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She had to admit that she was fascinated by him when she saw him the very first time. He had a special charisma, without even a word falling from his lips. It would for sure be interesting working with him, nothing more. However, all she could think about were his fingers intertwined with hers.

She was drawn to him in a way she could not explain, and she was certain he sensed something too. Nevertheless she convinced herself that her emotions were not real, an irrational overreaction. He was far away from being her type. Still, everything she could muse about were his lips rough on her painted ones.

She was determined to not fall in love with him. Couldn’t imagine how a relationship should ever work between the two of them. It was just not possible. Yet, she pondered on how his touch would feel on her skin, everywhere.

After all, she wondered how her life would have turned out if he had not kissed her that night. If she had not followed him to his room and into his bed. She speculated whether she would have ended unhappy anyway, no matter if she had allowed herself to love again or not. Unsure if she should regret the day she put that ring on. She questioned herself if, in the end, all that is left are bittersweet memories and the strong urge to intertwine her fingers with his one more time. Sense his lips rough on her painted ones, feel his touch on her skin. Just him, everywhere, one last time.

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They needed each other. And they both knew from the beginning. Maybe that scared them away from the other one. The strong urge to always be with them. Feeling like they found their missing part, not aware of being incomplete before. Wanting to hear their voice, touch them, sense them, have them, forever. Their differences only drawing them closer. And they were different, more than anything else. Too many dissimilar opinions to count them all. The whole of them held together by their desperate love. Love that caught them both by surprise. That she tried to ignore and he accepted when it hit them. He talked openly about it, while she was laughing at him . Until the world crumbled down around her, and she was forced to accept what she felt for him.

She had always been afraid of getting too close. Being forced to open up to someone. Revealing her vulnerable part which she was so good at hiding from the world. And she only got more scared when she realised she wanted to let him in. Desperately. Craved him knowing all her secrets, him being able to comfort her when her emotions threaten to take over. He became her weakness, and she caught herself welcoming it. Giving up her perfect facade when melting into his embrace, loosening her tight grip around control. Handing over some of the weight, which she encumbered herself over the past decades, to him. Holding his hand, offering him the chance to protect her from the world like he wished to.

Everything seemed to be easier around him. He was able to cast a smile into her face after a hard day, smoothening the wrinkles in her face until they were barely visible. Drying her tears before they could reach the surface on the rarely occasions where she was upset. He calmed the raging sea that was her mind, his voice shushing the screams of worry and self-doubt that were her thoughts prior to falling asleep. Warming her when she curled up beside him in cold winter nights, showering her with feathery kisses while sitting outside at dusk, admiring the sunset during the months of summer. She liked herself best when she was around him, certain that if she had ever loved someone, it was him. Never getting tired of staring at him, waking up next to him, listening to his voice dancing around words. Kissing him to shut them both up during a discussion, feeling his skin on hers, whispering sweet promises into each other’s ears. He was her weakness, but him being with her made her stronger than she thought she will ever be.

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The silence in the car was suffocating. His gaze was focused on the street, clenching the steering-wheel so tightly that she would have been able to see his knuckles whitening if she would’ve looked at him. But she stared out of the window at her side instead, her head leaning against the cold glass. She pretended to take in her surroundings, cars, buildings, people, blurred and distorted because of the raindrops that were flowing down the window, when in truth her mind demanded the whole of her attention. Her thoughts circled around everything and nothing, affinity and loneliness, her love for him and the indifference she longed to feel, swirling too fast to capture and become clear about one of them.

 

“Please don’t be mad at me”, he begged suddenly, his raspy voice making her flinch. She drew her bottom lip into her mouth, slowly shaking her head, never looking at him.

 

Didn’t he know? She was not mad. Couldn’t be. It was as if her power to be furious with him had been used up over the past year, leaving her drained and without the will to fight. Her heart was filled with impotent disappointment, and it hurt more than any anger could. He had dashed her hopes again, and she couldn’t overcome the thought that it was her fault, too. She should have known better, should have lived in the presence, listening to the voices in her head that had tried to warn her, that had attempted to remind her what he had done in the past. But she had shut them up forcefully while seeking to escape the memories of earlier days, fleeing into a promising future the optimistic part of her imagination had made up. A fantasy that was now collapsing.

 

“I’m sorry.”, he tried again.

A sob fell from her lips, and her body shook slightly when she held back her tears. Oh, how many times had he told her he was sorry, thinking it would save them, save her, when all she did was drowning in his excuses.

“Stop”, she muttered.

“What?”, he asked confused, and one of his hands left the steering-wheel to caress her arm softly. As soon as he touched her, she shifted away from him and shot him a bewildered look.

“Don’t!”, she exclaimed. “I need to get out. Now. Please!”

“But…”, he interjected, only to be interrupted.

“Stop the car!”, she demanded, her voice at the edge of cracking.

 

Eventually he complied and pulled his truck over. The vehicle had hardly stopped when she already opened the door and got out of the door hastily, the noise of the street mixed with the sound of the rainfall displacing the deceptive peace that had enveloped them in his car. She flashed him a quick look, her hair already soaked from the rain, drops streaming down her face. If she was crying, he was not be able to differ between her tears and the raindrops on her cheeks. He wanted to say something, opened his mouth, but tripped over the words on his tongue, and a second later she slammed the door shut, leaving him behind in the quietness of his truck that more than ever threatened to choke him.

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She closed the door to her apartment. Tried to exhale slowly, failing. Breaking down, tears starting to flow down her cheeks. Tears which she held back the last hours, week, month and every moment since she saw him last. When he broke her heart and she threw his things out of her home that used to be theirs. That day, ending with him leaving after begging her to let him in, explain. And her, sobbing behind the closed door, craving nothing more than letting him back in while trying to ignore his confessions of love. Her being unbending because she was good in that. Only to end up utterly exhausted today, not having enough strength to brace up even slightly. A hot pain flashed through her chest, her hand automatically shooting up to cover it from the outside. She tried to resist the urge to sink to the floor, instead leaning against the cold wall. Her breathing heavy, strands of in the morning so perfectly done hair sticking to her tear-stained face. But she was too tired to pay attention. Slowly making her way up the stairs, her slim body feeling heavier with every step.

To finally end up in her bedroom, her vision blurry from crying. Her trembling fingers trying to get discarded of her expensive clothes, not caring to fold them. Not today. Avoiding the mirror she slipped into an oversized shirt to finally sink into bed. Curling up at her side, as if there was someone else who needed the space beside her. Closing her eyes that were burning from all the tears she shed before and those that she never will. Her breath slowly going back to normal. Senses instinctively searching for life apart from her own, finding none. Grieving for his presence because she knew for certain that he was not coming back. That the door will not suddenly fly open, revealing his outlines that she was acquainted with so well. There was no possibility that he will sneak into the room, slide under the blanket and snuggle up to her. His warm breath caressing her sensitive skin. Fingers searching for hers to intertwine them. No whispered words exchanged, only her stilled breathing, barely audible in the dark room. A high-pitched whimper escaped her and she flinched, horrified by her own voice. Resisting the urge to turn around, not sure if she would be able to bear the emptiness next to her. And so she stayed in her current position, knees brought high up to her chest, hands in the nape of her neck. Feeling drained and still wondering if she would be able to sleep that night. Her thoughts haunting her, screaming out his name, spilling memories.

This was just one of those days. One of her weak. Hours in which she let herself be human. In which she had to admit, that somehow, somewhere buried deep within her, she still loved him. Missed him even more. And possibly always will.