《In Five Years》Chapter 17

I'm sitting in my driveway with my forehead against the wheel before I let out a huge sigh of frustration. I don't want to go inside. I don't want to face Katie even thought I know I have to.

What am I going to tell her? Am I going to lie? I'm tired of lying to her. The way she treated Maddie last night wasn't okay, but I know that still didn't give me an excuse to spend the night with her. I know it was wrong.

Again, I find myself to be a shitty boyfriend. I never had this problem until Maddie came around again. Now all I think about is her.

I can't get the way she felt this morning out of my head. The curves of Maddie's body molding so perfectly with mine, those ringlets of hers sprawled out against my chest. While she was sleeping I felt every inch of her body, trying to remember it in case I didn't get the opportunity to again. I traced the indent of her hips, the curve of her ass, her full, kissable lips.

How do I explain that to Katie?

It's now or never, so I let out another sigh of frustration and slam the door shut to my jeep before I head inside. My dad isn't home thankfully, and Katie doesn't seem to be downstairs either.

I head up to my room, and I imagined this conversation going many different ways, but what I didn't expect to see is Katie bundled up in my comforter, mascara staining her cheeks with a box of tissues beside her.

I stand in the doorway with the same clothes on from last night, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what exactly it was I was doing. She can't even look at me. She rolls onto her side, her back facing the wall, and I cautiously take a step towards her.

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"Katie..." I start, but she shakes her head and wipes at her eyes again.

"Please, spare me the excuses, Cameron. I'm not an idiot."

I walk over to my bed and sit beside her, twiddling my thumbs in my lap. I have to choose my words very carefully in order for her not to blow up at me. I'm treading on thin ice.

"I wasn't going to give you excuses." I tell her. "I was with Maddie last night."

She nods and chokes out another sob. "I figured as much." She sniffles. "Did you sleep with her?"

"No."

"Don't lie to me!" She shouts. "Did you fucking sleep with her?"

"No!" I yell back. "I'm telling you the truth, Katie. I didn't sleep with her."

"Then what the hell were you doing all night?" She seethes.

I go into detail about last nights events. About how after she took an Uber home Tre got into Maddie's face. I tell her that I took Maddie home and spent the night with her. I'm straight up and honest, not leaving anything out.

She's crying harder now, and I'm not sure why. I didn't sleep with her. I assumed she'd be happy about this.

"That's even worse than fucking her." She laughs with anger. "You cuddled all night? Are you kidding?"

"How is that worse than fucking?" I ask, completely confused. "I didn't kiss her. I didn't fuck her. I literally just held her. That's all."

"And you don't see what the fuck the problem is with that? That's intimate Cameron! That's so much more intimate than having sex. I don't get how you don't see that."

"It's not..." I start to say. "We're friends, Katie. That's honestly it."

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Her eyes are swollen and puffy when she looks at me, disbelief written across her face. "When are you going to realize that you're in love with her?" She asks. "There's a reason you can't say it back to me, Cameron, and it's not because it's going to take longer for the feeling to come."

This is the part I should tell her that she's wrong, but I can't. I've always been in love with Maddie, but it's never been the right time for us. I don't think it'll ever be the right time for us, and that's what Katie doesn't understand. Maddie and I can't work. When we're together it's great and I can fantasize about a life with her, but as soon as she goes back to Yale and I go back to Penn State we're going to run into the same issue. The communication will stop, she'll pull away, and I'll be left with another broken heart.

"And you know what's funny?" Katie sniffles again. "Why the hell do you think I was so mean last night? Do you think I want to be that way? I'm so jealous of her because you look at her in a way that you never have at me. The longer I spend here the more I realize that I'm never going to be enough for you. You'll never be in love with me because I'm not her."

"That's not true." I say, and I move closer to grab onto her hands. "Katie, I want to love you." And then I find myself blinking away tears. "I want it to be you, okay? A part of me wants it to be you, but I..." I trail off, trying to not let the images of Maddie come into my mind.

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It's almost impossible.

"She and I aren't going to work out. We never will. My lifestyle isn't something she's going to be okay with in the long run, and it's unfair to you for me to feel this way about someone else. I completely admit that. A part of me will always love her, and being around her this break has been horrible for me, okay? But I'm trying. I'm trying to get there with you."

I let it all out in the open, anxious for her to say something, to say anything, but she just continues to cry and shakes me off of her when I try to pull her into me.

I can't keep lying to her though. I have to be truthful. I'm still in love with Maddie, but I know I shouldn't be. It took everything, literally everything for me to not take her right on her bed this morning. I wanted to show her just how much I missed her. I wanted to worship her body. To show her that if I got her again I wouldn't give her an option to let me go like she did before.

But she broke my heart. She didn't want to do long distance. Having sex and getting attached again wouldn't solve anything. It would just be more painful for me.

"I just need some time." Katie says. "To process all of this."

"Yeah." I nod. "I figured."

Standing up from the bed, she shoves me off again when I try to reach for her and heads into my bathroom, closing and locking the door behind her.

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