12 Hours by Hannah Harvey
About the Book
Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Two months ago, Ivy was heartbroken when her boyfriend of almost a year, James, broke up with her on her graduation day, and then left town without saying goodbye.
She hasn't heard from him since that day. Until now.
Now it's two months on. It's midnight, and she's just received a message from him.
I'm outside. I need you.
Three little words she's never been able to resist from him. Over the next twelve hours, follow Ivy on an emotional journey, as she tries to work out why he's back. If he's staying and what she wants now that he's back in her life again.
This is the part where someone stronger would turn and walk away. To finally say that enough is enough, and they'd mean it, and leave with their dignity intact, even if their heart wasn't.
In my world, this is the part where I hesitate and allow him time to explain.
'I needed someone to talk to.' He replies. 'You're the only person I can actually stand to be around right now. You pretty much have been since I met you.'
'James.' I groan and drop my head down. 'We're over. You ended it, and then you left. You can't expect me to fall at your feet, just because you decided to show up in town again. You can't expect it to be like it was before, I can't just be there for you whenever you need me.' I fold my arms over my waist, and try to ignore the little voice in my head, which is asking me why I'm out here, if I'm not going to be there for him whenever he says he needs me.
'I didn't come here expecting anything from you. Hoping, maybe, but not expecting.' He says. His voice is low and honest and I want him to say something to make me madder at him, because that would make this easier. Not better, perhaps, but easier.
'You don't get to hope, not when it comes to me. Why can't you leave me alone? Why did you have to come back now? Why can't you let me move on?'
'Have you?' He looks up sharply, and shoves his hands into his pockets. Pacing up and down again.
'I'm not seeing anyone, if that's what you mean.'
'I didn't really have the right to ask you that, did I?'
'Not really.' I feel a little more confident now, he's more nervous and that's taking the edge off of my own nerves. 'You're the one who chose for it to be this way James. You seem to be confused about that, but let me remind you. You were the one who broke up with me on my graduation day, not the other way around. You've the one who left the town before I could speak to you about what had happened. You're the one who didn't contact me for two months. Then all of a sudden, you're the one who shows up in town again, and now you're the one outside my house at midnight. This isn't fair.'
'I know it isn't.'
'Yet you're here.'
'I'm sorry. I messed up. I'm sorry. I just didn't know where else to go. I'll leave.' He starts to walk away, and the sight of him leaving, just like he did on my graduation day, breaks something inside of me and suddenly I'm crying.
I look back at the house, where I could curl up under my blankets and cry until it stops hurting. Where I could gorge on ice cream to dull the pain. Where I could wake my mom up and let her comfort me as I tell her what happened.
This is where a stronger person would go back inside, do one or all of those things, and forget about their ex-boyfriend, who broke their heart and then returned to play with the remaining pieces.
However, this turns out to be the part where I wipe away the tears, and I walk after him.