"You Can Learn To Live With This."

Submitted into Contest #129 in response to: Set your story in a snowed-in chalet.... view prompt

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Fiction Romance Sad

“This is a nightmare.” 

Victoria felt a heavy weight in her chest as the realization of her current prediction slammed into her like a bag of bricks. She remained motionless on the top step of the stairs, looking down at the man who was standing near the front door of the chalet. 

Adam, her sister’s fiancé, gave a sigh and shoved his phone back into his pocket. “Looks like it's just us here tonight.” He said, as he glanced up at her, seemingly unaware of the horror that was written all over her face. “There was a ton of snowfall this morning, and the roads are all unusable. No way anyone is gonna be able to make it all the way out here.” 

“But what about Emma?” Victoria asked, referencing her sister who was surely throwing a fit over the unprecedented snow storm that had ruined their vacation plans. 

“You know your sister, she’s pissed that she couldn’t make it.” Adam shuffled over to the living area and started poking around at the fireplace. “She was the one who found this place on Airbnb after all.” 

“She was so excited about this trip.” Victoria said, as she slowly walked down the stairs and stood awkwardly at the base. She knew that she should have gone up, should have gone and hidden herself away in one of the many rooms that were now going to be free for the night. The longer she stayed down here with Adam, the worse it would be.  “She couldn’t wait for all of us, our whole family to be here and spend time with you before the wedding.” 

“It sucks.” Adam agreed. He finally managed to get the fire going and he stood up and grinned triumphantly. “But what else can we do? It's just one night without her, what’s one night when we’ll get to spend the rest of our lives together soon.”  

“You really love her, don’t you?” The question slipped out of Victoria’s mouth before she could stop herself. This was what she was afraid of, of not being able to stop herself from saying the words that ached away at her soul. “That must be nice, that you two share a love so strong. I’m happy for you. For Emma too, of course. I’m happy for both of you.” 

“Thanks.” If Adam was at all put off by her strange word vomit, he did a fantastic job of hiding it. He sat down on the couch that was in front of the fireplace and patted the seat next to him. “Why don’t you sit down here for a while? If it's just going to be us, we might as well make the most of it. We could talk and stuff, get to know each other  a little bit more. I am going to be your brother after all.” 

“Brother-in-law.” Victoria corrected him as she slowly walked over and sat down next to him. This was a mistake. She shouldn’t be doing this, but she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be close to him. It crushed her to know that she had these feelings, and the guilt that engulfed her was almost unbearable. 

“Have you ever been in love, Tori?” Adam asked, as his eyes glazed over and he stared up at the ceiling. He smiled wistfully, a smile that all but revealed who he was thinking about. “It’s just so amazing, that feeling when you’re finally found  your person. It makes everything seem right in the world. It makes you feel like you’re whole, like you’ve finally found the one thing that was missing from your life that you never ever realized you were missing.” 

“That sounds like something out a rom-com.” Victoria gave a short laugh as she tried not to think about how he had just called her by her nickname. It sounded so magical coming off of his lips. “Seriously, you could write Hallmark cards or something.” 

“Yeah, that was ridiculously corny, wasn’t it.” Adam chuckled although the blissful look on his face continued to shine bright. “But I’m being serious. Love is what makes life worth living.” He finally broke his gaze away from the ceiling and turned to look at her. “You didn’t answer my question, have you ever been in love?” 

Victoria felt a shiver run down her spine as she locked eyes with Adam. She was sitting close to him, so close that she could see that his  eyes had little specks of gray and green mixed in. She could count the freckles that decorated the bridge of his nose and see the tiny little scar that was on his chin that he had gotten from a skateboard accident when he was 15. 

She could tell him the truth. The whole truth, all of it right now. It was just the two of them, stuck together in the little chalet. Maybe it was fate, maybe the snowstorm was some unexpected push by the universe that was meant to bring them together. 

She loved him. She had loved him since she saw him on the first day of her freshman year of high school, so many years ago. She could tell him that right now, and she could kiss him and feel him in the way that she had always dreamed about feeling him. Now was the perfect moment, if she didn’t say it now, then when would she ever get another chance? 

But….she couldn’t do this to her sister. Emma loved him too, and he loved Emma. 

“No, I've never been in love.” Was what Victoria finally said. The words felt heavy as they slipped out of her mouth, but deep down inside she knew that it was the only thing she could say. 

As she sat there on the couch, staring at the man that she so desperately longed for, but could never have, Victoria silently repeated one simple phrase over and over again in her head. 

You can learn to live with this.” 

January 22, 2022 04:54

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1 comment

Eisley Kang
04:51 Jan 29, 2022

I've just read your story, and thought that the character development was so intriguing. I also thought that the character's relationship felt so strained, and the tension between the characters was so intense. Great submission, hope to read more of your writing in the future.

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