Monday, April 2, 2012

Chapter 17: Breaking

"What happened?" Ti asks, wondering if she's supposed to speak at all. 

"She kind of fell apart when my dad left," Coby says, "Her doctor put her on meds. They don't know if the overdose was intentional or not."

"Thanks for coming with me," he says, hugging her, "Heather usually does this with me. But this year, she's got a boyfriend who wants to do the whole Mother's Day thing with her. And she deserves it, you know."

Stina had completely forgotten about Mother's Day until Coby asked her to visit Forest Lawn with her to visit his mother's grave. Her own mother must be waiting on her to call. Or not, Stina thinks, no one who knew her would expect her to remember a holiday like Mother's Day.

"There's one more," Coby says, taking her hand.

He leads her to a smaller grave in a different section of the cemetery. "Krista," he says, placing a flower on her grave. "I don't even remember what she looked like now." Coby stands to face her, tears in his eyes.  "We were fifteen. I didn't even know she was pregnant, until they told me she died trying to..." he shakes his head, doesn't finish. "Her parents didn't let me come to her funeral. I don't blame them, I guess. And I know it doesn't do any good now, but I visit her every year. It's my fault, you know, that she's gone."

"It's not your fault," Ti tries to comfort him.

"You don't have to do that," he says, squeezing her hand, "I know what I did."

He thanks her again when they get back to his apartment. "I really would hate to do that alone," he says, "I'm glad you were there with me."

"Of course, Coby," she says, "I'm always there for you."

That's something he's not so sure of these days. More and more, she's been hanging out with that French guy. She's says it's platonic, that they're just friends. And it's true, maybe they haven't had sex or even kissed, but Coby has seen the intention in his rival's eyes, and he knows Ti all too well. 

His cell rings. "It's on," the voice says, and hangs up. Coby sighs. That was the 24 hour notice call, and it's an eight hour drive to Half Moon Bay. He has to go now. For one moment, he considers blowing it off, to stay here and protect his territory. But surfing is what he lives for, and the Mavericks contest is the biggest event of the year, when the waves allow. He grabs his gear and leaves a note for Ti, still asleep in his bed. "Gone surfing. Will be back in two days."

Stina is certainly going to just sit at home while Coby is out surfing somewhere. Rainier has asked her to go dancing with him several times, but she's persistently turned him down, trying to keep on the right side of the line between lovers and 'just friends'. Tonight, she gives in. It's that or stay home alone. And it's not like you can't go clubbing with your friends. Just because it's at night, that doesn't make it a date, right?

There's an undeniable attraction between them, but she really loves Coby, and she knows that will stop her from letting the thing with Rainier get beyond mild flirting.

"Stina," Gavin approaches when he sees her on the dance floor. "What's going on with you? You've been skipping all your classes. I know for a fact that you're going to fail Art History..."

Stina rolls her eyes, "School is lame," she says, "And stop trying to be my daddy."

"I'm just worried about you," Gavin explains, "Eleanor told me you never even call her anymore, either."

"Well, she doesn't exactly have time for me these days, either. Or haven't you noticed your roommate Justin has lodged himself up her ass?"

Gavin frowns, "That's a vulgar way to describe true love. Justin and Eleanor are a great couple."

"Yeah, whatever," Stina says, "I'm going back to my date now, okay, Daddy?"

"That was an old boyfriend," Stina explains, responding to Rainier's inquisitive expression.

"I have so many rivals for your affection," he laughs, running his fingers along her arm.

"Gavin isn't a rival," Stina says.

"One down, then, and one to go," Rainier laughs.

"Don't be silly," Stina says, blushing, "You don't have any rivals."

"No?" he asks, pulling her close.

"I meant..." she starts to say, but his lips are against hers before she can speak. She meant the he wasn't even the running, but in her heart, she knows that not true. Every time she goes out with Rainier, every time she flirts with him is another step away from Coby. And with this kiss, which came unexpectedly, but which she doesn't try to resist, she's crossed the line, entered a new territory.

"Why don't you come back to my place?" Rainier whispers in her ear.

And so she goes back to Rainier's apartment, and into his bed. She gives one last thought for what she's giving up, one moment of regret for her betrayal, before giving herself over to her new lover completely.

"Dude, there are some hot chicks here tonight," George says, "Let's go bag a couple, celebrate your victory."

"You go ahead," Coby says, "I'm just going to chill."

"Dude, seriously?" George is flabbergasted, "Even when you don't win, you always get the babes all over you. Today, you are king of the beach, you could have your pick of these fine ladies." 

"Yeah, my girlfriend, back home..." Coby shakes his head, "She might not be there for me when I get back."

"So, that's like more reason to score tonight, right?"

