A/N: I thank, "Quille" who remained and still is an AMAZING mentor. She takes time out of her busy life to write fanfics and encourages me to continue mine. She is one of the main driving forces behind my short stories and I sincerely thank her for everything!

Here's another short story! I must say that this one was kind of hard to write…. But I also think that this one was a pretty tense story. I really hope you enjoy this one!

Short Story #3

For You

The reason to stay, to not walk away.

I look up to see that thin strip of metal make its way past the 10, then the 11 and finally to the 12. Tick, tock, tick. 11:00pm and I'm almost done here. Just a few more papers to put into their designated folders and a few more emails to send. I'm about to head out the door and just continue living with my life; go home, shower, brush my teeth, lay out my clothes, go to bed, wake up, go to work and do it all over again, and again, and again… But tonight is something special. I don't want to leave yet. I have something to do.

I pull out my wallet and quickly flicked it open. I see a face reside there and I gently trace my finger across it as I remember every second that happened during that day in which this photo was taken.

I must tell something. Something about the most incredible woman I have ever met in my life. This woman is beautiful, with smooth, shiny silky hair that gently sways when the wind brushes up against it. She has skin of porcelain, flawless – unscratched, unharmed.

When she walks, she walks with confidence but also with a great degree of humbleness. When she talks, she allures passion and she draws you into her every word – capturing your attention the moment she vocalizes her intentions.

The first time that I walked her home after our first 'date', I was about to shy away. I was going crawl back into my little hole and hide myself from the world. I couldn't believe that I didn't have the guts to ask her out, she had to do all the work. That night, I was about to open my mouth and say, "tonight was great, but I don't think anything should happen between us." Boy, was I ever so stupid to ever think such a thing.

But, when she suddenly started talking about all the movies that she and her family watches on Christmas, stopped me and then she mentioned that I would join her that year. That's when I decided to give up. I decided to give up that little life I once lived. I decided to sacrifice the old me for her.

And when she invited me into her place, my life changed forever. The apartment was small, but very cozy. There were piles of magazines and about 4 coffee mugs dotted around the kitchen counter - unwashed. Making my way around her living room, I have never met a woman that had as many cassette tapes, records or CD's as her. Music by Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin – artists that I regularly listen to. I was going to explore more but she pulled me into her arms and I felt her curvaceous body press gently against mine. And for a moment, this woman made the world stop spinning and I became light headed as if she devoured all the air out of me.

That woman is you.

You were my everything; my light, my life, my world, my everything, you know that? You firmly pushed me into exploring places in my heart that I never dared to explore before. You pulled me out of a life of darkness and forced me to face the light. You made me face something I was terribly afraid of: love.

You were one amazing person, as if God Himself created you in the most unique and ideal image of His likeliness. I don't know how me, a miserable man, could end up with somebody so beautiful, passionate, and loving as you. How? Perhaps God gave me you for the ups and downs. When I think I've lost my way and I feel as if I'm a walking mess, you stay here right beside me – not willing to leave me alone through any battles.

Me. Rough around the edges. Me. Stubborn. Me. Hard-headed. You've taken all these characteristics and turned me into something softer and made me develop something that I never knew before: empathy.

You showed me what life was really about. It was about living life with a why. It was about living life with a reason, a reason to live. You showed me the good in life. You showed me my heart. It was you that changed my life for the better.

I was nothing, had nothing– everything that I had was held together by paper clips and all I knew how to do was put on my blue uniform and do what I had to do. But I was willing to build something out of nothing, to build a life with you. I'd do everything… for you.

You were my light.

You were my world.

You were my soul.

But you are dead.

I spent my whole life building, something from nothing but one storm came in and blew it all away. But if I were asked, I'd build it anyway – all over again.

I don't know where you are sleeping now. I don't know where death greeted you. But all I know is that you were inevitably taken from me eleven years ago. And on the day of your first memorial, I remember we all crowded around under the gloomy skies of New York and those who knew you were crying and screaming. We wept that day as we cried at the sight of flowers piling up in the worst way and no one knows what to say about a beautiful woman that died. One by one those white roses were stacked on top of an angel's name written on a polished rock, a polished rock with a name but no body. You were unfound; no justice could ever be brought to you and just last year, I went to the lab down town in attempt to find you, identify you.

