CHAPTER 68 - STAR-CROSSED LOVERS DON’T GET A HAPPY ENDING
SOME TIME AGO
“Hey.” I flinched when she wrapped her arms around my torso. Her hands are always so damn cold. Yet I forgot it when she placed a small kiss on my back, then leaned her head against it. “What are you doing out here? It’s cold.”
“I was just taking some fresh air.” I vaguely replied.
“Mmh ... or where you trying to sneak away while I was asleep?” She chuckled, but this is no fucking joke.
“Silvia ...” I grabbed her hand, and entwined our fingers together, before kissing the back of it. “You know it’s better if-”
“Don’t you ever get tired of saying the same things over and over again?” She scoffed. “Because I do. It’s boring, you know.”
“You don’t listen. Last time-”
“Shut up, Jake. Just shut up.” She turned me around, her arms still around my torso, and stared straight into my eyes. “I know you think you’re being selfish, I know it’s all about you being this bad, bad guy that’s dragging me into his fucked up life. But come on, you know mine. Is it any less shitty than yours? Yet here you still are.” She laughed, a bit too cheerfully for it to be really normal. As sad as it is, she’d probably just taken one of her pills.
“It’s not the same.” I pointed out.
“Isn’t it? I mean, last I checked, we both had lost beloved ones, we both went through some pretty serious shit, and we’re both mentally fucked up.” Ok, she definitely took her pills. She’s never this direct unless she’s taken one of those fucking antidepressant pills.
“Your nightmares don’t put me in danger every single goddamn night.” I pointed out, pulling back enough to lean against the balustrade, but she didn’t let go of me. I wonder how broader the meaning of this simple act is.
“Well, I don’t let you sleep. That sounds like enough danger to me.”
“Oh, please, get over it.” She scoffed, stern. “You’re fucked up, I’m fucked up. We’re both as fucked up as fuck. Can’t we be fucked up together for more than a week without you trying to be a stupid gentleman and push me away?”
I half smiled at her choice of words. “I see you’re starting to become a dirty sailor, just like me.” I chuckled, stroking her cheek, and I bit my lips seductively. “Maybe I should veer you onto a cleaner path ...”
She laughed, letting me engulf her in my kisses, actually pulling me better into her. “Now that’s the right spirit.” She jumped on me, and hooked her legs behind my back. “This sailor’s in dire need of a lesson, captain ...”
I laughed as I walked us back into the room. “Jesus Christ, you’re turning into such a kinky freak ...”
She giggled when we fell on bed. “I have a good teacher.” Her heels dug into my ass cheeks as she pressed me against her. “I’m just trying to keep up with all your lessons.”
I smirked, leaning over to kiss her. “Ok, then ... lesson number whatever,” I said as I pinned her wrists above her head, my voice dropping to that low tune I know arouses her, “the naughtier my dirty little sailor is, the harder her captain will spank her.”
She laughed, like she always does when we do this. It’s just stronger than her, role play, too sexy stuff make her laugh. She shook her head, laughing. “I can’t ... this is ... my God, do people seriously like this sort of thing?”
I smirked, my eyes twinkling when I decided to tease her: “Oh, you wouldn’t believe the stuff some women are into ...”
Predictably, she stopped laughing to glare instead. Silvia freed one of her hands, and slapped my shoulder, quite hard too. “Don’t even try to make me jealous. You know it only ends bad for you.”
“On the contrary,” I stole a kiss, kinda biting her bottom lip in the process, “when you get jealous, you get mad, so we fight, so ... I get angry sex.”
“You’re sick, you know that, right?”
I laughed, kissing her cheek. “Don’t lie, you like it.”
“Mmh ... either way, it remains that you’re an asshole. You’re supposed not to anger your girlfriend, especially not when she is nearing a certain time of the month ...”
I gulped, pulling back. “Shit. Already? I thought it was in two weeks.”
She laughed wholeheartedly, which is the laugh I love the most. I mean, her eyes twinkle, when else do those hazels ever twinkle? However it’s true that she laughs more now. We both laugh more, our friends say. Actually, according to our friends, we look ... happy. And we are, despite everything, we are indeed happy.
But I know it’s not going to last. I so wish I could say the opposite, but ... we’re star-crossed lovers, and star-crossed lovers don’t get a happy ending.
I took another deep, deep breath, and took her hands in mine. She always has cold hands, but in such a predicament it ... it feels so much worse. “Remember the time you slipped your chilly hands beneath my t-shirt out of the blue?” I chuckled to myself. “You laughed so hard when I jumped off the couch.” I leaned in, and stroked her cheek with my thumb as, once again, tears filled my goddamn eyes. I’m not gonna say I haven’t cried in a long while, because that would be a lie. I might have not cried in jail, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ever stopped crying for her. It was on the inside.
My whole heart, my whole soul cry for her. Every minute without her is ... ugh, why am I even telling you? No offense, but you’re not the ones supposed to hear what I have to say.
