Laces and Lace

Page 21


“But you are! Karson, if you love me, don’t break up with me,” she cried, holding on to his forearm. “You promised you would never break me, and that’s what you are doing by giving up on us and leaving me.”
Looking down at the ground, he took in a deep breath. “I know, but I am doing it for you. I’m sorry, Lacey. I’m so fucking sorry, but don’t you ever think I don’t love you. I do, but I’m sorry, I have to end this.”
Pressing his lips to hers, he kissed her hard, but she pushed him away. “No! You don’t get to kiss me or tell me you love me when you are breaking up with me! How is that fair? How is that even right? It’s a contradiction to everything because, even with you saying you’re doing it for me, it makes no sense! If you loved me, you would stay with me and love me for the rest of our lives, but you aren’t doing that, are you?”
“I can’t. I love you too much. I have to let you go,” he said as tears slowly rolled down his perfectly chiseled face.
“Because I have to, so that you have the life you deserve,” he said with all the compassion in the world, but all it did was piss her the hell off.
“Bullshit. Get the hell out,” she cried, hugging herself with her arms.
“I love you, don’t forget that,” he whispered, but she ignored him as she crumpled onto her bed.
“Leave me alone. You made me a promise, Karson, and you broke it! You have completely broken me, and do you even care? Are you going to be here to pick up the pieces? No, you’ll be in the damn big leagues, leaving me behind to figure out how to live my life without you! How can you live with yourself knowing that?”
“I don’t know,” he whispered.
She covered her face, her tears leaking all over her hands as her body shook with her sobs. The room was completely quiet and she thought he had left, but when she looked up, she found him still watching her from the doorway. “I’m sorry, Lacey. I really do love you.”
And with that, he shut the door, completely shattering her heart. As Lacey lay there, tears rushing down her face as she choked on her own sobs, she had no clue what had just happened, or how she was going to put herself back together after that. Their love was all-consuming, and now she wasn’t going to have that. How did someone come back from that?
She thought being diagnosed with cancer and having her breasts removed was the hardest thing she’d ever have to battle, but all the pain she felt then didn’t even come close to the pain she was feeling at the moment. She was a survivor though, and she knew that she would cope with losing the greatest love of her life. But, like everything else that happened in her life, she wished she didn’t have to.
Karson stood in the back of the auditorium as the Catappellas sang their hearts out for the championship. His bags were in his car and all ready for the trek back home to Wisconsin before the draft. He wanted to be excited for the new life he was about to embark on, but it was hard when he knew that the girl who stood in the middle of the group in a bright red dress wasn’t going with him. It had been a month since he had broken things off with Lacey, and each day was harder than the last. He fought with himself daily to keep from going to her and begging for forgiveness. He knew he had made the biggest mistake of his life, but he prayed in the long run it was for the best.
He missed her—everything about her. He missed her lips, her smile, her laugh, and the feel of her body against his. He wanted nothing more than to run to the stage and ask her to run away with him, but from where he stood, he could see Grady and Coach. The hatred he felt in his body for his old coach was indescribable. He would always blame him from taking away his world and ruining him.
As he watched the Catappellas sing “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles, his heart ached for her. He was stupid to come; he knew that this would hurt, but he had to see her one last time before he took off, leaving Chicago and his world behind him. Watching her from afar was hard and he hated it, but it was what he had resorted to for the last month. He wasn’t sure when or if he’d ever see her again, so he knew he had to come, even if it was just to watch her since he knew he couldn’t say anything to her. His words would mean nothing to her. He had already broken her, and nothing he would say could fix what he had done.
When the group started to sing the melody to “Yesterday,” also by the Beatles, someone handed Lacey a mic and she took center stage, the lights shining on her, making her look like an angel. Something lurched in his chest. He fought for his breath as her sweet lips moved, and the most beautiful sound came out. As she sang the song, each word stabbed into Karson like a knife. He knew it wasn’t a coincidence that she was singing this song. She might not know that he was there, but she was singing it for him. It hurt hearing the words, but he welcomed the pain.
He deserved it.
When she hit the crescendo of the song, he could see her tears welling up and soon a tear rolled down her cheek as she sang her heart out. She was going to do great things. As the realization that she was going to do them without him settled on his heart, his own eyes filled with tears. Taking in a deep breath, he moved his hand along his cheek, catching his tears as Lacey finished the song, causing the crowd to lose it. Unlike he usually did, Karson didn’t clap or cheer; he only watched her. While she smiled and bowed, thanking the crowd, he hoped that the powers beyond gave them another chance later in life because, if he did get another chance, he’d never let her go. No matter what. He regretted what he had done, and he knew that he would live with that regret for the rest of his life.