I remember the last day when I kissed your face and you whispered in my ear, 'I love you'. I remember your blue eyes looking into mine and how you could say a thousand words with just one glance. I remember how you used to walk around our house in your bare feet in nothing but boy shorts even in the deep frost of winter. I loved how you used to come into the bathroom when I was showering just to sneak a little glance but you would never openly admit it. I remembered how baffled you were when you found those opera tickets hiding in our Q-tip container. If i had only known, I would've taken you to the Opera sooner. I would've taken you to it every night.

If I had only known that I would never hear your voice again, I'd memorize each thing you ever said. And on those lonely nights, I would think of them once more and keep your words alive inside my head. If I had only known...

Why? Why can't I ever see those eyes again? Why can't I ever see you walk around the house again? Why can't I ever hear you say, I love you, again? Why couldn't I have listened to one more song with you during that bus ride to work? I remember you sticking your tongue out at me with that silly little face that I fell in love with.

Why did I keep my old shirt that you used to sleep in, still hanging in your side of the closet? Why do I still have those little clothes that our angel will never grow into? Why do I wake up in the morning still expecting you to come into the bathroom while I'm still showering? What if I really thought some miracle would see us through? What if that miracle was just getting one more moment with you?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions. Perhaps when I join you one day, I will be able to ask you and ask Him why you were taken away from me. I want to wrap you up. I want to kiss your neck up to your lips and more. Anyone can tell you were pretty but your beauty was much deeper that the makeup. I wanted to hold your hand forever. You made me the man I am today.

Tonight, especially tonight, your memory burns like a fire. Without any warning it grows higher and higher. I can never get you out of my mind; you'll always have a special place in my heart. You were my best ten years.

I remember you. I remember us. And ever since that day when you left this earth with me alone it in, I have closed up to the world once again and all those characteristics that you have helped burn down have reignited themselves. Once again, I let myself become stubborn, stern, and sometimes I even forget what laughter is.

I've built up a wall around my heart again and I want so desperately to tear it down. I felt angry, hurt but mostly I felt sorry for myself. How selfish I was to withdraw myself from society and bury myself in this line of work. I thought that helping others will mend everything broken inside but I'm simply ignoring it and barely anything has been healed.

You and I hold a special kind of love that no one else will ever replace. But I must tell you, I've met someone new and I'm willing to take a chance. I'm willing to begin again, to find another reason to live. I realized that things can't get better if I give up.

Yes, I loved you and I always will but I can't physically give my love to someone who isn't here anymore. Do you understand that? Claire, I think I love her. No, I know I do. At forty-eight years old, I'm in love and I want to be loved back. I want to be a part of a bond that has no end. I've met someone who slowly started to tear down that wall that traps my heart; brick by brick, little by little. I think you will like her and you're going to think I'm an idiot if I pass this chance up.

Please help me build up every ounce of courage to ask her to completely tear down that wall. I know I can tear it down, but I need her to help me like you once did. She can do that. She can do anything. She's capable of making you open up in ways you would've never thought before.

You know, I've been with two people in my life since you've been gone but none of them felt entirely right. I guess that's why they never worked out. But this time, I ensure you that it feels as right as it can be. With her, I transcend into a safe haven where I feel that everything is right, the world is at peace. With her, darkness turns to light and I know no fear.

I kiss you, one last time, even if it's only a photograph - they are the only tangible thing I have left of you. That's when I fold up my wallet and close up the photo of us as I let the leather of my wallet conceal your face. I stand up to efficiently slip the item into the pocket of my trousers. I take a quick glance at my watch, 11:30.

I quickly turn off my lamp and walk over to my office door to shut off the overhead lights. Closing the door behind me, I felt my breath hitch in my throat as my heart thumped louder and faster.

Her lights are still on.

Whenever I think of how she tucks her auburn hair behind her ears or how nicely her jeans hug her curves, a herd of butterflies explode inside of me. It's unexplainable and I think I know why I feel like this. I think I've found the one.

