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Rated: E · Short Story · Romance/Love · #2237152
Memories play on a loop in our brains and influence our emotions till we forget them.

Hastily pressing my back against the door, I took a shaky breath. This wasn't supposed to happen. This definitely can't be happening.

My legs threatened to give away, but knowing the state of the floor in the women's bathroom stall, I braced my palms against the walls. The tequila in my system doing little to aid my efforts. ~2~

What's the sheer probability of us almost reuniting in a stowed away night club, after I've traveled all the way from the west coast to the east? Had she come, knowing that I would be found here every weekend trying my best to regain the mundanity of life? ~3~

Scoffing at the ridiculous thought, I dragged my hand across my scalp. ~4~

There's no way she would do that after I gave up on her. On us. Shame filled my body through every pore. I had been selfish. Everyone who witnessed my breakup with her knew that. Heck, even the ones who never supported our relationship knew that. I thought I had been clear with my reasoning all the way through. The separation was supposed to be free of guilt. It was supposed to be liberating enough to give me a clear head to work on my company. ~5~

But, I knew I was wrong when I hugged her goodbye for the last time. Her faint vanilla scent wrapping me around closer to her than ever before, allowing me to tighten my hold on her. ~6~

I knew my reasons started vanishing when she broke off the hug to place her forehead against mine. A curtain of auburn and honey hair separating us from the world as she breathily whispered, "Wherever you go, you'll always have a part of my heart Aidene. And no matter what you say, I know that you love me too with every single jagged edge of your heart which is tearing me apart from the inside now," ~7~

And Gods, I knew I hurt her, but to have her say it in words threatened my sanity. I wanted to kiss her senseless till our lips swell up and we break it off to grin at our disheveled states. I wanted to go down on my knees and apologize till words uttered by me meant nothing more than indicators of my love for her. ~8~

"This is the final boarding call for passenger Aidene Pierce booked on flight 372A to New York City. Please proceed to gate 3 immediately," ~9~

The announcement snapped me out of my stupor. And everything I did after that was automated. I detached from her wordlessly and didn't dare look at her. My mask was starting to fracture and I didn't want to give her the false hope of us as I willed myself to walk away from the best thing I could ever have in my life. ~10~

But here she was, back in my life looking more gorgeous than ever. Honey hair cut short enough to frame her jaw swayed with her body as she lost herself in the trance. Sweat beads glittered against her when the lights flashed. My Inara. Always the one to put her soul into art. ~11~

Her eyes snapped open midway as if she knew I was watching her. Dark eyes met mine and that was all she had to do for me to barrel into the bathrooms. Running away from her, yet again. ~12~

The air in the restroom was stale and judging my breathing pattern, I needed to get away from here. The stall can't cover me longer than this. If I wait any longer, I would be sprawled across the floor. I desperately hoped Inara went back to her trance. ~13~

Fixing myself up to avoid being looked at as a drunken mess, I walked out of the stall up to the mirror to inspect the damage the memories had done. Auburn strands plastered to my neck. Bloodshot hazel eyes, mostly from crying but probably the alcohol as well. Eye make-up barely holding on as they followed the tear-stained paths along my face. My head fell limp at the sight. I gripped the edges of the sink as my body rattled with quiet sobs. ~14~

My mind was being filled with nothing but the words I wanted to tell her. Replaying all the times I've wanted to utter those eight letters to her. The moments I've been struck breathless by her compassion towards every part of my heart. The slices of unsteadiness I felt when we were making love. Every movement we made making me realize I was falling deeper. ~15~

The denial came in later after the realization. After she made me question everything I've believed in love. Why I was denying love is a question I could never answer. All I knew was she deserved someone better than a person whose demons can unleash at any point. ~16~

So I lied and lied until she grew tired of it. Till she loosened our bond enough to allow me to getaway. What I never predicted was how my heart started aching for her when I walked away. How our memories ripped me apart every time I replayed it. How numb I felt every waking moment of the day. ~17~

"Aidene?" ~18~

My body sagged in relief on hearing her voice. A sob escaped my throat. ~19~

"Aidene? love? " ~20~

She enveloped me from behind. Warmth flowed into me at her touch. Home. This felt like home. I could hear her trying to comfort me. To try to stop me from losing myself. ~21~

I turned around to fall against her embrace. She let me in. Again. Despite everything I've done to her, she's here right now holding me up. ~22~

"It's okay love. I'm here for you now. It's okay, I'll always be here for you," she whispered against my ears, caressing my hair and drawing gentle circles against my back. ~23~

And now, the denial could go to hell for all I know is that I love her. Even in my darkest times when everything was questioned, my love for her stood unscathed. Time and time again, it stood still. And will continue to do so even when the last star in the galaxy dies and the universe is devoured by black holes. My love for her will endure till a new universe is birthed and we become nothing more than star crossed lovers who would always walk back to each other. ~24~

"I love you", the words falling at last. Inara stilled against me. I held my breath waiting for her to answer me. ~25~

"I love you too Aidene," she said, " I never stopped loving you." ~26~

It was enough for me. I was kissing her and whispering the eight letters. Over and over till the words embedded themselves into our hearts.
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