It feels a little bit like falling; like choking on air and breathing too fast, too heavy. The way her stomach drops, the way adrenaline and fear and sorrow courses through her veins and screams in her mind. It feels a lot like falling.
(She guesses she is falling, in a way.)
He’s just sat there, with his dumb smile and kind eyes and she sort of hates him for it. The band on his finger glimmers in the sunlight and she’s so very tempted to take the damned thing and cast it into the ocean.
(He’s staring at her now, smile a little wilted and eyes concerned and she realizes she’s been quiet a little too long.)
“You’re getting married, huh?”
The absolute cheer in her voice makes her want to throw up; it’s saccharine sweet and bitter in her mouth. His smile comes back full-force at her words and she’s sort of disappointed he doesn’t notice it.
(She’s falling again, just like the day she met him - falling, tripping over her feet and nearly drowning because her dumb ass doesn’t know how to swim.
She wants to cry).
“Yeah, a couple of days ago. Alex is excited, says that you have to come to the wedding.”
The last statement softens her anger a bit, reminds her that Alex has been nothing but kind to her; reminds her that she herself is the only to blame for having things turn out this way.
(And oh, she actually means it.)
“When’s the wedding gonna be?”
He shrugs at her question, smile playing on his lips.
“Spring wedding most likely. Maybe May. Oh hey, I gotta go. See ya around, okay?”
She sees the smile in his eyes and nods.
(She’s done fucked up.)
He leaves, and she’s left alone in this quiet little corner of the park they’d claimed as theirs 3 years ago.
(Guess it’s just hers now.)
She wishes she drowned that day.
A mess, she’s a complete and utter mess. She wants to cry and scream and break things (things he’d gifted her) but she’s a sentimental fool with too much self-control so she throws herself onto the bed and thinks.
(She’d been lost years ago, sad and wandering aimlessly. Things just never worked out right for her, things just always turned bad. They’d met and he’d been her only ray of light in this darkness she’s found herself stuck in.
Everyone else had left her behind and now he would too.
She wasn’t ready to be alone again.)
Her parents come visit and sit her down. She’d been expecting this for a while now, but some part of her never expected this to happen. Some part of her had so fervently hoped that today would be the day she proudly proclaimed that she was together with him.
(That part of her was so dreadfully naìve.)
They say it’s about time she settles down, says that she’s nearing her 29th birthday so it’s only right she does so before it’s too late. She whole-heartedly agrees.
(She only wished it was with someone else.)
But she always listens to her parents, always listens when it comes to important decisions.
(And it’s true she’s never been happy in her life, unlike her elder siblings, but she’s also not dead in a ditch somewhere so hey, silver linings.)
They tell her about potential suitors and she continues to be the obedient child she was fated to be.
(She wants to die again.)
It’s a bright affair, his wedding. It’s loud and bold and happy and she’s all the more glad when she sees the sun shining through the newlyweds. She’s silent as she sees the bride walk down the aisle, clamping down on the urge to stand and shout out her refusal.
(Alex had known him before her, after all; they’d fallen in love and broke it off but now they were together again. And she and Alex had went through the same things, the same circumstances, so who was she to refuse her this? Who was she to ruin the other woman’s happy ending?
At least one of them would get what they wanted.)
It’s time for the reception. She greets the couple briefly, a tired smile on her lips as she kisses both on their cheeks. They disappear from view, moving on to greet the other guests and she drops off her gift, silently leaving the venue with regret heavy in her heart.
Her wedding is big and boisterous. People are laughing, smiling and enjoying themselves. He and Alex are there, part of her guest list. They speak again, briefly, and she excuses herself to greet other guests.
(Her eyes are dull, just as they’d been so long ago.)
Her husband doesn’t address it, and she’s glad.
(She never tells him she would leave, never tells him where she’s going. She’s a thousand miles away and he’s wondering where the person he shared everything with had gone.)
He’d been opening the remaining wedding gifts he’d gotten when he finally finds hers.
(Liatris and red chrysanthemum seeds.)
He wonders if he’s broken what he once helped rebuild.
(He never sees her again).
He’d given her Adam’s needle and Gerbera seeds.
She weeps in the privacy of her ever-silent home.
( She plants the seeds he’s given her, yellow acacia blooming amongst them.)
What a mess she’s become.
A degree she regrets, a job she can never be happy in and a husband she cares for but can never love. Her daughter has eyes as cold as her husband’s and words as sharp as hers’. They sit side-by-side and watch the television in front of them.
She sees him on there, hair a bright pink and eyes the mahogany she remembers them being.
(She recalls all the times she’s went to one of his shows, all the times she’s helped him write one of his songs, and she’s ruefully glad he’s made it.)
He speaks of a friend he once knew, reminisces of the times they’d spent together and the way she’d always be there. Says that one day, she just upped and left and he never hears from her again.
Says that he sees yellow acacia and gerbera on the bench in that little corner of theirs sometimes. Says that he wonders how she is now.
She gets up, ruffles her daughter’s hair and moves to the kitchen to make herself some tea.
(She supposes they both had regrets; supposes that she was never meant to be truly happy with her life.)
But at least someone remembers her.
At least he’ll always remember her, and she him.
In that quiet little corner of the park they’d claimed as theirs, the flowers they’d left behind stayed untouched.
(Memories and regrets and things that could’ve been but will never be.)
It feels a lot like falling.