Love Me Still
[ Change of POV ]
I stared at the screen for the umpteenth time, my finger twitching in anticipation. I hadn't wanted our relationship to end so sourly and I can't bear leaving things the way they were. I wanted to talk to Duo still, hear his rich, deep voice; I just wanted to know that we were, at least, still friends, because I miss him very much.
Plenty of times, I'd type an e-mail to apologize, wanting to tell him that I never meant to hurt him, but it never sounds right. I'm not poetic at all. I'm confident enough to admit I'm not. Something was always off and I was afraid he'd read it the wrong way, or that my emotions weren't being expressed fully enough. Though I wanted to click the send button, my brain told me not to. Hn, my social skills are definitively lacking and I've always had a difficult time explaining things, conveying my thoughts; Duo used to be able to read my mind. He used to be my universal translator, but I'm sure if he'd even want to hear me out this time.
And although we stopped being lovers, I still needed and wanted him as a friend. Am I being too greedy? I suppose, I could have gone to Trowa since he's also a good friend of mine, but he's almost a silent as I was; A conversation between the two of us was always short, curt, and to the point. Even though companionable silence can be comforting, he doesn't keep my attention as long as Duo can, he isn't half as interesting to me as Duo is.
Duo just…. completes me in a way other people can't and I didn't want to lose my other half. I still wanted him, but… God. I closed my eyes, sighing miserably. I'd really blown it. In Duo's words, "I fucked up". I slept with someone else and got her pregnant. Of all the things I could have botched.
The thing I regret the most though, is that I left Duo never once telling him how much I cared. When we were together, I couldn't say it. I wasn't even sure what 'love' meant. How could I tell him something when I didn't even understand it? When I tried to explain my difficulty to Duo, he just embraced me, kissing the top of my head with an amused smile.
"There is no perfect dictionary definition for love." He explained. His eyes were dazzling as he looked at me, trying to describe the sensation. "You just know, Heero. It's instinct." He told me he loved me right afterwards and pulled me down for a kiss to emphasize his statement.
I know what it means now, even though it's too late to tell him. It's this aching feeling in my chest when I forced myself to leave him. It's the fear and dread I feel when I think that he'll never forgive me. It's this horrible, suffocating feeling I get every time I think about my future without him. I know what it is now, but it's too late, ne? Now that Relena is carrying my child and I have obligations to her. I've left him and engaged myself to the most famous woman in the universe.
"Heero." I opened my eyes slowly when I heard her voice. She stood in the doorway, a hand on her swelling stomach. "It's late. You should go to sleep, Heero." She suggested softly. I nodded curtly, quickly closing the e-mail, without bothering to save it. It's not like I'll send it; it was just like all those other times. I don't think I deserve his forgiveness and friendship anyway.
Nowadays, I sleep night clutching a pillow. I've turned into a weak person. The Perfect Soldier desperate enough to snuggle a lifeless pillow. Pathetic. But it's a hard habit to break after sleeping with Duo for a year. Well, an option was to jump into bed with Relena, but it's just not right. It was down right awkward. I couldn't imagine sharing a bed, hugging someone I barely had affection for. Honestly, I'm playing my role as the happy fiancé for everyone else to see, but in our secluded home, it's not even close.
It's not that I hate her, it's just that there's nothing to say or feel. And it's not because she's not ugly. On the contrary, in the past years, she's grown into a tall, elegant woman, one that dazzles many high officials when they meet her. Although she still retains some naiveté, she's learning the game of politics very quickly. There is nothing truly wrong with her and the numbers of admirers have increased steadily.
But she doesn't hold a candle to Duo. He had this natural beauty that attracts… everything. It's his nature, his charisma, and pure appearance that stuns everyone. I just… Jesus. Grabbing the pillow from under my head, I pummeled it frustratingly. I HAVE to stop thinking about him like this. I'm only torturing myself.
