I felt horrendous. How could I have said such awful things to Alyssa? How could I call her shallow and too desirous? How could I tell her that I wanted for more? You couldn't get more than Alyssa - she was perfect.
I had been upset after almost losing her and spoken without thought.
How I wished I could turn back the hands of time.
I feared going to see her, even to apologise. It was certain that she would hate me, never forgive me, and I couldn't bear that.
Perhaps it was even better for us to be apart since that way I couldn't hurt her again.
I had blown my chances of a relationship with her and deserved the consequences. Even if the consequences were insane grief and maddening despair.
I contemplated taking my life but decided that that would be too much of an easy escape route. After all, Alyssa would never consider doing such a thing and whatever she suffered, I would too. As well as that, I still felt a responsibility to protect her - ensure she came to no harm. The sense of duty was even greater now that I had caused her such pain.
I planted a single blue flower in her garden as a sign that I would continue to watch over her. Though my heart ached to see her again, I refused myself that luxury I did not deserve.
I watched over her relationship with Lupin with bitter interest. It was good that she was moving on - and Lupin was a good soul even if his father couldn't be trusted. Despite the fact I adored her with my entire being, I would not let myself go to her. I could not face the anger I would see in her eyes and feel in her heart.
'Oh, Horatio, you are such a fool,' I would often tell myself.
One day I went to visit Lupin in Thornton. I was bored and had nothing else to do. I sighed in remembering that most of my time had formerly been spent with Alyssa. I found him outside the lodgings he had taken up, which I guessed he would, at some time in the future, share with Alyssa before they bought a house.
"Morning, Lupin," I called.
He looked up at me from his task of repainting the gate for the owner, surprised.
"Horatio!" he said. "How are you?"
I shrugged. "I guess that I am well. Although my heart craves..." I stopped myself, shocked.
Lupin frowned. "I don't understand, Horatio. If you love Alyssa, why have you neglected her? I would not have begun to display these affections for her if you'd showed signs of still wanting her love but you seem to have forgotten her very existence."
"No, I could never do that," I murmured quietly. In a louder voice, I said "I do not deserve her love, Lupin. I have caused her pain. She would do better to never see me again."
"Alyssa's heart is wide and open, Horatio. She would forgive you."
"I don't feel I should be forgiven," I mumbled, in truth not having considered that Alyssa would take me back. "And anyway," I said, changing the subject quickly, "I would not come in between the two of you. It would be spoiling her chances of a happy life."
Lupin sighed, looking discontented. "If that's how you feel, Horatio."
"I wish the two of you the greatest of pleasure," I told him, swallowing hard.
"Thank you, Horatio. You have always been kind to me, despite my father's hatred of you."
"The crimes of the father are not those of the son," I said. "Goodbye, Lupin."