Chapter 5.14: Beauty From Pain (Pt. 1)

Chapter 5.14 Beauty From Pain (Pt. 1)
A/N: The song for this chapter is Beauty From Pain by Superchick. As might be deduced given the ending of the previous chapter and the song I chose, you’re in for quite a ride, heh. On that note, this chapter picks up directly from the last one (remember I said they flowed together as one mega chapter), so make sure you’ve read that one before picking up on this one.

Also, I posted this chapter in two parts because it’s pretty long and because it was easier on my poor lagging WordPress to do it that way. It also gives you the option to choose to read it in parts yourself, or all in one sitting, haha. Depending on when you’re reading this though, Pt. 2 may not be up–if it isn’t at the time that you’re reading it, know that it will be posted soon 😛

Enjoy and bear with me all. I’ve been so busy! o_o;;

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The lights go out all around me

“Hello, gorgeous.”

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I let out a scream, the syrupy sweet voice sending a sharp stab of terror racing up my spine, but it was hopelessly muffled by Brandon’s hand clamping firmly over my mouth—just like in the nightmares that ravaged me night after night.

When Melanie had said I had an important visitor I’d never imagined—couldn’t imagine—

I began to sob; short, hysterical cries that I absolutely no control over. I could feel the fanged-beasts within my mind flapping their great, black wings in victory as they dove at me with gnashing teeth and tore me to shreds. I could barely breathe.

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He let go of me, turning me around and keeping me in place with his hand wrapped firmly around my wrist. “What the hell’s the matter with you?” Brandon exclaimed as I desperately tried to free myself. He grabbed my other wrist, backing me up against the wall and pinning me there so that I could no longer move.

Another sob escaped my throat. “Stop! Let go of me!” I cried. “Please!”

Brandon’s ginger eyebrows shot up, a somewhat amused smile pulling at the corners of his lips as he looked down at me. “Now, now, is that anyway to treat your boyfriend, especially when I’ve come all this way to surprise you? I don’t know, gorgeous, haven’t I had enough abuse? You’ve been avoiding me for months.”

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One last candle to keep out the night

“You are not my boyfriend!” I shouted, sickened by the mere thought.

His eyebrows remained raised, but the smile that’d been there a moment before faded, his mouth pulling into a thin, grim line. “So that’s your game, is it then?” he asked in a low, unamused voice. “Fuck ‘em and dump ‘em?”

“What?!” I exclaimed in horror, renewing my efforts to free myself. “You—I—I never wanted—” I panted.

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Don’t say you didn’t want it,” Brandon interjected with a hiss, slamming the wall next to my head and tightening the grip he still had on my right wrist. His light green eyes flashed dangerously, reminding me keenly of a Venus flytrap entrapping its prey with a vicious snap. I let out a pained whimper, tears streaming freely down my face.

“You agreed,” he continued, his face so close to mine that I could feel his moist breath. “You liked it too, don’t say that you didn’t. You kissed me…you gave into me…and you enjoyed it,” he chuckled, and then leaned in to claim his catch.

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And then the darkness surrounds me

I wrenched my head to the side, fresh tears spilling from my eyes when his lips met my cheek instead. He clapped his hand over my mouth again, forcing my eyes back to his. “Hey!” he barked. “I did you a favor you ungrateful bitch! You had no one and I kept you company—your only friend. You owed me and you wanted to repay me for my kindness.”

I wanted to say no, I wanted to tell him he was wrong, but his hand was pressed firmly against my mouth and the fanged-creatures were flying at me again. I shut my eyes tightly, trying to drive them and his poisonous words out of my head. He was trying to mess with me—trying to twist everything! He’d pretended he was a friend—pretended to care only to take advantage of me as soon as he could! Nothing he was saying was true. He was awful, nothing but the worst kind of awful!

Shut him out, Jo. Shut him out, shut him out!

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The door abruptly flew open. I felt my heart leap with hope, but Brandon took my moment of distraction to crush his lips to mine, causing the darkness within my mind to swallow me up and my stomach to give a nauseated turn. Whoever was in the doorway froze.

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The taste of bile rose in my mouth and I kicked out frantically, gaining enough space to bring my boot right into his shin. Brandon let out a curse as his weight buckled underneath him.

