By: J.L. Beck

A Kingpin Love Affair

VOLUME three




“Dev! Dev, where are you going? You can’t do this to me! Please, come back to me. I can’t do this without you! I can’t be alone—”As my chest cracks open, and as I watch him take a step away from me, his face is etched with deep sadness.

“I can’t do this with you. I can’t be what you want me to be. I can’t force myself to make this work. It’s over.” The words rip through me as my mind catches up with my body. Tears stain my cheeks and my body shakes uncontrollably… How could he… Was our love ever enough?

I wake up with a gut-wrenching scream ripping through my throat. The t-shirt I fell asleep in is stuck to me, my body covered in sweat as I force myself to catch my breath. Breathe, Teg, just breathe. But for the life of me, I can’t catch my breath and a part of me doesn’t want to. A part of me wants to stop breathing because then maybe my heart won’t hurt. It wouldn’t be a battered, damaged, lifeless, blood pumping organ only existing in its own personal world full of mayhem.

When they tell you about love in books, they forget to tell you not every single love story has a fairy tale ending. That sometimes you have to jump through hurdles and go months, maybe even years, with heartache before discovering what love really is. They don’t tell you about the nightmares that will come. The ones where no matter how much you try to reach the person you once loved, they get further and further away from you. No matter how much you yell, scream, and shout out their name, they can’t hear you. They forget to tell you how you will find yourself crying more than you smile and never feeling anything except the coldness that has surrounded your heart.

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I think it just makes you think. Think about what you had with that person, the love you have lost and what you could’ve done differently to save it. When I look back on my love story with Devon Mitchell, I want to feel more than just what we were. I want to know that deep down we had tried everything possible to be what we were. This is our love story…

Chapter One


The Past—Eight Years Ago

I would like to say I saw the end of us coming, or I saw the heartache and change in him months before the actual incident, but I didn’t. For whatever reason, I was blinded by his love or maybe it was so much more than that. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

“Tegan, you better be ready to go in five seconds, or I’m leaving you here. It might be your graduation, but no one is going to wait for you.” My mother was, well, a mom. She didn’t sugarcoat shit, and she most definitely didn’t tell me anything I wanted to hear. Ever.

“Coming,” I yelled, adjusting my hair in the mirror. It was the end of May, and though it wasn’t hot enough to turn the air conditioning on, it was still warm. My thick auburn curls stuck to the back of my neck, and as I pulled them away from my skin, I wiped the sweat away.

Great. I was a sweaty mess. Excitement bubbled just under the surface as I put my cap on and sprung from the bedroom. For one fleeting moment, I stopped in the middle of the hall allowing all the feelings to sink in. I was a high school graduate, I had a wonderful boyfriend, and a new life was just within my grasps. I could see the future in clear sight. My heart was beating out of my chest as I started walking down the hall toward the steps that led downstairs.

“Tegan, I will not—” My mother’s words halted as I came into her line of vision. She took me in, her eyes running over my cap and gown.

“You look beautiful…” she said softly, her motherly tone disappearing. I could tell she was proud of me. Words weren’t needed when her eyes filled with tears. That was her way of saying, Way to go, Teg. You have defied all the odds bestowed before you.

“Thank you, Mom.” I thanked her, not wanting to ruin the moment by throwing in an ‘I got it from you’ joke. My mother was a single parent and she worked her ass off to get where she was. Nursing school was no walk in the park with a one-year-old. However, she did it and managed to get me where I needed to be. If anything, it was I who should be proud of her.