How many loves can one man have? Was there any truth to this belief of one true love? Christopher Hayden hoped not. That was the thought that plagued his mind day after day. It'd been three weeks since she'd told him she wanted a divorce. Three weeks since he was forced to walk away. Again. He'd lost track of the times she invited him to leave. But he could tell you this for sure; every one of those times he'd wanted to stay. Every one he'd returned.
He'd wanted to stay three weeks ago. He'd wanted to stay three years ago. He'd wanted to stay 22 years ago. 22 years ago he'd wanted her to stay or at least ask him to join her, them.
Lorelai had always been so stubborn, so independent. Her strength was what drew him to her, what reeled him in even from afar. In his heart of hearts he knew that she was afraid, afraid to let go and relinquish control. She was the one person he'd trusted in the world. She was the woman who held his heart. Without her he wasn't at his best. He was never whole without her. Without he was on 80 percent, she was his other 20.
His stomach churned with the memory of their goodbye. They'd never really had a goodbye. Of all the firsts they'd shared together, this was the only first he hated. He never wanted to hear her say those words to him, not laced with finality, not smothered with tears.
His daughter didn't understand what was happening. He couldn't explain it to her because he couldn't get the words to form in his mouth. Their daughter had called to say she was sorry, to make sure he was okay. The relief from hearing her voice had brought tears to his eyes for that was his most deep rooted fear, losing her as a result of losing her mother. Rory loved him. Had told him as much. She'd made sure he knew she wasn't blaming him for what had happened. Had told him she wished things were different. He knew she meant it. Her words were so sincere. And when they'd sat on the phone in silence, each knowing the other was consumed with tears they'd comforted each other with silence. A silence that was ended when he'd asked her one favor: "Take care of your mother. Don't let her be sad. I'd hate for her to be sad." When she'd asked what about him he'd done what he'd always done, put on his brave face and said he'd be okay. Her promise to come see him and Gigi soon was greeted with excitement.
He'd dialed Loreali's number three times in three weeks, sent her flowers twice. Driven to Star's Hollow only once. He was proud of himself for that. That he'd been able to restrain his desire to go to her everyday beg her to change her mind, reconsider. He'd allowed Gigi to call her. Dialed the numbers for her and left the room, not knowing how he'd handle hearing she and Gigi tell each other how much the other was missed. Didn't want to hear Gigi ask when they were going to be together again. "Auntie Lorelai says goodnight." She's said she returned him the phone four days ago. "Goodnight Lore" he'd repeated each night before turning in her eyes on the snapshot of the on a random Parisian street resting on his night table.
Christopher didn't believe for one second that Lorelai didn't love him. That he wasn't the yang to her yin. He knew he was. Just as he knew she held his heart, he had no doubt that hers was his. This was her plight to regain control. To be in love, truly in love meant letting go, and her fear of losing herself was sometimes greater than her desire for true happiness. He could give her true happiness. She was his true happiness.
He was surrounded by women. His mother, his daughters, his Lorelai. He wanted to be what each of them needed him to be. Loving son, super hero, Dad, and just plain Christopher. He was all of those men. On his worst day, when he wasn't sure of what the next moment would bring, he was sure he was each of those men, or at least he could be if given half the chance.
What a life to be forced to live. To suffocate in an unwavering desire to be with all his ladies. Not just his mother and his daughters, for he knew his world would never be complete without her.
Without his Lorelai, he would never be complete.
At 7:37 a.m. his eyes opened. He strained to gain focus on the alarm clock, his eyes pausing on the picture on the night stand. As if on it's own accord his hands reached for the phone and he dialed Lorelai's number for the fourth time in three weeks. This time he didn't hang up. This time he waited. Waited through three rings before she picked up. Caught off guard by the ringing at this hour he was sure.
No hello, no alarm, no panic in her voice when she said, "Chris?"
A sigh of relief was pushed from him lips as he said the only thing he could, his gruff morning voice belying, or adding depth to his words. "I miss you." There was no response. His words were met with silence. A silence that forced him to roll over and turn his back to the portrait of their happiness. He waited patiently, listening to her breathing. She did the same.
"Christopher." He waited, sure there was more to come but nothing followed.
"Lore, I miss you." He repeated. "I just wanted to say that." And then he pressed the button ending the call, terminating that torture.