Promptly Penned ~ March

Time for another promptly penned. I’m actually in a super tough deadline, so… I’m striving for super short. Mostly because I’m writing ALL the other words. Anyway, here is the prompt and here is the resulting story…

“It’s okay. You don’t have to love me.”

“It’s okay. You don’t have to love me.”

Those were the last words Vivian had said to Sully. The last time he’d heard her voice. She’d been standing in the rain, her long blonde hair plastered to her face and jacket—the strands looking more brown than golden as the droplets soaked the thick mass, straightening out the usually bouncy curls. It hadn’t struck him then, the weight of her statement. It had been more like a whisper on the breeze. As if it had come from somewhere else. Someone else. It wasn’t until she’d turned that he’d realized she’d actually spoken. That he’d been so fucking dense, he hadn’t responded when she’d told him she loved him.

Of course he hadn’t responded. He’d been…dumbfounded. And scared. Bone-deep scared. The kind that woke you in a cold sweat. That ate at your gut, making it hard to eat. To freaking breathe. He’d heard those words before. Had believed them, only to end up broken. Alone. So, when Viv had stated it over dinner—just sat there and spoken the words as if it was natural. As if they didn’t change the fucking fabric of space and time—he’d panicked. And shut down. He’d smiled, then changed the direction of the conversation, asking how her next article was going. If she’d managed to get the interview she’d wanted. It had been a dick move. He knew it, but…

This was Vivian. Vivian! His best friend since grade school. Since he’d learned how to tie his shoes, play nice in the sandbox. They’d been through everything together. Love. Loss. Engagements and breakups. She knew better than anyone how he felt about love. That it didn’t exist. That it was merely a by-product of sex and lust, and just as fleeting as the dew on the grass in the morning. Sure, sometimes it hung around for a while, and it was damn sure pretty to look at, but just when you thought you could make it stay, it vanished. There one second then gone. No recourse. Just—emptiness.

So, Sully hadn’t reacted. Had avoided everything because what scared him more—what made his damn body shake—was that he was pretty sure he loved her, too. That the way his pulse kicked up or his mouth lifted into a smile, all by itself, whenever she was around, was a definite indication there was more going on here than simple friendship. That wanting to talk to her before bed every night, then, again, first thing in the morning had some serious ramifications. The way he’d check his shirt to see if he could still smell her perfume or listen to a message she’d left him just to hear her voice wasn’t what “just friends” did. And he didn’t know what to do. How to move beyond it because if he was right—if love really was just an illusion like the woman vanishing inside the box—then he was going to lose more than his heart. He’d lose his soul because Viv was his best friend. His other half.

He hadn’t replied. Had stood there, his brain seven steps behind, until it had finally caught up. And he’d realized, in that split second, that he’d lose her either way. And wasn’t it stupid to have his world implode without trying? Without telling her he loved her, too, and maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t the kind of dew that misted away. Maybe she was the magic kind, like that stupid snowman in the Christmas show—made from magical snow that didn’t melt or at least came back to life. Something. Anything. But as soon as he’d taken a step, called out her name…she was gone.

Lost.

“It’s okay. You don’t have to love me.”

“But…I do love you. I’ve always loved you.” Sully stared at the tombstone, her name etched across the grey surface. Beloved daughter. Beloved sister. But where was beloved wife? Beloved friend who’d died on that dark rainy night as she’d turned back to face him and stepped into the road. Where was the love?

And that’s it for me, folks. Told you it would be super short. Now, jump on over and see what the other ladies have.

Bronwyn  ~  Jessica  ~  Siobhan  ~  Gwendolyn  ~  Paige

7 Replies to “Promptly Penned ~ March”

  1. *sniff sniff* I was all set for the happy sigh and then . . . *sad sigh in stead* Talk about a twist. Well done.

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