That Thing Between Eli and Gwen(3)

By: J. J. McAvoy


And this is just the beginning of so much more. Today is—

“Hannah,” someone called.

Hearing her name pulled me from thoughts. My head snapped to the man standing in the aisle with his hand outstretched to my soon-to-be-wife.

“Sebastian?” Logan questioned beside me.

Sebastian… The man calling out to my Hannah was Sebastian Evans, one of Logan’s closest friends. We weren’t close, but I knew of him.

“Hannah,” he called again.

Enough! My mind hollered as I took a step forward, but it was too late.

Hannah released my hand. She let go and never looked back as she ran toward him.

I stood there, too shocked to move or speak. That moment was hell on earth.

For hours, I could not speak. My mind was blank. I tried to understand, but my brain, my heart—both were shot. I leaned on the balcony of the dressing room, staring out at the ocean until the sunset. Only then did I regain function of my body, and I ran. Stupidly, I ran out toward the front. All the guests, with the exception of family and the cleaning crew, had left. When I got outside, I saw my brother ripping the “Just Married” sign from the Bentley.

“Eli—”

“Keys.” I walked around to the driver's side of the car. As I opened the door, I saw a woman dressed in blue step in front of me. She had long wavy brown hair and warm brown skin. Her brown eyes were now puffy and red, presumably from crying. She stood tall with her head held high.

“This is your number, right?” She pointed to the phone number on the RSVP card before quickly texting something on her phone and adding, “Please kick his ass.” She turned toward her taxi without waiting for another word from me.

“Gwen!” Logan called out to her before groaning. “Jesus. He was her fucking fiancé.”

Feeling my phone vibrate, I pulled it out of my coat pocket.

He left his email open on my phone. I got a confirmation for a room they just booked.

Prescott Hills

Montauk, NY

Room 1204

“Eli, don’t—”

Ignoring him, I got into the car, and without a second thought I drove, the rage in me growing with each passing mile. I gripped the steering wheel, gritting my teeth as I thought. They were no more than twenty minutes away from the chaos they had unleashed on my life.

When I pulled up at the Prescott Hills, I was prepared to kick the door down. I immediately saw both of them walking toward me, completely oblivious, still holding those godforsaken hands.

“Eli!” Hannah gasped, no longer in her dress, now wearing jeans and a gift shop shirt.

Ignoring her, my fist collided with his jaw and he fell against the wall, but that didn’t stop me. Grabbing him by the collar, I kept punching until my knuckles cracked on his face.

“STOP! Eli! Stop or I will call the cops, I swear,” she yelled.

I wanted to kill him, but by some miracle, I managed to stop. “Call the cops?” I stood rigid, ignoring the pain in my hand and the fucker at my feet. “What's stopping you, Hannah? Make this day even more special!”

She hung her head, dropping to her knees beside him.

“I understand that you hate—”

“You understand nothing.” I cut him off. I couldn’t even look at them anymore. I turned to leave but stopped, pulling out my phone to take a picture of his bloody face. It gave me no real satisfaction, but what the hell. Maybe that other woman would get some peace of mind out of seeing it.

All I could wonder as I drove was, how? How could this happen?





Chapter Two

Dr. Asshole and the Con Artist

Guinevere

A month had passed since the worst day of my life, and since then I had been able to confirm a universal truth: music was God’s gift to the brokenhearted. The first week, I cried to Adele and Mariah Carey. The second week, I was on to Beyoncé and Pink. The third week, Eminem was speaking my language, and the fourth was dedicated to the ‘90s.

“Gwen? Hello? You still there?”

“Yeah, Dad, I’m here.” I adjusted the phone on my shoulder, packing my shoes into the box.

“Are you sure you don’t need me to come down there—”

“Daddy, I promise you I’m okay.” That was a lie. Yes, it had been a month and I still felt like shit, but I knew I would feel like that for a while.

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