A Short Story: Part 3

And, finally, here’s part 3! The last one of this mini-series. I hope you enjoy it!

3.

She smiled. She had being waiting to hear these heart-stopping words since they had started talking years ago. However, she couldn’t pronounce those words to him. It wasn’t as if she didn’t feel them completely, she did, her love for him resonated through her veins every single minute of every single day. But something bigger than her, than them, than that moment, would not allow her to cut that wound to let everything come out. – It’s ok, you don’t have to say it.

He drove her back to her house and wished her a good night. He couldn’t remember a time where he felt happiest. Even though everything was wrong, everything felt right. And with that thought, the months flew by. He saw her almost every day for the next two months. He saw her on Halloween, when they both went to the docks and enjoyed looking at the river below them. He thought about the time he picked her up from her friend’s birthday and they just drove away, like nothing was left behind. But also, the time they had a fight over his relationship with Hannah. And how harsh her words had been, as if he had ever hid something from her. He also remembered how they made up, in front of the beach, with the waves splashing their tempo. He remembered holding her hand and telling her about his deepest fears, and his biggest laughs. He remembered going to bed, every night, and thinking about her, wanting to touch her, and looking forward to the next time they’d be together. He gave her everything he had during those months. And when that day came, his world crashed down.

It was around midday, and he was going home to have lunch, as he always did. When his keys wouldn’t turn on the lock, he rang the bell. Weird, she never comes home for lunch.

-Hi.

-Hi! What’s happening? Why are you home at this time?

-Come. Sit down. We need to talk.

His heart started racing as if it wanted to jump out. Does she know? How did she find out? Did I forget to delete a message? Did she see it? How dare she checking my phone? When did she find out? And why coming all the way here, right now, if she could have talked with me tonight? Or this morning? Is she breaking up with me? Is she going to yell? Did she tell anyone?

-I haven’t been feeling very well. And I went to the doctor because I thought…

Did she have cancer? Was she all right? When did she go to the doctor? She never told me about it!

-…and there was anything. So, he decided to give me a full check-up and ordered some blood tests too.

-Ok, did you receive the results already?

-Yes. That is why we’re talking right now.

And so, she explained him everything. How she went to get the results in the morning, and how she opened them and discovered that the reason why she had been feeling unwell for a few weeks was because she was pregnant. He was lost for words. Never in a billion years, he thought this would be happening right now. He wasn’t ready. He didn’t feel ready. He loved children, alright. He loved his niece. But he wasn’t ready. She wanted to have the baby. Of course, he wanted it too. He wasn’t ready, but things happen for a reason, and they were having this baby. And then, he remembered Serena.

*

In my head, I haven’t been doing anything wrong. She did it early in our relationship, so why wouldn’t I do it now? It’s not like I don’t love her, but I also like her. It’s an interesting thing, the human mind. You find space to love everyone. I love both my parents and I love them equally, so why can’t I like them both in the same exact way? Well, I don’t. I love Hannah, and I care for Serena. But my whole body resonates when I’m with Serena. I can see the way her eyes burn when she looks at me, and she takes me out of here. Out of earth. She takes me with her to her universe and lets me stay there for as long as I want. Because I know she knows I have the control of us.

So, should I stay? I have to. She makes me happy, and these past months have been the most exquisite, wonderful, awestruck months of my entire life! But now, I have something to say, I have to tell Serena, and it will destroy me, her and us.

This drive was killing him. As he got closer and closer to her apartment, knowing what he had to do, it was destroying him, even before saying anything. He knew this was what he had to do, what was correct. For him, for his family, for his child and for Serena.

-Hi! – her lips felt cold but soft on his.

-Hey, where do you wanna go tonight? – they never really planned where they’d be going but he knew that tonight they shouldn’t go far. The way home would be excruciating for both of them.

-I don’t know. We can go anywhere you want to.

-What about that parking lot near the beach that we went to that day you brought me some cake? – That had been an incredible day spent with her. They had had lunch together and gone to the beach to have a walk. They talked so much about everything in their lives, their past, what they wanted from their future. They had held hands, and kissed behind the rocks, they had smiled and laughing when everyone was looking. They felt care free, as if the world was theirs and there was no one else waiting for him to go home.

On their way, she told him about how her studies were going, and the stress she’d been feeling as the exams were approaching. He reassured her everything would be alright, not knowing if he was only talking about her exams. The parking lot was as quiet as it had been, but they had turned on the street lights already, and the light invading the car felt harsh and revealing.  He had to tell her right now. He couldn’t wait any longer, otherwise he wouldn’t be strong enough to let her go.

