You’ve broken my heart.
You’ve broken my heart.
A stream of smoke filtered out of her lips. She watched the shadow of Jenny pass by the front windows of their house. Their house…is it theirs anymore? Shane flicked the cigarette into the street and watched the glowing ember bounce off of the concrete. She had been sitting across the street from the house that she shared with Jenny and Max for hours. Debating on whether she should go inside or not. What would Jenny say, would she say anything at all? Hoping that Jenny would go to bed and that she would be able to sneak in without having to hear “Get out. You don’t live here anymore.” Shane knew she deserved to be kicked out, she would expect it.
You’ve broken my heart.
Those words echoed through her mind over and over.
“Fuck..” Shane whispered through gritted teeth and ran her hands through her tangled hair. Why did I do that? What was I thinking?
I was thinking that I should do what was expected of me. No! That was just a weak cop out. I messed up the one thing I cherished more than anything. I hurt the one person I never wanted to hurt. She lit up another cigarette and blinked as a car pulled in front of their house. It was Tom’s car. She watched as Max leaned over and kissed Tom and then got out of his car. Max smiled as Tom drove away. He caught something shift from the corner of his eye and he turned to look across the street. He saw Shane sitting in the grass with her lean legs pulled up to her chest. His eyebrows scrunched together in confusion, he looked down the street once more after Tom’s car and then he walked over to her.
“Hey, Shane.” Max called out.
“Hey..” Shane said quietly.
“What are you doing over here?” Max asked standing in front of the thin woman.
“Waiting.” She pulled a drag from the cigarette and wrinkled her nose at the bitter taste.
“Waiting? For what?” Max looked behind him and saw that the lights were on in the house still.
“I don’t know.” Shane exhaled the smoke, then hesitated before saying. “I fucked up.”
Max sat down next to Shane and waited for her to explain.
“ I don’t know why I did it? I could give all kinds of bull shit excuses, but that’s all they would be. They would just be excuses.” Shane flicked her cigarette.
“I don’t think I’m following you. Did something happen between you and Molly?”
Shane let out a small laugh. “ Yeah that is just one of the things. I broke it off with Molly, but that was nothing compared to what I did tonight.”
Shane looked at Max. Max who had always been there to listen. Max who was always the one who was so observant and knew things before anyone else. “It can’t be that bad, Shane.”
Before she could stop herself. “ I fucked Niki and Jenny caught us.”
Max’s eyes widened. “Oh…”
“ I have no fucking excuse for what I did, I just did it.”
Max stayed silent.
“And the look on her face…Max it wasn’t like anything I’ve ever seen before. The hurt, the disappointment it was..” Shane’s voice trailed off.
“Have you talked to her?” Max looked up at their house.
“She’s your best friend and this…this is so fucking fucked up.” Max sighed. “This is your way of hurting yourself Shane. Jenny cut herself when she was punishing herself and you sabotage anything that makes you happy. This is your way of punishing yourself.”
“I don’t deserve to be happy, I hurt everyone I touch.” Shane’s voice cracked.
Max put his hand on Shane’s shoulder. “Everyone deserves to be happy, Shane and that includes you. It’s time that you realize that. You aren’t this cold monster that you think everyone expects you to be.”
“All of my friends think…”
“No they don’t. That’s not true.” Max interrupted her.
“Phyllis told me what Bette and Alice really think about me.” Shane said.
“Why would you listen to her? Think for yourself damn it.” Max stared at Shane who was looking at her shoes. “Listen, go stay in the studio tonight and I’ll sleep in your room. Get some sleep and we will figure out what to do in the morning. You are going to have to give Jenny some time.”
“I don’t want to lose my home and I can’t lose Jenny. I can’t.” Shane felt hot tears fall down her cheeks.
“I know…come on.” Max stood up and held out his hand to Shane. Shane looked at his hand and then finally allowed herself to be pulled to stand up.
“Thanks Max.” Shane whispered.
Jenny’s head swirled to the sound of the back door opening. Her stomach did somersaults until she realized it was Max coming in and not Shane. Her onyx hair down from the bun she had worn for the wrap party, but she still wore the black dress. Max thought she looked so tiny sitting on the couch with the billowing skirt of her dress surrounding her like a black cloud.
“Hi.” Max said carefully.
Jenny reached up and wiped tears away with both of her hands. “ Hi Max, I thought you were Shane.”
Max set his keys on the table in the kitchen and walked slowly into the living room. “No, she’s in the studio.”
Jenny’s childlike eyes glossed over again and tears slipped down her pale cheeks. “Is she?”
