Stepping inside he went on inside the closet and pulled out his empty suitcase, laying it out on the bed and unzipping it before he threw open the top and stared down at the empty space there in front of him. As empty as he was fearing what would lie in front of him once the path was taken and everything began to unwind. But it wouldn’t be empty if he managed to do what was needed, if he did what was right, then how could he fail afterwards?
With a heavy breath he moved towards the dresser and took out his clothes, folding them neatly before setting them inside. He had quite a bit of items to pack but they fit, unless he did something messy with his mind all over the place the way that it seemed to be. He was acting ridiculous, hating the knot that formed there in the pit of his stomach, hating the thoughts that paced through his mind without stem or root. Marissa wasn’t going to start anything with him because there was simply nothing to start. Unless she wanted an apology for last night, did he owe her that at least?
The water from the shower shut off and he stopped what he was doing, shirt hanging on his fingertips as he stared down into the suitcase. There was movement in the bathroom, the soft blow of warmth whispered into the room when the door opened. He didn’t want to lift his eyes but the sudden presence standing there watching him revealed itself and he had nothing else to do but look. His eyes lifted slowly and he watched her where she stood, the both of them completely silent.
He could see that Marissa was looking up from the suitcase back to Jared’s quiet eyes. There was confusion lingering there, quiet confusion written across her features that seemed both hurt and broken. Jared just stared at her before he turned away finally and started to finish the folding of his clothes and setting it down into the suitcase and zipping it up finally. Not words were spoken as he finished his work. She wanted an explanation but he wasn’t ready to give one just yet. Giving one meant entirely that he was doing something that he shouldn’t be doing. But it wasn’t true, he simply wanted the end of this, wanted the ceasing of this spiraling road that always left him broken in the end.
Once the suitcase was zipped up he lifted it up and set it down onto the ground for easier access before he sat on the bed’s edge and leaned forward on his knees with his head in his hands, his hair falling through his fingertips as his eyes stared at the echo of light there on the ground. Finally he heard her footsteps, watching her shadow cast itself on his view without movement. He swallowed down harshly and slowly lifted his eyes up to hers without moving from her gaze.
"What are you doing?" Marissa questioned, brows furrowing lightly as she stared down at him. She hesitated to reach her hand out but eventually she did and settled it neatly there on his back but he quickly flinched away from her touch leaving her standing there unsure of what to do, what was left to do when it seemed like he was pushing her away. "I don’t know what it is you want me to do." And in her tone was the gentle sound of pleading, betraying over trait of strength that she had always shown. This was a different woman standing there wounded. Perhaps the face of a woman who hadn’t gotten her way.
Jared didn’t answer for a moment. The time passing them by as slowly as it passes in the hand of a clock. He could hear the fading, could sense the slow resuming life outside of this room, like time simply stand still when everything was broken, when everything was falling apart. He could sense the anger in her but he could also sense where he had gone wrong. Perhaps she had been the entirely wrong piece to this never ending puzzle but she was still someone and that someone was entirely not at fault for his problems. Of course she had ignited a broken tone in his life, one that never truly faded. But she hadn’t single handedly sent him into a tailspin. One that he couldn’t control and couldn’t bring himself to calm.
No that had all been entirely his own fault. His own doing. He had watched the world crumble at his feet and had watched it all fall apart while he could. Now was a time for strength and even that was so hard to come by in his own state. He managed to look at Marissa however with fragments of a boldness he only gathered now. “I’m leaving. Marissa….I can’t do this.” His voice had fallen to a whisper and the tone filled with a hope that she wouldn’t break apart because falling for the emotions was the very last thing that he wanted to do. She understood and knew that she could get to him and that, right there, was his biggest fear.
Her face twisted with confusion as she stared at him. “The past is supposed to always be the past Jared.” She ordered, a hardened tone echoing in the depths of her words. That wasn’t what she wanted. No she wanted the life that she had lost and now that was no longer at her fingertips, she had lost it completely and she was out of control now. She wasn’t even sure if she could get it back, put her hands on the wheel and steer this entire course into the right direction. No. That wasn’t included in this sudden plan of falling apart.
"And it is." Jared insisted, eyes holding hers carefully. He didn’t want to be the one to send this into an immature argument. Didn’t want to push her in a corner and yell out just what he needed her to do. He was better than that, wasn’t he? Somewhere between dark and light he had found a medium of words that could only be described as hope. He had that now, he could feel it and although it was mere remnants of the hope and inspiration he had once dreamed up for himself, it was still blaring inside of him like a newly added trait.
Hands went back through his hair and he stared away from her for a moment, trying to gather the words left there on his tongue. She wasn’t saying anything. At least she was allowing him his peace. That said something, didn’t it?
"I just want things to….I just can’t do this and you know that I can’t do this."
For a moment she stared before a laugh erupted from her lips and she shook her head at him. A look of startling disbelief reflecting there on her enticing features like she was the entire meaning of that word. ‘You’re hilarious, Jared.” She stated with another laugh as she tried to calm herself.
Jared didn’t say anything in response to that. He just grabbed his bag and turned away from her, not wanting to deal with the things that she was throwing at him. He was sick of the go around, sick of the disbelief blaring there in the depth of her eyes. He wanted something that could at least resemble a sort of closure. He wanted her to look away from him and finally let him go. That wasn’t impossible was it?
Walking towards the door he made his way to the door and opened it. Lingering there he waited for her to call out and that’s exactly what she did. Her footsteps came hurriedly towards him and her hands gently touched to his shoulders and turned him around with as much force as she could muster. He stared down into her eyes, a bit of surprise there in his gaze before he moved back from her touch. She looked like she was struggling to find something to say, something that was right enough so that it would make sense. There was a way for that, wasn’t there? For her to say the right thing for him to say and that was exactly what he didn’t want her to do.
"Just let me go." He whispered, lips parting as he stared down at her before dropping his gaze to the ground there beneath his feet. The Winter kissed wood boards that reflected the whitened image whispering in from the window panes. It was a quiet morning, one that he could feel and emanate from the Winter outside, it lingered inside of him and created an amount of tensity that he couldn’t remember ever feeling before. It wasn’t because of Marissa. It wasn’t because of the possibility of loneliness. It was knowing that he was going to go to New York and he wasn’t even sure what he had decided on yet.
Marissa let him go. She only stared up at him and just like that her tears were queued. Dancing glaze of tears filling her eyes as a plea passed over her features and refused to give him rest of her being a piece in his life. But she had cut that cord of connection, hadn’t she? When she had declared that she loved someone else. When she had given up the baby he had so longed to keep. Perhaps all of it had been within her right but it had been torn away from him, leaving him bleeding with the need to be free of her and the pain she caused him.
"You’re really going after her….aren’t you?" She questioned, brows lifting with question as if that was any of her business. As if the world had suddenly begun to revolve around her and she deserved every answer to every question she put to anyone. She had the highest seat of honor and no one could refuse her.
Except, of course, himself.
"I’m doing something." He stated and that was the last of it. The end to whatever else she wanted to say. He hadn’t exactly figured out what he wanted to do, hadn’t decided whether or not there was time or even the right way to go after Essie but the thought remained and the love ached away inside of him. The only thing he could come to accept was that he had to do something. Anything at all.