Author's Note: Hello everyone! This is the edited version of Love's To Blame. Enjoy!

Love's To Blame

Trespassing? Possibly. Stealing? Maybe. Is it mine or his? Not quite sure.

I stared at the arm occupying my arm rest. The appendage was attached to an older gentleman in his late 50's. Sipping on his soda, he focused on the current trailer playing on the screen. I looked to my left, distraught when I saw another limb occupying the other arm rest. Sighing, I stood up, with the drink and popcorn in my hands, and looked for another seat in the theater.

Valentine's Day is a very busy day. Restaurants are booked to their maximum capacity, flower shops have lines that extend out of the store and candy stores are low in chocolates. Couples venture out and spend the rest of the holiday with each other, either going for walks at the beach or having secluded dates in a yacht. This day of the year can be used as an excuse to spoil one's soul mate.

It is also the day where single people mope about their current status in their love life.

I fall into the category of the ones who have no one to share an extraordinary event with. Sure, I have family and friends, but today I decided to give them the privacy they need. I wouldn't want to be a burden to them, especially since I would probably be aching in the inside; my false grin would hide my true feelings. Because of this, I decided to go to the movies and enjoy myself, forgetting about the lovers in the outside world.

Climbing up the stairs, I entered the last row of chairs. Finding a vacant chair, I plopped down softly, placing my soda in the cup holder. Glancing around, I let out a relieved smile, noting the lack of presence around me. No one would steal my arm rest. Letting my body relax, I turned my attention to the screen, munching on the food. Finally, after a long chain of trailers, the movie began. I placed my left hand on the arm rest, the other one feeding me with the scrumptious popcorn.

An hour into movie, I decided to change positions. Taking my stiff arm from the arm rest, I placed it on my lap, clenching my fingers into a fist. I lifted my other hand and placed it in the other arm rest, noting the rough and bumpy texture. Frowning, I moved my arm around, trying to find a comfortable position, my eyes still locked on the screen.

"If you wanted to feel me up, all you had to do was ask," whispered a deep, sultry voice.

Startled, I jumped up slightly from my sit, enlightening a soft chuckle from the stranger. Realization dawning, I took of my hand off the man's arm, cursing inwardly. My cheeks blushed slightly, the darkness masking my embarrassment. I looked at the stranger, his face barely distinguishable under the blanket of the night.

"I'm sorry," I apologized, my voice level above a whisper.

He laughed quietly, the sound floating gracefully into my ears. "It's alright. I can't hold you accountable for your actions when you were so engrossed into the movie. I bet you didn't even realize that someone was sitting here, right?"

I nodded my head, hoping he will be able to see it under these conditions. He did and greeted me with what I can assume was a smile.

"Yes, my attention was focused on the movie," I replied, his smile causing unknown emotions to come out. "I don't recall hearing or seeing you come."

"Just like I thought," he mumbled, causing me to grin. "But of course, even if you did hear me, I would assume that your hand would still have made its way on top of my arm." He smirked at me. "No one could resist this." He waved his arm in the air.

I laughed faintly, his comedic yet familiar ministrations causing me to fill up with happiness. "Sure, sure…" I grinned, deciding to join his game. "But the only reason why I would put my arm on top of yours is because that arm rest is mine."

I could barely see him scrunch his eyebrows in confusion. "What do you mean? This is my arm rest." He pointed to my left. "That one is yours."

I shook my head. "No, this arm rest is mine. Not that arm rest."

"Then, why were you using that arm rest earlier?"

"Because no one was sitting their," I stated. "Now, I don't feel like using their arm rest, so I'm using mine." I stuck out my tongue playfully, surprised at my own actions.

He chuckled softly. "Sorry, darling. But this is my arm rest."

"Says who?" I grabbed my soda, drinking the delicious liquid.

"Says the invisible arm rest leaders," he replied with a straight face.

I snorted loudly, forgetting that I was drinking the refreshment.

Choking on the liquid from laughter, I coughed vigorously, evoking shushing noises from a few people. Placing my hand in front of my mouth, I tried to calm my raging coughs. I felt the man pat my back softly, which helped me relax. He whispered his apology into my ear.

