Its been awhile since I've written anything, but I got the urge the other night and couldn't stop. Based off the song "Almost Lover" by A Fine Frenzy.
She sat flawlessly tranquil, inhaling deeply she glanced to her left, her own shallow eyes intently looking back at her in the reflection of the tinted glass. Repositioning herself on the cold black leather she slanted her head, resting it alongside the icy rigid window. Glimpsing at the urban scene that rapidly blurred passed her she closed her eyes, the images of precedent memories smoldering her every thought.
She was seated next the window on the airplane, the clouds below crafting a soft lavish blanket around the world beneath her. She gazed out the sheet of glass, studying the wing as it swayed to the movements of the plane, the landing gear gradually preparing itself for the final descent. The pros and cons list she was assembling on the airsickness bag in front of her slid off the tray table, picking it up off the floor she glimpsed to the list on the left, all the reasons she boarded the plane initially, begging her to not change her mind.
She couldn't help but stare at the list on the right—in bold letters the word SECRET mocked her. It haunted her, she hated secrets, especially her own. She fought with the idea that as soon as she got off the plane she could catch the next returning flight home, but the pros on the left held just as much weight as the cons on the right.
The plane landed and seizing her one undersized carry on bag she made her way off the aircraft. Watching in front of her as people gradually found their loved ones she looked at the signs above to find the quickest way out of the airport and to a taxi. That's when she saw him— standing in the midst of everyone else, taking no notice of the many beautiful girls who recognized him, and staring directly at her— a single rose in hand. She smiled, walking towards him, she took the rose for him at the very second he wrapped her in his arms and kissed her, all thoughts of returning home escaping her mind at that very second.
They spent the next three days together, lying as one on the soft white sands, his hand gracing her cheek, the feel of his fingertips across her skin was enough to make her melt. The palm trees swayed in the wind while he kissed her neck, whispering sweet Spanish lullabies in her ear.
He hovered on top of her, the sweetest sadness of his eyes connecting instantly with her own. She leaned up to gently kiss him, the weight of him on top of her molding her body into the sand.
Only now that it was a memory did she recognize his clever tricks. She opened her eyes just as the car she was in came to a standstill. She took another cavernous breath as the barks and bawls from the horde outside grew deafening, the continuous flashes already trying to rupture through the small pane of glass that separated her from the rest of the world.
Abruptly her door opened, plastering on a forged smile she emerged into the sea of media. She had never minded the media before. Red carpets gave her a sense of excitement, like writing a new song, or performing for thousands of people, but tonight it was a whole new voyage, because tonight they would be inquiring about him, just as they inquired him about her on his way down the same red carpet just twenty minutes earlier.
Jude sauntered into the art gallery, the effervescent colors of the canvases expanded from ceiling to floor—some were less remarkable than others, while a number took her breath away. She respected art as greatly as she respected music. They coincided together, in her mind one could not exist without the other. She experienced art the way she experienced music, she could sense it pulsating through every being of her body and soul.
She ambled around the gallery absorbing each of the paintings, her aspiration for the evening was to leave the event owning at least one of them, and it was just a matter of getting it before someone else did.
She turned the corner and that's when she saw him. Her body froze, incapable of looking at anything but him. She observed him in slow motion in the midst of a conversation. He threw his head back in laughter, his smile dissolving her heart at that very instant. The moment passed just as a waiter strolled by him, tilting his head to the left to seize a glass of champagne his eyes met hers.
He watched her watch him, stationary in time, they were the only two people left on earth. All conversation was muted, the music was silenced, and the shuffling around of people was subdued. It was just the two of them stuck in a frozen world.
Suddenly she blinked and the world came back to life, she heard laughter and banter, looking around her she saw they were not alone. Her eyes once again landed on him, he lifted his arm up and enveloped it around the shoulders of the woman to his left—his eyes never leaving hers as he positioned a kiss on the obscure woman's lips, devastating her heart.
She unexpectedly couldn't breath in the middle of all these people. The room became indistinct as tears decanted down her cheeks. She swiftly bowed away probing for the nearest outlet when she perceived the proverbial thud of footsteps following her. Out of the blue a flawlessly manicured hand that she knew all too well was on her right shoulder.
"Jude," she could feel his voice reverberate throughout her entire body.
"Tommy," she sputtered through her tears, whirling around to face him she brushed his balmy tender fingers from her shoulder, "I never want to see you unhappy, I thought you'd want to same for me."
"Jude I—you—that's not—"
"You don't have to explain Tommy, I get it."
"But Jude—" He stopped talking whilst she curved her back to him and continued towards the nearby exit.
She made her way passed friends and art and hurriedly escaped through the reverse door into the alleyway. Closing the door after her she inclined her back up against it. Resting her head in her hands she cried into them, he had no idea how much he was hurting her. Just when they were getting started it ended. She by no means had an opportunity to call him her own and they never got their chance to see what they were capable of together.
She pulled herself together and made her way down the alleyway to the open boulevard. The media still sat to her left and going disregarded she went to her right. Walking down the open sidewalk she cleaned up her tears, glancing behind her she anticipated that maybe just maybe he would be following her, but regrettably she was unaided on the sidewalk, no one tracing her every tread apart from her shadow.
The streets were brimming with people. It was very infrequent that they went anywhere together in public for apprehension that someone may see the two of them together. But tonight was a unique circumstance, tonight they were celebrating the release of her fifth album and they didn't care who saw them together, they had a cover.
They sauntered along the crowded street, only observing each other. He took her petite hand in his own, guiding her off the curb, he turned to face her, heaving her close and wrapping his other arm around her waist.
"Dance with me?" he smiled down at her.
"Like you even have to ask?" she rested her head on his chest and they swayed to the music in their heads.
