Gosh, it's been a while since I updated! Over a year. But someone reviewed and sort of got me thinking about this story again. So I hope you all enjoy the next chapter. I Will finish this! haha.

" Okay, you're starting to smell. I think you need to get out of bed and hop in the shower. It'll be good for you, Lay."

Magenta was a her wits end. Layla had been in bed for 6 days straight. Her green eyes were swollen with grief. Dusty Oreo crumbs mottled her white comforter. Her phone had been incessantly lighting up with unanswered calls and texts, and yes, she was starting to smell.

"I'm not saying you need to get over this, I'm not saying you even need to feel better, I'm just saying you need to get up. C'mon I'll help you."

"I just can't believe it's over." Layla whispered almost to herself. "I don't understand how I can feel so relieved and so terribly sad at the same time."

Magenta watched Layla burrow deep into her blankets knowing she was making no headway.

She was trying to be the best support to her closest friend, but she felt as if she was doing a piss-poor job of it.

Of course it was normal for Layla to be depressed, but she should at least force her friend to shower, right?

When she came home last week to find Layla in a sobbing heap, Magenta was seriously surprised to find out that she'd ended it with Will. I mean, Magenta knew that the relationship was totally screwed up, but that was kind of their thing- Layla putting on a brave face to support Will because she loved him. Magenta was used to this dynamic and just assumed that Layla wanted to continue to play this role- even as unhappy as she was. It must be that Magenta hadn't been really paying close enough attention, because her sweet bestie had finally grown a backbone, and Magenta was stoked. Yeah, she herself was buddies with Will, but her own breakup with Zach had put distance between them, not to mention the actually distance between them made it hard to maintain a friendship. So it's not like she had to choose sides. Her focus now was being there for Layla, except Layla was pretty much ignoring her. Layla was pretty much ignoring everyone. There were missed calls from Zach, Tara, her boss at the pet grooming job, Layla's mom, and Warren. That surprised Magenta the most, that Warren wasn't here cradling Layla in his arms and petting her awkwardly like a sick kitten- because that was their weird thing. Usually Warren had always been there for Layla when she needed something, so Magenta had no idea why he had been staying away.

Magenta left their dorm room and took out her cellphone.

The phone rang once before Warren answered.

"How is she?" He didn't even bother with a hello.

"Not good, Warren, duh!. Why aren't you here? She needs you. You know, you're like her.. her rock or something. You should be here."

"She's not answering my calls. I think she needs her space, Maj."

"Well, believe me she's gonna have her space because if she goes one more day without showering, I will not be able to sleep in the same room with her stank!" Magenta huffed. "Seriously, Warren. I'm worried. I don't know what to do. She trusts you. She needs you. I can't believe I even have to ask this of you. What the hell?!"

"It's complicated."

"What's complicated?!"


And then something clicked in Magenta's head, just a small shift really, though it took a second for her to process.

"Oh... Ohhh."

Warren didn't respond and Magenta could hear him breathing on the other end of the line.

So she said the only thing she could think of. " Then she probably needs you even more than I thought." And she ended the call hoping she was right.

Warren had tried calling Layla after his run-in with Will. He called and left messages, but she never got back to him. He texted Maj on the second day just to make sure Layla was okay. He was worried that Will had maybe come over and taken his anger out on her. Magenta confirmed that Layla wasn't answering anyone's calls. He hadn't told Magenta about what happened with him and Will, so he was assuming that Layla actually had no idea that any confrontation took place. And he didn't want to make things worse for her. It must've been hard enough to confess their "affair", though that wasn't exactly the right word, to Will. He was glad she did, even though his jaw was still swollen and green. But now, after the phone call with Maj, he though that maybe she was right, that Layla wasn't okay, didn't need her space, but needed...him.

It wouldn't be easy for him to console her over her ended relationship, but it was better than spending his life being her pal, and watching her be with Will. So, all in all, things were looking up. They just needed to get through this.

Warren took a quick shower, making an extra effort to really scrub his armpits. He was thinking that he'd be putting his arm around Layla pretty soon, and wanting her to feel comforted by him, not grossed out. Of course she'd never been grossed out by him before, he wasn't gross, he was over-thinking, and nervous, and he just needed to see her.

After he knocked, he could hear rustling and mumbling on the other side of the door room. Magneta opened the door and look relieved.

"Oh, thank god. I need a break." Magenta opened the door for Warren to come in. As she was rummaging through a pile of clothes on her desk chair, Warren slid his eyes over to a pale, still figure, whose red hair seemed to be the only thing making her look alive.

"I'll be back later." Magenta said as she put on a coat and walked out the door.


No answer.

"Hippie, look at me."

Warren sat down on Magenta's bed facing Layla.

"Layla, I need you to say something."

"Why did you come?" Layla said, keeping her eyes averted from him

"I came because you and Will broke up and I was worried about you. You haven't been answering anyone's texts. I thought maybe after,...well, I thought maybe you could use a little space, but now I'm thinking I should've come sooner."

