Status: completed.

Baby, It's You & No One Else

how sorry I am

When I was a little girl, I always went to my mom for advice, whether it was about school or the boy who picked on me at the playground, I could always talk to her. Even though she was in love with Eric and thought we belonged together, I knew she was the person to talk to in this situation. So I drove home on Saturday the 23rd, the same day the Gophers were to play in the Insight Bowl. I pulled into the driveway, immediately noticing Jake's truck. I put my car in park, heaving a deep sigh as I climbed out.

I stuffed my cold hands in the pockets of my North Face Jacket, lifting my gaze to meet Jake's as he sat on the porch steps, waiting for me. I moved towards him slowly, dragging my feet across the snowy ground as the wind whipped around my legs. I got to Jake, sitting on the top of the stairs next to him. We stared out across the street, looking at out neighbor's snow man that their little kids had made on Christmas. I shook my head, not wanting to remember when Eric and I made snow men last year at his campus house.

"Mom and dad aren't home?" I asked Jake as he nodded to me, his jaw set. I sucked my cheeks in, looking down at my Ugg clad feet and picking at my nails, a bad habit I did when I was nervous. I didn't really want to talk to Jake because Holly had called me while I was in Duluth, warning me that Jake had gotten the whole story out of Eric and, much to my surprise, Jake took Eric's side.

"Have you talked to Decks since Duluth?" Jake asked me, turning and shielding his eyes from the bright sun as it reflected off the snow. I squinted my eyes and looked at him, not giving him an answer since he already knew.

"Ask your bff," I told him coldly, pursing my lips in annoyance.

"Riley, I took Eric's side because you're being ridiculous. I can't support you if you won't even talk to him about it." Jake chided me like I was a child, pissing me off even more.

"What are you talking about? I talked to him in Duluth," I argued.

"No, you listened to him and let the information go in one ear and out the other. Don't you think it's kind of odd that you listened to Adam, the cheater, more than you listened to Eric, your boyfriend?" I leaned back against the porch, laying down as the tears burned my eyes. Jake always supported me in everything I did and the fact that he was with Eric on this made me feel betrayed.

"Kiddo, sit up," he spoke softly, shaking my arm as I stared up at the rafters of the porch.

"I hate you right now." I mumbled a few tears streaking from my eyes. I didn't want to cry about something so simple but once again, I felt like I was losing Jake and in this moment, I needed him with me more than ever before.

"Ry, baby sis, I'm your big brother. It's my job to tell you when you've fucked up and help you fix it. I'll help you with Eric although I don't think you'll need it because he is one desperate man in love." Jake chuckled lightly as I closed my eyes, trying to ignore the burning desire to give in to Jake.

I honestly had no idea what was holding me back from forgiving Eric. Maybe it was because I hated being right, or maybe it was because I was being stubborn and unforgiving. Whatever the reason was, I needed to figure it out because I had to have something to throw back at Eric. He was sure to be getting antsy and I knew when he came home from Arizona, everything would change. Football wouldn't be a distraction and he would put all his time and energy into me. I groaned slightly.

"Jake, I just don't know what to believe. I really am confused." I muttered, sitting up and letting him pull me into his body, shielding me with warmth.

"Why don't you believe him? Doesn't everything match up?" He asked me, his hand rubbing over my back.

"Yeah, he did text me the whole night and he did call me when he was leaving but there is no denying that Lindsey was there. That kills, Jake. I can't stand the thought of her with him. It make me sick." My stomach tumbled inside of my body as I felt myself burning with rage again.

"Do you trust Eric?" Jake whispered, his eyes studying me as I looked up at him. I nodded, pushing out a breath and watching as it clouded the air in between us, masking Jake's expression for a moment. "Then it shouldn't matter that Lindsey was there. You trust him enough to say no to her. Plus, that was so high school." Jake dismissed with the wave of his hand.

"That doesn't mean it hurts any less. And since you've been talking to him so much, why don't you explain to me why he never told me? It would have been a lot different if he would have told me himself but it seems like he has something to hide." I persisted, shaking my head slightly and rolling my neck from side to side.

"I don't know. We never talked about that." Jake shrugged. "But Riley, you're not doing yourself or him any favors by being like this. Just hear him out, listen to him when he tells you that he didn't cheat. I trust Eric and you do too. The fact that I'm with him on this should be a clue to you too, I believe him and I'm your brother. I'm supposed to protect you from punks like Decker." Jake gave me a ruthless grin to which I rolled my eyes slightly.

"He's going to be really upset I didn't go to Arizona," I whispered as Jake pressed his lips to my forehead softly.

