A/N- I'm being deliberately vague here… if you have a guess for who it is, post it in the comments, send me a PM, or something. I might (or might not if I get lazy) add a second chapter with the identity of the people.
Disclaimer- yeah right.
I'm not guilty. It is not my fault. I am not guilty, damnit, and I never was and never will be. I need to repeat this to myself daily and even after the six years I've been saying this to myself I don't really believe it. Of course, with the incriminating looks and hate mail and everything else, is there really any reason why it would work?
I really don't get out as much as I probably should either, but I know a phrase- familiarity breeds contempt. There is already enough contempt to last me fifteen lifetimes out there. And, going out of my place is letting people become more familiar with me. So, point proven, I don't need any more contempt.
However, I would rather die than be without sunlight and fresh air so I throw the windows open, pull back all the curtains, and stare outside. Naturally, there are those days where I hide in the dark like a vampire, but more often than not the entire place is opened up.
There is one window in particular I like looking out of. It is about six feet tall (not that I need nearly that much space, being so short) from the floor up and four feet wide. This window also faces out towards the street so I can stand there, leaning on it, and observe the multitudes passing by from umpteen stories above their heads. It is a sad pastime for me, but I know another phrase- look how far the mighty have fallen. I used to be mighty, or so I wrongly believed, and I know I fell. I know I'm still falling, and I know I'm probably not going to stop falling for a while. And here's the ironic part- I only am where I am in life right now (i.e. plummeting down a metaphorical canyon) because I fell in love and the rest of the world didn't like it much.
Carefully, I censor my thoughts of everything to do with love. It isn't exactly a safe thing for me to think about, seeing as he and I are not really on speaking terms at the moment and probably will not be speaking again for a long time, if ever.
I drift out of my thoughts to find I am standing near my favorite window. I'm not sure if I unfastened it and I feel too lethargic to check, so I pass beyond it to find if all the others are open as well. When I stop to check my bedroom window, I consider grabbing a pullover of some sort since it gets to be chilly on October nights, but I decide against it. It wasn't like a bit of cold was going to kill me, so what would the point be?
I shuffle my way slowly back to my favorite window, lost in thoughts of him. He won't leave my mind no matter how hard I try so I resign myself to the fact he would be in my head for a while. I stand and stare out the window for a while, seeing as one lone figure that looks oddly familiar hovers anxiously near the entrance to the building I live in as if unsure on whether or not to enter it. I watch as the person, who is definitely male, squares his shoulders and walks into the building.
The wind is rather strong tonight. I listen to it whip through the city and instantly notice how it sends the branches of the trees in the park across the street whirling around. My attention instantly switches to the park across the street and my eyes track those swaying branches. I wonder what it would be like to be able to bend and not break. I consider myself broken since I am unable to bend in the "wind" and what does something (or someone) do when there is too much pressure and it can't bend? It snaps and breaks. The shadows, blacker than the night that surrounds them, flicker in time with the wind. Unconsciously, I find myself leaning against the window to get a better look at the trees that have me so intrigued.
No sooner than I lean my whole weight against the window (not like there is much of it, let me tell you,) I find the support of the glass completely gone. Desperately, I flail around trying to regain my balance but it is no use. The vertigo that is synonymous with falling fills my head, but the rest of me realizes that someone is holding me firmly back away from the window and falling down umpteen stories to a painful, messy death.
I recognize the embrace almost instantly and it is all I can do to refrain from spitting swearwords, not at him but at my own stupidity. How did I not realize that he was the person entering the building and that I had unlatched the window? And what's he doing here? I want so badly to relax in the familiarity, but I smooth my mask of composure back into place and stand ramrod straight despite the feeling of dizziness that lingers from my near fall. It is him, and ever since we split I have tried my utmost to keep him from realizing that I am just as shattered as he is. So I play the strong, heartless act and as far as I am aware it is fooling everyone.
"You scared me," he whispers against the top of my head. I feel my heart leap wildly with happiness at the thought that he actually cared after everything, but I ignore it in favor of continuing my act.
"It was not my intention," I reply stiffly. Without turning to see him, I ask, "What are you doing here?" I do not intend for the words to come across as sounding cruel, but they do and I regret saying them instantly.
"Is it illegal for me to see you?" he retorts defensively, unwrapping his arms from around me. I am instantly relieved that the temptation to lean on him is gone, but horrified to realize that my knees are giving way without the support.
For the second time as many minutes, he catches me before I can fall. This time, though, he picks me up without any apparent effort and carries me off to god only knows where.
I instantly cling tightly to his neck, hide my face in his shoulder, and feel my breathing hitch as the vertigo returns. It takes my best effort to regulate my breathing, remove my head from his shoulder, loosen the death grip I have on him, and ignore the sweet words he mutters. Even then, I know I can't hide everything and internally curse myself.
After some amount of time, he opens a door and I feel myself being placed on a bed.
"Sleep," he orders me. As I open my mouth to protest, he continues, "Don't argue with me- I can tell you haven't been sleeping well and you've just had a shock." He then climbs in next to me and drapes an arm over my small frame.
I push his arm away and try to stay awake and lie stiff as a board, but my eyelids droop in spite of my best efforts. The last thing I remember before drifting to sleep is him gently brushing the hair from my face and the fact that I wanted him to continue what he was doing and leave me alone at the same time.
- - - -SCENEBREAK- - - -
When I wake, I am confused as to why I am entangled with someone else and fully clothed in bed. Then everything that happened the night prior floods back in and things make sense. I automatically pull myself away from him and roll to the very edge of the bed.
I lie there with my eyes closed and think while I wait for him to wake up, knowing that there will be a confrontation with him when he is fully aware and not fearful for my life. My mind flits from thing to thing, which is a welcome distraction from my apprehension about the upcoming conflict. The reoccurring theme is my quote-and-quote mantra: I'm not guilty. It is not my fault. I am not guilty, damnit, and I never was and never will be. After it appears in my musings about a dozen times, I whisper the first three words aloud. "I'm not guilty."
He completely surprises me by rolling over to me and kissing me softly before replying, "That's right, my love. You aren't guilty."
That is the straw that broke the metaphorical camel's back for me. Eighteen lonely months and a near death experience wear down on a person, even someone who is almost ridiculously strong like me, and I start to cry. When he pulls me into an embrace, guess what I do? I do not resist, hug back gladly, and promise silently that I will never let go again.