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outendabout

 AN: I LOVE angst. I really do but...I had a moment of fluff inspiration this evening and ended up getting this one out. I'm about  98% sure it's a one-shot.  Thank you in advance to whomever takes time to read. And, as usual, would love to hear from you. Good or bad. It's alright to call me out if you think it's crappy. I can take it. ;)



"Lea!"

I hear Ryan call out for maybe the 28th time today and bite back a chuckle out of respect for a clearly out of sorts Lea. I continue to watch, squinting my eyes and straining my ears to catch what I can of their conversation after our director takes my brunette co-star aside.
 
I purse my lips in a pout, quietly cursing my full-blast volume ipod listening habit for compromising my eavesdropping skills. Ryan walks back on-set, a frowning Lea lagging behind. I watch her squeeze her temples with the pads of her fingers, squeeze her eyes shut then shake her head, wanting to shake her brain awake probably. She takes her place, looking not quite happy to be where she's at. Which is most surprising considering we're talking about Lea here - uber professional, always ready to go Lea.
 
I suddenly feel bad for her. She does not look happy at all. Her face clearly reflects her mind being off somewhere else.
 
I feel an urge to help her.
 
One problem, I have no idea how.
 
While I half-heartedly wrack my brain for what I can do, my attention reverts back to the set where Lea has, once again, flubbed her lines. Before Ryan could squeal her name (not in delight, mind you) again, my mouth takes over my brain and I hear myself shout out.
 
"Ryan, can I take the rest of the day off I'm not feeling too good!?" I take an extra nanosecond to add a stomach-clutching, face-grimacing move to my impromptu request as Ryan turns an irritated yet concerned face towards me.
 
"What?"
 
"Uh...yeah, my stomach's been acting up all day and I'm feeling nauseous and uh...faint. And I don't really have any more scenes except a couple with Lea but maybe we can switch them up with the ones for tomorrow since Amber and Jenna are still here anyway so maybe we can shoot their scenes first," I manage to ramble out.
 
Mentioning Lea's name causes Ryan to quickly glance at the brunette who seems to favor the frowning and looking lost look today. My inner voice lets out a triumphant "yes!" when Ryan looks like he's actuallly considering my plea. 
 
"Do you really need to go go like right now right now?" I manufacture another pathetic look and nod like a sick dog. "Alright, alright, take the rest of the day off. We'll just finish Lea's -"
 
"But I'll need Lea to drive me home," I blurt out, slightly panicked. "I m-mean, I gave her a ride to work today so she won't have one when she goes home and I-I d-don't really think I'm in any shape to drive so-"
 
"Alright, alright, take her home with you," Ryan accedes exasperatedly, rollling his eyes at both malingering me and still-lost Lea. "It's not like this one's been here today anyway," he nods toward the unusually quiet brunette. "We'll finish your scenes tomorrow, you two," he continues addressing the two of us, "and you better show up. And I don't just mean be physically here, I mean be actually here to work." He gives Lea a hug while checking to make sure everything's alright with our mysteriously preoccupied star.
 
I, meanwhile, congratulate myself on a great acting job and for doing a friend a favor, already imagining future payback prospects.
 
Lea casts a confused look at me while Ryan gives her some last-minute instructions and I gesture toward the door, hoping she gets my drift and finds her way to where I had parked.
 
That was actually the one non-fibbed part of my little act. I did give Ms. Michele a ride to work this morning. Her mini's getting serviced while her alternative means of transport was similiarly detained so I offered her a ride. She accepted. The way she's been all day, she probably would've accepted a ride from Ted Bundy.
 
Anyway, here I am now, sitting in the driver seat of my tiny car, waiting for Lea to occupy the vacant passenger seat. She does soon after, throwing one of her bags in the back seat before setting herself next to me, clutching her LV purse on her lap. She shoots me another one of her soon-to-be-patented Lea Michele-utterly-lost looks.

"Are you ok? I mean, if you're sick, I can drive and you can just sit here and rel-"
 
"I'll live."
 
"Yes, but will I?" I raise an eyebrow at her.  "I mean if you're dizzy or lightheaded or nauseous or if you need to throw up while in the middle of driving, that could impair your driving skills and -"
 
At least she hasn't lost her rambling skills. Boy can she ramble on like the character she plays.
 