"Just go, have fun," Coby says, slapping George on the arm, "I'm just going to have a drink and turn in early. I have shit to think about, is all."

George doesn't need to be told twice, and heads out to join the girls on the dance floor. Coby sits at the bar and has a solitary drink. It's like a test, he decides. If she actually manages to get through two days on her own without sleeping with the French dude, then Coby will know it's solid. And if she doesn't, he'll at least have the comfort of knowing that, this time, he wasn't the one who cheated, that for once, he gave it his best shot.

"Look, your boyfriend is on TV," Rainier says, flipping the channels to get to a sports station.

And to Stina's surprise, there he is on the screen. She wouldn't recognize him as the tiny figure riding the giant wave, if his named wasn't on the bottom of the screen, along with a bunch of numbers she figures must be some kind of score. "I didn't know there were TV shows about surfing," she says.

"It's a recap of yesterday's contest," Rainier explains, "Your boyfriend won the event."

The TV switches views to show an interview with Coby, talking about waver conditions or whatever. Stina isn't really listening. "Huh, I had no idea surfing was such a big deal."

"It is a big deal for a lot of people. Your Coby is a celebrity in his world."

"Really?" Stina is stunned by this news. Coby talked about surfing a lot, but never mentioned his being famous for it.

Rainier laughs, "How long were you dating him, that you don't even know this?"

Stina just shrugs, "I guess he was just modest. Or maybe he figured I wouldn't care."

"And now that you know who he is, have you changed your mind about who you want to be with?" Rainier asks.

"No," Stina says, "I'm with you, now."

Rainier leans into her, kissing her deeply. His hand crosses over her, starts unbuckling her belt. His phone chooses this moment to start ringing.

He speaks in French to whoever is calling, and Stina has no idea what he's saying. But at one point she swears she hears him say Coby's name. When the call is done, he turns to her. "Chère," he says, "I have work to do. I'll see you later."

Stina goes back to her apartment and waits. Coby will be home soon, and she's going to have to tell him.

He comes into her apartment that evening like a convict awaiting his sentence. He can tell just by the distance she keeps between them when they hug in greeting that it's over.

"I saw you on TV," she says, "Congratulations."

"Yeah? I didn't think you'd watch that."

"I didn't even know," she says, "Until Rainier..." she's getting ahead of herself, she thinks, "Coby you were right...I tried to tell myself the thing with Rainier was strictly platonic..."

"But you slept with him the second you got the chance to," Coby finishes for her.

Stina winces, "Well, I wouldn't...yes, that's what happened," she admits.

"Okay, then," Coby says, starting to get up and leave, surprised by how numb he feels. Maybe because he saw it coming, maybe because his heart has been slowly breaking instead of being torn apart in one sudden revelation...

"That's it?" Stina asks, "Are you okay, Coby?" 

"Is there something else you want to say?" he asks.

"I--I'm sorry," she says, starting to cry, "I really didn't want it to be like this. I love you, Coby, so much, but Rainier..."

"You know, this is the first time you've said you love me, Ti, while you're breaking up with me," he says with a slight laugh, "I remember how you used to cry over the last guy you broke up with.  Don't cry over me like that, okay?"

He walks out on her then, without another words. She's surprised by the way he's taking it, she expected an argument, or tears, or something. But he just took it and left.

It's not like he didn't know it was coming, Coby tells himself. Even the biggest waves have to break eventually. He'd expected to be crushed by her breaking, but she just left him with this dead, empty feeling, and all he wanted now was to get as far away from her as he could. So he found himself an apartment in Venice, one with a view of the surf. This is where he belongs, he thinks, and not seeing her everyday will just make it easier to get over it, get back to the way he used to be.

Anyone who knows surfing will know I fudged the timing of the Mavericks contest, which normally falls somewhere between Nov - March, depending on wave conditions. So take it as story > reality, or it's just a really late season for the big waves.


  1. Well hey, out of season waves would explain the call out of the blue. And an added bonus for why he didn't want to miss it.

    I actually feel bad for Stina since what she did is something I've done a few times. Temptation is like a drug sometimes, no matter how hard you fight it nothing will work. I just hope Coby heals. He's too sweet not to find another girl.

    1. That call is actually standard operating procedure for these things. They can't set a date ahead of time, it's totally dependent on wave conditions. There's literally 24 hour notice for surfers and the media that covers these events. But I'm guessing most of my readers don't actually care about surfing, lol.

      I know that temptation drug pretty well, myself, and I feel bad for Stina, too. She brings it all on herself, she suffers most from her own inability to control herself. One of my friends used to call her the Ruiner, which was really apt, I always thought.

