The night was beautiful. There was no other way to describe it. The moon was high on the clear July sky, and though it was warm, there was a nice breeze that foretold the coming of fallen leaves. I could see why ancient pagans worshipped the moon.
I sat on the back porch railings, one bare foot on the floor and the other atop the railings. I had gotten to Adrian's from work about two hours ago and had showered and changed from my sweaty work clothes to one his t-shirts. The shirt smelled of him and I found comfort in his smell from the ache of his absence. Though I knew it was a brief ache for he was only on his nightly run.
I waited for him on his back porch like a lonely wife waited for her man to return from sea. I waited for him tonight because I couldn't push it any further. We needed to talk.
This morning, before going to work, I had stopped by my tiny apartment above the hardware store and had finally gone through last week's mail. I had found a letter from the Minneapolis Community College, which I had applied to on a whim a couple of months ago. The letter stated that I was welcomed to enroll for the upcoming semester, granted that I registered for classes before the beginning of August. From selling the house, I still had enough money to enroll for the semester as well as make a move to Minneapolis. Though I would have to quickly find a job. I had been thinking about the possibility all day. And I had made up my mind.
From the distance I could a figure move through the trees. Though I could only partially see him, I knew it was Adrian. Even from the distance I recognize the posture of his spine, his graceful and powerful stride, his shorn blonde hair. He was no longer running but walking towards the house. The closer he came it became obvious that he had been running for a long distance. His shirtless torso expanded and contracted with every breath he took and his gait was tainted by the fatigue that only comes from too much exercise. He came out of the trees like a pagan god come to conquer the world, demanding sacrifices and I was willing to hand him the knife and lay myself at his feet.
Adrian didn't say anything as he climbed the steps on the porch, but he came to stand before me. The wound on his arm had healed very well and now it only appeared like a small burn. He looked healthier overall too.
Adrian was okay physically. Emotionally? Well he was trying. After his attempt, he was not released from the hospital until he spoke with a psychologist. Now he was regularly seeing a shrink and that seemed to be helping him. He drew the lines at medication though, refusing to take anything but the occasional painkillers for his arm. Instead he had begun running again. He would go on intense runs at least once a day and sometimes even twice. And thankfully he had begun sleeping again, though there were nights here and there were he would still wake up from nightmares, but those nights were few and far in between. The shadows under his eyes and the red in them had disappeared leaving them absolutely beautiful.
"Is something wrong?" Adrian asked. He was close enough to touch, but I knew he'd wait for me to touch him when he was this sweaty, not the other way around. As if asking permission. But I've always had a tough time not touching him and after his attempt it's gotten worst. I needed to touch him, just to prove to myself that he was still here.
I leaned in a bit and covered my lips with his. I took his lower lip between mine and then he took my upper between his and when our tongues touched, I felt myself losing it. Like always, I wanted more of him, I wanted to crawl into his skin. I wanted to lose myself in him. Instead I placed the palms of my hand against the warm skin of his chest and pushed gently. When he took a step closer and I saw him raise his hands, I pushed a bit harder.
"I have something to tell you," I said before he could take me over again.
This time he took a step back. His brows drew low over his eyes and his eyes widened a bit. He tilted his head slightly, as if he was listening to something and I knew that at those seconds a thousand thoughts were running through his head. He looked down at my stomach and said, "Are you-"
"No! God, no!" I said quickly before he could get the rest of the sentence out. I expected to see relief on his face from that quick truth but there was no relief. As if the thought of me having his child didn't bother him one bit.
"What is it, then?" he asked. I took a deep breath but nothing came out. I bit my lips and took another deep breath. When I opened my mouth, no sound came out.
"Jenny…" he said patiently.
"Okay…so…a couple of months ago I applied to Minneapolis Community College," I looked at his face to gauge his reaction but his brows had gone back to normal and his face became completely neutral. I had no idea what was happening in his head.
Adrian sat on the railings before me, just a couple of inches my foot. Close enough to touch me, but not doing so.
"I…received a letter today telling me I was accepted…I have to register for classes by next week…I'm going to do it, Adrian."
"Okay," he said in an emotionless voice.
We didn't say anything for a couple of minutes but just sat where we were, each lost in our own thoughts.
"When are you leaving town?" he asked. He wasn't looking at me but at the trees on the horizon. I turned from him and did the same. But instead I looked at the moon.
"Classes begin the last week of August so I would probably have to leave in two weeks, to have enough time to settle in and find a job."