"Lea!" She shuts up long enough to raise both eyebrows at me. "I'm fine, alright. I'm not really sick. I'm just doing you a favor. I know you're not 100% so I got you out of there before you got fired, ok?" She opens her mouth as if to protest but I shush her with a zip-your-mouth gesture.  "All I ask in return is that you ask not a single question and stay as quiet as you can, alright?"
 
She frowns but nonetheless nods obediently.
 
Something must really be wrong with her.
 
I put the car in gear and drive away from the parking lot, remembering to put on my sick face as I waved bye bye to Malcolm the security guy at the gate. I turn to my passenger who sits quietly looking out the window and give her a quick heads-up on our itinerary.
 
I tell her about the two stops I have to make, one at a little Chinese restaurant that makes the best vegetable soup and the next at Blockbuster. I don't get much in the way of a verbal response from her, only subdued nods.
 
After about 45 minutes of driving around, we finally arrive at her place. I park, shut off the engine then exit the car. I walk around to her side, catching her by surprise when I thrust the bag with steaming soup and 3 Tim Burton DVD's into her hands.
 
"Here, you take these and I'll get your other bag and bring it up behind you, ok. You go on ahead, I just need to get something real quick from the trunk."
 
"But...didn't you get the food for you?" she asks, even more confused than before, if that's possible. She takes a glance at the DVD's, for the first time realizing which movies they were. A fleeting smile appears before she turns confused eyes back at me.
 
I sigh quite dramatically, torn between hitting the girl upside the back of her head or giving her a sympathetic hug. I decide to put both of us out of our misery. I put both hands on her shoulders, looking her in squarely in the eyes.
 
"Lea, don't think I haven't noticed that your mind's been somewhere from the moment I picked you up this morning. You've had this worried look all day. You've been checking your cell every 30 seconds and then looking a hundred times more worried when there's nothing from whomever it is you've been waiting to hear from. You've also been casting seriously longing looks at that empty chair next to yours all day. And you've just about driven me crazy playing with that little heart charm you have on your bracelet."
 
She looks at me wide-eyed and I have to remind myself of her emotional state to keep myself from giggling. She attempts to speak but I shush her kindly.
 
"I'm not dumb," I declare and then let it sink in for a second. "I know Dianna's sick. Really sick, not fake sick like I am. I know you've been worried about her all day. I know you've been checking on her every 5 minutes. I know you've been missing her terribly, thus the sickening longing looks at her chair. And I know you've been wanting nothing more than to run back to your little place up there," I pause briefly to look up the building behind us, "and be with her. So here, take the soup to Dianna. Feed her if you wish. Then grab a blanket, pop these movies in and then cuddle...no, better yet, spoon on the couch. In short, stop being miserable and take care of your girl."
 
I smile indulgently at her, my smirking glare quieting whatever protests she looks ready to voice. I turn her around towards the building entrance and give her a nice little push to get her going. She looks back, looking like she wants to put up a last-ditch denial attempt but then I quiet her with a finger to my lips.
 
She takes a deep, resigned breath and turns back around but not before giving me her trademark wide, beaming, and this time- grateful - smile. 
 
I wink at her knowingly. 
 
I watch her walk back for a few seconds, observing the noticeable spring in her step.
 
Oh, I know. I so know.
 
My name is Chris Colfer and I am pretty sure Lea Michele is (quite sickeningly) in love with Dianna Agron.
 


Needing (2/2)
outendabout

AN: Again, no beta, not proofread, and not quite as happy as I want to be with this but...I won't have the time after today to write or even tweak anymore so I figured I might as well pos it now.

This is it. Don't think there'd be a part 3.

Enjoy. And again, thanks for the lovely comments. :)

