It was dark, but Savannah could still make out his face. He was beautiful in every sense of the word – raven hair, an exquisite body, tawny eyes which were sadly hidden beneath his eyelids as he dreamt of God-knows-what. Savannah’s eyes scanned over his body. The blankets were gently resting just above his navel. At that exact moment, she wanted nothing more than to trace her forefinger down his well-toned chest. Just to feel his soft skin.
“No, no,” he moaned. It took Savannah a few seconds to realize he was still sleeping, that he was dreaming.
“Don’t go. Please don’t leave me,” she heard him moan as his head slowly moved back and forth on the pillow.
“Joe, I’m here. I promise, I’m here. Just wake up,” she told him, shaking his agitated body.
“Savannah, please. Don’t leave me.” He was crying out now.
“Joe! Joe, I’m here,” she began crying as she tried waking the sleeping man she loved so much. Her heart was breaking all over for him.
“I’m right here!” She shrieked, shaking him more forcefully.
“Van…” He moaned.
“Wake up!” She screamed.
With a sharp breath, Savannah woke up, startled to a sitting position in her bed. Her whole body was sweating and she was panting heavily. It took her only a second to realize she was crying, like she was in her dream.
“Jesus Christ, Van!” She heard, but it wasn’t Joe’s husky masculine drawl. Savannah shot her head toward the person and saw her seventeen-year-old sister Ginny.
“That was intense!” Ginny said, holding her hand over her heart.
Savannah was dazed. She couldn’t wrap her head around what happened and why her sister was in her apartment – sitting on her bed with her.
“Wha-what are you doing here?” Savannah choked out. Her mouth was dry and she could taste bile in the back of her throat.
“I got a call from Joe,” Ginny told her with a look of sadness on her face.
“Why… why would he call you?” Savannah asked, running her fingers through her sweat dampened hair.
“Because he sat at your door for hours last night pounding, hoping you’d hear him. Because you left New Jersey without an explanation. Because he’s worried about you. And frankly so am I,” Ginny said with a hint of desperation in her voice.
She took a sleeping pill to help her sleep the night before. She supposed it worked… a little too well.
“Van, what is going on with you?” Ginny asked, sounding concerned.
A rush of emotion hit her system, thinking about Joe. She pulled her knees up to her chest as the tears began anew. She felt dehydrated, but her tear ducts were still somehow producing in significant volumes.
“Van. Oh, Van,” Ginny cooed, wrapping her arms around her.
“What happened?” Ginny asked after a few moments.
“I don’t… I don’t really want to talk about it,” Savannah told her as she wiped at her eyes, trying to regain her composure.
She didn’t want to drag her little sister into her foolish life problems. So she sucked it up, crawling out of bed before ambling to the kitchen to get a glass of water. She could barely swallow because her mouth was so dry.
As Ginny followed out of the bedroom, Savannah noticed she was texting on her phone.
“Virginia Elizabeth Blake, if you’re texting him right now, I am going to smash your phone!” Savannah threatened her. Ginny’s head shot up looking at her with wide eyes.
“I-I’m not…” She stuttered, sounding absolutely guilty.
“Ginny!” Savannah shouted, knowing she was lying.
“He’s worried about you, Van. Why did you leave?” She sighed as she sat down on a stool at the breakfast bar.
“It’s a long story,” Savannah mumbled as she filled her glass with water again.
“Van, you can tell me,” she said, looking concerned.
“Joe’s family hates me. His mother was horrendous toward me, but she was all over Nick’s tramp and their baby. She made me feel absolutely worthless. She doesn’t want me with Joe. She said she didn’t want me with any of her sons, to be honest,” Savannah said as tears began to well in her eyes again.
“She said that?” Ginny asked, horrified.
“I overheard her,” she said, wiping her tears.
“That’s… brutal,” Ginny breathed lowly.
“Yeah. So…” Savannah said quietly, trying to fend off the lingering tears.
“But… you just—Joe… you just broke up with him and left him in New Jersey? I mean, what’s that? What’s going on, Van?” Ginny asked, confused.
