XXIV. Bubbler

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n. it's been a while! But I finally have time to come back to this story and finish it. this story will be ending like a few chapters after this one. Like i've said previously. thank you so much. I apologize if you have to go back and reread (which is probably the case). I promised I'd finish this book and I'm doing it (like 10 months later lolz).

"This was just a summer, Harry, " I insist, shaking my head. In my head, I was finally being realistic. "In time, very soon actually, I'd be going back with my family. I-I'll be studying again, moving on with my life. And I spent this summer ignoring that fact," I sputter in defeat, squinting my teary eyes. "Which was a really stupid move," I croak quietly.

Bright green eyes flicker between my face and the wall, jaw clenched as he gulps painfully. His nostrils flare slightly and he blinks rapidly a few times, tuning away from my face. He gazes down at his feet, not saying a word. I'm convinced he doesn't have anything else to say. That he knows I'm right.

"Stupid..," He repeats quietly, looking up at me again. There is a look of general pain on his face; his furrowed eyebrows indicting that it pains him to swallow, his eyes squinted a little just like mine.

"It was stupid of me to love you. It was...naive and messy. I didn't for once think that this could end wrongly...and it did."

"Who said this is ending?"

"I am," I respond, looking away because I don't want him to see me cry even more than he has. It was a naive move to ignore all the realities of our dainty situation, and the fragility of my feelings further proves that I should have never let this happen.

He's silent again. But he doesn't look away this time. "I love you, Alexis," he says so softly and quietly, that if there was another body breathing here, we'd miss it.

My jaw clenches and I inhale shakily to keep myself from letting my emotions get the best of me, as they usually do. "But I don't want you to."

"Yes you do," he persists, enclosing the uncomfortable, distance we had between us with just a few steps. Our bodies are close. "You do," he repeats. "I hurt you, a-and if you don't want to forgive me and you want to leave, then okay." He physically shows restraint, and reluctance. "But I'm just going to keep loving you."

"Stop," I sigh quietly, not being able to bear looking at him so I continue to glare down at my shoes. Until I close my eyes.

He's close enough that I can smell the musky, faint cologne smell of his. I can hear him breathing and his lips are close enough that I can just feel the tension between mine, in which we so badly want to meet. I'm hating myself deeply because my pride is telling me that he took my trust and destroyed it, but everything else is itching closer to him.

"Alexis."

I raise my hand, covering over my cheek. "I don't want to forgive you just because you say sorry and tell me that you love me," I manage to say, looking up at him with the courage I managed to squeeze out of myself. He stares back. "I have to leave."

"You love me," he tries again, voice staggering, but with more conviction.

"Yes! I do!" I raise my voice, frustrated with myself because I'm saying things that just contradict everything I said before. My voice is shaky and my pace is quick. "Because it happened that way. And -- I don't know. The summer is nearly over. That's just the way things will go. And you're making this difficult--"

"It's already difficult!" He shouts, and it doesn't startle me. "It already is, Alexis," he says with less volume, eyes frantically searching my face. I can't bring myself to say anything, and we just stare.

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