A Brilliant Nightmare

When love and compatibility clash


1. Meet Cute

   She walked out of her lecture unaware that her life was about to change. From where he stood, he was barely visible- camouflaged in the dark shadows of the trees around him. As he watched, she approached him, coming closer and closer with each step, but too engrossed in her returned paper to notice him- that and the fact that she had no reason to expect to see him anywhere. Not anymore.
   She was a vision dressed in all black. She always was to him. In a silky camisole and tight jeans, it was difficult to imagine the sleepless nights that haunted her, the mornings she could barely get herself out of bed. He indulged in the last moments before he would inevitably be discovered. He hoped for another chance.
    She felt strange walking out of class, like a lost soul trapped in a hollow body. She wondered if she'll ever be back to normal. If she'll ever be able to remember how she functioned before she met him. She glanced at the paper her professor had returned, glancing over the scribbled notes, steeling herself before looking at the final grade. It was the first paper she had done upon returning to class, done in between cups of coffee and tears. An attempt on being okay. An act. A mask. She wore it well, no one knew, even the paper showed an approving A. But she still felt empty. She sighed and continued walking, lost in her thoughts and the noise of her boots hitting the cement. She almost walked right by him, trapped in her mind and barely aware of the eyes that followed her movements. In the moments to come, her first thoughts would be she wished she had continued her way, in an attempt on avoiding all the hurt. But by then, it was too late.
  It happened in a split second. That’s all it took. A slight movement of his head and her eyes met his. She stumbled and almost fell, cursing as she looked back. It was him. He was here. He was staring right at her.
  It was all she could do to keep her composure. The moment their eyes locked, memories of their time together came flying back. The laughs, the secret smiles. He had made her feel so special, and she had trusted him completely. But he had left. Walked out the door after an argument. Harsh words had been exchanged and she was alone to pick up the pieces of her broken heart.
  She always wondered why they could never seem to work out, if her love was lacking in some way. 6 years and the same game. Always chasing each other, but crashing once they got too close. She knew better, and yet she was drawn to him like a moth to a light, telling herself that this time- this time things would be different. She would be different. She would be better.
  God, she loved him. The boy he was at 14, the man who stood before her now. She had seen him when he was invisible, stood by him when he was drowning in attention. She was always there, through the time changes in his deployment, through his grandfather's death. She remained constant. And in his own way, he had too. She craved to be loved, to be his love. That’s all she wanted from him. To be wooed and sought after. To be treasured and on his mind. But if she was, she never could tell. He had a way of  making her feel so special yet so replaceable. She never knew where she stood with him, and it overwhelmed her in moments of weakness.
  She stood before him and he found himself at a loss for words. How could he make things right after leaving her?
  She stood watching him with tears threatening to show themselves, an angry cloud of swirling thoughts that refused to form a coherent sentence. It was all she could do to ask him what he was doing here.
  Why was he here? The reason escaped him and he found himself staring at her tired face, unable to think. He missed her, but for some reason, he couldn’t bring himself to say it.
   You left.

   You let me go.

   She wasn’t sure what to do next. Neither was he.
   Her dark short hair was carelessly tousled and her eyes seemed to flash beneath her glasses. Even angry and confused, she was enchanting. God, he loved her. The quiet girl at 14, her nose always in a book, the fiery woman before him now. Amidst her break downs and insecurities, he had promised himself to always be there to catch her when she fell; reminding himself that even as strong as she was, as independent as she was, there were times she needed him. And he had let her leave during her greatest struggle. He could never forgive himself for that. He wondered if they were doomed to always revolve around each other, but never together. They were just two people hopelessly in love. She- a young woman with aspirations of being a writer, with dreams of a future. Him- a young man already familiar with the troubles of life, with haunted memories of his past.

   She couldn’t bring herself to look away. She knew that with him, she would try again and again, until they got it right. That part of her will always love him, this strange boy who seemed to see her soul.





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