The tears refused to cease. Two hours had probably passed; the setting sun had been replaced by moon and stars when she wasn't paying attention. At one point in time a small child had approached her but seemed to have thought better of it and backed away without saying a thing. She was fine with that – she had no heart to tell of her ailment (for her heart had long since been given away) nor did she imagine the child would want to hear or could comprehend. With a yearning sniff, she pined for a moment for such simple days when problems such as this didn't exist and she never spent hours crying in the park and never, ever had she felt so empty and broken. Childhood was such a blind and naïve period of time and never before had she wanted so badly to go for such a time. They'd never expected just how hard growing up would be – back then it had seemed a fun adventure.
She probably appeared foolish and lame, curled up near the bathrooms. Initially, she'd made her way for the bathroom where she could cry more peacefully but the tears were too hot and too fast and her vision was obscured by them and she had to sit down before she tripped and fell. She'd pressed herself to the wall and slide down to the dirt below, letting herself cry freely and openly, the choking sobs racking through her.
Finally, her sobs had turned into mere tears and, as she wiped her eyes, she tried to figure the situation out. How painful. How naïve. How had she not noticed such an obvious, blatant scenario? They'd sat together on the merry-go-round together, side-by-side with her head nestled on his shoulder.
"So. Naomi asked me out," he had said to her, casually. Making light conversation with her.
She'd froze. A wave of nausea rolled in her stomach as she listened. In the back of her mind, the idea had often resided. How silly, she chastised herself, or being so selfish as to believe she could keep him all to herself. How foolish that she though in the end he would choose her because, after all, was it not she who told him she'd rather not complicate things? (Of course, she'd asked for no complications and in result she received this terrible predicament.) She'd wanted the intimacy but not the closure. She wanted the companionship. The lonely nights filled by another person's warmth. He'd wanted her, in whatever package he could get.
In the end, they'd both received something they'd wanted. He had the magic of her body against his, his fingers in her hair, her nails against his skin. She had the fullest intimacy a mouth could exchange, the heat of another human to chase away the cold of alone and the power of him at her will.
But such an unfortunate occurrence had not been expected by her. Assuming was an awful habit, one that she should long have lost, and it had, in the end, come back to bite.
"So. Naomi asked me out."
Her response was a cautious "Oh?" and as she remembered it, she wondered if he heard the waver in that one syllable, if he heard the immense pain unwillingly thrown into her speech. Surely, he must have, but he didn't call her out on it. He never did.
"Mmmhm," he answered, awkwardly shifting from her, letting her head fall back to her own shoulder.
Despite the warmth of the summer night, ice lined her stomach and her skin grew cold and clammy. He needn't have said it for she knew the answer it caught in her throat, obscuring her breathing and any speech that may have come to mind. How naïve she had been to believe… that he could always belong to her. Never had she a claim upon him, though, and reminding herself of this formed yet another round of tears as she pulled her knees to her chest, locking her arms around them as she continued to remember the moment.
"You said so yourself. Remember?" He's spoken with uncertainty, afraid she'd yell. She couldn't have, even if she'd have wanted. The gentle yet subtly wary tone he was speaking in was breaking her. "You were the one," he reminded her. "'Nothing more. Casual. I don't want any complications'".
To hear him quote those words set something to gnaw on he insides because he spoke the truth. She'd done this to herself. No complications. She hadn't expected this. These complications.
"I did," she'd admitted, her voice a crack. There was no way around it. The request had been hers. The inevitable downfall had been her fault.
"So. I told her yes. Because… you and I-"
"-of course, of course. You and I." She interrupted for fear of throwing up. Bile churned dangerously in her stomach.
"-you should go," she'd interjected.
She wanted to push him away. She didn't want to look at him. He reached out, eyes tender with worry, and cupped chin in his warm hand. As if she was burnt she flinched away. It was impossible to fight the tears any longer – they burned with such intensity she was sure she'd go blind.
How had she not foreseen this? How had she not noticed them?
The tears spilled as soon as he turned away, tumbling over from their tenuous grips on her lashes. She managed to hold in the aching sob until he was out of earshot and even had he heard it, he knew better than to turn away and face her in such a miserable state. He knew. She was sure he knew. He gave her the chance. And she couldn't say it. Tears falling, she stood and stumbled away.
As she played this memory, the tears spilled again.
How foolish she'd been to have through she could evade love. How silly she had been to refuse herself that which she had yearned for. And now she let it get away. It literally slipped through her own fingers.