The Lorelai staring back at me in the mirror is not the woman I was. Love has evidently changed me, I think sarcastically. Look what love does! Kills your soul...changes you irrevocably, never to be the same again.
For I am now sullied, cheapened by a single act of despair.
Last night, I killed two souls. His and mine. I watched him struggle, saw the confusion on his face as he realized what I was about to do. For the first time since April, I had power. I held it all. And I reveled in that power I knew I had over him.
And then I came here. The final bullet to the head. The final knife wound to the chest. The final clichéd blow struck against him, by striking against myself. It would have been kinder, I think, to actually use a gun and pull the trigger. Maybe then I might have rejoiced as I watched the bullet tear into his chest, then ricochet into mine.
You see, last night, just for one night, it felt so right.
But the feeling was fleeting, quickly replaced by a spreading numbness as Christopher climbed into bed with me and snaked his arm around me. I want to cringe, but then he'd know that I'm awake.
I can't speak. I can barely stand to breathe in the air of his room as it slowly dawns on me that I've ruined everything.
Last night, Luke saw me wig out and lose control in a way that I am sure his Anna never did.
And then I came here. And he opened the door, speaking soft words of reassurance as he helped me through the next few hours.
Maybe I should stay here forever. I know that when I return home, to the house that bears his stamp, things will never be the same again.
Christopher practically begged me to allow him to take care of me on Thanksgiving. He begged to be allowed to make amends for not being there for Rory and me through the years.
And of course I refused him. And turned to Luke.
But now I can't wait any longer.
And so I came here.
I felt my resolve weaken as he sat beside me, making his overtures. Eventually, he put one warm hand gently on the nape of my neck, while with the other, he stroked my breast.
"Lor, you shouldn't be alone right now." He spoke those words with such gentleness.
Why didn't Luke stop me, make a final attempt to keep me from leaving? I had dropped every single one of my defenses for him, wanting nothing more than to be his wife and the last person he ever slept with. Wanting nothing more than to bear his child and give him the intact family we both never had as adults.
Why? I ask my reflection.
Only right now, I can't answer myself. I don't have the strength, physical or emotional. I stand in front of his mirror, naked and shivering, with the rapidly cooling shower- water beading my skin. What the hell did I do?
The face of the Lorelai I used to know crumples before me, as my eyes fill with tears. I look at my hand, and slowly, a finger comes up and traces along the mirror, tracing my face just like I used to trace his.
I marvel at the smoothness of my complexion. If the amount of pain I am feeling inside could make itself known on the outside, my face would be blue and black with bruises.
What do I do now?
I heard the pretty little girl leave for school, but I have no idea what time it is right now. Time stopped for me when I left him on the street.
The knowledge that I have brought it on myself makes it a million times more painful.
I hear his voice as if it is far away.
"Lorelai, wake up."
The voice is different.
That realization is enough to force my eyes open. I blink rapidly as I open them to focus on the voice. He is sitting next to me.
Go away Luke. I'm trying to sleep, I say to myself.
"Lorelai, wake up..."
I try to ignore him.
Oh God...is it really him? I feel him next to me. I smell his Luke smell. The most beloved smell in the world except for new baby Rory smell.
Finally, I open my eyes all the way, my head and eyes hurting from the emotional pain I've been in.
"Luke," my tremulous voice attempts, "I am so sorry for what I did to you..."
He seems to find this perplexing, but reassures me: "Lorelai...shh, it's ok."
'It's ok' echoes through my mind. It's ok.
"Aw geez, Lorelai..."
Painfully and slowly, I become more aware of where I am.
I'm in my own bed.
He gathers me to him, and I cling to him for dear life. I feel his hands on my back, then in my hair, and then hear his whispered words of reassurance as I cry on his shoulder. All the while, he rocks me gently, giving me what I need.
I have no idea how long we remain there. My only thought is that he is with me. I don't question how or why. I cry like I've never cried before, purging myself of my sadness. And he holds me, the only man I've ever let see me like this.
"C'mon Lorelai. Let's get you up. It's after noon."
Luke helps me off the bed.
"What's going on with you, Lorelai? Last night, when you asked me to elope…"
He mentions my freak-out oh so casually.
"Later," I promise, and lay my head against his chest, breathing in his scent. I listen to the steady beat of his heart directly beneath my ear. Steady as Luke himself is. I hear him…wait, is he humming?
"So tired…" I say, as I feel myself sinking back into bed.
A short time later, I am awake once more. My first conscious thought is that Luke's arms are no longer around me. I feel bereft, incomplete. Then I feel his arm go around me and hear his beloved voice. The voice of the only man I have ever loved.
"Look who's awake for the second time." His voice is gentle and humor-tinged.
Blinking for the umpteenth time that day, I ask, "What time is it?"
"Later in the afternoon. You should eat something, and I hate to say this, drink some coffee."
Because going to Christopher at the end of the fight with Luke? Turned out to be a nightmare.
I replace thoughts of Christopher with thoughts of Luke tenderly holding me in his arms after I awoke from the nightmare. I remember how it feels to be held so close to him, his hands on me. I remember that he promised to set a definitive date for this summer. And it would only be a half-elopement. Because Lorelai and my parents and April would be there.
Everything is OK. I am OK. Because I love him, and am in love with him. I love to look at him, to feel his touch, to hear his voice.
I reach out to him.
And he pulls me back toward him. My hands, of their own volition, cup his face, and we kiss. I moisten his lower lip with my tongue, and then gently pull it into my mouth. He groans as I open my mouth; we have a trade agreement and I allow him entry. His tongue slides in to greet mine, and we take commingled breaths.
Somehow, I grab one of his hands, and slide it along my ribcage until I am able to pull it to my breast.
"Oh God, Lorelai..."
"Oh Luke, I had the worst nightmare…"