As promised here is the second part of KB Mallion’s story Let Sleeping Love Lie, if you haven’t read part one you will find it here… http://wp.me/p4rGhL-tJ
The following week, I returned to the pub with a heavy, and incredibly guilty, heart. As soon as Will saw me, the disgust and disappointment was written all over his pale and resentful, face.
He used to look at me in such a beautiful way, that it left me feeling special; giddy and weak, that kind of special. Now, I was something so terribly tainted; he just looked right through me. To him, I was now soiled goods. To him, I no longer existed.
In that painful and sickening moment, I knew that we were forever over. Whatever ‘we’ once were, had now absolutely gone. Nothing I could say or do, would ever change that.
So I begrudgingly, carried on seeing Ed for a few more, saving face, weeks. Of course, his own interest had very much waned once he had smugly bedded me. It was only a matter of time before I would be permanently removed from his radar altogether. So my battered pride, made me end things first between us. It was about this time that Will stopped working at the pub. I then knew, I would never get the chance to say that I was sorry. I would never get the chance to apologise for my inexcusable actions.
Torturous weeks followed. I continued to think of him.
What was he doing?
Who was he with?
Did he still think of me?
I was never a person who wanted to regret a single thing, but with him, I regretted everything. I felt like I had this haunting, unfinished business, silently simmering away. Holding out for the moment that it would get its chance to finish what it had once started.
I wouldn’t get that chance, until the Boxing Day Ball. At the very place, where ‘we’ first began.
I’d had a shit Christmas, and my Boxing Day was about to get a whole lot shitter. I’d been dragged out by my friends, who were trying to pull me from my, post-Will, hell hole. For him to actually be there, was a bitter pill to swallow. Nauseating and bitter, because he had a new girlfriend in tow. A girlfriend, who just so happened to like to drape herself all over him. It was like she was telling every single female in the room, that Will was hers.
I tried so hard not to look in their direction, but nevertheless, my eyes would frequently betray me. The brunette was possessively sat on his lap, her arms snaked right around his neck. It was sickening to see him laughing with someone else. Heated jealously ripped right through me, shredding me apart with every giggle and kiss that they both shared. Some self loathing was thrown in for good fucking measure, too. I knew that girl could have been me. That girl, should have been me!
There was only one time, did Will choose to look in my direction. He saved the indignant look, that I so cruelly threw him on that fateful night with Ed. He saved it, so that he could finally throw it right back at me… With piercing and soul-crushing force.
He peeped over the brunette’s shoulder, smugly glaring back at me. All of his pent up anger and disappointment, suddenly came flying at me with one disdained, but precise, glance. I tried to hide my hurt but it was futile. I managed to hang around for a little while longer, but my humiliation was eventually too much to bear. Knowing that Will was still disgusted with me, I left with his disgust wrapped around my ashamed and sad self.
Walking home, my confidence was in complete tatters. My taunting mind, cursed me. I was all alone, left to lick my very raw, but totally deserved, wounds.
I thought that would be the last time that I saw him, but twelve years later, I would be forced to remember Will, once again.
I honestly think that fate thought it would be fun to taunt me, one final time… For old times sake. For, there I was; happily getting on with my life. When one nostalgic day, my silly thoughts began to wander off with distant memories of Will. My whimsical thoughts wondered what of him?
Did he marry or have any kids?
Did he follow that dream to do a degree in Engineering and Technology?
Was he happy?
All legitimate questions that a woman would ask about a man that she once fucked over. Stupid thoughts and questions, that I didn’t deserve to own.
After Will, my life did eventually settle. I had a long term boyfriend, and was now an assistant manager at the nursery where I worked. Life was good. However, fate had something bittersweet in store for me. After twelve years of being Will-less, that single thought of him, triggered something to release inside of me. It had freed thoughts and feelings that I had chained somewhere safely inside of me. I still wished that I had been given the chance to say I was sorry. I still felt regret over something that I never gave an explanation for. It was bloody ridiculous, that I even cared after all this time… but there were never no hard or fast rules about my feelings for Will.
I could never get past how badly I had treated him that night. How I had not only let him down, I had also let myself down. I always hoped, that one day, I would get my chance to tell him that.
I even wrote about him in a poem. An apologetic poem, I suppose. In the hope that it would finally rid me of my heavy guilt. That it would somehow help me to get it all off my burdened chest… but it never did.
I knew that he’d never get to read any of my apologetic words.
I also knew that he’d never truly understand how my hurting him, hurt myself.
