Warning : The chapter contains scenes depicting graphic yet severe violence, readers are advised to read further on their own risk.
Lizzie was here, safe and sound. I was ecstatic and so much over-whelmed about the fact that Lizzie was at my house and despite shit load of work pending here I left the office after letting Emma know about my early leave. She had a grin on her face and I just shook my head while walking out of her cabin. It was somewhat 5 in evening and while on my way back to home I picked up red and pink peonies.
I was standing at the door of my house with flowers in my hand. Blowing out an uneasy breath I push open the door and walk in to be greeted with pin drop silence. A frown forms on my forehead when I see that a book was placed upside down on the coffee table beside an empty mug with Lizzie's phone. Keeping my strides hushed and hurried I search the kitchen but was met with nothing.
There rings a sniff in my ears coming from my bedroom. I stalk towards it and push open the slightly ajar door. My closet door was open and Lizzie was sitting on the ground and for sure the sniffing came from her. I silently walk to her and horror widens my eyes. The fucking box, fucking damn it, she found the box. I gulp and walk closer to find her crying her eyes out while clutching the postcards to her chest.
Unease crawls up on my skin, gripping me by my throat. I gulp the lump once. This wasn't what I was expecting to come home to. This wasn't how I pictured I was going to see Lizzie, and definitely not clutching the secrets of my past to her chest while tears stream down her cheeks at a wild rate. My mind had gone numb and now I had no clue to what I was going to answer her when she asks me about that because all this time I knew what I was doing and the reason as well but now she was going to need answers and there were no words left for me to speak because the one I knew I had written them down years ago and were in front of her heart.
I kneel on the floor, dropping the flowers beside my foot and whisper, "Lizzie?" She gasps and looks up to me. Her face was stained with tears, eyes puffy and nose in red shade. She blinks once, "Jeremy" –she says- "what is the meaning of ..."
"You weren't meant to see it."
"None of it?" she asks looking as hopeful as ever.
I sigh, "It was for my sake." She goes silent for a moment. Lizzie's eyes were on the postcards that were in her hands lying on her lap. She sniffs, "you were never going to tell me that, weren't you?" Her head was hanging low and eyes on the things she'd splayed on the floor in front of her out from the box. There was the first question and now I had to do it.
"That last day of our school" –I say- "the reason I followed you was that I was going to say it." "but...", she looks up to me with watery eyes. I pick up from her word and continue, "but you were in a hurry. I was determined to let you know what I felt but it didn't happen the way I wished it would've."
The tears pour out from her eyes. My heart had sunk to my stomach and mind had gone pitch black. "Why?" she whispers in between her sobs. In the same instance, I pull myself closer to her; take her face in my hands, "all these years when you were not here I had convinced myself that I was over the past but I couldn't and didn't want to put it back so I had to let it out and this was my only way."
She blinks once and sniffs, "what" –hiccups- "would you have done, hadn't I survived the fire?"
"Never believe in love or finding love again."
My instincts told me she made it out of fire and was at some place safer and better for her but never in my life had I thought once that what I would have done had Lizzie not made it out of fire. I knew I would've maybe accepted the fact but there was this one time where the thought of losing Lizzie had crossed my mind once and when I closed my eyes the world had stopped and turned black. It was the future I had seen for myself because if not Lizzie then the world was useless to me so maybe I just lit a match and threw it to the ground, turning everything to ash.
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