(And feel free to let me know even if you hate it. Really. )


~~~~~~

Today, the day after yesterday's little scene with Dianna, proves to be the hardest. 
 
I'm torn. 
 
Torn between wanting to go to her and try again or heed her request and leave her alone.
 
It doesn't help that her eyes reflect just a little less steel. They never manage to find my own but still, the hardness of her glare has dissipated somewhat. Or maybe I'm imagining it.
 
And her frame...it doesn't quite stiffen as it used to whenever I come to within 20 feet of her.
 
Her fists, they don't clench into tight white-knuckled balls everytime we're in a scene together. 
 
I have to fight to keep myself from taking them as signs of her wavering.
 
False hopes I just can't afford right now. I'm tethering right near the edge and one false hope just might send me over.
 
But I notice. I can't help it.
 
I notice all those things. 
 
Why?
 
Because she's practically all I see. 
 
All I hear. 
 
All I feel.
 
I'm lost in my Dianna world. 
 
As much as I'm not in it, I'm lost within it.
 
Try to make sense of it and you can't.
 
Because nothing makes sense.
 
This morning, I almost called Jane, my agent, to tell her I'm quitting the show. That was after the 6th, maybe 7th, time I'd woken up from a generous 20 minutes of sleep. 
 
The pain had been too much, and it had been from merely thinking about her.
 
The thought of actually sharing the same space with her had been daunting. Even far more terrifying  than the first time I've had to audition for a part.
 
I didn't think my heart could bear any more crushing.
 
So I entertained the thought of quitting.
 
Soon after which I entertained another thought - that of never getting to at least see her agian. Or hear her again. Her voice, even her breaths, her footsteps.
 
All it took was that and previous thought was promptly buried. 
 
I didn't think I would survive not seeing her at least, painful as it is.
 
I know I wouldn't.  
 
So here I am in my trailer, finally getting a break from being in scene after scene with her. I managed to lower myself down on this chair right by my door. I couldn't even make myself walk the ten feet to my bed.
 
I'm tired. So very tired my bones feel liquid.
 
My eyelids feel heavy and they close, they do close. It's just my brain won't play its part in this process called sleep and shut down.
 
So I sit with my head in my hands. My head feels heavy. Oddly though, my hands seem numb to the weight.
 
All the weight I feel, I feel in my heart. 
 
Her eyes may not reflect the same steel, she may not tense up as she has, her fists may not curl into tight balls as they used to but...she hasn't spared me a single glance either. 
 
Not one.
 
I feel invisible. 
 
And it fucking hurts. 
 
It fucking hurts to have gone from being practically the only thing she sees to being as I am now to her - invisible.
 
It fucking fucking hurts.
 
It fucking hurts and I can't even cry anymore.
 
Can't cry. 
 
Can't sleep.
 
Can't get her back. 
 
How charmed is this life I'm living?
 
A sound outside my trailer interrupts my wayward thoughts.  All I can summon is a muffled groan. I just don't think I can face anyone right now. The footsteps fade and I puff air out in relief, figuring it's probably Kevin headed to his trailer.
 
And then I hear music through the crack in my window. Again, I groan.
 
The last thing I want to hear right now is one of Kevin's uppity Mraz songs.
 
I muster enough strength to push off and walk toward the window, determined to shut the window and Kevin's music along with it.
 
When your mind's made up
 
When your mind's made up

There's no point trying to change it

 

The words drifting in to my trailer freeze my hand where it hovers over my window.
 
All I can think of is that someone must be fucking kidding me.
 
I manage to slam the window shut and, garnering momentum from this little joke, I practically run toward my bed, wishing those words away from my ears.
 
Only it's too late, the words already embedded in my brain and they keep repeating over and over again.
 
I chuckle. And it builds up to quiet laughter and before I know it I'm laughing full on. 
 
I laugh at the irony of it.
 
I laugh at fate's sense of humor that has led me to this point.
 
I laugh and laugh and laugh. 
 
I laugh until my breath hitches and I can't anymore.
 
I laugh until I cry.
 
And then I'm crying, heaving sobs I don't even have the strength to quiet.
 
And my tears push me to reach for my phone, that one previously buried thought resurrected.
 
Her mind's made up.
 
Dianna's mind is made up.
 
And there's no point trying to change it.
 
I am not the first one to have cheated on her, her scars run too deep to be erased. And I have not been perfect even before she had caught me kissing Theo. I had always been the one pushing to keep our relationship a secret. I had always been the one going along with the network's demands, disguised as requests, to avoid public displays of affection. I had been the one who had come up with the idea of bringing Theo as my "date" if I couldn't take Dianna.
 
