When Chris stopped by
Alfea the next day, I realized that, although I had feelings for him,
my heart still belonged to Riven. It was hard to admit, and even
harder to know that I shouldn’t stay with Chris any longer. He was
still free, free to find someone else, free to love again. He would
get over me, but I needed longer, more time to get over the pain of
losing Riven. Like it or not, I had to let Chris go.
Chris greeted me, oblivious to my mental fight. I faked a smile,
knowing that my eyes betrayed my true feelings and hoping he wouldn’t
notice. He continued to chatter at lightning speed, and once again I
felt a pang of longing. Riven would have known something was on my
mind, would have seen the pain behind the indigo depths of my eyes.
As I looked at Chris, still talking about his levabike and about my
strange attitude last night, I realized that I didn’t feel like my
body was charged with static, that I didn’t actually like him as
anything more than a friend. Comparing his carefree temperment to
Riven’s crazy mood swings and rough attitude, I knew which I
preferred. Riven could be unpredictable, but that was one of the
things unique to him, like his reddish hair and his violet eyes.
Somedays I was completely and utterly confused about what he was
doing, others I wanted to rip his head off, and still others I would
have loved to sit outside on a blandet and try to count the stars.
But now all my dreams were shattered, like a broken mirror. I didn’t
love Chris, and I realized too late that my heart lay with Riven. I
had finally had a chance to have a happy life, and I let it slip
through my fingers like sand. Trying to stay with Riven would have
been like trying to hold back the tide, but staying with Chris was
like freezing the waves just so you wouldn’t hear them crashing down.
I turned to Chris, and my eyes were dry, free of tears.