A/N: Something CLiché for V's Day.

Disclaimer: The Lyrics is 'Before Your Love' by Kelly Clarkson.


I wonder how I ever make it through a day
How did I settle for the world in shades of gray?
When you go in circles all the scenery looks the same
And you don't know why
And I looked into your eyes
Where the road stretched out in front of me
And I realized

It's valentines day tomorrow and the clouds are dark and heavy above me.

Eight years ago, we parted. He had an offer to go to an elite school in Europe and seeing him so excited, I could not tell him anything. I do not want to hold him back from his dreams.

I love him and I told him, "Give it your all. You've worked hard and now this is your chance."

He pulled me into an embrace and whispered into my ears, "Wait for me. I promise, no matter what, I'll be back for you."

I nodded and pulled away; trying to smile without letting the tears flow. Stepping away into his crowd of friends, we all waved goodbye before he disappeared into the boarding room waiting for the airplane.

Our relationship had never been stable. Everyone opposed and disagreed. Those from his side looked at him as a prodigy - a god. He excelled in everything and anything. His family came from a noble ancestry. People expected great things from him. The rich were always with him, girls were flirting with him in any possible ways and the poor served him like a slave to a master.

I, on the other than, am… well, practically everything that he isn't.

Those on my side had a different outlook on things. They see him as a brat who can have anything with a snap of a finger. Someone cold and nonchalant. A student who not only the entire student body feared but also the teachers. He has the whole school in the palm of his hands.

For someone like me, whose life is simple and comfortable like calm waters, his presence is like a stone, thrown into the pond of calm water sending giant ripples. The society's views and gossips are always on us, eating away almost everything we had between us.

But I know things about him that others do not know. His parents never looked him in the eye, never satisfied with what he had achieved. They were never really at home. They were always abroad. His mother was a fashion designer that's well known for being in and out of drug rehabilitation centers and scandals, his father is an entrepreneur that has already taken over Asia and half way through Europe.

He wanted to be an internationally known maestro with his own orchestra, but his father saw no future in that. Instead, he was forced to study business and take over his father's enterprises.

In return, he knows things about me. Things that would shatter not only my life but also my whole family's life.

My mother was a part time house cleaner and a prostitute once the sun goes down. But times were bad. I was young when my mother took her life. I eventually was adopted by my relatives who never took me in as one of them. I was treated like a servant girl. I was both physically and mentally abused and as each dying minute passes, I could feel my grip on reality slowly slipping away.

And as for my father? I do not know who he is. Neither does my mother. After all, she's a prostitute.

I hated everyone around me and I was mentally unstable. Once, I almost killed my cousin by strangling her simply because she slapped me and pulled my hair screaming into my ears that I was a whore like my mother. Luckily, my family had too much pride to report me to the authorities let alone let anyone know that their niece was mentally sick.

But no one knows. All the while, I've been trying to put on a mask and lie to everyone. I have to say, I did a rather wonderful job at that. No one ever questioned where my parents were and none ever wondered why I always wore clothing that covered my whole body. They just assumed that it was just my taste in fashion. I never got close to anyone but people got close to me.

Well, that is until he came into my life as I was about to kill myself at the top of his father's hotel. His first words to me were, "I do not know how you got past the security guard but if you want to jump down and kill yourself, so be it. Don't do it, however, - for Christ's sake - on the top of my old man's hotel. Have some compassion, you're gonna tarnish the name of one of the most expensive and beautiful hotels you'll probably lay your eyes on, especially when I'm the successor."

I'd never live
Before your love
I'd never felt
Before your touch
And I'd never needed anyone
To make me feel alive
But then again,
I wasn't really livin'

I'd never lived...
Before your love

"Nathaniel?" I whispered his name, astonished that that bratty prince of my school had caught me at my suicide attempt.

"Yeah?" he asked as he raised a nonchalant eyebrow at me. His long fingers placed a cigarette to his lips and he let out a puff of smoke.

"Don't tell anyone, alright?" I said.


"Thank you."

"Whatever, Melanie. Just get off the railing."

I quietly obeyed and walked up to him. When we were faced to face, I saw that his eyes were red and watery and his lips were dry. "Were you crying?" I asked softly yet surprised that the brat prince would have anything to cry and weep about. Everyone see his life as something perfect and fantasy-like.

"It's dusts. I'm sensitive to them."

I looked around me. Everything was sparkling clean. We were at a grand hotel were celebrities reside in. There wasn't enough dust to even make the most sensitive person alive to have an allergic reaction. I almost wanted to point that fact out then decided to stay silent.

