A/N:VI would just like to point out that YES, I know I suck. And this chapter has been a looooong time coming. Unfortunately, life got in my way. Again. But here is the final chapter of this three parter. I tried to make it freaking awesome, I hope you know. And lengthy. Pleeeeease review, if only so I know that my guilt trips were necessary in order to get this out.
Disclaimer: Blaaaaaaaah. Don't own. You know it. SHHH.
"Get the hell off my property."
Okay. I hadn't been expecting that at all. Glancing into her eyes worriedly, I hoped that I had misheard.
"Whoa, Mastriani. What's going on?"
Her eyes bore into me. If looks could kill, I'd not only be dead, I'd probably be similar to the shape of swiss cheese. Holey. Holy. Holy crap, she looks pissed. A feeling of dread grew in me as her unwavering stare hit me like a sledge hammer.
"You heard me. Get away from me," she snarled.
Her tone grew even more livid as she spoke. Poison practically dripped off her tongue, leaving me awash in confusion, and frankly, anger. I honestly had no idea what I'd done to hurt her. Unless…could she have heard about my plan to marry her? Was she mad about that? How could she have heard? I hadn't told anyone.
No. She couldn't be mad about that. Though it seemed like the only option that I could think of, it seemed unlikely.
"Mastriani, what are you saying? What the hell is your problem?"
Probably not the best way to phrase that, I realized. The words were out though, and there was nothing I could do to take them back.
"You know what you did. I saw you. Have fun with the blonde. Really. I expect you'll have great fun with her. I see many dazzling conversations of wit and intelligence in your future. Maybe you can marry her, and raise her blond bimbo babies!"
I would have laughed at how ridiculous that sounded, if I wasn't too busy growing from annoyed to pissed. She had to bring up marriage. She had to see me with Nancy. She HAD to overreact and not even give me the benefit of the doubt. Nothing.
Why did she have to bring up marriage, I wondered. The one thing she could've said to kill me inside, and she found it. How she managed to do it, I was still unsure. My jaw clenched in fury, and my voice lashed out against her.
"Jess, you don't know what you're talking about. That's Nancy. She always kisses the mechanics. I was fixing her carburetor!"
I couldn't look at her. I couldn't believe that she wouldn't trust me. That she would so quickly believe the worst in me.
Just like her fucking mother. Like mother, like daughter. Yes, it was unfair of me to compare her to her mother, but at the moment, I had never seen her so…similar. It terrified me. Where was the girl I knew?
"Oh that's great. Kissed the mechanic? Yeah, I bet you just hated that. And all the other times I'm sure she's kissed you, hm? Did you hate it then Rob? I'll just bet you did." Her voice was sarcastic, and it did as it was intended to. It whipped me, angered me, built me up and crushed me. Did she know what she was doing to me?
"It's true Mastriani. But fine. If you don't want to believe it, that's your choice. I can't believe you don't believe me! When have I ever lied to you? Oh, that's right. Never! Jess, you know I wouldn't do that to you. You know it! Or at least you used to. This isn't you, Jess, and you know it! Besides, when have you ever run away from anything? The Jess I knew NEVER would have run away. She would have knocked Nancy out, then me."
I was desperate. Clinging to hope I didn't have, failing to get her to see that she was the only one I could ever want, ever need. All because of one thing that she didn't understand. That she ran from so quickly, and so far that I couldn't catch up.
The worst part was the tears I saw in her eyes. She hid it well, but I had memorized her so completely it was like trying to hide a mistake in the Mona Lisa from Da Vinci. Impossible.
"What do you mean? So I've learned some self control. Doesn't mean I didn't see you kissing another girl! It doesn't erase that fact Rob!"
Her words were defensive. They were her shield. She held onto them because they were all she had, but I held on to her because she was all I had.
"I told you that nothing happened! And that's not self control, Jess. That's you. Something is going on with you, and it's not anything that has to do with me. I know you just came back from the war. I know you've seen some things. But this isn't you. You don't run!"
Something in her had changed, that was for sure. I couldn't recognize the look in her eyes. One that surely matched mine. Was it the feeling of being lost that we both shared?
"The only thing that's changed about me is I've lost my powers. That's it. Is that the issue? Is it because I lost my powers?"
For a moment, time stood still. She had said the one thing that could break me so completely. An accusation that she knew was untrue.
That she had no right to say.
That crushed my dreams of a happily ever after.
That killed me.
That made my whole world crumble.
That made me realize that no matter what I did, how much I changed, she'd still see what she wanted to see. Because she had changed just like I had, but in a very different way. Which is why when I spoke once more, my voice was soft and defeated.
"You know that's not it Jess. It's not me. You're broken! The war broke you. And that's fine. That's understandable! But you don't need to take it out on me Jess. You're broken. That's all there is to it."
Walking away was the hardest thing I'd ever done.
Not looking back was the hardest thing I've ever done.
Walking to my motorcycle alone was the hardest thing I've ever done.
However many steps it took to leave the only girl I'd ever loved.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, though, was harder than getting on my bike that she had always loved and riding off. Not into the sunset like a knight in shining armor though. Because I wasn't the knight, and she was no damsel in distress. What we were was nothing more than two people, broken.
I pulled into the almost empty bar. Chick didn't ask questions when I asked for something that burned. The bottle of whiskey he handed me was enough to make me lose control completely. I nodded my thanks, left money on the table, and drove home.
At which point, I sat at the table meant for her and I, thinking of the chairs I desperately hoped she would have liked, the bed I wished we could have shared, everything that I had picked for her. Looking at this, I downed the bottle.
I blamed it on the alcohol later. I blamed it on something in my eye. But the truth was, for the first time in years, I cried. I cried, head in hands, for the girl with the fierce personality and dark eyes. I cried for the only girl who could leave me like this. She wasn't the only one who was broken, in the end.
I was too.