Good luck tonight, folks. And happy finale day!

jae


"And you tell her that the only way her heart will mend

is when she learns to love again."

Eight years of history and the pattern their partnership follows dictates that he will be the one to make the first move, if ever a crack in the foundation appears. Though he doesn't doubt her commitment to whatever this is that exists between them, her instinct to run, at times, will cause him to question his faith in whether they will ever reach the place he so desperately wishes to be.

For the first time tonight, he will go against his inherent compulsion to assuage her of any and all guilt. He's never been able to bear adding more baggage to what she already carries so heavily. However much it may pain him, though, tonight he will force himself to deviate from their script.

As much as instinct urges him to act, to chase her as he's always done, he knows that it's paramount that tonight, he lets her run.

If they are to move past this, toward the denouement their script has in store, he must know she will come back. That she will return to him. After so long of agonizing uncertainty, he believes they have finally reached the point of no return. And if he's being honest with himself, he reached that conclusion long before he was consciously aware of it. He's been committed to her irrevocably for years. They've overcome so many obstacles, so many hurtles. While many of them have brought him close to giving up, to renouncing the path that would lead to her, he believes that overcoming them has strengthened them in ways that will ultimately make them unbreakable.

He does not fault her for her instinct to run from the very things that could make her happy. She's lost too much, too many, to allow her heart to claim anything so freely. The walls that surround her heart have not been easy to infiltrate, but he's found himself overcoming them, slowly but surely. At last, he has conquered all but one. But it is she who must be the one to break it down. If he is to know she will entrust him with her heart absolutely, she must be the one to hand it over. He will not take what she isn't willing to give. Never will he be like the rest, the other men who take from her without consent. He will only cherish the parts of her she awards him. He just wishes she'd allow him everything without hesitancy, because his intentions have only ever been to love all of her, entirely.

He is not mad at her for seeking the physical comfort she found. They both know this. No, the issue is that he can no longer watch and wait as she continues to deny herself all that she can have out of doubt and self-berration. And as much as it will hurt him to test her this way, the tough love is what she needs now. He will no longer watch her punish herself over and over again. The pain is too great for them both. Because for so long now, her struggle, her pain, is his own. They are forever bound by this unshakable connection between them.

The moment has come for her to show her faith in him, in them; all that they are and could be. Time and time again he has proved himself to be every bit as worthy of loving just as he tries to convince her that she is, too. They are at the precipice, and he will wait with the patience of all the world, just as he has always done, if it means she'll let him in, entirely. He has faith that she will allow herself once more to entrust her love again, because it's the only way her heart will heal. He will never be able to love her the way she deserves, the way she needs, if she doesn't forgive herself, and concede to him her heart.

Tonight, he sits, waiting. But he knows it will not be in vain.

He saw it in her eyes as he told her once more, and with finality; she believed him when he said that she will never be alone. Not ever, so long as he is there. He's committed to reminding her of this, of walking her through this path to a life that ends with them together, should they choose to take it.

Not only will he teach her how to love again,

he will show her what it finally means to be loved unconditionally, irrevocably.

The way she should have always been.