Goodbye

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"Hello?" Her voice slurs as she answers a little too loudly. She's already drunk? I think. It's not even five in the evening. But who am I to judge her? I take a swig myself from the fourth bottle in the last hour.

"Jude, it's me." I speak but what comes out are barely audible whispers. My throat still hurts from the weight of the tears unshed and my face alternates between feeling numbness and pain from the blows my own brother delivered. Are they together right now? My mind asks. Did she ultimately choose him? I try, unsuccessfully, to ignore these painful thoughts as I wait for her response.

The background voices of a pub, no bar, are still there but there is a sort of stillness and silence that answers my reply. "Cam," her voice cracks when she does respond, "Why are you calling me?"

Simple words, an innocent question but my heart is squeezed painfully at the implication. She doesn't even want to talk to me. "Who else can I call, Jude? Who else can I ever call who would understand? No one else can and Logan isn't picking up. He wouldn't either." There is a begging note in my voice, asking her to not hang up. Wait, no that's a lie. I'm begging her but it is not just about 'not hanging up'. In fact, it's about so many things that are way beyond 'not hanging up'. Though in a way, it is. Focus, Cam! If I could, I would've hated her for this. For making me beg. But how could I; when love was all I could feel for her?

My voice echoes in this dark studio that still bears her scent. And the scent of alcohol, my brain adds and I smile. But then she responds. "You can't, Cam. It hasn't even been… wait, how long has it been?" Someone on the other side, a bartender I presume, tells her that she's been there for almost an hour. "Yes, an hour. I… wait, what are we talking about?" Her voice slurs a bit too much to be understandable and she pauses before continuing in a slightly more clear way, "Oh, yes, the call. You can't call me only an hour after… uh, what happened."

I suppress a groan as she goes on about how she isn't willing to choose when she doesn't even know herself. Oh please, spare me that garbage. Now, even the studio, which was moments ago filled with the remains of her presence, is now suffocating. The ghostly echoes of her final "no" fill the entire studio.

"Choose me. Things can never get back to what they were but I know you like me more." I say it outright and then continue. "Give us a chance. We'll move away, far away, if that's what you want. And one day, when we are ready, the bridges burnt with Logan shall be mended, if you want."

She sighs heavily in response and my gut sinks, realizing what it means. "You haunt me, Jude." I plead, not letting her interrupt me. "Not a moment goes by when don't see your image burned inside my eyelids. I'm bloody losing my mind for you. I can't even play any song without thoughts of you. What we broke cannot be repaired but Logan will get over this." I selfishly add, hoping it to help my case. "He'll get over the crush on you but I can't. It isn't just a crush anymore. I lost a huge part of me with Arabella Park, Jude, I can't lose all that's left of me with you too."

"You'll never lose me." Her voice slurs as she solemnly responds and I almost wish she were here so I could shake her till she was sober and understanding what I meant. What I said was actually downplaying the truth I couldn't say. This town, every road and every street, was marked by her presence. All my songs now felt like dedicated to her or us. Even the darker ones now had some undertones special only to us. All I could think of was about her. And what had happened.

Finally the two of us had confronted her in this studio only and asked her to make a choice and stop playing with our hearts. To make a choice. She hesitated and tried to stop us but we didn't. And so she broke both of our hearts. She made a pathetic excuse of 'still discovering herself' and 'unwilling to let this choice become her biggest regret'. Her 'no' to both of us, to me, still rings in my mind. And it taints everything within me with a painful truth. She rejected me. She rejected us.

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