"I'm sorry! I shouldn't have said that while you were drinking-"

"It's okay," I interrupted. "The coughs are gone, for now. It's fine-"

He intruded my speech this time. "Of course it's not fine," he whispered harshly. "What if your coughing fit continued on?" He looked at me worriedly. "What if it comes to the point where it became painful?"

"Well, it didn't," I replied, slightly irritated and suspicious from his current behavior. A man in the seat below signaled us to lower our voices.

"How would you know?" he asked in a barely audible tone. "If you start coughing again a few minutes later, you wouldn't know if it would be much worse than the previous one."

"I'm fine," I insisted, a familiar feeling building up inside me. "What are you getting so wind up about? It's just a cough."

"No, it isn't just a cough," he argued. "A cough can trigger many things. If it's strong enough, a nosebleed can occur. It can also give you chest pain. It would probably activate you're a-" He abruptly stopped, silence filling the air. The actors continued to converse on the screen.

"Activate my what?" I asked softly.

He avoided my gaze, deciding to watch the movie. He glanced at me through the corner of his eye, flicking it back to the screen when he noticed my gaze. I continued to stare him down, wanting him to continue his unfinished sentence. He fidgeted in his seat, uncomfortable from my penetrating gaze. This lasted for a few minutes before he finally looked back at me.

"Activate…your asthma attack," he mumbled, looking at me intently.

I inhaled sharply. "How do you know about my asthma?" I asked cautiously, fearing the real identity of this man.

He turned his head back to the screen once more, avoiding my question.

For a while, the movie's story took place during the night, which caused the theatre to be drowned in blackness. Now, however, the setting switched back to daylight, causing the theatre to light up from the sun's rays radiating from the screen. While most people squinted at the sudden brightness, my eyes remained wide open as the light brought out the features of the man.

The fake sun helped me recognize the stranger in front of me.

"Alistair?" I stared at him in disbelief, mixed emotions swirling in my head.

He turned his head and gave me a timid smile, as if nervous about his approach. "Hello, Elena."

Jumping up off my seat, I ran out of the theatre.


Sprinting down the street, I found a vacant cab parked along the sidewalk. Yanking the door open, I plopped down on the seat, trying to catch my ragged breath. The cab driver flinched in surprise, turning around immediately after I slammed the door. He took in my disheveled appearance, scrunched his nose, and placed his newspaper on the passenger seat.

"You okay, kid," he asked, his thick accent vibrating through his throat.

I nodded tiredly. "Yes, I am," I replied between breaths.

"Looks like you ran a marathon. What happened? Did the girl scouts get you?" He leaned slightly towards me, cupping his hand around his mouth. "If you ever encounter them, tell them you haven't seen me, okay?"

I laughed at his attempt to humor me. "Yes, sir."

He grinned at me, his friendly face making me forget my worries. "Well, then. Where to, madam?"

"Anywhere but here," I said, unconsciously reciting the famous words.

He nodded, no questions asked.

Soon, the car started to drive down the street, its slow pace caused by the emerging traffic. I sighed quietly, releasing a breath, while relaxing my pounding heart. Laying my head on the seat, I peered out of the window, watching swarms of people stroll down the sidewalk. Many were loving couples; they held each others' hands as they walked down their own imaginary aisle, eyes gleaming in delight and fondness. Others were shoppers who were taking the advantage of some sales at local luxury stores.

I watched as a small toddler dropped her toy, and a friendly bystander returning it to her. A teenage boy walked up nervously to a cute girl, presenting her with a rose, hidden inside his jacket. Looking at the side-view mirror, I caught a glimpse of a familiar man sprinting down the sidewalk.

Damn.

"Um…sir, do you think you could speed it up a little bit?"

The taxi driver looked at me through the rear-view mirror, furrowing his eyebrows in remorse. "I'm sorry, miss. I can't go above this speed. Too much traffic." He raised an eyebrow. "Why, is something wrong?"

I shook my head, not wanting him to be involved in my problems. "No, no. There is no problem."

I looked back at the mirror, noting that Alistair slowed down to a steady jog. I cursed silently, remembering his track and field history. Calculating his current position from the car, I estimated he was a good 200 feet from the vehicle.

