Ryan’s New Beginning

I stepped out into the porch and breathed deep. The air smelt like a new start. I was content. I’d successfully left Derek Walters and all that he ignited in me behind. I was free from him here. Finally.

Derek had not only been my best friend in the world for ten years, he’d been my entire world. I Loved him like no one person should ever love another. If he called, I answered; he said “jump” I said “how high.” Our relationship was the stuff of legends. Whenever I’d meet his lady friends they’d all say to me “oh my gosh, you’re Ryan! I’ve heard so much about you!” We were often mistaken for boyfriends by every bartender, waitress and theatre usher we encountered.

It was a painful bliss, though. I carried this deep crush for Derek around with my like a loadstone on my heart. He couldn’t see, or at least I thought he couldn’t see what I was carrying deep down. It wasn’t until Ashley entered the picture that things boiled over.

He started bringing Ashley around about a year ago, and when I say “bringing around” I mean he brought me on their dates and vice versa. Ashley is sweet, I do enjoy her, but I also wanted to see her fall off a cliff. I wanted to rip out her eyes and ruin her hair, my jealousy consumed me, quietly. Every time I saw them kiss or cuddle or laugh or hold hands I’d nearly puke with envy.

A few months ago, they sat me down, showed me the ring and told me they’d set a date. I felt my stomach bounce off the floor. I dreamt of stabbing Ashley with a steak knife. I became a person I didn’t know. Irritable, short, and constantly haunted by how much I loved Derek.

Maybe if he knew. Maybe if I just opened up it would help.

So I took him out to dinner and just spewed everything that sat on my heart. I tore open my chest and let him see my heart thumping his name.

When I was finished with my protestations of love, he looked at me bemused. He leant in an said “thank you for saying all of that. It means a lot.” Here it is, here’s when he lets me down easy. Okay, this is probably what I needed, this is what I need to hear.

“And you’re right,” Derek continued, “we are in love. This is a romance between us. We’re in a relationship. It just happens that I am straight right now and also in a romantic situation with Ashley, but, you’re right, we are in love.” And then the sick bastard took my hands in his and kissed them.

What the hell was I supposed to do with this information? And what the hell kind of an answer was that? My thoughts were a cyclone of confusion and frustration that swarmed around my head like angry bees. I was driven mad with conflicting emotions for days.

The day I received theirs save the date was the day I decided to move. I wouldn’t tell Derek, I just wanted to quietly remove myself from that nonsense; third wheel stories don’t interest me all that much. So I moved three towns over.

Now here I am! A new beginning! A new home! A new sense of self.

Oh! A moving van next door! Looks like the people next door are after new beginnings too! Is that? Oh my God. No, it couldn’t be. Son of bitch, it is.

Derek and Ashley are moving in next door...

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