I'd had this dream before, so I knew I was dreaming – but I desperately hoped I was wrong, just this once.
I knew it was a dream because Craig was there, and he was sitting on a bench at Stark's Pond. I stood in front of him, our fingers intertwined. I knew it was a dream also because I was smiling, and I hadn't smiled for months in reality. It was summer, too, because the pond wasn't frozen over.
It was also a dream because I didn't have the burning feeling in my chest that followed me in the real world. It felt good to feel normal for once. But looking at Craig's smiling face and knowing I'll have to wake up without him wasn't a comforting thought. I tried to focus on the happy atmosphere of the dream, despite knowing what was going to happen next…
Craig's mouth was moving, but I couldn't make out what he was saying. It took me a minute to realize he was singing quietly. I barely recognized it as some sappy love song I knew in reality. I guess I'd forgotten what a great singer he was – or maybe it was just the dream. Either way, I was smiling.
My heart sank, though, when snow started to fall, and Craig stood up. He moved closer to me, and I leaned into him like the hundreds of times we'd kissed in reality. I tilted my head up, being at a slight height disadvantage, and looked him in the eyes. My breath stopped short as I took in the unusual coldness of his usually welcoming green irises.
My heart pounded and my mind raced as Craig put one arm out instead, his fingers spread out across my chest. I gave him a puzzled look as he pushed me back sharply. I fell into the pond, not finding time to hold my breath with the surprise. I looked up through the water at Craig, but he just stared at me.
I looked away, unable to gaze into those cold, emotionless eyes of his.
I felt the warmth of tears on my face through the freezing cold water as a thick layer of ice began to form on the surface of the water. I screamed through the crushing pressure as my air ran out and Craig didn't bother trying to help.
As I gave one last scream for help, I watched in agony as Craig walked away, someone else's hand in his. I couldn't tell who it was, but suddenly, I didn't seem to be dying fast enough, and I breathed in water purposely as my vision gave out. I couldn't bear watching him love someone else…
As my alarm went off, I jerked awake, screams from my nightmare still ringing in my bedroom. Nothing new. I groaned in annoyance, rolling over on the bed I despised so much to shut off the alarm clock. When the ringing stopped, I sighed, sitting up. I glanced at the picture on my wall, (it was of Craig and I in high school) and was once again reminded that he wasn't there. It was just a dream, I told myself.
I breathed heavily and got up slowly, holding my hands to my head. Bloody hangovers, I thought.
As I made my way stupidly to the bathroom, wading through the empty cigarette packages, empty bottles of god-knows-what and dirty needles. I slipped on an empty glass bottle, and lost my balance.
"Shit!" I exclaimed, grasping the wall to steady myself. My hand slipped, and I crashed into the picture of Craig and I. I groaned as it crashed to the ground, the frame shattering. I regained my balance and ignored the mess on the floor.
Muttering under my breath, I continued into the bathroom, bracing my hands against the sink and staring at my depressing reflection in the mirror.
Same rats-nested blonde hair; same dull, blue eyes, with plenty of purple bags beneath them; same chapped, pale lips; same expressionless face; same yellow-brown teeth. I sighed. It had always been the same since he left, except with the new track marks on my arms…
"Jesus," I murmured, distracting myself from my thoughts. "I look like crap." But I was used to it. I hadn't had a good night's sleep since he'd left - I'd forced myself to sleep on the couch, as the bed was too painful for me. It reminded me of him – it had his scent. Not to mention the scents of various other people. But I didn't like to remember him like that.
Last night had been the first night since he left I'd slept on the bed, (I'd gotten back from work late and been too exhausted to notice) and it had made me wake up to the sound of my own screaming. I made a mental note to never sleep on the bed again.
My heart leapt into my throat as the doorbell rang. My body started to shake a bit, and I tried to calm down quickly. I hurriedly forced myself into some jeans and a tee shirt and started towards the door.
I knew I was just getting my hopes up in thinking it would be him. I did every time the doorbell rang - but as I ran past the letter on my dresser, reading the last few lines like I did when I was feeling lonely, I reminded myself just how much he seemed to miss me...