I had even been the one to convince Dianna Theo would be the most sensible choice. The safest. I had never been attracted to him, I had told her quite convincingly.
 
And then he had kissed me.
 
And I had kissed back.
 
And Dianna had seen it.
 
There's just no point trying to change things.
 
I fall sideways onto my bed, phone clutched in my hand. 
 
This time I'm sure about what I need to do. 
 
Both for her and for me.
 
I'd be doing her a favor by leaving her alone. I owe it to her. It's the least I could do after hurthing her all this time.
 
After hurting her this one last time.
 
I have to make sure it would be the last time.
 
I dial Jane's number, no less distressed by what I'm about to do but all the more determined, spurred by the conviction that I'd be doing the right thing for her.
 
For her. It's all about her.
 
Jane picks up after one ring
 
"Lea, dear, how are you?" She asks right out, concern evident in her voice and it's all I can do to not promptly burst into tears again. She knows about everything that's happened and has tried to carefully toe the line between pleasing the network and not sacrificing my happiness.
 
"Jane...I want to quit."
 
I just spit it right out.
 
"What?" she gasps in reply. "Lea, honey, I know it's been hard for you b-"
 
"I don't care that it's been hard for me. I only care that it's been hard for her, Jane," I quickly interrupt her, feeling an odd sense of offense from Jane's words. "I can't keep doing this to her. I'm the coward, Jane. She's always been the one who's had to be strong and now she's...she's just broken. And I'm the reason for it." I can't stop. I don't even notice that my tears are back and the my voice has gone louder, practically screaming my words at Jane.
 
"But you can take a break, a vac-"
 
"I won't take a break, I won't take a vacation. I want to quit and for her to be rid of me! For her never to see me again," I say strongly. "It'd be the only right thing to do for her."
 
"For her? But what about you and your career, Lea?"
 
"I don't fucking care about my career anymore!"
 
And I realize I don't. I really don't. Not anymore.
 
My career that I have worked painfully hard at building all these years, I realize holds no value for me anymore.
 
"Honey, calm down, calm down. I'll be there and we'll talk about all this, ok..."
 
I hear Jane's voice vaguely. I hear her soothing, motherly voice and it only makes me cry harder.
 
"It's ok, Lea...it's ok. We'll figure this out...sshhh..."
 
"I'm so tired, Jane...so tired of pretending  to be someone else and so tired of not talking to her...and not touching her...and not sleeping next to her...and not being able to touch her..."
 
"It's ok...it's ok, baby..."
 
Baby.
 
Only one person calls me that.
 
I'm all lost in the drowning sounds of my despair I hadn't noticed the soothing voice no longer comes from my phone but from right next to my ear.
 
And then I feel arms wrap around me.
 
This time, I feel it.
 
It's unmistakable.
 
The warmth is unmistakable.
 
The softness of the skin touching mine is unmistakable.
 
The weight of the body surrounding mine is unmistakable.
 
It could only be her.
 
And then I see her hand reaching toward mine and on instinct, I reach up for it, too. 
 
But she doesn't take my hand. Instead her hand reaches for the forgotten device nestled in my palm. 
 
And next I hear her voice, shaky and trembling, talking. Talking to someone but not me.
 
"Jane, it's Dianna...we'll uh, we'll call you later...yeah, I know...I heard...we'll...we'll figure it out...yes, I will...I'll take care of her...thank you."
 
Am I dreaming? My mind wonders, more than ready to wake up from this dream that's cruel in how it gives me a taste of what I can't have.
 
Of what I've lost.
 
But then I feel her warmth again.
 
I feel her weight return to settle on my back.
 
And I see her hand reaching for my hand again. I reach out again. And this time her fingers connect with mine, enveloping instead of intertwining. 
 
And then I hear her. 
 
Her beautiful melody of a voice in my ear. 
 
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for not giving you a chance to explain. For overreacting."
 
I start to cry again.
 
Her apology stirs up tears in me. The sheer humility of her words doing nothing to assuage the guilt I'm still bathe with. 
 
When I feel the soft whisper of her lips on my cheekbone, I lose it even more. My eyes bleed tears I had thought were all but gone from all the crying I've done. 
 
I feel her soft kisses, mingled with repeated soothing sounds and her warm, sweet breath travel from bone to the soft flesh of my cheek, down to my jaw...and then my chin and back up to my ear, on my temple, random places only she knows of.
 
