Through all of it Marissa kept quiet, nothing much was on her mind except for Jared, except for the pain and jealousy she had felt when she had watched him kiss that red headed tramp. That's all she was. Staying here in this retreat that had once served as a place for her and Jared to getaway to. As if he had simply exchanged the slides to present a different picture that he could see. As if he had stroked on another color across the canvas to see a different result. She felt replaced and nothing really managed to sort out her emotions. Not even the care and attention she was receiving. She was waiting for Jared to walk in through those doors and linger there in the doorway like he used to when they used to have disagreements.
This wasn't a simple disagreement though, was it? It was much more like a tired out old game that would never end because Jared would never lift a hand to turn the clock back so that they could start a new. Was that what she was expecting? Was she waiting for him to come to the senses she hoped that he still had so that they could resume what had abruptly been cut? But had it really been so abrupt? Had that pain in his eyes developed because something was so quickly cut off? Or had she made him suffer through that pain that he was obviously feeling? Obviously feeling while he slept with that woman, while he found some kind of new solace with her. She wondered to herself if they were in the same room that they had once slept in. The thought nearly sickened her.
Once she was alone her eyes turned towards the licking flames in the fireplace. This room wasn't used much, that was apparent by the lack of soot covering the wall at the back of it. It smelled like fresh sheets, the aroma of the brother and the cooled off cocoa that she hadn't finished. The marshmallows were gone and those were her favorite part. A waste of a hot drink that ultimately could have helped her further in her cold but really she didn't care how she was feeling. She didn't have anything else except for the pain and loneliness anyways.
Her fingers pushed back through her air dried hair and she let out a slow and calming breath that sounded shaky and weak to her ears. She was tired, she had been u for far too long but she also didn't want to sleep. She hated sleeping alone and that's exactly what she would end up doing, laying there beneath these blankets with nothing but the cold from outside the windows whispering against the heavy window panes, smelling the fading smell of chocolate that had nearly permanently rested on her senses. She wasn't sure if she could bear that.
She just wanted Jared and she didn't care how selfish that was. She didn't care that their split had caused that torment to linger in his beautiful blue eyes because she remembered a time when they had glistened so softly in the dimming afternoon light, his fingertips trailing whispers along her skin. She could remember his heated and passionate kisses, those meaningful looks he'd give her when they weren't doing anything at all except sitting there with silence hanging sweetly in the air. She could remember the rhythm of his breathing, the soft beat of his heart that she used to listen to while he slept. If that wasn't love-
But she also couldn't forget the fact that she had ended it. That couldn't slip her mind even if she so desperately wanted it to. She had ruined the best thing that she had ever held in her hands, ruined and abused it and now it was lost to her. Now the effect had so easily embedded itself around them that a mending seemed so entirely impossible. How could she even begin to ask that of him when he deserved to move on? He deserved that new canvas with the brighter and more lively shades coloring it. He deserved a new picture making its way through his mind. She couldn't accept that so easily though. She didn't want to.
"Marissa?" Jared's voice was unmistakable in its gentle softness that was so burdened by the past, by the recurring present that seemed to dim the hope for the future. He was alive but there was a dampness to his features, to those eyes that spoke of dreams and fulfilled hopes and distant things that only he could manage to come up with. Him in all his artistic perfection. No one could capture his soul and she wondered if he even understood his way around himself. One minute he was lost in that complex and perfect mind of his and the next he was dancing through the humor and lightness of the world he had settled his mark into. He was a rarity and that had slipped through her fingers. Was it really love? Or had she simply found something, someone that she knew she would never find again?
Quickly her eyes turned away from Jared. She could see the repeat of the past there in front of her and she had to make sure not to get too lost. There he was standing exactly the way that he used to, leaning against the door frame, eyes lowered to the wood floorboards beneath him, strands of hair whispering along the shadows on his face. He was so beautiful and even when she had been betraying the promises she had made to him his perfection was never lost on her and neither were her flaws. She couldn't deny the effect he had on her, the admiration she was filled with whenever she looked at him.
"Yeah?" She softly whispered, hand lifting and pushing her fingers back behind her ear.
A soft breath broke the torrid silence that enveloped the both of them. He moved past the door to enter the room, footsteps slow and uncertain as he moved towards the bed and stood at the side of it. His eyes looking down at her, they burned blue in the echo of flames behind him. His tattered sweater was over sized on him and his hands were nearly covered by the length of the sleeves. His face was thoughtful when she dared to look up at him. Was it humiliation that was preventing her?
"Why didn't you leave?" He questioned, those words obviously the ones that he hadn't planned on saying but they were the ones that came out. He looked uncertain of everything he would say once his lips parted, like he couldn't and wouldn't trust the weakness of his own mind. Here he was talking to her after telling himself that he shouldn't, after nearly giving into his need for Essie, his need to be near to her- to anyone as long as he let himself feel something.
That was a question, although obviously not intended, and yet completely unanswerable if she wanted him to allow her to stay right here. It was a loaded question, one that she couldn't even discern herself. But she managed to wrack her mind until coherent words formed and become usable in the depths of her mind. Her lips pressed together and her brows furrowed before she finally let out a breath and rested herself back against the propped pillows. Her hair laid out around her and she ran her tongue across her dried lips. "I just...I wanted to see you. Wanted to know that you were alright."
A scoff escaped him that proved he didn't believe her. He shook his head, a thin and amused smile playing there on his lips. "Kind of late, isn't it?" He questioned as he looked away from her. He couldn't exactly bring himself to accept those words. "All this time, Marissa and you choose now to see if I'm 'alright'? Seems a little far fetched, don't you think?" His eyes were full of an intense disbelief as he stared down at her once again. Did she really think he was stupid enough to believe that?
Quiet descended and neither of them said a thing. There was an underlying anxiousness that the both of them couldn't get themselves out of. Jared stood there, staring down at the wood boards beneath him and Marissa watched the slight breeze in the house dance around a lone wisp of thread from the bedding underneath her. Lost in their own world of memories and possibilities that the both of them knew would never be true. He was lost in thinking about the pain that he was trying so desperately to convince himself that he was over. And she sat there thinking about the past, the hopelessness of it reigning over them both.
Jared scratched at the back of his head, his fingers finding a touch of perspiration there. He wasn't sure if it was because of the fire lit right behind him or if it was caused because of the rising nerves of being near Marissa again. He always found himself getting this way about her. She was the kind of girl that he had to stop and wonder what he had done exactly to get her. He thought that even now when the everything laid broken and unusable between them. That made him feel pathetic.
"Yeah well...I should let you get some sleep. My mom said that she would drive you tomorrow." He said with a detached tone as he moved away from the bed. As he moved further away from the bed he felt his heart rate slow, felt his dizziness calm, felt his own nerves fade away. He was exhausted, worn out from the emotions that had filled him throughout this long day that felt like there wasn't an end, like it would last until every part of him had fallen into the numbing ache. He was reminded of it whenever he looked at Marissa.
He wanted to look back at her, wanted to ask her- no demand her what she wanted from him, why she had given him such pain. But uttering what had happened would only bring it all back and so he forced himself out of the room and closed the door behind him. Letting out a shaky breath he took himself back to his room that was drowned in shadowy dark. Everyone was asleep, Essie was laying there on the bed, the way that she had been earlier. He contemplated slipping in behind her if only to hold her, to feel something alive in his empty arms but fearing the dissolution of his own strength and ability to pull away he dropped himself down onto the sofa and closed his eyes on the shadow kissed ceiling, the night lulling him into a restless and dreamless sleep.