"I think he was ready for you not to show, honey. He's giving you your space which should be another sign." He told me as my parents pulled into the driveway. My mom visibly lit up when she saw me with Jake on the steps. She hobbled out of the car quickly, walking to me and pulling me up from the porch.

"Look who decided to come home!" she exclaimed, examining every inch of my face as she pressed her palms into my cheeks. Her green eyes, identical to mine, looked me over, nodding as I gave her a small smile. "I think it's pathetic that I see your brothers more than you," she scolded me slightly, tucking me under her arm and bringing me into the warm house. My cold limbs started to tingle as the heat thawed them out.

"They use you for your home cooking, mom," I informed her to which she gave me a look, telling me she was aware of that.

"Are you hungry? You look like you haven't eaten in awhile," she informed me, looking me up and down before giving me a pointed look. I shrugged and nodded, watching as she bustled around the kitchen and grabbing some things to whip up a grilled cheese sandwich.

"So let's talk." My mom suggested, buttering the ban and turning the stove on. "Are you excited for your last semester of college?"

I shrugged, setting my chin in my left hand as I rested my elbow against the counter. "Not really. It's just another ending and is going to force me to grow up."

"Yeah, but you're 22 years old, baby girl. It's your time to go out into the world and make it on your own." She murmured, placing the bread and cheese into the pan and turning back to me. "That was the easy question. Now for the harder one, why aren't you in Arizona?" She gave me a hard look, warning me about lying. I looked down at the marble counter, not able to meet her gaze. I closed my eyes, ignoring the persistent urge to break down. A tear slipped out and I felt my mom come across the kitchen, wrapping her arms around my body. "Jake told me everything and honey I really don't know what you're doing to that poor boy. He's done nothing but love you and you can't blame him for something that he never did. You're making him pay for Adam's mistakes baby doll."

"Mom, she was there! That fucking bitch was there, in Florida with him and Eric knew she would be but he never told me!" I exclaimed, my sobs getting louder and stronger as my hysteria rose.

"He didn't want you to stress about it or worry about him. Eric can take care of himself and he also tends to take very good care of you." My mom pointed out, raising an eyebrow at me. "He protects you from a lot of things but he can't protect you from yourself. You need to stand up and talk to him, put all this bullshit aside and talk to him because that's the only way you won't hurt anymore." She patted my hand lightly before walking back across the kitchen, leaving me to my thoughts.

"Are you going to stay here to watch the bowl game?" My mom asked, glancing at the clock to see it was already 6:00. I shook my head and stood up.

"No, I'm going to head back to campus and watch, I think it will be easier that way. I just want to be alone to think and sort through all of my thoughts. But thank you for the talk." I smiled at my mom, pulling her into a hug.

"Let me pack this up for you," she insisted, taking the sandwich off the griddle and into a plastic container. I took it from her and she pulled me into one more hug, something I desperately needed. "I love you honey. It will be okay." She assured me, smoothing my hair as she gently rocked me a bit.

"Thanks mom," I murmured, pulling away and heading to the door.

"Riley," she called out after me. I turned around, looking into her worry-some face.


"You go tell your brother how much you love him. He's just trying to do what's best for you," she insisted, her voice as soft as her sympathetic eyes. I nodded and headed out to the garage where Jake was with my dad, fixing up a beat up car that was completely ripped apart.

I watched from the door way as Jake murmured quietly to my dad, most likely talking about me as they worked under the hood together. I leaned against the garage frame, watching the scene in front of me and smiling at the familiar feeling. Jake noticed me first, giving me a small smile before wiping his hands on a rag and walking over to me.

"I'll be right back, dad," Jake told him. My dad poked his head out waving to me and Jake and I headed over to my car. I unlocked it, sticking my head in and turning it on before looking back at Jake.

"Thank you for being there for him. I know it means a lot and I'm glad he has someone like you to talk to who won't sugar coat anything. I love you, Jake." I murmured as he tugged me into his chest, cradling me like a little child. His lips brushed against the top of my head, as I squeezed my eyes shut tight.

"Just promise me to talk to him when he gets home?" Jake asked me to which I nodded. "You're good for each other. This is just a bump in the road, no one is to blame. I love you Riley, even when you act like a girl." Jake teased me lightly as I rolled my eyes at him. I tisked too, before kissing his cheek softly.

"Tell Holly I said hi," I told him as I climbed into my car. Jake held the door open, leaning down and kissing my forehead softly.

"You going to be alright alone?" He asked me. I nodded and he repeated the action, shutting my door and standing in the driveway as I drove away. I looked back at him once more in my rear view mirror, watching as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously before he shook his head and walked back to the garage. I sighed deeply, hating myself for stressing him out and bringing him into this. Things were unraveling fast and I had to find a way to fix it before everything was too damaged.

