Better That We Break
I felt like writing. So here’s a random story. Fair warning, it’s pretty damn sad, and I didn’t proof it. It’s also not as well-written as most of my other works, but hey, here it is anyway. Enjoy, I guess.
“Haha, no, stop! Don’t! Ah, you cheater! Don’t – sttttaaaaaaaaahhhhhh –“ I was writing around the bed almost ready to wet myself. I couldn’t take the tickling anymore.
“Nope. Not until you tell me you love me.” He flashed a perfect grin and I melted inside. After so many years, just his smile could get to me.
“Okay, okay,” I could barely get the words out from the lack of air. “I love you!” I gasped and laughed even harder.
“Liar!” He chuckled and tickled me even more. I really couldn’t take it – I was like a fish out of water.
Just as I was about to scream my feelings again, I fell right off the bed. Everything silenced in that moment. It was as if the birds outside our window were watching and stopped chirping when I landed on the wood floor between our bed and the door.
I looked up from the ground, my back pressed hard into the stained wood, and saw a pair of bright green eyes staring at me in awe. They showed a look of concern laced with quite a bit amusement.
I was in a little bit of pain and the silence freaked me out a bit. But I laughed anyway.
“You see? I love you so much that I endure ridiculous amounts of pain just to see you smile.”
We were a couple of kids in crazy, stupid love. I sat in that very room, on the very floor where I fell over from laughing too much, just two months ago. Everything around me was silent, and this time it was going to stay that way. I couldn’t even muster up enough strength to take a deep breath. Everything just…hurt.
I didn’t want to. I didn’t think I had to. But there was no point in putting off the pain. I picked up the envelope sitting at my feet. The white paper was somewhat translucent from the tears I already let fall upon hearing the news. From the moment his sister handed me the letter, I couldn’t see straight. I could barely breathe. My hands were shaking, and my heart was in so much pain. I couldn’t believe any of what was going on.
I looked at my name scribbled in the neatest handwriting I could have ever imagined – and I began crying again.
I opened the letter and saw the familiar script along the lines. No matter how much I kept telling myself I was ready, my heart was not prepared for what I was about to read.
I began to read the letter, but soon the voice inside my head switched from my own sad tone to his. I could imagine him sitting down to write this, and it hurt so bad. His voice echoed in my head as I began to read.
…Things were perfect. I never knew perfect before you. I had absolutely no idea it could exist until you spoke to me for the first time. But now, things are just wrong. It kills me to hear you speak because I remember when your voice was the first and last thing I heard every single day. It was what I fell asleep to; what I started my day with. The simple things hurt…
I wasn’t sure whether or not I should be reminiscing on all that we had or feeling horrible for ending something that could have lasted forever. Regardless, I missed him. I missed him the second I let it slip that I didn’t want this anymore. I regretted it, and there’s absolutely nothing I could do.
…It’s hard to get out of bed without you beside me in the morning. It’s not the same sitting up and realizing I’m alone and I won’t hear a cheery ‘good morning’ from the only person I could ever ask to be with so damned early in the day. But it’s not like it’s easy to fall asleep, either. I’ve laid in bed every night for the last month staring at the ceiling of this fucking apartment just thinking about you. Every little thing makes me think of you and everything we had. I miss our bed. I miss being able to hold you. I miss falling asleep feeling like everything is right in the world. I miss having a reason to get out of bed. I miss you…
I looked up from the letter to our bed. I remembered the times we would sit there and talk about nothing; the times we would order food at 9, but not touch it until after midnight because we could get so caught up in video games or movies; the times I’d laugh so hard I’d start crying. I remembered being happy.
I’m in pain, and it gets so much harder with every passing breath, but honestly I’m beginning to feel like it’s better…like WE’RE better …this way. It’s over. And I just have to live with it…
But that was all that it was. A memory.
…I was an idiot for not treating you like the princess you have always been to me. I’m not sure what changed, but I know that if I could go back, I would have stopped you from leaving. If I had another chance, I wouldn’t let you slip away…I know I tried to fix this at first, and maybe I did it all wrong. I was crazy. I see it now…I just couldn’t stand the idea of never being able to hold you again…
I smiled a little thinking about the ways he tried to win me back. The flowers. The notes. The gifts. The phone calls. It was like he was trying to win my affection for the first time all over again. I did think he was crazy, but he was my kind of crazy. He was the only crazy that I ever wanted. He was insane. But he was mine. “…Was…”
…The other day I was at the park – our park – and I thought about how I was going to propose to you…
All I could think at that point was that he was going to propose. The only words I could mumble made me feel even worse about it all. “Well, fuck. Look where we are now.”
