I rung the doorbell and the door quickly swung open. There she greeted me, her bright smile and the scent of sweet lavender made my stomach flutter and my heart skipped a beat. After years of not seeing each other, she was still the same.
"Hi" she said with a small giggle, I smiled.
We spent the day catching up and talking about our ventures throughout the years. We were already approaching our thirties, our friends are already getting married and having children. As she giggled to my stories, I kept thinking to myself if she is still available. Our common friends says she still is, but someone as gorgeous and intelligent as her... that's hard to believe.
"How about you, Dean? Are you getting married anytime soon? I'd sure love to attend the wedding." She asked with a smile.
"Uh... No, I'm waiting for someone" I coughed "and you?" Her smile quickly faded and the atmosphere shifted.
I breathed in, smelling the formalin and drowning myself in memories. That was 5 years ago. It keeps replaying over and over my head and wishing that I shouldn't have asked that question. We wouldn't have gotten through this. Looking down, I can hear the wails and cry of family members. I dare not to look up, I was not ready to see what's infornt of me. The once warm body and the scent of lavender now replaced with a formalin filled cold corpse. I thought, if I didn't shifted there, would she still be alive? Will I still see her smile?
"I told you I don't want to get married, Dean!" She shouted through the rain. We were both soaking wet, cold and shaking. Her red bride's maid dress covered in mud from the knee down. "Why did you do that to our best friend's wedding?! We looked like fools!"
"Sh-she thought it was alright." I said stuttering, not from the cold, but I'm scared that she wouldn't talk to me after this. "L-look I'm sorry. I was stupid. I shouldn't have proposed on Leah's wedding, I—"
"YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE PROPOSED AT ALL! How many times have you tried this I told you—"
"I LOVE YOU OKAY?!" I shouted. A thunder followed suit, "I don't want anyone but you. I am willing to wait until it kills me, for as long as I live. For as long as you live. Until you say that it is okay to be by your side everyday."
"Dean..." She said softly, she walked towards me and caressed my cheek, her touch burns against my skin. She kissed me, softly and she broke free from the kiss, warm tears streaming down her face. We looked at each other longingly. We both know what we want, what we long for, but she refuses. "I love you. You know that. But you... You deserve someone better. I'm a mess, you will get tired of me. I don't deserve you." The rain slowed down, I kept shaking my head as she said those words. She's wrong. How can she say that? She's beautiful, how can't she see that I love every part of her?
"No... That's not true." I said, that's all the damned words I can say. I can't say a thing to her, I was scared that she can find all of the loop holes in my words. She smiled and let out a heavy chuckle.
"Don't look for me." She said at let me go. The rain already stopped. She got into her car, gave me a one last look and drove off. There she left me... Soaked, and cold. In the middle of a hotel parking lot.
"You haven't looked yet?" A person said, I turned to their direction. "Marley?" I asked
"In the flesh." He said and smiled. "How you holdin' up, chico?" I told him I was good, "awwe don't lie. We know you loved her more than anyone else in this room combined." I stayed silent.
"How's your wife? I heard your married."
"Divorced." I corrected. "Ahh I see. I still remember the day you proposed to her on Lea's Wedding 3 years ago."
"To Faith?" I asked "No, not your ex-wife, chico. Her. When she ran out of the reception into the rain and you ran after her." He shifted on his seat, "talk about drama, am I right?"
The crowd cheered and clapped as our lips touched. I am officially married, my new wife rested her head on my shoulder as we walked out of the church. The ride was a blur, before I knew it we were all greeting the guests. Congratulating us newly weds.
"Congratulations, Bean." My heart dropped, I looked at where the voice came from. There she stood with a black dress. "What are you doing..."
"I invited her, Dean." Faith said, "I heard you guys are good friends and I was wondering why you didn't put her on the guest list?" Faith approached both of us and shifted her attention to her, "I'm sorry about my husband here, you would've made a great bridesmaid."
"He must've forgotten with all the stress." They both laughed. Faith went to entertain with more guests. "I thought I wouldn't hear that nickname ever again." I said, "and I thought I'll never see you again."
"Well that would be the last time you'll hear it. This would be the last time you'll see me too." She smiled, "Congratulations tho. I told you you'll forget about me."
I stared at her, "Where will you be going off now?" I asked trying to shift the conversation, trying to be as cold as possible.
"Oh, I don't know... Somewhere? Meet new people here and there." She looked around the decorations "Your wife did an amazing job planning this." Her voice cracked, tears forming in her eyes. My heart sanked, but I tried not to care.
"When will you stop being alone?" I asked her, she stared. Blinking away the tears. She stared for a long time and smiled, "Never?" She chuckled, a tear already escaped her eye.
My heart softened, I called our her name, "No, Dean... Haha... You know, this is my fault. I was stubborn. I was so scared of me breaking you... It destroyed me. Now... I'm too late. You're already married and I'm here... I'm..." She breathed in, her breath shakingly hitched. "I can never find anyone like you. And if I do, I wouldn't want it... Because it's not you..."
"Hey... Don't say that, you will find someone" I said trying to comfort her. She walked towards me ans took my hand. "Dean, no... You don't get it you see... You gave up on me, how much more others?" She hugged me and kissed my cheek "Now go be with your wife."
I was only married for 8 months. I never heard from her since. Me and Faith never had a child. I looked at the closed coffin, she requested for her corpse to not be seen. They said in her last moments she cut her hair until she was bald and set her kitchen on fire. The firemen found her in the bathroom covered in blood and wounds cut deep within her wrists. Her hand clutched with letters and wills. She was never on drugs, barely drinks. But she did it. The unimaginable act for a person like her.
I reached for my pocket. I had a separate letter that was found on one of her drawers. She didn't held it in her hands. It's like she tucked it away so only I could read it. As I stood by the coffin I opened the letter, reading it again.
The love of my life. The person who understood me and stood by me the longest. I love you with all my heart. But you must know, I never wanted you to handle the burden of taking care of me. I am far from what people picture. You deserve someone who will be there for your ups and downs, and you did found her. I wish you both a long and happy marriage.
I know you can never be your best self if I married you, so I said no. I know you won't find a lover if I'm around, so I left. I know you can't love your wife as much as long as I am alive, so I died.
Don't feel bad. Wipe your tears. I love you, but you're not mine. You are not for me, you see? It's not your fault. I'm not your obligation. You are the reason why I kept living but now you need to live for someone. And that someone is not me. It's okay. Live the life I have left the way you want it. I will give it all to you, my love. Enjoy life for me.
You are the only one who found me beautiful in my"
She didn't sign it. It was left unfinished. Tears streamed down my face. If only I stayed by her side, if only I m haven't asked about marrying, if only I waited for her... She would've still been alive. The coffin lowered down and people started to crowd, cries and shouts are starting to fill my ears.
She's gone. I can never see her again. Her smile, her laugh, the way she talks, her sweet lavender scent, and her soft lips. I can never feel that again. And I know I can't only find that and the feeling of home to her and her only... I'll never love another.