Enough to let me escape.

"Um…do you think you could make a sharp right turn into that street?" I asked anxiously.

"Sure." The car jerked to the right, causing me to slide across my seat. A steep hill greeted the vehicle. My hands were locked on the edge of my chair. Reaching the bottom, I directed the driver towards the park. An annual book fair was occurring at the moment, with clusters of people filling the man-made area. Unfortunately, too many cars were around the park. However, there were enough people to camouflage myself into.

"Right there." I pointed to the space in front of a fire hydrant, after having difficulty finding a parking spot. Reaching into my purse, I grabbed a twenty and gave it to the waiting hand in front of me. I pushed my door open, stepping out into the open. I quickly looked around, trying to find my stalker. Nodding when I failed to see him, I averted my attention back to the driver, thanking him for his services, before walking into the crowd.

"Hey kid," the driver called out, before I was completely out of view.

"Yes," I shouted, not bothering to come up to the taxi. The risk of being seen was too much.

"Running away never makes the problem go away…just so you know."

I stared at the man, surprised at his confession. His friendly eyes gleamed with knowledge, as if he knew what I was going through. I stared at them much longer, catching the flash of experience and regret that flickered through his orbs. Shaking my head, I tried to clear my mind of these observations. I don't have time for this.

Not wanting to hurt his feelings, I gave him a sad smile. "I'll keep that in mind."

Waving half-heartedly, I ran back into the crowd, out of the taxi driver's view. True, running away makes it worse. But sometimes running away is the only option.

Going through the maze of sweltering bodies, I made my way through the park, glancing back every few seconds. A flash of black caused me to hide behind a canopy, sighing in relief when an old black-haired man passed by. Deciding to confuse Alistair, I went east for a while, then swerved north after a few feet of speed-walking.

Passing a group of middle-aged tourists, I went through the food court. To my left were the famous chains of fast food restaurants, while the more sophisticated and healthy stores were situated to my right. I had to step on a few chicken bones and a dumpling before I reached the other side.

Finally, after a long journey across the whole park, I reached the edge. Once more, I cautiously looked for my follower, relief and sadness filling me when I couldn't find him. I thought he said he would always follow me. I shook my head, scolding myself. He never really keeps his promises. I agreed at the thought, although deep down me, I had a feeling that it was the exact opposite. Sighing softly, I walked to a tall tree and leaned against it, trying to clear my thoughts.

The sun was slightly above the mountains in the distance, indicating the late afternoon. The park ended just before the shore of the ocean, giving the guests a lovely view during twilight. Flocks of seagulls flew above the raging roars of the waves, emitting shrills deep within their beaks. Children ran around the grassy area, enjoying the last few rays of the sun before it retires to bed once more.

"Stunning isn't it?" asked a harmonious voice, causing terror to build up in my lungs. "The way she gazes at the background around her, radiating her rays of warmth."

I gulped, my throat slowly drying. "You're talking about me aren't you?"

He gave a strained laugh. "Am I?"

"You were always the one who said that you won't repeat those cliché pick up lines many men use today, yet you say them anyway." I continued to the stare intently at the ocean, trying to keep my eyes from him. "You're such a hypocrite."

I could feel him smile. "Yes, I did say that." A slight pause. "But I won't deny the fact that I do change it up a bit to keep it more interesting."

"So describing me as a blazing star that will most likely blow up in a few million years is considered interesting?"

He shrugged, the action seen through the corner of my eye. "I guess so."

I snorted rudely. My emotions were raging from teasing to disbelief, from the fact that he can change how I feel with just a few words. I hate what he does to me. "Because it is every girls dream to be compared to a ball of fire that can kill anyone by giving them skin cancer."

"Well, what do you want me to compare you to? A cupcake?" He chuckled lightly. "Let's face it sweetheart, you don't taste sweet nor are you every child's favorite dessert."

I scoffed. "First of all, I don't want to be compared to a cupcake. Second, it isn't every child's favorite dessert. Ice cream is."

"I beg to differ." I imagined him placing his hand over his heart, mocking my statement.

