Chapter 38 - Melody
He was standing right in front of me. It was like a dream. How the hell did he get here so quickly?
He was sorry about the whole Connor-thing; I could see it. But this was so much bigger than just that, right now. Because I had to either let go or he needed to give me something concrete to hang onto. And even though it would hurt like hell to walk away, I’d do it if I had to, because I couldn’t keep doing this to myself. This uncertainty about what exactly we were to each other, was killing me inside.
He looked at me with desperation in his gaze. He looked like hell, but he still looked like an angel to me. A dark angel who’d fallen from grace, and who was trying to redeem himself. But I couldn’t be weak and just simply give in again. I deserved more than vague arrangements and the word “love” only inside a card in someone else’s handwriting.
“Snow, come here,” he said, sounding completely defeated, holding out his arms. It was tempting as hell to give two steps forward and fall right into them again. But I shook my head, folding my arms protectively over my chest. Because I already knew the moment we touched, my resolve would weaken, and chances were I’d give in again, without getting what I desperately needed from him.
He took a deep breath and nodded, looking devastated.
“I can’t lose you. I’m sorry about what I insinuated between you and Connor,” he started, but I interrupted him right there again.
“This is about so much more than just that, Knox.” I was shaking - it was a mixture of heartbreak, anger, and desperation.
“Snow, I mean this in the absolute best way, but please give me a minute to say something here without interrupting me, okay?” He said adamantly, and I nodded quietly.
“I have no idea why you thought I broke up with you when you left London - because I didn’t.”
“You did,” I countered, but he raised an eyebrow, and then I remembered what he said before about me not interrupting him. “Go on...”
“I’m sorry I didn’t say what you needed to hear. I’m sorry I let you leave under the impression that we were breaking up again. But I can assure you, in my mind, we are and have been in a relationship.”
“You haven’t said anything,” I couldn’t help but say again. “It felt just like the first time.”
“It wasn’t. I said I was falling for you, and it was the truth. Actually - it wasn’t,” he said, and his words slammed all of the air out of my lungs again, and they burned as I gasped, feeling the tears well up inside my eyes again.
“It wasn’t because I should’ve said more. I should’ve just come out and said that I love you, because I do. I love you, Snow. I love you. I should’ve said it earlier, because I’ve known it for a while now. But I wanted to say it to your face and to be honest - I was too damn scared to be honest with myself for a good while there.”
And right then, I started crying. My body shook. It hurt, and it felt so damn good at the exact same time to hear him say those words that I’d been craving for so long.
“There’s no scenario in which I’m ever breaking up with you again, Snow. Ever. If you’ll take me back...” he pleaded, and my heart shook. “Please don’t break up with me, Snow. Please don’t do this to us both.”
We just looked at each other with so much desperation, and part of me wanted to run into his arms while the other still wanted more. Because it was clear that we were struggling to make this thing work long-distance. My heart felt so happy to hear him say that he loved me, at last. But if he was jealous because I’d gone and looked at some places with Connor, and he didn’t trust me, there was no way this was going to work. Perhaps he’d been right all along...
So, I decided to push ahead, because “I love you” wasn’t enough anymore...
“Perhaps you were right from the start. Making something like this work long-distance is hard. You’re jealous of my relationship with Connor...”
“Relationship or friendship?” He interjected quickly, that utter desperation back in his whole demeanor.
“You don’t trust me, do you?” I gasped.
“You don’t. Because if you did, you wouldn’t even be asking me this question to begin with,” I said stubbornly, knowing that we were standing right on the brink right now. That we were on the verge of sliding or hanging on again.
“I’m not going to lie. I’m finding this situation extremely difficult. But hear me out, please,” he was almost-begging, and I nodded. This conversation hurt.
“I’m asking you for two months, Snow. No - I’m begging, not asking. Give me two months to sort some things out in my life. I’m making you a promise right now. Two months from now, I’ll be standing in front of you again, and I swear I’ll make it all worthwhile. I’m asking you to trust me. To hang on for two months. Because I love you, Snow. I love you, even though I know that I don’t deserve you.”
My head was spinning. Why was he asking for two months? What could he possibly say then that he couldn’t right now?
“Why should I say yes?”
“Because you’re the reason I get up every day and I feel like I can look the world in the eyes again. You’re the reason why I’m feeling like I’m living again, Snow.” And he slammed the oxygen out of my lungs again with those statements.
“Because I can’t fathom my life without you in it. Because I love you, Melody Davis, and I’d crawl through a minefield of broken glass if it meant having you back.”
I bit my lip and dug my nails into my palms. I wanted to cry so hard. He was finally saying all the things I’d been craving to hear for so long.
“What difference will two months make?” I heard myself ask, although I already knew I was going to agree to this.
“I want to be able to offer you something better than what I can offer you right now,” he said simply, without pretense.
There was a few moments’ silence between us again - the air felt thick and heavy with tension, and I could hear and feel my heart pounding everywhere inside of me.
“Okay,” I heard myself saying, and relief flooded his face.
“Thank you - I swear it will be worth...”
I held up a hand.
“Here are my terms. I’m still breaking up with you today, because I think we both need the space and the distance to work out exactly what we need and want.”
And when I said those words, I was wondering where the hell they came from. He’d said he loved me and he wanted a relationship with me and that he was sorry. That was exactly what I wanted until a few minutes ago. Why was I punishing us both?
