Author's Note: This is an entry for A Drop of Romeo's Star-Crossed Round 9 writing contest. This round was a one shot. I am not really that much of a romance writer, so I am afraid that it is rather, um, cliché (I think . . . If not, go me.) So, enjoy.

Oh, I did "Running."

Why do you insist on doing this to me? I try to run away, I try to get away from you, but you always keep coming back. Or rather, I always keep coming back to you.

Our love is toxic; there is no romance between us. When we are simply together, we get down to business without really enjoying what we are doing. We both live our own lives, expect for when we both want something.

I thought that I loved you, but I know that I don't and I know you feel the same way. We are each other's sin and we will keep sinning for each other until one of us becomes strong enough to walk away. At the rate we are going, that will never happen.

Every time one of us gets close to walking away, the other calls back and things return to normal. I guess this goes to show that you can't walk away from destiny.

She is my sin, my drug. Like other drugs, I know she will bring me down and I will bring her down. We both know where this so-called love is going to take us. In fact, we both call ourselves the modern day Romeo and Juliet. We both know, but we can't get away.

My friends tell me that I can do much better than her. They call her names and say nasty things about her, but I defend her. I know all the things they say about her are true, but to hear it coming from someone else is just gut wrenching. Her friends say the same things about me. I know because she has come to me crying about it many times.

Our relationship is bad, but that doesn't mean we are abusive toward each other. We are just those people who are just bad for each other. There's really no other way to explain it. We're like fire and gasoline, but our explosion will not be good.

Many people will get hurt when this blows up. There's no if it will blow up, it's always been a when. We both know that this will never last, yet why do we stay involved with each other?
In the perfect world, we would take off running down the street and never look back. We would both leave the country and live on opposite end of the planet. We never mention that other nor would the other enter our thoughts.

But, we both know that's not going to happen.


Because we are too afraid to walk away and let the other go.

We are bound by our wicked ways as sinners to stay together and watch ourselves fall apart.

She is walking up to my flat right now. I now that I shouldn't open the door or just tell her to go away and never return, but I won't. She knows that I won't.



I get up from my chair and go to the door, knowing what is waiting for me on the other side. I open the door to a big smile.

"Hello," she says as she steps into my flat.

I nod.

She looks around the small flat with a frown on her face. "This isn't much better than living in a dorm."
I shrug. "It's away from prying eyes."
Neither of us says a word about that. People on campus are always trying to keep us apart. I guess we should have gone to another university, but staying in your hometown does have its benefits.

She sits down on my sofa. "So..."
I sit down next to her."Why did you come here?"

She looks at her hands. "To be honest, I don't know." She sighs. "I guess I just can't stay away."

I sit down next to her. "What do we do know?"
She sighs. "I guess we try to keep going on the same way."
I nod. "Yeah, but will that get us anywhere?"
She looks me in the eye. "I don't know."

I stare at the black television screen. Why don't we just let this go instead of torturing ourselves? We both just admitted that this isn't good and, yet, either one of us is making that first move to walk away. Must we keep doing this to ourselves?

She looks at the rings on her fingers. "Maybe if we just kept seeing other people, then we could end this."
We both know that isn't working. We both are seeing out of town people, people who don't know our history, or don't care that we are involved with each other. Sure, we can keep doing that, but, yet, we always end up sitting on my sofa doing the same old thing.

Her eyes dart toward my bedroom. "Maybe we just need to do something to take our minds off of this."
I look at my open bedroom door. It's the same old routine. We do our thing, act like everything's okay and whatnot, then go about on our normal business until the next go around. The game keeps repeating with no end in sight.

I sigh and get to me feet. "Let's go, then."
She gets to her feet and follows me slowly into the bedroom.

I turn to her. "Look, we don't have to do this if you don't want to."

She nods and sits down on the bed. "No, it's fine. I want to do this."

I shut the door and turn around to face her. "Okay, then."
She presses her lips against mine. "Okay, then."
She is out the door early the next morning, not even bothering to stay for breakfast or say goodbye for that matter. It's okay though, because I know she will be back for more.

I walk into the small kitchen, start my morning coffee, and flip through yesterday's paper. Things are so normal right now without her here. There's no pressure and I can just be myself until she comes back and the game repeats itself.

The coffee maker dings and I pour myself a big mug full before slouching down on the sofa. I know I should be heading off to my morning lectures, but I can't make myself move.

She's still in my head and she needs to get out. I cannot afford to fail another course because of her. The university is already threatening to kick me out because of my poor marks and adding one more will give them the prefect chance. Each course I filed is because of her. She is always here when I'm trying to study and I don't have the heart to send her away.

This is what I get for being a nice guy.

My mother always told me that I should be a gentleman when it comes to ladies and my father always said to the noble thing and give a woman what she wants. So, this is me following my parents' advice by not sending her away running.

I close my eyes. The more I think about it, the more I can see how we are like Romeo and Juliet. We both know where our love is going to end, but we can't get away and end up seeing each other in secret. No one can keep us apart and no matter how many get hurt, we will not stop this madness. We are not going to commit suicide like Romeo and Juliet, rather we are something else.

We are a romanticide. We both know that we are going to cause each other's demise, but we cannot forget about each other. I didn't even know that our condition had a name until a couple of weeks ago. It's strange being labelled as a condition, but it is comforting. At least, we know that we are not the only ones in this boot.

I look at mobile. I really should get moving and get over to the university.

Fifteen minutes later, I am out the door and running to my car. I really don't know why I'm running, but there's just a certain rush or appeal about running to somewhere rather than away from somewhere. Don't ask me to explain it in any more detail than that.

