Ed was a little nervous, sad, and scared. The emotions were all giving him a sinking feeling inside him, like a brick was sitting in the pit of his chest. He was sitting on the bench nearest to the entrance he knew Bailey was likely to come through, he wanted to see her, end it, and get as far away from her as possible.
It all sounded much too simple, he was looking forward to getting this over with as much as he had been dreading it. Ed had experienced the emotional breakdown of a broken heart before, his heart felt like it had been torn out and stepped on several times when Gaia was around… He felt an unbearable amount of guilt knowing that he was going to do the same to Bailey, knowing that she would be hurt. Ed looked around the park, anxious to see the approach of a dimpled blonde nearby…. He stared at his watch impatiently which read five minutes to six, Bailey was usually punctual and on time to any meeting or appointment she had which was making him wonder if she was coming. Then he thought better of it and realized that he doubted everything because he knew he was going to end it with Bailey and any little thing was making him extremely nervous.
Ed stood up and walked in circles for a couple of minutes, not sure of how to behave in this type of situation. He had only broken up with someone before once, that was Heather. But there was a difference, Heather knew it was coming and she wanted to end the awkward ongoing torture that their relationship had then become as much as he did. The fake smiles, the fake love they had pretended to be in was all something they eventually both wanted to end so Ed had ended it because he felt that Heather couldn't possibly go on with all the guilt she felt.
So now that Ed was the one doing the unexpected heart breaking he wasn't sure how to behave, should he seem upset? Or mad? He wasn't upset or mad; he just wanted to get it over and done with. Maybe he should stop walking in circles he thought, he was looking impatient. But then he realized that he was over all extremely nervous and it was showing, his impatient movements and his pacing was enough to make the bum sitting on the nearby bench nervous.
He looked up but he still didn't see Bailey on her way, so he decided to walk to the south entrance, there were men playing in the chess tables like always, it was already dusk so there were only about three games going on while those who were done watched instead of starting another round. Ed had to admit that while he always watched Gaia play and quickly become transfixed in the action of the game, he never really understood chess or cared to learn for it. He kept on walking back and forth between entrances, he watched as men started clearing up as the sun continued to head to east as it settled. He finally sat down to check his watch again; it was six o' five. He began to see that even though some people were leaving there were some men who didn't even look that poor like the bums, they were the types that Gaia would seek out in an effort to scare them away.
He began to think of the first time he saw Gaia fight; he had been awestruck with woe, admiration, and even more love for this aggressive creature that wanted anything but love but in reality desperately needed it.
"Ed?" He looked up to see Bailey standing in front of him. He realized why she took so long; she had curled her hair and dressed up in a girly outfit that consisted of a short white skirt with a pink tank top. His guilt immediately increased by ten, he wasn't sure what to make of her effort to impress.
"Hey, Bailey," He said as he stood up.
"What's going on Ed?" Bailey asked him as she stepped to sit on the bench. He stared at her and his mouth started to dry because of how bad he was feeling.
"Well I wanted to talk to you," he managed to say.
"Well, then let's talk." Bailey said as she held a steady gaze.
Ed sat down next to her but not close, he didn't want her to get the wrong idea about what he was about to say to her.
"Bailey, we've been together for a long time, I think we've had a good relationship for the most part," Ed said, "In fact I think our relationship has been a healthy and very happy one. I love you very much but I think we both probably need to grow as people on our own before we consider taking our relationship at all any more serious. I also think that we should probably realize that even though we seem to get along so great maybe this isn't the type of relationship we're looking for, I mean, yes getting along great is a good thing in a relationship but sometimes people look for more you know? Sometimes people—"
"Ed, what are you getting to?" Bailey interrupted him. Her eyes were getting teary and she seemed to be getting pink from the neck up.
"I just—I don't want you to be upset—" He tried to say.
"Ed—just tell me whatever it is you want to say," Bailey said to him.
"Look, I really don't want to hurt you I just want you to be happy but I'm not sure if I can be the one to make you happy," He said. Bailey shifted her legs and looked around.
"Wow," she said as she removed a tear that had been slowly trailing down her cheek.
He started at her not sure of what to say, he wasn't sure how to respond to wow. Her eyes were both teary and her whole face was pink, he rarely saw people cry and knowing that he was the one causing the hurt was really upsetting him, he wasn't comfortable playing that role.
"Ed, but why? Was it the talk?" Bailey's voice was strong as she asked him.
"Look, in a way, I just want to be honest. I think the talk just made me realized that maybe we're not right for each other," He said.
"But how could you be saying that if it had been only that talk?" Bailey asked him, "It's not like I cheated on you—"
"Bailey you already cheated on me," he pointed out.
"That was a kiss! I didn't really cheat it was—"
"Bailey if you don't think that kissing is cheating then—"
"No! I know Ed, I know it is cheating, but I thought we were over that Ed," She said to him. "Does it still hurt you? Is that what this is about?"
"No!" Ed tried to explain, "You're the one who brought it up, not me!
"Well then what's it about?" Bailey asked him as more tears trailed down her face.
"It's just—I don't feel the same way anymore," He muttered.
"Since when Ed?" Bailey seemed to yell rather than asked.
"Since… the talk, alright it was the talk!" He said.
"Well what about the talk made you realize that you suddenly don't love me?" Bailey said as her voice trembled.
"The fact that you couldn't understand!" He yelled. Bailey's head fell to her hands as she cried and Ed realized how loud he had yelled when he noticed that everything was quiet, the men that had been at the chess tables were staring at him and even the bum at the nearby bench was staring at him with a disapproving look.