I have to come to terms with myself and I hope Duo understands. I left him to be with her, only because she needed me much more and she was my responsibility. She's young, and she's still innocent, even after those wars. I feel like I've defiled her-- my slipping up and giving her the burden of carrying my child. She's barely 21, but she's already pregnant and still unmarried. Her public image would be ruined because of me; I'm doing this for the greater good. I hope he understands. It has nothing to do with love. It has everything to do with my duties and responsibilities. I HAD to leave him. I didn't WANT to.
Unable to get any sleep, I tossed the sheets aside and got up. I'm sure I wasn't going to get any more sleep. I was too troubled to rest, bothered by thoughts and decisions. Another of many restless nights.
A part of me really wanted to run away from all this. I've thought about it countless time. Running away. I wanted to go and elope with Duo, and hide from the rest of the world forever. We'd live together without worrying about anyone else in our secret paradise. NO. I shook my head sadly. It was an impossible fantasy. I knew it would never be possible now. I could never go back to Duo.
Reasonably, I already knew that my only option was to stay with Relena. It was an obvious choice. But all I needed was ONE, just one reason for me to run back to Duo's arms and I would. But it seems as though all odds are against us. As though we were never meant to be. I know I was being illogical at the moment. I hated this entire situation and I was THAT desperate to return to my ex-lover. I was so close to just aborting and failing my mission.
But I can't.
I AM her fiancé. I'm engaged to a QUEEN and Relena was PREGNANT. The decision was already made with or without my say and I'm upset that I even had to think about it. I'm disappointed that I didn't really have a choice, but it's time to be realistic and stop this wishful thinking.
I'm going to spend the rest of my life with that woman. She deserves a good husband. Because she cares for the entire world and colonies, she deserves someone who loves her enough to make sure she is happy; Happy and cared for as well.
It's not just about Relena. It's for my child. I would feel incredibly guilty if I abandoned it. I know how it feels to live without a parent-- the loneliness and uncertainty without feeling love; the feeling of not being wanted. And there was no way in hell I'd let my own child experience that. I felt absolutely horrible whenever I had any resentful thought against the baby. I shouldn't put the blame on the child because it wasn't his fault at all. It wasn't his choice to suddenly come to life. It was mine. I owed the child my attention Frowning a little, I decided, I wasn't sure if I could do that…. But I'd try.
I did finally talk to Trowa and Quatre once. I did my best monotonous voice and explained the situation. Thankfully, they didn't condemn me or hate me. I don't understand why they didn't, but I was glad. I wanted to ask if they'd spoken to Duo lately, but neither of them had. Duo had hid from them, never returning their calls. Guiltily, I wondered if any of his behavior was because of me. Probably. Then they asked how I was doing. I told them that I was having trouble adapting to the situation. Sometimes, I just couldn't accept how things turned out. Some days I hid in my room, refusing to look at Relena. This was not the future I had planned, pictured, or wanted and I was in denial. I almost had my perfect future. I almost had a quaint home near the beach, with a dog, and perfect weather… and Duo. I sat their quiet thinking of how my dreams had suddenly gone down the drain.
During a conversation, Trowa had rested his chin in his hands and looked deep in thought before saying, "I think you have to try, Heero. Relena IS a lovable person, but you haven't given her a chance because you're still hung up on Duo and you refuse to accept anyone else's feelings." Was that what it seemed like? Of course, I do love Duo. Trowa made him sound like he was some kind of obstacle that I had to overcome. Despite giving Duo such a negative name, it made sense.
I frowned at my friend and he waited patiently, staring back. Then, hesitantly and slowly, I nodded, agreeing. I had to let Duo go. It's been too long already. It was time to move on.
I decided to take his advice. It was worth a try.
For three months, I gave it my all. I tried very hard.
I tried to be more affectionate, caring, and observed her feelings more often. It wasn't difficult to be nice to her because she was always incredibly kind and generous to me already. We weren't lovers, not even best friends yet. Our hugs and kisses were awkward, but it was a start. I could tell she was pleased with my effort. Trowa was right. She became bearable when I gave her a chance.