I rolled my eyes. "Whatever, I don't even want to be compared to both of them."

I sensed him furrowing his eyebrows. "What's wrong with being compared to the sun? Romeo compared his Juliet to that shining disk in the sky."

"And, let's not forget that Romeo was an immature boy from the beginning to the end of the story."

"He wasn't immature. He performed such actions because of his ever-lasting love."

"Ever-lasting? I say he was very fickle, switching from Rosaline to Juliet under a seconds time."

"Have you ever heard of love at first sight?"

"Have you ever heard of I-love-her-because-she's-smoking-hot at first sight? Because that syndrome caught Romeo the day he went to the Capulet's party."

"No, it wasn't that. It was the I-know-she's-my-soul-mate syndrome."

"Oh, really? He barely knew her, let alone talked to her and suddenly, he proclaims to the world about his undying love." I shook my head. "Capulet should have let Tybalt dismember that boy. It would have saved us from misery."

"Then, Juliet would have been married to Paris, a man she didn't love."

"It would be better than having a boy lust for you because of your appearance, not because of who you are."

His tone changed. "How would you know if it was lust? What if it was love, just that Romeo didn't want to say it?" I had a feeling we weren't debating about Shakespeare's masterpiece anymore.

"And how would he even know how love feels, if what he thought was love for Rosaline was actually an attraction to her beauty?"

"Maybe he did know that he was only attracted to Rosaline because of her appearance. But, when he saw Juliet, he knew that his feelings for her were much different than his feelings for Rosaline."

I finally turned around and faced him, my blank face masking my raging emotions. "That doesn't really mean that it's love. It could be different in the way where his attraction to Juliet is more powerful than his attraction to Rosaline."

"Yes, it's more powerful because he loves her," he stressed out, gazing at me longingly.

"But how would she know!" I breathed heavily. "He never told her upfront that he loves her."

"Maybe, he was too scared. Scared…about a few things… He didn't know what to do."

"He could have asked helped from Mercutio or Benvolio."

He puffed in annoyance. "They would probably laugh at him and tease him about his feelings. That wouldn't help him at all."

"And, what would help him? Giving him time?"

He hesitated, but spoke his answer. "Yes…give him time to think."

"But she did give him enough time to think. Plenty of time." I glared menacingly at him. "But I guess it wasn't enough…right?" I turned around and started to march away.

He grabbed my elbow, stopping my departure. "It was enough…it's just that… he figured it out a little too late."

I ignored his answer, staring blankly at his heart-broken expression. I must not cry. "Why…" I trailed off.

He knew that this wasn't just one question; there were many answers to these clusters of questions, hidden behind one word. He opened his mouth, only to close it back up. He shuffled his feet, stalling, wasting precious amount of time. Finally, he uttered his answer. "I'm assuming a sorry isn't enough."

I let out a frustrated yell. "Why? Why Alistair? Why can't you ever answer me straight? I never ask you trick questions. You know that… So, why do you always avoid it?"

"Maybe because I don't really have an answer, at all," he replied quietly, staring off into the distance.

I laughed without humor, smiled without happiness. "So, you're saying that you have no answer for any question that is fired at you, is that it?"

He remained silent.

I continued my rant. I gazed directly at him, letting out all of my emotions. "You don't have an answer as to why you didn't want to publicly announce our relationship. None as to why you never took me to meet your parents. You never answered any of my questions relating to our relationship. In fact, you would avoid me like the plague whenever I bring those up." I let out a soft sob. "You…were never there when I needed you the most. Not when my grandmother was dying… or when my parents were getting a divorce. You were never there to hold me and tell me that everything will be alright…even if it wasn't going to be. You…never answered my question about that girl I saw you with…" A tear escaped my eye, sliding down my cheek. "You never told me you loved me…"

My composure broke, the dam cracked wide open and the rush of emotions weakened me. Even so, I continued to stare him down, even if he wouldn't meet my gaze. I'm surprised that I didn't even get an asthma attack, yet. I promised myself that if this day came, I would stand tall and proud, and would not let one hint of sadness flicker through my eyes. I wouldn't be weak nor would I break down.

