Falling

Summary: Some things are forever, even when you want them to end. That's the way it is for Vanessa and Mark.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything!

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Chapter 1: The Denial of a Broken Hearted Single Mother

Every now and then his memory creeps to the front of her mind. It's been five years since she saw him and she's content with the life she lives now. She has her son, her job, her friends, she doesn't have much time for dating. The last date she went on was a year ago, set up by one of her girlfriends, and it didn't end well. Vanessa's friend neglected to mention that she had a son. She tells herself she doesn't want things back the way they used to be, she doesn't want him back in her life. Why would she want to be with someone with such childish priorities? Mark was the one that left her, and even if she did want him back, which she told herself she didn't, he obviously wouldn't.

She still dreams of him, even though she doesn't want to. In sleep, in dreams, she knows more than she could admit to anyone, even herself. She remembers the close proximity, the warmth and the sparks from every touch. She had done this so many times with the same movements, the same emotions, the same words – or lack of. She would never have him this close to her again, and subconciously she regrets that. His arms hold her tight against him and she eagerly returns the gesture. She knows she'll never touch him again. She awakes with a gasp, clasping her hands over her chest as her heart races. She feels the sickness and insanity of loving a wound solely because he inflicted it, "No..." she whispers, tears streaming down her face.

In her day to day life she wears a mask to fool those around her. She's still in touch with Juno, the true mother of her son, Jamie. Jamie has met Juno but he doesn't know the truth. Vanessa does intend to tell him someday, but not now when he's only five years-old. Juno is engaged now, ironically to the boy that got her pregnant. Anybody can see that they're happy together, and Vanessa hopes that happiness lasts, unlike it did with her and Mark. There are times that she wants to admit to Juno that she regrets letting go of Mark so easily, but how could she tell that to the girl that Mark told he was leaving her? She's had enough of their problems dumped on her and it's a wonder they're still in touch.

She's boxed up all his pictures and banished them to the attic. She doesn't have the heart to throw them away. Just the other day she ventured up there, forgetting whatever it was she went up there for the moment she laid eyes upon the box. For unknown reasons she opened the box and saw his face for the first time in five years. In those pictures they appeared to be the perfect couple, looked so happy, and they were. Mark was the only man she'd ever loved, even when he drove her crazy with his immaturity and unwillingness to own up to his responsibilities she loved him to death. When Vanessa was with Mark she felt like she could open up and she wasn't afraid to let him see her for all she was, all her faults and all her insecurities.

She loved him more than words could say, and she thought that Mark felt the same way about her. He once wrote an attempt at a love song for their anniversary and it was the cheesiest thing she ever heard, but it was also the sweetest thing. They were devestated when they found out they couldn't concieve and they made the decision together to adopt a child. Juno once asked if Vanessa blamed her for Mark leaving her. Vanessa could never blame her, because in the end it probably would've happened anyway. In fact, the chance that Juno gave her was the only thing that kept her going after she and Mark seperated.

Every song she listens to on the radio reminds her of him. She sings along to We Belong Together by Mariah Carey and cries whenever she hears Like We Never Loved At All by Meatloaf and Faith Hill. But why would she when she doesn't miss him? She's moved on, hasn't she? That's what she wants to believe, but in her dreams she knows that nobody could take Mark's place in her heart, she still wishes she was looking into the eyes of that dope she married. Her only vice is him, her addiction to the heartbreaking bastard. She's love sick and there is no cure.