Dear reader: When I write one shots (short stories), I don't describe my characters appearances, or don't personalize them in any form. I think it lets the readers imagine what they want, or even themselves. In my opinion that adds to a short story (but I don't do that for my long stories because then that just kills it). Anyways, don't count the lack of description as a flaw, it's intentional, because this story is more about the emotions of these characters then their personalities and looks.

Alone

He should have known she was going to ruin and fix his life all in one shot. She came into his life when he least expected a woman to enter it. She was classy, beautiful, smart, and different in every way from all the other women he had ever even faced. Her body put him on fire, her mind provoked him into thoughts, and her heart made him feel like he could be a better man. She was a virgin too. She gave herself to him, she gave him her body, her heart, and even her soul. She thought they were soul mates. She had her flaws too though. She was naive. She thought he could be the love of her life. She fought for him, made him feel good, held him through all the hard times in his life. He loved her and feared losing her.

"Don't leave me," he always said.

"I promise you I won't."

She kept her promise.

One day, life threw them both for a loop. He hated his life. It was a mess. He had no job, no house, no dog, and practically no life. His days consisted of same all, same all and nothing ever advanced. She wanted marriage. She was ready for it, she wanted it, and more then that she needed it. Her life was complicated, and marriage was what she needed to fix her problems. She told him that. He agreed to marry her. Her heart was afloat, she was full of happiness, love for him, excitement over her future.

And then it all crashed.

He changed his mind.

He told her he wasn't ready, then he told her he never will be. Then he told her he wanted a new life, one with a wife, a house, a kid, and a dog. But then he became scared again and said he wasn't ready for marriage. He needed time.

She gave him time. She gave him as much time as her broken heart let her. It hurt to see him change his mind so often. One minute she was filled with hope, then next he broke her heart, stepped on it, and put it back where he found it, and again filled it with hope.

She got tired of playing his game. She was tired of waiting for him to admit to himself that she was the one. She was tired of him being scared to take a step towards his future.

"Lets just be friends," she said, "I don't want to loose you as a friend."

He agreed.

They saw each other once or twice a month. Then after a few months, she introduced him to her new husband.

"He's my friend, almost like a brother."

It hurt him. He was in pain over being referred to as almost a brother. Did she forget the love they shared? Did she forget the hot kisses? The nights together? The love trips they took?

He hoped she would get divorced. He dated here and there, never finding anyone as special as her. None of the other women gave him the love she had given him. Eventually, he gave up on them all, swearing to be single until she came back into his life, as his wife. Now he wanted that marriage, now he wanted that life with her. Now he wanted what he had earlier refused.

One day, she came over to his home, beaming with a smile she jumped into his arms. He thought he had her. He hoped she would say she left her husband and was now all his.

"I'm pregnant. I'm going to be a mother."

He nearly dropped her. He wished it was his kid. He hadn't even known he wanted a child until she mentioned it. Now he wished that kid was his, that it was his seed growing inside her. But it wasn't. It was the man's who wasn't afraid of marriage.

She did give him one thing. She let him be the Godfather of her child. But he wasn't the father. He wasn't the one to raise that kid.

He thought he was going to die every time she kissed her husband, or hugged her child. He thought he was going to die every time he came over to her house and saw how well she lived. He regretted letting her slip away because of his fear.

One day, she called him. Her voice quivered, her tears broke his heart. And the words gave him hope. "Help me, my husband died."

She was old by then. So was he. Her husband died. Now it was his chance with her again. He waited until she was done mourning him. He had waited for her all his life, what was one more, two more years.

"Marry me," he asked. He got down on one knee though arthritis was killing him. "Make me happy for the first time in my life."

She cried.

He had seen her cry before but not like this, not so mournfully.

"I have loved you all these years," she finally whispered. "I have thought of you every time I made love to him, and I loved him. But you were always the true love of my life."

"So you'll marry me?" His heart was quivering as he said it.

She shook her head. "It took you too long. You could have had what my husband had. You could have had the wife, the house, the kid, and the dog. You could have had the American Dream. You wanted it all along. But you were scared and fear gets you nowhere. You said so yourself that you were afraid of marriage, you were afraid of divorce. Now I'm afraid to let you break my heart again." She walked away.

He knew she was okay, and he knew that she found love again. But he was alone all those years. It was years after that, years that he didn't see her.

One night, he closed his eyes and saw a tunnel leading down, into a fire pit. He saw the Devil calling him over, promising him a lifetime of damnation. He had lived a hell on earth, wasn't it enough?

"You did some bad things when you were young. You should have known you'll go to hell. God was good to you though, he gave you a chance, a heaven on earth with a woman who loved you. Had you grabbed that chance of happiness, she would have helped you redeem yourself and God would have forgiven you for all the bad you have done before you met her. But you didn't grab on to her. She was your soul mate, she was also the one to save her. But it's typical of you to lose everything that's good. You also lost your chance of going to Heaven," The devil told him.

He started descending into hell. Crying. He was crying! And then he opened his eyes. The light was burning him. He felt like he was in Heaven. Did he get redeemed? Then he turned and looked at his surroundings. He was in her bed. It was morning. He remembered how he came over to her house, told her that he didn't want marriage, broke her heart, and then he fell asleep on her bed. She must have slept on the couch, if she slept at all. Now, she was looking at him strangely as he cried and shook. She had never seen him cry before. It broke her heart. He just kept on breaking her heart.

"I just had a nightmare," he said trying to calm her and himself. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He grabbed on to her. "I'm so sorry for hurting you these last few moths. I'm so sorry for hurting you."

She didn't say anything. That was her way of saying you're not forgiven.

"I'm ready for marriage, I want it."

"Again," she said softly. "And then tomorrow you'll change your mind again like you have the last couple of months."

"No." He shook his head. "I learned my mistakes. I realize where my life will go if I don't keep you in my life. Please, marry me. Please don't leave me." He begged, trying to get the life reserved for her husband. He wanted to be her husband.

"Fear will lead you to misery" she had once told him. She was right!