"This is the way the world ends...not with a bang but a whimper" - T.S. Elliott
And go back to LA he did, the next day. But that didn’t stop him leaving long, rambling, apologetic professions on her voice mail, or sending flowers.
“Another bunch” Sarah said dryly as the lilies were delivered. He would be the kind of guy who would find out her favourites were lilies. He was a perfectionist. Escher rolled her eyes and smiled.
“What are you gonna do?” Sarah asked and Frank raised his eyebrows from his seat at Escher’s side, he too interested in her response.
“I don’t know, I’m just going to let him stew for a while”
“Treat them mean keep them keen?” Frankie asked wryly.
Escher laughed and nodded.
But she didn’t.
She was out of hospital by the time he came back from LA again and first stop, after his own apartment, was hers. She smiled automatically when the elevator doors opened to reveal his handsome figure. She got the lookers, she could at least say that for herself.
His face was ashen as he sat on the couch across from her.
“I haven’t been able to sleep” He admitted, “I’ve been completely racked with guilt Escher. I’ve been over and over it, I don’t know why I said those things to you in the hospital”
Escher quirked her eyebrow.
“Well obviously because you thought them JB”
He winced at the coldness in her voice while she smiled on the inside, she was quite enjoying this.
“I’m jealous” He admitted, his eyes downcast, and Escher realized how difficult this must be for him.
“Why?” She asked incredulously, leaning forward but wincing at the movement, she was still tender form the attack. He jumped up to help her but she waved him off.
“Why would you be jealous?” She asked.
He hung his head in his hands.
“I feel like a fucking sixteen year old Escher” He said, his voice tortured. She had never heard him swear before. “I hate that you spend so much time around him, around Frank,” He spat the name, “around all those guys…around any guys”
“It’s my job” She replied, surprised that calm, collected JB felt this way.
“Oh yeah? Not many clients would sit at their PR officer’s bed side for days on end” He said sarcastically.
“There is nothing going on between Frank and I” Escher insisted, wondering why she was bothering.
JB leaned forward in his chair.
“But you want there to be?” He asked.
Did she? Did she honestly want to open up that can of worms after all the water that had flowed under that particular bridge? She felt very strongly for Frank, for all the MCR boys, you couldn’t help it. But want to be with him? It was laughable now, maybe eight years ago, but never now.
“No” She replied firmly, “I don’t…but I also don’t want there to be anything going one between you and I anymore”
JB dropped his head, as though he’d known this was coming.
“It was a mistake Escher” He said quietly, “I’m sorry if you can’t get over that”
“And I’m sorry that you can’t realize that this wouldn’t have worked out even if you’d never said a thing” She said, just as quietly.
She closed her eyes, why? Why indeed.
“Because there’s nothing between us JB, no spark. Tell me you don’t realize that either. You’re a nice guy and we had a pleasant time, but there wasn’t anything that would keep us together once we ran out of things to do or say”
“Well I guess if you’re already talking in the past tense then that’s all there is to say”
“Yes,” Escher replied coolly, “that’s all there is to say”
But apparently JB had one more thing to say,
“You had this spark with Johnny right?”
“And with Frank at some point?”
Again Escher nodded,
“Well look how those relationships ended Escher” He hissed.
“I would rather have my relationships end with a bang, than a whimper” She replied as the elevator doors concealed him.