-I need to tell you something. You’ve been the fresh breeze on a summer’s night in my life, you’ve made me happy and excited about life. You became one of my favourite people, so easily, you weren’t even trying. And I wasn’t trying to make anything happen; anything this big, for that matter. You changed me. That sounds extremely cliché and extremely not me, but it is the truth. You’ve been overwhelmingly breathtaking and amazing since the first second you entered my car, hiding your face with your hair, and hands shaking. I guess I’m just trying to explain that you have been incredible to me, you are incredible.

Oh my. She felt her heart stomping in her throat. Was he going to tell her he broke up with Hannah? Was he going to ask her to be his girlfriend? This amazing, beautiful, sweet tasting words he was telling her, were them a proclamation of his love for her?

-Now… – he stopped breathing for a few seconds. He took her all in. Her wavy hair, her shiny eyes, her hands on his hands… He held hers up to his lips and he kissed them. – Do you understand all this? Do you understand how much my life has changed and improved because of you? Because of you being in my life?

-Ye…yeah. I think I do. And you have changed mine too! I’m not one for shouting my lungs out and tell somebody how much I love them or care for them, but I do. I care deeply for you and I am in lov…

-Stop. Wait. I ca… I can’t do this if you tell me that.

-What? I don’t understand. What do you need to tell me? – now her throat was dry and a sudden bad feeling grew in her stomach.

-What I’m about to tell you will change everything. It will change our lives. Once again. But this time, it will not be for the best.

She couldn’t speak, so she just nodded her head slowly, telling him to continue.

-I never promised you anything, right? I never said I would leave Hannah or that I could. I never told you that. But at the same time, I never thought this through. I never really thought about the future or days to come.

She just knew that this was not a proposal as she’d hoped for.

-Hannah just told me something two days ago. And I have decided I need to support her, and I know what I’m doing is probably not the most correct thing to do. Being with you, after what she told me, is not the best thing to do.

She didn’t realise she was speaking… – What did you tell you?

-She wasn’t feeling well for a few weeks and decided to go to the doctor because she thought she had a gastroenteritis. The doctor asked her to do some blood tests to make sure it wasn’t something else. And the results came in last week.

She knew. She felt it in her. She forced back her tears from falling, decided to listen until the very end. She needed to hear him say the words, so she would believe him. She was too in love to let him go otherwise. So she waited…and the words came.

-I am going to be a father.

The way home was worse than he thought it would be. She cried all the way home. She didn’t look at him once, not even when he told her. She simply asked him to take her home. He knew it would be painful for her, but she seemed broken. She seemed as if she had been expecting the world, and he’d just torn it apart. He felt like crying too. He was leaving her behind, her and her love, and he didn’t want to. When they arrived to her apartment, she opened the door and didn’t say goodbye. She just left. She didn’t even look back, and he waited for her to do so, as she had done all the other times. He waited for her to disappear between the buildings, and he cried. He wept and wept for as long as his eyes would let him. And then, he put himself together, and he called Hannah. -Hi. I’m going back home now. How was your day? Do you want me to pick up something for dinner?

*

He’s had the control this whole time. Over me. Over our relationship. He called the shots. And I guess now, he called the final one. It’s incredibly painful how such a beautiful thing, a new life is born in the midst of destruction and chaos. He’s going to be a great daddy. He’s caring and loving and intelligent, and he made me happy. I know my friends never approved of him. They see the outside. They see how he has a girlfriend, and how he’s been ‘playing’ – they say – with me for all these years. I know he’s had the control. I begged him to want me, I begged him to not leave me. He made my life easier, more beautiful, more colourful. But when he left, to meet her every night, my heart would die a little. He had the day with me, but he would go home to her.

I feel as if I’m walking through bricks and debris and everything around me is destroyed and broken, but as I look up, I see the sunset painted on the wall of the restaurant next to my building. Everyone inside is laughing, I see a family. Two boys. One of them must be around 1 year old, and his father is feeding him. The little boy tries to take the spoon from his father’s hands and feed himself, all alone, pride irradiating from his face. I think of him. Him and his family. His child. My heart squeezes up a bit and I feel as if I’ll never see the sun setting on our relationship. I turn around and bump into something. -Oh, I’m sorry – he says. Hair burning and the sweetest shyest smile. We lock eyes for what seems like an eternity. -No problem. It’s always happening to me. I’m sorry! – As we walk in opposite directions, I look behind and feel the ties around my heart slightly untying themselves.

THE END

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