Author: symBIOtic.horizon PM
Revised/Rewritten. "Maybe we weren't supposed to move on. Maybe we were supposed to find one another again, and that's why we've been stuck in this limbo for so long."Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 2 - Words: 5,493 - Updated: 08-13-12 - Published: 08-11-12 - id: 3049657
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"So, what are you going to do, Ella?"
When I was nine, my mother gave me a snow globe. It was one of those cheesy ones, with the tiny town living peacefully inside the glass – completely oblivious to the world around them.
She had brought it back from Greece – which, honestly, was why I loved it so much. I would spend hours just shaking it, watching the fake snow petals fall on the tiny Grecian town. I would wish that I could go there one day whenever I shook it – convinced that all I had to do was shake a globe and I'd be there.
My mom never had the opportunity to go back to Greece as she'd promised we would do together. After she left, I would sit on my bed, staring at the snow globe, thinking about all the empty promises she'd made. I would shake the globe, wishing and praying to God or whoever was up there that she would come back.
The globe was broken the following Christmas, when my father – in a fit of drunken rage – tore our house apart looking for the corkscrew. I was 17 when this happened; I remember all too well the terror I felt, seeing my father so powerless.
I left our tiny Greenwich Village apartment when I graduated the following spring. Though I had wished and prayed that it was all a cruel joke, I soon realized that death does not play around. My mother was not coming back; and, admittedly, neither was my father. Instead of waiting around for all the inevitable graduation parties that my friends would hold, I hightailed it to North Carolina, where two of my mom's old college friends lived.
I never looked back.
I snapped to the present, broken from the thoughts of my very much fucked up life. Of all the things that I had to focus on right now, I chose instead to focus on the fact that I hadn't been dealt an ideal hand in life. It was, indeed, something that would most likely be case studied for years to come; but it was not what I needed to have my attention concentrated on right now.
"Life's really not fair, is it Alana?" I asked, wringing my hands together.
The ocean looked so inviting right now. The waves were calling my name. It was like conditioning – every time I heard the waves, my legs seemed to automatically want to go somewhere. They wanted to run, though I knew today, running (at least in that particular sense) was not an option.
"You've been dealt a really shitty hand so far, Ella," Alana said, as if she'd just been reading my thoughts moments before. "And I have no idea why it was you who had to lose both of her parents so early on – right when you needed them. But you did. And then… somehow, someway, you magically seemed to be given the best person on the planet to love; and he left, too."
I sighed, drying off the dish I had in my hands. Washing dishes was seriously not what I wanted to do right now. I wanted to be anywhere but here in this situation again. I wanted to have it all figured out, really.
"And I found someone new to love," I muttered, placing the dish in the cabinet.
Alana shrugged, seemingly at a loss for words. I knew better, though. She'd have a response for me in the time it took for me to find another dish to wash. While I was quick on my feet, she was quick with a retort. We each had our own strengths.
"Until the real love of your life came back," she said then.
I should have been surprised that she had phrased it that way, but I honestly wasn't. Sometimes, the truth hurts; but sometimes, the truth just… hits us in the face and makes us realize that everything else that we thought was true really wasn't.
"I have no idea what I'm going to do, Alana," I said, ceasing my search for another dish. I didn't need another dish to wash. I needed to figure out what I was doing – with my life, with my time. I needed answers, and the only person who really had the answers was, well… I had no idea where he was, actually.
"My life was so perfect, Alana," I said. "It was perfectly fine until he came back."
"It wasn't perfectly fine, though, Elle," Alana replied. "You thought it was okay because you'd found someone else to occupy your time. But even I knew better. You were happy, yeah; but that wasn't the kind of happiness you needed. Or maybe it was and I have no idea what I'm talking about. It surely wouldn't be the first time."
"I thought I was happy, I really did. And then he just—"
"He did what he always does," Alana finished for me. "He made you realize that there was someone else out there who has wanted you and all of your imperfections since the beginning. He made you realize that you weren't as happy as you thought you were?"
"You seem to be lobbying hard for—"
Alana held her hand up. "No. I'm not lobbying for anyone. I'm not Team anyone. I'm Team Ella, because she's been a kick ass roommate and she deserves all the happiness in the world. Look, Elle, I refuse to be the person who gives you a list of reasons why you should be with one versus the other."
I sighed. Thank God I wasn't going to get that lecture. I felt like I'd been giving myself that lecture since this whole ordeal started just six months ago. I felt like I'd been going in circles – though I had felt like I'd been going in circles for much longer, I could admit.
Sometimes it isn't about who's the best person, really; it's about who the best person is for you. I'd realized that long ago. I'd realized it the day I met him, really. And I realized it when he left and I found someone else. I realized it when he came back. He had a knack for making me realize just how much it meant to have someone who was good for me – not just someone who was good.
That was what made this ten times more difficult. I was good with numbers. I was good with facts and charts and figures. It was the feelings part that always got me. I could admit, for the first time, that I had no idea just who was best for me.
"I just…" Alana trailed off, gathering her thoughts. "Ella, I want you to be with the person who makes you the most you. I want you to be with the person that just… brings out the best in you. The person who deserves every last part of you – scars and all."
I froze at her words. And suddenly, I was being transported. I was going back… back to our first fight, when the same words had been uttered by a man who was just as lost and confused as I was – albeit for much different reasons.
"I'm not going anywhere, Ella. I'm not leaving you. You're worth it, Ella, I swear. Scars and all – you're worth it."
I looked to my roommate, who seemed to have taken note of my moment of clarity. She smiled at me, watching as realization dawned on me.
"You have somewhere to be, don't you?" She asked, grabbing my bag from off the kitchen table.
She tossed it to me, and I'm surprised I even had the wherewithal to catch it. I threw it over my shoulder, fishing my keys from one of the pockets. I bounded to the door, throwing it open and inhaling the warm morning air.
"I'll call you if—"
"You'll call me if you need me, Ella." Alana pulled me into a hug as she interrupted me for the umpteenth time that morning. "You won't need me though," she whispered. "You don't need anyone but—"
"I know," I said, finally having the opportunity to cut her off.
I smiled, hugging her back quickly. "Take care of yourself, Fitzgerald."
"I make no promises, Ms. James," she teased.
Letting her go, I bounded down the stairs to my car, fumbling with my keys as I tried to get them in the ignition. Today, I'd be running toward it – the chaos, the heartache – and to say I was nervous of what was to come would be a huge understatement.
I realized, then, as I pulled out on the road, that there was one thing I'd failed to remember about that snow globe my mom had gotten me. Sure, the little town looked perfect from way high up; but late at night, I'd take out my tiny flashlight and inspect the houses. I'd wish that I could be in one of them. That fantasy lasted a few days, until I came upon an error – one that was not easily noticeable.
One of the tiny houses had no windows. I remember wondering briefly if it was just supposed to be a barn, until I saw the teeny little tables that had been set up outside of the building. It was a house alright – a house without windows.
And it was then that I realized that no matter how perfect things looked from afar, there were always going to be imperfections. Maybe the people who lived in that house enjoyed being outdoors more. They had a door; maybe they just left it open. All that mattered was that they were happy.
I smiled to myself, trying to remember how long it took me to realize no people actually lived in there. It may have been a year or more. It didn't really matter, though.
The sun was beginning its descent over the water as I drove quickly to my destination. No, it didn't matter if he and I never lived in an eight-bedroom house with three kids and a dog. It didn't matter if we never made a trillion dollars a year. It didn't even matter if we fought every day (which I knew we would do). All that mattered was we were happy.
And all I had ever really wanted was to be happy with him.