Shit! Why did I ever give Tessa that key? Why?
I looked around quickly for someplace to hide. Being in my apartment, I was kind of out of options, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I quickly darted to the glass door of the balcony and slid it open, hopping onto the other side and slamming it shut in front of me.
I watched as the three of them emerged into the room, and instantly located me standing on the balcony. Ben marched over to the door and I held it shut as he pulled on the handle, trying to pry it open.
I pulled against him but he was stronger. To my horror, he began to pull it open.
Trying to get a better grip on it, my hands slipped off the handle and he won. In one swift movement he had the door open and soon was standing next to me on the balcony with the door shut beside us.
We had barely locked eyes for a moment before I panicked. I reached for the door handle, wrapping my fingers around it, but he grabbed my wrist and held it tightly.
I struggled with total fruitlessness, still hoping against hope that I would not have to face him and deal with… whatever this was. I didn’t want to confront him or any of it! I just wanted to hide.
But with him here, staring down at me intently, I knew I couldn’t.
Sighing I looked up at him through my lashes.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the two of them.
Did they not see how perfect they were together? I could tell. Even though all they were doing was staring at each other.
“Coffee?” Tessa asked brightly.
I turned to her and smiled, “Yeah… I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be up for a while”
She smiled and I followed her into the kitchen, in there was another window that allowed us to see out onto the balcony.
Tessa went to it and grabbed the curtain– earning a glare from Felicia as Ben held onto her shoulders staring her down. She smiled and gave her friend the ‘thumbs up’ before she pulled the curtain across and blocked out the view.
She began making two coffee’s in the kitchen that she seemed to know well while I sighed, leaning against the counter, “What do you think’s gonna happen?” I asked curiously.
I so wanted this to work out. Not just for Ben, but for Felicia as well.
From everything I had seen, she was a fantastic girl whose happiness it seemed, was well past due.
And Ben was a friend. I wanted him to be happy, and I’d never seen him more euphoric than when he was simply speaking about her.
Tessa rolled her eyes, “If they’re not making out in two minutes, then they’ll be doing something worse” she promised as she poured two steaming mugs.
I laughed as she handed me mine, I seriously loved how this girl could look at life with such humour. She seemed to have a talent for defusing situations.
“Well, then, we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?” I asked as I took a small sip.
“Yeah! We have front row seats” she smiled before she turned thoughtful, “I wonder if Felicia has any popcorn” she mused aloud before she turned on her heel and began rummaging through the cupboards.
I stared into his eyes and he glared down at me, his hands on my forearms holding me still. As if he still thought I could run.
Oh how I wanted to! I was downright terrified! He seemed to notice this and let out a deep breath, letting his hands fall and taking a step backwards.
“Sorry” he said, “I’m sorry I scared you” he said, his voice rung with sincerity that I didn’t, couldn’t, doubt, “I’m sorry I keep seeming to pop up at the worst moments possible” he said.
I couldn’t disagree with him there.
He sighed, “I’m sorry I took your first kiss”
Bloody Tessa! She was a dead women.
But that thought didn’t comfort me as I stood on a balcony nine stories up in the air, yet I felt so very small.
“I’m sorry I freaked out and I’m just… sorry” he seemed to struggle with his words as he turned to look at the Melbourne skyline and crossed his arms over the railing of my balcony, “I’m sorry for everything that I’ve fucked up” he sighed.
I watched him for a moment, utterly confused, “why are you apologizing?” I asked, he turned around to look at me in confusion, “you didn’t do anything wrong” I said simply, I stared at the ground as I took a hesitant step forward, to stand next to him on the balcony, “it was my fault for confusing acting with reality” I said.
Something about this seemed to anger him as he sighed, letting his head lull over the balcony before he looked up at me sideway, “I wasn’t acting” he said quietly.
Each one of those words seemed to sink in, branding itself into my skin.
I felt as if the wind had gotten knocked out of me as I took an involuntary step back, “Oh” was all I could say.
He words didn’t make sense because they were impossible.
How could he feel that way about me? Plain old me.
Did he not know that disaster followed me? That anyone who got closed to me died?
I felt breathless as I looked anywhere but his face, “yes you should be apologizing for that” I muttered, to him or myself I didn’t know.
He stood up, seeming to decide something he approached me, slowly, cautiously so not to scare me, but I was already terrified and quite unable to move even if I had wanted to.
His hands gripped my upper arms as he stepped closer, “Your right” he said quietly, “I’m sorry” he whispered tenderly, “I’m sorry that you’re the most amazing girl I’ve ever met” he said.
I turned away as tears stung at my eyes; he turned his head slightly trying to keep my gaze as I looked away, “I’m sorry that from the moment I heard you sing I couldn’t get you out of my head” he said quietly.
I sniffed as the tears came anyway; I looked down at the ground as they rolled down my cheeks, splashing onto the floor.
I felt his forehead press to mine, his hot breath tickling my face, “but most of all I’m sorry” he began pulling me tighter and himself closer to me, “that I fell in love with you” he whispered.
A sob racked through my chest and I sucked in a shaky breath.
I couldn’t believe him. Not even for a second.
I had spent too many years impacting ice around my heart, keeping it together after it had been so thoroughly shattered after my parents’ death.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t let him in.
It was then that something strange happened to me.
I heard a voice in my ear, one that didn’t belong to Ben, or Tessa.
One that was no longer on earth.
It was the voice of my Mother, whispering two small words “Be Happy”
And just like that I realized, I could be happy. Happiness was something I had denied myself ever since my parent’s death because I was afraid the moment I was happy, it would get taken away from me again. And that was something I couldn’t survive.
But in locking my heart away, I had lost it. I’d lost my voice, my drive, my will for life.
And now, it all came flooding back to be because I was loved.
I had loved but for so long, had never been loved.
Now I had both.
Without thinking, I reached up and placed my hand on the back of Ben’s neck before I pulled him down to kiss me.
It wasn’t like the first.
This time there were butterflies flapping around in my stomach as my heart seemed to inflate so much that it wanted to burst through my ribs.
Ben seemed shocked, but it didn’t take him long to wrap his arms around my back and pull me closer. This time I let my mouth open, no longer afraid as he deepened the kiss, his tongue massaging mine.
It sent shock waves through me and shivers down my spine, but I wasn’t afraid.
For the first time in so long- I wasn’t afraid.
Loud screaming from inside startled me and I broke away, our lips parting with an audible wet sound as we both stared inside.
Anna and Tessa were both jumping up and down, with smiles the size of Texas, screaming.
Tessa even had popcorn which she was throwing up in the air.
Bitch! She better be clean that up.
I laughed, placing my hand to my wet lips as the two girls starting dancing together.
Ben chuckled, pulling me close he pressed his forehead to mine once again, “does that mean you love me back?” he asked quietly.
I smiled as I turned back to him, “why yes, yes it does” I said.
I only had time to see a breathing-takingly happy smile before his lips crashed down on my own again.
I smiled against his lips as I felt his hand tighten around my back and lift me up into the air.
But I already felt like I was floating.