I wasn’t in the bedroom long when I heard a door open, followed by the sound of rushing footsteps as they made their way closer towards the door. The footsteps stopped short outside my door.
“Margaret let’s talk about this. Please.” Declan called out as he anxiously knocked at the door. He paused for a few seconds before he continued. “I know you’re in there Mags. Open the door please, I want to explain everything.”
I stood up from the ground but kept my back to the door as I walked towards my suitcase. “Explaining everything isn’t going to change the fact that you’ve been lying to me Declan. It isn’t going to the change the fact that now I won’t be able to believe anything that comes out of your mouth.”
“Regardless, you still deserve to know the truth, whether you believe it or not.” I imagined Declan running a hand through his hair, dislodging it from its perfect gelled state. “I just transferred back to the FBI field office in Memphis when Thomas got a hold of me. Said he had been receiving some anonymous death threats recently and wanted a bodyguard for the whole wedding process.”
“Where’d you transfer from?” I found myself asking as I started packing my empty suitcase.
“DC. Everything I told you about DC, my brothers, Kate. All of that was true. I hadn’t been back in years but an opening in Memphis came up and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
“I never wanted to lie to you, Margaret- “
“Then why did you?!” I shouted, my voice breaking at the end as tears poured out of my eyes. “If you never wanted to lie to me and it hurt you so much to do so then why did you? Cause it seems to me you had no problem doing so.”
Declan sighed as he knocked on the door lightly with his fist. “That’s the farthest thing from the truth. It’s just- my bosses weren’t too keen on me doing this sort of job so fresh at the office. The only way they’d let me do it is if I kept who I was a secret.”
“Well, that makes no fucking sense,” I muttered under my breath as I stopped in my tracks.
“Welcome to the club, but I wasn’t about to make the mistake of stepping on their toes as the rookie at the office. They’d have me out the door so fast my head would spin.” I heard a small thud from the other side of the door as he let out a sigh. “This job means everything to me. It’s all I have, and I’d be damned if I were going to do anything to jeopardize it.”
“I know you don’t believe me Margaret but the last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you. That’s why I was so cold to you when I first saw you. I figured- If I were an asshole to her, she wouldn’t want to know me and there was less of a chance of- Well, this happening. But there you were. Coming in with your sass filled awkwardness and I just- couldn’t help it. You have a way of breaking down even the toughest of people.”
“Declan- “I found myself sighing as I continued to pack up my suitcase. “That doesn’t change the fact that nearly everything you’ve told me was a conscious lie. The camping trip, scaring the shit out of me by pointing a gun in my face, everything. It was still a conscious effort from you to come up with these elaborate lies.”
He stayed silent for a few moments and though he didn’t say anything, he knew I was right. Declan knew that no matter what, it would come down to the fact that he lied and that wasn’t something he could explain away.
“I know your crying Mags and it damn near kills me knowing that I’m the one responsible for it.” Declan’s voice cracked before he cleared his throat. “Just open the door please. I want to see you one last time, even if it is like this.” Just as he finished, I had packed my suitcase. Well, doesn’t that work out for everybody?
With my eyes raised towards the ceiling, I let out a sigh before doing my best to wipe them dry. I took a deep breath and walked towards the bedroom door, the suitcase dragging behind me.
After unlocking and opening the door, Declan’s eyes immediately fell on me. His brow furrowed as he attempted to take a step towards me. “Margaret.”
“No, that’s not how this is going to be.” I managed to hold firm as I walked past Declan and towards the front door.
“I don’t know why it’s such a big shock. I planned on leaving tomorrow, now I’m just leaving a day earlier.”
“It’s not that it’s a shock, I just wasn’t expecting you to leave- us like this.” With his hands stuffed in his pockets, Declan followed me out the front door as I made my way towards my car.
“Yeah, well we both weren’t expecting a lot of things.” I made quick work of unlocking the back seat and throwing my suitcase in the back. When I turned to walk to the other side, Declan’s hand reached out to grasp my elbow.
He whipped me around to face him and for the first time, I got a good look at his face. His usually confident eyes now were drained and replaced with regret. I could tell that he was doing his best to hold back tears that were welling up in his eyes. His mouth opened, then immediately closed.
Not waiting for him to speak, I ripped my elbow out of his grasp and entered my car in record timing. Although I desperately wanted to, I kept my eyes on the road in front of me as I started the car and wasted no time taking off down the road ahead of me.