SET FREE (Unedited)

By Selena Collins All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Romance


"Nothing would ever be the same, as my world tumbled down that rabbit hole not letting go for one moment." What happens when you live life by plans and they fail? Twenty year old Fayth Renaud, dumped and cheated on looks to what she must do now to not waste her summer. Taking a summer class, maternal family visit, heartache and heartbreak, and a journey of a lifetime. Three people in her life change: boyfriend to ex, ex to friend, friend to boyfriend. Will this keep her chained or set her free?

Day 1

“Fayth,” Katherine called, “Don’t forget to call me tonight!”

“I won’t,” I bellowed.

Everything was set, soon I would meet my boyfriend’s family when we would travel outside the state. I had even gone shopping with Kat to find the perfect gift for my boyfriend and our one year anniversary. It was carefully crafted and made specially to carry all the time along with a bought copy of Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson. I felt guilty and sometimes sadden by the fighting or one-sided conversations, I worry about my life without him.

There was only a block from our apartment that I debated on surprising him or announcing my soon arrival. I held my iPhone 6 contemplating what I should do, if I should just text, call, or nothing at all. Lately all our calls turn into texts or not communicating at all. I reach out, heart and soul, and he seems to shut me out.

A surprise may be better…

I walked, tall and broad strides, caring less what guys stared at or girls’ glared upon. Using my keys I opened the door with a smile until there stood a girl laying on top of my boyfriend, with only a sheet to cover them, caught tangled together. They stared at me as the door was wide open, unsure how to react.

“Who is she, Hun,” the girl questioned.

“Oh her,” Chris, my boyfriend, responds, “She’s nobody. Give me a moment, Kitten.”

I stop from gawking as I took one careful glance. She had large, red-framed glasses almost matching my meaky brown. Perfect brunette hair, long and shiny, compared to my damaged, short, red hair. She even had a slender build yet bigger curves from what I could tell by the sheets. Shortly before I could look anymore Chris closes the door only wearing jeans and a shirt.

“Didn’t you check your phone Fay,” Chris retorted, rolling his eyes.

I hurried, glancing at my phone thinking this was a nightmare and I’d wake in his arms. Except there was no way I could pinch myself nor controlled thoughts for a nightmare. But I wouldn’t forget that summer day on June 4th, 2017. The message sent at 11:59 AM, just fourteen minutes ago.

Look, I know I’ve said this many times before but I’m serious this time. I’m done, I can’t do the whole long distance thing anymore, I can’t do the bickering anymore, I can’t do us anymore. I’m sorry. I’ll send you your stuff in the mail and all the things bought you. Please don’t do anything, you’ll find your own guy/woman someday. But I’m afraid that this is the end of it for us. Good bye. 😔

Trembling I was unsure what was happening or to do. Like the tiny robots got fried and no control of the console, swallowing me whole as a boat sailing against the raging sea. Right then the turmoil began and I was spiraling out of plans from ‘A’ to infinity. Was this a nightmare?

“You’re breaking up with me after admitting you cheated on me,” my voice croaked, almost at a halt towards yelling.

“Yes, and I’m sorry. But look --” Chris started.

Then everything just came out as he started, “You’re a coward! You’re a cheater! You’re a liar! I’m glad we were through! I was going to leave your ass after I was at my mother’s place!”

Chris’ face grew redder than blood as he spat, “Maybe I shouldn’t give you anything you spoiled brat! Because you never appreciate worth shit!”

Tears streamed as I then asked quietly, “How long have you two been doing this? And what did I do wrong to cause this?”

Chris sighs before look straight at me with me with his hazel hues, “We’ve known each other from work and started this two days ago. She’s my type and closer to home. It’s not you and you did nothing wrong.”

That’s when everything shatters, like a static noise you can never get rid of or a song that never ends. A puzzle almost scattered on the floor being blown away by the wind, crawling to get at least a piece or two. Brushing off like the leaves falling in autumn whisked into decomposing debris.Yet nothing would come out, vomit wouldn’t even brush against these pale lips for the insanity.

