A/N: I don't much like the ending... eh, go figure.
Anyway, this little tiny oneshot was the result of watching 27 dresses and wondering yet again, why nobody wants to be with me. Maudlin, yes. A common feeling for me? That too. I just thought I'd write something happy and sparkly and I guess this is what came out.
Sorry for the delay with UYLM. It's just difficult because my characters won't let me write what I had originally planned.
Isn't it annoying when they take on personalities of their own?
The riverside bandstand at midnight. A full moon and fairy lights twinkling around the wooden awnings. A jazz quartet dressed in jeans and jumpers playing 'The Way You Look Tonight', softly like a lullaby that will always remind me of you. It is a cool summer evening and it is so magical and you are nonsensically beautiful, and somehow I know that tonight is everlasting.
Somehow I know that if nothing else in life ever works out and I am never happy again, it will be enough to have shared this evening with you, dancing in your arms with my head on your shoulder and your hand on my waist.
I have honestly never believed in perfection and I have never believed in living happily ever after, but God, if I could freeze time and relive one night over and over, I'd choose this one in a heartbeat. Somehow just being here, feeling your cool cheek leaning into my neck, I feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. In the back of my mind I know that I am not, and that it cannot possibly last forever, but I am content to hold you close and pretend because every single one of my senses is tingling and my body is practically humming with exalting adoration.
I am so in love with you. I am so alive.
And someday, I will feel aglow, just thinking of you... and the way you looked at me tonight.
It is a subtle kind of misery. Your eyes beg me to forgive you and I almost do, but I also know that what you have done to me is the least perfect thing you have ever done in your life, and I hate you for what you are saying. I hate that you let me believe it would be different and I hate that I believed you loved me. I lie there, pulling the sheets up around my naked body as I wish I could sink under them and never resurface. I am beyond humiliated and my heart is breaking just to look at you.
I gave everything to you. I let you love me like that because I thought you wanted more than fucking and I thought you were different. I thought that you were kind and romantic and the answer to all of my dreams. Only a week ago I was extolling the virtues of your luminous smile, and now all I see is the poison that spills from your red lips. You are looking at me as if I am crazy. I am just a stupid little girl waiting for the tears to come.
It is painful. I can't even bear to look at you because if I do I will remember what we did and I will scream. And part of me really does despise you for making me want to believe in true love and taking it all away, tearing my hopes and my heart to pieces the way you tore off my clothes.
Somewhere in the distance, my phone begins to ring. I feel wretched as I remember picking out the ring tone, remember how much you smiled when you realised what it was playing and started to hum along, keep that breathless charm and all those wonderful words that I wonder if you have misinterpreted.
I regret it. I regret telling you that I loved you like that and even as I avoid your eyes, I know that they will not reflect the same sentiment. The way you look at me is predatory and lustful and I want to throw up or cry or break something or leave.
I can feel you look at me as I shuffle from your tiny college bed with your thin white sheet covering my shame but I don't hear the words coming from your lips. I know I will never forget it.
I see the awkward shift in your body language that says that you have felt my eyes on you; the telltale clearing of your throat and pink cheeks as you stutter, falter in whatever brilliant anecdote had them all smiling and flirtatious.
I see the way your eyes flicker around the room, wondering why you are suddenly so uncomfortable.
I see the clenching of your fingers on the neck of the beer bottle you were casually clutching to your chest as you leant to whisper in her ear, and I watch you pull away, your eyes returning to their searching as you pretend that nothing is wrong, pretending that you are still as into it as before. Your eyes are all that belies the truth. I see them widen as they reach mine and I can't look away. You are predictably both shocked and horrified that I am looking at you again, painfully awkward for having had to meet my gaze. You don't understand why I am still looking at you after all this time and you will not speak to me tomorrow, for fear that I will fall in love again or something similarly ridiculous. It makes me grimace, ugly, in anticipation, because I know that you think I am lovesick and pathetic. As if by some quirk of insanity I had decided to love you again, decided to stare until your eyes met mine across the crowded room.
You are wrong, always wrong.
The truth is that I would give anything not to be looking at you, anything to tear my eyes away from the singular most painful sight I have ever experienced, and I am both shocked and horrified that I find that I can't.
