By Ria
Date: 7 November 2000

It's Better This Way

She had already had enough scotch, yet she kept drinking, preferring intoxication to the sight of him holding someone else.

He was back to his old ways again, to being that (not so) smooth talking charmer who always knew what to say. She knew what it felt like to be charmed by him, but that was a long time ago. She used to be the only one he wanted to charm, the only one he needed to charm, and she fell, because she was helpless against his eyes, his kisses, his smile. He spoke to her of soulmates, of love, of tomorrow, and she believed him, because he made it feel right for the first time in her life. He made her feel complete, whole, and there was nothing else she needed.

But that was a long time ago.

He looks her way and calls her over to the velvet sofa, one arm still around someone else. She drinks her scotch, and her feet take her to him, because her heart hasn't yet completely learned to say no. With his head on her shoulder, he whispers, "Speak your mind. I want to know what you're thinking."

"I'd rather not," she answers, not wanting him to see that he had broken her beyond repair, that there was nothing left for her to give him.

Yet she still wanted to tell him everything, to make him understand what she had been hiding in her heart for so long. How could a love like this possibly be one-sided? This love that could move mountains, span oceans, how could it be  all-consuming in one person yet absent in another? There were still so many things she wanted him to hear, but it seemed pointless to profess her love to him, when he had no longer had any use for it. She knew that she would never love this way again. But now she knew that he would never know this, and that was the most exquisite pain of all.

"Come on. We both know it's better this way," he says, kissing her temple lightly, as if she was a child who needed comforting.

She shrugs, sips her scotch, and walks away. She turns to look back at him, and he's smiling at someone else, almost the way he used to smile at her a long time ago. She wishes for the day when she can walk away from him without looking back, but for now, she walks away, knowing that it was all just a dream, and it was about time for her to wake up.

- for IAD

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