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I know I’m alive, but I feel like I’ve died

I seized the opportunity to scramble away, shouting at him through renewed tears, “You’re wrong! You took what you wanted! I told you ‘no’!” The back of my boots bumped into the decorative fountain, halting my steps. I covered my face with trembling hands, trying to calm the hysteria that threatened to consume me.

“Oh face it, Jade,” Brandon taunted, his face twisted with pain from his aching leg, “you’re nothing but a fuckin’ wh—”

“Don’t you DARE finish that sentence you SICK son of a bitch!”

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I jumped in fright upon hearing the livid shout, taking my hands away from my face and then gasping at the sight before me.

Gabriel had Brandon pinned against the wall with his forearm pressed hard against his throat, his other hand clenched tightly in a fist. Brandon let out a strangled gasp, clearly struggling to breathe.

For a moment I simply stared, completely in shock. The shout hadn’t even sounded like Gabriel, nor, I realized with a start, did he even look like himself; his russet eyes had darkened into deepest shades of taupe and a furious look was etched upon his normally calm face. Brandon, meanwhile, was beginning to turn an unsettling shade of purple.

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“Gabriel….” I said weakly. He gave me the briefest of glances before gritting his teeth and loosening his hold. Brandon took in a huge breath of air, coughing and backing away.

“What the fuck, man?!” he choked out, rubbing his throat.

“I should be saying the same thing to you,” Gabriel shot back darkly, his hands balled into fists by his sides.

Brandon looked from him, to me, and then let out a short bark of laughter. “Oh, I see,” he said in sudden realization. “Pop princess Jade is dating her sound guy. God, that’s funny. That’s really fucking funny.” He let out another quick laugh, shaking his head and glancing at Gabriel. “Yeah well, you have fun with my sloppy seconds there, man, like I tried to say earlier, she’s a fuckin’ wh—”

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WHAM! Gabriel’s fist collided with the side of Brandon’s face so fast that if I’d blinked, I’d have missed it. I let out a startled scream, watching as Brandon fell to the ground from the sheer force of the punch.

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I told you,” Gabriel began with a growl before descending upon Brandon again, “NOT to finish that fucking sentence!” he shouted and then punched him again.

“Get OFF me you—”

“I BET THAT’S WHAT JOANNE SAID BEFORE YOU FUCKING FORCED YOURSELF ON HER ISN’T IT!? ISN’T IT!?”

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And all that’s left is to accept that it’s over

The door flew open again, only this time it was Melanie, a blonde security guard and, to my surprise, Ryan, who took one look at Gabriel, cursed, and ran over to him.

“What the hell’s going on here?!” Melanie shrieked, but no one seemed to pay her any mind because they were too distracted by the two men grappling on the floor.

“Stop, Gabriel!” Ryan exclaimed.

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Gabriel didn’t seem to have noticed that anyone else had entered the room though, instead shouting, “I swear if you ever even think about going near Joanne again I’ll break more than your nose you sick fuck!”

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“Come on,” Ryan urged again, yanking his friend back now. I half-expected Gabriel to hit him, so furious he seemed in that moment, but instead he backed off, breathing heavily as he allowed himself to be led away. Brandon rolled onto his side, groaning and holding his nose, which was bleeding heavily.

“Back off,” Ryan snapped at the security guard who immediately came up to them. “It’s the one on the ground you want.”

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“I beg to differ!” Melanie cut in shrilly, pointing at Gabriel with a shaking hand. “That man attacked Mr. Hart!”

“Didn’t you hear the shouting?!” Ryan bit back incredulously. “Brenda attacked Joanne first—Gabriel reacted, now back off,” he added firmly. The security guard had been inching toward them again.

Melanie made spluttering noises while the blonde man frowned, seeming confused as to who was telling the truth, but when he caught my brief nod of confirmation he hurried over to Brandon, who was trying to scramble to his feet and make a break for it.

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It was difficult to pay attention to the chase though because I kept glancing over at Gabriel, who now looked positively sick to his stomach. Ryan said something to him and he responded in a low hiss, which seemed to launch a hushed argument between them. I couldn’t make out a word they were saying because Brandon was shouting nonsense about “false accusations” and “abuse” while Melanie was calling him an “idiot” who had “done everything wrong.” I might have paid their conversation more attention at that point, but Gabriel suddenly lost his temper again, kicking the armchair next to him and inadvertently distracting everyone.

