James walked out of the apartment with his arm slung over Isabelle's shoulder, in a would-be casual way.

"So, what time is the restaurant booked for again?" James asked, a cheeky grin plastered across his face, though Isabelle could see through it.

"Eh, I don't know, eight..." She replied wearily, not able to make the effort to help him along with his charade, shrugging off his arm, unable to take being touched, as had been the same for weeks now.

They walked along the hallway, the atmosphere between them delicate with the tension of unspoken things. Isabelle turned and looked to James. She gave him a small, sad smile and put her hands on his arms, rubbing them gently, the feeling foreign.

"Don't." James said abruptly, his smile having vanished, his eyes wide with fear of what he knew would come.

"Look-" Isabelle started, her voice gently pleading.

"No, just don't, don't you dare. It's just typical isn't it, I go on and take the risk, and low and behold, it was the wrong move. You've changed your mind, you don't want me, you don't want this, and now I'm going to lose-" He spluttered, his voice choking, as a pair of girls hurried past, eyes downward in respect of the obvious break-up in the hallway.

"Hey, hey, I didn't say a word, how do you know what I was going to say?" She said consolingly, wondering why she was bolstering him before letting him fall.

"Because. Just because." He said quietly.

"Because?" She enquired, her voice a soft honey, coating her words in sweetness.

"Because you haven't been the same since we started going out, because you're not the girl I fell in love with, because I can sense that your distance from me is you saying you're not into this, because you don't love me too, you can't love me too! Life wouldn't be like this if you loved me too!" James shouted, his voice betraying the piercing pain his heart was taking.

"That's not fair, you can't make all those assumptions-"

"Assumptions? What else is it that I'm meant to be going on here? Huh? You don't tell me how you're feeling, you're ridiculously quiet, you sit there with your arms crossed staring at the wall, locking yourself in, locking me out," He finished softly, turning away and leaning against the wall. "I take it you don't love me too then?" His voice heavily layered in acid, a by-product of his pain.

Isabelle looked at him sadly, her chest physically aching as she watched him suffering from the pain she was and had been inflicting.

"I just can't deal with a relationship at the moment, I'm sorry, it's just too much. I'm not myself, I can't sleep properly, I wake up every half hour wide-awake at night. My head feels permanently fuzzy, my bones ache, I feel nothing but sorrow. And it's not you, oh I know it's not you. I look at you, and I want to feel the happiness I know I should be feeling. But all I can feel is this drowning, desperate sorrow, this complete miserable veil over my mind, clouding everything happy in my life, namely you, my darling," She finished ever so softly, tears rolling softly and slowly down her paling complexion.

"Things never turn out how your imagination wanted them to, huh?" He smiled, in a heart-ripping, pitiful way. "You wish and wish, pray and hope for something, and when it comes, after you've screamed and scraped to get it, what you wanted has disappeared, and all you are left with is the harsh, cold version that reality spews out. I love you Isabelle. I guess I'll see you around."

And with that, he turned slowly and she heard his footsteps plodding down her apartment stairs while she slid against the wall and felt her heart splitting.


The End

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