Fridays are going to be dedicated to something a bit different, starting today. Aside from blogging, journaling, and working on my novels, I have a knack for short story fiction. Every now and then, a random idea will pop into my head and I will build on it until I have an entire story, or at least a segment of one. Sometimes I will write these down in my journal, sometimes I will type them up in Microsoft Word, and sometimes I just let them remain in my mind. Fiction is enjoyable for me. It's a way to escape from my own mind for a few minutes, and adventure through a new place, or a new person's way of thinking.
I'm thinking about creating a weekly Fiction on Friday linkup. Is that something any of you would be interested in? Please let me know! Also, direct me your way if you write any fictional stories or poems on your blog. I want to read them! So, now that my explanation is complete, I will move on to the important part of this post...the fiction.
It's been four months.
It's been four months since I last saw him, since I last hugged him, since I last felt his comforting grip on my hand. It's been four months since his eyes have met mine.
I uncross my legs and sit up from my slump, looking at the list of arrivals and departures for the three-hundredth time.
Flight 187 from Seattle: DELAYED.
The words seem to be screaming at me. They are bold and unchanging, despite my strong mental will to change them.
Leaning forward, I hold my face in my hands, fighting to remain patient. I was entering my third hour of sitting in an uncomfortable airport chair. His arrival time had been pushed back three times, adding to the unsettling feeling of anticipation that was already entirely too strong.
All I can think of is our last encounter.
I can still hear the creaking chains of my old white porch swing that we were sitting on. I can still smell the dampness of the Florida evening. I can still remember exactly what the setting sky looked like. It was a sky so beautiful that only positive things should have been able to occur beneath it. It was incredibly deceiving.
They were the first two words to break the heavy silence that had surrounded us. He was the first to have the courage. I couldn't look at him. I couldn't stand to be too close to him. I definitely couldn't speak to him.
Four years...I kept thinking. He was throwing four years of "us" down the drain. He was throwing four years of love and laughter, of honesty and trust, of passion, right down the drain. He was throwing ME right down the drain. And he was doing it easily.
"I love you, but I love me too."
He continued to speak. I'm sure he was hoping that I would show the tiniest bit of care or understanding. But I didn't. I sat in silence, placing my hands underneath my thighs so he wouldn't see them shaking. I forced my gaze to remain fixed on the porch rail in front of me.
"I hope you will forgive me one day. Do you have anything you want to say before I go?"
I should have said something...anything really. But I knew it would hurt him more if I didn't. We sat in uncomfortable silence for what felt like hours, but couldn't have been more than five minutes. The swing shifted as he moved to stand up. He placed his hand on my shoulder, squeezing gently.
"I'll miss you..."
And then he was gone. His footsteps fell heavy across the old wooden porch. Each step squeaked slightly as he descended to the lawn. I didn't watch him as he went, but I heard. I heard the door of his old Chevy open and shut. I heard the engine struggle to a start. I heard the gravel crunch as he left my driveway. And then I heard nothing.
I haven't sat on that porch swing since.
He had given me up for a dream. And I didn't hate him for it. I hated myself for it...for reasons that I still don't know.
I snap back to reality. My watch tells me that his flight is nearly four hours behind schedule. I guess four is our number.
Four years. Four months. Four hours.
I'm still not sure what I'm even doing here. I owe him nothing. He needs to see me...so what? I needed him four months ago and that didn't seem to matter.
My face begins to burn, and a single tear slips from my eye and falls onto my left leg, leaving a dark spot on my jeans. I stand up and turn around so I'm facing the wall. I don't want people to see me like this...even if they are complete strangers.
I pull myself together, wiping underneath my eyes to eliminate any signs of emotion. I face the room again, turning back to sit in that darn uncomfortable chair. Only, I don't actuallly get the chance to sit down.
Because there he is.
I count them. The number of steps that he has to take before his arms are wrapped around me once again.