He was the flame, I was the oxygen; together we burned.
Without a single glance behind me I started walking away with my chin up, refusing to give into the tears.
Until his voice stopped me.
"How can you walk away? How can you act like you don't care, like I mean nothing to you?" He shouted, anger and sadness making his voice crack and causing me to flinch.
I whirled around.
"What do you want me to say, Zach? That I'm in love with you despite everything? That you managed to bring out the good in me and made me actually start to like myself? That I forgive you and if you just accepted me, I'd run into your arms?" I yelled at him, pain reverberating through every single word.
He stared at me, at a loss for words.
"Would it make a difference?" I whispered. "If I told you all of that, would you pick me over her?"
He looked away, setting his jaw.
No - that was his answer. I had expected it, it was inevitable but it still hurt so much. It knocked the breath out of my lungs.
Hope. An emotion I hadn't realised I had held on to until now. Such a stupid, useless emotion. I should have known better.
Carefully, I slipped back on the mask that I had become well accustomed to and built up my walls with impenetrable steel.
"That's why I can walk away now and pretend to not feel anything," I said in a low emotionless voice, preparing myself for the truth of my next words, "Because even if I did... it wouldn't change a thing."