“Hello from the outside. At least I can say that I’ve tried to tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart.” – Adele
A short story inspired by Adele’s new single. Listen to it HERE.
She looked beautiful in lace.
He watched her look at herself in the massive mirror and wondered if she saw what he did. The creamy, off-white material kissed her mahogany skin in ways he used to kiss her goodnight. He admired the dress that skimmed her curves before falling straight to the carpeted floor. He wanted to be the carpet. He wanted to worship the very ground she walked on. He wanted a chance to take the last ten years back… to be given a chance to claim the gift she’d once offered him so willingly.
She reached over to the small table and picked up a diamond necklace between shaking fingers. He wanted to think that they shook with regret. He wanted to believe they shook because in less than half an hour this woman he’d taken for granted would walk down the aisle to someone else. Brady took two steps towards her but stopped. He could have grown roots in the carpet for just how hard it was for him to move forward. He wanted too much. But, then again, this wasn’t about what he wanted. He was here because he needed to be. He needed to tell her that he saw… he finally saw what she’d begged him to see.
He cleared his throat and she spun around. White lace swayed around her legs like ocean froth against the shoreline.
He heard everything he thought he would’ve in her voice from the shock to the panic, hurt and anger but he also heard the one thing he thought disappeared when he walked out on her all those nights ago, fondness.
“Steph,” he started but the words wouldn’t come. The words seemed stuck, as he did, in that cold night when he’d stumbled from her flat into the pouring rain while she screamed at him to come back.
You’re my first choice, my last choice, my every other choice.
She’d screamed those words over and over again while she begged him to stop – to turn around – to dare to fight for them. He didn’t, he wouldn’t and he hadn’t wanted to. But now he wished he had. It wasn’t easy to see what he was giving up when he walked away to his… freedom. But it was easy to see just what he’d lost in the dead of night with shadows dancing on his wall and Johnny Walker for company. It was easier still to see when Stephanie stood before him, dressed in white for another man, with more emotions flitting across her face than he’d allowed himself to feel in a lifetime.
“How did you get here?” she asked. “What are you doing here?”
In the movies he’d tell her he still loved her… that he never realized just how much he did until after he let her go and she’d come running into his arms.
“I tried to call,” he said.
With his tongue bitter with whiskey and regret he’d tried calling her on every number he could remember. She never responded and he never left a message.
“I didn’t want to talk to you.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. “When I broke your heart I didn’t realize I was destroying mine.”
“You hurt me so damn much,” she whispered. “You never looked back.”
He glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. Each passing second reminded him that he was running out of time.
“What do you want?” she asked. Her voice was thick with emotion he didn’t want to place.
“You,” he said.
She started moving towards him then. When she was close enough to hold him, Stephanie wrapped her arms around him and rose on the balls of her feet so that she could whisper into his ear.
“You were my first choice, my last choice and my every other choice,” she said slowly. “But not anymore.”
She stepped away from him and Brady watched her go.
People, he realized, had to be careful with their goodbyes.
Sometimes there would never be another chance to say hello.
© Rilzy Adams, 2015