A/N: I'm becoming some sort of fanfiction machine. I write like two or three things a day. You'd think starting college would mean not having enough time to write, but it seems the opposite. Regardless, this is filled with angst. Loosely based or influenced by the song Excerpts From Various Notes Strewn Around the Bedroom of April Connolly by Cursive. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. But, it is what it is. My brother, my best friend, and I are having a season six premier costume party. My brother is being Luke, I'm being Jess, and my best friend is being Rory. It will be awesome. Anyway. On with the story.
He finds the note. List, actually. Of course it's a list. It's sitting next to his cigarettes in his jacket pocket that morning.
Why I should leave:
-The drinking: It seems that every night you're coming home drunk. It used to be just a beer with John at the bar. Now it's a bottle of vodka in his apartment. It's gotten out of hand and I hate the way you treat me when you're drunk. You don't even realize it, but you treat me like shit. You come home completely out of it and want to have sex with me. It's revolting, if you want to know the truth. The way your hands feel, the way you slur the words, "Iloveyou." into my ear. The way your kiss tastes.
-The sleeping around: You deny it, but I've seen them. Their John's friends, though friends isn't the word I would use. And they look at me like they know some dirty little secret. They do and it's that you fuck them when you're not home with me. But, they smile at me like they haven't done a thing. I can smell them on you when you get home. I can tell that you've had sex. Don't you realize why I'm not in bed when you wake up in the morning? Don't you ever wonder why I'm sleeping on the couch? No, you're oblivious as always. I can't count the number of times I've found myself alone in our bedroom, waiting for you to come home. When you do finally come at two or three in the morning, you smell like them, like sex. And I find myself crying on the bathroom floor.
-The fact that I don't make you happy: Maybe you've just always been unhappy. Maybe it's not my place to make you happy. But, you don't even try. Or it seems like you're not trying. I hate that I'm not enough for you. I always thought that I would be able to…I don't know, save you. I see now that that was a stupid idea. You don't want to be saved. You like being angry and depressed. You thrive off of it. You like to think that you don't need anyone. It hurts because sometimes I feel like maybe I need you and this is such a ridiculous notion, but sometimes you actually smile. I can't tell you how much I want to see you smile.
-I'm falling out of love with you. It hurts, Jess, it really fucking hurts. You, of course, have no idea what this feels like. It feels like you're dying. I'm losing you and I'm not trying to stop it.
He balls the paper in his fist. He knew this was coming. He felt it. All of it was true, he had been horrible to her. He knew she slept on the couch. He knew she cried in the bathroom. He knew she was miserable and that she didn't love him anymore. It had been like this for months now. Like always, he was disregarding it, pushing it away, convincing himself that it wasn't happening.
Things had been good for so long. When she came back to him…No. When they came back to each other. It was a mutual thing. They ran into each other, decided to be strangers, disregard their entire history. He was able to be a different person for her. He was finally what she wanted and it had been perfect. It took hardly a month for it to be love again. He had planned on keeping her for good. He was not going to make the same mistakes. In some twisted way, he hadn't made the same mistakes. He had made completely new ones. And they were much worse.
She was wrong about one thing. He knew how it felt. He knew the pain entirely too well. It was a feeling in his stomach, his chest, everywhere. And it was always there. Only, his was the pain of self loathing. He hated what he did, to her and to himself. When something good happens to him, he ruins it. He thinks that maybe he doesn't deserve any of it. Maybe he's purposely sabotaging all of these things because something inside of him is telling him he isn't worthy of it. Reading this now, he knows for sure that he doesn't deserve happiness or love.
That night, he finds himself drunkenly scrawling onto a piece of toilet paper while she is sleeping in the bedroom. It's sloppy and disorganized, but at this point it hardly matters.
You can't leave. You can't leave me. I'm supposed to leave. I'm…fuck. Sorry, I'm sorry. This was supposed to be completely different. Not like this. This isn't supposed to end with me here on this fucking bathroom floor writing on fucking toilet paper. You can't even read this, can you? The list was right. I do drink too much. I do treat you like shit when I'm drunk. I do sleep with other girls. It doesn't mean I don't LOVE YOU. I do, I do, I do. So much, too much. More than anyone could ever begin to even fathom. But, you know what? THAT HURTS. Loving you. Hurts. Why? Because I don't deserve it. I just…I hate what I've done. You deserve more. More, more, more. I've got nothing. Nothing at all. I'm fucked up, get it? But, you do make me happy. You do. I need you. Without you, I'd be…You can't just leave, Rory. Please, let's try again. Start over again. I'll stop drinking. I'll stop all of it. Promise. I promise.
He runs out of toilet paper, but it's just as well. He was done. It's not what he meant to say. He doesn't think she should stay. He wants her to stay, but he hadn't intended on telling her to stay. He should be letting her leave. He should stand aside and let her walk out, but there's that part of him that can't stand the thought of losing her again. There's the part of him that really does want her to save him.
He puts the note on her nightstand and crawls into bed next to her. He feels her stiffen and she moves as close to the edge of the bed as she can get. He looks at her and wants to touch the valley between her shoulder blades. He wants to press his lips against the soft skin there. He wants to hear her whisper into her pillow that she loves him. But, she's silent on her side and he's left to stare at her until he falls asleep.
He wakes up and she's gone, the note's gone. He panics. He gets out of bed, jumps really. He opens her dresser and finds that her clothes are still there. She hasn't left, not for good. He runs to the bathroom, throwing up from the relief and from the hangover.
He spends the rest of the day at the apartment. He calls in sick to work. He pours every ounce of anything alcoholic down the drain. He calls John. ("We're done.") He deletes every phone number in his cell phone except for Rory and Luke. He changes his clothes, he takes a shower, he cleans the entire apartment. He makes dinner for her. And then he waits.
He's sitting on the couch, watching the door, when she gets home. She sees him. She sees what he's done. And she falls to the floor, crying. She is crying so hard that she can't breathe. He's terrified, but he tries to comfort her.
"Jess. I…" Her sobs are more like screams and she clings to him.
"It's gone. The alcohol. John. The girls. Gone. Just you and me. That's all that matters. I swear."
The sound of his voice has helped calm her down. "You don't deserve a third, fourth, I've lost count, chance."
He feels his legs give way beneath him as she says this. All of his hope starts to come crashing down on him. Until he realizes that she's smiling at him. A sad, crooked, and slow smile.
"I know I don't." His voice sounds eager.
"So…why do I keep giving them to you?" She bites her lip and looks up at him.
He doesn't give her an answer. He kisses her on the mouth. She can't remember the last time he kissed her and didn't taste like liquor. He can't remember the last time he kissed her and she didn't push him away in disgust. He mumbles into her mouth before kissing her again, "I love you. Don't say it back."
She doesn't. She isn't sure that she could anyway.