People walked around them. Barely noticing the two wrapped in each others embrace, dancing in the moonlight to silence. She could have stayed like that eternally, but regrettably he pulled away from her.
Lifting her face up to his own he kissed her lips, "No matter what ever happens between us, I'll never ever forget you or this moment," he whispered in her ear.
She smiled, kissing him one last time before he broke away from her and left, leaving her in a swarm of strangers, craving the one she couldn't have.
So many images burned her mind, so many recollections scarred her heart, and she remembered every detail of them all as she walked unaccompanied down the same now vacant street where they once danced.
Unexpectedly she felt the vibration of her phone in her bag, taking it out she glanced at it, tears once again rushing to her eyes at the display of his name flashing across her screen. Ignoring the phone call she placed the phone back in her bag.
It continued to ring the entire walk home—by the time she made it through her front door she had fifty-four missed calls all from Tommy.
She strolled into her home—placing her keys in the bowl next to the door she closed it behind her. Making her way towards the fridge for a bottle of water she paused to glance around, everything looked unchanged, but it undeniably felt dissimilar, she then made her way into the bedroom where she could change into something a little more relaxed. She was just beginning to take the bobby pins out of her hair when there was a knock on the front door.
She wasn't expecting anyone as she glided across her apartment en route for the door. There was another tap just as she put her hand on the door knob to open it.
"Hi, what can I—" her words suddenly vanished as she gazed him honestly in the eyes.
"Don't—" he positioned his foot in front of the door just as she began to close it on him, "—close the door," his head was skewed downwards in the direction of his shoe, bringing his eyes up to convene with hers, she backed away from the door, permitting him to make his way inside.
"What are you doing here?"
"You didn't let me explain back at the gallery and I just—" he closed the door behind him, pausing to momentarily glance around the apartment he used to spend so many nights. Not a great deal had been altered since he had been there, it all looked unchanged, minus the pictures of the two of them that used to hang on the fridge, "—I just wanted to say… I'm sorry."
"You're sorry?" she partially whispered, taking a further step back from him, "Sorry?"
"I really don't know what else to say," he raked his fingers unnervingly through his hair.
"I cannot go to the ocean, I cannot drive the streets at night," she took a stride toward him this time, tears trickling down her cheeks once more. Her shoulders stooped over as she quivered with sadness, her head staring downward at the floorboards.
He paced toward her so there were only inches between them, he lifted his hand to rest it on her shoulder—he wanted nothing more than to take her in his arms and relieve her of the hurt he had caused her—but he couldn't. As much as he wanted to he would refrain from any touching, because they both knew what that would lead to.
She lifted her head again to look at him, he was so close to her now, his arms by his sides, "I cannot wake up in the morning without you on my mind."
They stood there staring at each other. Her eyes were scarlet and swollen, her hair half up and half down, bobby pins hanging freely, he reached up and removed one of the pins from her hair, his hand polishing her shoulder, he handed it to her.
"So you're gone and I am haunted, and look at you—" she took the bobby pin from his hand, the rough tenderness of his fingers skimming her own, "You are just…" she paused, "You're just fine."
"Jude," he shook his head, "I am so far from fine right now. You think I enjoy this? You think I enjoy watching you cry knowing that I am the cause for all this pain you endure?"
"You seemed to enjoy it earlier, kissing that… that…" she couldn't find the right word that would sting him like he stung her.
"Her name is Sam."
"Sam," she whispered in reaction nodding her head, "Right," the tears were swiftly resurfacing, "Did I make it that easy to walk right in and out of my life?"
"God n-no" he faltered, "far from it, this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life."
She nodded her head, the tears once again dispensing from her eyes like she had never stopped. Couldn't he see how much she loved him? Didn't he want to be with her? Didn't he love her back?
"I don't know what you want from me Tommy, so if you could just go now," Goodbye my almost lover, goodbye my hopeless dream the words spun around in her head as he stood faultlessly motionless in front of her. "I'm trying not to think about you, so can't you just let me be?"
He nodded his head in consideration, "I really am sorry Jude, really."
The words stung him like a knife in the side. She wasn't expressing regret for the same thing he was, she apologizing for ever loving him in the first place.
"If I had it all to do over again," he still hadn't moved from in front of her, "I would do it all so differently."
She smeared the tears away from beneath her eyes, shaking her head she replied, "It still doesn't change anything now."
"If I could, I would."
"No you wouldn't," she was quick to respond, "If you really meant that, you would have done something by now."
"I'm sorry we never got the chance," he leaned in to kiss her cheek, but she pulled away, she couldn't take anymore despondency.
Stepping around him, she opened the door for him to leave, "Goodbye Tommy," she leaned herself up against the frame, she could feel herself getting weak and if he didn't leave soon she wasn't going to be able to stand any longer.
He turned around to face the door, nodding his head in her direction, "Goodbye Jude," he stepped through the doorway knowing he would never tread foot in her apartment again.
She closed the door after him, descending down she positioned herself on the bitter solid floor as she cried hysterically.
The door closed rapidly behind him, he turned to gaze at it, emotionally making out her body on the other side, he missed her already when he heard her assemble on the floor and begin to weep. He leaned up alongside her door and slowly sat down on the other side with her.
She rested her head on her arm while she sobbed, and that's when she felt it. Something was thrusting against her arm. She skewed her head up to see a piece of sallow paper squirming under the door. Taking the paper in her hands she unfolded it.
Letting you go was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
And I do love you back.
She closed her eyes clutching the note to her chest and when she opened them once more she saw four fingers wiggling under the door. She took them in her own and cried, knowing that he loved her and that he was doing all he could to comfort her from the other side.
So long my luckless romance, my back is turned on you, should've known you'd bring me heartache, almost lovers always do.