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“It’s just like last time!” he shouted.

“No, it’s not! Look!” Ryan replied loudly, gesturing over at me. “She’s okay! Joanne is okay. Do you see that? It’s not like last time! You prevented it! You helped her!”

Gabriel ran his hands roughly through his chestnut hair, seeming not to have heard his friend. “It’s like I’m fuckin’ cursed or something!”

“You don’t believe in curses,” Ryan hastened to remind him.

“Well I don’t know now!” he yelled in response, looking as frustrated as ever. Ryan said something else to him that I couldn’t quite make out and Gabriel shook his head, looking as if he was breaking apart. My heart gave a painful lurch and I moved to go to him, but Ryan caught my eye and gave his head an almost imperceptible shake. I halted mid-step, watching as he led Gabriel out of the room, voices hushed so that once again I could not make out the words.

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“Real winner you chose there,” Brandon said with a sneer, his arm wrenched behind his back by the massive security guard, who looked none too pleased with his prisoner’s escape attempt.

“Shut UP!” I shouted, and then kicked him in the side.

“Hey!” Melanie interjected as Brandon let out a cry of pain. “Don’t—”

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“Don’t you fucking tell me what to do!” I cut her off with a shriek, rounding on her. “Don’t you EVER again tell me what to fucking do!”

Melanie gaped like a particularly stupid tuna as she tried to think of a response, but I didn’t even give her the chance to speak before I raced out the door in search of Gabriel.

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Neither he, nor Ryan, however, were anywhere in sight.

* * * *

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My dreams ran like sand through the fists that I made

“I need to talk to you.”

It was late when I received the text from Gabriel, the sun having long disappeared beyond the horizon. I walked along the snow-coated sand, my heart beating hard in my throat as I trekked down the slope to the shoreline, where we’d agreed to meet up. The text was innocent enough on its own, and I was glad that I’d finally heard from him, but it filled me with a sense of foreboding that I could not shake off no matter how hard I tried to reassure myself that everything was fine.

“Shit!” I hissed as I nearly slipped, wind-milling my arms to catch my balance. My heart raced now, adrenaline coursing through my veins. I took in a steadying breath, slowing down my pace. The weather had warmed a little today, causing the previously hard snow to soften and making travel that much more dangerous. My sense of foreboding grew greater still.

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When I first made it to the bottom of the hill I didn’t see Gabriel at all, but as I scanned the shoreline I found him silhouetted by the water, staring out to sea. I stuck my hands into my pockets, trying to keep them from trembling as I made my way over to him. As I neared, I realized that he could probably hear me approaching, but he kept his gaze fixed upon the water, languidly smoking a cigarette.

I blinked, unable to decide what about the scene was the most unsettling. I’d never seen him smoke before….

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Letting out a breath, I came to stand beside him, but still he said nothing. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing up, my palms beginning to sweat. I wiped them on the insides of my gloves, trying to think of something to say. The only statements that came to mind though were ones regarding the health risks of smoking and I had the distinct feeling that was the last thing that Gabriel wanted to hear right now.

Still, I had to say something, so finally I settled on: “I didn’t know you smoked.”

Gabriel’s jaw clenched, his first acknowledgement at all that I was present. “I don’t—typically,” he answered quietly. He brought the cigarette to his lips again. His right hand looked like it was hurting him. I looked away, my gaze now on the ocean. Tiny, frothing waves were creeping their way up the coast before being pulled back out again by the relentless, gravitational tug of the moon. Words eluded me once again.

“I apologize for my behavior earlier,” he added after a time, sounding much too formal.

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“Don’t be,” I said quickly. “Your friend was right—you saved me. You got him away from me.”

“You seemed to be doing okay,” he remarked, his voice sounding for a moment like himself.

I smiled a little at the memory of bruising Brandon’s shin. Apparently I’d kicked him so hard that I’d even broken the skin. “I kicked him again, you know, after you left,” I said triumphantly.

Gabriel smiled faintly, but it soon disappeared, a deep sullenness returning to his features. “He hurt you before,” he tried to ask, but the words came out as a statement. I nodded regardless, absently kicking at some snow.

