for it but I was already living under his roof and he insisted on buying everything for me. I couldn’t let him pay for my education too.
“Three thousand dollars?” I asked, still not over the repair fees that seemed more expensive than my entire wardrobe.
“I’m sorry, my dear, but this is a Gibson. They are terribly expensive and three thousand is the lowest I can go, I’m afraid.” She told me sympathetically.
I took a deep breath. “I-it’s fine. I can pay you when I come back to collect it, right?” I asked.
She flashed me a warm smile. “Of course. Just leave us your contact information and we’ll get in touch with you when its finished.”
I left my phone number, email address and left after thanking the nice woman.
It was going to be difficult to cover the cost, and it would definitely take a huge chunk out of my savings that I’d set aside for emergencies, but I convinced myself that I would be able to earn everything back if I just took a couple extra shifts.
The next few weeks went by in a blur. Three weeks without any contact with Michael and it was killing me, but I managed to distract myself by taking on extra shifts at work to cover the costly repairs of the guitar.
I also managed to stay off social media, to shield myself from any nasty things the fans might have had to say. I was pretty sure Michael had been photographed with at least three girls and the fans would have definitely figured out that we were no longer together.
That was another thing that was on my mind - Michael didn’t exactly break up with me, but he didn’t make any effort to reply any of my dozen texts or answer any of my calls in the past three weeks, so I had to assume we were done.
My best friend was filled in on what had happened and even came back from her boyfriend’s apartment to stay with me for a couple of days, where she took my mind of Michael with movie marathons and lots of ice cream.
Before I knew it, the lady from the music store had contacted me and I was headed down to collect the newly-restored guitar.
She let me look over it before she packed it nicely in a guitar-shaped cardboard box for me and I was elated to see that it looked good as new.
After thanking her for her service, I drove to Michael’s apartment. I was going to leave the guitar in his room and leave before he got back from the studio. He was usually out until 6pm and it was only 3. I had plenty of time to leave the guitar there and pack some of my things to take back to my own apartment.
When I got there, I let myself in. Looking around the seemingly empty apartment, I was hit with a strong sense of familiarity. Even though it had only been three weeks since I’d left, it’d seemed like an eternity.
My eyes fell over bits and pieces of furniture and clothing that reminded me of Michael. His cut-up shirts lay on the arm of the couch, where he played video games and his VMA moonman and KCA blimp stood on the shelf hanging above the television.
I remembered how happy he was when they won those. He’d called me, bursting with excitement and babbled on about how he couldn’t wait to show them to me.
I decided that I’d better not waste anymore time and I quickly made my way into the room I’d broken the guitar in.
Laying my bag and the cardboard box on the ground, I proceeded to open it, my back to the door.
As I peeled off the tape on either sides of the cardboard box, I didn’t notice the person standing in the doorway.
It was only when he cleared his throat did I jump to my feet and spin around to see who was standing there.
“What are you doing here?” Michael asked.
DUN. DUN. DUN.
I know, I know, cliffhanger AGAIN. But I really like having cliffhangers, its a writing style I really enjoy so you guys are stuck with it!
I hadn’t meant to do it, I just wanted to try it out and Michael was at the studio and wouldn’t be back for hours.
It was just sitting there in the corner, on its stand. I knew how much Michael loved it, he would polish it whenever he had time. He might even have loved it more than he loved me.
That didn’t mean I wanted to break it on purpose!
I was bored and couldn’t wait for him to get home. I didn’t know what I was doing and before I knew it, I was sat on the floor, clutching the broken guitar in my hands.
Not just any guitar. Michael’s first ever acoustic guitar that he kept in one of our extra rooms. He never told me not to touch it, but now I knew it was an unspoken rule. Don’t touch the guitar.
I touched the guitar. I more than touched it. I picked it up and started to strum it. Then I started jumping around the room, mimicking the moves I’d seen my boyfriend do onstage.