…I damn near cried my heart out in the darkness. All that was there for me to see was the city skyline. I never noticed it before. Even though I couldn’t see it perfectly though my tears, it was absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen anything like it before. It was a different type of beautiful. It was the kind that I needed when you weren’t there for me. Whenever we sat in the dark at our park, all I saw was you. The skyline didn’t matter to me. It was almost as if it disappeared…No matter where we were, you were the only thing I ever saw…
I felt my heart stop and almost explode in my chest after reading that last paragraph. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. I don’t know why I had to break everything we had just to see that there was no reason for me to end what we had.
I couldn’t bring myself to finish reading the letter. Not right away. Saying it hurt too much was a total understatement. If I kept reading it, I would have passed out from not being able to breathe – from crying too much. I was sitting all alone in a room that used to be ours. I was sitting on the floor, broken, shattered, absolutely freezing. Nothing was right.
Everything about this situation was wrong. The way I changed everything. The way they told me the news. The way I received the letter. The way I sat here clutching the note close to my heart as if it would bring him back. Nothing should have happened like this.
And I couldn’t do a thing about it.
Before I could pull myself together, there was a knock at my bedroom door. I almost forgot his family was here.
“…are you alright? You’ve been reading that letter for quite some time. Do you need anything?”
It was his sister. I couldn’t bring myself to say a word. As if she was reading my mind, the door opened a little and she peeked in. Almost immediately she ran to my side and hugged me as tightly as possible.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know what was in the letter. I figured he would just want you to read it.”
“…It’s over a month old…I could have saved all of this. I could have saved us. I could have saved him…he wouldn’t be gone if I knew. Why didn’t I see it from the beginning? There was nothing wrong with what we had…” My sobs were uneven and beginning to feel like knives through my chest.
“No. Don’t say that,” she held me closer and ran her hands through my hair. “Sweetheart, you knew my brother better than anyone; sometimes even better than he did – better than us. He always said life was a rollercoaster. It’s okay when you get knocked down and beat up – you just have to be strong enough to stand on your own once you dust yourself off. He loved you like you couldn’t even imagine…”
I felt like vomiting when she told me that. I didn’t need her to tell me about what I lost.
“…and all that mattered to him was your happiness. We fought over it many times. He fought with himself. And I guess this was his decision. Honey, he loved you so much, he endured so much pain just to see you smile…”
I wiped my eyes and took a deep breath. I looked down at the paper and realized there were a few more lines left to read. It wasn’t much, so I couldn’t stop then. I had to finish the letter.
…I don’t know if I’ll ever get another chance, but all I know is that if you’re smiling, then I did what I was supposed to. You’ve always meant the world to me. And even though it’s been rough, and things hurt. But maybe, just maybe, you were right. Maybe all those harsh words you said to me were just what I needed. We can be strong on our own, or strong together, but what I know now is that I’m finally giving in and agreeing with you. It’s better that we break. It doesn’t matter where we end up – it doesn’t mean I’ll stop loving you…
It pained me to realize that where we ended up were in two completely different places. I could remember seeing his lifeless body a week ago. I could remember seeing everyone in such horrible places, with tears streaming down their cheeks while his were colorless. But he had a content look on his face. He knew I was going to be okay. And he knew he would hold true to the last words he wrote in that letter. He would keep on loving me no matter where we were – together, or on our own.
You Make It Better.
I had this dream the other night and I woke up so confused. I was like, why in God’s name am I dreaming about Harry fucking Styles. (Yes, I am aware I need a life). But it was actually really cute. It’s definitely different than what I’m used to, yknow, the fanfic thing and all, but it made me smile, and I guess I thought someone out there might like to read it. Technically speaking, though, it was a dream I had and I just felt like writing. Haha. Sorry it’s so long.
I stood at the top of the cool stone steps watching all the people in my yard, galavanting around with girly alcoholic drinks in hand and fake smiles plastered to their faces beneath hideous woven sun hats. Their laughs were somewhat audible, and the stories so bland that only people in their generation would find any of this relatively worthy of a chuckle. Clearly this lifestyle wasn’t for me. There were hors d’ouvres and dainty finger sandwiches and a great deal of food I’m sure I couldn’t pronounce even if it looked appetizing enough to want. This is my house, and yet I never feel at home. Not like this, anyway.
