The Second Chance of Love

Submitted into Contest #156 in response to: Write about two characters arguing over how a past event happened.... view prompt

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Romance Contemporary LGBTQ+

  It was never supposed to end this way. It was never supposed to end at all. But even soulmates can have a moment of doubt. A moment that slips into the cracks. A moment that fueled their subconscious fear that maybe their love was never the fairytale they thought it was.

All it took was just one singular moment, less than ten minutes, to change everything for them.

Daisy took that moment as a blessing. They were only together for two years, if that moment didn’t happen sooner then she could have been with Ava for much longer, wasting her time with someone who was never her soulmate. But that mindset soon changed after months on end of failed relationships and endless hookups, leaving her to feel foolish for letting that one moment of doubt drive them apart. Now she feels nothing but self-hatred and longing.

Ava took that moment as a time for self-reflection. Never had she ever doubted who she was as a person and evaluated her self-worth. Always known as a no f-s given, fearless young woman, and all it took was just ten minutes of her life to make her second guess all of it. Like Daisy, that would soon change just after a month of grieving the breakup. One morning Ava woke up and couldn’t believe she could ever forget and doubt who she was as a person. Once she reached the self-acceptance phase of the loss of herself, did she soon grieve the loss of the relationship. Also like Daisy, she too longed for their love, making her question if they were just two stubborn women who couldn’t step away from the heat of the moment and notice what was truly transpiring around them. If only they had a moment to pause, to breathe, they would have been able to see that there never was a fault in their relationship.

A year after the split, they both had thoughts to call each other, figure out what went wrong, and declare that they both still love each other. But here lies our lovers’ problem: they both think the other person broke up with them. So naturally, no one called or sent a text. The fear of being rejected again was too strong to let them send just even a simple ‘Hey’. So, they both took the other’s silence as a sign that this is how it is supposed to be. That the chance of this being a simple miscommunication was practically non-existent.

Even after ten years, they both still think about each other, thinking about the one that got away. The reason why they broke up faded over time, making then wonder why they ever did split up to begin with. Both silently wondering if they truly did throw away their one chance at true love.

They haven’t seen or spoken to each other in those ten years. Life in New York City makes it easy to avoid someone. But even in the Big Apple, you can’t avoid one person forever.

After years and years of avoiding running into each other, the one time they didn’t overthink an invite, search endlessly on social media to see if the other is friends of friends with whoever will be there, or double-check the location of where the party will be held, does it truly happen. On a seamlessly normal Thursday night, our past lovers would run into each other, causing their world -and heads- to turn upside down.

Daisy, caught up in the moment of the party, suddenly feels a hand on her arm. The tightened grip of her best friend’s hand along with her frozen body language signals for Daisy to look at her. Olive’s color drained face, the terror in her unblinking eyes, and the shock in her agape mouth, force Daisy to look in her line of direction with dreadful panic rising in her chest. “Oh my god,” she whispers for only Olive to hear. The sight of her past lover makes her heart both stop beating one minute and pound endlessly the next.

Slowly, every other person disappears from Daisy’s view like an apparition, until it is only Ava.

She didn’t mean to keep staring, but she couldn’t help herself. The one who got away is twenty feet away from her. Before she could discretely walk away, Ava looks up, locking eyes with Daisy. Confusion rests in her eyes at first and then recognition hits her, making her eyes bulge quickly in shock. Daisy can read her name come out of Ava’s lips. She can almost hear Ava’s sweet, raspy voice saying her name. Recalling a time in her life when she thought she would always hear that voice.

Daisy’s grip on her wine glass loosens, and her hands start shaking with shock. Olive reaches out and takes the glass from her hands before half of its content spills onto the enormous fifty-thousand-dollar monstrosity rug that takes up the majority of the living room floor. Realizing the glass is out of her hands, Daisy comes to her senses, looking back at her worried friend's face. Before she could speak to Olive, she feels a presence suddenly next to her. With a gasp escaping her throat, she looks to her side to see Ava is now standing next to her.

“Been a long time, huh?” says Ava.

“I’m going to get myself another beer…” says Olive, catching on to know that this conversation will only be needed for two people, not three.

“It’s been a long time indeed,” mutters Daisy, once Olive is out of sight. She takes a deep sip of wine, hoping to calm her nerves. Sweat starts to perspire on her, making Daisy regret the wool sweater she wore tonight.

Ava nudges in the direction of where Olive disappeared, “Good to know that childhood best friends can last past their twenties and into their thirties.”

Daisy weakly smiles into her wine glass while taking another sip of wine, unsure of what to say or do. As she thought this day would never come. She tried her very hardest to ensure this day would never come. “How are you?” she eventually asks.