The last one settles on the corner of my mouth before her forehead rests on the side of my head.

One of her arms snake under my head in search of my other hand yet unclaimed. She finds it and this time, laces her fingers with mine, pulling both my arms and her surrounding ones tightly towards me, hugging me to me and her.
 
"I'm so sorry."
 
I don't think I could bear another apology from her.
 
I don't deserve one.
 
"Dianna, you shouldn't be s-"
 
"Shh. Let me finish," she interrupts before reaching down to the closest place her lips can reach, the side of my neck. "Ok?"
 
I'm not even sure what she's asking and yet I nod.
 
"I...after last night, after you came, I started thinking. It's the first time, after all this, that I started to think. All I've been doing these past several days...I've only been feeling. It's all I've let myself do. And hurt and anger...disappointment, it's all I've managed to feel. And then last night, after you said what you said about why you looked so happy when I opened the door after you'd...after you'd kissed him, I didn't let you finish. I didn't let you explain." She pauses as if pained by the memory. "I didn't lie when I said I didn't need to hear your explanation. I didn't lie when I said I didn't want to hear it either.  I really didn't. Because I knew why. If I'd just let myself think instead of feel, I knew why. I didn't need to hear it from you. My head tells me to trust you, that I could trust you but...it's just been easier to be angry. To feel disappointed. To embrace how my heart's been broken...yet again."
 
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry..." I practically whimper, unable to reign in the apologies I've been holding in.
 
"I know, baby. I know you are," she soothes, crushing me in her embrace even more. 
 
"I love you, Dianna...only you. You're my life...and I so so love you but...but I hurt you and I...I don't know if you should...how you can forgive me."
 
My last words seem to cause something to snap in her and she lets me go only long enough to turn me towards her. 
 
The arm underneath my head remains wrapped around my shoulder as with the other, she palms my face firmly and yet lovingly. 
 
I finally see her face and the tears still staining her cheeks. 
 
And her eyes. 
 
They're finally looking at me. 
 
Again. 
 
With a look so soft, so warm, enveloping. 
 
I take one look at her eyes as they look at me right now and all memory of her cold, hard stares are erased from my mind.
 
I mirror her movement and place one hand on her cheek, feeling the smooth softness my I've missed with my thumb. 
 
"I can forgive you," she says softly. "I can because I love you." She brings her face closer, forehead meeting mine. "I've missed you so much those nights I haven't had you next to me." She lets her lips rest softly on mine and my eyes close as the sensation overwhelms me. "I need you," she whispers against my mouth.
 
"Not as much as I need you," I argue meekly, allowing one of my arms to wrap around her waist and the other to pull her head closer to mine. "I have missed you so so much." I press another kiss against her mouth, pulling away barely. "I could never survive without you."
 
She pulls me even tighter to her, breathing not even a concern as we crush our bodies tightly against the other. I bury my face in her neck, kissing the soft skin. 
 
"You won't ever have to." 
 
I hear her words whispered against my hair and I smile.
 
For the first time in days, I smile.
 
I smile as I think to myself...
 
Tonight, I'll get to sleep.


"Needing" (1/?)
outendabout

Feeling angsty currently so this kinda wrote itself. First ever Achele fic. Could continue or leave it right where it ends now. We'll see...

Title: Needing
          Dianna/Lea fic


 

An hour. If only I could get an hour.
 
A measly hour of sleep, something that has eluded me the last week or two. Or has it been two or three days. Or has it been longer than that?
 
Who really cares? All I know is that I've been lucky to get 30 minutes of uninterrupted shuteye since that day.
 
That day I packed up my bags and stepped out the door, an invisible force pushing right over the threshold. The burden of guilt and the weight of  anger and disappointment had been stronger than any push or shove she may have inflicted.
 
My guilt.
 
Her anger and disappointment.
 
After she had opened the door to me kissing Theo after the stupid awards show. The stupid awards show I should've taken her to but instead, succumbing to network pressure, had taken Theo to affirm my heterosexuality. To whom, I'm still not quite sure.
 
All I'm sure of is that Dianna had opened the door to me and Theo in a liplock. To me kissing Theo.
 
Kissing Theo right at our door.
 
He may have initiated it and I might have pushed him away but not after a few seconds of kissing him back.
 
