Bright Abbotts world sucked. He glanced at the clock above the kitchen table; 1235 AM. He must have passed out earlier than usual. His head hurt and his mouth was dry. Rising from the kitchen table he stumbled to the refrigerator. God he felt like shit. There was an ice cold six pack; life would get better soon. Bright turned to walk to the bathroom and stumbled over an empty whiskey bottle. "Fuck this crap." He grumbled.
After turning on the bathroom light he turned and walked to the medicine cabinet. The cabinet door was ajar Bright reached for the bottle of aspirin. His hand stopped. Next to the aspirin was a bottle of Vicodin. Hesitantly his arm shifted and he grasped the Vicodin . His hands were shaking as he unscrewed the cap; inside was plethora of pills. Ten or fifteen of these things and his pain would be over forever
He couldn't; it wasn't that he was afraid to die. Bright knew the pain it would cause his family if he took his own life and he knew what his death would do to Hannah. Even though she no longer loved him she cared for him as a friend. Eyes closed he thought of Hannah; beautiful Hannah with her porcelain skin and doe like brown eyes that once looked at him with unbridled love. Slowly he screwed the lid on and placed the bottle back in its place and took the aspirin.
Back to the refrigerator he stumbled. Again he opened the door. "Screw it." He thought to himself and took all the beers. Sitting on the living room couch Bright almost downed the first beer in one long gulp. The ice cold liquid coursed down his throat bringing relief to the harshness caused by drinking straight whiskey. Another gulp and the first bottle was finished. He took the next bottle out of the six pack; twisted the cap off and threw it toward the sink. He lay back on the sofa and his thoughts turned to Hannah
He loved her. He loved her so much he could not stand it. She was beautiful, gentle, sweet, and she adored him at one time. In one simple thoughtless act he threw it all away. An act that took fifteen minutes altered his life. He told Hannah what he did. Watching the pain and disbelief on her face broke his heart. All he could say was "I'm sorry." I'm sorry sounded stupid in relation to the magnitude of his betrayal. And to Hannah meaningless words; she now hated him.
It took falling through a plate glass window and almost dying for her to even speak to him. He woke with Hannah holding his hand, but there was still this wall between them. Bright sighed, and twisted another cap off and tossed it across the room. If he couldn't be her boyfriend any longer he would be her friend. He would be her best friend. At least this way they talked and laughed together; it was better than nothing. When the time came for her to choose between Notre Dame and Colorado A Bright was going to try and talk her into staying. But if he truly loved her he would put her above his wishes. He told her to go to Notre Dame. Hannah chose Colorado A&M to his surprise.
He got his wish; he could see her every day. Little did he know the toll it would take on him, but he vowed to be her best friend and he would be her best friend. In time Hannah started dating. Every time he saw her with another man his guts twisted. The pain that hit his heart was almost unbearable.
Then Hannah started dating Larry Crosby and they became an item. That is when Bright started his nightly drinking to oblivion. Again his thoughts turned to the pills in the medicine cabinet. How much longer could he do this?
There was a soft knock on the door. Bright glanced at the clock 1:15 AM "Go the fuck away." He shouted. Again the soft knock; Bright rose from the couch and lurched toward the door and flung it open. He was about to yell at the transgressor and saw it was Hannah.
He blinked and started to speak but couldn't. Hannah stood before him. She stood before him silently, looking at him intently. Bright stepped aside and pointed to an easy chair. Hannah was gorgeous; her long brown hair was down; ; splayed across her thin shoulders. When she walked past him a sense of overwhelming sadness emanated from her. Finally she spoke. "Why Bright, why didn't you fight for me? I thought you loved me.
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts; he started to speak slowly. "Hannah, of course I love you. What do you mean fight for you? I'd fight anyone for you."
Loudly and rapidly she spoke. "I don't mean fighting someone, I mean fighting for me; wanting me."
Puzzled Bright leaned forward. "I don't understand, wanting you. We're friends I see you all the time."
Hannah rose from her seat. "You just don't get it. I'll go now."
"Please sit Hannah."
"No Bright this is a waste of time. I'm going."
Quickly Bright leapt up. He placed his hands on her shoulders and guided Hannah back to her seat. No Hannah; you came here for a reason."
Quietly Hannah spoke. "I guess I was right all along. When you cheated on me; I knew I was not good enough to be your girlfriend."
The cold reality of what he had done seeped through his body. He loved her so much it hurt. "Hannah, you wouldn't talk to me, or listen to me. You only started talking to me after I fell through the window and almost killed myself. The only way I could stay in your life was to be your friend." Softly Bright added. "That was the only way I could see your smile and hear your laughter."
Hannah choked back a sob. I had sex with Larry."
A white flash went off in his head. There wasn't one part of his body that did not feel pain. "What happened? When? I'll kill him."
Startled by the intensity of Bright's reaction Hannah fell back into her chair. "No no Bright, It's nothing like that. He did not force me. It happened last week."
Bright closed his eyes and turned his head toward the ceiling, letting the hurt and anger wash through his body. Hannah did nothing wrong. He was her best friend; so he should start acting like one. "Hannah, what is the reason you are telling me and why in the middle of the night?"
"Because it was all wrong Bright; I broke up with him the next day." It wasn't supposed to be him. I have lain awake all week asking myself a question. I can't stand it any longer. I need an answer."
Through the waves of pain Bright choked out. "Ask me anything Hannah."
"Why didn't you come for me? Why didn't you romance me? Wasn't I good enough to be your girlfriend?" Why did you give up on me. I wanted you to fight for me. I wanted you make me feel special. Bright, my first time was supposed to be with you. You are the only man I have ever wanted to be with. Please tell me why."
Hannah's words hit Bright like a sledgehammer. "Come after you? Romance you? Hannah I felt I was no longer good enough for you. I didn't think you wanted me any longer and to be your best friend was the best I could ever do. I love you and I have never stopped loving you."
Hannah buried her face in her hands and started sobbing uncontrollably.
Bright stood up and sat next to Hannah and put his arm around her and drew her close to him. Her sobs were killing him. Gently he took her hands away from her face, "Hannah you're the love of my life. I'd move mountains for you. I never thought you would ever think I was worthy of you again."
Hannah reached and put her delicate hand on his cheek. He looked into her tearful eyes. His hand stroked her long brown hair. "Hannah I'd fight the world for you. I love you."
Her sobbing was subsiding. "I never stopped loving you Bright. I wanted you to make me feel special. All you had to do was romance me. The reason I went out with him was to make you jealous. Now you'll never want me." And Hannah tried to rise and leave.
Bright gently restrained her and cupped her face in his hands. Hesitantly he kissed her on the lips and drew back. Hannah's eyes were closed. Again he leaned in and kissed her. Her arms went around his neck and she pulled him to her. She was kissing him back.
They broke the kiss. "Love me Bright. Please love me."
"I have never stopped loving you Hannah and I will love you forever" Bright put his arms around her and kissed her again. "Forever Hannah I promise."
"I know Bright. I know it now."