After I paced my house for hours, Gatsby appeared on my doorstep. His appearances made me pity him and his optimism. For five years, he waited for Daisy and it seemed like those years were wasted by the look contained in his face. As he sat in the unkempt kitchen, chain smoking and silent, I longed for the moments when his personality exuded the glamour in which he lived. I wished him to speak of ill gains and vague jobs he kept as he struggled to live his life. Anything was better than the look of confusion and pain etched in the lines of age. I busied myself with a teakettle and thought back to a recent moment in which Gatsby and I spent in a city café.
The sun winked at us as it clung to the horizon, fighting with the moon to stay out longer. I put a cigarette between my lips and Gatsby leaned over to light it with a match pulled from the inside pocket of his charcoal gray vest over a pink linen shirt. We sat outside of a street café, the nightlife buzzing around us like moths to a flame. Colorful people in colorful garments of thin, elegant fabrics drifted between traffic; they disappeared on one side of the street and reappeared on the other side like rainbow ghosts.
A coy grin played at his lips as he exhaled smoke and spoke with uncertainty. "Well, old sport, I don't know what to tell you."
I shifted uncomfortably in the aluminum chair. The words tumbled from my mouth before I could grab at them once more and shove them back in without him noticing a thing. I thought to tell him, "Please, say nothing at all."
Gatsby let a mirthful chuckle escape. "I guess I won't go into details, but I think waiting all this time to be with Daisy was worth it. I thought it would be foreign, like traipsing blindly through the jungle. I can't fool myself, or you; in the beginning, it was a little strange. However, we soon became reacquainted with each other and I don't think I've been happier. We talked for hours about places she's visited and places I've visited. We drank champagne and sat in uninterrupted silences, which stretched for miles, but were comfortable like a warm breeze brushing the back of your neck on a cold day."
I had imagined Daisy dropping her head on his jacketed shoulder, her golden strands of hair leaving traces of her essence on him hours after she had left him. I had imagined her avoiding Tom's gaze as she came home late, unwilling to show Tom that she still carried a flame inside her heart for Gatsby.
Gatsby coughed and I was pulled back to the present. The kettle began to whistle violently loud and I poured Gatsby and myself two large mugs of tea. We sat in silence, opposite of each other and the clock on the wall ticked away the minutes, which spread out like years.
"I should probably tell you all that happened, right, old sport?" he inquired, focusing his blank eyes upon a chink in the table.
"Only if you want to. I'm here to listen," I replied, sipping my tea and scalding my tongue and the roof of my mouth.
He sighed heavily and visibly. "Well, as I told you earlier, I let Daisy drive because she was a nervous wreck. Her body quivered with every step she took and I could not stand to see her in such a fragile state. I wanted her well and I was attempting to do everything in my power to make her well again. So, I let her drive. We sat in the car for a few minutes, the silence heavy and suffocating us. Not even the tumult and ruckus on the sidewalks could dent our silence.
"Once we were driving, she wouldn't stop talking. I wished she would. I suddenly hated to hear her voice-all those things she said to me were lies. I ached to no longer hear her sweet voice spew those lies. She said, Jay, are you listening to me? As much as I was listening, I wish I hadn't. She kept saying, Jay, I just didn't want to upset him. You know that I never loved him, ever! I've always loved you. I-I…I just didn't-JAY, SAY SOMETHING!
"Daisy, I said, I know I'm a fool. I was a fool. I still am a fool. I have loved you unconditionally for five years and I never stopped. Once Tom entered your life, however, you seemed to have forgotten about me. Was it his money? Your voice drips full of money and if there is one thing that has changed, my darling, it is you.
"My words must have stung her deep because while we remained still, deep in traffic, she bit her bottom lip. It was something that Daisy always did when struggled with her dulcet tones in the back of her throat; she wanted to coax me into believing her, but she realized that I just needed silence. Silence that penetrated my soul was all I needed. I was surprised when she gave that to me. Once we were halfway home, I decided to speak.
"Why did you forget about me? I asked boldly. Her doe eyes cast a wary glance my way. I never forgot about you, she said. I thought you'd forgotten about me so I figured it was best to move on. I swear to God, Jay, I swear. We chatted idly about nothing. Everything was superficial and I despised our topics. After what just happened, we couldn't seemingly go back to the way we were and it's all I longed for. I knew then that you were right. I can't repeat the past. All this time, I'd harbored feelings for Daisy when she threw me aside like some cheap dress. I'm a fool and I wish I never asked you to arrange that meeting for us."
I pitied him deeply. He was in agony. All he wanted was to hate her, but the roots of his love were deep that I think he couldn't help but love her.
"Now, you see? Why couldn't you have seen that when I told you long ago not to ask too much of her?" He just looked at me with his haunting eyes, the light burned out and nothing but gaping holes peering back at me. "What happened with Myrtle?"
"Well, old sport, I don't know what caused her to do it. The woman ran out in the middle of the road and at first, like I told you earlier, she did swerve as not to hit her, but I think something in her snapped. I just can't believe it. Daisy killed some poor woman." A mirthless laugh escaped his lips as he lit up another cigarette. "I left Daisy to her house and promised I would wait for her. I would wait 'til kingdom come, if I had to. Then all the lights in the house went out, which is why I'm here, old sport."
"You promised to wait for her? After five years and all this commotion that was set into motion tonight, you're still going to wait for her?" I was verklempt. I didn't want to berate him, but it took so much energy to keep my anger inside. I saw in the window, when I caught a glimpse of Daisy and Tom's intimacy, Daisy didn't give a damn about Gatsby; once again, she forgot about him and seemed content by it all.
"Say, old sport, how about you call me a taxi. I think I'll head back over there to make sure she's all right," he said.
Rather than declining him, I decided to let him wait 'til kingdom come because I thought that's what it would take for him to realize that Daisy regarded him with as much love, as she would have for a weed her in rose garden.
As I saw him off in the taxi, I imagined he strained his vision, attempting to see across the Sound if Daisy's green light was still glowing, but I had a feeling that it was replaced by a yellow light in his mind's eye as the love for Daisy in his heart was corrupted by her everlasting lies.