“Your nightmares?” he guessed; this time asking as he glanced over at me for the first time.

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I try to keep warm, but I just grow colder

I nodded again, my eyes burning. “That night,” I told him in a hushed voice. “The night you found me…when you called my dad.” I hugged myself, feeling cold. Although it had warmed up a little, an icy mist still hung in the air, chilling me thoroughly.

He winced, looking back out to sea. His hands seemed to be shaking now. “God,” he whispered.

I glanced up at him, my palms growing sweaty again despite the temperature. “You…knew someone?” I started haltingly, remembering his words to Ryan earlier. “Someone who…who’d been….” I trailed off as Gabriel tensed up beside me, glancing at him anxiously.

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He took a pull from his cigarette and then breathed out slowly, gray tendrils of smoke escaping his mouth and floating upward in the night. If he’d looked pained before, the look on his face now could only have been described as ‘tortured’. My stomach gave an uneasy twist as a feeling of regret washed over me. I shouldn’t have asked.

“Yes,” he answered stiffly. “My wife….” He cleared his throat and then corrected, “My late wife.”

I let out a breath I hadn’t known I’d been holding, but I didn’t even have time to process this information because Gabriel was speaking again, his voice as subdued as ever, gaze transfixed on the horizon.

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“We were married straight out of high school, you know, but it only lasted two years before she left to go home one night and found her way interrupted by a sick group of bastards who raped her, slit her throat, and left her half-naked in the back alley of a decrepit Thai restaurant. It was over five years ago, but it still feels like it was yesterday.” He threw his cigarette into the snow, stamping it out with the toe of his shoe.

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“Her name was Daisy,” he said then, anguish marking his every feature, “and I can’t let it go. I can’t let her go.”

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I feel like I’m slipping away

My heart seemed to have detached, sinking low in my chest and occasionally giving out a dull pulse. Everything made so much more sense now, but the truth of it all was so disquieting that I almost found myself wishing I hadn’t learned it. I struggled to find the right words to say—‘I’m sorry’ felt so pathetic. I could not even begin to fathom his pain.

“God, this really isn’t fair to you, is it?” he whispered brokenly.

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I froze, eyes locked on the small, helpless waves attempting to inch back up the shore. I did not know what to make of this ominous pronouncement. “What are you saying?” I asked in a hushed voice.

“I’m saying that…that I don’t know if I can do this anymore,” Gabriel clarified in a strangled voice, running a hand roughly through his hair. “And it—it has nothing to do with anything that happened today or before. I’ve been thinking this. I—” He glanced over at me, looking more anxious than I’d ever seen him. “Christ….Joanne, whenever I’m with you I feel…happy, but I also feel so goddamned guilty and that’s so fucked up—so unfair to you. So…wrong.”

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It was as if a black hole had suddenly opened up inside me, hastily crushing every fiber of my being. I was all too familiar with this destructive train of thought. I turned toward him, hot tears already blurring my vision.

“Don’t,” I whispered through the lump in my throat. “It’s not. It’s…it’s understandable, Gabriel. Don’t give up on this. Please don’t. I—I told you, I can go slowly. I can give you space, I can—”

“Joanne,” Gabriel interrupted sadly, looking at me with a dismayed expression on his face. “Do you even hear yourself? It’s all so unreasonable.”

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“No it isn’t!” I blurted out, stepping forward and grabbing onto his arm. “It isn’t unreasonable at all because—because I love you, Gabriel!” I admitted with a sob. “I love you so much!”

The look that he gave me following my confession was so tragic that I felt everything in me shatter to pieces, making it that much easier for the black hole to devour me.

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“Jo….” he whispered.

“You don’t have to say it back,” I hastened to inform him, my hands gripping his arm more firmly than ever. “I understand completely—I swear it, I do! I love you. I love you more than anything and I’ll—I’ll give you anything you need, I’ll—”

“Please stop,” he interrupted, the look on his face more pained than ever. He gently took my hands off of his arm. They hung limply at my sides as I stared at him, despairing. “Jo, I hate seeing you beg like this. It’s so fucking messed up—it really is. So please just…respect my wishes.”

The black hole had completed its destructive purpose. Numbness replaced every sensation in my body, leaving me feeling interminably empty. From somewhere far along the beach, I could hear children laughing, parents telling them to come back because it was getting too late. The whooshing sound of the ever creeping and ever rescinding waves hissed in my ears.

