Chapter 12: Memories
-48 hours earlier. Damon's point of view
“You really need to stop drinking so much,” Alaric said as he sat down next to me. I shrugged and looked at the almost empty bottle of scotch in my hand. It was my second bottle. “Why should I? And what do you care? Don't you have a girlfriend and a daughter that needs you? Not everyone has been as lucky as you! Not everyone can be with the love of their life,” I said and stood up from the couch. I walked towards the fire place, where flames were dancing around. They looked happy. “I care about you, Damon. That's why I'm telling you to stop drinking, and start listening to me. I have a plan.” I turned around and looked at Alaric, frowning. “And what kind of plan might that be? That I take off my daylight ring and walk right outside, meeting the sun once and for all?” I asked and looked at my finger. I had thought about it so many times. I had been close to doing so, way too many times. “Of course not. My plan is that you get yourself together, and go to London. You love Elena, right?” he said and looked at me. “How can you doubt that I love Elena? But I'm no good for her! And she know that! That's why she left me. She even left a letter, trying to make me feel better!” I said and felt the small piece of paper in my pocket. I carried it with me everywhere I went. That, and a picture of us. “Right. Then you're going to do as I say,” he said and put down his glass, “stop drinking, and call me when you're sober. Then we'll talk.” And then he left. I threw the bottle at the fireplace, not caring that it broke into a million small glass pieces.
As you may notice, my life hasn't exactly been great since Elena left. I woke up, the morning after our fantastic night together, and hurried to the kitchen, to make her breakfast. I thought she was in the bathroom or something like that. But after waiting for her for almost an hour, I knew she wasn't there any more. I went back to my room, and saw the note on the desk. I already knew what it was going to say. That I wasn't good enough. I had already been crying when I picked it up.
I can't believe I'm doing this again. I need you to know that you're perfect. You have done so many amazing things, and I'm going to miss you so much. But I can't stay in Mystic Falls. I need to go back to London. That is where I belong. And you belong here, in Mystic Falls, with someone else. The truth is, I'm not good enough for you. And I never was. All this time, you tried making me happy, even though that meant you watching as I lived my life with Stefan. You have no idea how much I care for you, Damon. But I just can't stay here. I love you. And I'm sorry.
I had read it over and over again. Was it really possible that she thought she wasn't good enough? But how? I felt like smashing something. But mostly of all, I felt like going after her. I didn't, though. I went downstairs and started drinking. That was what I had been doing, ever since she left. I had been drinking, both alcohol and blood. I didn't have sex with my victims any more. I just drained them. I didn't feel like being with anybody else. I wanted to be with Elena. I hadn't really responded when Caroline came to visit. She was clearly looking for Elena, but I didn't want to tell her. Instead I yelled at her and asked her to leave. She did.
A few days later, I sneaked into her bedroom, while Alaric, Jenna and Hope were out. She had left it like it had always been. Her teddy on the bed, her old diary on her bed table. The photo's on her desk had changed. There used to be some with her and her parents, with Jeremy, with Bonnie and Caroline and with Stefan. But the one with Stefan was gone. It had been replaced with a photo of us, from the Miss Mystic pageant. I frowned and looked at the picture. She looked happy, in love. Not with Stefan. With me. But she was still dating Stefan at that time? I picked up the photo and looked at us. We were dancing, and we looked stunning. The perfect couple.
I sighed and took the picture from the frame. I wanted to have it. It wasn't like she needed it. She had left, and this time she weren't coming back. I was almost a hundred percent sure of that. I carefully put it in the inner pocket of my jacket. It would be safe there. I opened one of her drawers and found one of her tank top's. I carefully smelled it. It smelled exactly like her. I grabbed it and took a final look around her room. Then I hurried out the window and back to the boardinghouse.
I pulled out the photo I had stolen from Elena's room. We looked so perfect together. Why should I give up on her? I couldn't do that! I sobered up and called Alaric. I wanted to hear what his plan included. Half an hour later, he was in my living room with a big bag. “Pack some of your stuff, and be down here in an hour. You better have a good speech, 'cause we're going to get Elena back,” he said and sat down on the couch. “What? Do you really think she'll just come with us? Ric, she left me. I didn't leave her, I didn't hurt her. I tried making her stay. I hoped she would like to stay here with me... Being with me...” I tightened my lips. What would going to London make better? “I know Elena. She wants you. She loves you, and I know that for sure, Damon. But she feels guilty for so many things. You need to make her understand that she doesn't need to be,” he said and poured himself some bourbon. I frowned. “Well... I don't know... I'm not sure she would like to have me in London,” I said and tried smiling. “Damon. Pack your things. Now.” I sighed and did as he told me to.
