Tears Aren't Pretty

I knew at once when he walked into my room that he was upset. Perhaps tonight wasn't a good time. Or maybe it never would be.

He had a tablet and a few papers stuffed under his arm, his briefcase in one hand, a cell phone in another. He wouldn't notice my new nightgown or that he was nearly two hours late. But I wouldn't say anything, of course. All that mattered was that he was here.

"Damn advertising company," he muttered, closing his cell phone and placing it on the bedside tape. "Don't they know you have better things to do than to endorse sun block?"

I forced a laugh, but I was so nervous it must have sounded off for he made a face at me.

Still he said nothing of it. He simply came over to my side of the bed and started laying things out in front of me. The tablet, I found, was exactly what I had imagined it to be, a concept sketch for the new cover.

"Do you like it?" he asked, loosing his tie. "We wanted it to be light and pretty this time around."

"I'm crying," I said, simply, running my finger along the path of the tears.

"Well, I figured you and Tori could go watch a sad movie first or something," he said, laughing. "Of course they also have fake tears if you'd want them instead."

"But real tears don't look like this." I said, watching the pencil lines blur under my touch. "Tears aren't pretty."

He made an annoyed grunt and walked away. He wasn't used to my protesting. I supposed I shouldn't bother.

"So what did you do this evening?" he said, beginning to undress. "Any new songs?"

"Not yet."

I was very aware of the way he folded he clothes neatly on the chair. He wouldn't be staying tonight.

"We only have a few weeks, Sarah," he sighed.

"I know," I said, gathering up his papers.

"Did you get to the gym like I asked you?" He tried.

"No, I'm sorry." I handed him his work.

"Well, do get there this weekend, at least," he said, sounding disappointed. "Can't have you gaining anymore weight. It's not very pretty."

"I know," I repeated.

"I think we need to get you out of this stuffy apartment," he said, looking around. "Some place by the beach where you could get more inspiration. Nothing in this endless Hell could be inspiring."

"I wouldn't say that," I replied, softly.

"Well, either way, it wouldn't be a bad idea for me to get away either."

My breath caught. Was he saying what I thought he was?

"Y-you mean we could get a place together?"

His face turned stern.

"Sarah, I told you in the beginning that nothing serious would happen between us."

My eyes were already filling. "But things have changed since then!"

"Nothing's changed at all," he said, looking angrier by the second. "I warned you. You went into this completely aware."

"I…"

"Let's just forget this," he said. "We don't need to make this complicated."

"But… I love you," I said, now nearly sobbing. "I thought you… maybe you could…"

His eyes turned sad, then.

"I'm sorry, Sarah." He kissed my forehead. "But I can't love you."

I cried in his arms. I wasn't sure how long. It was short and long at the same time. Just like every other time we met. Finally, he spoke.

"I can't do this… not if you're going to get too close." He pulled away from me. "I'm sorry, Sarah."

He put on his clothes, gathered his things and, looked at me for only a moment. "I didn't want to admit it… Maybe you were right. But perhaps it would make a good song."

He left me to cry alone. It took hours before I could bring myself to look at my reflection. My eyes were blacked as though I had been wearing makeup. My skin was blotchy, and my lips were swollen. This was what it took to make him believe me. Tears aren't pretty.

I saw he had left me the drawing. I picked up a pen and began writing lyrics over the fake face. Tomorrow I would go looking for a house. But I wouldn't do it for him. And I wouldn't do it for me. I would soon have someone else to consider. Someone far more important.

Looking at the finished song, I sighed. It was pretty. I didn't want to admit he was right either.

A/N: I wrote the story for a title… and a very close friend of mine. Sort of Reira (NANA) inspired as well, if you know who that is, but using a character I have been looking to use for awhile. Hopefully enjoyable. Thanks to Ally for looking it over.