Raindrops tell me one thing.” “Anything.” “Why, no,

 

Raindrops ran down the
windows, leaving small watery trails behind.

 

“I’m back…I couldn’t handle being away any longer…I’ve
missed you.”

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“But…it’s been so long…I’ve moved on. I don’t feel the
same.”

 

Thunder crashed outside
and my eyes flew open, just as clouded over as the sky outside.

 

“I’ve waited so long for this, please don’t leave.
I’ve missed you so much.”

 

“Aaron, I’m sorry, but there’s just not anything there
anymore. When you walked out that last time, you took those feelings with you.
I’m so sorry.”

 

My phone laid on the
floor beside the couch, the screen cracked into an intricate spider web. After
leaving voicemail after voicemail, seeing it had just become too hard.

 

“Justin, please answer my calls. We’ve got to be able
to work something out…it’s been so hard not seeing you. I dream of you almost
every night, and then I have to wake up and face the reality that you’re not
here. That feeling is like dying.”

 

Why does this hurt so
much? I was able to walk out on him time and time again, but it never hurt me
then. Why now? Why now, of all times, am I left so broken and numb?

 

“If you want me so bad, then please just tell me one
thing.”

 

“Anything.”

 

“Why, no, how could you choose to look me in the eye,
and then walk out that door?”

 

“You act like I had a choice.”

 

“You ALWAYS have a choice!”

 

“I thought it’d be best for you.”

 

“It’s not your place to decide that.”

 

The couch where we had
once sat together, held each other, and many other things, was now littered
with clothes I hadn’t had the energy to put away and fast food wrappers. The
coffee table that was once covered with Polaroid pictures of us together was
now covered in cigarette butts and empty bottles.

 

“I need you. You don’t understand…I’m such a mess
without you.”

 

“It’s nice to finally understand something for once,
isn’t it?”

 

I’m past the point of
tears. All I have left in me is blank stares, and they’ve become the only
expression my face will hold.

 

“Is there any chance that you’ll ever come back to
me?”

 

“I don’t know, Aaron. I honestly don’t know.”

 

I ruined everything. He
hates me, and I don’t blame him at all. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted and
more, and I broke him.

 

“If you wanted to leave so badly, why did you always
come back?”

 

“Justin…I’m in love with you. I can’t stay away from
you.”

 

Everything suddenly made
sense. All the nights I’d walked out…I was feeling everything he’d felt. All
the torture and pain…I understood now.

 

“Aaron! Aaron, please! I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I can
change, I promise. Just please don’t leave me! Please!”

 

“Baby, it’s not you, it’s me. It’s always been me.”

 

“No, Aaron, please. You’ve been perfect, please stay.
Please don’t leave me, I couldn’t take it.”

 

“Justin, please stop. You’re making this so much
harder than it needs to be.”

 

“Leaving me is supposed to be easy?”

 

An angry fit overcame me
and I was throwing things. Anything in reach was getting flung at the wall,
shattering. Nothing was safe, I wanted everything to be as shattered as I was.

 

My phone buzzed on the
opposite side of the room, becoming the only light source in the dark room
except for the dim gray shining through the window.

 

Justin: I think I’m ready to talk…

 

A smaller glimmer of
something lit up inside me, and it felt like hope.

 

Me: Oh baby thank god I missed you so much

 

Justin: Please don’t do that right now I can’t handle
it

 

Me: …I’m sorry

 

Justin: I’m on my way

 

My
phone died in my hands and I let it fall to the floor. Breathing was suddenly
coming much easier to me. I slid down the wall I was leaned against and rested
my face in my hands.

 

“Aaron, baby, why would
you do this to yourself?”

 

My eyes opened and there
he stood. Innocent green eyes were filled with concern and staring down at me.
He crouched down and cupped my face in his hands.

 

“Baby, answer me.”

 

“I missed you.”

 

He shook his head. “So
you trashed the house? Baby, look at you.” He gently picked up one of my hands
and held it so I could see. Glass had sliced my hands and a slow stream of
blood dripped off my fingers. “You didn’t notice you were bleeding?”

 

“Since you left, I’ve
just been…numb.”

 

He ran his fingers
through my hair. “It’s okay, I’m here now. I’m here.”

 

“You’re staying?”

 

“Yes baby.”

 

“But I thought…I thought
you were gone for good.”

 

He shook his head. “I
could never stay gone.”

 

“Really? You mean that?”

 

He sighed and shifted to
sit down. “Aaron, you crushed me. You took my heart, and shattered it. But the
thing is, I still love you with all of those tiny broken worthless pieces. And
it kills me that I broke you, even if you deserved it. I can’t just leave you
like this. I couldn’t live with myself.”

 

“Baby-”

 

“Let me finish. I have
this theory. I think that we’re meant to be shattered, you and I. We’re meant
to be composed of broken pieces. And that’s so that when we’re together, we fit
together so perfectly that nothing will ever be able to break us again.”

 

He set his hand on my leg
and smiled sadly. “You just gotta tell me one thing.”

 

“Anything.”

 

“Say you won’t leave me.
Even if you don’t mean it, please just let me hear you say it.”

 

I could do nothing but
stare at him. He waited a moment, his face falling slowly before he finally
sighed and stood up. “That’s what I thought. That’s it, Aaron. I’m done. With
you. With us. With all of this. Your words that mean one thing and your actions
say something completely different. I see clearly now that if you genuinely
wanted to give me your time and affection, you wouldn’t make me cry and beg for
them.”

 

“Justin, wait.”

 

“Why?” He turned and
looked at me. “Give me one good reason I should even pause to hear what you
have to say?”

 

“Because you love me.”

 

His face took on a pained
expression and he nodded slightly.

 

“I’m so sorry. You have
no idea how much I love you, or how much I hate myself for doing this to you.
I’m so hard to love. I’m…I’m hollow and hard around the edges. But then there’s
these rare occasions when somebody is brave enough to take the leap and I give
it all up before anything can begin. But you’re different, I just know it.
You’re actually breaking through these walls I had built up and it scares me so
I ran. But I also ran back. You’re my lifeline, Justin. I’m so in love with you
and you’re so just…amazing and breathtaking and electric. It’s hard to keep up,
but I want to try. I want you. I want this. I want us. Please don’t give up on
me, not yet. I’m just learning how to do this, and I’m learning for you. Because
you’re worth it.”

 

He looked at me with a
look of awe on his face. “You really mean that?”

 

I nodded and Justin
crossed the room and crouched in front of me, cupping my face once more and
gently kissing my lips.

 

I pulled away and smiled
and he rested his forehead against mine. “You still numb?”

 

“Nah, my hand kind of
hurts, we should probably do something about this.”

 

Justin’s music-like
giggle filled my ears and my broken world fell back into place.