Chapter 1: Saying goodbye
I was sitting outside Elena's window, once again, balancing on the small roof. It was late – almost 2 in the morning, and she was sleeping like a baby. Her room was dark, only lit by the lamp by her bed. For a reason, she never turned it off at night. She was wearing the same pyjamas as always – shorts and a tanktop, and she was laying underneath the covers, her beautiful dark hair spread on the white pillow. She had left the window open, and it tempted me. It would be easy, climbing through the window, to see her. Feel her being close to me, once again.
I couldn't blame her for leaving the window open. We were in the middle of June, and the temperatures kept rising. Actually it surprised me that she was wearing clothes at all. I looked at her beautiful face.
And then I sighed. It had become a bad habit, to visit Elena at night time. Almost always after a drink or five. But I couldn't help it. She looked peaceful when she was sleeping. Not troubled, like she did normally. Sometimes she would even smile, or laugh in her sleep. And those smiles and laughs were the things that helped me get through the day. If I didn't get to see her smile at night time, I had no idea how I would survive.
I enjoyed watching her in her sleep. I enjoyed seeing the smile printed on her beautiful soft lips. I wondered what those lips would feel like, if they were touching mine, without her trying to fight me on it.
Ever since I had told her about my feelings for her, she had been sad around me. Sad and guilty. And even though I hate to admit it, it killed me inside, to know that I was the one making her feel sad and guilty. I hadn't seen her beautiful smile in almost a month – except for in the night. She only smiled at my brother, the witch and barbie, when she was awake. Never when she saw me. Another good reason that she could never know I was visiting her at night. She would never feel sad, knowing I could be here.
Some nights her window would be open, and some nights it would be closed. The times she closed it at night, I just stayed outside, and watched over her. I couldn't just go home. If something or someone decided to come and pay her a visit, I would be there. Nothing was going to harm her. No one.
When she left it open, I couldn't help but climb in and quietly sit on the edge of her bed, watching her sleep. Sometimes even touch her, stroke her cheek or hair. When she had nightmares, I would take off her necklace, and compel the bad dreams away. I knew it wasn't my choice to make, but I couldn't just wake her, and I wouldn't allow her to have nightmares. If I woke her up, she would know I visited her at night time. And she wasn't supposed to know that. Then she would tell Stefan, and he would kill me. No, he would try to kill me, and I would have to kill him, which would result in a heartbroken Elena.
After a long time of fighting my own mind, I made my decision, and climbed through the window. I wouldn't wake her up. After being a vampire for almost 200 years, I knew how to be quiet. As soon as I got inside, the scent of her hit me. Her perfume was strong, but it didn't compare to the sweet scent of her. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sweet scent. She was only 3 meters from me. So close, but yet so far away. If she awoke, she would scream and hit me until I left. I knew she hated me.
I sat down on the bed, careful not to wake her. She needed the sleep, and she couldn't know I was here. I wasn't supposed to be here. Stefan was supposed to be here. To sleep beside her, his arms wrapped around her beautiful, tiny body. To watch over her, to protect her from all the people that wanted to kill her. All because of her stupid doppelgänger blood.
I felt my lips tightening at the thought of Elena and Stefan together. Of course I was jealous of my brother, but there's was nothing to do about it. Elena was happy with Stefan. Sort of. And they were right for each other. They were meant to be together. As Elena had told me, it would always be Stefan.
The past month had been terrible. I had told her about my feelings for her, and then kissed her. That was a bad move. She rejected me, and I ended up killing her annoying little brother. But I had seen the ring on his finger, and knew he wasn't going to die. I knew he meant a lot to Elena, and I didn't want to cause her even more misery.
But I couldn't get my self to tell her, that I had seen the ring on his finger. It would be better anyway, if she hated me. There was never going to happen anything between us, and a clean break is better than a half. If she hated me, and believed that I didn't care for her, everything would be so much easier.
I gently stroked her white cheek. She was smiling and hugging her teddy bear. Probably dreaming about Stefan. God, she was beautiful. I sighed and put my hand back on my lap. I knew I couldn't stay for long. This would be one of the last times I saw her. No, this would be the last time I saw her. Ever. Stefan had made sure of that.
“Damon, we need to talk,” Stefan said, as he walked into the parlor of the boarding house,his hands deep in the pockets of his light jeans. He had been with Elena again. Her scent was hanging around him. I was sitting in the couch, with my usual glass of bourbon, staring into the dancing flames. I had been sitting here for almost 3 hours. Her words were still lingering in my head.
“It's always going to be Stefan. I'm sorry, Damon.” Of course, it would always be Stefan. Just like Katherine had told me.
Except that Elena was nothing like Katherine. Katherine was heartless, a psychotic bitch that played me and Stefan. Elena was pure, clean and innocent. She may have Katherine's looks, but she was nothing like her. Elena would never use me, like Katherine had done. She would never play Stefan and me as Katherine had done. But Elena loved Stefan, just like Katherine. And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I just had to accept the fact, that I was always going to be the second choice.
“About what?” I asked and emptied the glass. It wasn't near being empty, and at normal occasions I would take my time to drink it, but right now, I just needed the alcohol in my system. I had already figured out what he wanted to talk about. It couldn't be anything else than Elena.
“You can't keep hurting her like this,” he said and slowly walked near me. I stood up from the couch and looked at him. “Hurting her? Last time I checked, it was her rejecting me, not the other way around. And that's not something I'm not used to, so no one is hurt! Everything's great,” I said and started walking towards my room. Maybe he would leave me alone then. I really didn't want to talk to him about this. Actually, I would love to forget everything about him and Elena, and drink the alcohol I had in my room.
