The Was That Wasn't Anymore

"What happened to the love we both knew,

We both chased,

Hanging on a cigarette,

You need me,

You'll burn me."

Jimmy Eat World (Disintegration)

I could tell just by one glance at him that something was different. I sat across the room, a drink in my hand and pen in the other. He didn't say anything to anyone else, just walked right up to me, took away the drink, and pulled me away from the crowded room that paid no attention to us.

His room was messy; it was always messy. He had no closet space because I had taken it all up with clothes that I hadn't worn since high school. His room would have still been messy even if he'd had the closet space, I mused silently to myself as he sat me down on his bed.

I pulled my legs so they were cross-legged while he sat down, looking agitated. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it, though it didn't seem to calm him down. This was odd. A cigarette always calmed him down, helped him think, helped him breathe, though in the most ironic of senses. I tilted my head.

"What's wrong?" I asked quietly.

He stared at me for a long time, with eyes that used to read me so easily, that used to catch me in my little white lies within moments of them exiting my lips. Those eyes had seen so much, had felt so much, had cried so much, it just didn't seem fair. In those sad, soul-reading eyes was something that I'd never seen before.

It only took a second, but I knew. We both knew.

He kissed me fiercely, as if repentant for what he had just conveyed, but it was too late; he couldn't take it back. There had been too much done beforehand – too many angry words – for this to simply burn itself out. It needed extinguishing.

I broke away and touched his lips with my fingers, gazing at him, searching for the man that I had loved. He still looked the same, but he wasn't there. A single tear slipped down my face as I watched him blink back his own.

Wordlessly I stood and left with but a small wave. He looked more wounded than he should have. I wanted to go back to him, wanted to say that it was okay, that it wasn't over and that we could start again, pretend it had never happened, but I knew better. He wouldn't mean to, he never meant to. But he would burn me.

In my heart I had known it would never last, but I thought I had been cynical, hadn't been giving him a chance to make it up to me.

My heart had been right all along.

A/N: I seem to be writing too many shorts based on songs, but I can't seem to help it. Feedback is greatly appreciated.