I guess that promise was tossed into the growing pile of broken items.

"Have…," he began gently, putting his hands inside his pockets. "Have I… ever told you about Romeo's story before he ever met Rosaline or Juliet?"

I slowly digested his question, trying to find any hidden words or codes in the message. Finding none, I shook my head, tears still falling down my cheeks.

"Well…he was a young lad, very young if I may add, when he met his very first love. With the name of Beatrice, you would assume that she was a beautiful girl. She was, actually, so beautiful that many women all over the world envied her natural beauty. But Romeo never fell for her charming looks; he fell in love for the girl underneath all of that, even if they were never meant to be together. She was sweet, kind, caring and overall, a wonderful person."

His strained sigh caught my attention.

"Many say that Romeo was very shallow for switching from Rosaline to Juliet in the blink of an eye. I say that he wasn't fickle; he just knew a remarkable girl when he sees one, because of Beatrice. He didn't fall in love with her quickly. It took him time, months actually, before he started to feel this foreign emotion many poets write about.

"She was his sun, moon and universe. She helped him realize what an extraordinary thing life is, even if he didn't feel it under the comforts of his home. She helped him be…him. For once in his life, he wasn't a Montague or the son of a rich man. He was Romeohimself." He stopped abruptly, his face blank of emotions, and looked up at the sky. A puddle of tears pooled inside his eyes, a few drops slipping down his face.

"She…died before he could ever tell her his feelings."

I remained silent, slowly absorbing his confession. Here he was, the man I love, expressing his mysterious past through a revised tale of the greatest tragedy in history. Tragedy, indeed.

Sorrow and pity, with a tiny pinch of jealousy, waved through my body. His past showed his vulnerability to the world, the answers to my unspoken questions. He may have seemed a perfect man to me when we first met, but a mask can always cover up the scars on one's face. His previous life was his sweetest sin and his most beautiful nightmare.

I don't think I can ever compare to that.

I focused intently at him, trying to read his body language. His eyes falsely surveyed his shoes. His averted gaze made it difficult for me to understand his current emotions. But the way his shoulders slumped, the despair in the air and his tired movements were enough clues for me.

Enough for me to know. Enough for me to see. Enough for me to feel.

"You're…you're just as broken as I am," I declared, gazing sadly at his figure.

He jerked his head back up, tears accumulating in his eyes, not wanting them to slide down. He sniffled weakly and looked back up, smiling at the heavens above.

"Her death was the reason why Romeo was so hesitant to be in love," He continued. "He knew that he didn't love Rosaline, playing the role of a young man in love to cover his depressed emotions. When he saw Juliet, he was infatuated with her. He continued his award-winning acting, even agreeing to marry Juliet as a form of revenge to his parents…who were the cause of Beatrice's…death.

"In Shakespeare's work, it may have seemed that Romeo utterly adored Juliet. However, Shakespeare left out a few important parts. Parts that explained Romeo's real emotions, how he was just using Juliet as a distraction. I mean, how can you explain his quick switch from Rosaline to Juliet?" He paused, taking a few deep breaths. "You were right earlier, Elena. It was attraction at first sight, not love. Romeo never loved Juliet, but that doesn't mean he didn't care for her. He saw her as a friend, a companion, even if he knew she wanted more.

"However, he…didn't want to get too close. He feared that history would repeat itself; once he falls for her, she would surely fade away from his life. And, in the end, she did…but not for the same reasons. It was… because of Romeo's will to push her away…that she left him. In this version of the story, Romeo and Juliet live, but Romeo never gets the girl."

He let out a long sigh, his cheeks drying from the cool winter breeze. I fought my own waterfall of tears, gulping to diminish the pain. He stared straight into my watery orbs, silently asking for me to speak. I looked away promptly, his gaze weakening my composure.

Hearing another sigh come from him, he continued his speech. "But…there is a sequel to this story. In this tale, Romeo realized that he did love Juliet after all. Somehow, love was able to sneak up behind him. Light as a mouse, quiet as a raccoon, it pounced and captured him. It took him much longer to find out that he was stuck in love's embrace.

