"Nothing lasts forever." It started with a tube of bright red lipstick and ended in the rain.


11. Porch

Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together.

As he leaned back in his car seat, hands still resting on the driver’s wheel, like he was ready to take off with a press of the gas pedal and a deft turn of the wrist, Calvin watched the window next to her front porch. Then, he glanced down at the bouquet of flowers lying in the passenger seat next to him and cursed.

He was being such a pussy.

So he pulled his car key out of the ignition, stuffed it in his pocket, grabbed the bouquet, and headed out of the car as quickly as he could.

The heavy rain pouring down from the gray, overcast sky drenched him immediately. Stupid as it was, he hadn’t expected to be pelted with water drops, so it took him a couple seconds to react. A glance down at the flowers, which were wilting with every inclement water drop, jolted him. Pulling his jacket over his head, he jogged up the path leading to her porch and ducked under the porch.

He exhaled, brushing as much water off his body as he could, which was a futile effort. The flowers were ruined—he was sure of that. Fuck, he was so dumb. Like a bad habit, he scowled, running a hand through his dripping hair.

Hailey had always loved the ‘50s bad boy look on him.

Calvin stared down at his feet, which were standing in a pool of rainwater. God, he couldn’t keep thinking like this. He was already pretty damn good at compartmentalizing, for which he’d realized he had a flair as he resumed his normal schedule without her in his life.

But really, it was fucking funny that his family, which had always thought he’d never find a “nice girl”, was the single source that reminded him of her the most. Damn, somehow, hearing his mother’s voice for the first time in months had brought back an image of Hailey laughing as she tried to pick up his nephew at his family reunion. And it hurt, it hurt every time he stumbled on the pictures of the family reunion, where she was inevitably featured.

He never found the heart to delete those pictures or to throw away the Polaroids they had taken together.

Calvin held the bouquet of drenched pink peonies up closer to him. They were Hailey’s favorites, he’d remembered her mentioning to him one day as they strolled down the streets of New York City together. It’d been an off-handed comment, something he never expected and something he thought would never be relevant any time.

He was proving himself wrong now.

God, he was wasting so much time right now, standing on her porch like a Frankenstein’s rejected monster, when he could be at work, finishing up the case reviews he’d left behind, just for this.

Taking a breath, Calvin tightened his grip on the flowers, wincing a little as the rain fell just a little harder and the thunder rolled in the background, and pressed the doorbell.

There was a pause. He held his breath. He hated anticipation like this—in matters like this, it was hit or miss, and if it was a miss, Calvin would have to leave. Forget Hailey for real. Try to move on. Spend more time with his family. Settle down a little.

But he silenced all of his thoughts and stood silently at her door, hoping.

Finally, there was a rustling behind the door. Calvin straightened, hurriedly adjusting the flowers that were falling out of the plastic wrapping. He really wasn’t doing much good—only furthering the flowers’ stems’ inevitable fate of snapping.

But Hailey never cared about trivial matters like that, at least not in the time he’d known her. She’d always been fixated on the big image, that of the New York skyline or of the woods or of the lake behind his uncle’s house. There was always one exception to that view of hers—the graffiti scattered all around New York, colorful explosions of nothing in particular.

He hated to feel this—the stutter in his heartbeat, the sudden rise in his body temperature, the trepidation.

The door cracked open a bit, and then it swung fully open.

Calvin took in a breath.

There she was.

It felt good to know that some things never changed, like that white dress that he liked so much on her and the neat bun at the top of her head. He took in her appearance, mouth slightly agape. It was too much for him to wish that she’d suffered without him, to see dark bags under her eyes and a bleak expression on her face—because she didn’t look like she’d suffered.

God, Hailey was always so radiant and hesitant and unsure of herself.

Her big brown doe eyes were open wide, and her mouth was shaped into that cute o shape as she clutched at her handbag. She opened her mouth wider, like she was going to say something, but Calvin cut her off. He stepped closer to her and offered the bouquet in his arms. “Am I interrupting anything?” he asked lowly.

Hailey’s bottom lip trembled, and he noticed how her hands visibly shook as she accepted the flowers. Calvin liked it too much when her warm, slender fingers touched his cold, dripping arm—which reminded him of how he was shivering on her front porch like a teenager desperately in love.

When she didn’t respond, dealing a blow to his confidence a little, he continued, slowly reaching inside his coat jacket to take out an envelope. It was damp too—shit. He took a shaky breath. “I have…something that you should have.”

He looked up to meet her eyes, and immediately, he knew that he couldn’t look away any time soon. Fuck, he wouldn’t be able to forget her easily at any rate now.

Hailey bit her lip, still holding his eyes. Then she stepped back, sending a chill of anticipation through his spine, and whispered, “Come in.”

The little smile playing on her lips was perfect.

So he responded with a smile of his own and stepped in.


This is late, I know! I'm super sorry :( Anyhow, please do enjoy and comment what you feel!

Anne <3

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