“I don’t even know if you can hear me, baby. I mean ... the times I blacked out, especially after the accident, I couldn’t hear shit of what was said on the outside. So maybe you can’t either ...” I squeezed her left hand in mine. “But maybe you can feel I’m here.” I sighed, ignoring the tears that started streaming my cheeks.
It’s funny how only such extreme circumstances have brought me to realizing that, just because you cry, doesn’t mean you’re less of a man. Just because you let out your grief by crying instead of destroying a room, doesn’t mean you’re not manly. If you ask me, you’re really manly only when you cry for the love of your life.
I haven’t cried for my brother. I haven’t cried for my father, nor for my mother. I cried and still keep on crying for my Silvia. And to be honest, I don’t even see why shouldn’t I. How does not crying in the face of such grief make me more manly? If anything, it makes me more of a psychopath, which I’m not. I’m a sociopath, for your information.
I inhaled deeply as I beheld her beautiful face, fully aware that these words of mine could do nothing, but at this point there’s not much left to try. “When I was, let’s say asleep, after the brain surgery, I couldn’t feel my surroundings. I felt nothing, absolutely nothing. Sure, it definitely had to do with the fact that they’d freaking cracked open my skull like a nut, but I don’t think there’s much of a difference between your predicament and mine in this sense. So maybe you can’t feel your surroundings either, maybe you’re lost somewhere deep down and you can’t hear me, but still, I’m gonna try.
Because you know, when I was lying in a bed like this one, if there was one thing I felt, it was ... your absence. It’s absurd, I know, but ... I felt that you weren’t there. Same as, all this time that we’ve been apart, I feel the emptiness of my bed. It was concrete, as if there were a black hole dividing us, I was in one dimension, you in the other.” I took a deep breath, and closed my eyes for a moment. “Sorry, I’m rambling. The point is, I feel your absence as much as your presence. I feel you in my veins, more than just in my heart, I feel you everywhere I go, whatever I think. You’re in ... everything, literally everything, baby. So maybe ... so am I for you.”
I squeezed her hand while with the other I stroked her cheek, ignoring my own tears. “I’ve made a mistake. Well, on top of all the mistakes I’ve made, this one is the worst. I ... underestimated you.” I admitted, finally out loud. “Better said, I underestimated your heart, your feelings. Because ...” I sighed, feeling ashamed. “Because deep down I thought you weren’t sure of me. Or ... not enough to stick with me until the very end.”
I bit my lips. I know she probably can’t hear me, but I guess it’s now or never, if I gotta speak, then I gotta say it all. “I ... I suffer from what shrinks call abandonment issues.” I finally said. God, all the months we spent analyzing our problems, I never, never ever had the guts to tell her what lies at the very bottom of my aggressive reactions, or rather, what lies at the very bottom of my tendency to bail before being bailed on, which probably justifies why did I screw up.
“It’s textbook, really.” I said. “Everybody I loved in my life abandoned me. Everybody I loved and that loved me, died. So I ...” I squeezed her hand, actually entwining our fingers. “If you ever felt like I kept at least one layer, one wall between us, it was because, deep down, I ... I was terrified I’d lose you, too.” Tears fell harder, and I sniffled. “And look where we are, exactly where I feared we’d get.
I ... I told you I’d be your doom, yet you didn’t believe me. I mean, look where you are. It couldn’t have gotten any worse. Or rather, it could have, and it nearly did, always for my fault. And now it turns out, I even ...” damnit, even my voice was breaking, “... I even took away from you the very simple chance to be a mother.” I sighed. “I know you said you didn’t want kids, but I think that in the end you’d started changing your mind, yet ...“, one more sigh, “... even if-no, when, even if when you wake up you’ll want them, you won’t ... Tess told me about your problems. The problems I caused, the problems you never even mentioned to me.
I just ... it was stupid of me to believe you when you said nothing had happened, that I’d slept fine, that I hadn’t even touched you. You lied, over and over again, for all those months. And I know you did it for my sake, I know you lied because you ... you were afraid it would kill me, but ... had you told me, I’d have done something about it. I’d have insisted more to sleep separately, for instance, I wouldn’t have given in to my selfish need to have you close.”
I heaved a deeper sigh. “This ... this whole relationship we had, it was all me being selfish. Even now I am selfish, waiting for you to wake up so that we can start over, while I should only leave you be. Hell, I shouldn’t even be here.” I swallowed the lump in my throat as tears kept falling. “I mean, what can I even do? Your mother says I’m your light ... you of all people should know I’m nothing but deep darkness. And I let this darkness swallow you, too, even though I had repeated to myself, over and over again, that I would not let you this close.
When ... when we first met, I felt drawn to you, instantly. And yes, yes, it definitely was physical first and foremost, but then we started having those late night calls, and I got to know you better, and ... what I never told you, is that those phone calls terrified me. I played it cool, even in my mind, I debased them, but I knew that, every single phone call was one beat more of my heart that went to you, baby.” I admitted.