"But…I haven't read any farther than that scene." He hesitated. "I'm assuming that you've read this book from front to back, being the obsessed reader that you are. Tell me…does Romeo get the girl in the end?"

I remained silent, not a word or a breath escaping my lips. I took my precious time answering that question. If I say yes, I fear I would have to schedule another surgery later to mend my broken heart again. If I say no, my mind would constantly be filled with 'what ifs', causing regret to come over me. If I say neither yes nor no, he would surely give me time to think, but procrastinating the inevitable would make matters much worse for me.

I opened my mouth to speak, but closed it again at the last minute. Taking advantage of my hesitation, Alistair decided to speak up his thoughts.

"You don't have to answer me, for now. I've…caused too much damage. Damage will leave scars, even if the injury itself healed." Taking his hand out of his pocket, he wiped his tear-stricken face, erasing the evidence of his breakdown. "But, before I let you decide, I want to say a few things."

Gazing sadly at me, he began his confession. "I've been an awful friend, companion, and-well- a person. I know that…and you do too. I'm not going to stay here and recite a poem declaring my desire to have you again. I'm not going to say that I haven't done anything wrong. I'm not going to stand here and say some crap about how I loved you from the beginning till now.

"What I am going to say is that yes, I did use you. Yes, I was only attracted to you because of your appearance. Yes, I was pining after a dead girl when we were in our relationship. Yes, you were only a distraction, to me. And, yes…I didn't…I-I…wasn't-"

"-in love with you," I finished. I gave him a sad smile, accepting his heart-breaking words. "I know. I know. You didn't have to repeat all of that. You did tell me using your own version of Romeo and Juliet. That was very creative, you know?" I faked a laugh, trying to keep the conversation light.

Taking note of my actions, his painful expression suddenly turned hostile.

"Don't you dare try to pretend everything is alright," warned Alistair, his voice taking a different turn.

Shocked from his voice, I glared at him. "I'm not," I declared, speaking through clenched teeth. It's surprising how the aura in the air can change in a matter of seconds.

"Lie," he spat, sighing in annoyance. "Nothing is alright, Elena. Can't you freaking see that?"

I glared at him. "Of course, I can! But, then again, nothing has ever been 'alright'. Did it actually take you this long to figure that out?"

He remained silent, staring at me with unblinking eyes.

I accepted his silent challenge. "It had never been alright since the day I started loving you. When we were together, everything seemed surreal and fake. I convinced myself that you returned my feelings, even if deep down, I knew that you didn't." I continued to stare him down. "I continued this façade until I couldn't take it anymore. And then, once I'm ready to move on, you come skipping into my life and say that you want to be with me." I chuckled in disbelief. "Man, do I have a messed up life."

I shook my head quietly. "You want your answer? Then, I'll give to you."

Walking up, I approached his still figure, taking the time to memorize his features. The way his eyes lit up with an unknown emotion; the way his hair fell over his watery orbs; the way he stood proud and tall, covering up his vulnerability. I sighed inwardly, knowing that this was probably the last time I would see him.

"You broke my heart, Alistair. Crushed it, crumpled it, whatever you want to call it. You made me stay up all night and cry myself to sleep, fearing for the next day. You made me hollow and broken. You made me into one of those girls that I use to despise for being so weak. You made me…empty."

Silence.

"But you know what? I want to thank you for all of this." I looked at straight into the eye. "Through this experience, I learned to be stronger. I learned that I could always fly again, even after I've drowned. I learned that sometimes, you don't always get what you wish for. I learned that…love may be cruel, but it is also a learning experience. If we never felt sadness or anger, how would we know how it feels like to be loved?"

I smiled gently at him. "I thought I was lucky when I found you. But…maybe, you weren't really my winning lotto ticket." I laughed at the metaphor. "I didn't deserve you...back then. I realized that. But now, I don't think you deserve me either." Taking a deep breath, I said the waited words, sealing the deal.

"I'm sorry."

Alistair slowly fixed his gaze at me. His eyes studied my frame, trying to grasp every detail he could find. Reaching up, I wiped an escaped tear from his cheeks, his hand reaching up to hold mine. His thumb caressed my hand, sending shivers down it. Emotions swirled inside his eyes, too fast for me to catch. Finally, he broke the tear-jerking silence.

