A/N: There is a ‘52 short stories in 52 weeks‘ prompt going around on Tumblr and so far I’ve been keeping up with it. Thought I’d also share the little bits I’ve done on here!
She sees him before he sees her.
He looks exactly like he did three years ago, but then, unless you’re young, how much can you really change in that amount of time? His dark hair is still tousled and messily styled, jaw fixed as he looks down at his phone, brown eyes concentrating on whatever he was reading. He was even sporting the same style – combat boots, jeans and a jumper. He looked good; better, more alive than the last time she’d seen him.
Shifting her shoulder bag, she debated on whether or not she should go over and say ‘hello’. To be honest, she never expected to see him again. They’d met at university, and by the time she graduated, he was finishing up his part time reserve training for the military. They kept in touch and before he left, he’d kissed her and told her that he would be back soon. It became too hard to keep watching him go and she couldn’t handle the thought of not seeing him again, her heart twisted in knots every time she heard from him, and when she didn’t, she couldn’t breathe. He didn’t understand. He wouldn’t – she had never told him.
They’d been twenty two the last time they’d spoken. It hadn’t ended nicely. They had a huge argument, but she couldn’t bring herself to explain. It was easier this way. So, she left and accepted fault. It’s been three years and she still misses him. She doesn’t even know if that’s possible after so long, but she knows that she can feel the tug, a string that’s wrapped its way around her heart and pulls her towards him, a dull ache in her chest.
She doesn’t go over to him though. She just looks at him. He’s standing at the bus stop opposite her workplace – she had only started working here last week and he obviously didn’t know she did, because he hadn’t looked up once. Besides, he wasn’t like that – obsessive. That was her. Not him.
“Anna, are you okay?” her editor asked, having already said ‘bye’ about ten minutes ago up in her office, wondering why the redhead was still here, “Anna?”
Anna turned to the voice, meeting the kind grey eyes of a middle aged woman, with a soft smile, “oh, Rachel. I’m fine. Yes, I’m just about to go home.”
Rachel smiled worriedly, “are you sure, dear? You look a little shaken, do you want me to give you a lift?”
Anna shook her head, glancing back across the street, he was still there, “oh, no, that’s okay. I’m going to the tube station in a minute anyway.”
Rachel nodded, still curious but let the younger woman go and bid her ‘goodnight’and a ‘get home safe’. Anna smiled and turned back to the road. Oh, fuck. He’d seen her. He was looking at her.
“Fuck,” Anna cursed under her breath, running a hand through her curly fiery hair and suddenly wished she could run away and hide.
Stepping out into the rain, she half waved at him, which he smiled in response to, bright and happy. How could he be smiling at her? After what she did, after she left him? Before she knew it, he was running across the road to her and standing right there, in her breathing space, smiling down at her. Unable to help it, Anna blushed and tugged at the sleeve of her cardigan, wishing she was wearing trousers instead of tights and a knee length skirt, she was already soaked.
“Luke I –
But no other words seemed to come to mind and then she was crying, sobbing, wanting to run out into the rain and escape. She wanted to disappear into one of her novels and stay there, fighting evil witches, instead of this. Instead, of breaking in front of him, instead, of hurting him again, she couldn’t do that.
“Annie,” he said softly, scooping her up into his arms, warm and secure, hugging her tightly, “it’s all right. I’m here, I’m here.”
“How can you forgive –?”
“’Coz, I know. I know, Annie. I’m so sorry I didn’t see it earlier, I’m so sorry sweetheart,” he whispered close to ear and like that, she melted in his embrace and let him love her.
“I love you, Annie. I still love you. I’ll always love you, baby.”
Looking up at him through her tears and the rain, she managed a small smile, “’m sorry, Luke. I didn’t tell you…‘coz, I – I –
“Shh, shh,” Luke said gently, cupping her face, “it’s okay, it’s okay. Don’t needta say sorry, don’t okay? You…have nothin’ to be sorry about, okay?”
Anna nodded, a soft whimper falling from her lips, one that he quickly remedied by placing his lips on hers, kissing her pain away.
Maybe, this time she would let herself love him.
Maybe, a new beginning is what they both needed.