written circa 2005
Laverne DeFazio stared blankly at the ceiling, her roommate Shirley Feeney snoring lightly in the next bed over. Rolling on her side, she glanced momentarily at her clock/radio. 3:27 AM. Sighing, Laverne rolled on her back once more, unsure of what was causing her insomnia. True, the events of the past week had been kind of stressful, but everything had worked out perfectly in the end.
Perfect. Although the rational part of her mind knew she'd handled things quite appropriately, there was a strange ache in her heart. Something the girl from Brooklyn had never felt before. Like she'd lost something.
But that was crazy! Pulling her quilt up to her neck for comfort, Laverne curled her body into a ball, trying to reason out what was wrong. Because, surely, it couldn't be what she thought it was.
Never. Not in a million years.
Still, the moment she thought of him, pictured his innocent and gentle face, a sweet feeling filled her. A feeling of being loved, and sharing that love with someone. A feeling that the brunette thought she might never feel again, after what had happened to Randy...
>Randy. He brought up another flood of emotions that certainly weren't helping her get to sleep. Someone that she'd loved so much, with all of her heart and soul, that life had cruelly snatched away from her. Strangely enough, the sick-hearted feeling she'd felt earlier that night was quite similar.
As if she had lost someone.
Laverne's throat tightened, fear flooding her body and reaching to the tips of her toes and fingers. How could she have lost something that wasn't rightfully hers in the first place? Never had she even considered this man anything more than a friend, and three or so years ago he might not have even been that. But he was so sweet, kind, and caring.
He loved her. Loved her for who she was, and nothing more.
The tune to his song popped back into her head again, the self-same tune that had been haunting her every day for the past week. She could picture him, staring at her adoringly, singing with his soul. That someone would do such a thing for her had originally touched Laverne like nothing else ever had, but that feeling seemed to be growing into something else. Something she wasn't prepared to handle quite yet.
Turning hard to her left, she slammed her eyes shut, trying to rid herself of any thought or image of the man. But to no avail. She still saw his face, heard his voice. The voice of a man that had been hurt so many times by so many things, a voice that was just earning confidence enough to express his real feelings, and Laverne had shot him down without a second thought.
Was she that insensitive?
No! Tossing off the blankets and letting her feet drop hard to the ground, she rose quickly and began pacing the small space. Being insensitive had nothing to do with it. Any other girl would've dismissed him entirely, hurt his feelings, and left his heart broken.
Laverne slowed as she realized that was exactly what she had done, and that the feeling in her heart was regret. Not regret that she'd had to hurt him, although that was part of it. No, this was regret at an opportunity lost.
A love lost.
The thought hit the young woman like a run-away freight train. Suddenly weak-kneed, her legs slid out from beneath her and she fell to the floor with a loud 'thunk'. Shirley slept on as Laverne cradled her face in her hands, silently mourning what she had done. The ache in her chest grew as she leaned back against the wall, overwhelmed by her feelings. And, as much as she fought it, the bottle-capper immediately recognized the burning in her bright green eyes as the dampness of red-hot tears, laced with regret.
Hugging her knees to her chest, Laverne rubbed furiously at her suddenly cold body. It was a chill she knew all too well: the chill of loneliness. Saddened and frustrated by her own emotions, she quickly climbed to her feet, rushing to her closet and flinging the door open so hard that it banged against the adjacent wall. Her roommate murmured something sleepily as Laverne slipped into her soft green bathrobe, but the sleepy Shirley went unnoticed.
Her world was a blur, and the only thing the painfully frustrated woman knew was that she had to see him. Now.
Tugging on a pair of her slippers, she rushed through the door to the bedroom shared with her best friend, and took the single step up to the front door of their apartment. Quickly pulling it open, she took the steps two at a time as desire burned in her heart.
All logic was abandoned as she continued to furiously climb, unaware of her surroundings. Unaware of anything else but him. Reaching the fourth floor and only pausing a moment to catch her breath, Laverne launched herself forward, pounding hard on the apartment door before her. Rubbing a sleeve across her wet eyes, she waited, shaking, leaning against the frame.
There was movement behind the door; the shuffling of feet, and it slowly creaked open, revealing the lanky blond man who had been haunting her thoughts for the past few days.
"Lenny, I..." she began uncertainly, but the moment her eyes met his, Laverne was silenced. Captivated by his bright blue eyes, innocent and true: full of amazingly pure love and childish wonder.
"Laverne?" he inquired softly, rubbing sleep from his eyes. When she couldn't speak, his eyebrows came together, concerned, and the tall man placed a hand on her shoulder. "Come in."
Stepping into the apartment, she found the sparsely upholstered space empty of any other life, but didn't really bother to dwell on it. Her arm tingled at his touch, and she tried to clear her mind. Staring down at the floor, she could feel his soft gaze on her, waiting patiently. "I-" snapping her head upward, she stuttered, but the words she meant to say finally came flowing from her lips with a flood of tears. "I don't want to loose you."
He watched the woman he loved staring into his eyes, appearing emotionally raw, and it took him only mere moments to realize what she was referring to. It amazed Laverne how in touch with his feelings he was, and how aware he was of hers as he asked softly, "You mean that?"
Nodding, an immense feeling of relief washing over her body, she smiled. "Yeah, I mean it."
In a split second, she felt herself being scooped up in his lean strong arms. He hugged her hard, expressing both of their unsaid words in a single motion. They clung to each other, until Lenny felt the need to lean back and meet her eyes. Touching the side of her face, he swallowed hard. "You lo-"
"Yes," she cut him off, resting her hand atop his, reveling in the warmth of his touch. Reflecting her exhausted but happy expression, the man gently rubbed his thumb across her cheek, wiping away a tear.
"Then why are you crying?" he asked her simply, softly, as she drank in the love and comfort held for her in his simple gaze.
"I think it's because I'm not confused anymore," Laverne told him, taking his free hand in hers, and leaning slightly forward. He mirrored her motion, and they fell into a soft gentle kiss. And she felt something there, in that one magical moment, that had obviously always existed. Something that had been hidden by doubt, uncertainty, and fear for so long. It was something she had over-looked time and again as nothing.
But, as she pulled away and simply fell into Lenny's warm and loving eyes, Laverne DeFazio began to realize that the something was true love, felt for the only man who had ever really known her heart.