A Last Chance: The last time

He roams around
Alone
A dog on the hunt
A scent he follows

He let himself into the house as usual. His best friend was out. She was out.

He pours himself some milk from the freezer and as an afterthought, adds some whisky to it. He needs it, he tells himself; he needs it after the day he had today.

A girl he meets
A girl he lets go
Alone, alone, he roams
None stays around
Too long

He knew he scared Tara today. He couldn’t really blame her for breaking up with him. Hell! He would have broken up with him after that behaviour.

A bark of laughter escaped as he remembered her face when he threw the glass at her. Almost, he reminded himself, almost threw the glass at her. At the last moment, he’d changed the direction an infinitesimal amount and it had shattered into pieces harmlessly behind her.

Ok maybe not harmlessly… he looked at his bandaged hand ruefully. It was a shoddy job. She would have done a much better job. Is that why he was here? He asked himself.

He sits at night
Alone,
Alone in his den
Nursing his bitterness
Restraining his anger
Holding back the memories
That eat at him, gnaw at him
Scratch at him
Until he breaks

When did he realize it? He wonders.

Was it after his first girlfriend? Or his tenth?

When did he realize that no girl stayed because he’s carrying a torch around for someone else? He groaned and put his head in his hands, covered his face as if that would make it all go away. He wished he was an ostrich- put his head into the ground and pretend these feelings never existed. He could feel the urge to throw the glass creeping up on him again. He clutched the cold glass tightly with both his hands; told himself breaking a glass against a wall never changed anything. Yet, almost involuntarily, his arm lifted, drew back…and the door opened.

“Nikhil?” the voice of his best friend brought him out of the daze, “Are you ok?”

Slowly, he willed his hand under control; he willed his mind under control and turned around.

“Yeah!” he replied gruffly, “Tara dumped me and I was out of this,” he put up the empty glass.

“Glasses?” his friend asked wryly.

“Yes, threw the last one at her head.”

“Mate, tell me she’s ok,” Jay’s smile dropped and his eyes narrowed.

“Yeah, yeah. She’s fine. Didn’t actually hit her. Just kind of threw it in her general direction,” Nikhil waved a hand airily and went back to staring at the table.

“You should have Mary take a look at that,” Jay had settled himself opposite to him at the table and was now staring at his blood-stained bandaged hand.

“Yeah. Ok.” And silence descended again in the little house.

He was unpredictable
Not very dependable
He cursed and drank and smoked like a chimney
Not good with families or
Very kind to his friends
He knew there are a million reasons
She shouldn’t pick him.
Yet, he wished…and dreamed
And craved…

The door opened again and this time, she entered. Laughing with her friend, not a care in the world. Her eyes were glowing; her cheeks were pink; she was full of life and he was only a shadow.

He felt a flash of anger surge through him and he stood up.

She’s the one
She’s the one, he needed
He wished…he craved for
She’s the one, he dreamed of
When he dreamed of anything at all

In one long stride, he was standing in front of her. Laila was looking at him strangely, maybe with a warning; the door opened again and in walked her fiancé; he heard Jay growl his name in warning behind him.

But, he ignored them all. Paid no heed to anybody but the girl in front of him- she was so full of life and he was only a shadow- and it was all her fault.

She’s the one
She’s the one
She’s the one…

He bent down and in the split second it took for the realization to hit her, he had swept her up in his arms and crashed his lips to her.

It was a kiss of desperation, borne of loneliness and pining and bitterness for everything that went wrong. It was a kiss of salvation, or at least the hope of one. It was a kiss that meant a lot, though neither realized just how much.

The shocked gasps from Jay, from Laila, from her fiancé, went right past the kissing couple, unheeded.

She’s the one
She’s always been the one

Until, finally, when they came up for air and caught sight of three gobsmacked faces staring back at them.

She went red, pushed him away, struggled out of his hands. He just stood there staring at her with an intensity, with an honesty that made her uncomfortable.

“I…I can’t do this…” she whispered, more to herself than to anyone else, “I…I’ll see you later, Laila.”

And with that, the girl of his dreams walked out of the house.

She’s the one…
She’s always the one.

**

He lives in her head
Sleeps with her thoughts, her ideas
In her bed

Mary stared at the ceiling blankly. She could feel it; the kiss; the touch of lips on hers; his need, his anger; his desperation…She didn’t know how much time had gone by. She didn’t know if George had come back home or not. She didn’t know anything but the feeling of his lips on hers.

He stays with her every minute,
Every second,
Every day

She hadn’t thought it would happen. Never even considered the possibility. Didn’t want to consider the possibility. But, it did. And now, she couldn’t stop thinking about him.

A spasm of anger whipped through her only to be replaced by sadness the next moment. Her eyes welled and tears slowly trickled down the sides of her face.

In that rare moment of self-awareness, she admitted it herself- she did want him. She had settled, but she hadn’t forgotten and now, she couldn’t stop remembering.

She wishes he’d go away
But, calls him back
Every time.

 **

2 years, 6 months, 23 days ago….

 

“Let’s get married.”

 “Why? Do you have a death wish?”

 “I love you. That’s why.”

 “………………………”

 “Silence carries the risk of being taken as acquiescence.”

 “………I don’t want to marry you.”

 **

 

 

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