“He… he pretty much told me to suck it up and stop whining. One second he was on my side and the next he was treating me just like his parents were treating me. I just… I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t be there. I don’t want to be with someone who is going to treat me the way he did. He made me feel worthless,” Savannah explained as she wiped the tears that were threatening to fall.
Before Ginny could get another sentence out, there was a rapid set of knocks on the door, and Savannah’s eyes shot straight to her sister. She bit her lips together tightly, looking at her with guilty eyes and she knew it was Joe – that Ginny managed to text him after all.
“God damn it, Ginny,” Savannah grumbled as she walked around the kitchen countertop.
“He just wants to talk, Van,” she said in almost a pleading voice, like she was rooting for him.
“You shouldn’t have text him,” Savannah snapped at her as she made her way to the door, knowing full-well she wasn’t prepared to see him.
After wiping her eyes of her lingering tears, she clenched her fists tightly at her sides as she took a deep breath, trying to mentally prepare for the fight she knew they were about to have – hoping it wouldn’t be too out of control with her teenage sister in company. With another deep breath, she opened the door, her tired eyes immediately meeting with Joe’s surprised ones.
“Savannah…” He said breathlessly as he watched her. He didn’t call her ‘Van’ which didn’t sit right with her. He rarely ever called her ‘Savannah’. She figured it was symbolic of how their relationship was on its deathbed.
Savannah’s heart sputtered as she looked back at him, not knowing how she should be truly feeling with him standing in front of her.
On one hand, she wanted to fix everything and just move on. She already missed Joe so much. She missed everything about him. It just wasn’t good for either of them to miss one another that much. And she knew they both loved each other beyond any sort of reason. But on the other hand, she couldn’t see how things would work when his family was dead-set against their relationship. His mother was the president of the ‘I hate Savannah’ club. And his brother was her ex-fiancée, who recently admitted to still having feelings for her. She just couldn’t get past any of it. She tried, but failed every time. A part of her just wanted to say ‘sayonara’ and wash her hands of the whole Jonas clan in general.
Joe took in a deep breath, like he was going to unleash a long rant on her. But he just let it out as a huge sigh.
“Joe, I can’t do this anymore,” Savannah said, her voice quivering with emotion. She couldn’t look him in the eyes. She was a coward and she knew it.
“What do you mean, Savannah?” He asked, his voice demanding.
“I mean, it’s too hard. Everything, everyone is against us and I don’t have anything left in me to keep fighting. That trip took everything I had. It broke everything inside of me. And I just think it’s better this way… better to make a clean break,” she explained, choking on her tears, saying words she never wanted to say.
“How could you possibly think it would be better for us to be apart – when I’m so in love with you I can barely stand it?” Joe said, his breath catching in his throat.
“Joe…” Savannah sighed as her tears pooled in her eyes.
“Savannah, don’t do this!” Joe snapped, grabbing her by the arms, forcing her to look into his eyes.
“Joe, stop, please. You’re just making this harder,” she cried, averting her gaze away from his once again.
“I don’t care! I am not letting you go!” Joe bellowed at her. She shut her eyes tightly, squishing out the tears that lingered.
“Look at me!” He demanded. Her eyes shot open to find his intense ones.
“Van, you can’t do this. Do you hear me? We will get through this together. It’s you and me,” he said, and she noticed tears welling in his eyes. It hurt her.
“Joe, I can’t anymore. I need time. I need space,” she told him, watching his russet brown eyes glisten with tears.
Joe took another deep breath and let it out hard, loosening his grip on her arms significantly.
“I can give you time and space, Savannah, but only if I know you’re going to come back to me in the end,” he pleaded, his eyes so sad.
“Joe… this is the end,” she whispered, her words so final.
“No! No, it is not,” Joe yelled, gripping her arms tighter in his hands. Savannah squirmed in his grasp.
“Joe, you’re hurting me,” she whimpered and his hands immediately dropped away from her. Savannah took the opportunity to take a few steps back.
