Sara sat with her hands folded in front of her, her legs crossed, staring intently at her cup of coffee. She watched the steam coming off of it rise and swirl and turn until it at last evaporated into nothing, as she wished she could. I should get home, she thought. I have things I need to get done. The house is a mess, and lord knows when I last cooked a meal. But she never moved. Instead she sipped on her coffee and continued to stare into space, absently tracing shapes on the table with her fingers. Her thoughts raced around her, beating her softly with their wings until her head hurt. She brushed tears away from her eyes before they had a chance to fall.
Why was she crying? Why was she mourning something that had been over for almost 2000 days? Surely 5 years was long enough to let go of someone she loved. She shook her head and gulped the lukewarm coffee greedily. Who was she kidding; she loved him now more than ever.
"Sara?" A voice by her ear suddenly sounded, rising her from the deep recesses of her mind. She turned slowly. The woman who ran the coffee shop was looking at her, a motherly gaze hovering behind her gentle hazel eyes.
"There is someone here looking for you, Sara. Should I send them over?" Sara shrugged.
"It's more than likely someone from the office. Did they say, Isabelle?" Isabelle shook her head.
"No, child. They told me nothing, only asked if I had seen you. I haven't answered yet. Would you like me to send them away?" Sara thought for a brief moment, then sighed.
"No. They'll find me eventually. Go ahead and send them over." Isabelle placed her tiny hand on Sara's shoulder and squeezed before wandering slowly back to the front counter. Sara watched her go a few steps, then turned back to the coffee. She wondered who could be looking for her, especially here. This little shop was her sanctuary, her solace. Her serenity. No one at work disturbed her on her day off, and even a bill collector would've called. Then again, they would've called the house. No one had her cell number. In a sudden flash of terror she considered something was wrong. Someone back in her hometown was dead. Or her mother was sick. Would her brother come find her? No, she corrected herself, her stepfather would come after her. Her brother was still too young. Finally, she decided that if something was wrong back home, someone would've called. Someone always calls first. So who could be here? She glanced up from her coffee cup and nearly choked on her own spit. Jack Creekmore. She thought she had left him back in Oklahoma. Sara took in his tall figure, his confident walk, his shaggy, un-kept hair, and finally, his deep eyes, which seemed to be staring straight into her soul. He walked over and stood by her, hope etched into all his features.
"Sara? My Sara?" Sara was momentarily frozen, unsure of what to make of this blast from her past. Should she follow her first instict and tackle him in a hug? Or should she jump out the window and take off down the street at a dead run? She finally decided to do neither and continued to stare at her coffee cup as if he had never said a word.
"Sara? Sara Bayless?" This time Sara turned her head. She did her best to keep her eyes from betraying any thoughts, but when his blue eyes met her gray ones she felt the pain, heartache, and sorrow of living the past 5 years on her own flood through her features. She quickly shoved all her emotions back into her bottle, but not before he saw them. His gaze softened and he covered her hand with his.
"Sara, do you remember me?" His hands are warm, she mused to herself. Her thoughts began to beat her again, trying to get her to snap out of it. She blinked and swallowed three times before she found her voice.
"How could I forget? I only loved you for 4 years, you know." Her voice broke on the last word. Jack squeezed her hand before sitting down across from her. Sara stared at the table.
"Sara, when you left...I really missed you. I wanted you to stay with me."
"I gave you the opportunity to say so. You never did."
"But you knew, didn't you?" Sara thought about this for a moment before answering.
"I had an idea, yes."
"And you still left." Jack's voice had turned slightly bitter at this point. Sara looked him in the eye. For once, she didn't have to force herself to glare.
"I told you I would. I even told you where I was going. And I gave you every chance in the book to come with me, or stop me, or something. You refused. You had a girl, remember?" It was Jack's turn to look down. Sara couldn't keep the pain from her voice as she continued. "I was willing to give you everything I had, Jack. Everything. It's not a whole lot, but it's still all I've got. And you made it perfectly clear that you'd rather have her." Jack sighed, the only indication that he'd heard her. Sara was trembling, her whole body moving with the force of trying not to cry. Jack finally spoke without raising his head.
"I thought what you wanted was irrational at the time. I didn't know it meant so much to you. Had I known, I would've done things differently." Sara pulled her hand back and laughed, a harsh, bitter sound.
"Irrational? Is that what you call marriage?"
"I thought we weren't ready."
"I wasn't asking you to elope with me, Jack. I was asking if you would marry me when the time came. I'd have been willing to wait a few years. Hell, we were too young to elope anyway! Al l I wanted was a solid foundation. Something I could base my future around. Something other than myself. I wanted a family. And I wanted it with you." Jack sighed again, and even in that small sound, Sara could tell he was holding back tears.
"Sara...Please...Please let me try again. Let's be us again. Please..." Sara shook her head.
"I don't think your girl would take it well." She spit the word like it was acid venom. Jack actually flinched.
"I left her behind. I came out here to find you. To win you back." he said in a small voice. Sara raised her eyebrows.
"Why?" Jack finally raised his head.
"Because I love you, Sara." Tears fell from his eyes. "I love you, and will do anything to be with you. These last 5 years without you have been horrible. Unbearable. Please don't make it a lifetime, Sara. Please...help me make the pain stop..." Sara's control finally broke. She lowered her head and wept, great forceful sobs that shook her small body. Jack stood up and circled around the table, coming to rest beside her chair.
"Sara..." he whispered before taking her in his arms. Sara burried her face in his shoulder and cried, trying as hard as she could to get her feelings under control. After several minutes, she calmed down. She pulled back; Jack didn't try to hold her. She cleaned her glasses and wiped her eyes before looking at him.
"Jack, I love you. I can't turn it off, and I gave up trying about a year ago. But that doesn't change what happened. I wish we could go back to the way we were, innocent and carefree, but we can't." Sara stood and stared into his wounded eyes. "I can't just forget it happened, and I can't just start again. I'm sorry." She grabbed her back and started to walk away. Jack called her name. She turned back on impulse. Jack was standing and staring at her, his eyes wide and hurt like a child lost at the mall. Sara screamed "I'm sorry." before turning back around and running.
A/N: So I don't know if I want to continue this one...I think I'll leave it up to y'all. Should I make a story out of this, or leave it a one-shot? Review and vote, please!