He was different in a way that said he was doing well. He looked yummy in his plain grey t-shirt and blue jeans - simplicity has always been his thing.
I watched him run his hands through his hair impatiently and felt nostalgic; I mean, I used to do that, I missed it, I wanted to do it - I wanted to feel his cheeks on my palm and kiss his face.
I bit into my quivering lip, fixing my gaze reluctantly away from his as I stared at the horizon, the scenery peaceful and divine, calming my nerves. I could feel him staring at me, and I wondered what thoughts ran through his mind. Closing my eyes momentarily, I braved to meet his eyes with mine.
He was giving me “the look” that drove me mad. It was cold, distant, and indifferent, holding things in till much later because instead of being expressive, he would go silent. He would always say we both cannot be mad simultaneously.
Yet, there was something else I saw, something new, and that scared me. I shook my head as if it would shake off the thoughts. I hoped he would express his feelings.
I missed what we had, how he made me feel, how we complemented each other perfectly. Ours wasn’t a tale of love at first sight, but a story of growing to love each other, and that thought brought me rock-hard to the reality of where we are now; I was here to make things right.
I chewed my lower lip, returning my eyes to the beautiful view of the setting sun, wondering if he wanted us to work out just as much as I did. I desperately wanted us to move past this; I wanted us to be better than we used to be than we are now. I wanted him even though I knew the chances of reciprocating my feelings. Even now, the least I could do was hope.
It’s been several months since the incident, yet I still felt the pain from Liv’s confession, and living without her was twice as hell! I remember getting home from work to find her dishevelled and distressed, her eyes swollen from hours of crying and tissues scattered on the floor. Thinking it was one of her many moods, I reached out to console her. Then she started talking incoherently about her betrayal. I couldn’t understand her at first, which worried me, but when I did, I felt a million whips of emotion lash through my skin. I couldn’t feel any part of my body, and everything grew dull as her voice grew faint. I wished she had kept it to herself - I couldn’t bear to hear her finish. I had to walk away for my sanity. I wasn’t ready to listen to the details then, and I am not certain I am ready to listen now, even though she had successfully ambushed me.
I still didn’t know if I could ever trust or forgive her. Still, I wanted to know, to understand why. The hurt I felt didn’t supersede my love for her. But, hell! I never stopped loving her, and I never stopped caring. At least now I know I can stand seeing her.
There was no doubt she hadn’t been well, she seemed pale, and her countenance was sad, or was it guilt? I could tell from how Liv looked that it took a lot for her to even look at me; Liv nibbled on her Liv’supper lip, and it was sexy as much as it was distracting. She only bit her lip when she was uneasy; when Liv was tense, she would tap her right foot frantically.
I wasn’t sure if I could handle keeping my hands to myself and not reaching for hers across the table to give her some semblance of comfort.
A part of me longed to tuck it off her teeth with my lips on hers, soothe her and whisper encouraging words, but I couldn’t. I was still angry at her, yet I desired her much more than she could ever know, and I wondered if she felt the same way.
If that is why she ambushed me the way she did, or she just wanted to end things. I told myself it was about time we talked and got past this.
“I see you are doing great,” she said.
“Yes, I am,” I lied. I was anything but-
I watched her inhale, and I knew it was coming.
“I am sorry for dragging you out like this, Felix; I know you are busy, but I needed to do this.”
I nodded, wanting her to go on. Even though I still felt unprepared to hear her reason, I was curious to see where it led, to listen to what she had to say, perhaps to understand why she’d hurt me.
For months, Felix evaded me, the situation I put us in like it never happened or I didn’t exist, and I was tired of being ignored. I knew I hurt him and deserved whatever he dished at me. I would have preferred an outburst, any form of rage, but the silent treatment and the distancing. It was eating at me, and I was going crazy as thoughts of uncertainty grew in my mind.
I woke each day wondering if he had moved on, wondering if I would get a call, a post, or something stating he wanted to see me, a divorce, or even get back together. I had tried to reach him, called multiple times, and left countless messages that went straight to voicemail. I wanted to apologize, to make things right, but Felix avoided me. I knew he needed time, but I needed us to address it and talk about us. I wanted us back.
If this was the end, I wanted us to at least try. I missed who I was with Felix, and staying apart from him was eating me up and driving me crazy. With shaky hands, I downed the flute of wine in one gulp, alarming him. I could tell from the arch of his brow he was trying hard to be indifferent and failing. There was a fleeting moment I saw a longing look, and I took that as a sign of goodwill.
Playing with my shaky fingers, I looked at him and asked, “How are you?”
He just nodded. I sincerely wanted to know how he was doing.
“How are things at the office?” I inquired.
“Did you attend Taribo’s engagement party?” I asked, and he responded by nodding again.
“I’m happy you are doing well,” I told him, and he responded with a nod. Again.
Felix was not even trying to say much, and I couldn’t blame him. I breathed nervously and looked out the window. It was dark already. really “I have been trying to reach you, and it has been hard.” I blurted
This time, he just stared at me, but I continued anyway.
“I know you probably don’t give a damn about anything I have to say, but I would be glad if you hear me out. I want us to talk about it, about us. I need you to know that I am very sorry. These months apart have been-” I swallowed, “has been rough, and I am sorry for how I treated you; for the lies, the hurt and the pain I caused you.” My eyes were getting teary, but I continued anyway.
“Call me crazy, but I want us to be us still. I know I fucked up bad, and it may take a while for you to forgive me, heal, or forget it happened. I know it may take a while for you to see me the same way, but I am not asking you to do that right now; I am willing to wait. I will do whatever it takes to have you back. I will do what it takes to have us back.” I sniffed.
“Felix, I don’t want to lose you. I know you probably hate me right now, and I understand.” I paused, then raised my head to look at him, “I am saying that I still want us, and I am willing to try if you will have me still.” I stopped talking. I let the tears rush down my face like someone had allowed the floodgate open, but I didn’t care. I wanted to touch him, so I stretched my hands to cup his on the table, but he pulled away. So I slowly pulled mine back to wipe my eyes with the back of my hands.
I waited for his response. I wanted to know the thoughts playing in his head - if he felt the same way. I needed to know. My heart raced so fast that I thought it would pound its way off my chest.
“What if I don’t want you, Liv?”
I winced. I wasn’t sure I heard Felix correctly. I told myself it was more a statement than a question. I mean, he couldn’t mean it or could he? I bit harder into my upper lip and felt fresh tears stream down my face. I had thought of the possibility but dreaded the response. What if Felix didn’t want me? I had asked myself, but even now, I couldn’t find an answer; nothing measured up. All the scenes I’d played in my head had a happy ending. I felt my inside sink. God help me.