Rewriting the Rules

By: S. Moose

Chapter 1



Charlotte



“I’m so sorry, Shawn.” I cover my mouth with my hands and watch my boyfriend of three years fall on the couch behind him. The ring falls from his hand and hits the carpet. Kneeling down I place my hands on his knees and beg him to talk to me.

“I’m so sorry,” I whisper. “You don’t deserve this and I don’t know what else to do. Please understand I want to be honest and true with you.”

“You don’t love me.” The tone of his voice is quiet and hurt. This is my fault. I’m hurting a good man because my heart isn’t with him anymore.

“It’s not that,” I explain. “I love you. I just don’t love you in the way you deserve to be loved. It’s hard to explain, and I really want you to understand that I wish I didn’t have these feelings. You’re an amazing man, Shawn, and I don’t deserve you.”

“But I deserve you, Charlotte. You’re my world, and everything makes sense because of you. When I wake up in the morning and look at you, I feel complete. I feel at peace. It’s because of you that I’m able to get up in the morning and fight for our future.”

I blink back the tears and listen to him convey his love for me. It’s hard to hear, especially since I don’t feel the same way.

“I knew when we first met it was because of your brother. I never expected to fall for you and I never expected for you to feel the same. We’ve been through a lot together. Are you really willing to throw it all away?”

“Yes, we met because of Will and things happened between us. It doesn’t mean anything, though, Shawn. I think you’re confusing love and using me as a crutch. You say it’s because of me that you’re here and alive. It’s not, though. You pushed through and fought the demons.”

“With your help. You’re my best friend, Charlotte. I don’t know what else to say,” he stammers. “I love you and I want you to be my wife.”

“I’m sorry,” I tell him again. “I want the best for you and I know it’s not me.” Getting up, I lean down and kiss him on the forehead. Heading to the bedroom we’ve shared over these past years I collapse on the bed and cry into my pillow. Thinking about the last ten minutes is killing me.

“Charlotte, you saved me and brought the light back into my life. Before you, I didn’t think life mattered. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed and days I wanted to stay away from the world. Then you, my light, came to me and gave me reason. Without you, I’m nothing.” I watch Shawn get down on one knee and pull out a solitaire diamond ring. All I can see is Troy and I’m smiling from ear to ear. My dream is coming true. “Marry me, Charlotte. Make me the happiest man.”

“Yes! Yes, Troy, I’ll marry you.” As soon as the words escape my lips I don’t see Troy anymore. I see Shawn. I see the man I’ve been with for the past three years and the man who gave me everything.

“Troy? What?”

“Oh no.”

Pulling out my phone I scroll through until I find Jessica’s name and press call. She answers in two rings with an excited tone.

“What’s wrong,” she quickly asks when she hears me crying.

“I called him Troy.”

“Oh no. Sweetie,” she hurries to say. “I’m on my way over now.”

“Thank you.”

Lying on our bed I look around the bedroom, the same room we’ve shared, and look at the pictures hanging on the walls and on top of the dresser.

I was happy with Shawn. He made me laugh and was romantic. For one of my birthdays he planned a surprise party with our friends at a restaurant and then took me away to Wilmington, NC. We went on the One Tree Hill tour and stayed at a cute bed and breakfast. It was a fun weekend and I was happy.

It’s nice to have someone in your life that loves you and will do anything to keep you happy. The thing is I knew deep down it didn’t mean forever. Breaking up with Shawn doesn’t mean I don’t love him or care about him. Letting him go means I love him enough so he can find someone who’ll love him the way he deserves to be loved.

And I deserve to be with the man who owns my heart and soul.

We haven’t talked in about four years and every day I miss him. I’ll never forget the look on his face when we were last together.

Sitting in the booth with my two favorite guys, Will, my brother, and Troy, the love of my life, we laugh about something stupid while waiting for food.

“Charlotte, wow, I can’t believe you’re going to be a senior,” Will gushes. “I’m proud of you, little sister.”

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