I didn’t see the skateboard on the ground. Michael didn’t skateboard, why the hell did we have a skateboard?
I stepped on it.
It gave way.
I held my hands in front of my face instinctively to break the fall, forgetting I had Michael’s guitar in my hands.
I heard it before I saw it. The sickening crack of the wood as my elbow fell through it and pierced a hole in the back.
I had no idea it would be that bad. I ignored the bleeding and splinters on my elbow, too focused on the fact that I’d just ruined Michael’s prized possession.
That was when he found me. He was home early from the studio, and walked into the room to see me standing in the middle of it, holding his broken guitar, blood dripping from my elbow.
Like me, he didn’t pay attention to my arm. His eyes zeroed in on the giant hole where it wasn’t supposed to be on the guitar and he froze for a second before the screams ensued.
“What the fuck did you do?!” He yelled, running forward to snatch the guitar out of my hands.
“I-I didn’t mean to do it, I just wanted to try it out and I fell and I-”
“Why the fuck wouldn’t you take one of my other guitars? Or wait till I got home?” His face was red, his eyes flashing with rage.
“I just.. I didn’t think-”
“That’s right, you didn’t think, you never think! What the fuck is wrong with you?”
I’d never seen him that angry, and I was growing increasingly scared of what he might do with the broken guitar. I was pretty sure he could kill me with just one swing.
I tried telling myself that Michael would never do anything to physically hurt me, but at that moment, Michael didn’t look or sound like Michael.
“I can send it for repairs. I’ll just take it to the-” I tried reaching for the guitar but he swung back and I yelped, putting my arms up to shield myself.
“It won’t be the same!” He screamed, tossing the guitar to the ground, running his hand through his already matted hair in frustration.
“What do you want me to do? I’ll do anything to fix this.” I wanted to walk towards him but was still wary.
The words that came out of his mouth next shocked me. I hadn’t expected them at all.
“Get out.” He said, gritting his teeth.
“What?” I asked, my voice barely above a whisper.
“I said get out! Leave and don’t come back!” He yelled once again, making me flinch back at the look of hatred he shot me.
I sucked in a breath in shock, feeling a huge lump form in my throat. “O-okay..” I agreed softly, making my way out of the room, grabbing the guitar from the ground on my way.
Michael stayed in the room as I grabbed my bag from the couch and left the house, trying my hardest to keep the tears in and ignore the excruciating pain in my elbow as well as my heart.
In the elevator on the way down to my car, I held my hand to my heart, trying to calm myself down. My breaths came out in short pants and my hands were trembling so much I could barely hold onto my things.
I sat in my car, putting the guitar in the backseat and began slowly picking out the splinters from my arm, the tears flowing freely as I couldn’t hold them in any longer.
Once I was calm enough to start my car, I drove to my old place, thanking the heavens that my best friend was staying with her boyfriend as well, which meant I had the place to myself. We mainly used the place as storage for all our belongings since we couldn’t move everything to our boyfriends’ houses.
I set the guitar down by the door, making a mental note to send it to the shop to get it repaired anyway. It stood there, the broken side facing me, reminding me of the horrible thing I’d done. Reminding me of what I’d destroyed.
I spent the next hour picking splinters out of my arm and cleaning my cuts.
Throughout the rest of the day, I couldn’t help but constantly check my phone to see if Michael had texted or called me.
I’d sent multiple texts apologising for what happened but received no response.
That night, I couldn’t sleep.
Like Michael said about the guitar, it just wasn’t the same with a hole where it shouldn’t be. My heart felt the same way. The void that Michael used to fill was now a gaping, black hole that sent me into tears whenever I thought about it.
If you find this familiar, its because its similar to my Calum imagine, Ruined. I’m thinking of making this into some sort of series for the boys - just Y/N ruining something they love and them getting real mad about it I dunno I just really like the plot. They’re not going to have the exact same plot though, they all have different ways of playing out.