Ava tilts her head, looking at Daisy with mild curiosity, assessing how much she wants to tell her. If she wants to tell her the truth at all. “Pretty good, thanks. I finally got that loan to open my own shop. It’s been successfully open for business for the last seven years.” Daisy nods her head while looking at her wine glass, unable to meet Ava in the eyes. “And you?” asks Ava.

“Oh, you know, the same old. Still working with Margaret at the firm.”

Ava shakes her head, then takes a sip of her beer, “That bitch is still taking credit for all your hard work?” Daisy winces lightly at her words, as Ava hit a soft spot in her. Ava places a hand on Daisy’s arm, “I’m sorry, I know how much you love working at that place and you love what you do, but I would have thought by now she would have learned to be better or…”

“I would have done something about it by now?” says Daisy, finishing Ava’s sentence, knowing very well that was what she was truly thinking.

Ava shakes her head, “I wasn’t going to say that.”

Daisy gives her a knowing look, as she knows her work schedule at the firm was the catalyst for their fight, for what started the moment that would change everything for them. Even after ten years, they don’t need to play pretend and act like they don’t know the truth of that time.

An awkward silence emerges between them, wondering which one of them will open the can of worms they have been desperately seeking to do for ten years.

“You know I still think about that night,” says Ava. “Wondering how it all went wrong so fast and so quick.”

“We were so young, Ava,” says Daisy. “We didn’t know how to handle anything.”

Ava looks at Daisy, assessing whether to call out her bluff, as she knows that Daisy is only dismissing reality for the sake of preventing an argument, wanting to keep the peace. Once she made her decision, Ava takes a step back, knowing very well what kind of reconnecting they will have, deciding she doesn’t want to hear anything else Daisy might have to say. “You know what, we were just two young foolish women.” Ava looks behind Daisy as if someone else from the party has caught her attention. “It was good seeing you, Daisy,” she says as she starts to walk away.

Knowing that this is not how she wants this conversation to end, a conversation she has run through endless times in her head in various scenarios, Daisy reaches for Ava’s arm, making her turn around. “Wait, I…” says Daisy.

Ava waits with one eyebrow perked up. In that one gesture alone, she conveyed so much to Daisy. A silent question of asking if she will ever grow up and be able to talk like the adults they now are.

“I still think about that night too…” admits Daisy. And then the apprehension that she kept up inside, trapped with the air stuck in her chest, was let out in a giant breath once she sees that Ava is willing to hear her out. “That was our first real fight.”

“And our last,” says Ava.

Daisy shakes her head, “If I had known that that night was going to be my last time with you…”

“You’d what?” interjects Ava.

Daisy looks down at the floor, “I don’t know. Maybe stopped you from leaving, from leaving me.” She looks back up to see perplexed confusion on Ava’s face.

“What do you mean from leaving you?” she asks.

Daisy soon meets her same confusion, unsure of where Ava’s misunderstanding is coming from. “On that night, you stormed out. I thought you’d left to get some air to cool down and when you come back, we would hash out everything. But you came back already to pack your things and go stay with your sister as if we were already done. As if our relationship was so meaningless that one fight was all it took for you to break it up.”

Ava shakes her head as she hears this from Daisy as if she cannot believe the words coming out of her mouth. “You think I broke us up?” she asks.

Daisy nods like she is answering a very simple question. “Yes, you did.”

Ava runs her hand across her hair, “I can’t believe this.” She looks back at Daisy, trying to bite back an inappropriate laugh from escaping her mouth. “When I left, I was waiting for you to come after me, to mend things and make things right. But when you never did, I thought that was your way of telling me that you didn’t want our relationship to continue. You always hid and go quiet when things got messy. You never really dealt with confrontation well. So, on that night, after everything that was said and done, I thought you would have overcome that, that you would overcome that obstacle for something so important. But when you didn’t, when you didn’t come after me, I knew that you didn’t see us as something worth fighting for. And your silence was your way of ending things. So that’s why I came back hours later in a rush to pack my things and go stay with my sister. I thought you gave up on us, on me.”

“So, this whole time, you thought I broke up with you?” asks Daisy.

Ava shakes her head unbelievably, “And this whole time you thought I broke up with you.”

Our lovers look at each other, wondering how it all got so wrong and remained this way for such a long time. Silently, they curse at themselves for never reaching out years ago, as this could have been cleared up ages ago.

Daisy looks around the apartment, suddenly remembering that they are in the depths of a party filled with dozens of other people. She looks at Ava, the person she has known deep down that got away, and decides it is finally time for her to overcome her fear of confrontation. Well, maybe only this one time. “Do you want to get out of here? Maybe we can finally have that talk we’ve been waiting ten years for…?” asks Daisy.

A small smile curls up on Ava’s lips, something Daisy thought she never would see again. “I’d like that.”

July 27, 2022 03:21

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