A moment later, after stubbing his cigarette, he stopped moving. He hung his head low and in a barely audible whisper, he said, "Yeah. I was crying."

We never said a word to each other after that. It was a silent bargain. I keep his secret, he keeps mine. End of story.

However, we never actually expected ourselves to eventually began looking for each other. I guess it was because we knew each other's secrets and much to society's displeasure; we became an awkward item. As a matter of fact, for both Nathaniel and I, this was our first love.

I wanted more than just an ordinary life
All of my dreams, seemed like castles in the sky
I stand before you and my heart is in your hands
And I don't know why
I'd survive without your kiss
'Cause you've given me
A reason to exist

We depended on each other a lot, and we kept it hidden from the world. It was fine, everything was going on smoothly. Of course, that life was not going to last. The moment we were not careful, the paparazzi took snapshots of us. The moment his father found out, everything that was right became wrong.

Paparazzi dug into my life and unburied so many hidden secrets. Headlines such as, "Gabriella Tan, Fashion Designer/Drug Addict's Son Dating a Suicidal Victim" were posted on the tabloid magazines. They threatened to expose my past and Nathaniel had to suffer much in order to suppress them. His father strongly opposed and went to immeasurable lengths to stop us, to change Nathaniel's mind. It came to a point where I could not hold on any longer and I found myself wandering back to my old self.

As expected, the dreaded paparazzi found out and I was forced to be submitted into a mental hospital. Still, Nathaniel stayed by my side even as his friends slowly abandoned him. As soon as I was discharged, Nathaniel's father called me out. I could still remember vividly how the cameras flashed before my eyes.

"Melanie. Now that you've tarnished both my name and Nathaniel's name, are you satisfied?" his father eyed me with distaste. "Child, for the last time, stay away from Nathaniel. For Nathaniel to be with someone like you, someone from a family background that isn't the slightest bit decent, do you know what impact will you have on him? His mother is already bad enough; I do not need you to be in the picture, Melanie.

"You're suicidal. Has it ever occurred to you that for someone who is suicidal like you, you'll be tearing down Nathaniel - who has a bright and promising future as an entrepreneur like me - along with you?

"Nevermind. The reason I called you out is that I've run out of options and I gave in to Nathaniel's dreams of becoming a maestro and managed to get him an opening in an elite music school in Europe if that is what it takes to get him away from you. You know how much he wants to be a maestro. If you love him that much and have any gratitude for what he has done and gone through for you, I suggest you allow him to go there. I want you to persuade him to go, not hold him back. Do you understand?"

For him to go to Europe means I could probably never see him again. If his father's plan went accordingly, by the time Nathaniel returns, he probably would have a woman by his side and have forgotten all about me. Someone with the looks, the brains, and the wealth and social status. Nevertheless I knew much he wanted to be a maestro. I nodded my head silently.

Nathaniel's father smiled. "Very well. I wish that you keep the fact that all these was planned by me to keep the likes of you away from him and at the same time hoping he'll find a better suitor than you. He'll be leaving on February 14. You have a week left with him without the tabloids hot on your heels. Take this as a gift of thanks from me."

I did not reply him. But he knew that I'm agreeing. After all, I love Nathaniel. I'm alive while I'm in his arms and I only brought disaster from him contradictory to what my friends thought of. The least I could do for him now as a repayment was to let him go.

I'd never lived
Before your love
I'd never felt
Before your touch
I'd never needed anyone
To make me feel alive
But then again,
I wasn't really livin'

Of course, if you have been diligently reading the beginning of this story, you'd realize that he was deliriously happy and did not know that everything was planned by his father. He did not know that once he reaches Europe, his father could easily block all means of connections between him and I.

Through a friend, I found out that he finally saw through his father's ploy after a year in Europe. But he could not return. He was a prisoner.

Upon hearing this, I begged a friend to smuggle a letter to him. In it I wrote,

Nate, do not fret. I am fine. I'm off to college now. Your dad has been kind to me. Do not let me stop you from your dreams. I still remember your promise. I'll wait for you.

Half a year later, I got a reply.

Melanie, I'm sorry. I promise you that as soon as I return, after finishing my studies, I will not leave you behind again. Why didn't you tell me about my father's plans? I don't know what I would do if I could not talk to you. We can't continue sending letters like this. If we are caught…

Until then, trust me. Wait for me.

So please, stay alive. I love you.

After that, we never contacted. The only time I get to see him is through the music magazines. Him conducting a live orchestra for the first time. My Nathaniel, a maestro as well as a promising entrepreneur who's following in his father's footsteps.