He didn't say anything but I dared a look at him and didn't see angry or bothered by it. And it broke my heart a bit. Deep inside me I wanted him to be at least a bit upset at the news.
"I think….you know I was born and raised in Clainor. I've lived here all my life and I've never left. I know that if stay here, I wont end up doing anything with my life. I will be forty and still working at Danny's…you would probably get tired of me-"
"I would never." He said with such conviction.
"Or I would feel unworthy of you…anyways eventually I would probably end up marrying somebody from my side of the tracks and that'll be my life."
"What do you want to major in?" he asked after a couple of seconds of silence.
"Education, I think. I'd like to be a teacher," I replied.
"I think you'd make a great teacher," he said after a couple of minutes. "I think…I think it's a great idea. You are always doing things for others, always helping others…but you are never doing things for you. I think this will be great for you."
This time he reached out and softly caressed the arch of my foot. Such a small touch told me that he was okay with my decision.
"Where we do go from here?" He asked. He didn't need to further elaborate the question. I knew exactly what he meant. Minneapolis was a three-hour drive away. I could always come back to Clainor to see Gavin, he was my baby brother and while I would see him maybe twice a month, our relationships wouldn't suffer. But if I saw Adrian twice a month, our relationship would suffer. Between school and work I would have no life and no time for to come back to him. He needed me, I knew that and I needed him like the air I breathed. I couldn't imagine not seeing him at least every other day.
"Come away with me," the words slipped from my mouth before I even knew.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I know you just bought this house and have been fixing it and it's stupid that I should suggest-"
I looked up at him and saw that his face held no anger. Instead I could see the wheels turning in his head and they turned quickly.
"Do you really want me there with you?" he asked, looking intently into my eyes.
"Yes." as soon as I said the word I knew that I felt it deep inside.
"Adrian…I don't…we can just live together you don't have to-"
"I want to. I…I love you so much that it hurts when I'm away from you. I never thought…I never thought anybody could love this way…but you just know it…you just know when you have the person you want for the rest of your life right in front of you. I know it in my bones, Jenny."
The only sound in the night after his confession was our soft breaths, the swirling breeze and the quiet hum of electricity that you can only hear in absolute silence.
"I guess that's a no," he said quietly.
"Do you really want to marry me?" by the end of the sentence my words had become a whisper and tears had gathered in my eyes.
"More than anything in the world," he replied gently squeezing my calf.
"Okay," I said.
"I'm afraid to ask, but okay 'yes' or okay 'no'?"
"Okay 'yes'," I said.
A smile broke across Adrian's face. Adrian wasn't somebody who smiled often and when he did they were brief smiles but at that very moment his eyes were lit like electric fires and his smile was one that spoke of real and tangible happiness. He was so happy at that very moment and that made me so happy that a sob escaped my body and the tears that were gathering in my eyes rolled down my cheeks. Through my tears and sobs, I too, was smiling.
He stood from the railings and came to stand right before me. He grabbed my waist and turned me towards him so quickly that If not for his hold I would've fallen back. He stood between my legs and looked down at me.
"I will make you happy," he said fiercely. "I promise you that. I love you so much, Jenny. So so much."
"To the moon and back. I love you to the moon and back, Adrian" I said.
Who's to know what will happen? Who knows anything at all? But when I walked into my apartment after a long day of classes and work, I found Adrian painting our living room wall a lovely shade of deep red. And the brightness in his Nordic eyes when he saw me for the first time in the day…I can tell you I know one thing. There is nothing as powerful in the world than looking into your love's eyes and knowing that they see the world in you. That you are their world.
Hey friends! I know it's been ages! A year. And im so sorry about that. I just couldn't seem to find the proper closure for this story. Everytime I tried nothing spoke out to me. But I found some inspiration in my own heartbreak, friends. For the first time in my life I fell really in love and…got my heart broken…that's another tale but I have to say that I drew inspiration from this. I wrote about love in this story but never really knew it and now I do. And I got a better understanding of it. Anyways, I think writing the final chapter of this story was like also allowing myself to close the heartbreak chapter of my life. And guys im soo sorry and now that those who sent me messages, though I never replied to them, I always did read it. I just didn't want to reply with a lame excuse bc I honestly had no idea where to end this story. I love yous all and thank you for reading my bullshit story and reviewing. It was great support and I love yous for it. Anyways, lets toast to Jenny and Adrian. Till next time! Love, S. Wilde.