I get in my car and join my fellow morning commuters on the road to nowhere. The traffic is moving so slowly, that I am able close my eyes a couple of times and picture her in my head. I open my eyes and shake my head; I need to stop thinking about her.

She causes more hurt than love. I've never said it before, but she really does mess with my emotions in ways that I can't even describe. I am any less of a man for admitting that I have feelings and willing to admit that someone is able to mess with him?
The car in front of me suddenly slams its brakes on. I stop just centimetres away from its rear bumper.

I grip the steering wheel so hard that my knuckles turn white. I just need to stop thinking about her or my near miss could turn into something far worse.

I sigh and take the nearest exit. It's nowhere close to university, but I don't care. I'm already going to have to find another school to attention next year, so what did one more poor mark on my transcript really mean?
I pull into a twenty-four hour bar, hoping that some alcohol in my system will help me get her out of my head.

There's only a couple of old men in the bar, sitting near the back and arguing over some sports related thing. I don't pay any attention to them nor do they to me.

I sit down at the bar.

The bartender eyes me. I know he is wondering how old I am, but I really don't care. I slap my ID down on the bar without a word and dare him to turn me away.

I study the menu as I wait for him to reach.

He looks briefly at my ID. "What can I get for you?"

"A tequila and keep them coming," I mutter.

The bartender nods and walks away. A few minutes later, he is back with my first drink, slams it down on the bar, and walks away. So much for spilling my guts to the bartender...

I drink my tequila, feeling it burn clear down my throat. I sit back and stare at the empty mug. She's still there in head. Sighing, I signal the bartender for another round, knowing that this is going to be a very long day.

This is how I end up two hours later, in the back, with my new senior citizen friends, Mo and Leo. Our laughter fills the bar, making it seem like we are old friends instead of three drunks who have nothing better to do on a Wednesday afternoon.

"And she's always, like, don't leave me and whatnot. I'm, like, sure, I won't leave you as long as you give me what I want," I laugh.

Mo and Leo hit the table with their fists.

"Tell her like it is, man! Tell her like it is!" Mo exclaims.

I take another long drink. "Yeah!"
The bartender is shooting us dirty looks from the bar, but I really don't care.

Leo shakes his finger at me. "There's no sense in ending a good thing, now is there?"

I shake my head. "Nope." Great, I'm drunk and she's still in my mind. What do I have to do to shake her?

Mo shakes his head. "You don't know how good you have it, kid. Why in my day, you couldn't get women to do nothing for you."

I smirk. "And how long was that?"

Mo smiles and flips me off.

I smile back. "It's nice to know that you like me."
Leo holds up his mug and we toast.

I pull out my mobile and look at the time. "Well, I hate to blow off this fun time, but duty calls."

Leo and Mo laugh.

"Well, let us know how that turns out for you!" Mo calls after me as I leave the bar.

I get in my car. The world looks like it's moving, even though it's not. I sigh. I can't drive like this. I have no other choice, but to make the call.

She pulls up thirty minutes later. She jumps out of her car and runs over to me. "I'm so glad you called! I was so worried when you didn't come to lecture!"
I nod. Her normally beautiful soprano sounds like nails on the chalkboard right now.

She puts her arm around my shoulders and guides me to the car like I am a small child.

I know I should say something to her about us, but she'll just tell me that I'm drunk and we'll talk about it once I sober up. I should have called my brother instead of her, now she'll stay with me until all the alcohol is out of my system. I have officially screwed myself over.

She puts me into the car and we drive to my flat without a word. She guides me up to my bed and puts me to bed like I'm a small child. I lay there and wait for darkness to overtake me.

She is sitting next to my head, gently stroking my hair. Normally, I would have enjoyed her touching me, but, now, I just want to go to sleep so I don't have to see her face. I just want some peace and the chance to enjoy the rest of my life.

I close my eyes. I just want to feel like myself again. I can see the light and I want to run toward it. I want to join the rest of the world and live the life that I want and not be bound to her.

I feel her get off my bed and go into the lounge. Finally, I am alone and it is only then do I sleep.

I awake some time after midnight with a pounding head. I attempt to sit up on the edge of my bed, but the dizziness in my head causes me to plop back down on the bedclothes. Great, I can't even get up and my only hope is her.

"Are you still out there?" I call.

Her beautiful face fills the doorframe. "Are you okay?"

"Can you get me some water and a couple of aspirins?"

She nods and disappears.

I am completely hopeless. I just need to man up.

I flop back down on the bed and wait for her to come back. I probably should just send her away, but I kind of need her. I can sense that it's going to be a very long day both with my hangover and her.

She comes back into the room and hands me the aspirin and water. "I hope this helps," she says in her sickening sweet voice.

I take them from her and down them. I lay back and wait for my headache to end.

"You really do look awful," she says in a teasing voice.

Awful enough that you will go away?
She bends down and kisses my sticky forehead. "But you still look really handsome."
I sigh. Why is she doing this? I know she feels the way about our relationship as I do.

She sits the empty cup on the small stand beside my bed. "But, I can't do this anymore."
What the hell?
"I am really sorry about this and I hate to do this to you in your current state, but I just can't keep going on like this. I can't stand the way people look at me when I'm with you or just by myself." She pauses. "I just want to live my life!"
I don't say anything.

"We both know that it's for the best anyway." She gets to her feet. "I'll call one of the guys to check up on you."

She runs out the door and doesn't look back. I keep waiting for her to come back, but she doesn't. I knew she wouldn't.

I manage to get into a sitting position. I pull back the curtain of the window by my bed and see her, running down the street and into the early morning sunrise. It's more than that, she's running into a new and better life: a life without me.

"Goodbye, my Juliet," I whisper. "I wish you the best."

And there you have it! Thanks for reading!