“You aren’t running away yet so I’ll take that as a good sign.”
Adaline was still frozen. Of course, she knew the answer to her question even before she had asked him, but what surprised her was how easily he had said that one word.
Almost as if he had never stopped loving her.
But he did. He did stop loving her for some time. He stopped thinking about her. He even stopped feeling that pain in his heart whenever he heard her name.
But that had lasted what, two weeks?
Michael knew his heart never stood a chance against Adaline fucking West. He knew he was in deep shit the moment he asked her out. He should have left her alone when he had the chance. When she had given him the chance.
And now looking at her, her glass midway to her lips, eyes focusing on a blue stain on the carpet. Michael almost regretted saying that word. Almost.
His heart stopped beating every time he looked at her, and it will fucking explode if he lost her again. If she ran away again.
It will ruin him.
Adaline swayed from one foot to another. Clutching her glass in her left hand, then her right, and then left again. She finally made eye contact with those pure chocolate eyes of his and sighed.
“I really fucked up, didn’t I?”
Michael chuckled despite himself.
“You did warn me though.”
Adaline shook her head and smiled. A guilty one, but a smile nonetheless.
“Do you want me to leave?”
Michael looked at her. Did he want her to leave?
He knew it was dangerous territory. Very, very dangerous. It had taken him almost six months to start dating again after she broke his heart. Seven, before could get intimate with someone else without thinking of her.
And it took her one fucking second to remind him of all the memories. One look in her eyes and every other girl became irrelevant to him. He hated himself for being so gullible, so expendable.
The brown, almost golden curls was the first thing Michael had noticed about Adaline. They were wild, exactly like her.
Her lips coated in blood red lipstick was the second. He remembered how badly he had wanted to kiss them, even when they were curled down into a scowl.
The third thing he noticed about her was the fact that he had never seen her laugh.
Smirk, yes. Scowl, definitely.
Smile, occasionally when she talked to Lola.
But a full-fledged laugh? Never.
And that’s when Michael had decided to make her laugh. It was almost like a challenge in the beginning. He loved to figure people out. Maybe that’s why he had decided to do a major in Psychology after graduation.
“Stay.” He said.
And that made Adaline smile in relief.
“Get up, Jo. We have school in an hour.”
Adaline was a heavy sleeper. Michael silently added this fact, along with the other list of things he had gotten to know about her, in his mind.
“Jo!” He shook her while rubbing his eyes. “Addy! Adaline!”
Adaline stirred in her sleep and muttered something incoherent before putting her pillow on her head and turning away from an amused Michael. He blamed himself for their lack of sleep. Although she wasn’t really complaining about it last night.
Michael moved his hand from her bare waist to her hip. He smirked when she let out a sigh of content. Slowly, his hand crept lower to her nether regions which looked very tempting to him.
Fuck school, he almost thought and when he saw Adaline opening her legs to give him better access, he was about to slip his hand between her thighs. Unfortunately, the shrill ring of his mobile phone stopped both of their pleasures and Adaline groaned and finally got up from the bed.
“Who the fuck is it?” Adaline rubbed her face groggily.
Michael glanced at his phone and replied. “It’s Prince.”
Adaline snorted. “Of course.”
Michael ignored her and accepted the call. “What’s up?”
“I am near your house, you taking the ride with us?”
Michael glanced at Adaline who was now picking up her clothes from the floor and heading into the bathroom.
“Uh... no. I might get a little late so I’ll take my own car today.”
Prince was silent for a moment before he replied. “Are you with Adaline?”
Prince let out an aggravated breath.
“Be fucking careful, Mike.” And then he hung up.
Adaline excused herself to go to the washroom. She didn’t know how she felt about the fact that she still remembered every nook and cranny of his house. You can leave someone behind, that’s easy. It’s the memories that stay with you forever.
Adaline looked at her reflection in the mirror. She wanted to give Michael some space, and wanted some for herself too. She knew that he would patiently wait for her to return back to the living room. He would put on some old music to lighten the mood. And then he’ll make her fall in love with him all over again.
Adaline was shit scared. But a huge part of her wished she was right.
Michael was patiently waiting for her to return back and he glanced up and slightly smiled when she did. Adaline’s heart rate went up.
“You still into Bob Dylan?”
Adaline nodded. “Always.”
Michael tipped back his head, finished his drink and put the glass on the table. He got up from the arm of the couch and picked up his phone from the counter. Adaline waited for his next move.
The silence suddenly turned into a soft melody and Adaline remembered the extravagant audio system Michael’s parents had bought him for his birthday.
Adaline furrowed her eyebrows. “That’s not Bob Dylan.”
Oh, my love, my darling
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
Time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
Adaline gulped at the lyrics and Michael grinned because he knew the mental turmoil he was causing her. He decided to let her out of her misery and extended his hand towards her.
Adaline took it hesitantly. She rested her head on his shoulder and gave into the warm, familiar embrace. She could get used to this, but for how long?
Michael swayed both of them slowly with the rhythm of the beats.
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
They both stayed like this till the last hum of the guitar and then stilled with the silence of the air.
And just like that, Adaline was in love with him all over again.