Max only nodded. They stared at each other for what seemed hours, but was really minutes.
“She told you.” Jenny said, it wasn’t a question.
“Yeah.” Max sat down on the other end of the couch. “ Do you want to talk about it?”
Jenny shook her head no and patted down the skirt of her dress.
“Ok.” Max stood up and started to walk towards Shane’s room.
“I can’t believe it.” Max sat back down. “She just has no fucking heart. We had this huge talk that night that I was fired from the movie and she said that she was my best friend, that she would …I trusted her. During that talk I realized…”
Jenny started to sob and just held her small hands over her eyes. Max leaned over and placed his hands on Jenny’s knee, attempting to comfort her. He was patient allowing her to take her time. When the sobs slowed a bit, Max asked quietly, “What did you realize?”
Jenny looked up and tucked her hair behind her ears. “ I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.” The sobs came again, Jenny gasping for air between. “I just never…who gives a fuck, huh? She didn’t, she didn’t care at all. Oh god..my heart is just aching.” Jenny looked up at Max. "Does that sound stupid?"
Max shook his head quickly."No Jen."
Jenny clutched at her chest and then moved to lay her head in Max’s lap. Max put an arm over Jenny’s shoulder and rocked the small woman slowly, petting her head. He stayed there with Jenny for the rest of the night whispering soft words of comfort, knowing he was not the one who could make this better, that only Shane would be able to do that. He only hoped that it was not impossible now.
Shane lay on her side, breathing quietly, she heard a shuffle behind her and she quickly rolled over to look at what had made the sound. She wiped her eyes at the sight of the woman sitting on Max’s weight bench. The woman stared back at her with a frown on her face, chocolate colored hair pulled up and her cobalt dress shifted as she crossed her legs.
“Molly?” Shane said squinting her eyes.
Molly nodded and stood up. “Jesus Christ Shane. What the hell were you thinking? I guess I shouldn’t ask that, you just don‘t seem make the right judgment calls these days. What do you think Paige?”
Molly looked over at the tall woman, who leaned against the window. Paige crossed her arms over her chest and smirked. She shook her head, her blonde hair moving with each motion.
“The whole thing was brainless yes, surprising no.” Paige sighed. “Have you thought of seeing a therapist for all of your abandonment issues. Wait! Is what Shane has called abandonment issues, if she is the one who abandons people, Carmen?”
Shane jumped when she saw Carmen sitting on Max’s bed, still beautiful in her white wedding dress, she laid down her bouquet on the bed. “No I don’t think so Paige. I’m not sure what they call that.”
Carmen looked over at Shane. “What’s your assessment, Shane?”
Shane backed up into the corner of the bed, pulling the sheets up to her chin. “What are you doing here?”
“We thought maybe we could give you a reality check.” Paige said moving over to Molly.
“Or we could always hit you in the head with a brick. Maybe that would dislodge whatever you have stuck in your mind, that makes you have this distorted view of who you think you need to be.” Molly said.
Carmen stood up and nodded. “ Yeah a brick could work or maybe a crowbar.”
Paige picked up a dumbbell. “One of these could work.”
Shane held up her hands fast. “OK NO ONE IS HITTING ME WITH ANYTHING!”
Paige put down the dumbbell. “ Oh fine.”
“Listen Shane, you gotta stop doing this to people who love you…and yourself or it’s going to be a very lonely life for you.” Carmen said quietly.
“I deserve to be lonely.” Shane muttered.
Molly rolled her eyes. “Oh please, enough with the self pity bull shit. You need to get some balls and for once deal with that demon in your head.”
“You need to start with Jenny. Make this right, she loves you.” Carmen started to fiddle with her veil and then finally took it off, throwing it over to Paige.
“How?” Shane asked. “I mean I love her too, but if I were her I don’t think I would forgive me.”
Paige threw the veil in the garbage and walked up behind Carmen. “She doesn’t know ladies.”
“Know what?” Shane said looking at each of the women.
“Talk to Jenny and you’ll see.” Paige said and then faded away.
“And stop being such a dumb fuck.” Molly said as she disappeared.
“What if she won’t talk to me?” Shane said to Carmen.
“Then you keep trying until she does. Find a way to make this right, for once. Don‘t run, stay and face your mistake.” Carmen smiled softly.
Shane’s eyes snapped open and she sat up suddenly, looking around the studio. She continued to stare around the room waiting for one of her exes to pop up again. Then took in a deep breath when she understood that she had been dreaming. She looked around once more before laying back down.
Author's Chapter Notes:
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