Beautiful Things

She was beautiful, long dark hair that swayed along with her every movement, strong cheekbones and eyes like stars that never stopped shimmering when he was in her line of sight. Alex had always been known to like beautiful things.

-- For the heartbreak writing competition

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1. Beautiful Things

    He saw them everywhere, laughing together, smiling together, just simply being together. He’d be chatting by James’ side as his friend went on about his latest date with the ‘famous’ Aaron Burr, and out of the corner of his eye, he’d just… see them, Eliza hanging off his arm and retelling a story her sisters had probably told her.

    He didn’t mean to see them. The way he just looked… happier with her, his eyes crinkled in an ever loving smile as he danced along with her bold movements. He wondered if she’d be able to get him to eat, if she remembered to hand him his reading glasses during those long nights, or if she coaxed him to bed when he was about to down his third cup of coffee exclaiming he ‘just has to write!’ Did she help him through his panic attacks? Does he even get panic attacks anymore?

    James would burst into laughter or a coughing fit, or another loud awakening noise and Thomas would hesitantly smile as if he had been listening the whole time because he had just gotten James to believe that, yes, he was over that Hamilton fellow.

    Thomas wasn’t sure how many nights he spent wide awake, Alex’s number typed into his phone, staring, wondering if he should do it, wondering if he should ruin Alex and Eliza’s happy life just for the chance to kiss Alex again, and oh dear god that sounded so tempting. He’d shut his phone off before he did something stupid and absent-mindedly climb into bed.

    James would tell him that Alex was nothing. A flicker of a romance and that Thomas would definitely find someone better, someone who didn’t hurt him and leave. Alexander was the first person Thomas had loved, the first person he gave his everything to, and that shattering moment never left his mind.

    The talk, the whole shebang, filled with ‘it’s not you, it’s me’s’, every excuse in the book that could possibly pillow the blow, before he let it out, straight and clear. “Thomas, I’m breaking up with you. I don’t love you anymore. I love someone else.”

    He stayed with James the next month or so, Lafayette and James taking care of him in his heartbroken state, and maybe he was over exaggerating but it didn’t feel that way, because he had opened up to someone for the first time in his life, put forth his insecurities and emotions and everything, only to be turned away. It hurt.

    Thomas had a hard time accepting himself, loving himself, and just when he found someone who could build him up, they instead broke him down.

    He’d see them doing mundane things, things he’d remember doing with him, and yes they weren’t exclusive but they had seemed so special then, so important. Simple things like grabbing coffee, him remembering her order to the last drop, sometimes intentionally messing something up so she’d half-hurriedly correct before he moved onto the next direction. They’d go ice skating, hands clasped together before Alex would speed off, turning around and sticking out his tongue, and before he knew it, Eliza was passing him.

    He hated seeing them. It wasn’t like he meant to see them around but college campuses aren’t that big and it was a small world, after all. He’d see them for a split second, while he was rushing across campus, or trudging to James’ on-campus apartment.

    They were always everywhere and Thomas was sure that he probably wouldn’t even notice if he still wasn’t hung up on Alex.

    Eliza made Alex happy, and he thinks that’s what hurts so much. Alex never looked this happy when they were together, always more tired, more fed up. Him and Thomas never seemed to agree on anything, and Thomas was sure they could at least agree on the fact that they loved each other, but even that seemed  to be too much for the world to give him. Eliza was better for him, made him happier than Thomas could ever dream of doing.

    He looked better. His long hair, one of Thomas’ favorite things, had been cut short, his eyes always seemed more alert, happier, shining with a new mirth. He had put on some much-needed weight, and his skin seemed to glow. He was just as, if not more gorgeous as Thomas remembered when they were together, and it just seemed so unfair to him.

He couldn’t deny that she was beautiful, long dark hair that swayed along with her every movement, strong cheekbones and eyes like stars that never stopped shimmering when he was in her line of sight. She was smart, loving and kind, motherly yet childlike in everything she did. She was a true gem. Alex had always been known to like beautiful things.

    Maybe that’s why he chose her instead.

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