Will You Wait Me Out? Or Will You Drown Me Out?
She steps outside a small downtown bar, it's a cold, rainy Sunday evening, water glistening on the empty street in front of her. She sits on an old wooden bench just outside the doors, admiring the way the rain looks as it falls in front of the streetlights, taking in the faint sound of music pouring out into the sidewalk next to her. There’s people existing all around, some running for shelter from the rain, some stumbling in their heels, some passionately embracing one another without a care in the world. She sat by herself, examining each interaction she witnessed, even taking in the way the scent of the rain mixed with those standing across from her smoking cigarettes in their own worlds. Life seemed eerily peaceful to her, almost as if it was standing still. She closed her eyes, letting this insignificant fragment in time take her over, the stillness of it all. “No way” she hears from a distance, it's a voice she hasn’t heard in years, one she’d never forget. Her eyes quickly open, in shock of the familiar voice. “It is!” It says excitedly. Turning her head to the side, she sees a sight she believed she’d never see again, him. He’s aged a little, his long dark hair, now buzzed and slicked back in a beanie, no longer hiding those incredible green eyes. His piercings are absent, tattoos hidden under a black leather jacket that’s glistening with rain, he looks the same, yet so different all at once. Her heart sinks, it's been years since their last encounter, since their final goodbye. “I’ll be damned” she says in shock as she rises from the bench, nervously standing as the familiar soul excitedly runs up to her. “How have you been” he says with a smile as he leans in for a hug, embracing her with a warmth she hasn’t felt in what seemed to be an eternity. “I can’t believe it's you” she says as she clings to him, her mind replaying the past like a movie, reminding her of who they once were. “I could say the same.” He says softly, pulling away from her and gazing into her eyes that hold a sea of memories before him. “Last I heard, you were traveling on your motorcycle, I had no idea you were back in town.” She says nervously, trying with everything inside of her to keep from getting lost in the eyes she once fell so madly in love with. “Yeah, I went off to clear my mind for a few years” he tells her, triggering the memory of the last time he spoke those very words, the last time they ever existed as an “us”. “I hope you were finally able to.” She says with a faint smile, trying to mask the pain that slowly is bleeding through to the surface of her mind. He smiles at her for a moment, his eyes studying her as if trying to read chapters of a new book. “It was good to see you.” She says shakily, quickly turning away from him to step back inside the lively bar behind her. She walks calmly to the entrance, the neon signs casting colorful hues onto her face. “I never stopped loving you.” She hears from behind her. Immediately, her heart stops, her eyes swell with tears, and her nerves skyrocket. She knows silence won’t win this game, there’s no way to pretend she didn’t hear him, or to walk away as if nothing ever happened. She slowly turns around to face him, he’s standing just a few feet away from her, the rain falling onto the shiny leather of his jacket, his breath a misty cold fog in front of his face. “It was always you, I was just too stupid to see that.” He continues, stepping closer to her. She’s frozen in time, she used to wish for this moment, him coming back and saying these words to her, but those wishes were long gone, even if the memories still ached in her soul. “You think I stopped loving you?” She questioned, her voice cracking as she fights to contain the tears she knows will inevitably fall. “I’m not sure what I think” he mumbles, his eyes anxiously looking away from her, being lit up by the pink and blue lights pouring from the windows in front of them. She sighs heavily, she’s waited for this chance for so long, to tell him everything. “I never stopped loving you. Hell, I never stopped wanting you.” She says as her eyes look to the ground, trying to gather her thoughts as quickly as she can. “I still want you” he says quietly as he moves closer towards her, his tone serious, one she’d only heard on a handful of occasions. “I’ve hoped for years we’d run into one another again, that we’d get this chance” he continues as he pushes a strand of her curly hair behind her ear. His words seem to echo around her, causing tears to stream down her face. “I love you, I’ve always loved you. But you’re too late.” She says through her tears, her eyes meeting his yet again, watching as they fade before her. She pulls her hands out of her pockets, and lifts her left hand up into view, revealing a beautiful diamond resting against her ring finger. His expression shifts to shock, eyes wide, jaw dropped, for once it seems he’s showing a genuine emotion. “I thought you’d wait forever for me” he says to her. “Forever is a precious thing, and you took advantage of it for far too long.“ She expresses as she wipes her tear stained face. “I guess our forever doesn’t exist in this life” he tells her as he begins to shed tears of his own, his voice shaky much like her own. She moves in close to him, studying the man she once gave everything to one last time. He looks down at her as tears run down his face, she reaches up to him one last time, leaving a gentle kiss on the side of his cheek, a parting gift she knows he’ll cherish for an eternity. “Maybe the next life we’ll get it right.” She says, stepping away from him as she recalls memories of when they were teenagers in love, when sex on the beach and smoke breaks while playing piano were a regular occurrence. “Goodnight, my love” she tells him as she turns away, leaving everything that once was.
And walking towards what could be.