In case you were wondering what was going on in his head after the last part…
He’d had a whole speech prepared on the drive over. He had been standing across the room after Eve left, debating with himself whether he should go over and talk to her when he’d spotted her sneaking out of the venue. He had been in his car following her home before he’s realised he was even doing it.
Yet now that he was sitting across from her in her backyard he couldn’t remember a single word. All he could think about was the feel of her skin under his fingers and the way she used to crave his touch like he craved hers.
He shouldn’t be here.
She was right. He should be out with Eve. His girlfriend. A woman who may well be perfect but whom he realised now was not the one he wanted.
The heart wants what the heart wants, they said and they were right. Still, he felt like a pathetic loser because the woman he was in love with had made it very clear a whole year ago that, while she loved him, she did not want the future he’d been dreaming of sharing with her. He didn’t believe that she’d changed her mind in the year they had spent apart, especially not after the way she’d hidden behind that plant at the party earlier.
And he really did think she was looking amazing.
He was shaken out of his introspection when she suddenly stood up and he looked up at her.
“I’m sorry,” she said, a tremor in her voice. “I can’t do this.”
He sighed and got out of his seat. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come. I just… I needed to see you.”
He made the mistake of making eye contact with her and felt his heart break a little more when he saw the tears in her eyes. He took the few steps around the table and stopped in front of her just short of wrapping his arms around her.
“I’m sorry,” he told her again as he let his arms drop to his side. He felt like a right idiot again but didn’t feel he had the right to hug her without asking first. “I’ll go.”
She nodded and he took that as his cue to leave. He made it back inside and through the kitchen, down the hallway to the front door, all the while very aware that she was a step behind him. He wondered if she’d lock the door as soon as he’d left to make sure he was really gone.
Just before he opened the door he turned around to take one last look at her. He knew this time it would be the last time. Maybe he could move to a different city, or maybe a different country altogether. That was the only way to be sure they would never again cross paths.
She was standing half a metre away in the dim hallway, hugging herself in that black figure-hugging dress, her eyes shiny with unshed tears, and to him she’d never looked more beautiful, nor more out of reach.
He was trying to decide what to say — ‘good night’ seemed too trivial and ‘have a nice life’ was overly dramatic — when she closed the distance between them and looked up at him. They stood for a second, eyes locked, the few inches between them bristling with tension, on the verge of something.
He wanted to reach across and pull her to him, wipe her tears, wrap his arms around her and hold her safe. He was about to say fuck it and hug her anyway when she put one hand on his chest.
“Could you… could you hold me? Just for a minute,” she whispered and he obliged immediately, wrapping his arms around her as she seemed to melt into his embrace.
She buried her face against his chest and it wasn’t long until the damp from her tears wet the front of his shirt.
While it felt amazing to be holding her again he couldn’t help but feel concerned at the sobs wracking her body. He wasn’t sure what to say so he just rubbed her back gently.
They stayed like that for some time, holding each in the quiet darkness of her foyer; eventually her tears stopped but she didn’t move away. Instead she wrapped her arms around his middle, pressing herself closer.
“Are you going to be ok?” he whispered. He felt her shake her head no against his chest and he held her tighter, resting his cheek briefly on the top of her head, committing her scent to memory. “I know I shouldn’t have come, that was totally selfish and I am sorry. I needed to see you and I didn’t think for a second about how it would make you feel.”
“Well, now you know…” she whispered and he felt like his heart was breaking all over again.
He let his arms drop and hers lingered around him for a moment before she let go as well. He attempted a smile but found he didn’t quite have it in him. Once again he was at a loss as to what to say to her. All the things he could think of were things he couldn’t say. He had to leave before he broke down in front of her and begged her to give them another chance.
“I hope you can forgive me for showing up like this. I really am sorry I upset you. I promise it will never happen again.”
She doesn’t want you, you idiot, so leave before you make a fool of yourself even more!
“What won’t? You showing up on my doorstep or you upsetting me?