Startle

Ican'tbelieveit. She stares mournfully at the shot glass in of whiskey in her hand. She's suspended in a state of disbelief, so much so that she can't even bring herself to drink everything away. Nothing seems to make sense anymore. EverythingIknowisalie.

He doesn't love her. She'd always suspected it, but now…no, she's not going to think about that! She's going to be strong, she really is! She's going to be tough and brave and strong like her mother. Because that's the only thing that's keeping her holding on right now. Thoughts of her family, that is.

But…how could he do this to her? He knows how she feels! So what could possibly possess him to do this to her? To make out with her best friend (who knows how she feels, too) at her birthday party? It's wrong on so many levels!

She hadn't been able to handle it, not even for five seconds. She had run. Out of the house, down the hill, to the street, trying to get as far away as she could. And she hadn't looked back.

And now she's sitting alone, at a bar. But she hasn't taken a sip of her alcohol. She can't convince herself that she'll be happier if she just gets smashed. But she also can't convince herself that she needs to leave.

Her head's in the clouds. Has been since she left her house, got into town, walked down the crowded main street to the bar. She's been replaying every good time they've had together. She's wondering how it all could've gone so wrong.

The bartender asks – tells – her to makeroomforothers. She sighs, knocks the whiskey back, stands up. She walks across the slightly grimy floor and outside, getting a few whistles from drunk, perverted old men.

She wanders until she reaches the park she used to love as a child. It's so peaceful. At this time of night, everybody's either out clubbing, at a bar, or home. Sticks her hands in the pockets of her beat-up leather bomber-jacket, smiles a little at the sound of the heels of her knee-high leather boots hitting the cobblestone path.

She strolls silently, still going through her memories. Tears fall as her mind keeps going back to her party. Lands on a bench, covers her face with her hands, sobs. She's loved him for close to fifteen years. The heartbreak he's induced is more than she can bear.

Hand closes around a small leather case in the pocket, fishes it out, opens it. A small silver knife glistens in the moonlight. She keeps it in her pocket for…well, she's not exactly sure why it's there. But it is. Other hand pulls out a piece of writing. She contemplates it for a minute, looking for any mistakes. Nothing's wrong with it.

She rests the note next to her, unsheathes the knife, holds it in her hand for a minute. Is she strong enough to do this? To remove herself from this travesty of an existence? Is she strong enough to give up her friend, family…him? To hurt them all, knowing they might've – could've – stopped her, saved her?

Startled as someone sits down. She hides the knife. No one needs to know what she's going to do. Turns her head, trying to make out the other figure…it's him. Not him as in the one who broke her heart, but the other him. The one that she's been enemies with for a long time. Had he seen the knife?

It's blatant that he has. His eyes are sparkling in worry. And maybe pity, but she could just be imagining it. Opens his mouth, but she doesn't want to hear what he has to say. He'll probably encourage her, say his life would be better off without her. How many times is she going to be wrong tonight?

He asks her pleasedon'tdoit. Pleasestay. Don'thurteveryone. You'restong,youcansurvive. He's worried? Tonight's just going to be one shock after another, isn't it? But he still hasn't swayed her away from death.

Please! Iloveyou! Stayhere! I'llkeepyousafe,Ipromise. Hewon'teverhurtyouagain. Maybe,intime,you'lllearntolovemetoo. The words tumble out of his mouth like a speeding train. She stares at him, gaping, trying to understand what he's just said. He loves her?

Well, he's swayed her. She drops the knife, it falls to the cobblestone. She surprises him as she flings herself into his arms. Wraps her arm around his neck in a fierce hug. He's startled, but wraps his arms around her waist. Then she kisses him, and they both know that everything's going to be alright.