They were so close Tess felt the heat of his body but there might as well have been an ocean between them. She swallowed the tears that threatened to drown her from the inside out. The tears wouldn’t do any good – they wouldn’t fix anything. It was said the road to Hell was paved with good intentions but Tess thought that that was bullshit. She was in Hell now and the only thing that led her there was her stupid, stubborn heart.
The silence between them revealed more than a conversation ever could. It was over. It had been over before it even began. You couldn’t barter love. You couldn’t make someone love you the way you wanted. Tess knew this well enough. She’d loved him with something that was passionate as it was destructive. She’d loved him with something that she swore was fierce enough and feral enough to tear away at the walls he kept erecting between them. But as Tess gazed at him from the corner of her eye, she realized that when people built walls it wasn’t a challenge to break them down. It was an order for you to back the hell away.
Tess never quite grasped that with every blow she thought she hit to the wall he erected, it was a blow aimed at her own heart. Despite her intention to destroy his defences she’d only managed to destroy herself. She started to tell him that it was time they ended their charade but the words stuck to her throat with bile at the thought of losing him.
But hadn’t she lost him already? They’d come a long way from the giddy drunkenness of the first blush of love. Somewhere along the lines his feelings became stunted and hers grew wild until she could no longer control them.
She turned to face him, “This… this isn’t working out is it?”
There was silence. And, then with a small shake of his head he said, “It isn’t.”
The words were bitter in her mouth but still she asked, “Why didn’t you give us a proper chance?”
“No,” she said barely keeping check of her rising voice. “You were determined to push me out the door…”
The shout stopped the stream of words poised to fall from her mouth. He placed both hands on either sides of her cheek. There was tenderness there and such sympathy in his eyes Tess knew that she wouldn’t like what he was about to say.
“I’m sorry but I don’t love you anymore,” he said. “And it doesn’t matter what you do or how long we stay like this I won’t love you again.”
The tears that had refused to come started to fall instantly as if someone switched them on. It was then she understood fully that every blow she tried to hit against the wall between them was just another blow to her heart. She wiped away the tears, stood and walked away from him. She fought the urge to look back knowing that if she did she’d lose the courage to walk away. With each step Tess realized that she would never stop loving him… couldn’t stop loving him. She wiped another tear from her cheek. The road to hell wasn’t paved with good intentions. It was paved with the wrecked pieces of her heart.
© Rilzy Adams, 2013