I had felt nothing.
 
Which had precisely been the point. To prove to myself that any form of intimacy with someone I used to consider attractive no longer affects me.
 
That mine only seek one other pair of lips.
 
Dianna's.
 
I realize now the stupidity of my little test. My remorse far outweighs whatever jubilation I had felt after those 10 seconds of contact that had left me feeling no different from when I've had to kiss Cory or Mark.
 
Indifferent.
 
Unaffected.
 
Stoic even.
 
Light years away from how even a simple kiss on the temple from Dianna leaves me feeling.
 
Electric.
 
Throbbing.
 
Ready to explode.
 
I should've realized how unnecessary that little experiment had been.
 
On hindsight, I should've. But I didn't. The few glasses of wine at one of the parties may have had something to do with it but I'm unwilling to blame my mistake on some bubbly liquid.
 
Blame is one thing I fully accept. Which is why I have apologized endlessly, repeatedly, perhaps annoyingly.  At least in those days before she had uttered those 11 words that had since kidnapped any semblance of peace in my head. ANd in my heart.
 
"Leave me alone. I don't want you in my life anymore."
 
I hear every word clearly, as if they're spoken right to my ear. I remember every twitch of the corner of her grimly set mouth accompanying each syllable.
 
And I remember her stare. That cold, hard stare and that look in her eyes.
 
God, that look in her eyes.
 
A look bereft of any feeling or emotion.
 
A look that told me her memory bank had been cleared of any memory of me.
 
Of us.
 
A look that told me if any had been left, it would soon be erased.
 
It was the look that kept any sort of argument I may have planned on stuck inside my head, unvoiced.
 
The sight of her retreating back soon after had been my cue to fall to my knees, devoid of strength, as if all power had been sucked out of me.
 
As if my life had just walked away from me.
 
Which she had.
 
And so here I am, days...weeks later, miserable.
 
Guilt-ridden.
 
Uttely hopeless.
 
Sleepless.
 
Yes, sleepless.
 
Half an hour at a time at the most, like I've said, with dark circles that would give any raccoon a run for its money under my eyes. A brain that barely functions except to relive those painful moments with Dianna over and over again.
 
And, occasionally, to repeat lines dictated by some crew member during filming. Yes, it has come to that. I couldn't even memorize a 5-word line.
 
Thank god filming's set to take a break for a week.
 
Thank god because I'm frghtfully close to getting fired.

And really, I don't think I would care all too much if that were to happen.
 
Everything's about what I've lost now.
 
Everything's about Dianna.
 
And sleep.
 
I keep telling myself if I get even 3 or 4 hours of sleep, I could start getting back on my feet.
 
My brain might start working again. And perhaps be able to come up with better strategies to win her back.
 
To win my life back.
 
Which is why I'm here now, standing in front of an all-too familiar door.
 
It used to be my door.
 
Our door.
 
The most beloved entry to our refuge, our apartment which we had shared.

Our apartment, the walls of which had been witness to the evolution of our relationship...from hesitant roommates to comfortable buddies to inseparable best friends to, finally, lovers. 
 
I take several lunguls of air, each one buying me more time as I muster enough courage to knock; which I do...after close to 10 minutes of chickening out and then giving myself a good kick.
 
It takes a minute before I hear movement, steps approaching and then the knob rattling.
 
And then I see her face.
 
And she sees mine.
 
"Dianna..."
 
"What are you doing here?"
 
"I..."
 
I falter, my brain returning to that frozen state it's been in the last few days.
 
"I told you we have nothing else to talk about so please...just le..."
 
"I didn't come to talk," is what comes out of my mouth, the words having skipped my brain.
 
She is taken aback for a moment. A look of surprise and then fear and then indignation crossing her features in a hurry.
 
Her blessedly gorgeous, breathtaking features.
 
I digress.
 
"You got all your stuff. I don't think you have anything you left behind. Otherwise, I would have mailed them to you by now."
 
Ouch.
 
"No, no...I...you're right, I got all my stuff I just..."
 
"Then what are you doing here if you didn't come for that?" Her tone carries both impatience and veiled curiosty. 
 
"I...I was..." I falter again, my brain feeling like it had just been fed a large cup of slushie.
 
"What, Lea? What do you want?"
 
What do I want?
 
I can answer that one, I think to myself. The simplicity of her question prompts my brain to action.
 
"I..."
 
Or maybe not.
 
She heaves a breath heavy with frustration.
 
"God, Lea, if you don't know what you w..."
 
