Friday, November 18, 2016

Free Fic: New and Improved

"New and improved! Get super silky hair with a special formula that heals damaged hair."

Yes, Erica thought, but can it heal a damaged heart?

The commercial ended, moving on to another one selling vacuum cleaners, and Erica covered herself with her green and blue afghan as she snuggled deeper into the sofa. She used the remote to flip through the stations on the tv. Lots of interesting shows were on, but she didn't want to watch any of them. She wanted something comforting.

Erica sniffled. She wasn't feeling very comforted at the moment. Janelle had been very gentle and very kind, but also very direct, in saying that she didn't want to date Erica anymore.

Part of Erica thought she was being ridiculous. It had only been three months. It wasn't a lifetime wasted. She'd had fun and been flying on cloud nine for three months. But it wasn't as if she had incredibly deep feelings for Janelle. She had really, really hoped there would be more, though.

Erica flipped through more stations and then turned the tv off. In the quiet, she felt suddenly very alone.

Was there something wrong with me? Erica knew in heart there wasn't, but asking the question was like probing a wound. She couldn't seem to stop doing it. Anguish gathered in her chest and Erica closed her eyes.

There hadn't been anything wrong. They'd had a blast together. They'd eaten out at restaurants, gone dancing in clubs, taken in a few concerts, and even driven out of the city to go hiking on one super pleasant day. They hadn't seriously argued, just a little squabbling. They'd had interesting conversations. They'd even been able to share shoes.

It had felt--

Erica sat up straighter. It hadn't felt very much like dating.

It definitely felt more like friends. Sisters, even.

Erica didn't have a sister, but she had grown up with plenty of friends who did, and she was familiar with the wide range of dynamics. She'd always been on the outside looking in, wishing she did have a sister, so she'd paid a lot of attention.

Well, crap.

Erica spent a moment to search her heart. She had a desperate fondness for Janelle, a burgeoning love, but it wasn't romantic. And it certainly wasn't sexual. In three months, they hadn't been celibate, but neither had the drive seemed imperative. Not like other, past relationships.

Erica pushed the afghan off to the side. Her heartbreak was transforming inside her chest into something else entirely. Anger. And a lot of pique.

How come she hadn't realized this earlier? How come she was so dense?

Erica got off the couch. She stomped into her bedroom.

Stupid. Stupid. She was wasting her time crying on the couch. Crying over what? Janelle?

Erica scoffed. She'd go talk to Janelle later. Maybe next week or next month. They were obviously very suited for each other, just not in the romantic relationship sort of way.

Right now, Erica had better things to do than wallow on the couch. There was that super cute girl at the gym that she'd been flirting with before Janelle came into her life and put that on hold, and there was a brainy sort of girl who often came to the coffee shop and read books with titles in foreign languages.

Erica glanced at her wardrobe. Pencil skirt, silky blouse, and suede boots to go to the coffee shop? Or running tights, tank top, and sneakers to go to the gym?

Erica reached for her sneakers. She could use a good work out.

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