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I stepped off the plane and into the airport. I grabbed my bag and walked outside to where Josh had said he would meet me. I saw his car idling after searching the long line of other cars for a few minutes. He looked up from his phone when he saw me walking towards him. He got out. “Hey,” he said softly.

“Hi,” I replied. He looked at me, his gaze steady. If this were a movie, this would be where he lost control of his senses and kissed me passionately. People would stare and mothers would shield their children’s eyes.

But this wasn’t a movie. I was here for closure. I had decided on the plane that I would talk everything out with Josh, just so there weren’t any unresolved conflicts. Then, I would pack up everything and either go stay with my parents or Mollie until I found my own place.

He silently took my suitcase from me and put it in the trunk of the car. He opened the door for me, then got into the driver’s seat.

“How was your flight?” he asked.

“Fine, thanks.”

He paused for second. “Clara, I’m really sorry and-”

“Can we please wait until we get home to have this conversation?”

“Okay.”

“Thank you.”

The car ride was silent after that. When we got home, I wordlessly started up the stairs.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“I need to pack up the rest of my stuff.” Screw Mollie’s advice. Being around him was just too painful. I needed to leave. Right now.

“Clara!” He followed me upstairs. “Just talk to me, please.”

I started gathering the stuff of mine that had accumulated in guest bedroom over the week or so that I had been there. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

“Yes there is! I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, you were wrong.”

He started pulling things out of the bag I was packing them into and putting them back in the drawers. He was unpacking faster than I could pack. “What can I do to fix this?”

“Stop unpacking my bag.”

He picked the bag up and dumped it out on the floor. “Don’t leave. We need to talk.”

“You’re being really immature right now.”

“So are you.”

“Don’t fight fire with fire.” I knelt down on the floor and began repacking the bag.

He knelt down next to me and grabbed my hands in his. “Just five minutes. That’s all I ask. I just want you to hear what I have to say, and then you can leave.”

“Fine.” I stood up and sat on the edge of the bed. I set a timer on my phone for five minutes. I showed it to him. “Five minutes.”

He knelt on the floor in front of me, taking my hands in his again. “Clara, I’m begging on my knees for you to stay.”

“Nice. How long did it take you to come up with that one?”

He ignored my comment. “What I did was wrong, and I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have lied to you. A relationship is all about trust and I betrayed that trust. I didn’t ever stop to think about how hard it was for you. I was drowning in self-pity and it was disgusting. I should have been there for you. You’ve been going through such a hard time lately and I chose to ignore that in favor of forcing you to sort your feelings out. I should have just left you alone to figure these things out by yourself, on your own time.

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