Title: I Can't Make Her Real

Fandom: The Great Gatsby

Disclaimer: I don't own The Great Gatsby, or anything "great," really. Except that pair of shoes... ;)

Summary: It started with a balmy, mid-western night. It ended with the stark, echoing bang of a gunshot. The in-between, though, was simply Daisy. Dreams of Daisy and days past and kisses that could never be as beautiful in reality as they were in my fantasies.

Where I'm from, they always said heaven was a nice, pleasant place—filled with love, peace, and God. I suppose I must not be in heaven, then, because this sure isn't peace, and the only love around here is for other people.

I don't know where I am exactly, because it's not Earth, it's not Hell, and—as I said—it's certainly not any sort of nirvana. I'm just watching, watching, watching the happenings of the world. But not the current happenings, no. The view is of my world, my life—a life long gone.

It started with a balmy, mid-western night.

It ended with the stark, echoing bang of a gunshot.

The in-between, though, was simply Daisy. Dreams of Daisy and days past and kisses that could never be as beautiful in reality as they were in my fantasies.

In the beginning, she was the girl everyone wanted.

In the middle, she was the only girl I ever wanted.

In the end, she was never mine.

Call me stupid, call me foolish, call me anything you please. I will still be the man pining after the woman that couldn't make a decision—the woman who claimed to love me and the woman who claimed to love Tom Buchanan.

Daisy was everything a hapless wanderer could ever dream of. Rich, beautiful...but too desperate for convenience.

She told me she would wait for me. And then a better option came along.

She told me that she loved me—that she never loved her husband. And then the confrontation. And the lies that never stopped slipping were finally revealed as so.

She loved me, and she loved me not.

She loved him not, and she loved him.

It took me too long to realize that she was just a rich girl, looking for the easiest path—that she was entwined in a universe she could never truly leave, a bubble that couldn't be popped.

I waited for the phone to ring.

I waited for her.

And as I stared down the barrel of George Wilson's gun, I realized what a waste of time that had been.

The poor boy of seventeen so taken with the promise offered by Dan Cody returned in that moment. The poor boy trying to escape his poverty-stricken past returned in that moment.

James Gatz returned in that moment.

And then it was over.

Mortals—they don't know much about death. It's something that comes whether one likes it or not, but no one knows what's beyond.

But I know now, as my life plays before me: the days of empty plates at the breakfast table—hungry stomachs and hungry eyes. The warm night I decided that that life wasn't enough, and went searching for something more. The phone calls to the father I abandoned, the days with a drunken Dan Cody, the sparse moments at Oxford, the lies I told to become enough for Daisy.

But I was never enough for Daisy. Selfish, cynical, and married to another man Daisy.

Where I'm from, they always said heaven was a nice, pleasant place.

It's too bad I'll never see it.