So this is it, the last chapter. I hope you've enjoyed reading BS as much as I've enjoyed writing it. I know the chapter is short, but hopefully it's good. Someday (hopefully not TOO far in the future), I plan to write "Before Sunset."

Chapter 11

Newark Airport is slowly slipping away beneath her. The runway is all but invisible, Ikea is but a blue dot on the highway winding its way below, and the cars go from matchboxes to ants.

She leans back in her chair and sighs deeply as the pilot turns off the "fasten seatbelts" light. People all around her chatter loudly and the flight attendants break out the beverage carts.

She tries to sleep. Her eyelids feel heavy, but closing them hurts. The air conditioning is on full blast and she pulls an airline blanket around her shoulders to keep her warm. She can picture her sweater hanging limply over the back of a chair in Jess's kitchen and curses herself for forgetting it.

The night is hazy in her memory, fogged over with lack of sleep (and the past two hours spent picking apart and analyzing till her brain hurt). She thinks about fingers and skin and scalding hot water and she settles deeper into her seat. She tries to fend off regret.

--

He takes the subway back to his apartment, staring blindly at the doors and pressing the sleep out of his eyes with the heel of his hand.

When he gets back to his apartment, he calls in to work, fakes a cough while he cradles the phone between his ear and his shoulder, and scrubs her lips off his coffee mugs. He spots her yellow cardigan as he's reaching for his laptop. His fingers graze the soft yarn and he pulls it toward him. He folds it carefully, her voice ringing in his ears and gently mocking him for his sentimentality.

He sets the sweater down on the counter and once again reaches for his laptop.

He's tired, certainly, his eyes bloodshot and his brain struggling, but his imagination is whirling and spinning but his word processor can't open fast enough.

The night feels like a blur now, her face shimmering in and out of his thoughts and their activities melting away from his memories. Did he really only kiss her goodbye a couple hours before this? It seems like it's been days or weeks since he felt her skin beneath his fingertips.

He drifts off to sleep several hours later, stretched across the rumpled bed that still smells like her, his laptop laid in front of him. When he wakes, his words are the only proof that it wasn't all a dream.

The End

If you're interested, I've written a massive, all-encompassing Author's Note. It's at my writing livejournal. I can't post a link here, but I will set it as my website on my profile here. There will also be a soundtrack, posted in the same place.