Narrator: Crystal Jennings
I saw her silhouette in the door. I knew who it was, even through the lenses of my unfallen tears. She was comfort. She was trust. She was sympathy. She was friendship.
"What happened?" Simple words, in such a complicated tone.
"I think I m-may have just...b-brok-ken m-my own heart," I sobbed.
Silence. Eye contact. Sadness.
"I b-broke s-ss-something else."
She leaned down at my bedside.
"I broke his moral fibre."
My tears were wiped away by the fingers of another. Ashley.
She stood up, closed the door behind her and looked around my room in the dim candlelight. Her nostrils flared as she sniffed the air.
Then, I saw what painted across her chest. My brow furrowed. My voice was weary, stuttering, "D-did B-Benjamin do that t-to you?"
She moved towards my bathroom, "No. He would never. I was simply... in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"I'll explain tomorrow. Don't dwell on it."
I could hear the rushing of water, the tearing of toilet paper and the frantic rubbing of soapy tissue against damp clothing. And she muttered something about stain remover.
I could sympathize. I had changed the sheets. I had showered. I had washed my hands, twice. And still, his wonderful scent haunted me. Just like the memories, it was indelible.
And he had been out of his element.
Yet he was, for now, the one that got away.
She came out looking clean, but I could see on her face that she still felt dirty. "What am I smelling?"
"I am not at liberty to say," I told her.
"What are you thinking about?"
"How I can possibly fix this situation," I admitted.
"If you're right for each other, you'll find a way. Crystal, tonight is the only night when you want something more from your relationship that he doesn't."
"I feel like a tramp," I whined.
"We both know that's not true."
"Don't lie to me!" I screamed. "He's afraid of me. The desire in my eyes makes him cautious and hesitant. But then, there's a desire in his eyes that scares him senseless. All he can do to fight it is to run."
She was walking around the room, blowing out the candles. "You want to do something other than cornering him like wounded prey?"
I nodded. And I looked up at her, my eyes begging her for direction. Something I could cling to before my eyes finally closed and I sunk away into the depths of the night.
"Then you've gotta stop playing by the standard rules."
The door closed behind her. I did not see it, though it was the last thing I heard apart from my own slow breathing.
That night, I thought long and hard as I slept. I dreamed of nothing. Yet when morning came, I knew what I had to do. I nibbled at a muffin. My laptop hummed to life. My fingers tapped fervently at the keys. A smile crossed my lips. I opened a word-processor, and began instant-messaging several people. Orange juice trickled down my throat. I set my Facebook relationship status to 'Complicated', removing Greg as my specified boyfriend.
Nothing was going to stop me. My muffin was delicious.