  2. Well, I'm in the minority because I don't feel sorry for Stina at ALL. She brought this on herself. I can't believe she couldn't say no this ONE time. She obviously didn't love Coby very much if she cheated on him. I never understand how cheaters can say, "But I still love you!" even though they have been sleeping around with God knows how many people. I brain can't understand that. Sorry. But I'm actually glad she did it because Coby deserves better than her. Poor guy has been through a lot of shit. =/ I hope he finds someone who will truly love him back. Because I think Stina will always be like this....maybe she has some kind of self destructive behavioral issue? Although is it totally wrong that I hope the French guy (who I thought was Bulgarian for some reason?) cheats on her. Give her a taste of her own medicine. Ugh, Melissa your story always brings out the bitch in me I swear. It's a good thing though! It means I care enough about your characters and what happens to them. Great job as usual. Sorry for my rant. =] Damn me and my morals! Lol.

    1. Thanks, Jess. =D
      Stina does bring it all on herself. I still feel bad for her, because she is out of control of herself, but I understand why you wouldn't feel bad for her.
      Rainier is Belgian, but Coby will persist in thinking of him as 'the French guy'. French is one of Belgium's national languages, so it's an easy mistake to make, especially when, like Coby, you just don't give a shit.
      And there is still so much more shit to come, lol.

    2. Belgian! Not Bulgarian! Oops. I feel slightly dumb. I must have saw Belgium but read Bulgaria.

      Yeah...I just don't understand Stina. I can't relate to her on a personal level. Perhaps it's because I'm good at not giving in to temptation? So I don't understand the draw of it.

      Oh...I can only imagine what you have planned. Lol.

    3. At one point people in my yahoo group were posting all the different ways they wanted to see Rainier die. I might have to put up a poll, lol.

  3. Replies
    1. Yeah, I feel bad for what I've done to the poor guy.

  4. So what does he mean by "I know what I did"?

    Was not wearing a condom his bright idea?

    1. It was meant more as a general admission of guilt for getting the girl pregnant rather than a specific action. But you could certainly make that interpretation, seeing as 15 year old stoners do generally lack the foresight to be responsible in these situations.

  5. Coby might be my favorite. Well, wait. That's not true. I love them all equally. =) But, Coby, man, I could totally fall for you irl! The more I learn about him the more I like him.

    I can relate to Ti as well (being unable to control herself and everything), but I just don't see how she could cheat on Coby with a guy like Rainier. Ugh. Poor girl, too many men to choose from!

    1. I know, Stina is a fool to fall for Rainier. Because he's such an obvious dick. But that's why I made him so pretty, using Harris Landgraab as a base, so at least there'd be something attractive and tempting about him. Because he'd never get away with his personality if he weren't nice to look at, lol.

  6. Still so strange to see my name anywhere public that's not tied to me. Lol. I guess that comes with having an unusually spelled (not really) semi-popular (double not really) name.

    Anyway, I can't believe how fast I'm getting through your story. I just can't stop reading. And Coby. :( Poor, poor Coby.

    1. Thanks! You are getting through it pretty fast. And I'm so glad you are enjoying it.
      I'm sorry that the character with your name is a dead teenager who will probably never be mentioned again, lol.

    2. Haha. Oh gawd. Is it terrible I laughed at that sentence? Meh. It was hilarious.

    3. Nh, I was laughing when I wrote it. Morbid sense of humor and all.

  7. Stina is a cheater, and always will be. Though I am curious as to what the French dude was talking about on his phone. It has all been just a game with him, stealing the girl. Well now what is he going to do with her?

  8. Yep don't like Stina AT ALL!!!! I hope that Rainer dumps her in the same fashion she has dumped Gavin and now Coby.

  9. And another one bites the dust. She needs to contract the crotch rot and die! Coby was a great guy! She goes with him for something that's really important to him then sleeps with some guy while he is away and THEN says "I love you" when it's over? FUCK HER! I hope her ass gets hit by a fucking bus crossing the street and she shits herself as she dies, it's that serious! UGH! Major fucking whore...yep she's all the way at the end of the alphabet! I really hope Rainier leaves her broken! Maybe he was talking to some new girl or something and she can finally see how that shit feels!

  10. LOL! Yay, I'm so loving all the Stina hate. Coby definitely didn't deserve what she did to him.

  11. I am a Stina hater. She really needs a nice swift kick to the head, maybe the loose marbles will set themselves straight. I hope she gets burned in a big big way.

  12. Stina is forming her own little club of haters, lol.

  13. I hope Stina wakes up one day and realizes that she can't do that to men. I hope she gets her heart broken so bad that she wants to cry for days. I think she if is poser that has some serious issues.

    As for the surfing, I gotcha, it's a story. If someone wants reality they can watch ESPN.

    1. Stina does have some serious issues.