"You're wrong," he whispered, gazing softly at me. "I won't lie to you. I believe that I deserve you. I know I do." He sighed sadly. "But… I'm too damn selfless, that I'm willing… to let you go."

Dropping my hand, he reached out and pulled me closer, my head resting under his chin. Wrapping my arms around him, I silently cried, letting a few tears to escape. His tight hold on me never faltered, even when he cried. After a while, he loosened his embrace, giving him enough space to lean down and kiss me on the forehead.

I squeezed my eyes in agony. I savored the moment, the feel of his soft lips on my skin, the tenderness and love behind the kiss, the regret bubbling inside my stomach. I continued to sob, knowing that this would be our last moments together. Ending the kiss, he embraced me once more, his intentions the same as mine. He hummed slowly, the soothing sound calming me down.

"I guess I was too late, huh?" he whispered into my ear. "But, that's alright. This seems like a good punishment for putting you through so much pain." He let out a strained sigh. "I finally understand what you had to go through, since I'm going through it right now."

"You don't deserve to feel this much pain," I mumbled into his chest, shaking my head.

"Neither did you." He raised my chin up, letting me face him. "Never you. But we can't change history."

Eventually, he let go of his grasp, his warmth leaving my body. Stepping back, I stared at him, grinning with false happiness. He returned the gesture, even if I knew that his expression didn't match his feelings. A strained but comfortable silence formed around us, the chilling wind blowing through. The sun's edge touched with the summit of the mountain, beckoning the audience to watch the sunset. Turning at the call, I watched the shining disk slowly disappear from view, waving its final goodbye. How ironic.

"I guess…this is it," mumbled my companion, catching my attention.

I looked at Alistair, noting his sorrowful look. Giving me a small smile, he flicked his eyes back to the sun, watching it make way for the envious moon.

"They say, that the one that gets away…is always bigger than the one that got caught. The words can't be anymore true." Meeting my gaze, he continued. "For me, you'll always be the one that got away."

Walking closer, he abruptly stopped in front of me. Leaning down, he lightly brushed his lips against mine, the touch sending shocks of waves through me. Closing my eyes, I let the feeling wash over me, not caring about the consequences. I felt the world shift, my life changing in over a second.

It ended as soon as it began.

Opening my eyes, I watched as Alistair walked away from me, his retreating form getting smaller. Panicking, I quickly yelled out his name.

"Alistair!"

Startled from the sound, he quickly turned around, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion. Gulping, I remained silent as he continued to stare at me. I didn't know what had caused me to bellow his name, why I wanted to talk to him. But, all I knew was that I needed to say something, before he would vanish into thin air…forever.

"True, Romeo and Juliet never got to be together in the end. But…maybe, in another life, in different circumstances…they would have been together. In another life, Romeo would have made Juliet stay. So he won't have to say that she was the one who got away."

"Are you talking about Shakespeare's version or mine?" he asked, curiosity and pain embedded in his voice.

I forced out a humble smile. "Yours."

He quirked his mouth. "Yes," he agreed. "They would have. But…in this universe, Juliet was no longer Romeo's." He sighed sadly. "Like how you are no longer mine."

He turned around once more, walking away, intentionally getting the last word. However, I wasn't having any of it.

"I may have said goodbye, but I will always be here...just so you know."

He stopped and looked over his shoulder. He gave me a soft nod, his own way of responding to my statement. His eyes showed his regret and love, the image imprinted in my mind. My chest tightened, full of raging emotions. Finally, he gave his last genuine smile.

A smile that showed his respect for my decision. A smile that showed his love for me. A smile that translated to his final goodbye, his thank you.

Gathering up my will, I returned his gesture, pouring all of my emotions into that one facial expression.

He must have been satisfied with my response for he raised his hand and waved at me, before continuing on. Strolling through the park, he gradually ventured his way out of my life, entering a new chapter in his book. His dark silhouette slowly grew smaller, his frame matching those around him.

Smiling slightly, I whispered a few words into the wind, before he finally faded into the faceless crowd of strangers.

"In another life, I would have been your girl."