I was spiraling into a hole. A deep hole that I couldn’t climb out of. The hole that I fell in so many times and there was never anything I could do about it.
I felt weak in the knees as I offered her my hand. She didn’t take it. Instead, she stared at me, a mixture of shock and hurt on her face.
I tried to speak, but no sound would escape. I wanted to shout at her, to tell her how badly I needed her, how badly it was killing me that she wasn’t with me, how it felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest. My tongue seemed to weigh as much as a semi truck and it was glued to my mouth, almost as if my body knew that I would say something stupid if I did in fact speak.
Her scent was still engulfing me, not allowing me to breathe properly. It ran through my veins, making my insides burn with longing. As she burrowed her eyes into me, her angry and hurt eyes, I only wanted to collapse in front of her. I could have pleaded with her, begged her to take me back, kissed the ground she walked on. Would she have forgiven me then?
“What are you doing here?” she finally said in a small voice. The voice that made me want to weep.
A lump in my throat emerged. I believed for a second that I swallowed my tongue and it became stuck.
She stood up, brushing herself off, wiping dust from her back and front. I couldn’t resist her body. I looked her up and down, every inch of her was beautiful, hypnotizing. Her curves, her imperfections. Especially that birthmark on her back that I could just picture in my head, so vividly. I wished I could trace my fingers around the abnormal space, memorizing every inch.
She noticed me staring and crossed her arms over her chest, suddenly furious. I clearly didn’t have any right to be checking her out anymore. Her voice is ice as she repeats, “What are you doing here?”
Please say something. Anything.
We both stared at each other, both looking pained and awkward, waiting for me to find words.
I didn’t. I couldn’t. The screams inside me were suppressed as I watched her rush away. In my head, I compared this to stabbing myself in the heart. Every step I took away from the spot where we ran into each other, was another stab.
I couldn’t escape from her no matter what I did. I was killing myself, killing her and I didn’t know what to do. Why couldn’t I just take everything back? She was my whole world, and I destroyed her own.
“Elliot?” Joyce found me there, still in the hallway, one hand against the wall, the other clutching my chest. She looked worried when she saw me, panicked even, like she thought I was having a heart attack.
“Er…yeah?” I dropped my hands and put them at my sides, in an effort to look like I was okay and like I didn’t want to cry and scream.
“Are you alright?” Her brown eyes widened and fixed themselves on me.
“Yeah. Never been better,” I lied. Those eyes haven’t left my head. Not Joyce’s clearly, but hers. She looked so sorrowful, so angry with me. I just wanted to fix it. There had to be something I could have done to make her see. I needed to tell her that I loved her. Always have and always will. I needed to scream it from the rooftops until everyone in the world heard me. Would she accept my apology?
“Why do you look so sad then?”
“I’m not sad.” I said quickly as I realized my cover was blown.
“Are you ill? Do you need to lie down?” She placed her hands upon my shoulders and I thought I was going to crumple, the weight of her hands was too much.
“Yeah. I’m not really feeling well.”
“Well, come on, dear, come lie down.”
I’m obliged to follow her into our room and I couldn’t really complain about that. I needed an excuse to lie down and feel sorry for myself without being questioned. I plopped down on the hard bed. Joyce offered me medicine but I refused. I just told her that I needed to sleep it off.
I tried to close my eyes, tried to sleep. I still felt her perfume in my nose and her eyes staring at me. My eyes burned and I squinted, trying to rid myself of the tears. I could still feel them then. The jabs into my own heart.
I have to tell her somehow, I thought. I have to show her that I’m not the same guy. That I’ve changed.
She can’t give up on me just yet.