I know that my feelings for Duo remained; I could feel its reminders in every heartbeat. But I forced myself to ignore it until the wrenching pain was nothing but a persistent, but dull thudding. I went on with my life now that the pain was tolerable and barely noticeable.
At me desk, I stared at the final words, "Sayonara" on my email for a minute. I smiled sadly as I moved the cursor to close the window, not bothering to send or save it. Goodbye. I'm sorry.
I've survived without Duo before and I can survive without him again.It was easier as a month went by… a month and a half. I simply pretended, faking to myself that all the time I've spent with Duo meant nothing at all, and it became much easier to survive. God, why had I been acting as if he was my life? It seems kind of ludicrous now. He was out of my way and I was getting on with my life.
"Heero." I smiled slightly when Trowa greeted me on the Vid-Phone. Too busy with my own troublesome life, I hadn't really spoken to anyone else. It was nice to see a familiar face. "I'll make this real quick because you're my best friend and I wanted you to be the first to know." He was actually grinning from ear to ear. "I've fallen in love." I was taken aback with the sudden call and announcement.
"Quatre and I. We just got engaged today." So they've finally admitted their love after all these years and now they're going to bind themselves to each other forever. Wufei, Duo and even I knew had always known they liked one another.
"Wedding? Married? Congratulations!" I couldn't even complete a sentence. This was a complete surprise. I'd never heard news of them dating or anything. I'd never have guessed that they'd suddenly get married one day out of the blue!
"Thank you. It's in the end of August and I was wondering if you'd like to be my best man." I must have looked comical with all this sudden information because Trowa chuckled.
"Aa…" I said it as if I didn't know what I was getting into. " I'd be honored." I really was. I've never been one before. No one's ever asked me to one… this was actually, was the first wedding I'd have gone to in my entire life! I've heard of the events, understood their meaning, but I've never attended one. It's kind of sad when I think about it; living for more than 20 years without ever experiencing one, without experiencing very much. It made me appreciate having friends much more, especially since I was to be their best man! I felt myself smile involuntarily with childish excitement.
"Great. I'll send you the information, date, location, the rest in an e-mail later. Thanks a lot. You know, this is going to be nice to see everyone again, after all these years. We've really lost touch after we were transferred to different places." I nodded, my smile suddenly tensed. When I thought that Duo would probably be there also, there was this almost terrified and exhilarating feeling rushing through my heart at the same time.
We talked for a few more moments, catching up with each other. I've isolated myself in this expensive mansion for too long. I hadn't realized it until now that I really missed all of them.
When the vid-phone was blank, I sat there with a surprising taste of bitterness. I was jealous of Trowa. Jealous that he was able to be with his love and live happily ever after together. I would never have that chance. But at least he had true love. I should be happy for him, happy that he wouldn't have to suffer like me. It was ironic, how the thought of my friend's wedding brought a pleased smile from me, while the prospect of my own, made me scowl. I dreaded it and avoided the topic as much as possible. It was enough, for now, that I agreed to the engagement. Marriage was far more too important and binding. Ignoring my own, I pondered about my friend's future a bit more.
The wedding would certainly be a very thrilling experience, especially after hearing Duo talk about it; of the special, holy bond made between the two people; the crowd coming to see the two loved ones confess their feelings and make vows to protect and love; the bachelor party; the reception; all the fancy and expensive things. He made it sound like a magical, romance novel. During the war, I had never really been the romantic kind. But afterwards, after living with Duo, he gave me imagination, wishes, and fantasies. I thought about it until I was too edgy to just sit at my desk, my heart rate suddenly accelerating and I had to pace the room to let off this antsy feeling.
It occurred to me that I was being jittery because my subconscious realized that very soon, I was going to see Duo again. After all this time, months, trying to forget, I think I was going to have to start over again. My entire being felt nervous just thinking about seeing him. The smallest, subtle mention of Duo made my heart beat rapidly and my breathe high. But, I had already said my goodbyes! Hadn't I let him go already? I thought I had forgotten about him, or forgotten his power over me. I thought I had finally gained control of my emotions again. Mission failure. So much for ignoring my emotions.