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After all this has passed, I still will remain

I looked up at Gabriel again—looked up at this man who I loved beyond what words could accurately describe. He was my comfort. He was my happiness. He was my best friend and he meant everything in the world to me. I could feel my heart beating ever so sluggishly. Oh god….

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“Would that make you happy?” I asked in a voice quite unlike my own. “That is, if I let you go? Because that is the only way I’ll do this, Gabriel. If my letting you go truly makes you happy…then I’ll do it.”

Gabriel let out a sharp breath of air, briefly struggling before he shakily answered, “I don’t—I don’t know….I—Joanne….” His voice trailed off, the look on his face pleading.

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After I’ve cried my last, there’ll be beauty from pain

I shook my head unhurriedly; stood calmly and waited. “You have to say it. I have to hear that it will make you happier. That’s all I want for you.”

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Gabriel shut his eyes tightly and reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose. He was silent for a long, agonizing moment, and then he said, quietly, “I’ll be happier if you let me go.”

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No….

I stared incredulously, breaths coming out shallowly. A gust of wind picked up my hair—tugged at my coat. It was so cold.

I cleared my throat, suppressing the urge to scream. “Okay,” I told him faintly, and then made my way back up the slope, blue boots slipping in the frost-covered sand.

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* * * *

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32 thoughts on “Chapter 5.14: Beauty From Pain (Pt. 1)”

  1. I was so excited to see this in my reader feed! Now that I’ve read it, I want to cry. He actually said he’d be happier. What an idiot! But i have to agree with him at least on one thing, listening to her beg him and plead and promise him, I wanted to slap her. She deserves better than to have to beg. Despite the fact that I’m really annoyed at him, I still believe that he won’t be an idiot forever. I also hope that she recognizes that she shouldn’t be the one to always give, give, give. She told Melanie off. I hope she tells off Gabriel, too.

    I say, she needs to say “Fuck all of you” to the whole gang at the record company. Kiss Jade goodbye. Reap the consequences of that and go home and figure out who she really is. What she really wants.

    Why is it that I always want to throttle your characters? 🙂

    1. Ugh, yes! Such an idiot, but I was totally with him on the not begging thing! Joanne is always so quick to sacrifice herself and Gabriel knows this. Too bad his wisdom wasn’t enough to stop himself from making his own idiotic decision though. Sigh. Guess it’s easy enough to tell someone ELSE what is, and isn’t wise, but it’s another thing entirely to figure it out for yourself and act on it. Of course, this also comes from the fact that I always knew this wouldn’t be easy for Gabriel. What happened with Daisy affects him more than he even realizes…..

      Oh and Jo is definitely kissing Jade goodbye, but of course now comes well yes, figuring out who she really is. She’s spent her life being a chameleon–changing herself to fit the circumstances, but underneath all the deception, who is Joanne Winters? Not even she knows really….

      Bahahaha–I try to keep things as true to life as I can, and well, I often want to throttle people in general for making stupid decisions (something I’m of course guilty of doing as well >.<) so I figure, well, if no one ever has even the passing fancy of hitting one of my characters upside the head, then they were a little bit too perfect now, weren't they? 😉 Of course, it is a balancing act….make too many bad decisions, or make decisions that are TRULY terrible, and the readers will want to do more than just throttle them….. 😛

      Thank you as always!! Hopefully Pt. 2 won't be quite so frustrating 😉

  2. 😦 awe, that was sad but bittersweet at the same time.
    Glad Gabriel was there to stop that pathetic creep though, even if it cost him. I was wondering how that was going to play out.

    Though, I’m not sure if that’s what Gabriel truly wants for him and his relationship with Jo. I’m still deciding on it. But, I guess we’ll see what Part Two brings! 🙂 You know how to tug the heart strings

    1. Indeed! There was certainly some heavy sad, but hey–Melanie got chewed out and Brandon got his nose broken! All in all it could be worse….

