10 Years Later

10 Years Later by J. Sterling Read Free Book Online

Book: 10 Years Later by J. Sterling Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. Sterling
    “And have you asked yourself why?”
    Unwrapping the towel from my hair, I reached for my comb and started working through the tangles. “I guess I’m not ready for him to be off the market?” I answered her question with a question as I fought back the emotions growing inside me. “When I think about Dalton, I think about the boy I knew senior year. I still see him as that guy. And in my mind, that guy isn’t married. I guess in my mind that guy still wants to make out with me in the darkroom. I don’t know!” Trying to sort out everything I felt for him was beyond complicated.
    “I do.” She sipped her drink before waggling her eyebrows at me, and my shoulders tensed.
    “You do?”
    “It’s the same reason why I can’t fully get over Bobby,” she said with a sad smile.
    Kristy and Bobby dated for over a year during college, and while she admitted that their relationship wasn’t perfect, she loved him with her whole heart. One day he came over to her apartment and broke up with her. No reason, no explanation, nothing. He just said it was over and he never looked back.
    “And why’s that?” I asked, wondering what my not-real-or-ever-defined-relationship with Dalton possibly had in common with Kristy’s real-life relationship with Bobby.
    “No closure.”
    The words left her mouth and filled the air between us before burrowing into my flesh. I’d never once thought about it that way, so simply. Maybe my inability to get past Dalton had to do with the fact that we had no closure, which was thanks mostly to me.
    Nodding slowly, I admitted, “You might be right.”
    “Listen, you’ve been hung up on the guy since we were freshmen. And then after your dad—” She stopped for a second, and I held my breath as I waited for what she might say next. “Well, he’s the only one you let in after that happened. I mean, aside from me, of course.”
    She half smiled and I did the same. “The two of you hooked up our entire senior year. And then all that shit happened with prom and it never got sorted out. You never let him explain his side, and you never asked him to either. You just avoided him. I don’t think you ever talked to him again after that. So see? No closure. At all.” She hopped back up on top of the bathroom counter and shrugged her shoulders, clearly proud of her analysis.
    “So you’re telling me that you don’t have closure with Bobby?” I asked, clearly trying to change the subject.
    “How could I have any closure with that prick? He broke up with me for no reason! At least give me something I can process, work through, and then get over. Instead, I’m stuck wondering what the hell went wrong, or what I did, but I’m not any closer to an answer. So it just festers. Lingers.”
    She blew out an exaggerated breath before continuing. “It just exists here”—she pointed at her heart—“and here”—she pointed at her head—“and I hate it. And it’s not even like I want him back, that’s not the issue. I just want to move past it, but it’s hard to put something behind you when you don’t have all the pieces of the damn puzzle. And you know how much I hate puzzles.”
    “Makes sense.” I found myself nodding.
    Kristy chuckled. “You think so? ’Cause half the time I think I’m crazy.”
    “Oh no, you’re definitely crazy. But really, it’s pretty logical if you think about it. I guess it makes sense for me and Dalton too.”
    I had to agree, even if part of me didn’t want to believe it entirely. Somewhere deep down I refused to accept that I’d been haunted by one person for this long simply because we didn’t have closure. But what if Kristy was right and it was as easy as that? What if all I’d needed this entire time was to see him so I could close the book on our relationship once and for all?

Let’s Do This
    “You finally ready?” Kristy asked from the other room.
    “I think so. Come in here and make sure my makeup and hair look

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