Disclaimer: None of the characters or what was actually said in the books is mine. Or anything like that. And such.
A/N: Just a sort of follow-up from my other one shot in the Chris pov. When Chris finds out about Cathy marrying Julian in Petals on the Wind. And yeah…I know. It's been a while. Shout out to ShortLILPunk, and other reviewers, for inspiring me to actually post again.
She was running away.
She was running away, and I knew it. I saw the look in her eyes when she saw me, the look in her eyes that told me she hadn't moved on, just like I hadn't moved on. How was she even running? I couldn't run away from her if I tried. And Lord knows I tried. More than once I tried to think only of someone else, love someone else. But look at her, so beautiful… No, I could never run from my Catherine.
And yet she's fragile. She's running away right into the arms of any man that passes by. God, she makes me angry sometimes. Wasn't it just a few months ago she was engaged to Paul? At least then…
And then my own words rang out in my ears. "Why even Julian would be better!" My heart sunk. I regretted every word in that sentence wholeheartedly. Julian would not be better. At least with Paul I knew she'd be loved, I knew she'd be happy, taken care of. At least Paul could give her a life worth living. At least Paul deserved her love. He'd taken us in, been warm, kind, helpful. Julian was mean, cold, and in no way good for her. Didn't deserve her in the slightest. Julian could never be even half as good a husband as Paul would have made. Why had I even said that in the first place? Of course, I wished she'd just…but no. She'd never give me a chance. But Julian. Why, Cathy? Why him?
I had thought I was angry when I'd heard of her first engagement. I'd thought I was jealous. That was absolutely nothing compared to the way I felt now. What the hell is she thinking? She doesn't even love Julian. Or at least I'd tell myself that until the day I die. I could never accept Cathy loving someone like that. And what was this doing to Carrie? To Paul? Engaged to one man one day, married to a different man the next. Was she so like our mother? Our Momma, who was quick to make rash decisions, and never looked ahead to see the possible consequences? What did she think she was doing?
And most of all, why not me? Why couldn't it be me? I'd asked the same questions when it was Paul…but I can respect Paul. She loved Paul. What the hell happened? And couldn't she just accept our love? She doesn't want children, she could still dance…I wouldn't stop her. I could help her get what she wanted, I could do everything for her, anything for her that she wanted. Why was she making such stupid decisions? I had thought her so smart.
When I finally got to the house for Easter break, I met the man face to face. It took all the strength I had not to punch him right there. I couldn't get my head wrapped around the fact that this guy was my brother in law now. Julian, married to my Catherine. I prayed Cathy saw the hurt in my eyes when I greeted her. I prayed she felt guilty. I couldn't wait to get her alone, so that I could yell, I could scream…
And then it happened. Julian had gone God-knows-where to do God-knows-what and I finally had time to talk to her alone. And I snapped. All my hurt, all my anger, all my frustration came out in one long winded speech that I had said over and over in my head on the way over. "You married him? Why couldn't you wait? How could you be so intuitive when we were locked away and so damned dumb now that we're out! I was wrong not wanting you to marry Paul only because he is so much older. And I admit it, I was jealous, and didn't want you to marry anyone. I had a dream of you and me…someday. Well..." I paused, not sure how to continue. She didn't need an explanation. She knew what I wanted. That I wanted her with me, to have us together, more than anything else. This time, her words rang through my head. "If you love me for the rest of my life, keep it to yourself; I never want to hear about it again!" And so, I carefully continued, "you know what I dreamed. But if it had to be a choice between Paul and Julian, then it should have been Paul! He's the one who took us in, and fed and clothed us, and gave us the best of everything. I don't like Julian. He'll destroy you." I let the truth of the last sentence hang in the air and prayed that she'd heard me, listened, and knew that it was the truth. Julian was like a poison to her. She'd be ruined by him.
But her response was anything but understanding. At first, she was enraged, but barely got a sentence out before she stopped herself from going further. Something seemed to calm in her, and I thought for a moment she'd understood, and had realized what a mistake she had made. I thought for a moment I'd gotten through to her. But no, not my lady Catherine. "Chris…don't make it harder for me. Let's be friends again. Julian is hot-headed and arrogant and a lot of things that irritate on the surface, but underneath he's a little boy," she said.
Just like that my rage was gone, and I could barely form a sentence. I couldn't look her in the eye. Let's be friends again she'd said just now. A friend, is that all I was to her? She was so much more than that to me. And I was making things hard for her? There were so many things I wanted to say, so many things I could have said, but all I could get out was, "But you don't love him." A feeble, defeated argument. I knew this was over. She was finally gone. Married. Never mine, never again. Never since the attic. I laughed bitterly in my head as I found myself almost missing that dreadful place. The place where Cathy was mine, and no one else's. Then she left, and I was finally, defeated. And my Catherine had finally run far enough that I couldn't follow. At least….I couldn't follow quite as closely.
A/N: So this is shorter than I expected. And please ignore the ridiculous amount of tense changes that are probably in here. I have no beta and I'm way too tired to go and fix it. Please, please review. Reviews are the only joy of posting. Seriously.