“I ...” I sighed, recalling Tess’ words, “... you went for the safer choice, apparently, you chose Ryan, because I scared you. Well, it was mutual, it’s always been mutual. I’m just a good fucking pretender, but the truth is, I was scared shitless. And that’s why I kept on pulling and pushing, like that time on my birthday. I just ... I was scared shitless that I would lose you.
Every time you felt pushed away, every time I intentionally drove you away, it was precisely because of that. I was terrified. I knew that you would follow the same path as the other people I loved, I ... I-I knew that loving you meant cursing you, I knew that if I loved you, I would lose you, because I’ve lost everyone else. And it terrified me. I ... I think I’ve never been as terrified in my life.
When we finally got together, there were days when I would stare at the entrance of the office in the morning when you were late, panicking on the inside, because, what if something had happened to you? What if the curse had gotten to you in the end? If I texted you so often, it was only partly because I missed you. If I left you those notes, it was because I needed an outlet for my fears. Every time I didn’t see you nor hear from you, I panicked. Of course, I’m me, I’d never show it, but on the inside, I was. Because I was sure I would lose you, like I lost everyone else.
So maybe all my ... mistakes, they were driven by this unconscious need to drive you away. I wasn’t testing you, nor sabotaging us, I was ... trying to protect you and save my heart at the same time.” I burst out into a louder sob as my head dropped onto her lap. I could hardly breathe as tears choked me, yet I squeezed her hand in mine. “I’ve been such a fool, baby. Such a stupid, selfish, idiotic fool.”
I didn’t even raise my hand, even though I knew I was wetting her hospital gown with my crocodile tears. “I should have let you live your life. I should have swallowed my heart, taken the pain of unrequited love, and let your live your life. I should have never pulled you into my fucked up life. If I could go back in time, if I could save you from all this, I would. If I could go back to the day we met, I would do everything differently. Hell, I wouldn’t even meet you, if that were enough to save you.”
I gripped the sheets as I cried against her, my heart burning as desperation filled me to the brim. At this point I didn’t even care about stopping tears, I couldn’t have either way. “I’m sorry. It means nothing, but it’s all I can say.” I sobbed. “I ruined your life. All that bullshit about fixing you, all that crap about taking care of you ... I fucked up so big. I should have seen it coming, hell, I did see it coming. But I was in too deep. I ... I-I needed you by my side.”
My breaths started getting erratic. “I ... you chose me over our child, you chose me over your own self, but I? I always chose myself over you. Had I been less of a self centered moron, I would have made the right choice. I would have left you be. I’m sorry.”
My heart stopped for a long, long moment when I heard that voice. It was scared and insecure and uncertain. But it was her.
I looked up, to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. When I realized that she was there, her eyes were wide open, and she was staring straight at me, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My mouth hung open, I panted, like a fish out of water, unable to find any word to say.
Silvia slowly retrieved her hands from mine, seemingly confused. “Why ... why are you sorry?”
I couldn’t breathe, imagine talk. So I remained there, speechless, staring at her like a twig, unable to believe I was actually seeing what I thought I was seeing. I mean, is it real? Do you guys see her awake too? Is it really, really, really true?
She slowly sat up, blinking her eyes. “My ... head spins.” She said. “Where ... where am I?” Those hazels focused on me once again, but, once again, I couldn’t find the strength to even talk. I wanted to jump, squeeze her into my arms, but I couldn’t even find the strength to answer her questions.
“Oh, my God! Silvia!” I heard a male voice exclaim from behind me. Ryan nearly toppled me to come grab her hands. In my sane mind, I would have told him to fuck off, but I was too focused on my angel with horns, and the fact that, truly, she was, finally awake.
She looked scared, though. Having her ex hug her so impetuously, she looked scared as she stared at me, as if ... I don’t know, as if asking for help. So I grabbed Ryan’s arm, and pulled him back. “You’re frightening her, you idiot.” I finally found my voice.
“Oh! Right!” He pulled back, confused but excited. Opposite to me, he had no qualm in crying out of joy. “I’m just so happy!” He smiled from ear to ear. I’d have probably done the very same, hadn’t I been so fucking confused.
Her hazel eyes didn’t leave me one moment. She stared at me so intently, as if afraid I’d disappear. Hell, I know how that feels, I was doing the same with her. Slowly, while the ruckus behind me told me that also her parents and Tess and everybody realized what was happening, I reached out for her hand. I don’t know what I expected, maybe I thought she would be mad at me, so she’d slap away my hand. I ... couldn’t have seen coming that she would just stare at it, as if it were an unknown object, but I guess that she was still too confused. She just woke up after two years, after all.
So I arbitrarily grabbed her hand. She flinched and gasped, seemingly scared, and pulled back. Her eyes were wide open as she stared at me, and there, I realized. She didn’t have the slightest fucking clue as to who I was. Judging by her confusion, she had no idea who she was either, as her question confirmed while all around us all those people noisily pleaded their thanks to Jesus and whatnot.
Silvia stared at me, terrified. “Who ... w-who is this Silvia they keep on calling?”