Ed's response made what he had been feeling real, Bailey's lack of understanding made him realize he wasn't as in love with her as he appeared to be.
"Bailey I'm sor—"
"Ed, just go," Bailey said as she kept crying.
"You don't get it Ed! I tried to understand! I was trying to understand! But you didn't really bother to even put an effort into wanting me to understand!" She said to him.
"But you also didn't understand that I wasn't ready to talk about it, but you didn't accept that—"
"Ed, I'm sorry! You're right! I pushed you into telling me about her, but I just want us to be able to tell each other everything and anything, don't you feel the same way?" Bailey asked him.
"Yes, I do—"
"Well then let's just do that, let's just try and go back a few steps and attempt the whole thing again, if you don't want to talk about it then let's just not," Bailey said as she removed a few tears from her eyes.
Ed wasn't sure what to reply to her, "Well—I just need time, Bailey we should—"
"I'll give you all the time you need—I want to make it work, I believe in us don't you?" Bailey pleaded, Ed didn't want to tell her the truth, the fact that he really didn't believe in their relationship.
"Ed, please—don't tell me you're giving up on us, we have something good going for us, and we just had a little bump on the road, it shouldn't end like this or because of this little tiff," Bailey said as she stood up
Ed stared at her feeling exactly like he knew he would, like complete crap. He stared at Bailey as she cried her heart out; he wasn't sure what to do.
"Ed, I'll give you all the time you need," Bailey said, she ran towards the south entrance. Ed just watched her go, he had seen her, he had tried to end it, and now it was time to get as much space possible between him and her…Even if it didn't turn out exactly like how he imagined it?
Gaia had too much on her mind to think about, she hadn't been able to communicate with her dad in days, she hadn't been able to communicate with her mentor Agent Malloy since before she left Langley, and now Agent Elkins seemed to be the only one that she could communicate with but every time she answered his call he seemed to insist that she needed to change her character if she wanted to get any work done with this case. She had just finished listening to his nonsense when she decided to go out and hit up her favorite donut place in the world, Krispy Kremes.
As she waited in line for her order of a dozen glazed good ones she thought of how many times she would look forward to coming here after school, she would rush to pick up a batch of donuts and then head to Washington Square Park to devour them.
Then thoughts of John started pouring into her head, the fact that he seemed to turn everyone against her, everyone at the bureau paid little attention to her remarks or ideas other than Elkins, everyone seemed to think that she was privileged, that she had smuggled into the FBI by her connections. That thought pissed her off, she worked her for her job and regardless, the connections she had were part of her history, her life, her family. She wished that her uncle hadn't turned out to be the terrorist that he had turned out to be, she wished that her father hadn't in turn worked for the CIA, she wished that her mother didn't come from a Russian mafia family, and finally she wished she hadn't been born fearless. She wished she had been normal and grown up to be a waitress like she had always dreamed of, it was simple, nowadays you didn't even need to know how to multiply, and the register basically did everything for you.
"Here you are miss," The man behind the counter said as he laid out the bag containing her box of a dozen.
"Thank you," she said as she picked up the bag and left a dollar in the tip jar. She had turned out to be a generous person, she thought, and after all slaving over donuts was a hard job, you always came across assholes that wanted the orders fast, and wanted their coffee scorching hot but then complained when it was too hot.
She stepped out of the shop and she waited until she was out of sight of the window before ripping the box open and grabbing a donut, yum, she thought, they were still warm. It was as she took her second deliciously sugary bite that she heard someone familiar, someone she recognized. She turned around and realized that she had just passed the South entrance to Washington Square Park; she knew she had heard a voice that sounded so familiar she felt a longing to hear it again. She stood there for a couple of seconds, unsure of what to do, she decided to take another bite from the donut as she thought this through, she had heard a man's voice, a voice she had often heard before countless times; Ed's.
She decided that it was better to be curious than to always wonder about what could've been, or what it had been. She took a final bite out of her donut and walked towards the entrance. Her stomach suddenly felt like butterflies, she felt her hopes and wishes get stronger as she approached the entrance, all the anticipation was building up—
But Gaia was pushed aside as a girl walked into her and rushed past her, the girl didn't even bother to say sorry or look back at her, she just rushed on.
Gaia turned into the entrance and saw the most beautiful glimpse of any person she had ever seen. It was Ed.
He had turned away from her, he hadn't seen her, and he was walking out of the park with his head down. Gaia questioned herself, was it really him?
It was him, she thought, her legs started sprinting towards him, he was only just outside the entrance she thought as she reached the exact spot he had been standing at.
He was walking fast with his head down and his hands tucked into his pockets, she wished he would turn around and see her, and even if he didn't turn around she wished she could just see his eyes a little closer. He was at least fifteen feet away from her, she wanted to get closer to him, but she could risk everything, she could risk having her blissful ignorance tell her that Ed hadn't hung up on her, instead she could live on not knowing what was the real reason—rinnnnnnnggg!
Gaia hid behind the nearest tree in an effort to avoid capturing Ed's attention, she pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and flipped it open; Perry.
Gaia clicked the 'end call' button; she pushed it until the phone turned off. She wasn't sure what to do, her heart was telling her to run to Ed, to ask him how he was, to hug him… Gaia wasn't afraid, her legs weren't frozen stiff because she was scared of rejection, what was holding Gaia back was the thought of losing all the great memories she had of Ed, of having the knowledge that Ed viewed her as one of those high school memories, something of the past. Gaia had held on to those memories and the hope of someday happily reuniting with Ed for four years, her livelihood had depended on that for all these years. Gaia wasn't about to ruin that, Gaia turned away from Ed and started walking back to her hotel room.
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