I love love. I love being in love. And I don't care what it does to me. How I love being in love.
"Wow, I thought you actually we're going to say something important." My voice was surprisingly calm, but that didn't hide the fact that I was still angry. Sorry was just another word that meant nothing without actions. Just like the words I love you. It was just repetitive and dead.
I flipped open my phone again and re-dialed the taxi number turning away from him and back to my black bag that I abandoned a few seconds ago.
"I am sorry Aaryn..." he said before jogging up next to me. I ignored him as he skewed his head to the side to look at me.
I looked the other way just as a lady with a thick Spanish accent answered the line with a very monotone 'How may I help you?'
Pete stood in front of me, making eye contact for only a split second before I turned my back to him as I told the lady where I needed to be picked up and dropped off at the airport as soon as possible. Hopefully I could catch a red eye and be home tomorrow morning as a surprise? Surprises sounded a lot better than 'Pete tore my heart in two.'
A little disappointment came over me when she told me the cab would pick me up in thirty minutes. With a nod and a small okay, I shut the phone with a loud click and sat on top of my bag, trying hard not to focus on Pete who was standing next to me, dumbfounded at my words as if he thought me leaving was a complete joke.
He placed a bass calloused hand on my bare shoulders, reminding me that it was chilly outside with his warm touch and that this black and white polka dotted spaghetti strap wasn't going to keep me warm for long. I shrugged his hand off immediately and he sighed, making me look quickly at him, then refocusing on the low moon in the dark, starless, sky.
"Even though you're not talking, I know you're listening. So hear me out," he said, as I watched from corner of my eye running his hand through his faded black hair, but it fell back in front of his weary eyes. He stared up at the moon, digging his hand into his jean pockets. "Everything I touch goes to shit."
I scoffed. No kidding.
"Every time I tried to do something right, it would go wrong. And when I did something wrong, it went to complete disaster. Then when things were close to perfect, I questioned my happiness." He stopped taking in a sharp breath, but started up again. "Every night I laid in bed without you in my arms, I realized how much I wanted you. Then every night you were with me in my arms as you slept with your head on my chest, I waited to see when you'd wake up and leave... for good." I looked up at him as he continued to stare up into the sky as he spoke. "But you didn't Aaryn. And I became more and more dependant on you. I needed you," he looked down on me, his chestnut eyes glazed by the moonlight, I looked down at my beat up white flats. I didn't want to see him cry. "It's easy to get under my skin... But it's hard to get into my heart," he pulled my chin to look up at him, a tear running down his face, tracing over his flawless features, "and I thought saying I love you would make you mine. But I didn't know how much I hurt you the first time Aaryn. I didn't know anything really, until you stopped returning those words to me." I looked away again, digging my face into my hands. "Aaryn... I'm so sorry. And I'd say it a million times. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so fucking sorry Aaryn."
My mind wasn't processing everything he said correctly. All I could think was what I was going to say back, yet I couldn't find the words. I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs, but crawl into his arms and let him tell me how much he needed me. I felt his presence move to in front of me. I lifted my head and he was kneeling on the ground at my feet, now looking up to me.
"I'm sorry," he said again before dropping his head and letting it hang. A cool breeze blew through his hair. "So much more than I could ever say or express." He sniffled and then buried his head into his hands, sobbing heavily.
Sliding down to my knees in front of him, kicking my bag over, the anger that once filled me, had faded away. Our knees barely touched as I looked down at our identical jeans, searching for... I didn't know exactly what.
"Pete," I began, but stopped when his tearful face looked at me directly into my eyes. I needed to be tough. I couldn't cry. Not anymore. Not here. "Pete," I said again, holding my real emotions back, "I loved you. When you were away, I wondered about you. When you were near, I couldn't think of anything but you. You stole my breath when you walked in a room or spoke. You stole my visions when I thought about the future. Eventually, you brought down my guard, and I handed you my heart, not once, but twice, contradicting my views on second chances. You know I was never the one who really believed history could repeat itself." I felt my stomach do summersaults. I bit my lip, trying to hide the emotional build up.
