He froze, and glanced up at the dark shadow standing in the doorway. He knew that voice.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, ducking his head back down and continuing to pile clothes into his suitcase.
"I wanted to see you one last time before you left," she answered, moving into the room and sitting on the edge of his bed.
"You shouldn't be here," he said shortly, moving to the other side of the room to grab more shirts, pushing them into the suitcase.
"What, am I not allowed to see you before you leave?"
"I said goodbye yesterday."
"Yeah, you said goodbye. I didn't get a chance to."
He sighed and threw the shirts down, turning to face her. "What do you want, Grace?"
"I wanted to see you."
"Well, you shouldn't."
"I can't see my best friend?"
"You ruined that the other night, Grace."
The amused smile on her face vanished and was replaced with an indignant scowl, her eyebrows touching. "Don't you dare blame me for that."
"Why shouldn't I?"
"You're the one who couldn't decide."
"Between my girlfriend and 'best friend'?" he sneered, returning to packing. "Please."
"Maybe you shouldn't have told me then."
"I was out of it!"
She scoffed and rose from the bed to stand in front of him. "Oh yes. The anti-depressants that you claim made you speak shit and then conveniently forget it all."
"I'm not going to continue this conversation with you, Grace."
"Why not? You can't run away like you did last night, Nate."
"I'm not running away. I really can't do this."
"Scared of saying something you'll regret then? Want me to get you some anti-depressants for you to take, maybe?"
"Stop it!"
"You told me you loved me!" she shouted, tears brimming at her eyes.
He froze and turned his head away from hers, not answering. God, he hated it when she cried.
She inhaled deeply, wiping at her eyes. The little pulse on his neck twitched slightly, and his jaw clenched. She wondered if he cared about what he was doing to her. And so she asked him.
"Of course I do. You know that," he answered, collapsing on the edge of the bed and resting his face in his hands.
She took a step towards him, and her heart was beating out of its seat, tossing around and throwing itself towards the walls of her chest. Her breath caught in her throat and she shook, struggling to draw in a shuddering breath.
"Don't go," she pleaded, her voice cracking.
"I have no choice. I need to."
There was silence in the room. She stood by the bed, watching her own hands, vaguely aware of his tired body sitting near her on the bed.
"Did you mean it?" she asked, wiping at her eyes and fiddling with the quilt spread across the bed. She remembered when he got this quilt. His mother had made it for him; a patchwork. She had added her own square in the corner.
"Mean what?"
"What you said to me. Was it all a lie?"
He paused, and stared at his hands, giving up. "No. It was the truth."
"Say it again. Say it to my face without anything helping you along."
"I... I love you. And I need you. You're my everything. I think you're beautiful, intelligent, and simply amazing. I truly do."
Something inside of her exploded. She felt like she was stone still, or maybe even floating, surrounded by the pieces of her destroyed insecurities.
Then it came. The few words that made her word crash back down around her, piercing her body with its sharp shards and blinding her.
"But I'm still leaving."
She groaned, resisting the urge to punch him in the face. Instead, her gaze made a collision course for the floor and her lips puckered into a mournful frown.
She didn't even have to lift her gaze from the carpet below her to know that he was watching her with those rich, dark brown eyes.
"I just don't understand it. No one ever wants to keep me."
He felt as though his heart was cracking. He knew he had to leave. He had to get out of this tiny, suffocating city and be able to breathe. He had to. He grabbed the pieces of his heart, and held them together. He had to be strong.
"I'm sorry."
He considered briefly if it was smarter to let go of all that he was trying to hold onto, and fall into her arms. He stared at her, watching the ocean blue eyes cloud over as she bit her lip harshly.
She could feel him staring at her, and god, it hurt. It wasn't just the normal every day hurt. It was this big, gigantic, massive, shattered-glass-digging-right-into-all-areas-of-her-heart type of hurt.
His gaze was unmerciful. She wanted to hide. They captured her existence and her soul and her heart.
"You should leave," he muttered, holding a shirt in his hands loosely.
"Okay," she inhaled.
And with that, she stepped away from his life.