“Stop it, Damon, don't try to lie to me. You love her, and you're hurting her, by telling her about it. She's completely brokenhearted, because she knows what you're feeling and she don't want to be with you. You're her friend. And you are hurting your friend, by being here. She hates that she's hurting you so much, just by being near you. Haven't you noticed that she never smiles when you're around, and her heartbeat going up? She's feeling guilty as hell. And that's because of you,” he said. I stopped and looked at him again.
“What are you suggesting?” I asked and frowned. Was he really telling the truth? And why would he be telling me all of this? It really didn't sound like my little brother.
“I'm suggesting that you go somewhere else, for a time. Leave town, give her a little space. Maybe you can come back in a couple of years,” he said and shrugged, still with his hands buried in his pockets. Somehow, I knew that was what he was going to suggest. And maybe he was right.
“That's not going to happen, Stefan,” I said and started walking up the stairs to my room, “I'm not going to come back.”
I looked at the note in my hand. The note I was going to leave behind, telling Elena why I had to leave, and that she shouldn't be looking for me. I couldn't bare telling her face to face. I didn't want to see her smile, when I told her I wasn't ever going to come back. I didn't want her to tell me that it was fine and it was the right decision. No, leaving a note would be better. A note actually telling the truth.
I had spent hours trying to write the right thing, on the damned paper. How do you tell the girl of your dreams, that you're going to leave her forever? And without reminding her of your feelings for her? It's almost impossible. But I had finished the note, and now all I had to do, was to leave it here for her to find. Then everything was going to be okay. She was going to be happy with my baby brother, and live her life to the fullest with him. And I was going to go to some city, and find a girl to be with. I had no problems finding new girls, even though no one would be able to reach my heart as she had. Why had I ever allowed her to get this close to me?
I sighed and gently touched her beautiful hair. This would be the last time I ever got to touch her. I bit my underlip, as I felt the tears in my eyes. I wasn't going to cry. As soon as I had gotten far away, I was going to turn my emotions off. Then I could forget about Elena, and live my sad, undead life.
I stood up from the bed and walked to her desk. I smiled as I looked at all the pictures on her mirror. Pictures of her and her friends. Everyone, except for me. Of course she didn't have a picture of me. She hated me. I sighed and looked at the frames on the desk. More pictures. And one of them was of me and her! I picked it up, and looked at it. I smiled as I remembered the day.
“Damon! You can't just keep appearing in my room, whenever you like!” Elena said, walking out her bathroom door, only wearing her pyjamas. I smiled at her and stood up from her bed. I couldn't wait for her to see the surprise I had brought for her.
“Well, you seem to be liking my presence, princess, so I don't want to stop doing it,” I said with a smirk and stood up from the bed. It had become a habit to call her princess. And it fit her perfectly. She was a princess. And she was going to be my princess one day. I had promised my self, and that was going to happen.
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms.
“What do you want, Damon?” she asked and put down her clothes from the day, on a chair. I smiled as I walked to her, trying not to look at her pyjamas. She looked way too cute in it, and she couldn't know how it affected me. Not yet, at least.
“I brought you something. A surprise,” I said, with both my arms behind my back, holding on to the camera I was going to give her. A Canon, of course. It had been on her wish list this Christmas, but she hadn't got it from any one. Now I was going to give it to her.
“What? Why? It's February, my birthday isn't for months!” she said and frowned. I smiled and handed her the wrapped gift.
“Well, I didn't get to give you a Christmas present. Now you can have one,” I said and shrugged. She looked at the gift and then looked at me.
“Damon, I can't accept this! You shouldn't be spending your money on me,” she said and tried pushing the gift back to me. I sighed.
“Take the gift, princess, I can't use it for anything. I bought this for you. Please accept it,” I said, doing my puppy eyes. I knew she couldn't resist those. She sighed and took the gift. I smiled. “Yes!” I said, as she sat down on the bed and started unwrapping it. I felt nervous. The faint beat of my heart sped up, as she bit her lip, while unwrapping.
I sat down next to her, and looked at her face, when the gift wrapping was off, and she could see what I had got her. Her mouth went open, and she looked at me, being completely speechless. Just the reaction I had hoped for.
“Oh my God, Damon. You can't just give me this,” she said, and looked at the Canon camera she was holding in her hand. I smiled at the look of her surprised face.
“Yes, I can. In fact, I want you to use it, right now,” I said and nodded towards the package. She frowned and started opening the package. I had made sure everything was ready, so that we could use the camera right away.
“I have noticed that you have no cute pictures of us, here in your room. But you have lots of pictures of everyone else. Well, now you can put up some of us as well,” I said, as she turned it on, and quickly snapped a picture of me. I smiled, knowing that she would never know, that she had been my valentine.
I smiled at our faces. Both of us were smiling, her head resting on my shoulder. She looked happy. I had given her one night of fun. And she had never figured out, that I had been there, just after midnight, on February the 14th.
Knowing that I didn't have much time left, I removed the photo from the frame, and put it in my pocket. I wanted a picture of us together. I left the note in the frame instead, and then sat down on the bed again. I wanted to take my time to say goodbye. I was never going to see her again.
I carefully got near, and left a small kiss on her forehead. She wrapped her arms around my waist, and placed her head on my lap. I frowned and looked down at her, gently stroking her hair.
“Damon...” she said, without opening her eyes. I blinked, being totally surprised by her saying my name. Was she still sleeping? And was she dreaming about me?
“Just sleep, princess. Everything's fine,” I said and carefully removed her arms. She smiled and hugged her teddy bear again. Her heartbeat was slow, telling me that she was asleep. Taking my decision, I stood up and got out of the window again, making my way to my car. Without looking back, I turned on the car and left Mystic Falls behind, with everything in it. That including Elena.