While I was packing, I constantly looked at the photos I had in my room. They were old, but I remembered the day we had used my camera to take a lot of photos. It was back when Stefan had left for Italy, because Elena had dumped him. She had dumped him to be with me.
“Say 'cheese', Elena!” I said and quickly took a photo of her. “Damon, that's not fair!” she said and walked to me. She had been putting her clothes in my drawers. She was only wearing her underwear and my white shirt. She looked amazing. “And why not?” I said and quickly pressed the button on the camera again. “Because I'm not really wearing any clothes, and I was busy!” she said and grabbed the camera. “Oh no, are you going to take pictures of me?” I said, imitating Elena's voice. “But I'm not properly dressed, mr. Salvatore!” I covered my bare chest with my arms and looked as though I was chocked. She laughed and caught me with the camera. “Come here,” I said and pulled her close to me. I grabbed the camera, kissed her and took a picture of us. I kept clicking the button, even though she pulled away and laughed at me. “You're going to go through hell when you need to sort these out,” she said as I kept on pressing. I shrugged. “It's worth it,” I said and kissed her again.
The pictures had been beautiful. She had looked really happy on them, and I actually had proof that the days I spent with her weren't a fantasy. Some of them where in frames, on my desk and other places in my room. But some of them, I had kept in my drawer. The pictures of us kissing, and the pictures I had taken while she was asleep. All of them were in my drawer, safely hidden from Stefan. When he first left for Italy, neither Elena or I thought that he actually meant it. We really believed he would return. But he didn't. And then Elena left me. Just as she had left me again. I hit the wall with both my hands. I felt tears in my eyes. Oh, how I missed her.
“Are you ready, Damon?” Alaric asked, and looked at the bag in the middle of the room. I nodded, grabbed my bag and followed him to his car. We drove to Virginia airport in silence and boarded the flight. Both of us had brought a cup of coffee and didn't say a word to each other during the flight. I felt my nerves rising as the flight proceeded, and the urge to turn off my feelings heightened. But I couldn't do that. I wasn't going to go to London, if it hadn't been for my feelings for Elena. So I leaned back in my seat, and closed my eyes.
“Elena? What are you doing here?” I asked, when I saw her stepping through the front door of the boardinghouse. She looked horrible. She was soaked from the rain and she had a few cuts from trees. “What happened?” I asked and walked towards her. “Stefan and I broke up...” she said, and looked at me. I noticed it. Something had changed in her way of looking at me. I frowned and got her inside. “I'm sorry to hear that... You'll get sick if you keep that clothes on. Come on...” I softly grabbed her arm and walked towards my room, but she collapsed on the floor. She started crying. “Please, Elena, don't cry. It's okay.” I lifted her into my arms and felt her arms around my neck. She sobbed and rested her head against my upper arm. I was getting soaked as well, but I didn't really care. Elena wasn't okay. I put her down on the bed and looked her in the eyes. “Elena, I'm going to prepare a bath for you. Just take your time, and then put this on afterwards,” I said and handed her one of my shirts and a pair of my sweatpants. They really wouldn't fit her, but it didn't matter. She needed to get out of the wet clothes. She nodded and looked at me.
I went in the bathroom and started filling up the tub, when I felt her hand on my back. I looked at her and stood up. She was almost naked. She was only wearing underwear. She let her arms slip around my neck, and pulled me closer. I felt breathless. Stunned. What was she doing? Her right hand landed on my cheek and carefully stroked it. Then she grabbed my neck and pulled me closer. Our noses hit each other. I felt small electric chock waves spreading from everywhere she was touching me. “I broke up with Stefan... Because I don't regret our kiss. It wasn't wrong. It was right. And I want to kiss you again,” she said and looked into my eyes. I opened my mouth to say something, but the words got stuck. Her doe eyes were filled with love. A love for me. Me! I forgot about the words, and gently pressed my lips against hers. Her grip around my neck tightened as she pulled me closer. I slipped my arms around her waist and lifted her in the air. She smiled and started taking off my shirt. I broke the kiss.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked and stopped the water. The tub was filled. “I want you to join me in that bath you were talking about,” she said and let her fingertips touch my cheek, my neck, my chest. I quickly removed my clothes and started opening her bra. She didn't resist me any more. As we both stood there, all naked, she grabbed my hand and got into the hot water. I grabbed a sponge and followed her. I couldn't believe my luck. I had the most beautiful girl in the world in my bathtub. And I was here as well. She turned around, sat between my legs and carefully leaned up against my chest. I kissed her cheek and slowly started washing her with the sponge. She turned me on.
I opened my eyes as I felt Ric gently waking me up. “We're here, Damon. We need to find a hotel for the night. Tomorrow you'll go meet up with Elena.”