She stared at me sternly, her eyes glowing fiercely in the sickly yellow streetlights. Her fists clenched and her eyes began to water and I could feel her frustration flying at me like a thousand pins and needles, tearing into my flesh, making me want to vomit. She was livid, her rage was blazing, she was ready to tear the world to pieces.
She was angry and I did not care. I continued to just drill my judgments into every pore of her skin, just to rile her to no end. I knew she wanted to deck me, to just take me out with a solid punch. It was burning in her face, the anger, the sadness, the frustrations she'd pent up since it all happened. She could not pretend anymore.
I waited anxiously for her to just explode, to scream, to cry, to backhand me. But to my dismay, I watched her take a breath, the tears drying slowly from her eyes. I feared it was over, that her moment had passed and I'd never be able to drag it out again. But surprisingly, she looked me square in the eyes and hissed, "You're a jerk."
I gaped, sputtering a half grateful, "Sorry?"
Suddenly, I felt the heels of her palms digging quickly, sharply into my chest as she shoved me, hard, towards the curb. I stumbled a little, but caught myself easily and forced myself to hold my stare to hers.
"You're a jerk!" she shrieked. "Why are you such a jerk?"
She lunged at me again, but I snatched her wrists before she could tear my eyes out. She struggled for a moment to try and knock me back again, but in her fury, she tripped over herself and I caught her awkwardly in a panic. When she found her balance, she stubbornly pushed herself out of my arms and squeaked, "Don't you touch me!"
She let out a cry of frustration and pivoted to leave, to stomp her feet so hard against the asphalt that it almost might have shaken the whole world. She backtracked and came towards me again, the fire in her eyes blazing deadly hot.
"What is wrong with you, Graham? Huh? Do you think my getting angry will solve all of our problems?"
I stepped towards her, but her frightening glare made me rethink any sudden movements.
"I waited so long for you!" She was scolding me like I was a child. "You had all that time. I was right there for you. Why now?"
I knew that I did not have the heart to tell her the real reason why.
"Come on," she shouted. "Give me one reason not to walk away."
There was a dull aching in my chest, tightness in my arm. I knew what was happening, but I remained silent for a moment. I let out a short gasp, mostly nerves, and looked her in the eye. "I love you," I whispered.
She stared blankly at me for a moment, and I held my breath. Her hands were trembling, her hair flickering against her cheek. And then she lost it. She jerked suddenly and backhanded me sternly, her ring leaving a large scratch on my cheek. I flinched, but otherwise stood still and silent, my head turned aside, afraid to meet her stare. I could see her glaring at me from the corner of my eye, her fists clenching and unclenching as her sundress blew gently in the wind. When I finally gathered the courage to meet her gaze, I saw her eyes were filled with tears.
It was never supposed to happen like this. But as she turned to leave, I could not bring myself to call her back to me.