"It's the end of a broken heart. I went on without you. I was lost from the start. I did what I had to. All we are is too fast for love."--Cobra Starship.
She was waiting. He could feel it; a tingling sensation crawling up his spine, sending slithers of goose bumps across his skin. The cold droplets gushing from the gray heavens above and onto his purified flesh, narrating the fiction of the false weatherman, for his frantically ecstatic hand movements cast a mythical sunshine over the murky town. But, a canopy of yellow material harbored a frozen Ryan Ross from these faint thunders and blinding lightening as he held his yellow umbrella over him. He stood still in the midst of the downpour; unmoving and rapid heart beatings. His green Starbucks apron was getting soaked, but his apathy stretched far as his focus settled on the girl marinating her sorrows beneath a tree, that didn't do much justice for shelter.
He didn't know who she was. He had no clue who this girl that he was watching was as she sat alone in the rain. But, an unusual deja vu submerged into his silenced thoughts as he remembered being that person, with the cynical view of the world and the pain much too hurtful to handle. And his only escape was to wallow in the self-pity with a cleansing rain tumbling into his bitter society. Alas, the rain didn't help. Nothing did. The only thing that had remotely helped him was a strange woman with a yellow umbrella. And just like Helen had, he wasn't expecting to have this person enroll a part in his life. He just had the sudden urge to help this girl out from her misery into the warmth of someone who cares. And just like Ryan had that day, he was waiting for someone to show him the way. So, as he gazed through his blurry vision, he had the strongest feeling that this girl too, was waiting for a Superman all her own.
Suddenly, Ryan began to walk towards her. He wanted nothing more than to rescue her. And as he got closer, he realized that this was another thing Helen had done to change him. She wasn't here to provoke her good deeds, but it was like she was Ryan's special conscience lurking beneath his memories and analogies. But, as he thought this, he realized another thing. Maybe, Ryan hadn't changed at all.
Maybe, all those times he was terrified of losing himself and who he was as a person, was just a shield. It wasn't that Helen reminded him of a former love, but she had reminded him of his former self. His former self was someone he loved though. He remembered a time where Ryan Ross wasn't such a horrible person after all. We just don't come into this world with negativity embedded into our personalities. And the only reason why he had been so scared to lose the cynical Ryan, was because the happy Ryan was hurt too easily. Happy Ryan had been shattered too many times, that he was afraid if he let himself become that way again, he'd be hurt once again. But, as the days with Helen were spent, he realized that his pain wasn't going to be caused by anyone but only him. He had the choice to sleep with Brendon. At any moment, he could've stopped the whole thing. But he didn't.
But, it wasn't a sheer change of heart or a fresh way of looking at things. His happiness was already there, just buried beneath his pessimism. It just took something to bring it back out again. And that something was a warm-hearted, yellow umbrella holding Helen that had transformed his life in a way Ryan didn't even know existed.
And as he thought all of this, he wanted nothing more than to have this girl, sitting in the rain all alone, to realize this. He wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything will turn out for the better. The world isn't such a bad place as it seems and life is worth living in happy moments, not in sad hours. And just like Ryan had that day when he was in the position this strange girl was in, he needed that exact reassurance. He was just fortunate enough to have someone give him that. And right now, as the rain started to heavy, he wanted the same for this girl.
Perhaps she would enter Ryan's world and discover these things, just like Ryan had done with Helen. Maybe, she'd giggle between the sarcasm of Elle:
"It was a mistake, okay? He was a mistake." Brendon attempted, as Ryan coughed, and they both turned to him, realizing he was actually present.
Elle just stormed into the Employees Only room as Brendon hastily followed after her. Once the door swung shut, Ryan instantly dropped his broom and smashed his ear up to the door as more muffled yells poured from behind the door.
"Elle, I didn't mean to, okay? I'm sorry!" Brendon's voice said, as Ryan just snorted as he thought, Yeah, right.
"You didn't mean to? So, what happened? Did you fall on him naked?" Elle spat, causing Ryan to chuckle.
"No, you just don't understand."
"You're right, Brendon! I don't understand! Please, enlighten me into the logic of sleeping with your ex!" Elle exclaimed as Brendon just rolled his eyes.
Despite all their differences, Ryan now considers Elle his best friend. He now can go to her with anything on his mind and he knows she'll either comfort him or make him feel better with her sarcastic remarks. They have been through a lot and even though they may disagree on many things, they still have one thing in common: Brendon. And even though Brendon was the very thing causing his pain, he didn't regret him. If it weren't for Brendon, he wouldn't of met Helen or have grown closer to Elle.
Or maybe she'd reflect on the emotional wreckage of Nicole:
"Men are evil. I'm pretty sure they originated from Satan." Nicole complained, as Ryan was about to retort. But, thought it best if he didn't.
