catalyst

“Have I lost you?” he asked.
“I was never yours to lose,” she answered. “Not really.”

He wondered how that could be when he had memorized the curve of her face and could decipher at least seven of her smiles.

She shifted in her seat, looking ready to bolt. He was reminded of a racehorse chomping at the bit to get out of the gate. But she was no thoroughbred. She was a very damaged human being. How could she leave?

“Where will you go?” he asked.
She stopped her scanning of the room and looked at him directly. She held his gaze a moment before saying softly, “Does it matter?”
He wanted it to matter. He wished the time they had spent meant something.

“Can’t we just go back and…”
She cut him off. “There’s no going back, just like there’s no taking back the things you said.”
“But don’t you see,” he pleaded, “those vicious words were not for you. I was full of those words before you came along. Those same words brought you to me. You’re helping me pour them out.”
She looked down at the ground.
He almost whispered, “Don’t you want to see how the story ends?”
She looked up at him, her eyes brimming with tears.
He crooked a finger under her chin and met her halfway with a kiss.
Gentle. Quiet.
“Come on,” he said. “Let’s go home.”
She wavered for another moment and then said “I can’t let you destroy me.”
“I won’t.”

They stood another moment looking at each other, each realizing they had put their heart in the other ‘s hands. Their heads full of stories, they turned and walked home.

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