AN: Sooo, I wrote this for a fic challenge, a while ago.  Then I forgot about it.  Anyhoo, the story is overdone—actually, I think I may have three other fics just like this, ha!  But, eh, I have writer's block, so I thought I'd post it to pass the time until I can write again….if I can write again.  Sigh.  LOL. This one is dedicated to that guy who left me hanging two years ago…


Monica dried her tears, suddenly feeling much older than her 31 years.  It wasn't his fault, he hadn't done anything wrong, but something inside was tearing her apart.  Just being in the same room with him made her tense.  The last thing in the world she wanted to do was hurt him—but she didn't have a choice anymore---she was going out of her mind.

"Mon, what are you doing?"  Chandler's voice made her freeze.  She stood there, in one spot, for what felt like an eternity.  Finally, after a deep breath, she turned to face him, and she could see immediately that he had no idea what was about to happen.

"I---I have to leave," she managed to say.

"Leave?  Is something wrong?  Are you okay?"

"Yes---no.  I can't explain right now.  Just know that it is not you.  You've done nothing wrong."

It was then that Chandler began to realize what was happening.  His eyes revealed his panic, as his greatest fear had come to pass.

"Mon—Monica.  You can't be serious."

"I'm sorry, Chandler," Monica whispered, and grabbed her bags.  She walked across the room, and pulled open the top drawer to her desk.  As she rifled through papers, she could hear Chandler pacing the room, stifling sobs.  She heard him approach, and she visibly tensed.  She heard him sigh, and he walked past her, and out to the balcony. 

Only when the door closed, did he allow himself to break down and cry.

she grabs her magazines
she packs her things and she goes
she leaves the pictures hanging on the wall

she burns all her notes and she knows,

she's been here too few years to feel this old

he smokes his cigarette, he stays outside 'till it's gone
if anybody ever had a heart, he wouldn't be alone
he knows, she's been here too few years, to be gone

Maybe it was boredom.  Maybe she was afraid that she was settling on a life that she didn't really want.  She felt tired, and guilty that she was relieved to be away.  She sat in her hotel room, staring blankly at the television, and robotically flipping through the countless cable channels.  She stopped, as something on the TV caught her eye.  She sat up straight, and picked up the phone.

"I need to make a plane reservation," she said into the receiver.

and we always say, it would be good to go away, someday
but if there's nothing there to make things change
if it's the same for you I'll just hang

His life became the epitome of mundane.  He lived to work, instead of working to live.  His friends made an effort to pull him out of his shell, but it became clear that he had no intention of trying to live his life, they gave up and left him to his solitude.  He wallowed in self-misery, and as bad as the pain was, he let himself believe that someday, she would come home. 

The days turned to weeks, the weeks to months, and before he knew it, a year had come and gone.

And she had not come home.

the trouble understand, is she got reasons he don't
funny how he couldn't see at all, 'til she grabbed up her coat
and she goes, she's been here too few years to take it all in stride
but still it's much too long, to let hurt go (you let her go)

France had everything she was looking for.  Her career was revived, and so was her spirit.  She found herself smiling unconsciously sometimes, and when she realized what she was doing, it suddenly depressed her.  She was happy in her new life, happy without him, and that made her very sad.  She wondered if he had moved on, if he was happy, or if he was waiting for her to come back.  She knew she would have to go back eventually---to face him, and their friends.  She would go back, but she would not stay in New York.

She would not stay.


She opened the door, and saw him immediately.  Ironically, he was standing in the very spot she'd left him eighteen months ago; on the balcony.  He was staring out into the city, smoking a cigarette.  As she made her way into the living room, he turned, and nearly fell over.  He quickly extinguished the cigarette, and climbed back into the living room.

"Monica," was all he could say.

"Hi," she replied numbly.

"You're back," it was more of a statement than a question.

"Just for a few days," Monica said quickly, making it clear that she was only here to tie up loose ends.

"Oh.  Do the others know?"


"Are you going to see them?"

"Yes.  After I finish with you," the words came out much harsher than she had intended.  She'd stung him, she could see it in his face.  Her eyes dropped to the floor, and she bit her lip.

"I thought you were already finished with me," Chandler said quietly, his tone revealing his pain.  He sighed, and walked toward her, but she backed away, and he felt his world collapse all over again.

Did she ever love him at all?

She backed away.  But not because she hated him---quite the contrary.  Seeing him again brought back all of the feelings she had spent the past year and a half trying to repress.  She was happy in Paris, she loved her job, and she loved her new friends.  But deep down, she'd never resolved her feelings for Chandler.  And now, in this moment, she began to wonder if she could really leave him again.

and we always say, it would be good to go away, someday
but if there's nothing there to make things change
if it's the same for you I'll just hang
the same for you
I'll always hang

Chandler sighed again, and sat on the sofa.  He would not cry, he would not let her see that she'd hurt him, and that he was hurting still.  She walked toward the window, and looked out over the city that she had once called home.

"Where do you live now?" he asked when the silence became too much to bear.

"Paris," she said softly.

"Do you like it?"

"Yes," she answered honestly.

"Are you here to ask me for a divorce?" his voice was ragged.

"If I said yes, what would you do?"

"I would give it to you.  I would let you go, because you seem happy, happier than you were here with me."

"It's not you, Chandler—"

"I know that one.  'It's not you, it's me.'  Yeah, I've heard it before," Chandler's anger and frustration, that had been building since the day she walked away, finally came to a head, "The thing is, no matter what you say, I still have to live with the fact that you walked out on a marriage that was less than a year old.  YOU left, because you were miserable with ME.  YOU came back, over a year later, looking happier than I've seen you since the wedding. Don't tell me that it isn't me, because somewhere, somehow, I have to factor into your decision to leave.  I would like to think that I mattered to you, just a little bit," Chandler spat, tears streaming down his face.

"I love you, Chandler.  I do.  You matter to me, you matter to me more than anything!  You're a part of me!  I just….I wish I could explain.  I felt like I was on a road to a mundane life, and I wanted to see what I was missing," Monica mumbled the last part, and this time, she was the one to approach him, and this time, he was the one to back away.

"I'm sorry I bore you," Chandler said bitterly.  "Just send me the divorce papers, okay?"  He shook his head, and left the apartment, slamming the door as he went.


She took the first flight back to Paris that night.  She cried the entire flight.

She'd made her decision before she left.  It was time to let go of her childish dreams of adventure and excitement.  She belonged in New York, and she belonged with her husband.

She flew back to New York a week later.  Much to her dismay, she returned to an empty apartment. 

"Where did he go, Joey?  Is he coming back?"

"I don't know.  He said he needed some time away."

well I always say, it would be good to go away
but if things don't work out like we think
and there's nothing there to ease this ache
but if there's nothing there to make things change
if it's the same for you, I'll just hang