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Romance Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of substance abuse.

“He’s using you.”

“What do you care?”

He gulped, slightly, if I hadn’t had known him so long I wouldn’t have had picked up on it, but it was a little thing. Like how his eyes were looking anywhere else in the room, but me. How his index finger was drumming against his side repeatedly. How his breath had shallowed.

“I care. Of course, I care Hales.” It came out as a hiss. Four years. Four years and he hadn’t sent a care in my direction, four years since it happened. Four years since the day it all went to shit.

Four years,

Three months,

Seven days.

Since my life fell apart.

Now it was my turn to gulp.

“You’re just jealous.” I stood up and wiped my palms on my thighs, attempted to smoothen down my shirt. He scoffed.

“Why would I be jealous?” He was standing, leant against the wall next to my bed. Calm. Calmer than he just was, a glitch in the matrix. His mask was back, and I was over it. So over it. I turned around, bit my lip when he couldn’t see. So many thoughts, contemplations, expectations, wonderings of what could’ve been.

I breathed.

One.

Two.

And turned around.

He was in front of me.

“Give me one reason Hails, one reason why I would be jealous.”

I looked up at him, slightly. The lies slipped off my tongue. “Cos I’m finally happy.”

I turned around, again. Desperate to rid any thought of him, any trace or particle that he was even entangled in my life, and I started to walk. One step, two. He pulled me back to him, my hand on his chest.

“You don’t seem happy Hales.” I put my head on his heart, the thudding in my ears. His steady heart.

“How would you know?” I whispered. “How would you know any of the shit that has happened or how I feel?” I pulled back. “How the fuck would you know Jer? How the fuck would you know what happiness feels like?” I stood there, panting. ” You weren’t here for any of it.”

“I know you Hales-”

“No.” I put my hand out, took a few steps back. As much distance as I could muster. “You don’t. Four years? Remember?” He frowned. One look. One look in his eyes and I was gone. His beautiful emerald eyes. Stop-no. Remember. “That’s what I thought. You don’t. You don’t care. You left and here I was to pick up the pieces. You don’t know shit Jeremy. You know why? Because you weren’t here. Now get out of my room, get out of my house, and get the fuck out of my life!”

I was on the verge of breaking, if not already broken. The rage burning everything up and leaving me to bathe in the ashes. I hated him. I hated him so fucking much. He was it. Death in the form of beauty. A stone carved assassin. One who could ruin me, and I hated him for it.

He took a step closer. I couldn’t move. Couldn’t breathe. Another. I took a step back. The strides came closer, and I was backing away, clashed into the wooden door behind me. Frozen. Like ice. One wrong foot and I would be ruined.  

I reached for the handle, he put his arm on the door. Kept it closed.

“Let me the fuck go, or I swear-”

“I don’t care?” He said it like it was funny, but his face was dead. His lips pressed in a thin line. Not his eyes-no matter what I would not look into his eyes. “Don’t you dare fucking accuse me of not caring Hales. Four years. Four fucking years, three months, seven days, three bottles of vodka and rehab has not made me forget every inch of your body, every tear you shed, every smile you wore until I melted. I fucking melted okay?” My heart was in my throat, my brain foggy.

“You destroyed me.” I barely caught the whisper.

I looked up. I looked up. I fucking looked up. I didn’t believe it. His eyes, swimming in a pool of tears. Incomprehensible pain. He counted. He’d counted the days.

The days we lost.

“I’m not a naïve eighteen-year-old Jer, this has to stop.” It strained my voice to say. He leant into the crook between my head and my neck. One small, soft peck. Lips soft, planted on my collarbone. Like a breath of fresh air.

He pulled back. “Do not ever think that I do not care for you. I want you; I need you to know.” He shook his head, tucked a strand of dark hair behind my ear. “Fuck it- I want you Hales. Only you. I’ll choose you. I’ll keep choosing you. Forever.”

“Jer-”

“Don’t.” He shook his head. “Don’t say it.”

Say what? My mind had gone blank. I had waited eternity for him to say it, and he did. So many feelings, emotions, I just kept shaking my head. All I could think about was the fucking ring on my finger. A promise. A promise I’d made and needed to keep. An engagement to my future, a good future, an easy future…

“Jer-”

“Hales.” His voice cracked. A tear slipped out of his eye. I broke, the tears started pouring down my cheeks.

One person, all of time and space and infinite possibilities, one destiny, one destination.

He was mine.

“Take it off.” I sobbed. “Take it the fuck off.”

He looked at me, confused. I put my hand on his chest, so he could see it. His eyes widened.

“Hales-”

“Jer,” I wiped my eyes on the corner of my sleeve and stared at him. “Take it off. Please.”

His hand brushed mine, ever so slowly inching the diamond ring off my left hand, his lips pursed. My heart pounding. This was it. This was it. This was it.

It was at the edge of my finger, and he paused. “Are you sure?”

“Jeremy, take the fucking ring off before I throw it at you.” He smiled, dropped the ring to the floor.

“Hales.”

“Jeremy.” I smiled. “Guess what?”

“What?” His hand touched my cheek. I closed my eyes and smiled. It wasn't going to be easy, nothing worth having ever is...

I looked at him.

“I choose you too.”

August 02, 2022 01:14

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1 comment

Melissa Taylor
00:06 Sep 01, 2022

Great story, really drew me in. The depth of emotion is delicious.

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