I watched the Kansas quarterback take a knee, his hand immediately throwing the football in the air as he rejoiced with his teammates, the final score complete gone in my mind. I watched with tears streaming down my face, literally hating myself for not being there. The camera flashed to Eric who tugged the straps of his helmet, his face set in a blank look, but his eyes telling me all I needed to know: he was broken. I started sobbing after that, the glow of the TV the only light in the dark night as I let myself go.

I should have been there. I should have been wrapping my arms around him, telling him it was okay and that he had many things to look forward to. Because right now, this was Eric's end of the world moment. He would have a hard time getting over this, he needed me and I wanted nothing more than to run to him, but I couldn't. I was still conflicted, the pain of not knowing more than I could bare, despite the fact that I had already come to the conclusion that he didn't cheat. But I still wasn't sure what part of me made that decision, the rational part or the part that wanted to believe anything that spewed from Adam and Eric's mouth.

I took in a shaky breath, looking down at my phone and Jake's name flash across the screen. I hit ignore, knowing he would take that as a sign to fuck off. But I should have known better, because he called again, each time unanswered by me. I sat on the couch in a total haze, my phone repeatedly lighting up on the couch next to me. I didn't have the strength to talk, I was broken and I wanted to stay that way. I grabbed my phone after it lit up for the umpteenth time in the past hour, holding it up and checking the caller Id. I saw Katie's name and I sighed loudly, pressing the green button and listening to her.

"You are so lucky you aren't here," She exhaled loudly and I could practically see her running her hand through her hair in frustration.

"Is it bad?" I asked her, getting off the couch and walking into the kitchen.

"Um, yeah. It's been like an hour and a half since the game got over and the only people who have come out of the locker room are the couches and the training staff."

"Jezz," I sighed loudly, opening the freezer and pulling out my boyfriends, Ben and Jerry. "Have you been in there?" I asked her, grabbing a spoon and sitting at the kitchen counter. I put the phone on speaker, listening as she continued to sigh.

"No, I'm too freaked out to. It feels just like last year," she referred to the same bowl game with the same outcome, a loss. Except that one hurt worse, the Gophers had been winning by a land slide before giving up in the 4th quarter and losing to a team that worked harder and wanted it more.

Katie and I sat in silence as we both thought about the boys that we loved sitting in the locker room. I felt for Eric so much, knowing that this was the cherry on the shit cake of his past week. The end of his senior year, his college football career, everything. I bit my lip as I stabbed my spoon into my ice cream.

"Can I call you back?" I asked her to which she said yeah. I hung up with her and scrolled through my contacts, highlighting the name of the only person I wanted to talk to at the moment. I pressed send and waiting for him to answer, hoping that he would.

"Riley?" Eric called, his voice a bit strangled but other than that he sounded fine.

"Hey," I murmured, grabbing the ice cream and putting it back in the freezer. "I'm sorry about the game."

"Yeah, it kinda stings," Eric confessed a deep exhale escaping his lips.

"Are you okay?" I wondered, walking back through the house and climbing the stairs to my room. It was already 11:30 and my eyes were begging for some sleep.

"I'm managing." His voice was now filled with pain as he talked softly, the locker room absolutely silent on the other end, not even a low murmur coming from it.

"Eric, I think we need to talk," I told him, slipping into my bed and grabbing the pillow that he hadn't slept on in two weeks. I pressed my nose against it, getting a faint scent that wasn't mine but not enough to satisfy my longing for him.

"Are we going to talk or are you going to yell at me and accuse me some more?" He wondered, a slight bitterness to his tone. I was temporarily taken aback but then I reminded myself that I deserved his attitude and so much more.

"I want to talk and I know we have to but I'm just not sure what to think at all. I'm hoping you can help me out with that."

"Then we'll talk when I get back," he murmured, his hopes sky high as his voice held a bit of cheeriness in it. I smiled slightly, my eyes heavy as I murmured softly to him.


"Are you tired?" He asked me to which I nodded despite the fact that he couldn't hear me. I mumbled a yes listening as he chuckled softly. "You should get some sleep then. I love you, baby."

"Love you too," I mused to him, my eyes sliding shut as he softly continued to talk to me until I slipped to sleep, dreaming about him like he was here.

I watched the final seconds of the game tick off and I felt my whole body freeze as the other team celebrated their comeback win. My hand came over my mouth in shock as my eyes slid closed, not quite believing that the Gophers just gave up a 35 point lead over Texas Tech. My fingers ran down my face, tugging my skin down as I watched the team walk off the field, dejected. People around me were angry as Katie, Kara, and I looked at each other with nervous faces. The boys were not going to be happy campers.

