Monday, July 28, 2008

THIRTY-ONE

I sat on one end of the phone in stunned silence as I heard him breathe on the other. I couldn't remember the thought process that had led me to call him. What was there to say?

"What do you want?" Sid asked, sounding slightly annoyed.

I snapped back into reality and tried to make my voice calm and even. "Could you come over?"

He was silent.

"We need to talk," I added, proud of my controlled, firm tone. "We're not accomplishing anything by avoiding each other."

Once again, silence.

"Are you still there?" I asked, feeling foolish.

"Yes," he replied tersely. "I can only stay for an hour."

"Okay," I breathed as I flipped my phone shut. An hour was all I needed.


***

Sidney knocked on the door—completely unnecessary, as he still had a key—and I took a moment to collect myself before I answered. I couldn't help but smile when I saw him standing in the doorway with his hands buried deep in the pockets of his jeans with his favorite Reebok winter hat pulled low on his head.

"Hi," I whispered.

"Hi," he echoed, taking a step towards me. He was close enough for me to smell his cologne. I closed my eyes and inhaled as he brushed past me and moved into the living room. I noticed he had a duffel bag tucked under his arm.

"Thanks for coming," I said quietly, moving towards him.

He nodded, his jaw set tight. I suddenly felt very young, even though I was two years older than Sidney. His cold glare made the smile vanish from my face and I tried to recognize the unfamiliar look in his eyes.

"I owe you an apology." I wrung my hands and tried to ignore the awkward tension filling the room.

"Yeah," Sid agreed, his expression still hard.

"I want you to understand what I was going through. I was upset, and confused, and I needed to figure things out for myself before I could tell you. You deserved a mature, objective explanation about Paris, and I wasn't ready to offer that to you. I thought by putting it off, I could bring myself to accept the situation and help you accept it, too." I glanced up at Sidney. He was standing in the middle of my living room, a familiar person in a familiar space, but his facial expression and the look in his eyes were completely foreign. I took a deep breath and averted my eyes. "I'm sorry, Sidney. I made a huge mistake by not telling you."

"Yeah, you did."

"I'm sorry," I repeated, more quietly this time.

"I still don't understand, Karine," he replied, his expression softening momentarily. "Why did you tell Sylvie?"

"I needed to talk to someone."

"But you couldn't talk to me?"

I shook my head. "The day I found out, I came so close to telling you," I practically whispered. "But the thought of telling you…it hurt. I knew it would kill you."

"You're so selfish." I flinched at his tone. Then I finally recognized the expression lying behind his eyes—it was pure, unbridled hatred. "How do you think I feel right now? After learning that my girlfriend is leaving the fucking country in two months and she couldn't tell me because it "hurt" too much." He shook his head and looked like he had a bad taste in his mouth. "You make me sick."

Tears stung my eyes as I took a step toward him. "Sidney, please. I'm sorry. I know I made a mistake, but can't we get past that? I can't live without you," I whispered.

Sid faltered for a moment, and I thought I had him. But he shook his head more resolutely than before and moved to the bedroom. "I'm taking my things," he said as I followed him.

My heart skipped a beat. "What?"

"I'm moving back into Mario's." He unzipped his empty duffel bag and began taking his clothes from the closet.

"No," I pleaded. The tears were falling freely now.

He stopped to look at me, anger flashing in his eyes. "I can't do this anymore, Karine!" he shouted. "You've made it very clear that I don't mean as much to you as you do to me. It fucking hurts. It hurts."

"Sidney," I protested as I watched him shove his clothing into the large bag, "you mean more to me than anyone on the planet."

"Except yourself," Sid replied in an acidic tone. He emptied his few dresser drawers into the bag and threw it over his shoulder. I blocked the doorway, unwilling to let him leave. His eyes softened as he stared into mine and he placed his hands on my shoulders. "This is just too much for me, Karine," he said, his tone almost apologetic. "If I really am the most important person in the world, you need to start acting like it."

"I can't do this without you," I choked.

Sid clenched his jaw. I could tell he was more upset than angry now. "I want you in my life," he said softly, "but I just can't do this anymore. I think we moved a little too fast, and we're not ready to face this as a couple. I'm sorry. Part of me wants to be here with you, but...I just can't."

I swallowed hard and knew he was right. Our relationship was new, but the fast paces of our lives had sped up everything. We had moved too fast and it was catching up with us, making this all a complicated mess. "We can still be friends?" I asked hopefully, once again feeling very immature.

He exhaled through his nose. I could tell he was struggling with his answer. "Just friends," he replied firmly.

I smiled bitterly. "That's going to be hard."

"For you and me both," he replied as he pulled me into a hug.

"I really fucked up," I said between sobs as I clung to his shirt.

"Maybe this is best," Sid said. He kissed my forehead and in another second, he was gone.

I moved into my living room and tried to steady my breathing. The apartment felt very empty, although he hadn't taken anything besides his clothes. I sat down on the floor and buried my face in my hands. I knew that this was the last fight we would ever have.

I knew that I had managed to ruin the best thing I had ever experienced.

6 comments:

stovgirl said...

I like where you are taking this story...update soon, please :)

ValFilppulaLover51 said...

update soon! I absolutely am in love with your story! you're such a good writer, man I wish my stories were this good!

miss.crosby said...

This story keeps getting better and better, please update soon!!!!

KylieD32 said...

This story is by far, my favorite! I look forward to the updates every day.

Lauren said...

Another great chapter! Update soon, please!

xlilxbubblez said...

Oh lord i never CRY while reading Fanfic but this got me teary i love your writing you do a good job.