"Tonight, you proved to me that second chances are useless and history can be repeated," his hands reached up to my face, but I pushed them away. "Don't Pete... you're just making this harder," my voice started to crack as tears built up, but I fought them back. "I don't know how much more I can believe you or anything you say anymore. I don't know how much more I can sit here and contemplate over someone who says one thing and does another," I paused as his mouth parted as if he were going to say something, but as if he prejudged himself, he shut it, locking his defined jaw firmly. I continued, pushing my bangs out of my face. "I don't know how I can forgive someone after tearing my self-confidence apart too many times."
Tears tumbled down his face, his lips tilted down, and he heaved for breath. Reaching my hands up to wipe his tears away, fighting back my own still, he framed them with his own hands on his face, then slowly brought them down to his lap, cupping them tightly. I looked away to the pavement to my side, sucking in air to calm my racing heart. My words struggled out as I spoke again.
"What I do know is..." I hesitated to look back at him, but I managed to pull myself to do it. "Is I can't stay here knowing that everything that I could've been mine, isn't mine. That sounds so selfish, but I have every right to be after these three years..." Another breeze chilled my spine, making me gasp a little, but I continued. " I could never forgive myself if I let you hurt me again."
Pete let go of my hands and wrapped his strong tattooed arms around me tightly. He was shaking heavily as he muttered through his sobs.
"Aaryn, /please/, you can't leave me!" He pleaded.
"I can't do this anymore Peter," I mumbled into his ear, as if it were a lie. But it wasn't... it couldn't be. He gripped me tighter.
"I'm sorry Aaryn. I'm sorry Aaryn. I'm so sorry Aaryn, just please, /please.../" the rest of his words drowned in his heavy tears that drenched my naked shoulder.
Headlights appeared around the corner of the venue as they headed toward us. A bright yellow and black color could be made out in the dim, metal streetlights. Pete raised his head at the sounds of the car approaching slowly, looking at the car as if it were an apparition.
"I ne-need you Aaryn," he stuttered, hiccupping, staring straight into my eyes as the cab pulled in between the two buses. "I don't want you to go."
I pushed him gently away, and stood up, feeling his gaze watch my every move. "And I don't want half of you," I whispered, before picking up my bag, breaking eye contact with him. I didn't want to look at him any longer. I didn't want to look into his eyes, telling me to stay, for fear, that if I'd listen any longer, I would.
An African-American man came out of the taxi and unlocked the trunk of the cab. Pete stayed on his knees, head hung, not even budging as I swept past him, one of my hands under my eyes as pre-tears tried to push their way out. The cabby took my bag and placed it in the trunk as I crawled into the back of the taxi, and leaned my head against the window, watching Pete slowly stand up and turn around, staring back at me, after the cabby closed it and sat back in the driver's seat.
"Where to ma'am?" he asked. I didn't bother to look at him even though I felt his dark eyes on me though the rear view mirror.
"The airport," I mumbled, not taking my gaze of Pete, standing in tremor with his tear stained face.
I watched Pete start to walk over to the cab as the driver began to move the car into a u-turn. I turned my head around to look out the back window.
"Yeah..." Pete ran out to the middle of the street as the car drove down the street, staring directly at me, even though the shadows made it almost impossible to see me, but I could feel his hazel chestnut eyes burning into my face. "I'm going home..."
We turned the corner where the car first approached, but I still looked out the back window, not knowing exactly why. Slowly turning back forward, I pulled out my iPod, unwinding the headphones around it.
"Boyfriend?" The cabby asked another question.
I ignored it at first as I stuck the headphones in my right, then left ear. Turning the hold button off, I scrolled the songs.
"No... we're not together," I said putting my songs on shuffle, staring out the window. The cabby nodded in empathy.
Nate Ruess, the lead singer of The Format, voice harmonized in my ears. No longer fighting back my emotions, silent tears ran down my cheeks. I was sick of being tough. The lyrics sunk deep in my blood stream, flowing into my heart, as if they were the things that were keeping my existence together.
I've done enough,
And if I fail then I fail but I gave it a shot,
'Cause these last three years I know they have been hard,
But now it's time to get out of the desert and into the sun,
Even if it's alone,
(Even if it's alone)
Even if it's alone.