Taking a deep breath, I opened the door slowly.
My breathing stopped abruptly, and I actually took a few steps back. My eyes widened in complete shock. I couldn't say anything as Craig stared into my eyes. He had a few tears streaming down his cheeks, but did the best to smile at me.
"Hey," he said casually. Suddenly, I was pissed. He figured that after destroying my life, five months later, he could just come back and act like nothing changed? Then I saw the look of pure guilt and suffering, and I sighed. My expression changed from shocked to thoroughly depressed.
I missed him, loved him like fuck – but I didn't want him to leave me again. I knew there was no way I could take that. On one hand, I didn't want to go back to him cheating me and leaving me every other month. But, on the other hand, I didn't know if I could keep him away now that he was back.
Craig sighed. "I'm sorry," he said clearly, looking me straight in the eyes. I'd never seen that look in him before. I'd never seen him as sorry as he really was. "I'll just…go." He muttered when I said nothing.
He turned around and started down my driveway, and then down the street. I wanted to run after him, hurl myself into him, hold him like I never had before – so I didn't understand why my feet wouldn't move. I guess my brain was making the unconscious decision not to risk causing me so much pain again.
Finally, my muscles seemed to override my brain's logic. I said nothing as I followed Craig's figure disappear into the morning horizon. I broke into a run, though my bare feet against the ice and snow begged me to stop. But I was done with being rational. I realized love didn't have to be rationalized.
"Cr-Craig!" I said quietly. Though he must have been over twenty feet away, he heard, and turned around.
Before he could say a word, I bravely hooked my arms around his neck and locked lips with him. My feet were burning in the cold, (I was sure they would be frostbitten, but I didn't care) my hair was a mess and my breath smelled and tasted like smoke – but Craig didn't seem to care. He locked his arms around my waist and leaned into me.
It seemed to last forever, thoughts rushing though my head and my heart pounding in my throat, until finally we pulled away.
I was never one for all that cheesy love shit about being 'lost in his eyes' or thinking that 'love is blind', but there was no other way to say what I felt other than that I would die without him. I didn't like it, but I knew it was beyond my control. I needed him.
Craig slipped his hand into mine and smiled. I smiled weakly back. My legs were shaking from anxiety, and my feet were numb. The wind around me whipped my skin, but I took no notice of any of it. I simply held Craig's gaze, searching my mind frantically to find the words I wanted.
"Craig," I said quietly. "I hate you…I love you…I don't know what the fuck to say, alright?"
If I wasn't holding his hand and feeling his pulse, I would've sworn his heart had imploded and he broke into a stupid grin. I couldn't help but smile a little wider as Craig did. He kissed me again, lovingly, and I suddenly knew what he was going to do. I felt my body begin to tremble as my fears were confirmed.
I felt my face get hot, despite the freezing air, as Craig lowered himself to the ground on one knee. He took my hand in his (rather sweaty) one. He looked up at me, his eyes full of nervousness and anxiety. I tried my best to smile to reassure him.
"Tweek, I love you," he said, voice cracking. "Will you marry me?"
My heart pounded, and for a moment, I was genuinely afraid of having a heart attack. After a few more seconds panicking, I took a deep breath.
"Of course, Craig." I whispered. "Of course," He leapt to his feet and instantaneously glued his face to mine.
In the middle of winter, I stood in a tee shirt and jeans with no shoes and no coat, in the middle of the street. I was freezing to death but I didn't care. I clung to my fiancée and he held me tighter. I'd never felt so at home with him.
For the first time since a very long time ago, I knew everything was going to be fine. Maybe it was the cold air getting to me, but I somehow sensed that he wouldn't leave me again, that he wouldn't cheat on me again and that we could drop our addictions.
So, after twenty years of being afraid, I finally felt like it would all be okay.
Thanks to Craig.
Meh sorry for the bad ending there but I figured I'd gone on and on about their feelings enough. Soo thanks for reading and thanks to StrangersHaveTheBestCandy for a bit of a kick in the butt to get me going. =) R&R