"You shouldn't have come at all."

"Don't say that." Warren said softly.

"I left Will."

"I know, hippie."

Layla sat up, pulling the covers over her shoulders. She turned to face Warren, to actually look at him.

"What happened to your face?"

"It doesn't matter." Warren said never looking away from her.

Lethargic, Layla let that go. "You should go, Warren. I can't do this. I can't have you here."

"Why? What exactly is it that has you keeping away from everyone who cares about you?"

"You don't get it, not only am I going through a breakup of a 6 year relationship, but I also have to deal with the fact that I'm a shit person, and a liar. It's too much to see you here to be reminded of... of why I'm so awful." Layla's pale face had turned blotchy and her eyes began to water.

"Layla, don't do that. Whatever happened between us wasn't awful. Maybe it wasn't under the best set of circumstances, but I think you and I both know that it was inevitable. You and me. It's always been inevitable. You told Will and ended it. That's what matters. You couldn't have just stayed with him forever."

"That's the thing. I never told Will. I just told him I didn't love him anymore. And that's true. But he doesn't know that you and I..."

"Hippie, he knows. Who do you think did this to my face?"

"Oh, God. Oh God!"

"Relax. It's over. He's fine, I'm fine." Warren furrowed his brow. " If you didn't tell him, then how did he know?"

"I have no clue! He must hate me even more now. I'm so awful" she moaned "Please, please go Warren."

"Really, Hippie? Enough." Exasperated, Warren continued. "Will treated you like crap, he's a total narcissist and made everything always about him. He'll move on and find some other girl to turn into his adoring pet. So, don't beat yourself up for wanting out."

"Is that how you see me? As Will's adoring pet?" Layla was pissed.

"That's not what I meant, I -"

"No, I know what you meant. You see me as some pathetic girl who hangs onto her boyfriend and then can't let it go when they're over, right?" Layla sat up straighter. "Well maybe you were right about that first part. But I'm done hanging on to anyone. I'll never be pathetic again" she spat." I know you hate Will, but I Don't. We didn't work, but still... I loved him for a long time. He didn't deserve to be cheated on, and I deserve time to grieve the loss of that love. So you can take your condescending attitude and leave."

" Wow. Okay. I'm being condescending? All I have ever done is be a good friend to you. I've always been there for you and look...I'm here for you now. I'm not here to try to make you feel like shit, but for fucks sake Layla, you and me we're not just friends anymore. And honestly I don't know exactly how to go about that right now. A few days ago you let me put my hands all over you and it's pretty shitty to have to listen to you talk about how much you regret it."

He took in Layla's wide eyes and pale face, but all of the sudden he was just as angry as she was.

" You said you're done hanging on to anyone ever again, that you're done being pathetic? Well, guess what? So am I. I've been in love with you for years and had to keep that to myself. I had to watch you with him, watch him treat you like he owned you. I had to sit with that for years when I knew we would be so much better together than you ever were with him. But, I can't wait around for you if you never even plan on coming to me." It was like Warren was having a revelation of his own. His feelings erupted in a way he hadn't expected and now there was no turning back. "I guess you're right, you have to go through this alone. I can't be just your friend anymore and sit here and watch you fall apart over him... because of... us."

It was silent in the room.

Layla didn't know what to say. She heard Warren say that he loved her and that he had for years, but the shock couldn't penetrate her self loathing. In another universe she would have been jumping into his arms. All she knew is that she was hurting and she couldn't give anything to anyone right now. Not even a coherent answer. In her bones, she felt herself losing one more person in her life. She saw in her minds eye, her most prized relationship, her friendship with Warren. How it was her safest place. And then she saw how she ruined it. How if she was patient and kind and brave, she could have been truthful with herself and ended things with Will before she became a big fat cheater. She and Warren could have found their way to each other without any darkness hanging over them. If she did things right, she wouldn't have started something with Warren when she knew she couldn't finish it. Because now everything was out of order. Layla couldn't go straight from being Will's girl to Warren's. He loved her. Right now the thought almost seemed absurd. Being in love was supposed to make you feel happy. And she was anything but happy.

Warren sat and waited for her to say something like " Warren, I'm sorry" or "Warren, my feelings for you are real, I just need some time" or, if he was honest what he really wanted to hear was "Warren, I love you too". He'd never said that to anyone before and he wished he hadn't had used this moment to do it. But he couldn't have stopped himself. Right now he was just hoping she'd say anything to make him stop feeling like a complete asshole that ever even assumed that Layla had wanted him at all. He waited for her to say something to give him an inkling that she didn't just use him as way to be force herself to end things with Will. That all hope wasn't lost. Because he was telling the truth, if she wasn't in then he was done. It was all or nothing for him now. So he waited. But she never said anything. Her wide eyes swept downwards looking at the flecks in the cheap carpet and she pressed her lips together.

So Warren did hat he had to do to save himself from total destruction. He got up and walked out.