I walk quietly down the hall where I see her leaning slightly over the edge of her desk to reach the lamp to flick it off. I must tell you, as I male… I quite enjoy looking at the small area of skin that was exposed right above the waistband of her jeans when she leans over her desk. I feel my one eyebrow cock up as I see her shirt rising up just a little higher. I had to shake the image out of my mind, it was driving me insane.

I stood there, still as statue. I watched her gather up her purse with her back towards me, still oblivious that I was standing at her doorstep. She turns around and jumps a little; unaware I was watching her the whole time.

"Hey! Wow you scared me!" She exclaimed as she quickly placed her hand over the left side of her chest.

"Didn't mean to! Doing your homework again? Procrastination at its finest?" I said. I'm pretty bad at jokes and I really try to make people laugh but sometimes, they don't find me that amusing...

She looks at me with a playful glare. "I decided to stay behind to clear up this desk of mine. Did you know I threw out over 120 crumpled post-it notes and who the hell knows where the rest of them are!" She explains admirably through the grin of her large smile as she approaches me with her hands tucked into the pockets of her jeans.

"Ha! Your desk? What desk?" I say in attempt to make her smile a little more in which I was granted with success. Corny jokes or not, I'd say anything to make her smile or laugh.

"Yes, it's a mess, I know…" She admits with a small blush that crept up on her cheeks which adds all the more bubbliness to her personality. She brought up her wrist and took a look at the time. She raised her eyebrow in surprise and added, "What are you doing here at this hour? It's 11:30pm!"

"I'm just… waiting." I admitted. Yes, I was waiting… waiting ever so patiently.

"For….?" She asked while cocking up her perfectly shaped brow as she flipped her raven hair over her shoulder. She flung her leather jacket over her shoulders and swiftly slipped both arms into it. Taking both hands to the nape of her neck, she untucks the rest of her hair that got caught under her collar and flips it over her shoulder. The slight scent of her hair drifted across the distance between us. The smell of her; fresh lavender and a hint of warm vanilla drove me wild.

So I stare at my toes and I wiggle them a little but she is unable to see them through the patent leather of my shoe. With hands folded behind my back, I start twiddling my thumbs. I felt like a child, like a teenager asking a girl to the annual school formal. But, I was ready.

I take in a deep breath. In a soft toned voice, I took a leap of faith, "For you…"

Her eyebrows gather to the middle as her mouth hung slightly ajar. Then she dipped her head a little as she looked at the ground. Her hair fell out behind her ears and it ended up shading her cheeks, concealing the fact that she was slightly blushing even through the dim lighting.

Does she know what I mean? Has she figured it out yet? I felt her tense, even from afar but I decided to keep on going, I simply had to. I let my arms drop to both of my sides as I took a tiny step towards her - a small step, but big enough for her to notice my movement. And then, I began to speak again,

"For you to grab a light beer with me down at that bar you love. For you to let me hold your hand on the way there, on the way back and…."

I was silenced by her sudden but gentle movement as she inched towards me slightly. She didn't say anything; no words came out of her mouth. But the twinkle in her brown eyes said a thousand words. With a twist of her torso, she took another baby step towards me. She bit her bottom lip and with a wide smile, and the jangling of her bracelets, she reached out her hand and gently grazed her fingers on mine.

I spent my whole life building something from nothing but one storm came in and blew it all away. I was going to give up, shelter myself from hurting again. But her brown eyes, the windows to her soul, gives me the strength to build again, start over again, to find a reason to live, everything… for her.

The world has gone crazy and it's hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today, but with her, I believe it anyway.

I looked down at her and whispered quietly, "For you, I've been waiting for you."

A/N: So! What did you guys think!? I apologize if you thought this one was a little bit of a bore..

But, I do hope you enjoyed this story… and you know whom I thank for my short stories? YOU! I thank YOU for reading this, for reviewing this, for everything. Sorry it took me a while to get anything uploaded on ! I'm SO freaking busy at school and I want to update/upload but every time I do, I look at the pile of homework beside me and I just sit there and let out a huge sigh... -.-

Please leave me a review and tell me what you think!