Crushed (Torn #7)

Written By: Pamela Ann

Crushed (Torn #7) by Pamela Ann




“There’s something terribly tragic about unrequited love. Some have even committed suicide over it. Yet, in a sense, what could be more romantic? An “untried” love is virtually without limits precisely because, never really having begun, there’s been no time for disillusionment to set in. The beloved—frequently distant, uninterested, unavailable, or unapproachable—can remain an object of indefinite idealization.”

- Leon F. Seltzer





Prologue





Listening to one of my best friends exchange marital vows to her handsome Greek man, I couldn’t help feeling somewhat relieved the struggle was over. Deep down, however, I knew the struggle had barely just begun, but at least in this regard, it was something I shouldn’t be worried about.

I loved Lindsey. She was one of my childhood friends, and even though she and I never seemed to see eye to eye most times, I would take a bullet for her. She was my family; all of my friends were.

It was simply unfortunate she and I had fallen in love with the same man, and said man was also hopelessly in love with her. He was the very same man who was also most likely drowning his sorrows in the bottom of a tequila bottle because the love of his life had left him and chosen to be with someone else, someone who was worthy of her love and respect.

If given a choice, I would pick any other man over Brody Thompson, but my heart wasn’t fickle. It was set on him and had never wavered from that love for as long as I could remember. For years, I had tried to squash it because I knew there would be no fruition; however, it still remained, preventing me from moving on and being with someone who would cherish and love me the way I did him.

Therefore, I was left with it, unsure if I wanted to nurture it or rebel and crush it.

Gazing at my best friends, I came to the realization that I was the only one without a partner. It was a sobering thought, seeing everyone was well-adjusted in their new lives, and still, there I was, all alone and left stuck in the past.





Chapter One





“What are you going to do now?” Trista, my usual partner in crime and the one closest to me out of the other two, gave me a questioning look. She didn’t need to emphasize the intent of the question.

“What is there to do?” I merely shrugged, in deep thought as I reflected on the man I harbored feelings for. “It’s not as if he loves me. He’s hurting right now, and there’s nothing I can do to help him with that.” Which was true; the guy was becoming a joke. I hadn’t seen a man so distraught over a woman before Brody. Oh, scratch that; Carter might take the cake on that one since his recent antics had by far shocked us all.

“You can at least talk to him, you know. It won’t hurt.” Trista’s suggestion was made out of concern and love for me, but truth be told, who f*uking knew what truly ran through Brody’s mind?

He had been in a rut since Lindsey had broken up with him. No matter what type of cheering up I could think of, nothing worked. Heck, I had tried to be the best bud there could ever be. The nurse, the teacher, the nagging mother, the annoying brother—I had attempted all of those roles just to kick him out of his funk, but he was too bent out of shape, broken from the inside out. He was gutted, and I didn’t have the means to heal him.

I, for one, wasn’t excluded from the realm of heartbreaks. All my life, I had endured the rollercoaster of it being inflicted by the same man over and over again. Often I wondered why. Why did it have to be him? Couldn’t I have chosen someone at least worthy of my affections, someone who wasn’t obsessed with someone else the way I was overpowered with my love for him? I wasn’t one to voice my problems, but I was the doomed one out of all of us. My family couldn’t care less if I was dying or dead in a ditch somewhere. That was just how my life was, and I had accepted that.

My disheartening thoughts had to wait for a little while longer because Emma took that moment to join Trista and me while we were eating our dessert. Emma, who was basked in the infamous pregnancy glow, seemed a little distracted as she sat next to me, sighing before she decided to take my glass of iced water and gulp it down as if she was dying of thirst.

“It’s so hot. I feel as if I’m melting out here.” Her airy comment made us both glance at her as she lifted her head towards the sunset, partially fanning herself.

She made even pregnancy look glamorous. Emma Anderson was one of those women people envied and loved. Whatever circumstances I found her in—whether it be crying, laughing, making silly faces, seductively dancing, hysterical—she was always gorgeous. Not only that, but she also had a heart of gold, and even though she had come into our group a little later, I loved her just as much. She was a good friend, one who didn’t judge me and was always there to count on, and I wouldn’t have her any other way.

My gaze dropped to her protruding belly, finding myself whimsically smiling right as I heard Trista clear her throat.

“You sure it’s the balmy weather, Ems?” Trista teased.

I cocked my head towards her, raising my brow. Leave it to dear old Trista to stir the pot.

Emma made a face, sighing as she addressed Miss Redhead. “Shut up, Tris. Now’s not the time to mess with me. It’s Lindsey’s wedding, so let’s just enjoy that, shall we?”

Confused by their odd exchange, I directed a pleading look at both of them. “Umm, can someone fill me? In case no one noticed, I’m sort of lost here.”