I could never find the right words to say at these things. These…parties. At least that’s what my mother called them. Ironically enough, they were always thrown in my honor. Thrown because of me. Not because I wanted them, but because it was tradition. The same thing ever year. No one ever actually realized that, though. I’ve learned over the years to hide who I am and in doing so, I’ve become someone entirely different. No guest list was ever the same, with the exception of the royal family, so no one ever knew who I was or what I was doing at the damn gathering. I always tried to hide. But whenever someone ran into me, I’d pretend to be a guest and not the host being held to her party by the hundreds of people enjoying a different lifestyle.
Today was different, though. I could not just stand there and tower over my guests like the phantom of the opera. I could not be a shadow in the background as all these people enjoyed the sun and lake in my honor. I had to mingle with the guests. Something about the day called to me. Something said I should give who I really am a chance.
As I placed my large sun hat over my contrasting black tresses, I shut my eyes and took a deep breath. I didn’t know where to start or how to make my entrance without having the paige introduce me like he is supposed to. It’s not who I want to be. As I opened my eyes I caught a pair of dazzling green ones lock with mine from across the ledge. On the other side of the staircase was boy about my age staring at me. His tall stature was covered in a fine tuxedo and bowtie. His curly hair was being blown around by the breeze and on his face was a smile as soft as his hair looked. Unlike everyone else around us, he was alone and on the steps just like I was. No words were coming out of my mouth as I tried to figure out how to say hello. I couldn’t find my breath. Yet the rest was said with no sound from either of us.
Being a young lady of my standing, I don’t know why I felt intimidated by the boy making his way toward me. I couldn’t risk being seen up here with another person any more than I could have standing there alone, so I turned and walked through the doors to the main hallway.
“Hold on, where are you going?” I heard a soft, but low, voice with bit of an english accent follow me through the halls. It must have been the boy. But before I could turn to answer, my grandmother found me. She grabbed my arm rather quickly and almost dragged me into the crowd of waiting citizens. She began explaining to me how I justhad to meet a friend from the University. I knew then that my escape wasn’t going to be as easy as I had hoped. I thought the boy was the sign I had been hoping for between the lines of this too-fancy reality. But maybe I’ve conditioned myself to see what I want in the midst of this hectic lifestyle of tea and biscuits every day at 4.
“Matilda, darling, here she is. The young lady of the hour. Prin—” My grandmother insisted on sharing my title with everyone there. Who could blame her - all these people continue to come visit expecting to meet me and finally see who I am. I hated the sound of my title sometimes and winced at the beginning of the word every time I saw it coming. But this time I didn’t have a chance to even think about wincing at the word. As soon as my grandmother began to introduce me, someone had spilled their tea all over my white summer dress. Immediately, my grandmother ushered for me to go in and change to be more presentable. Of course, god forbid the princess walks around with a hot tea stain on the skirt of her dress. For goodness sake, I’m 20 years old and still need to be changed.
I created a faux look of appall towards the clumsy bloke who spilled tea all over my dress, but it quickly disappeared once I reconnected with those sparkling emerald green eyes winking at me. He knew I didn’t want to be there. He knew exactly how to get me out of the uncomfortably awkward situation that was meeting Matilda, whomever she was. He grinned and nodded his head as to tell me to leave and change like they were all expecting me to do.
I turned on my heel and pretended to throw a royal tantrum as I walked away. I muttered nonsense under my breath about how it was the most inconsiderate thing I have ever encountered, yet fought the giggles coming from my diaphragm as I thought of the gorgeous boy helping me avoid my own party-goers.
I quickly changed out of the flowing, now stained, white sun dress and put on more color. A purple and white floral skirt alongside a white oxford and simple black flats. It wasn’t very princess-like, nor was it as up-scale as the rest of the guests, but it was comfortable and dry. That’s all I cared about at the moment besides those green eyes that kept saving me.
I knew everyone, well, my grandmother, wanted me back outside by my lake where everyone was schmoozing around without me. But I didn’t. I’d rather the quiet time to myself to think. I’m not sure why I took on this role if I knew it wasn’t really me to begin with. So rather than making my way outside to the hundreds of people enjoying the life of the rich and famous. I made my way to my kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee in my favorite Disney mug while everyone enjoyed my party. It was nice to have time to myself without anyone looking for me.