      I’m not so sure if that’s what Gabriel truly wants either–I think what happened to Jo really shook him up :/ Guess only time will tell what really happens though 😉

      Thank you, Bethy, and thank you as always for reading and commenting! ^_^

      1. Yeah I was hoping Melanie would be put in her place by someone! Glad Jo finally stepped up and had the confidence to do so!

        oh you are very welcome 🙂 some of your heirs storylines seem to cross over somewhat with ones from my simself legacy and rainbowcy so I enjoy reading them 😀

  3. Oh yeah, finally Brandon got what he deserved and I’m really glad >:)
    Well done Gab 😀

    It was a really good 1st part ^^

    Oh, those 2, they can really be idiots sometimes : they have to realize that they deserve to be happy together…

    1. Hehehe, I’m glad you’re happy with what Brandon got 😉 He went unpunished for way too long!

      Goodness yes, but I suppose sometimes we have to make mistakes before we really learn >.<

      Thank you! ^_^

  4. The feelings in this chapter… I could feel them so much so. It was incredible. Amazing job, Lilly. I am so heart broken for them right now. I feel so much pain for Jo… She found a safe place, only to have it ripped away…

    1. Aw, thank you so much! I was very heartbroken for them too 😦 I kept getting misty eyed when I wrote it. I didn’t even have it planned that way at first, but no matter what every time I spent time in Gabriel’s head his thoughts kept going back to that happening, so finally I was like, you know what, FINE, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😛

      I realize that may sound a little weird, but as you’re a fellow writer, I think you know what I mean about your characters shaping their own stories, =O

      It looks like you’ve already read Pt. 2 though, so you know what ultimately happens, hehe.

      Thanks again!

  5. What?? I only just started shipping them! But I still love Gabriel to high heaven.
    Also, I hope it isn’t lost on you that this has an uncanny parallel to what Jo and Oliver went through back at the beginning.
    On a completely unrelated note, I love her boots!

    1. Glad Gabriel’s idiotic decision didn’t mar your love for him ❤ I was a little worried that it would for some people, but then I decided you know what, eff it, Gabriel isn't perfect and I never claimed that he was! You either love him for what he is, or you hate him 😛 That being said, glad you still love him because I sure do XD

      Also, of course it isn't lost on me!! In fact, I practically squealed when I read this comment because you noticed the parallelism! That was 100% intentional, executed in order to switch the roles on Joanne. I even used very similar thought processes and, at times, identical wording. For instance, both Joanne and Gabriel's decisions to break up with the other was heavily seated in the idea of it being "wrong“, “unfair”, and “fucked up.” So excited that you noticed this 🙂

      YESS. Jo boots = love. Thank you, Anubis, for your amazing custom content!

  6. *points and laughs at Brandon for 10 minutes*

    Aww, poor Gabriel. T_T
    He never really went into great details about how Daisy died, I think in this chapter he went into the most detail I’d ever seen, so now that I know that, it’s no wonder he can’t let that go.
    I’m not really sure if Gabriel meant that what he felt he was doing to Joanne was fucked up, or if he actually meant that he thinks he himself is too fucked up to even try at a new relationship. He can’t help that he feels guilty, even though he really shouldn’t because as humans, we can’t know what’s going to happen every second of every day. I feel like Gabriel thinks he’s a failure because he couldn’t save Daisy, and I just hope that for his sake, that one day he is able to see the beautiful human being that he truly is.

    1. LOLOLOL *points and laughs at Brandon with you…and gives him an extra kick* XD

      Ughhhh yes poor Gabriel though T_T

      This whole part just kills me every time I go back to it. It really is no wonder that he can’t let it go. I don’t even know if it’s possible to truly let something like that go—all you can do is try to minimize the effect it has on you so that it’s no longer all-consuming, as it clearly is for Gabriel right now. We truly can’t know what’s going to happen every second of every day, and Gabriel knows this to some extent, but so far that fact hasn’t been much of a comfort for him. As for what he meant, I suppose you’ll see in part 2….. 😛

      GAHHHH the last sentence of your comment tugged at my heart so hard!!! I KNOW RIGHT!!! I could not possibly agree with you more. We shall see what happens….*hugs Gabriel tightly*

  7. That fucking bastar, Brandon, thank gods that Gabriel was able to stop him from taking things way too far with Jo…
    God, it’s so bittersweet seeing Gabriel and Jo together, sometimes things are just so lovely and others things are just so sad, Gabriel feels so broken because he can’t admit he has feelings, or even have said feelings, for another woman without feeling guilty- his wife’s death was treacherous and he couldn’t do anything about it and than there’s Jo begging… there’s so many unresolved feelings…

    1. RIGHT!? I almost regret letting Ryan stop him, but Gabriel was so upset he might have done something that would have made things even more complicated and screwed up than they already are o_o Still, at least Brandon got a good ass-kicking. Good for nothing, bastard!

