Excerpt of A Way Back Into Love

Derek let out a frustrated sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. “Em…I mean that…It’s just this person you have become. The Emily I used to know didn’t hit on random guys at the bar.”

Emily crossed her arms over her chest and gave Derek a glare. “Five years is a long time, Derek. Maybe I have changed,” she said, “And besides, why do you care so much?”

Derek glared back at her as he replied harshly, “Oh, so you have changed so much over the last five years that now you throw yourself at random men like a…” he trailed off, not finishing his sentence.

Emily’s mouth fell open and her eyes widened as she let Derek’s words set in. She couldn’t believe her own ears for a minute. Had Derek really accused her of being a slut? She couldn’t believe it – it all felt like a nightmare.

“What did you just say to me?” Emily whispered, her voice sounding foreign to her own ears. “What did you just say to me?” Emily asked in a louder voice this time.

Derek didn’t say a word as he continued to look at Emily coldly.

Emily took a step towards Derek and narrowed her eyes. Poking Derek’s chest with the index finger of her right hand, she said in a soft yet acerbic voice, “You don’t get to call me a whore. You’ve no right to judge me. Do you hear me? You’ve no fucking right to judge me.” The anger, the jealousy and the heartache combined with the alcohol she had consumed gave Emily a newly acquired courage. She felt more emboldened than she had felt in her entire life, and so, she didn’t hold back in letting out her pent-up exasperation. “You broke me,” Emily continued, her words slurring slightly, “You broke me, but I am all glued up together now. And I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don’t get to call me a whore.” Emily finished her diatribe, her breaths coming in short pants as a result of her outburst.

Derek looked into her eyes, the anger and bitterness in his eyes now replaced by confusion. “I broke you? What do you mean?” he asked in a bewildered voice, his eyebrows shooting up.

Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”

Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.

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