A car screeched and stopped in the distance. Somehow, she knew it was him. After all, who else could it be?
The night was stormy and raindrops were drumming against the crystal windows, melting the colorful mosaic formations. The sky was twisting like soup in a hundred gradients of grey and bursts of lightning broke open the clouds like spears. Outside, the world was crying.
She was staring at the door, completely silent and still. And yet, inside her mind another storm was raging. Her thoughts were fighting against each other, biting and scorching and cutting until her stomach was twisting and her mind pounding. She tried desperately to focus on the single ones, the ones that mattered, the ones that made sense and gave her the outcome she wanted. But the rage, the screams and the despair overshadowed everything else.
Suddenly, the door knob turned. Her body froze. What should I say?
The oaken door squeaked loudly as it was pushed open. A silhouette appeared in the doorway, wet and dark and cold from the night. She turned away from him, refusing to look. trying hopelessly to keep the tears in. I won't let him see me cry.
They were both silent for a moment. And yet, in the quiet a flaming discussion was taking place between the two young humans.
When she finally spoke, her voice was trembling. "Why did you come back?" she sniffed. Why couldn't she just stop crying?
"I came back for you." His voice was a whisper. Though she was facing away from him, he recognized her instantly. Her slim arms, her thin waist, the soft ruby hair that fell from her soft face down her straight back. Everything about her was intact. Everything he'd missed about her was still there. It reminded him why he came back, after all that time. Just once more, he promised himself. "I've been missing you so much. You have no idea about how hollow I've felt without you. So many nights have passed, filled with enough regret and remorse to make my stomach twist and turn. I'm so sorry, I..."
"Go away." Her whisper was almost inaudible.
"GO AWAY! There is NO place for you here. NONE! Not anymore." Her screams echoed throughout the marble walls. "You've hurt me too bad. You say you've missed me, that you've been wallowing in misery ever since you ran away." Elisa spat on the ground. "It's nothing compared to what I've been through. I've been crying for days and nights, closing myself off completely from the world outside, to try and heal myself. Now, finally - finally I can see myself moving on, see myself in a world without you. And you have the nerve to show up here, expecting me to forgive you? Expecting me to forget all the tears I've shed for you? Never! Not as long as I live. Do you hear me!? As long as night is dark and day is bright I will never forgive you!" Elisa turned around and allowed herself one glance at him. She sent him a look filled with loathing and lightning.
A sting like the stab from a knife pierced her stomach. Seeing him was too much. The fuzzy chestnut hair, the scraggy beard, the hands always stuffed away in his leather pockets. It was like nothing had changed about him at all. Look away, Elisa. She thought desperately to herself. You have to be strong. Don't let him get the best of you. He's lying, he's... She suddenly remembered the way he used to hold her, his look and how he would mutter her name. Elisa... And suddenly every thought in her mind, all the bad ones and all the good ones, faded away into nothing like they had never existed in the first place. Regret hit her in the stomach like a fist and Elisa couldn't hold the tears in anymore. Watery drops began prickling down her cheek, and as her lament got stronger, sobs came from her mouth as well. Elisa let it all go. She couldn't hold all the pain and regret in anymore. Not anymore.
Jonathan walked over to hold her and it was as if in that moment every yell, every brawl and every inch of hatred didn't matter anymore. He held her the way he used to. She rested her head on his shoulder the way she used to. They dried their tears together and looked at each other, with a split-second of the spark that they used to have in their eyes and for a moment it was like they were still together, like the rings on their fingers still bore meaning. But Elisa knew that this was an illusion, fractions from a dream long lost to the greedy hands of time.
"Do you remember when this was our life?" he asked softly.
Elisa nodded. She missed it. She didn't want to admit it, but it was true.
Jonathan raised Elisa's chin with two fingers, forcing her to look him in the eyes."You've missed me, Elisa, I know you have. I can feel it in your body."
Elisa didn't answer. She was getting light-headed and losing control of her body. The headache was pumping harder and harder inside her head. His eyes were so blue... Walk away, Elisa. Walk away right now. His eyes were so blue...
"Elisa, please. Through better and worse; you made those vows. I've always been for you in the worse times, Elisa. When we first met, you were alone and without hope but I still took you into my heart. When our little Robert died you were mad and you fought and threw things at me I forgave you. I've always forgiven you. And do you know why?"
Elisa looked up at her husband. Her mind told her to push him away, but her body didn't react anymore. And the tears didn't stop coming. Don't listen to him, Elisa. Don't.
"I did it all because I love you."
And there was nothing she could do.
Jonathan opened his eyes slowly. The sun was slowly beginning to rise outside, breaking through the grey skies and painting the above in an inferno of red and orange. He carefully removed the arm hugging his chest and stood up with slow moves, making sure not to wake her. He took one final look at Elisa. She was so beautiful and yet so naïve. Oh, Elisa... Why can't you just accept that we're not made for each other? From his left hand, he wrenched off a ring and placed it on her night table.
Her taste was still in his mouth as Jonathan stepped out into the rain. It wasn't the best taste he'd ever tried but it had still been worth the trouble. Definitely. Jonathan pulled up his hood to keep himself dry and began walking.