Imagine... Just A Little Bit of Your Heart
[inspired by this]
“Why do you do this to yourself?” your best friend, Audrina, asked you rhetorically over the phone. Her voice showed irritation. After all, it’s the same problem you’ve been having for the last seven months. You stared blankly at the wall as if the answer was scribbled onto it, shrugging like Audrina could see you. You, yourself, didn’t know the answer to that question. “Hello?” Audrina asked, “Are you still there?”
“Yeah,” you replied, “I’m still here.”
“Look,” Audrina began to say, “As your best friend, I feel obligated to say this. Your relationship is toxic. It’s so damaging and Calum is not worth it. Don’t you see, he doesn’t care about you?” You remained quiet so Audrina continued, “If he really loved you, Y/N, he would be home with you and not in clubs with other girls.”
You didn’t know how it all started. But somewhere down the line, the Calum you once knew and loved, had changed. He changed into the person who partied in clubs until three in the morning and stumbled home drunk, passed out on the living room floor. More than twice had Calum admitted to cheating on you. But you couldn’t let him go. Audrina was right. It was a toxic relationship. A relationship you swore to yourself you would never stay in. So why were you fighting so hard to keep Calum when clearly, he was waiting for you to set him free.
“I love him, Audrina,” you whispered into the phone.
Audrina let out a short laugh. “Where have I heard that before? Y/N, why do you love someone who doesn’t love you? All he ever does is hurt you. And I bet my right arm, it’s intentional.”
You rolled your eyes and scoffed it off. You refused to admit it. You heard the lock turn on your front door. “It’s Calum,” you said quickly, “He’s home. I’ll call you later.” Without a second to spare, you shut your phone off and turned off the lights. You crawled hurriedly under the sheets and pretended to be asleep.
Within a minute Calum stepped into the bedroom and the smell of cigarettes and alcohol quickly filled the room. You shuffled around, pretending to wake, as Calum made some noise as he took off his shoes and changed out of his jeans. “Calum?” you tried to sound as sleepy as possible, “Is that you?”
“Yeah, it’s me,” he answered before crawling into bed beside you. “Sorry I woke you.”
“It’s okay,” you kept your eyes shut. You found a comfortable position with your back against Calum. He nuzzled his head between your neck and laid his arm over your stomach. He fell asleep almost immediately.
Morning came too soon. You couldn’t remember at what point you dozed off. All you remember was thinking about what Calum could have been doing before he came home. Where he was. Who he was with. It was the same questions that haunted you every night. But you never bothered to ask.
The sunshine beamed through the curtains and you wiped the sleep from your eyes. Calum was gone. You spent a couple more moments in bed before heading out into the kitchen. You were surprised to see Michael sitting on a stool by the island with a bowl of cereal in front of him.
“What are you doing here?” you asked him.
His head shot up from his food and gave you an apologetic smile, “I was supposed to hang out with Calum today but he…had other plans.”
“So instead you stick around and eat our cereal?”
He shrugged, “I haven’t had breakfast.”
You gave him a half smile before reaching up at the cupboard to grab yourself a bowl. “Eat as much as you want,” you told Michael, “Calum rarely eats our food. He’s always out.” You looked at Michael, waiting for his reaction, but he avoided your gaze, feeling guilty. You were a few bites into your cereal when you noticed Calum’s phone was left on the counter. “He left his phone here,” you observed. “Do you know where he could have gone?”
Michael just shook his head. You reached for the phone and clicked the unlock button. The wallpaper that used to be you and him was replaced by a boring default photo. You had seen Calum type in his passcode several times. You felt a sudden urge to look through his phone, something you promised yourself you wouldn’t do. You said: “I won’t be that kind of girlfriend.”
“Can I ask you something, Michael?”
“Sure,” he said, slowly regretting it. He was Calum’s best friend. If there anyone who could read Calum better than you could, it was Michael. But even then, it seemed like Michael was slowly starting to fall out of the loop.
“Is Calum cheating on me, again?” you asked Michael. You tried to prepare your heart for the answer. Calum had cheated on you before. But every time always felt the the first time. It wasn’t something one could get used to.
Michael shrugged again, “Honestly, Y/N, I don’t know anymore. Calum hasn’t been acting normal lately.”
“Oh,” was all you could say.
Michael stopped drawing circles in his cereal with his spoon and looked at you with a serious face. His green eyes stared you down, trying to read you. The beautiful smile you put on to mask your broken heart might have worked on your family, your boss, your friends, or your neighbors — but not Michael. “You deserve better,” Michael said bluntly. “Calum is my best mate but he doesn’t deserve you. I don’t know what’s gotten into him but he’s gone off the tracks. No girl should stay with a guy who’s cheated on her twice. And that’s just based off what he said. What if there’s other times you don’t know about?”
You felt Calum’s phone tug at your heart, pulling you to look into it. What were you hoping to find? Photos of him with other girls? If there were, what could you do? What would be the objective in snooping through his phone?
Calum’s phone rang and an unknown number showed up. You pushed it towards Michael. “Answer it.”
Michael took the phone and answered the call, putting it on speaker. “Hello?”
“Michael?” the voice on the other line sounded like it belonged to Calum.
“Hey, you left your phone here,” Michael stated.
There was noise in the background. Music and chatter. High pitched voices and laughter. “I know,” Calum was talking loudly over all the noise surrounding him, “I’m at the beach club with a few girls. I thought I lost my phone somewhere here.”
Michael shot you an “I’m sorry you heard that” look. “No,” he told Calum, “it’s at your house.”
“Hey man, if you wanna come here, I think one of the girls could get you in,” Calum said. “Maybe we can take these girls to your place later.”
You noticed Michael’s grip on the phone tighten. “You have a girlfriend, Calum.”
“Then what the hell are you doing?” Michael’s voice was rising.
Calum chuckled, “Look man, I called to check on my phone and ask if you wanna come join me. I didn’t call for a lecture.”
“You need one!” Michael was yelling now. “You wouldn’t know loyalty if it slapped you right in the face! Your girlfriend is at home waiting for you every day and all you know how to do is abandon her.”
“I’m gonna hang up,” Calum warned.
“Before you do,” Michael spoke slowly, “Answer me this: Do you still love her?”
The line disconnected.
You didn’t know how to feel. You lost all emotion. It was like your blood stopped circulating. You organs stopped functioning and your heart stopped beating. It felt like your entire body shut down. Your mind was blank. Numbness ran through you. And it felt good. It felt good to finally feel nothing.
You didn’t feel pain. You didn’t feel anger. You didn’t feel sorry. You felt nothing.
To Calum, you were nothing.
Calum had you under a lock. He loved you so hard only to let you fall. He instilled in you a yearning for his love. A little bit of his heart. You stayed because you craved the love the two of you once had. It was electrifying. Captivating. Exciting. It made you feel alive. Deep down you were hoping to rekindle that love, to bring everything back to the way it was. But it wasn’t going to happen.
Things were different and none of you were the same. And you were a fool. A fool so madly in love she was willing to drown when she knew how to swim, only to feel something.