People also speculate that he has a secret lover. Whenever they asked whether he is single or not during interviews, he would just smile and answer, "What do you think?" I wondered whether it was me, but I'm afraid to get my hopes up too high. High hopes are only waiting to be shattered and disappointed. Yet, I truly want to believe what he said to me all those years gone by because no matter what, I still love him. Truly and deeply form my heart.

I'd never lived...
I'd never lived...
Before your love

I'd never lived
Before your love

It's eight years now and tomorrow's Valentines Day. I heard he is coming back. Silently, I walked up to the top of Jade Palace Hotel. My fists clenched around a news article on him and I held it close to my heart.

If he remembers me, if he still remembers me, let him come up here on this very day. I prayed silently. All I want and ask for is for him to come up here - the place where it all started.

I stood at the railing and leaned forward. I looked up at the sky and close my eyes enjoying the soft breeze blowing past me.

Six hours had gone by.

Still, I waited and I waited. The clock ticks by slowly. He has not arrived. Let me meet him once more. Please.

Eight hours passed.

He still isn't here yet. It's nearing 12 am. News about him in Malaysia were already starting to air. Has he already forgotten me? We haven't been communicating for the past six years. Will he remember me? Will he keep his promise?

Again, I stood at the railing. My fists clenched the cold metal bars. I leaned over the side so much that I felt that if a wind blew past, I might just topple over the other side and fall.

The clock strikes twelve midnight. My chest contracts and I could not breathe. He did not come to me. What was I thinking? He probably found someone already. He is, after all, a prince.

I cannot control myself now. The tears just kept on coming. After all these years of waiting, it is all for nothing? How could I fall so deeply for someone that I would actually believe that he would come back for me after eight years?

It's because he made you alive.
It's because of him, you are alive today.
Without him, you'd be long gone right now. .

A voice in my mind told me. I knew that it was true. Hands clutching my sides, I got off the railing, fell to my knees, and continued crying.

I do not know how many hours had passed but the sun has started to rise. I brought my knees up to my chest and lowered my head.

It has been cloudy since yesterday and now thunder started pounding in the sky.

Tap, tap, tap.

I hear footsteps. Eventually it got louder but I couldn't be bothered to see whom it was.

"Oi…" a man started nudging my legs with his leg from what I can see through the corners of my eyes. Hoping he would leave me alone, I ignored him.

"Oi!" he shouted with a touch of annoyance.

I did not budge.

"OI! GET THE BLOODY HELL UP, WOULD YOU!?" this time, he shoved me with his hands.

Reaching the end of my patience, I whipped my head around, wanting to give him a piece of my freaking mind but was stopped short as soon as I set my eyes on him.

Dressed in grand clothes was a young man with strikingly bold features. His hair was neatly combed and he wore an air of superiority. A cold wind blew and his hair was messed up by it. A black bang of hair fell and hid his eyes. A slow and easy smile crept to his lips. An eyebrow was raised nonchalantly at me. His long fingers placed a cigarette to his lips and he let out a puff of smoke. A gesture that I'm so familiar with yet it was what held my breath every single time.

"Trying to kill yourself again under the thunder and lightning?" he asked.

I was stumped. I was far more than speechless. He's back and he's standing right in front of me. so, in the end, everything was not in vain. All those years of waiting patiently, the insecurities, and sadness and the pain I felt when he was so far away from me.

"Nathaniel…" I whispered as I stared into his brown eyes.

He squatted down so he was at the same level as me. Cupping my cheek, he stubbed out his cigarette. "I'm back, Melanie…"

I nodded in joyful tears. Trying to not choke, I replied, "Welcome back, Nate…"

He pulled me into an embrace and held me so tightly that I thought would suffocate. He laced his fingers with mind and I could feel his body shaking against mine. He was crying and in between his chokes, he whispered in that deep sensual voice of his, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. You must have suffered so much all these years. Forgive me. I will never leave you anymore. I swear. My father's retired and weak now. No one has control over me. I'll never, ever leave you anymore…"

As I was hearing this, I could not help but feel that rush of relief, happiness and love spreading across my body.

It's officially Valentine's Day and it started to rain. But funnily, I feel as if the sun is shining down upon me now. He's back. I'm in his arms. That's all that matters.

"Nathaniel, I love you…"

"I love you too, Melanie…" And I don't know why
Why the sun decides to shine
But you've breathed your love into me just in time
I'd never lived
Before your love
I'd never felt
Before your touch
I'd never needed anyone
To make me feel alive
But then again
I wasn't really livin'

I'd never lived
I'd never lived

A/N: Short. Simple. Sweet (?), Cliché. V's Day.