I could swear that the world has never felt pain before. Not like this.
I pray to God that you will turn away and break the connection as you always have done, anything to stop the urge I have to kiss you and come closer again even though I know it will ruin me. I want to tell you that it is all your stupid fault, and that I wish I could enter a room without immediately seeking you out with my eyes, because I simply can't. I would give anything for something to block my view, to pull me from this terrible trance that you have provoked me to, because I am frozen, and I don't want to be thinking about you anymore and I don't want to have to start the process of getting over you again because it is horrible. I want to not want you. I curse myself for still looking at you, because I tried wanting you and it got me to here, barely able to function without comparing every little thing to you and the time we spent together. I hate it and it hurts and it is as simple as that. I want to say it, but I can't.
I can't say anything and I can't stop myself from staring at your face, your neck, your hands. All I can do now is wait until you finally look away. My God, I am almost grateful to the tears that blur my vision. I would give anything to not be looking at you.
Looking at you destroys me.
A bar. A cold November night. The smell of cheap alcohol and sweaty underage boys looking for someone to grope permeates the air. Some grungy college rock band are pounding out the words in scratchy voices that remind me of cigarettes, singing and there is nothing for me but to love you with an angry punk edge that seems wholly appropriate. Your eyes burn into my skin the way your kisses once did and I am more angry than ashamed now. I know that if I meet your eyes I will probably scream.
I pull someone close, dancing with abandon that I do not really feel, have never been able to feel since I knew what loving felt like, but the boy doesn't care. He grins and sloppily kisses down my neck and it makes my skin crawl, but I pout and moan and arch my back in a way that makes you slam your bottle on the bar top with an emotion that I no longer know you well enough to decipher. The way you are looking at me tonight makes me shiver and I don't know if it's a good thing or not.
You walk over deliberately and I meet your eyes, keeping mine indifferent so as not to say I love you or I abhor you or I miss you because I have all three pulsing through my veins, coursing through my blood because they are what I have become. I feel I can define myself these days by the fact that I am still in love with who I thought you were. You have tried to talk to me so many times but I have never before felt strong enough to do so, not until tonight, and I have a hundred scathing words in my head but I say none of them. It is not okay and it is not fair, but you lift my chin and look into my eyes and I have to stop dancing because I have never been able to pretend with you and your hazel eyes are far too unsettling.
"You are more than this," you say, and I want to crumble but I don't.
"I am more than you," I reply.
The riverside bandstand at midnight. A full moon and fairy lights twinkling around the wooden awnings. A jazz quartet dressed in jeans and jumpers playing 'The Way You Look Tonight', softly like a lullaby that will always remind me of you, even though it is harder to sleep these days as winter settles in. You are still nonsensically beautiful, after all this time, and somehow I know that tonight is only tonight, that in the morning you may well be back to the boy who broke my heart but it is okay because for now you are putting it back together.
I have learned some things over the last couple of months. I have learned that love is rarely perfect and that sex is often something different entirely. I have learned that love means more than just one magical evening and one moment, and that love is all about finding someone who can hurt you and who probably will at least once, even though they really never want to.
I once said that if nothing else in life ever works out and I am never happy again, it will be enough to have shared that moment with you, all those months ago. And it is true- I know I will never forget it, but that is not all we have anymore. I know we are going to make memories and I know that even when your beauty fades and any attraction my face held starts to diminish, I will remember how beautiful you made me feel. I will remember your eyes raking over my face the way they are right now, memorizing every detail of my lips before you kiss them, looking in wonderment at my nose, my eyelashes, even my eyebrows as you study me. It is like you are drinking me in and it feels so good, but at the same time I feel my feet firmly on the ground because this time it isn't in my head and this time it is really happening.
You love me, you say. It isn't about sex, you say.
And you tell me all about that night and I realise that this is what love is for me, and possibly for you too. We talk about the bandstand and seeing each other and we look at each other the entire time, unguarded at last because we have nothing to hide from each other. And we will shed the covers and lay tangled up in each other and I won't have to pretend that I am not looking at you, because you are looking at me too.
And I will remember the way you look tonight. I will wish again that we will never change, even if it is inevitable that we will.
Love is the way we are looking at each other.
...and the way you look, tonight.