Last chapter. Will there be a happy ending?
I looked down at my cell phone as I neared her apartment building. It was five thirty and I was supposed to be there at six, I was picking her up so we could go out for drinks with Pete and William. I opened the door to the apartment with the key she gave me and stepped inside. I could hear the shower running and a faint voice in the background. I put down my bag and walked quietly down the hall towards the closed door. Inside I could hear her singing. I loved that, she always sang in the shower. Usually it was the Beach Boys or Fall Out Boy, but today it was different. I smiled proudly when I heard what it was she was singing. “Can you hear me now that I’m dumbing myself down? Am I filling you with doubt that I am who you thought?” She was singing my song and I sounded like the gospel. It was however when she sang the second verse that I heard it in a new light and frowned. “Someone save me from the sound of my own voice can’t you tell, that I sound like I’m dying. Oh, yeah. I’m tired of waiting, I’m tired of waiting.” It was slower and her voice shook. Honestly it was the saddest thing I’d ever heard. I knew I was constantly hurting her. Even though we never talked about it, I knew that on those mornings when she wakes up and finds me gone, she cries. But hearing her sing those words, sounding so sad and defeated, I could feel all the pain that I caused her.
I heard the shower shut off and quickly jumped away from the door and into the living room. Seconds later she appeared in nothing but a towel and a gasp evident on her lips. I stand up and smile. “What are you doing here?... early?” She asks. I frown. “You’re not ready yet.” I state and immediately silently scream at myself to shut up!. She looked down at herself and shook her head. “I’ll be quick.” She smiled up at me. She disappeared into the bedroom and I sat down on the couch with a sigh. I didn’t want her to hurry, I wanted her to take all the time she needed. Better yet, I didn’t want to go. I wanted to crawl under the covers and hold her tightly while she cried into my arms and I wanted to tell her how much I loved her. She returned not long after wearing a baby blue dress with tiny white flowers on it. The color of the dress matched the color of her eyes, it made them glow even brighter than normal. She had sparkles around her eyes and a soft rosy lip-stick clung to her full lips. God, she was beautiful. “Alright, I’m ready.” She smiled gently. I stand up and nod, picking up my bag from the spot where I’d left it.
Once we got to the bar, I was lost in my inner turmoil. Why on earth did everything have to be so fucking complicated? The only thing I wanted to do was tell her I loved her back, but she probably wouldn’t believe me. And I couldn’t blame her, it’s been almost a year and we can’t get through a single night without her crying. Since I was so lost in thought I barely noticed that everyone was being super friendly towards Joon. They were almost celebrating her presence. Nor did I really notice the look of total and complete misery on her face.
Sex that night was weird. She barely spoke or moved. When I pulled out and rolled onto my back she didn’t follow like usual, which scared me. What the hell was happening? Was she giving up on me now? It would serve me right. She just lay there on her back, eyes glued to the ceiling. I leaned up on my elbow after a deep breath. I was surprised and slightly frightened by the expression I saw there or lack of one. Her eyes were blank, void of emotion or feeling. “Joon, what’s going on?” I ask, casually. Perhaps too casual. She shakes her head and rolls so her back is facing me. Sometime later as I continued to stare at her back she spoke. “You really don’t do you? I mean, you never will. Will you?” It wasn’t meant to be a question, so I didn’t answer but fuck me if it didn’t kill me to hear her say it. I do, and I always will. A few moments later she spoke again. “Gabe, do you know what the date today was?” Her voice was quiet and sad. She didn’t move or say anything else. I raised an eyebrow at her back. “Um, yeah. It’s June twe…” It hit me. “th. Shit. Joon, I-I-I forgot. Fuck, I’m sorry.” It was her birthday. Fuck me, I’d forgotten while people who barely knew her (Pete, Ashlee, William) remembered. What the hell was wrong with me? I was such a fuck up. And this time, I don’t think I could take it back. She sat up and turned around and looked at me with dead eyes and careless tears running down her face. “What’s wrong with me Gabe? Why aren’t I good enough?” She cried. I knew she wasn’t fishing for sympathy nor was she trying to bate me and that’s what made it so sad. I could hear it in her voice and in the song. She was tired waiting, she was just exhausted. And it had been me. I was destroying her, I was making her feel unworthy. She was the most important thing in my universe. I loved her more than anything ever. So why couldn’t I just say it. Why couldn’t I just take her into my arms and whisper love into her ears. She sat there and she looked so beaten and so broken. It was all my fault and I wanted to take it all back. Every single cowardly-cold-selfish-stupid-asshole word that came from my mouth, I wanted to put back every single tear that had dried her out. To give her everything she deserved and more. “Joon…” I didn’t know where to start and when my voice trailed off, her face twisted with pain and fresh tears began to pour openly down her face. I had never really seen her cry before. I stopped breathing and started something else. “Stop, Joon, please.” I could feel them slide down my cheeks like hot wax on a burning candle. I reached out for her but she struggled against me, she pushed and hit at my arms and chest but I held on tight. “Please, oh God. Joon, I’m so sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.” I cried kissing her hair. She sobbed in my arms. “Why don’t you love me?” She mumbled over and over. “I do!” I insisted but she just shook her head. I don’t think she could hear me, or maybe she did but didn’t believe me. “I’m so fucked up, Joon. But I love you. You are the only thing I need. The only thing I want to see everyday. Jooniper, I am so fucking in love with you.” I kept holding her and whispering. I kept asking her to forgive me. She pushed away and looked at me suspiciously. I knew she was contemplating whether or not to forgive me, whether or not to believe me. I couldn’t blame her. I wouldn’t have been able to trust me either if I were her. I put my hands on either side of her face and looked her deep in the eyes. With a deep breath I either complicated things more, or made them more simple. “I love you.” I whispered before kissing her lips. I didn’t get a response at first until they gave way and when they did I deepened the kiss. I kissed her with all the love and passion my twisted heart could ever possibly hold. She pulled back for air and looked at me nervously. “I love you.” She said quietly, almost as to test me. I felt a huge smile break across my face and when I hugged her I kissed her neck once and said. “I love you, too.”