So as yet another Christmas approached, I found myself reading the poem that I once wrote.
This is a poem, that you shall never see
But felt compelled to write it nevertheless
As insanely, I often still think of you
How things between us were so terribly left
I don’t believe in a life of regret
No use in dwelling on the past
But for some unknown and sad reason
I can’t forgive myself, for all of the hurt that I once cast
You were younger than me
When I met you twelve years ago
My God you were so beautiful
On the inside, even more beautifully so
You were working behind the bar
Where me and my girlies once went
Straight away, I wanted to know you
A gorgeous soul to me, so heavenly sent
You were intelligent and kind
A really sweet and caring young soul
I wanted to be with you
I wanted you to make me feel whole
You respected all of me
Respected the person that I was
I don’t understand what I did
It was if onlys and just because
I grew impatient and stubborn
That’s when my insecurity set in
I began thinking to destroy
What never got a chance to truly begin
You were much more mature
Than I had ever been
I just went into self destruct mode
A cruel part of me you’d never seen
You see, when I began to care
More than I could ever cope with
I began to play games and push
Pushing you to a no win limit
When I saw that you were jealous
That pushing just took a hold
I never stopped to think of you
How my actions would leave you cold
I remember your sweet face
Looking hurt and so very sad
“Why are you going with him?”
You whispered in a voice, so mad
I remember feeling confused
And thinking that I should just go home
That is what I should have done
Left and gone home… ALONE
But then, Little Miss Self Destruct
Urged me to go on ahead
Ignoring my feelings for you
I chose a smug loser instead
God, I could kick myself
A thousand times and more
What I did that night
Was cruel and so immature
It makes me emotional, still
Thinking how I hurt you so
The memory of your hurt face
Twelve years later, I still do know
That was the end of us
You left working at the bar
I never got to say I was sorry
For me, that left a scar
I think of you at times
Wonder how your life is?
You will always be remembered
Somewhere in my hearts abyss
I remember your gentle kiss
You were always a true gent
You loved that I wrote poetry
Like I said… Heaven sent
So although you’ll never know
How very sorry I am
I’ve written it down here
My feelings weren’t a sham
I wish that I could find you
Maybe tell you to your face?
So that you’d know that I
Am now a woman of grace
I regret that you never got
The chance to ever see
Who I truly was inside
The chance to see the real me
I think if you had seen her
Who’d know where we would be?
But I made a huge mistake
I underestimated your integrity
So now I only have my thoughts
Rattling around inside of my head
Dear Will, I’m so very sorry
Are the words that I never said
Remember fate, the bitch that I mentioned before? A few days after my reading of that heartfelt poem, I see Will again. I’m busily rushing around my local supermarket, minding my own damn business. When, I felt someone watching me. You know when you sometimes quickly look at someone, and they seem warmly familiar. In that surreal moment, I was blissfully unaware, that the man that I had been longing to see, was in actual fact, staring right back at me. His now matured, yet handsome face, just didn’t register with me at the time. All I remember of that day was rushing in to buy my lunch. In deep and hurried thought, I was choosing some sushi. I felt someone, to my right, looking intently at me. I glanced sideways, and saw this gorgeous guy faintly smiling with his eyebrow raised with amused interest at me.
I distinctly remember thinking ‘Oh my… I’m being checked out by the hunk near the sushi’
How could I have possibly not realised that it was Will?
What a complete and utter tit to have not recognised him straight away?
After twelve years of not seeing his wonderful face, ashamedly, I had kind of forgotten it. I only had the younger Will, etched within my older mind. I never thought, not in a million years, that I’d see him whilst out shopping. It was only after leaving the shop, did it actually sink in that Will was the man who had been smiling at me. But at that precise moment in time, with him continuing to stare across at me, I began to feel a bit silly. So feeling girlishly embarrassed, with who I thought was, a complete but totally hot stranger; I made haste. Quickly paying for my sushi and bottled water and leaving the store with a flush to my high cheeks. Like I said, it was only after reaching my car, did I understand why that gorgeous face seemed so pleasantly familiar.
I not only didn’t speak, I blushed and ignored him. Seriously, I just wanted to shrivel up and die.
After many an occasion of wanting to once again kick myself, I just thought that it was a weird coincidence to see Will after reading the poem that I wrote. Only fate, that wicked bitch of a cow… Was having real bloody fun with me.
The following week, I’m happily walking through the town with my boyfriend. I’m busily browsing through my messages on my smartphone, when I look up and see HIM… Again!
