Love Hurts

He counted the days. 53 days since she last spoke to him. It had been nearly five months since she killed this man's essence. Every day he thought of her. Every night he would dream of her. Today, Blake intended on approaching the one he loved with all his heart for the first time in 53 days. He finally found the courage to risk having his heart broken again by the chance of not having his feelings returned. He knew that the odds of her showing any hint of love towards him was slim to none, but he had to know.

She at one time along their three year relationship felt the way he feels towards her now. Blake's love for her was unconditional and everlasting. He thought she felt the same way towards him.

She didn't.

She let him go and he fell. His heart broke like glass being shattered against a wooden floor. He was left holding onto whatever he could. He pleaded to remain friends. She said she promised they would always be friends.

She distanced herself from him. She didn't want to be his friend. She wanted to move on. Blake realized this and, although it broke his already shattered heart into a million more tiny pieces, he let her be.

Before he let her be, he asked her a question, "Emma?" he asked in a sulken tone of voice, "do you still love me?"

Her answer, "Would it hurt you if I said not as much?"

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The months passed. Not a word was exchanged between the two. Until today.

Blake opened his cell phone and dialed the faded numbers on the pad. He didn't hit send. He sat on the side of his bed and thought about what to say. Minutes ticked by, but it seemed like hours. Finally, he hit the faded send button.

The phone rang

Blake's stomach was in his throat. It had been so long since he heard her voice.

The phone rang a second time.

Blake cleared his throat and wiped the sweat that began to condensate along his brows.

The phone rang a third time.

Memories began to flood Blake's mind. All the conversations they had, talking endlessly on the phone, started re-playing through his mind. A pain ripped through his chest. It was bearable, but barely. The place his heart was was being stabbed by a million hunting knives. Blake tightened his grip on the phone so he could close it without throwing it. Just then, his body went numb.

"Hello?" The voice of a goddess chimed. Blake blanked out. He forgot exactly what it felt like to get drunk over her velvet voice, but it came back to him and hit him like a run-a-way train. His head felt like it was going to burst. He shook. He couldn't say a word for the fact that he couldn't breathe. "Helloo?" This time, the voice woke Blake up from his trance. He had forgotten what he called her for and was now desperately trying to remember why it was he called. Nothing came to him. "Is anyone there?" Blake took a deep breath.

"Hey, yeah. Sorry." Blake was frantically trying to remember. Sweat beaded down his face as he nervously began looking around. He looked over at his night stand and saw the charm bracelet she had made for him. It was nothing fancy, she had made it two years before now at a summer camp for him.

His memory kicked back into gear at the sight of the bracelet.

"Is that you Blake?" She asked in a stern, but also soft voice.

"Yeah, it's me. Hey, are you busy?" Blake's heart was hammering in his chest. It felt like it was going to come out of his body running for the nearest escape.

"Well... No, I guess not. Need something?"

"Could you meet me at the park? I need to talk to you, in person preferably."

"Why?.."

"Cause, I haven't talked to you in forever and a day it seems. I'd much rather talk to you in person though."

"Now?..."

"Now's better than never." There was a pause. Blake wiped more sweat that began to form about his brow.

"I'll meet you there."

"Great, see you there."

"Bye." The phone went dead. Blake softly whispered 'I love you' into the lifeless phone before closing it shut.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Blake saw Emma sitting on a bench as he arrived at the park. She was admiring the rose bush that was next to her. Blake's mind filled with more memories of them. All the times they had come to this park to have a pic-nic or watch the sun set and go star gazing. He choked up, but quickly swallowed it down and took a seat next to her. The awkward tensions were building as they just sat there silently. All was quiet, save the robin that was singing in the tree that shaded the bench. Blake looked at Emma and she was still looking at the roses.

"So...How've you been Emma?" Blake asked, shifting his weight so the bench would creek and grab her attention.

"Fine." She turned towards him. Her warm brown eyes melted his heart as he looked into them. The smell of her perfume was intoxicating. "Yourself?

Blake shrugged casually, "I've had better days."

"Oh..." She looked towards her feet. She seemed upset which made Blake grow uneasy.

"Is everything alright?"

Emma shook her head. A frown molded across her lips.

"Do you maybe wanna talk about it?" Blake's stomach turned upside down as he began to regret asking her to the park. If she was going through a hard time, why did she bother coming?

"Naw. It's nothing." She gave him a weak smile.

"Let's walk?" Blake stood up and Emma followed suit. They began walking along the twisted path of the park, quietly at first, but the conversation picked up.

The two filled each other in on how their families were, how school was going, how work was lame and how the weather has been crappy. Nothing interesting was said, the awkwardness in the air was still heavy. They kept walking and talking.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An hour passed. The sky was turning orange as the sun sunk behind the tree tops. Blake and Emma made it back to the bench where they first met.

"I really should be going... It's getting late," Emma pointed out, "That was fun, we should do that again sometime."

"Bunches of fun." Blake agreed, though he was lying. Not once did he get to talk to her about what he wanted to talk about, she never gave him the chance while they walked. He was upset, but didn't show it.

"Before I go though, I have one more question." Emma sat down on the bench and beckoned for him to sit next to her.

"Okay?"

"I don't know how to ask this...," she started, "But, did I really hurt you badly when I broke up with you?"

Blake was taken back by the irony of her question. He tried to think of a plausible reason for her asking him that question. Maybe she feels bad about breaking up with me, Blake thought, or maybe, she does still love me...

Emma tried to look for an answer on Blake's face, but he stared blankely at her. After what seemed like an eternity, Emma called softly, "Blake?"

He moved his transfixed gaze from her to his feet. "No." He lied. "I understand why you did. Break up with me, I mean." He looked back at her big eyes that were looking straight into the pain of his lying soul.

"Oh." She said, then very quickly she asked, "Do you still love me?"

"Yes." Blake said instantaneously. "Well, I mean..." Blake realized that he sounded a bit obsessed and over passionate. He thought of a way to dumb it down. "It's hard for me to say so. Though, you should know, when I promised you that I would love you forever, I meant it. The reason it's hard for me to admit it is....because...I...well..." Blake sighed.

"You what?..." Emma looked flummoxed.

"The main reason I called you today, Emma, the reason I asked you to come to the park... I wanted, no, needed to know if you still loved me?" Blake looked away, shielding himself from the inevitable. He knew her answer. This was going to be, possibly, the last time he ever would talk to her again. Blake's entire body was pumping with adrenaline. His heart was about to be smashed for the last time.

Emma let out a sigh of her own. "I want to tell you that I love you still. Honestly, I do. I can't do that to you though. I'm really sorry." Blake's remaining heart fragments then turned into sand as the words sunk in. Emma stood up. With her back turned, she asked, "I hope you don't hate me?"

"Never." Blake muttered. "I could never hate you." He looked at the back of her head.

"Will I get to talk to you again?"

"Maybe."

Emmy shot a glance back at Blake and tilted her head. "Good-bye."

"Bye." Emma turned and walked away from Blake, taking away the remains of his heart as she went. Blake's very meaning for life left him sitting their, as cold as stone for the second time.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Blake sat on that bench, numb, until the moon glistened off the dew that condensated on the rose petals. He absent-mindedly walked home. Pain was tearing through him as if he was being ripped in two. His chest was tight and tears flowed down his face. He expected the answer from her, but not the pain. It was unbearable.

He went to sleep for one last time, as he let the pain take over.





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