We sat down in our seats again, sitting in silence as the time flew by but there was no call from either of our boyfriends, telling us it was okay to come see them. I bit my lip and looked at Kara who say on my left.

"Should we go down there?" I asked, watching her shrug.

"It would be better than sitting here," she told me as she stood up along with Katie. I nodded and followed them down the stairs and to the locker room area. We stood next to the other girlfriends and family members, quietly chatting as the boys began to emerge from the room. Adam came out first, wrapping his arms around Katie and burying his face in her neck. As the quarterback he held a lot of responsibility and sometimes he cracked.

Blake came out next, wrapping Kara into a tight hug just like Adam did before he stood next to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. I pulled him into me, one arm slithering around his waist as I rested my head against his chest.

"Is he coming?" I asked to which Blake nodded.

"Yeah, he was in his gear for awhile but he just got out of the shower."


We waited for another half an hour and Eric had yet to come out. I sighed loudly, looking at Blake who nodded. "You should go in, no one else but him is in there." I closed my eyes and nodded, stepping towards the door and pushing it open. I found him sitting in his stall, staring down at the floor with his water bottle in hand, an annoyed expression on his face.

"Hey," I greeted him softly, standing next to his stall. He grabbed my hand, pulling me onto his lap and puckering his lips.


"You okay?" I asked him as he nuzzled his nose into the crook of my neck, his breath hot against my neck.

"I am now." He told me, kissing my pulse. "If you weren't here right now I'd probably be a wreck."

"I think you'd be okay," I told him, running my hand through his hair and kissing the top of his head.

"I need you more than you think I do," he insisted, his lips moving against my neck, making tingles radiate up and down my stomach. "You keep me calm and together when I'm coming undone. Just being near you makes everything okay and as long as I have you, the fact that we just lost a game we should have kicked ass in, doesn't even matter anymore." I smiled down at him as he tilted his face up, his lips pressing against mine in a sweet and soft kiss.

"I love you," he murmured to me, his lips brushing against mine with each word.

"Mmm, I love you too, baby," I told him before pressing our lips into a tight kiss and helping him forget all about the painful loss.


I jerked awake in bed, my eyes squinting as my phone vibrated against my night table loudly and very uninviting. I glared at it but grabbed it, my gaze softening when I saw a new text from Eric. I yawned as I flipped it open, my eyes scanning it quickly.

Meet me at Starbucks at 1. I'll be home at noon.

I rolled my eyes to the ceiling and then shut my phone, checking the time and seeing it was already 10. I yawned once more, still exhausted from the emotional roller coaster I had been on lately. But I was hoping to end that today, done with the drama and the pain, ready to move on and forgive. I rubbed my face roughly and then pulled myself out of bed to take a shower.

I scrubbed my body and shaved everything that was a necessity, having a feeling that Eric and I might just be having some hot make up sex, so I obviously wanted to be ready for it. I took my time getting beautiful, making sure my make up and everything was subtle but still enough to accent my natural beauty. I pulled my hair into a pony tail, too lazy to do anything extravagant with it.

One o'clock rolled around a lot sooner than I expected as I checked the kitchen clock and grabbed the keys to my car, opting to drive since I was already late. Five minutes later I pulled up to Starbucks, immediately seeing Eric sitting at a table, staring out the window. I noticed his relief when he saw me and I grinned at him, my body feeling at ease. I walked into the shop, going to his table where he already had coffee waiting for me. I smiled at him and took a sip before focusing my attention on our impending conversation. I took a deep breath, looking at the table and then shifting to look at Eric.

"I want to start off by saying I'm sorry about hanging up on you," I apologized, my eyes shifting from him for a moment and then fluttering back to his masked brown eyes.

"I wasn't really surprised," he shrugged, looking at me with an unamused expression. My eyebrows lowered in confusion. "You haven't been listening to me this whole time so I wasn't expecting you to then either."

"Eric, Adam cheating was a big deal, excuse me for being concerned that maybe you did too," I told him defensively.

"No, that's the problem. Right there. You assumed, you didn't listen to me, but you immediately wrote me off as that guy. The guy who has no idea how great his life or his relationship is and throw it all away on some girl who could never hold a candle to his girlfriend." He snapped at me. I leaned back in my chair, taken aback by his tone and the attitude his voice held.


