I grip the staps of my two bags tightly in my hands as I hastily make my way to the door.
‘Josh, please stop!’ Alicia screams behind me.
I ignore her.
I flip one of the bags’ straps over my shoulder and reach for the doorknob.
It’s cold at first touch, sending a little shock throughout my whole body, but weirdy enough the feeling somehow feels familiar. The coldness, the hardness, the inability to budge any other way than it wants to – it reminds me of the heart I was offered.
‘You can’t leave me!’ Alicia stumbles into the living room. ‘You just can’t.’
I pause. ‘I can…’
‘No, please…’ she begs. ‘No one’s ever stuck with me for so long before.’
I cringe at the mention of her words. I let the doorknob go and turn around to face her.
‘When I look at you, I can feel it…’ Alicia continues
‘Feel what?’ I ask.
‘I feel loved Josh! I feel genuinely loved – and I-I look at you and I… I’m home.’
‘And I just don’t want that to disappear.’
I drop my bags hanging over my shoulder. I am staring at a face that once made my heart jump the bloody Empire state building. Those eyes were my beacon in the dark whenever I got lost, I could easily find my way home. Those arms were my safety…whenever they embraced me it felt like nothing in the whole bloody world could hurt me – and those lips, those lips were the only thing keeping my soul intact, the only thing keeping my mind from running away with me. She had this way of calming me down whenever a panic attack would hit my whole body. She… she would only kiss me once and the whole attack would stop.
She always said that she read somewhere that if you hold your breath during a panic attack, it would stop, so when she kissed me – I stop breathing, every time.
‘I will do anything if you stay Josh! Anything… I’ she breaks away as her voice starts to tremble under the pressure of all her emotions. ‘I don’t want to forget, you know? I don’t want you to forget me and I don’t want to forget you! What do you want me to do, huh?
‘Do you want me to say it again?’ she carries on has her face starts to turn red as her tears come tumbling down her cheek. ‘Because I will say it again! I love you Josh Grower!’
‘Please just stay…’
How in the hell did it come to this, I ask myself. I loved this girl – I love this girl.
I shake my head, ‘Why is it that people suddenly start realizing the value of something just as they’re about to lose it huh? Is it because we finished our little experiment on the greener grass and realized that a whole shit pipe burst on that side of the field and retreated back to the “once not so green” grass? Or is it because of something Anne Frank figured out a long time ago – that regret is stronger than gratitude or maybe even easier? It’s easier to say sorry than asking permission right?’
‘Well that’s just it Alicia, how can I look at you with the same caring eyes, when I know you just threw my love down the throat of another man?’
‘Josh you know I am sorry about that! I never meant to do any of that!’ Alicia says through her shaky voice.
‘Yet you still did. Now, why is that? Wasn’t I enough for you?’ I ask, feeling my own voice has started to shake.
‘No, NO! You are more than enough Josh! I would choose you over and over again!’ Alicia screams, moving towards me.
‘Then why didn’t you?’ I ask through my teary eyes. ‘Why didn’t you?’
‘I-I was weak. I chose one moment of escape instead of you. That was a mistake – but he didn’t mean anything to me!’
‘He meant nothing?’
‘Yes, he meant nothing.’ Alicia repeats. She grips my face in bother hands, gently stroking my cheeks.
I break away from her.
‘He surely meant more than nothing, because you were willing to jeopardize everything you and I worked so hard on in building this relationship with him.’ I say, moving over to my bags again.
‘If he meant that to you, then-then…’ I bite down on my lip as my emotions cause my voice to tremble. ‘If he meant that – then I don’t want to know what I actually meant to you.’
I pick my bags up and reach for the doorknob again.
‘Josh please, I love you!’ Alicia tries again.
‘I believe you – it just came along a little too late.’
She tumbles down on her knees and breaks.
‘I do hope you find someone again that loved you the same way I did. I hope he can teach you what it really means to love someone because I surely couldn’t.’
I close the door behind me and vanish into the night sky.