Maria's pov:

When I had no tears left, I broke away from Clara’s comforting embrace, rose to my feet and headed unsteadily to the living-room.

“Are you okay?” Her soft voice broke through my mental haze; she had obviously followed me, concerned as she was about me.

I raised an eyebrow in response and allowed a small sardonic grin to break through my bleak features.

Was she kidding me? I was most definitely not okay!

Numbness had taken over and I was almost sure I had become indolent. I was a soulless body.

I looked without seeing through the bag he had brought and couldn’t help but feel my chest getting all the more constricted each time I remembered what he had said. He thought I would choose Tyler over him –as if!

“You need to understand that I would never leave you willingly unless you ask me to…” I remembered him saying on our first date, that night on the beach –that very same fateful night he told me he was a vampire.

My lips twitched at the memory, but I couldn’t manage a smile. Though according to what he said that night, I had every reason to believe he wasn’t leaving me by choice. He was leaving me because he believed I loved another guy; because he preferred breaking up with me first instead of waiting for what he assumed to be unavoidable. He was seeking my happiness above everything else; didn’t that entail that he loved me?
Despite the uneasiness I felt, the incertitude looming over, the bone-deep sorrow; I couldn’t be surer of that; he loved me!  

That knowledge filled me with a new-found hope.

“I love him,” my voice came out low and broken but you could still sense the conviction despite the sadness.

“You should have told him that,” she retorted softly, her eyes understanding even though she had no clue whatsoever about what was going on.

“I didn’t get the chance to do so,” I replied on a sigh, remembering how I couldn’t utter a single word earlier, how I didn’t manage to explain. Shock does that to you!

“There’s always tomorrow,” she winked encouragingly at me.

I nodded and attempted to smile but my lips froze mid-way when I remembered what he had said earlier, “He’ll be out of the hospital tomorrow and I’ll be out of your life by then.”

He wouldn’t move, would he?

The mere thought made me fall back on the sofa. I couldn’t fathom the idea of not having him around. My world wouldn’t be the same, my life wouldn’t be the same; hell I wouldn’t be the same.

“I would have made you forget all about me…” he had once told me, when confronted to the question, “What if I had rejected you?”

I started to panic when it dawned on me that he actually could indeed make me forget all about him, before, after, or even without leaving town!

I felt the bile rising in my throat, my eyes filling with tears, my mouth going dry and my chest growing heavy at the heart-wrenching possibility.

“Shit, I have to go find him.” I exclaimed, worried as hell it might be too late already. He was an impulsive vampire after all! “Now,” I added, feeling Clara’s protests on the way. 

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