Some part of me was tempted to throw the book and custom pendant at him, just beating his cowardly ass. The other part wanted to fight for him, forgive him for his flaws and cheating just to be happy once again. Though his hazel eyes told a different story, the sparkle loss and replaced

with nothing but an endless pit of black. A rabbit hole that seemed to never end and keep going as I fell hard.

Nothing would ever be the same, as my world tumbled down that rabbit hole not letting go for one moment. Until I dropped everything at his feet before I ran just without a thought as I let the tears slipped knowing he was serious, he was gone. Pieces kept dropping, but I couldn’t go back to reach for the one who could put them back together as the sky began to cry. Slamming the door to my car I locked myself there as the howling begun, the only thing that seemed to be real and left of our relationship.

After a few minutes, I turned on the car and turned on the radio as the knife stuck behind my back and fists pounded my stomach. The world still was spinning and happy, yet what did I do to deserve the curse of unhappiness? Don’t I work hard every day by being a good student, daughter, even girl- I mean ex-girlfriend. Wasn’t I worth the wait until marriage? Until we were committed in more than physicalities and “necessities”?

Just then I heard our song, “Hero”, by Enrique Iglesias play. Almost mockery coming from that brunette saying, Hey prissy girl I got your man. Sorry I mean my man now, have fun with monogamy and abstinence. What would she even know about Chris that I don’t? Would she even play video games until the early morning? Making him laugh when he’s ready to cry? What does that brunette have that I don’t?

Just before the song got mid-way through I changed to my burned CD of songs and skipped until I heard Daughtry’s Battleships as I screeched or yelled the lyrics. Not wanting the love I carried in my heart for him to be ripped away, not even from another man or woman despite his pretty new ‘achievement’. I was nothing, a shiny trophy meant to sit there and look pretty on his trophy case.

I hadn’t even meant any of what I screamed at him, and it was still tearing me apart. I couldn’t hurt him without hurting myself, but he would never come back to such an ugly, emotional wrecking, hideous creature. Nothing more, so what was the point of living in such the cruelty that life taunts us with? I was left alone, with nobody I could love with my broken heart and soulless body.

Looking to my right, the rain pouring as I stared at the pharmacy before thoughts came to my mind. The wheels turned and I felt a sense of release. Like I could still hold onto him without being broken or living an empty lie. My last thoughts could be of him and I’d be happy, happier than the sun greeting the seas and land. I’d be loved forever in a dream, in a place I won’t lose him.

Slowly drying off the tears I drove over to the pharmacy without a care for the consequences this decision could cause. Why would it matter? I’d be free to love him and he could have what he wanted with miss brunette. Even if I don’t wake up, I’d never regret being able to stay with him.

“That’ll be ten dollars and fifty-nine cents, miss,” the cashier said.

I hadn’t paid attention to the items I grabbed, but I knew I had to grab stuff that’d avoid suspicion. Grabbing silverware, allergy medicine, food and soda, baggies, even male condoms. Since I didn’t want to be alone or a virgin anymore. Showing him the gift card I had gotten from my boy - ex-boyfriend, we ran the card and he told me how much I had left.

“Could I use the rest,” I requested, “As a donation to charity?”

“Yeah we can do that,” the cashier replied without a question.

I then threw the card back into my phone wallet, despite being an eyesore of things I would never get back. Rushing back into my car I then looked into the bag, who was I even going to trust my body to? I had nobody, not even some random prick, that would glance my way. What was I thinking to even consider buying these condoms or being an idiot and forgetting the lube?

I was honestly pathetic and wasn’t going to waste the effort to give back things I didn’t need. I drove for what seemed like hours until I found a vacant parking lot. I know it wasn’t safe, but I was tired and couldn’t do the one hour and forty minute drive towards home. Yet I wasn’t drowsy towards sweet dreams, left with only so little and I will never know why… why my ex tossed me through the mud and dirt? Why had he made excuses with plans and hanging out with the guys? Why the lies to do everything that I was willing to give over time, over a patient love without a sexual commitment?