It is then and only then, that his older, but still insanely handsome face, is instantly recognised by me. I just couldn’t believe it. What were the chances of seeing him again, after seeing nothing of him in over twelve years? Yet here he was, in gorgeous glory… It really was Will.
In complete and panicked shock, I stupidly looked down; fiddling with my phone. I knew that we had passed each other, and I really wanted to look back over my shoulder, just to see if he was looking back at me… but it’s hardly appropriate when your boyfriend of seven years is right beside you.
Inside, I felt just like that twenty five year old Tess all over again. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. His face was the only face that I saw, every time that I closed my eyes.
Why, after all these years, was I seeing him all of the damn fucking time?
He had always remained sheltered somewhere safely within my heart, but these random fleeting moments of seeing him, had now kicked down all of my heavily guarded defences.
So stupidly, the following week, I foolishly found myself actually searching for him as I walked around town. Every face that passed me by, I briefly studied. I vehemently chastised myself, for acting so pathetic and desperate. And I kid you not, that was when I saw him again; at a cashpoint.
He busily pressed the buttons, grabbing his money, then dashed past me on the opposite side of the road. This time, his stare didn’t linger on me. He was probably pissed by the fact that I had blanked him twice already. He was more than likely thinking. “Fuck that! I’m not going to give her a third opportunity.”
In total and utter disbelief, I reluctantly turned and carried on walking in the other direction.
Where had Will been?
Why did I keep on seeing him after nothing for twelve long years?
Why was he unknowingly, but always, popping into my life?
It was a constant and bitter reminder of something that had taken me such a long time to forget.
I began to feel guilty because of my dear boyfriend. For, at night, I’d lie there; thinking about someone else. A someone, who I had a brief, but very messy, history with. I know it all happened way before my boyfriend, but it didn’t make me feel any less guilty.
However, my completely selfish side, justified it by the fact that mine and Will’s messy past had remained unresolved. It had never been laid to rest. It’s a cursing trait of mine. I absolutely hate loose ends… And Will, was my biggest ever loose end.
The weird thing was, over the years, I had buried him so deep. So deep, that whenever I thought of him, I felt like I was losing a little more of him. Eventually, I couldn’t remember everything about him. I couldn’t even remember his surname. So whenever I tried to find him on Facebook, I would never get any joy. I knew it was short and that it was hidden somewhere within the depths of my mind. It was always there on the tip of my tongue, but it never would come to me. I think it was self preservation, again. Protecting me from a painful part of my past that needed to remain where it was.
However, that wicked thing called fate, was still not done with me.
After those three cringe-worthy occasions, I was more determined than ever to find him on Facebook. So I typed in the name Will, and straight away a Will, with one mutual friend, appeared. As if by magic, his handsome face was right there before me. It felt as though something was wonderfully trying to weave our separate paths back together. It was as if we were meant to one day bump into one another again. So, ashamedly, I had a nose on his page. I had the chance to see a snippet of his life via Facebook. I felt like an an unwelcome intruder, looking at some of his photo’s and some of the things he had written. Feeling edgy, I read just a little about him. I don’t know why, but I felt so utterly disappointed when reading his profile… Because, as expected, he had a partner and a young son.
Did I dare to add him as a friend?
Without even contemplating it, I stupidly sent a friend request.
With Christmas just around the corner, I tried to occupy my mind with all things festive; choosing to forget all about my ignored friend request from Will. Not even the sweet treat of making some cinnamon snowmen biscuits, helped. His rejection hung heavy on my dejected, trying to be festive, shoulders. Once again, I felt angry with myself. Where in my stupid little mind, did I ever think that he would accept? So I purposely stayed away from town. I had to put Will in a remote place in my heart and mind… Yet again.
Christmas came and went, but me and my friends all glammed it up for the Boxing Day Ball. We hadn’t been for years, and wanted to take a trip down memory lane. It turned out to be one hell of a trip down memory lane, let me tell you. The Woo’s Woo’s kept on coming. I was letting my hair down and having some fun. It was during a drunken giggle fit, that I first saw Will.
He was sat with some friends, looking relaxed and at ease. He was wearing that glorious look of interest, plastered all across his divine face, when our eyes slowly locked onto one another’s.
I tried to evade any eye contact with him, but my eyes really did love to defy me. So I kept finding myself looking directly at him, weakly smiling. A ‘this is awkward, but I’ll smile anyway’ kind of a smile. To see him reciprocate mine, drenched me in the sweetest of relief. The cold, dark stare had gone, and was now replaced with a modest grin. I happily took that grin. Anything was better than being glared at.