"Shut up, I'm the one talking right now." He snapped at me again. He placed his arms on the table, leaning close to me so that he could get his point across more forcefully. I glowered at him slightly, crossing my arms over my chest and staring him down. "You turned me into a jackass, you made me out to be the bad guy. I wasn't the bad guy, yeah I was there, but I would never do that to you. And quite frankly, since we're being honest here, I'm fucking pissed off that you would do that. I've been sitting here playing ball with your little game, giving you time and space but you wouldn't give at all. And when you hung up on me in Duluth, the whole game changed. I'm not going to be your little rag doll that you throw on the ground when you're feeling insecure. I thought you were better than that." He finished, leaning back in his chair again. I stared him down, my lips curling into a sneer as his words reeled through my head.

"I didn't do anything but protect myself. I pushed you away so that I could make a decision on what the truth was. I had multiple people feeding me information and I had to pick one to believe."

"No you didn't. You should have trusted me. You should have had faith in our relationship and how much I love you. There was no decision that needed to be made, you should have known." He stressed to me, his hands balled into fists.

"And you should have told me about Lindsey when you got back from Florida. I would have been-"

"Stop. You and I both know that it wouldn't have been any different and honestly, that's not something to hide behind. There was nothing to tell when I got back from there. NOTHING. You made it up in your head that Lindsey and I went and fucked on the beach or something. Florida wasn't like the dream you had, Riley. That night at the club was the only time I was ever around Lindsey and I left. I took off when she got too crazy because there was nothing more important than you. I didn't even need self control at that moment, all I knew was that you were waiting for me at home and that was all that mattered."

"So don't sit here and tell me all this could have, should have done, bullshit that I was supposed to do. You weren't there, you didn't see me leave, you didn't see Adam with that chick. But you shouldn't have needed to. That all comes down to trust and if you can't trust me, than I guess that's it. We're done. Because I'm not going to get on my knees all the time and beg you to believe me. I won't play that game for you."

I looked away after that, my fingers raking through my pony tail, nervously. Things were not going the way I expected them too. His brown eyes were burning with rage that was reserved only for me. Here I was, openly ready to forgive him and he was the one making everything worse. I watched people pass by on the street, sucking in a deep breath.

"I don't want to fight with you anymore about this," I whispered, looking down at the wood table.

"And I came in here with that same notion but I'm pretty sick of your attitude right now. You waltzed in here all ready to forgive me for something I never even did."

"Eric, I told you I was sorry."

"No you didn't. You told me you were sorry for hanging up on me. You never said sorry for accusing me of something I wouldn't even think of doing. I mean seriously Riley? I give you the fucking world and I'm always telling you how much I care about you but you still think that I would do that to you? I'm not like other guys, you're the only girl I want, the only girl I'll ever want." His face crumpled in pain a bit as he looked out the window, taking a deep breath before he turned back to me.

"What are you saying?" I whispered, my eyes tearing up. I watched him with frantic eyes as he ran a hand through his short hair and then over his stubble, his brown eyes locking on mine with pain in them.

"That this kills like a bitch. I'm still really hurt and offended by your actions."

"Eric, I know I was selfish but this whole thing is done. I believe you. I know you didn't and wouldn't cheat but everything just hit me at once. I was scared and I couldn't handle it so I took it out on you. That's not an excuse but please, try to see it from my point of view."

"Riley, I've been doing that this whole time and now that I'm seeing it from mine, this whole thing is really unfair and I'm done being sympathetic. You should have believed me. You should have trusted me but you didn't. What if something like this happened again? What if some random person came up to you and told you they saw me with another girl. Would you believe them over me?" He asked, leaning forward and looking into my eyes.

"That's different."

"No, it's not different at all especially since this time, everyone was defending me and you still didn't believe me! That is fucking ridiculous." Eric snapped, slamming his fist down on the table. He closed his eyes, shaking his head as he stood up. "I can't have this conversation anymore. I'm really pissed off and I don't want to say something I'm going to regret." He started to walk away but I stood up, grabbing his wrist as he turned around.

"Eric I know I messed up, I'm sorry but please. I love you," I whimpered, my eyes burning with unshead tears. His hands came to my face, pulling me into his body as he cradled me to him. His lips brushed softly over mine and I stood on my tip toes, begging for more but he pulled away.

"I love you too. Just give me some time." He murmured, his thumbs brushing under my eyes before he turned and walked out of the coffee shop.

I gaped after him, my mouth open as I thought about how horribly wrong that conversation had gone. I swallowed, licking my dry lips as I watched Eric walk across the street. I sat down in the chair again, my head in my hands, too stunned and shocked to chase after him again to make him see how sorry I was.
♠ ♠ ♠
ohhhh no more mr. nice guy :p
don't worry, better days are ahead.. stick with me ladies :D
<333 you all..
comment and they'll get back together faster!