A look of devastation crossed his face again, and his gaze looked empty and devoid of hope.
“I’ll give you two months, though, to sort out whatever you feel you need to sort out. You have my word that I won’t pursue anything with anyone else in that time, and I’m asking the same in return of you.”
“Snow, I’m not interested in the least in any other woman on earth,” he sounded broken, so damn broken.
“I’m not finished. I’m not going to take your calls. I can’t go on the way we have these past few months, because it nearly killed me. I get the feeling it nearly killed us both.”
His jaw dropped. “You... don’t want to talk to me, at all?” There was more than just mere devastation in his voice this time. He looked like something deep within him was shattering.
“No. We both need time to think about what we really want and need. And being in any form of relationship with each other is going to confuse things,” I said adamantly, although I was wondering what the hell I was doing right now. I didn’t know if I could go two months without seeing him, even just on a screen. Without so much as hearing his voice. Was this the right thing to do?
“Why are you punishing us like this? Because I know you have feelings for me too, Snow...”
“Yes, I have feelings for you too. But I can’t say I’ve been happy, Knox. I’ve been through heaven and hell with you. I can’t go on living like this. When we’re together, that high is euphoric. But the moment we say goodbye those doubts start again. I start wondering what the hell you feel towards me. If the whole thing was just my imagination. I start wondering if this thing between us is one-sided. If you’ll ever be brave enough to say exactly what you feel. And although you’ve told me that you love me, today, after - what? Ten months? I’m finding it hard to come to terms with, because you’ve had so much time to say it in before, and you didn’t. It was only when you messed up, big time, and I stopped talking to you that you decided to make a real effort and tell me how you feel. Forgive me for saying that’s not good enough. Forgive me for saying that I need more than a necessary apology because your hand has been forced,” I fired, balling my fists against my sides.
I had no idea where I got the courage from to be so brutally honest with him, but it felt good at the same time. I needed to get these feelings out in the open and make him understand just how soul-destroying this game of constant see-saw had been to me.
“Forgive me for saying that I’m not convinced of your sincerity, because you’ve been forced to apologize here. But most of all, believe me when I tell you that I need time away from you. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I don’t want to be your friend. I want all or nothing, simple as that. I’ve given you time - plenty of time. And I’m prepared to walk away, Knox, I really am. So go and do whatever it is you need to do. You have two months. And when you come back, whatever the hell you have to say to me will have to be really good before I’d even consider giving you another chance.”
I paused, feeling so incredibly sad all of a sudden. Was this goodbye? Would I see him ever again? Would he really come back? Was this where I had to walk away from us? The thought killed me inside, I could feel myself dying a little with every single word, but I had to stand my ground before this thing between us completely destroyed me inside.
“I can’t believe you said that you’re not convinced of my sincerity...” he looked like his soul had been damned and clawed out of his chest. His voice didn’t even sound like him anymore. I knew I’d hit him hard, but perhaps it was a necessary wake-up call. Because we’d been hurting each other even though it hadn’t been our intention all along, and this had to stop.
I was tempted as hell to walk into his arms and feel his embrace, feel his lips crashing down on mine, so I’d instantly be in heaven again. But sometimes, the path to heaven led right through hell, and that was exactly where we were right now.
“Those are my terms. You either accept it, or you go right now and walk out of my life.” I shook as I said the words, and I felt sick inside. I couldn’t believe that I was doing this. I felt cruel, but my sense of self-preservation had kicked in well and truly by now.
And the way that he looked at me was enough to make tears well up inside my eyes. He looked like someone who’d been completely ruined. Who’d lost everything...
“I love you, Snow. It kills me to think that there’s even a small part of you that don’t believe me. But... if those are your terms, then I have no choice but to accept them. Because it means there’s still a chance. That I haven’t lost you for good.” His voice cracked, filled with so much raw emotion, and my heart was cracking with every word he spoke, too.
“My sister is getting married on New Year’s Eve. It’s exactly two months from now. You have until then to do what you need to do. If that clock strikes midnight and you haven’t shown, I can tell you now, it’s going to be too late.”
He nodded slowly, still looking so completely lost and desolate that my heart squeezed painfully inside my chest.
“I’ll be there, I swear,” he said softly, his eyes looking empty.
“Goodbye, Knox. I think it’s time for you to go.”
‘Dear God, am I really ready to say goodbye to him like this? To send him away like this?’
His gaze was locked on mine. There was so much pain in his eyes that I felt it inside my own heart. It looked as though he was studying me - every single feature of my face, memorizing it.
“Until we meet again, Snow,” he finally said, closing his eyes for a second, breathing through his pain. I recognized that look, because I felt the same way too. We were both burning in the flames of hell right now.
And that was how it happened that I broke up with Knox Vaughn, even though my heart hurt from the sheer amount of love that was inside for him. Because sometimes love just wasn’t enough.
I wondered if I’d ever see him again. If I hadn’t just gone and sealed my fate, because I already knew that I’d never love another person like I loved him - with absolutely everything that I had inside of me.
After I closed that heavy wooden door behind him, I leaned against it with my back and started sobbing uncontrollably. Because I’d just gone and broken both our hearts, and two months seemed like an absolute eternity...