I decided to not drink anymore. In fact, all night long, I felt self conscious and edgy in his presence. I was pissed off, because he was STILL able to do that to me.
My bladder eventually succumbed to all of the cocktails that had been previously consumed. Although I would have to walk past Will, I still needed to bloody pee. So, I carefully walked past him and his friends. My head was held high, and I prayed to God that I didn’t slip or trip over; because frankly, when Will would fall into my life… Things invariably did go wrong.
I sat on the toilet, feeling like I wanted to run away. Too long had passed between myself and Will. He was now just a stranger and that hurt much more than I wanted to admit.
After my, long but reflective, wee; I looked at my solemn reflection, shaking my head at it.
Did you seriously think that you would one day just fall back into his forgiving arms?
Did you honestly think that he would try to pick up from where you both left things twelve years ago?
Those ridiculous questions bore right into me, as I stared back at my frowning reflection.
I knew that I was no longer that twenty five year old Tess, and that Will was definitely no longer the twenty two year old, that I once fell in love with.
I sighed deeply, digging out my clear lip gloss; gliding it over my lonely lips. I pouted at my reflection, stupidly feeling a little better with a bit of lippy on. Grabbing my bag, I walked out the door, ready to go back upstairs to the bar.
I literally had to stifle a shocked gasp escaping from my mouth, when I looked up to see Will. Who was gorgeously leaning against the bottom of the wooden staircase with his arms casually folded.
“Hello Tess.” His voice was low and welcoming. It felt so good to hear his voice, especially when it was saying my name.
“So you do remember me, then?” I asked with a curious, teasing and quirked brow.
“How could I forget you?” He grinned, refusing to look away from me.
I blinked at his reply, looking down at the floor. Confident Tess was indeed now screaming at me. Urging me to say something… Anything! “You look really well.” I told him, nervously stroking my thigh.
“You too.” He straightened his stance, lowering his arms down by his sides.
I tried to lighten the mood of the conversation, on edge by the way that he was looking at me. “Isn’t it weird how we have not seen each other for years and years, then all of a sudden we keep bumping into one another?” I said with a nervous and slight smile.
Will frowned, his lips teasingly pursed. “That’s when you’re not blanking me, that is?”
I pulled my shoulders back, trying to appear confident. “The first time that I saw you in the supermarket, I honestly didn’t twig that it was you.” I quickly and nervously explained.
Will looked at me hard, the corners of his mouth pulled up with amusement. “So you didn’t blank me?”
I coyly looked away, smirking at his question. “Not intentionally, no.” I quietly replied.
For the first time in twelve years, I was gifted his wonderful and natural smile that he so gorgeously possessed. He nodded, standing tall. “Why did you add me as a friend on Facebook?” His brows pulled together with his serious question, it had me squirming.
I stepped back, holding up my hands. My way of surrendering to him. “I apologise about that. It was just seeing you, made me want to find you again. I had tried many times before, but with no luck.” I felt stupid for admitting that.
His head tilted, needing to know more. “Why have you been trying to find me, Tess?” Will’s eyes deeply penetrated mine, searching for an answer.
That’s when I knew it was time. This was the moment that I had been waiting so long for. I couldn’t mess it up now! With flushed cheeks and a cool nervousness rushing through my body, my moment began. “There are things that I’ve waited a long time to say, Will.” My hands remained so rigid down by my sides, frozen with nerves.
“Okay, I’m listening.” Once again, he crossed his arms. I knew that he had no intention of making this easy for me.
I bravely lifted my chin. “I have always wanted to say how sorry I was. How sorry, I still am. I have always wanted to apologise to you about what happened that night with Ed. I treated you terribly, for reasons that I’m not going to go into, right now. I just know that it was unforgivable. I really did feel something for you, I’m truly sorry for how I acted. I just wanted to let you know that.” I finished my teary ramble, not wishing to look at him for too long.
For an agonising and short moment, he said nothing. He only looked on at me in an emotionless way. Finally, he stepped closer. “Have you carried that around with you for twelve years?” His eyes roam my face, causing my heart to thump inside of my chest.
“Yes.” I mumbled, holding back my tears.
“Why?” He gently asked.
I sadly lifted my lashes. “I regret what I did.”
Will’s expression softened. “We all do silly things, Tess.”
My eyes darted to his, begging for him to listen. “I let something wonderful slip through my fingers, Will.” I shakily blurted out.
Taking another step closer, he was now so close; I could appreciatively smell his intoxicating aftershave. My nostrils devoured all of his masculine scent, committing it to memory.
