I thought he’d always be mine,
even when I was forced to say goodbye.
We were never meant to let go,
but it happened anyway.
Too bad I didn"t know someone was waiting to take my place, or I would’ve held on a lot tighter.
Two years later, we were exactly where we’d always planned to be.
I’d kept my promise.
He’d forgotten all about his.
Not only had he moved on, but the person he’d moved on with was my best friend, leaving me to begin college with a broken heart.
I guess this is the part where I"m supposed to tell you some other guy stepped in, repaired my shattered pieces, and made me smile again.
This isn’t that kind of story.
My heart might have been broken,
but it refused to fall out of love.
WARNING: this book contains cheating.Books by Author:Ella Fields Books
Seven years old
The grass whipped at my ankles, my lungs burned, and tears ran down my cheeks as I ran as fast as my legs would carry me into the field under the cover of a purple, darkening sky.
His voice penetrated my ears, but I didn"t stop. Couldn"t stop. That is, until a hidden ditch betrayed me and sent me tumbling to my butt.
Breathing heavily, I checked my ankle, then groaned, falling backward into the sea of dandelions as his nearing footsteps set the weeds swishing in a soft cadence that had my eyes closing.
I could feel the cool mud, thanks to this morning"s rain, seeping through my leggings and t-shirt. Even though Mama would spit fire at me, I couldn"t bring myself to sit up.
"There you are." His footsteps stopped right next to my head. "Crap, I almost stepped on you."
"Say it, don"t shout it, booger breath. Sheesh." My eyes opened to find Quinn"s face blocking out the last hues of the sunset.
He laughed, then plonked to the ground, laying beside me. I kept my gaze facing upward, watching as night bled the last color of day from the sky, and a few stars started to twinkle into existence.
"What"s wrong"" Quinn asked after a minute. "Is it the rooster""
I sniffed, wanting to lie, but I couldn"t. "Why"d your dad have to do that to him""
"He says you can"t have too many roosters. Causes trouble among the flock." He sighed. "Whatever that means."
"Yeah, but I could"ve taken him home."
Quinn laughed again, and I couldn"t help but smile at the sound. "What" And have it join Frederick" Your mama is already not on good terms with him."
Quinn"s dad reluctantly let me rescue Frederick, the rooster, a few months earlier. He wasn"t exactly friendly or the cuddliest pet, but Mama took one look at the squirming chicken in my arms and my pleading, wet eyes, and said we could keep him until she found it a home. Turns out, no one really needed another rooster in our small town.
Good for me and Fred. Bad for Mama.
Fingers brushed against mine in the grass. I turned my head as Quinn"s warm hand wrapped around my own. "Your mama"s going to be mad you got all muddy when you didn"t need to," I blurted out.
Quinn just smiled, displaying teeth too big for his eight-year-old face. And still, I thought he was the most handsome boy in all of Clarelle. Even when he pulled my ponytail too tight or thought it was funny to make mud pies and throw them at me. "She won"t care when I explain."
"She"ll think I"m a crybaby one of these days." The thought made my heart drop. But I couldn"t help it; I just saw another rooster run around without its head.
I just knew I would have another nightmare when I fell asleep.
"She"d never think that. She"ll call me smitten again and give me that weird look."
My lips twisted to the side, and I watched his long lashes flutter as he kept his eyes steadfast on mine. "What"s smitten mean""
He seemed to think about it for a moment, before shrugging slightly. "Heck if I know. Probably that I"m doing something silly again."
"Did "" I swallowed thickly. "Did the rooster die""
His light brows furrowed. "Yeah, Dais. It"s dead."
Wetness trailed down the side of my cheek, escaping into my messy blond hair.
"Don"t cry." Quinn"s face crumpled, and he squeezed my hand. "Hey, maybe we can bury him""
Sniffling, I asked, "Really" How""
He smiled and let go of my hand, getting up before grabbing it again to help me to my feet. "Come on, I"ll show you."
We raced each other back to the barn, the sky now blanketed in black, and heard Quinn"s mom calling him from the porch of their big ranch-style home.
He hollered, "Two minutes, Mama!"
Grabbing the kid-size shovel from the set he"d gotten last Christmas, he led me over to the willow tree in the back field where our favorite tire swing swung gently in the breeze.
Sitting down, I watched as Quinn struggled to dig, then decided to help him.
I got on my hands and knees, digging at the dirt with my hands until we had a shallow hole that just might be big enough for the poor rooster.
Sitting on the tire swing, I watched as he raced back to the barn, listening to the sound of the crickets chirping while the cool air washed over my flushed cheeks.
He returned five minutes later, telling me to close my eyes. I did, knowing what he was about to pull from the sack in his hands. I heard the dead rooster tumble to the dirt with a thud.
"Okay, want me to cover him up""
Nodding, I opened my eyes but kept them averted while he shoveled the dirt into the hole we"d dug. When he"d finished, I quickly collected some rocks from the nearby creek and placed them in the shape of a star on top of the dirt mound.