Chapter IX: Calendar Girl
Song: "Calendar Girl" by Stars

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If I am lost for a day; try and find me
But if I don't come back, then I won't look behind me
All of the things that I thought were so easy
just got harder and harder each day
December is the darkest and June is the light but this empty bedroom won't make anything right
While out on the landing a friend I forgot to send home
Who waits up for me all through the night
Calendar girl who's in love with the world Stay alive

"Hi," Lily meekly whispered when he walked into his office to see her seated at his desk, in his seat.

His breathing slowed a bit as he took in the sight before him, for some inane reason he found it incredibly sexy—the way that she had her legs propped up against a corner that she often saw him using for the exact same task. "Hey, love," he greeted her with a small smile, moving to take a seat opposite her.

She didn't say anything after that and he wasn't sure where to go from there, she left him rather befuddled. So he sat there and simply watched her. There was something off, that was clear as day, but the question of what it was pestered him to no end. Whatever it was, it was clearly vital given the way that she was fidgeting in the seat, wringing the hem of her knee-length pencil skirt as she nibbled her lower lip.

"Are you okay?" he finally asked, voice coming out like a croak.

She nodded slowly. "I think so…"

His eyebrows drew together. "Lils, what's going on here?"

"I… I broke up with Amos two days ago."

He nodded. "I heard."

Her head snapped up in surprise at that proclamation and she sent him a questioning look.

"Sirius ran into his mate, Fenwick, at the pub last night and apparently Benji was there picking up accoutrements for getting pissed and forgetting your existence."

"Charming," she drawled as a flash of hurt marred her face.

"Sorry," he whispered, wincing as he only just realized how callous that had come out. Lily always had told him that he had a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth with his penchant for not thinking comments through before voicing them.

"It's okay," she shrugged. "May fault… I was the one that ended it, after all."

"So… is that why you came here… to tell me?" he asked, not sure where all of the sudden tension was coming from when not even three days ago they had been kidding and flirting like old times. 'What had altered? How had it changed so quickly?' he couldn't help but ask himself.

"No."

"Oh," he said, mainly for lack of anything else to say.

"Alice said something to me… she made a really important point, actually…"

At the mention of Alice his expression immediately grew steely, as much as he loved the girl at times, she was also often a chit, one who surely wasn't happy about the prospect of him and Lily reuniting after what had happened last time. "Oh," he said again.

"Yeah," Lily nodded as she took her legs off of the desk and sat down, properly, her stance tense.

When Lily made no move to continue her thought he decided to help her out a bit by saying: "so what crucial point did she make anyway?"

At the rate Lily was nibbling on her lip it seemed likely she'd tear it, he noted. Finally, however, she got up whatever courage she could and said the last thing that James expected her to, at that point at least: "you hurt me."

That statement left him dumbfounded; he didn't know how to reply to that. Rehashing the past, that past, admittedly wasn't something he was too fond of as he was reminded of his mistakes. "I… I-"

"Don't," she saved him from having to deliver some feeble and fumbling apology. "I didn't come here to hear that. I know that you regret it, but… well I don't think you understand just how much you hurt me, James. I loved you, I really loved you, and then suddenly you just up and left me because you had to see if the grass was greener on the other side."

He winced, but didn't speak, allowing her to finish.

"I…" she stopped herself again, releasing a deep breath as she tried to collect her thoughts. "It scares me that it might happen again… it scares me that you don't realize just how much you screwed up—that you'll get me back and it'll be as if nothing happened. I don't know what to do here, James, I'm scared. I don't want it all to end up mucked up again; I want to do it right this time."

"I do, too," he admitted, voice coming out like a croak.

"That's also why I'm going to need space."

His eyes widened and he felt that they might actually pop out of their sockets in their shock. "Wh—what?" he sputtered. "But I… I thought you said…"

"Not like that," she shook her head. "I just… I need you to accept that I need time, that I need my space, that I can't just fall back into a routine with you. You're dangerous for me, James, I love you so much, but you're also capable of hurting me and I want to protect myself this time, I want to be sure and have no regrets. I need to be."

He sat in silence for a good five or so minutes, simply staring down into his lap as he processed her words, but when he finally looked up a charming smile overtook his visage. "What exactly is rushing?"

A flood of relief spread through her body as her face gained a soft, pink hue. "Anything that involves a first date before a month from now passes."

"But in a month…?"

She shrugged coquettishly. "If things are still going well with us…"

"They will be," he promised her, a stern look on his face marring it after hearing her mention such a blasphemous prospect. "So, anyway… your schedule, how's it looking on the tenth of next month?... Just to be sure…"

She nipped her lip, smiling. "That's a Wednesday, right?"

He nodded in reply.

"Well I think I can possibly make an exception for you and take the day off."

He grinned. "Really?"

"If you woo me well enough then anything is possible, I suppose," she drawled with a wink.

His grin widened. "You're on, Evans."

I dreamed I was dying; as I so often do
And when I awoke I was sure it was true
I ran to the window; threw my head to the sky
And said whoever is up there, please don't let me die
But I can't live forever, I can't always breath
One day I'll be sand on a beach by a sea
The pages keep turning, I'll mark off each day with a cross
And I'll laugh about all that we've lost
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world
Stay Alive
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world Stay Alive
January, February, March, April, May I'm alive
June, July, August, September ,October I'm alive
November, December, yeah all through the winter, I'm alive
I'm alive

Fin.

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author's note: there you have it… I was originally going to include the path to getting her back but ultimately, when planning it, I realized that it'd either be mindless fluff in the end or I would have to add in pointless drama to make it interesting, and I'm really not one for complicating a life anymore than it need be.

Hope it didn't disappoint too much, and please review!

note: music playlist is available on my website which is linked to on my author's page