"Nicole. That's not nice." Helen replied, averting her eyes to Ryan in quick movements; thwarting chestnuts.
"What? I'm sick of being nice. I'm sick of always caving in! You know what? Fuck him! Fuck anger. Fuck sorrow. Fuck happiness. Fuck any emotion that I ever felt for him. And more importantly, fuck love! As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with it." Nicole spat, standing up and straightening her Invader Zim tee-shirt.
Ryan blinked from her response. Despite her numerous use of profanity, she seemed more like Ryan than he could ever imagine. That's the exact way he felt when he discovered Brendon's mistress. He felt relieved that he's not the only one who felt that way, yet ashamed that he did. It seemed ridiculous, yet totally right at the same time.
"Nik, that's ridiculous. You can't give up on love!" Helen said, looking to Ryan for support, but he stayed quiet.
"Ridiculous? I've been cheated on so many times. What's the point?" she said, returning to the oven, and placing brownies on the rack, as another fierce growl erupted in Ryan's stomach.
He liked Nicole. She had a certain spunk and had more things in common with him than anyone he has ever met. And she was a wizard with the stove; cooking and creating things in the midst of breakdowns with metaphors to match. But, the only thing that they differ in now, was their seperate outlooks on life. Ryan used to have the same cynical view, but he now has matured from that state. His only hope was for her to do the same.
And maybe, just maybe, within time, she'd lose herself between the warmth of Helen:
"Ryan Ross, you are an amazing person. And I am not too good for you. At all. Nobody is better than anybody else. We are all equal. And as pointless as this seems right now, I do need you. You may not believe it, and you probably don't, but that's okay. Right now, I see a boy in need of some reassurance. Big time. And right now, I can give that. Only if you let me." Helen lectured; losing Ryan between her gaze.
There were absolutely no words to describe her. Ryan loved this woman with all his heart; something he thought would never happen again. She was the better half of him; creating him into a whole. He loved every single detail, flaw, and word about her. Her warmth, her eyes, her kindness, her everything. His only regret with her was that he let her go.
But suddenly, as Ryan reached the girl, he lost his breath between his gasping astonishment.
"Helen?" Ryan asked, looking down to the soaked girl as she raised her head and gave him the most saddest look he has ever seen. There wasn't anger or annoyance. Just the pure sorrow that had been hiding in her heart for so long.
"Are you alright?" he asked, though her expression was quite obvious, she still just simply shook her head.
Ryan bit his lip, unsure of his next move. She was still giving him the silent treatment, so his only choice was to walk away. But, he couldn't just leave her out here in the rain like this. He thought this was so odd, to be here, in this reversed situation with Ryan trying to help Helen out of the rain, when at first, it was the opposite. But, as Ryan was about to carry on, he did something that would distinguish where Helen and him would stand forever.
He held out his hand.
Ryan was there for Helen, in her weakest moment, to come and rescue her from this agony she bears. He didn't have to care, he didn't even have to come over and try. But he did, and that has to be worth something. It was as though all the horrible and amazing things he has ever expierenced was now waiting on her response.
And Helen took his hand.
Author's Note: Thanks to MrSz. Or3o, medicatedlives, webba141, ficfriction, infinite-oddity, xoconverse, iluvsmiliez, xStabxMyxBackx, eileen162, rclukins, and SomeoneIveNeverMet for their sweet reviews.
Sorry kiddos, but this is the end. -tear-
I want to thank everyone who has read and reviewed and everyone who has stuck through this story from the first chapter. It means so much to me that you enjoy this story. This has to be my favorite thing I have ever written. You guys rock. Especially for putting up with my infrequent updates. Thank you all so much.
I want to dedicate this fic to a special person. Her username is infinite-oddity and she is my beta. I swear to God, she has helped me so much throughout all of this. Between my writer's blocks, procrastination, computer spazzes, and insecurity issues while writing this, she has stuck through and is the most amazing beta [and friend] anyone could ever ask for.
And despite the fact that this girl has been away in the Land of No Internet for a few weeks, I still love her and she goes by the name of Life_is_42. She was like my inspiration throughout all of this. She hasn't been able to review, but when she does, I know I'll be happy. :]
And those of you who have stuck through this from start to finish. You know who you are. I love all of you. :]
Oh, and if you'd like a sequel, tell me so when you review. My beta keeps prodding me and I might be able to think of one. I'm not making any promises though. I am notorious for never doing one. But, if you are content with this ending and wouldn't really like a sequel, just say so. You won't hurt my feelings. [In fact, I'm not really sure I want to do one, myself] But, maybe if I get enough reviews requesting a second book, I just might take it into consideration. :]
Do with it as you like.