      Heh heh, “bittersweet” is a very good word to use to describe those two. It’s all up and down and up and down and gah.

      Gabriel is struggling badly and just doesn’t know how to get past all this. He’s been trying so hard, and yet he continuously feels like he’s failing and so now he’s just given up entirely and gahhh!! Like you said, so many unresolved feelings!

  8. Awwwhhh, the feels… Jo’s begging was really hard to read. Although I know it’s hard to stop in that situation even though you know you are pretty much just dig a hole…

    Brandon so deserved what he got! I can’t believe dudes like him really think they are doing a favour to girls when they rape them.

    1. It was admittedly hard to write too, but I couldn’t imagine Joanne not at least giving it one desperate shot, even if she was aware of how messed up it was to beg. Gabriel couldn’t stand to hear it either though, so he asked her to stop….as he rightfully should have. Joanne pleading with him to stay was just wrong….but it’s possible Gabriel was wrong too when he said that he’d be happier without her……

      Brandon did so deserve what he got! Hell, I wouldn’t have objected to him getting even more. He’s a sick excuse for a man in my opinion. He had this twisted mentality that she somehow OWED him, like that’s all women are for. Of course, that’s the mentality he has. *barfs* One of my least favorite characters for sure!

  9. I don’t know if Ryan saying “Brenda” was intentional or not, but either way DONT CHANGE IT (XD)
    Oh god I’m sad now, I didn’t even consider the possibility that this could happen. I was all “They’re together forever now whheeeeee” BUT NOPE

    1. Oh, it was intentional. Ryan’s nickname for Brandon if you’ll recall from Chapter 5.9: Chandelier is “Brenda fuckface” because he always seemed to them a whiny bitch pretty boy. In actuality though, he’s even worse than that, heh.

      And yes =( It’s just such a difficult situation. Gabriel wants to be Joanne, but it’s causing him pain and guilt that he just can’t seem to get past, and this has led him to only feeling more guilty about everything. To the point where it’s led him to conclude that she, and he, would be better off apart. We can only hope that he comes to realize this couldn’t be further from the truth.

  10. Mmmmmmm. Mmmmmmmm.
    Now, I’m no advocate for answering violence with violence, but in this case it is very well deserved. Plus, I felt like if Gabriel didn’t punch the living daylights out of ‘Brenda fuckface’, I would have reached through the pages and done it myself.

    Okay. I’m done ranting now.

    That sense of deja-vu in that ending is so overwhelming. I truly hope that she doesn’t let the blackhole consume her this time (killing yourself over a boy just seems………..). Hope she can pick up the pieces of her broken heart once again.

    As for Gabriel, I truly hope that he can find happiness. Because his manner of thinking, as well as logic of reasoning is just truly fucked up.

    1. I’m no advocate for answering violence with violence either, but sometimes there are cases where it feels especially appropriate and I agree that this was one of them. If Gabriel hadn’t done it, I would have! XD

      I know x__x Let’s definitely hope that she can pick up the pieces. She’s come quite a way, but this will be the real test of her personal progress.

      Hahahaha, so true! It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it? His logic tells him that what he’s doing is fucked up, but really it’s his reasoning that’s the actual fucked up thing here. Let’s hope he realizes that…..or I dunno that he’ll ever find happiness :/

  11. Reading all the chapters so close together, I see how similar that break up was to Jo and Oliver. Even some of the same words. Jesus, can you please stop breaking my heart?? I really hate crying X_X
    Oh, I’m glad Brandon got kicked and such. He deserves all that shit, and to rot in jail…. People like him make my skin crawl.

    1. I do love my parallels and they are easiest to catch when you read the chapters back to back as you’re doing now, hehe. Hopefully maybe this isn’t actually the end though? Hopefully…maybe….;_______;

      God, absolutely. Seeing his face makes beetles skitter across my arms. Yuck!

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