“Tinkerbell, huh?” I nearly fell off my counter seat when I spun around to meet the familiar voice right beside me. It seems the boy whom saved me from the crowd of boring elderly people outside found my secret hideout. He was motioning towards my mug and grinned. “It’s cute.”
I sat there stirring my coffee and just nodded a little. “Why are you here?” I asked quietly. It seemed to me as if he was at this party against his will. Most people who attended these big shindigs were in the same generation as the rest of this royal family. I was always the exception, so everyone always assumed I was part of the help or something. It was quite hilarious.
“My great aunt dragged me to this thing because she heard this mystery princess was single. But I’ve got to be honest. It’s really boring. There’s nothing but…old people…here. Princess my arse, I say. I’m Harry by the way.” He flashed a smile at me and I looked down at my coffee again. I chuckled at how comfortable he seemed to be around me. He took a seat across from me and took off his tuxedo jacket. He placed it on the back of his counter chair and turned back to me. “So, why are you here?”
“I have no choice. As you saw earlier, when you pretty much saved me, my grandmother finds it necessary to share my existence with the world.” I stopped stirring my coffee and placed my hands together on the table. There was a look in his eyes and a small grin on his face that showed me he knew exactly who I was and what I was doing there. But frankly, I didn’t care. Rather than hiding and playing pretend for yet another day, I decided to let him in. He seemed to be sincere about himself.
Hours passed as we talked and laughed about anything and everything we could ever think about. It was much better than any party I have ever thrown. Before I knew it we were talking about my life and who I really was and who I should have been.
“I just got caught between someone I just invented…who I really am and who I’ve become.” I whispered. It was the quietest I had been since opening up to Harry. I wasn’t sure whether I was feeling ashamed that I did this, or embarrassed that someone as simple as Harry had found out my secret when no one else ever suspected me to be more than a servant in this house.
He chuckled a little and placed both of his hands on mine on the tiny kitchen table. He looked into my eyes and smiled as I stared blankly, not knowing what to say or do. ”It’s alright, love. You know why? Because you’re still a princess. The Princess. Maybe not the way everyone is used to seeing princesses around here, but darling you make it better than what it ever was. Be proud and make that title your own.”
He leaned forward and kissed me lightly, catching me completely off guard. He pulled away as my eyes were still shut and I couldn’t help but turn the corners of my lips upward into an emotion I haven’t felt in forever. I was happy. Before I could say anything, he let out a full laugh and let go of my hands. He placed his over his eyes and continued to chuckle.
“…what?” I asked, kind of shaken up at the fact that he was laughing at me.
“It’s not you, don’t worry, love.” He slowed his chuckles and looked at me with a serious face again. ”It’s just…I told my great aunt earlier that I’d never have a chance with a princess. And I just…I kissed the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen.”
Maybe he was the reason I felt different about the day. Maybe he was the sign I wanted and push I needed to take on the world as this princess I was born to be.
Painting Flowers. Revised edition.
It starts out all the same. The preceding day has little to no effect on the synapses of the night to follow. It never does. There is no escaping this second reality…
The skies remain a dreary gray and the clouds still take a seemingly permanent residence above the equally dull and pale landscape. The dry, dead, nearly brown grass stretches for miles night after night, never leading anywhere but back to where it began. The breeze never changes; it merely continues to slowly drift over the gloomy scenery every few minutes. The chill it should bring is ever-absent, but the dark, leafless trees carry on swaying to and fro as if in sync with a sad, silent song that only they can hear.
Every sign of life is silenced except those of the occasional people sitting in the grass nearly three miles apart from one another. Even then it seems as if the life has been vacuumed from their very souls. The only expression that can be seen crawling its way across the faces of these living statues is that of heartache. If the dark figures could, it was clear they would let tears fall for whatever or whomever they were thinking of. Their sad eyes had been drained of every last drop of color, yet still shimmered in the faint light that always attempted at breaking through the thick clouds. These empty eyes never look anywhere but at the colorless rose they held in one hand and the paintbrush of faint color in the other. In this worn-out world, the soft colors of paint on their paintbrushes were the only hint of life to be found.
The hands of the statues move in rhythm with the trees as they paint the colorless rose and gave it life. Little by little, as the life was brought to the flowers in their hands, the statues begin to regain human qualities one by one. The colors seep back into the statue’s features and a smile always forms. Completely human once more, the old statue slowly fades away, leaving the rose behind to float away in the light breeze. What I would do to be that person for once…