"Sleep," I blurt out finally.
 
It catches her unaware and her forehead creases and all I want to do is kiss every single line away.
 
I don't. I don't because I realize she's now staring at me. Right at me as opposed to that spot just above my right shoulder.

She's staring at me, staring at my eyes, probably noticing how ugly my raccoon rings are.
 
"Please...I just need to sleep I haven't been..."
 
"I'm sure you have a bed wherever you're staying," comes her biting remark.
 
"Yeah but...it's just not the sa..."
 
"Don't you  dare say it's not the same without me," she interrrupts in a steely voice.
 
I feel the invisible sting of a slap. A verbal slap. And she's not even done slapping me yet.
 
"You don't get to say that after what you did. You should've thought of that before kissing someone else. You don't get to say anything to me after that." 
 
"But it didn't mean anything," I try to get out amid the desperation choking my voice back. Or maybe it's fear and guilt.
 
I chance a glance at her and see her mouth set in an even tighter line.
 
But god, she's still beautiful. So beautiful even in her anger.
 
Focus, Lea, focus! I mentally chastise myself.
 
"Yeah, that must be why you looked absolutely euphoric when I opened the door."
 
Her sarcasm, this time, does not amuse.
 
It frustrates.
 
It frustrates because I can't get the words out to voice the reply my brain's trying desperately to form. The feeling of denial overwhelms.
 
"No no no, Di..."  She gives me a you-no-longer-have-the-right-to-call-me-that glare at my abbreviation of her name.  "...anna. You don't understand. I was happy because kissing him proved one thing to me. It prov-"
 
"I don't want to hear it. I don't need to hear it," she interrupts dismissively, her hazel eyes I used to love getting lost staring at once again eluding mine. "Listen, I don't really know what your not being able to sleep and coming here have got to do with each other but I'm tired and I'd rather end this conversation that's going nowhere anyway."
 
Her head bows down as if exhausted.
 
"I can't sleep. I can't sleep." I give it a last, hopefully not futile, go. "I can't sleep because..." my tongue gets tied, unsure whether I'm brave enough, or whether I have the right, to finish what I wanted to say. I guess I am. "Because I can't sleep without you next to me and without feeling you...hearing you next to me...I can't..." I falter again. "I miss you." I finish in a tiny voice, feeling the sting of tears threatening my eyelids. Whether it's tears or exhaustion urging my eyes to close, I can't even tell anymore. All I know is that I just want to curl up next to the woman standing in front of me. Curl into her. Breathe her in.
 
It's my only chance at sleep.
 
I look up when I hear a quiet sniffle.
 
I look up and my heart breaks when I catch sight of her trembling chin and the gloss of wetness in her eyes.
 
When she breathes in as if about to speak, I hold my breath, praying her next words are what I've been dreaming to hear, albeit dreaming awake.
 
"Or maybe you can't sleep because your conscience won't let you. I can't help you. Please go."
 
I gasp. Audibly.
 
Or maybe that's the sound of my heart getting crushed.
 
Or maybe my guilt assaulting me full-force.
 
I look at her, not realizing how wet my face has become. I look at her and see nothing but a heartbroken girl.
 
My girl.
 
At least she used to be.
 
I look at her and see nothing but hurt on her features and I wake up, I wake up despite not having slept a wink the last few days. I wake up to the realization of how much I have hurt her.
 
And that maybe I owe it to her to do as she asks.
 
Leave.
 
Go.
 
I nod, quietly..
 
"Y-you're right. I'm sorry I disturbed you. I...I'm gonna go now."  When she looks up to reward me with a fleeting glance, I jump at the chance to look her in the eyes and convey as much of my heart as I can. "I'm really sorry. More than you'll ever know. I would never hurt you, not intentionally. But I did. And I'm really sorry. Just...I love you."
 
I watch her eyes close tightly, half-expecting her to scream at my audacity to proclaim my love now. Instead she drops her head, a barely discernible nod following quickly, right before she turns around to retreat behind the door.
 
Our door. Its click so familiar to my ears as we used to make it a ritual to lock up every night.
 
Together. We used to do everything together.
 
Even locked up together, soon after which we walk to our room. To our bed.
 
I stare at the unmoving barrier, this dark mahogany that we used to take a particular thrill in closing as it meant our time to forget about the outside world.
 
I used to take one last glance at it every night as we walk away from it.
 
It looks no different from then.
 
Only this time, one of us stays on the other side.


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