I laid there crying for what seemed like forever, there was nothing left except little pieces of a fragile heart. Until I looked at the clock on my iPhone 6 reading 8:30 PM despite the hours dragging on like months, the minutes like days, and second by hours. I wanted nothing more to just see him text asking if I was ok, to tell me that he didn’t mean anything that he said, that he was still in love with me and wouldn’t leave me.

Checking my texts I saw none from him, but from my mother and step-mother to notify what had happened. Already knowing their responses, yet if I hadn’t informed they would’ve been worried. Honestly, they hadn’t cared since I existed from day one of them knowing me. How could they have time with work or the other kids in their lives? I wasn’t worth the work or effort,

just because I was an emotional wrecking girl who was too naïve and gullible. Waterworks just seemed to be endless and never ending the glow of the white moon. Shortly glancing I checked the texts from my mother, despite the brief conversation.

Me and Chris won’t be visiting this summer. We broke up.

Then glancing upon my stepmother’s seeing if the reaction was the same and our conversation only texting.

I won’t be needing a ride to the airport. Chris and I broke up

Oh I’m sorry honey .What happened?

Things just didn’t work out and he met someone else


It’s not like she could’ve been more obvious that it was saddening, no escape getaway like she did with her daughter. My own mother wouldn’t do that even if I pleaded with her for a weekend getaway from work. I felt as if there was nothing but ghosts of memories, but I couldn’t just give up on everything for a life that wasn’t whole or close to half.

Just then I messed around with my iPhone 6 until I saw a call from my mother, especially since it’s around the time she’d get done with work.

“Hey sweetie,” My mother’s voice anxious, yet curious, “What happened?”

Of course, she’d ask that dumb question, no matter how it’s answered she’d defend him or any man I’ve dated.

“Well, Chris cheated on me and broke up with me. He didn’t even have the guts to tell me,” I sob, almost reliving the heartbreak, “He’s a coward, mom. Made excuses for the past two nights about what he was doing.”

“Maybe he just didn’t know how to tell you, that is a possibility sweetie,” My mother’s voice calm and firm, “At least you didn’t go up there and get stuck.”

Like you would know, you never had a long distance relationship and you hunted down the last cheater who cheated on you while in high school. Sometimes I wonder if you ever are on my side

at all. Fay, just remember she’s your mother and nod and smile like a “good girl” would and how she “raised” you.

“Still doesn’t excuse how he hurt me, mum,” I protested, wishing she’d stop protecting a cheater, “I understand he is happy but I don’t have a car and won’t be able to visit you.”

“We’ll just have you ride with your step-father and step-sister,” My mom thought aloud, “Or you could take your step-sister's plane ticket since she’s unable to fly to us.”

“I’ll take the flight to see you mum,” I spoke calmly as I could, “See you on the seventh of July and be great to see you.”

We made small talk until I had to go. Honestly the soon the better, for I had developed my plans for tomorrow if I am lucky. All I could think was to lock the car and sleep in the back seat where I would be safe, at least close as safe can get for the middle of nowhere at night.

Yet I couldn’t get a wink, I just laid there wondering why he did this without being honest? Why pretend to love me and then start over with someone new? I tried listing, talking with friends, fortune telling, logic and reasoning, almost to the point of mathematical calculations. All placing blame upon Chris, yet I never could stop blaming myself. It’s really true when Miranda Lambert sings in Should’ve Been More Like Her, how the girl should’ve known better despite what the man did.

Except I gave up so much not fighting for him, that I lose my heart and soul to a man I’d cut my own heart out to save his life. Except I was a flower whose petals were falling, drifting to a far, far, far away. Away to a meadow or clearing filled with happiness as the stems lay in place to rot. All I could remember now was his touch; awkward, overbite kisses; our first and only “date”; sharing younger memories before Chris existed; seeing baby photos of Chris; or other scandalous things we could get away with. Yet there would be no memories to create or share, leaving a torch and burned out the bridge to encrypt and handle. Only I had no answer or solution, just ashes and a broken heart left in a pile of unanswered questions.

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