“I love you, Joe, but… but you need to leave. You can’t be here,” she told him.
“Savannah…” He breathed lowly, looking defeated.
“Please,” she pleaded with her voice and her eyes.
“I love you so much,” Joe said, closing the gap between them once again, slipping his hands up into her hair, cradling her head in his hands.
Savannah let out a whimper as her eyes looked up into his. He watched her for a moment and then slowly, carefully he brought his lips down to hers. She kissed him back desperately, knowing it would be their last. When he pulled away, she was breathless, and it hurt so much knowing it was the end.
“I love you and I’m not giving up, Savannah. Ever,” he breathed before taking a step back.
Savannah let out a quiet sob. His sad eyes watched her for a few moments as she tried like hell to hold in her emotions. She barely saw it, but Joe gave her a soft nod before he reluctantly turned on his heels and retreated out of her apartment.
Savannah stood there watching him leave, feeling as if her heart was being torn into shreds as he walked away. His words kept spinning through her dazed mind on a loop. I love you and I’m not giving up, Savannah. Ever.
Joe looked up at her just before the elevator door opened. He looked so dismantled and it broke her heart. Once he disappeared into the elevator, she shut her apartment door.
“Savannah Lynn Blake,” she heard her younger sister snap at her in a scolding tone. Savannah nearly jumped at the startling sound. She forgot Ginny was still there.
“Why on earth would you ever leave that man?” Ginny gasped. Savannah looked back at her and saw she had tears in her eyes.
“Gin, don’t,” Savannah said, wiping her tears as she back-tracked into the living room.
Savannah dropped down onto the couch and pulled her knees up to her chest, letting the tears continue to drain down her face.
“He loves you so much and you’re just going to break his heart like that!?” Ginny asked, standing over her.
“Just stop!” Savannah snapped at her.
“Who cares if his family doesn’t approve? Who gives a shit? His heart just broke standing here in front of both of us. It shattered!” Ginny scowled at her.
“Virginia! Stop it!” Savannah yelled at her baby sister.
“No!” She yelled back.
“You’re seventeen-years-old! Do not tell me what to do with my life!” Savannah yelled at her.
“You’re making the biggest mistake of your life,” Ginny said, collapsing on the chair next to the couch, crossing her arms over her chest in protest.
“It’s my mistake to make, okay, not yours!” Savannah warned, causing Ginny to scoff in disapproval.
Ginny spent the rest of her winter break from school with Savannah at her apartment. Not because Savannah wanted her too – because frankly she just wanted to be left alone – but because Ginny felt she needed to ‘take care’ of her. Savannah wasn’t much company though. She rarely got out of bed. She barely ate anything. And she continued to cry until she couldn’t cry anymore. And after a few days of that, Ginny decided to get their parents involved in it. It was apparently her way of ‘helping’. But it only pissed Savannah off. Her parents made Savannah go see a doctor about her so-called depression. She felt that it was completely unnecessary – that she was just feeling the effects of a break up. Couldn’t a girl mourn the loss of someone significant in her life?
At the doctor’s office, Savannah was forced to fill out a survey and answer pointless questions about her mental state. It was annoying and just made her feel worse. Once the doctor tallied – or whatever she did with the answers, she let Savannah know the results showed she could technically be diagnosed with depression. Savannah just scoffed and rolled her eyes. Savannah could have told her that from the beginning. But it wasn’t something that was chronic and she didn’t know why she needed to be there talking to someone about it.
“Before we even talk about medications, I need to ask, is there any way you could be pregnant?” The doctor asked and Savannah froze. Pregnant? Not a chance.
“No, no,” Savannah said, shaking her head.
“Are you sure? There are some drugs out there that can’t or shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy,” the doctor informed her.
“Uh…” Savannah stuttered. Her mind couldn’t even fathom it. Wouldn’t that just be the icing on the cake – being pregnant with her ex’s baby?
“Well, why don’t we just do a pregnancy test, just to be absolutely sure?” The doctor said as she began typing something in the computer – ordering the pointless test.
Pregnant? She couldn’t be.