Here is a new short story! I haven't posted one of these in a really long time...

Something to make reading this a bit easier: each italicized area of writing is a new memory in his POV, and the non-italicized area is the main story in her POV.


His voice crashes around me in the form of my name. His footfalls sound behind me, matching the pace of my racing heart. Thunder sounds in the background as I turn around to face the sound of him. "Wait!" he cries. About a minute passes before his footfalls stop, his warm breath dancing across my face.

I can't believe that she agreed to this. She actually agreed to go on a date with me. I never expected this to happen. She knows about my reputation. Does she think that she'll be used? I hope she does. That way I can prove her wrong. I just don't want to prove her right.

"What do you want?" I ask him, tilting my head up to speak to where I know his face is.

"Please don't do this," he gasps.

"Why not?" I growl at him. "We're just going to make the same mistakes again. You'll go off and find some other girl, again, and I'll just pretend that it's not eating me away inside my chest."

Hours pass on end, and I can't stop thinking about her. But I have to function. I have to go to classes, and study, and be social, and keep up my horrible reputation as a cheater. But I don't want to do any of that. All I want to do is lie down and day dream about her for days on end.

"I know I've made mistakes," he pleads, taking my cold hands in his large, warm ones. His breath rushes against my angrily flushed cheeks as he rushes his words out. "When I was with her, I only thought of you. I wish that there was proof to show you, but there isn't. I want to make up for everything I did to you when we were in our teens."

"Can I ask you something?" I ask her as I brush a piece of her straight black hair behind her ear.

She giggles and curls up into my chest, her pale skin standing out in contrast to my tanned skin. "You just did."

"How about another two?"

"Considering you just used half of your next questions, I should let you ask the other half now."

I smile into her hair, holding her closer to me. My hand brushes against some of her scars on her thigh. I'm pretty sure they were self inflicted. "Why did you agree on the first day we met?"

"I didn't," she murmurs into my skin. "I did on the first day you talked to me. We met freshman year in the cafeteria when you helped me pick up my books after someone tripped me."

"Is that why you agreed when I first spoke to you? Because you remembered me helping you three years ago?"

She hesitates before answering. "I suppose so."

"Why? So we can go back to our meaningless routine of a life, pretending that the past never happened? Why? Just to have it shattered again? No! I can't do it."

I throw his hands back at him and spin on my converse heel. I rush blindly through puddles and in front of cars, taking my fastest route to my apartment. The entire way back to what I used to consider home, I hear his manic footfalls behind me.

Our first fight was when we'd realized we were going to the same college. I'd tried to convince her to go to a better school, but when she found out that I was going to school in New York, she'd accepted to going to the university I was going to. The only difference was that she was going on a scholarship and I was paying for everything.

She'd thought that I was trying to get rid of her by trying to get her to choose a better school to go to. I didn't want to get rid of her; I just wanted her to have a better chance at a future then I did.

He calls out my name.

I call out her name as I run after her, chasing her to her next class, Music Theory. She suddenly stops, and I crash into her, sending both of us toppling into the damp grass. She clutches her books to her chest and giggles breathlessly. I could hear that all day.

"Are you okay?" I ask her, touching her cheek lightly.

"Yes, I'm okay." She smiles at the sky, still searching for air, like I am. I run my hand through my shoulder-length brown hair, smiling when I feel her hand stroking my hair. I lean down to kiss her sweet lips, and I grin when I taste her smile and coffee from this morning.

I hold out my hands in front of me, fumbling the building door open and hurrying to the stairs that I know are only twelve steps away. I throw open the second door and sprint as carefully as I can up to the fourth floor.

New Years passed in a drunk haze, and I woke up in a dorm room in Philly, next to a blonde that I barely recognize from high school in Jersey. She was a friend of her. My phone rings agonizingly loud, dragging nails against my hungover brain. I fall out of bed and stumble around, looking for my clothes. When I find my jeans, I pull them on and find my phone, which has four calls from her.

"Where are you?" she asked on one voice mail.

"Who did you leave with?" on another.

"Forget it," on the third,

And "Don't bother coming home, then," on the last.

His footfalls still follow me.

"Tell me, where've you been?" I ask her, looking down into pale blue eyes as she enters my dorm room. She closes the door and faces me head on. Her eyes flicker angrily around my face, showing me what her facial expressions won't. She's fuming, annoyed, angry, pissed. She knows. She has to know what I've done.

"Who've you been with?" she asks me. "If you're going to cheat on me, at least let me know."

Instead of telling her, I keep her on her toes by leaving the dorm.

He calls out my name again.

"Why are you so horrible?" she shouts at me.

My eyes burn with tears, but I hold my voice steady as I tell her, "Opposites attract. You're perfect, and I'm the opposite."

Her face contorts in pain, her teeth clenching as the first drops of rain fall from her eyes, clouded over with sadness. She kneels down and wraps her arms around herself, closing her eyes and curling her head down to her chest.

My heart cracks with every forced breath she takes. All I want to do is go over to her and wrap my arms around her, to show her that what I did was a mistake. She'd never believe it though. She never would.

I barely hear her voice as she whispers in a broken tone, "Get out."

"What?" I ask rudely, pretending that I didn't hear her. Maybe if I act like a jerk, she'll leave me faster for someone she actually deserves.

Her blood curdling scream shatters my ear drums. "GET OUT!"

When I reach my apartment, I practically kick down the door and make my familiar way to the fire escape. I climb easily through the always open window and sit down on the third step up to the apartment above me.

Air rushes through my lungs as I gasp for oxygen, somethings that's hard to find in the city. Something that's also hard to find in the city is a man that is reliable. The man I loved clambers out onto the fire escape, falling down on the metal platform.

I laugh at him, shaking my head. I feel my wet hair around my shoulders, dripping onto my winter coat. The freezing wind stirs up my hair, blowing it around my face.

"What are you doing here?" I ask him, still a bit out of breath. I hope that I'm looking at his face; I know that I'm at least looking in his general direction, which happens to be right in front of me.

She started ignoring my calls in the middle of January. In February she got a new phone number. In April, I started seeing new cuts on her newly bare arms. In June, I started seeing the first cuts on mine.

He returns my question back to me.

I tried changing my ways. I stopped flirting with girls, I focused in my studies, and managed to graduate the same year as her. When her name was called, and she got her diploma, I cheered for her, smiling at her even though I know she'd never see it.

"I'm waiting for this to end," I whisper, looking over the street to my right.

"I'm waiting for this to start," he whispers to me. He moves closer to me, his converse squeaking against the drenched metal. He sits down on the step next to me, his leg and hip brushing against me.

I managed to get a job in a music company, recording indie label musicians. When she came in to get her first album recorded, I refused to speak the entire time. I explained everything to my annoyed coworker later, and she told me to "grow a vagina and deal with my past on my own."

"For what to start?" I turn back to him, tilting my head up to him like I did when we were back in the park.

I dealt with my past the next day when she came in again to record the second fourth of the album. She immediately recognized me and didn't speak to me the entire time.

His warm breath heats up my flushing cheeks, and I look down towards my lap. His large hand tilts my head up to look at him. His lips brush gently against mine, letting lingering memories flood to the surface.

I talked to her the third day and apologized to her. She still didn't believe me.

On the last day of recording, I asked her to wait for me, so I could try and convinced her that I'd changed. When she wasn't there, I started chasing her through the park across from where I work.

He pulls back slowly, but remains close to my face. I place my left hand over his right, keeping his fingers against my cold cheek. He murmurs one single word to me, answering my previous question.

"This."