No one had ever come this close to knowing her, if anyone could see through her layers, down to the real version of her, it was Chase.
“I’m here, I won’t let go. As long as I’m here, I promise, I won’t let you go”
Her heart raced at his words, her body’s reaction conflicting with her still angry and confused mind.
“There are things I want to tell you, things you need to know. But not yet, please Florence, try to trust me when I say you need to live your life for you’re the strongest person I know. It didn’t come out right the other night, I didn’t mean it the way it sounded”
“It was pretty clear to me” she replied.
“Then why am I here?”
She had absolutely no idea
“Just think about it Florence, against all the odds, against everything that’s ever happened to you, you’re still here, you’re still fighting and breathing every single day. Keep thinking about all the conversations we’ve had, al the things you’ve told me- how extraordinary your life can be. Don’t think about how much better everything could be if you weren’t here, think about what you’d miss if you didn’t have this world”
“Why Chase? Why is it so important to you?” she whispered.
“You told me that you wanted someone to know you” he replied “Maybe I just want someone to know me too, without you in this world, the memories of every moment we’ve shared together will be gone, we only exist because others see us, part of my existence” he swallowed “An important part, only exists because you are here to see it”
What he said was beautiful, earth-shatteringly, profoundly beautiful, and frightening, totally and utterly terrifying.
She found herself half-laughing to stop herself from crying.
“Everyone thought I was crazy Chase, everyone thought I couldn’t be saved, until you saved me, half the time I wonder if you’re not just some perfect imaginary friend I invented to replace Neeta”
“Is that you’re way of telling me I’m just a figment of your imagination?” he replied
“Thats impossible Florence” his arm tightened around her “If I were a creation of your mind, you’d never have made me the way I am, believe me”
She opened her mouth to question him, but before she could speak he went on.
“And anyway, some things are so real you feel them to your core, It doesn’t matter where you go, they go with you, anywhere”
She didn’t know what to believe anymore, she was so tired of everything, of thinking, literally exhausted and bone weary, and Chase was turning out to be a complication she seemed to understand less and less every day.
“You’re prom’s coming up in two weeks” he suddenly diverted their conversation.
“Yes it is” she replied.
“Well you might need a dress” he said smiling, but the smile didn’t quite meet his eyes
“I’ll ask Dr Levi when you can go and pick one out”
“Come with me?” she asked before she could stop herself.
“Try and stop me” he replied.
“Chase what isn’t it you’re telling me?” she had to know, he knew more about her than anyone but he never seemed to confide in her.
“I wish I wasn’t so selfish” he whispered.
“I wish I wasn’t so selfish” he repeated.
His eyes softened and she couldn’t seem to tear her own away, her raised his hand to her face and before she knew what she was doing her own arms went out,wrapping around him. If only this once she wanted to be the one to hold him, to fix his broken pieces back together.
“I can’t tell you” he whispered into her hair “I wish I could Florence but I just can’t”
“God forgive me Florence Clarke, but I love you, I know I shouldn’t, I know its wrong but I do, I think I have from the moment you lay here on the hospital bed believing you were broken into a million pieces”
How had she never known words could shatter everything?
She wiped away the tears escaping from his eyes.
“Don’t tell me Chase just please don’t, we’ll just pretend, just for today that everything is fine, you’re just a boy and I’m just a girl and everything is going to be okay”
“Just a boy and girl” he repeated.
“A boy going to Prom with the most beautiful girl he’s ever set his eyes on”
Then finally he pulled her towards him and kissed her in away she’d never imagined possible, they were both crying and she could taste the salty taste of tears.
“I love you too by the way” she said when they finally pulled a way “I don’t have a way of words like you do, but I can at least say those ones right”