His Final Loss

Image of Set Stories Free - 2018
Image of Short Story
She took a steadying breath, attempting to keep her composure. Oh, how he longed to see those darling green eyes of hers. He knew if he got a glimpse of them, his own eyes could convey to her the words that wouldn’t leave his mouth. He moved his hand to cup her face, urging her to look at him. She flinched and he suddenly knew that he’d already lost her. He remembered how just yesterday he could simply walk into a room and she lit up like the New York City skyline. Memories flooded his mind of all the times when his fingers would brush against her and she would get this dazzling smile on her face; the kind of smile that said his attention was the only thing in the world she’d ever wanted. The knowledge that he took that joy away from her brought onto him a kind of guilt he couldn’t even bear. He hated himself.
“Don’t touch me.” Her voice was soft but still demanding.
“It was an accident, I promise. It won’t ever happen again. I love you so so much. I don’t want to do this to you. I never meant for this to happen.” The words flew out of his mouth frantically. He couldn’t lose her. It already felt like his whole life was a string of losses. To lose the one person who ever genuinely cared about him would be the kind of pain that killed him. She was the only one who treated him like he was worth something and important. He kept wracking his brain for ways to fix things. He needed to make it better, so she wouldn’t leave him.
“I swear I’m going to make up for it and I will never hurt you again. We can make things work between us if you just give me one more chance.” He kept pleading until he finally got a glimpse of those emerald eyes. Only they weren’t the sparkling jewels full of love he remembered, they were empty, devoid of kindness and brightness. Her whole light had been stolen.
“You hit me.” The three tiny words were daggers piercing his heart. He felt like he was bleeding out right in front of her as tears began to fall from his eyes. The truth of the situation made him fall apart. He swore he would never, ever lay his hand on a girl. The last thing he wanted was to be like his abusive father, but history has a way of repeating itself. The boy didn’t even recognize himself.
“How can I forgive you for doing that?” she asked, and it was clearly an honest question because he knew that deep down she still loved him. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t even be here. That doesn’t lessen the fact that what he did was unforgivable. He didn’t even know how to forgive himself, it wasn’t fair to ask for her forgiveness.
“I- I don’t know, but what I do know that it won’t happen again and that I’ll make it up to you. I’ll prove that I’ve changed. I’m not going to drink anymore.” He would beg until his lungs physically gave out on him if he needed to. He just had to make her stay.
“I’ve heard you say that before.” Tears spilled over, skating down her cheeks. She wiped them away with the back of her hand, keeping her eyes locked on his now. It seemed as if she wanted to show him, this is what you did to me. “You’ve promised in the past to stop and I’ve taken you back because I knew- or at least I thought you would never hurt me, no matter how violent you became. Don’t you remember the night at the hotel?”
Of course he remembered the night at the hotel, how could he possibly forget that night? He almost lost everything then.
She began recounting the events anyways, “You wanted to go to the bar downstairs, although i really really didn’t want to. We went anyways and i sat there, telling myself it’d be fine if you just had one drink. So we sit down and almost as soon as we do, you’re taking shot after shot until I just walked out. I went back upstairs to the room and started packing my things because I didn’t even want to be near you anymore.
You stumbled in the door and started yelling at me immediately. You were asking what I was doing and why I was being like that, but I refused to listen to your drunk ramblings. You started throwing things. The lamp, the clothes I was trying to pack, my phone. You flipped the table and even then, I was so afraid you would hit me. I was too infuriated to consider I’d get hurt though. I yelled back about how you were being stupid and reckless and ruining everything we had. Then I left and you didn’t see me for three weeks. when I finally showed up at your doorstep, you swore on everything that you wouldn’t drink again. But you did, again and again.” As she finished talking, she stared back down at the floor. He let her words marinate in his head, soaking in how much he’d put her through and how lucky he was she came back to begin with. He knew the story well, but the tone she took on when she spoke of that night is what baffled him. She had lost hope in him, like everyone else.
The problem was he didn’t know how to change. He’d tried, he threw out all the alcohol in his house. He even wanted to stop drinking, but drinking was the only thing that made it feel better. It healed the pain and made him stop caring about the things that hurt him so badly. When he was drunk, he didn’t have to feel. However, this also meant he didn’t feel the love he had for her and he acted in ways that he never would if he was sober. He was struggling to find a solution, but he didn’t need to, she already had.
“We need to end things. At least for now.” there was no doubt or questioning in her voice, no quiver of unsureness. The matter wasn’t up for debate, she was confident in leaving him this time. Without another word, she got up from her seat and walked out of his house. She didn’t look back once and she didn’t wait for him to come begging her to stay. She was no longer willing to let him control her fate. Her world was finally going to rest in her own hands, not his. He had his chance to change her mind and he failed the test. At least now he wouldn’t even need a drink to stop caring. What was there left to care about if he didn’t have her?