Looking deeply into my blue eyes, he hesitates to touch my flushed cheek. Carefully, he trailed his gentle fingers across it. To feel his touch again, was heavenly. I leant my head against the palm of his soft hand, savouring it with closed eyes. Something beautiful was happening. I never wanted it to end. I wanted to freeze time and be forever locked in a precious pause. “You were very special, Tess.” Will’s solemn words brought my emotions to the brim.
I sighed, my breaths shattered and broken. “I wish I could turn back the clock, Will.” I said, tears filling my red-rimmed eyes.
He smiled, a smile full of clarity. “But you can’t. What has happened… Has happened. We are two different people now. I have a girlfriend and a beautiful son. Regardless of how we feel, Tess, nothing can and never will, happen between us… You understand that, don’t you?”
My eyes continued to fill with salty tears. He gently wiped some away, that had escaped my lower lid. I managed to nod, my chin violently quivering. “I know. I just wish that things could have been different.” I admitted, looking just past his shoulder.
Will smiled, sympathetically tilting his head. “But they aren’t.” He regretfully added.
I knew that my moment was coming to an end. Only, I felt there was still more to say. “I’m so sorry for hurting you. I was a stupid, stupid cow for sleeping with Ed. I’m so…. ”
Will silenced me with his finger placed on my parted lips. “You have to let it go, Tess.” He firmly told me.
My shoulders dropped with sadness. “I thought I had, but seeing you again has made it all feel like it only happened yesterday.” I said, looking away.
He sighed loudly, then pulled slightly back from me. “Why do you think I didn’t add you as a friend on Facebook?” He asked, frowning once again.
“Because you hate me?” I answered, wiping a tear from my lip.
Will studied me, his expression so sweet and caring. “I don’t hate you.”
That’s when I looked at the ground, unable to look at him anymore. “I hate myself.” I angrily mumbled.
Lifting my chin with his finger, he made me look at him. “Don’t ever say that.” His tone was serious, even cross. “The reason that I didn’t add you as a friend, was because it felt better not to. It wouldn’t be wise for us to see what’s happening in each other’s lives, Tess… It’s better this way.”
I lowered my lashes, forcing them to gain more eye contact with him. “It should have been me with you, Will.” I blinked back more salty tears, my body becoming overwhelmed with the hurt that flooded its aching veins.
Will tapped on his heart. “In here, you always will be.” He offered me only a small, sorrowful smile.
Biting my lip hard, my chin quaked with desolate emotion. I desperately needed to put some distance between us. “I think I had better go, before I say something completely embarrassing.” I replied, sadly turning away.
Just as I’m about to wrench myself away, I felt him delicately take hold of my hand. Pulling me close against him, he looked up above him; to where some mistletoe hung prettily above us. We both stared at it, silently thinking about the significance of its being there; before his soft lips are lightly brought against mine. He delivered a sweet and cherished, goodbye kiss; holding my face in his departing hands until our kiss met its untimely ending. As our lips reluctantly separated, he whispered. “Goodbye Tess.”
“Goodbye, Will.” I weakly replied.
Then with nothing else needing to be said, the love of my life, slowly walked back up the stairs; without even a backward glance to pacify me. Upset, I retreated back into the toilet cubicle. I don’t know how long I was there for, until a couple of my friends finally came to find me. I had to tell them that my tears were because of a bad day and far too much alcohol. A barefaced lie, but it was all I could quickly think of. A necessary lie, that would prevent me from falling into shattered pieces on the floor.
Now, I am back at home, lying in my bed; unable to sleep as the early hours creep in.
My quiet thoughts are only of Will. The haunting memory of his parting kiss and his carefully said words. They are now the only things keeping me company in my darkened bedroom.
Well, I finally got to say that I was sorry.
During this festive time, I was given the blessing to lay past ghosts to rest.
Was this part of the plan?
Did fate play her wicked part in all of this?
I only know that Will is just as sweet, as he was twelve years ago. That has only made a little part of me, love him even more. He is right, though. We are two different people now. Our lives are very different. We both belong with different people. Knowing that he does forgive me, helps.
It also helps to know that somewhere deep inside of him, he’ll always carry me around with him.
I just know that I’ll never forget tonight. I also hope that whenever Will looks up at mistletoe, he’ll remember tonight, and our long awaited goodbye.
I’ll always love Will. There will always be a part of my heart, that shall forever belong to him, but sometimes, the right thing to do is… Let sleeping love lie.
© KB Mallion 2015.