You had me fooled, you know. I really did think that we would last, that we could make it. Especially after everything you told me. I remember the sound of your voice when you convinced me that we were perfect for each other. And maybe at one point, we were. But now...now we're both just a mess. We both know that we, in fact, aren't perfect for each other. We're not even remotely good for each other. All we do is complicate the simplest aspects of life. And yet...
It wasn't so long ago that we were ignorantly blissful. Or is it blissfully ignorant? Either way, we were happy. I had you, and you had me, and that's all that we needed to make the world go 'round. It's not like it came out of nowhere, though. We've been close since middle school. I mean, we each had our own set of friends, but still, we were involved with each other. You made me laugh so hard that whatever I was drinking would shoot out of my nose, much to my embarrassment. Only, you thought it was hilarious. I made you ponder the questions of life and love until you complained of a headache, but I was certain that the knowledge would benefit you someday.
Our romance didn't come for a while. And when it did, it wasn't sweepingly passionate or lovingly romantic. It just was. You kissed me under the oak tree during senior year. It was more of a surprise to me than anything else. But then I surprised you by launching myself into you, my mouth covering yours. To this day, I can remember how you caught me gently and pulled me close. Sometimes I wonder if you remember anything like that, but I never ask you. It would be too hard for the both of us.
Going to the same college did wonders for our relationship. We were never closer than we were during those years. Still, you had your friends and I had mine, but we hardly ever drifted too far apart from each other. You majored in business, while I studied literature. However, we never put too much focus on our studies, unlike the majority of our peers. We were too wrapped up in each other, not really caring what our futures would hold because we knew that we had each other. Honestly, how stupid were we?
After college, we decided to make it official by moving in with each other. Marriage and kids had never really been a plan for us, so we just skipped those parts. It was like fastforewarding through a boring part of a movie. You got a job at some big business type of place and I began my writing. It all seemed very zen. But that was only from the outside looking in. The truth was that we were simply bad for each other. All we ever did was have sex. We became so emotionally invested in each other - more so than we should have been. You began having trouble concentrating at work. I couldn't write. All either of us could think about was each other, but at the same time, we wanted away from each other. It was a toxic combination. One that would eventually end up enslaving us both.
Eventually, we both decided that our relationship just wasn't working out. We needed a break. You volunteered to move out, but I insisted that I couldn't stay in our apartment without you. So, we sold it and each got our own place. A new start, a new beginning. Only, it wasn't. Yes, we tried dating other people, but we never could make it work completely. I was always thinking about you when I would kiss another man. I know you did the same. Or, whenever I had an impossibly difficult break-up, I'd come running back to you, and you'd take me back without hesitation. You'd comfort me and promise me that life would get better. Except we'd always end up in your bed. The same goes for whenever you needed me. It was as if we couldn't show the world our true emotions, but we could show them to each other.
So, we did. Long after middle school, long after the oak tree was cut down, long after we moved away from each other, we were still dancing the same steps, and we didn't know how to stop. We would yell and fight with each other, both of us angry that we couldn't quit one another. Eventually, we had a dry spell. You took a job out of state. I stayed here. But even throughout the long distances, we were still connected. It didn't matter where we went, a part of us was always hung back. We were addicted. We were the drug and the user at the same time. We were flames and gasoline. We were stuck.
During the time when you were away, you met someone. Someone who you thought you could love forever, who you thought could change everything. And I think a part of me hoped it would. Your wedding was beautiful. She liked me so much that she made me a bridesmaid. I wonder if you remember how you stared longer at me that day than you did at her. I know I do. I also remember meeting my current boyfriend. He was one of her brother's friends or something. I thought that maybe he would help me change, just like you thought she would change you. But neither of us were ever good at changing.
So now, here you stand, in my doorway. You're soaking wet because of the rain and you've just finished rambling about how you had a fight with your wife. And I've just told you that my boyfriend is out of town on business. Now there is silence. You stare at me with those eyes and I don't ever leave your gaze. We both know that we shouldn't be doing what we're thinking about doing. It was different before - the only people who would end up hurt would be us, but now...now there are other hearts at stake.
But the memories keep flooding back. You and me in middle school, where it all began. You and me under the oak tree, where the fire was lit. You and me in college, where it flourished. And, finally, you and me moving out of our apartment, where it was supposed to end. Suddenly, you kiss me, and it takes everything that I have to stay still. You look at me, and I look back, defiant. You nod your head a few times and back away. We're both trying so hard. You give me the smile that I've come to love, and I return it. You step out of the door frame and head down the pathway. You look back once, and all I can think to do is slightly wave my hand. You smile a little and turn to go. I shut the door.
I turn around and lean up against the hard wood, my eyes filling with tears. I love you so much, and I know you love me, but it could never work out between us. Not in the way that it's supposed to, anyway. But then, I close my eyes and I see your face, and everything is different. It's all coming back, and I can't resist it any longer. I open the door and start to yell your name, only to find you there, your hand reaching for the doorknob. I meet your eyes for a split second before I launch myself at you, and you catch me just as gently as you did back then.
We stumble through the house, heading towards the bedroom, our eyes closed and lips locked. We both know we shouldn't be doing this. It will only bring everyone pain, and it will only fuel the fire that is us. We know we should stop. We know it all, we know. And yet...
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Book / Fantasy
Short Story / Young Adult
Short Story / Romance
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