DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is the property of NBC and Dick Wolf, and being used without permission or intention of profit.
SERIES: Eighth part of the Desktop Confessionals series following A Plain Morning, The Choice I have Come to Fear the Most, The Passenger, The District Sleeps Alone Tonight, Drifting, Newfound Masses and Such Great Heights.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Rapid Hope Loss
The refreshing feeling I have as I step out of the shower is quickly replaced by a sense of dread as I find my way into the bedroom and see you sitting on the bed, photograph in hand. I forgot that was even in there. I can see the hurt in your eyes as you lift your head up to me.
"Who is this?" Your tone is one I've never heard from you before. Sadness, anger, hurt, shock...it's all there in you right now. In me, all I feel is regret. I quickly think of what I should do, but in the end I know that honesty is the only direction I should take this.
"Ashleigh." I sigh as I shake the towel from my hair and sit down across from you. You stare at the picture for awhile before looking back at me.
"Friend?" I nod and shrug my shoulders at the same time. You toss the picture on the bed and place your head in your hands.
"Just tell me Alex...." Exasperation has made it's way into your tone now too and for a moment I wonder how many more emotions you can fit in there. I pause before nodding an 'okay'.
"That's Ashleigh..." I pause again trying to think of the right words to describe her.
"You said that already." You cut me off before I can start again. With a quick move you're off the bed and pacing the room. I realize in that instant how different you are from her. She would have never questioned me. She would have just let this go. You...you're different. I forgot how different. My eyes meet yours as you stop in front of me, hands fidgeting in front of you.
"Look...I can take it okay? ...you were gone three years....shit happens...I know...trust me....I'll admit it too....I'll understand if you had a few flings Alex..." I take in a deep breath at the word "flings". How many did you have? How many did you want to have? I take in another deep breath as I realize that that's what you think Ash and I were. I try to conceal the look in my eyes but you've already caught it.
"She...she wasn't a fling, was she?" Your voice has dropped again. Hurt making it's way to the top. I drop my shoulders and my eyes and shake my head softly. You nod slowly for awhile trying to process the information. After a few seconds you squat down next to me, you eyes filled with sadness.
"Then why are you here Alex?" I can't believe the feelings you're bringing up in me. The feelings this is bringing up in you. I wonder for a moment if you're really doubting the reason I'm back. One glance in your eyes and I see that you are. I can't believe we're even having this conversation. I ask you what you mean and you run your hands through your hair before continuing.
"Look at you two...look at this....you...you seem so happy....fuck, you even have a dog...." I glance down at the picture even though I know exactly what you're seeing. It was Ash and I at a barbecue right after we moved into our house. We had just gotten Monty, he was so small. Ash is standing behind me, her arms wrapped around my waist, as I hold Monty in my arms. The calling friend behind the camera grabbed our attention just in time to get a perfect picture of the happy family. I see all that there in that picture. I see what you're questioning. But I know the whole story. You only know what you're seeing.
"Liv...I...." I realize that I can't explain it. I cannot explain that life to you because you will not understand. You will only hear how wonderful that life was. How much I had. How much I left behind. You won't hear what I felt. Because you can't. No one can possibly understand what the past three years have been like for me.
"I understand Alex...I do..." You rises from your position and make your way out of the bedroom. Before you can make it out of the hallway I've grabbed something out of my suitcase and followed you down the hall. I call out to you and you spin around.
"You think you understand, but you don't." I'm practically shouting through the tears I'm trying to hold back. Your eyes narrow in confusion as I thrust my journal in your hands.
"You think you know what it was like for me? You think you can understand? ....Well maybe you should read this...read what it was really like for me Olivia....what it was like to have to be someone I wasn't...that I'm not....what it was like to be with that beautiful woman who loved me more than anything....and to not even be able to tell her I loved her because the whole time we were together I was thinking of someone else....Try looking into someone's eyes everyday knowing that while they're are planning out the rest of their life with you, you're counting down the days until you can return to someone you're not even sure still wants you....Read this Liv....read this and then try and judge me....read this and then ask yourself why I'm here....because if after you've read this you still can't figure out why....if you can't understand that for the past three years of my life not one day has gone by that I haven't thought about you...being with you...if you can't understand that after reading this...well...maybe I shouldn't be here...." I stare you in the eyes until I see your eyes drop and your shoulders sag under what I've just said. We stare at each other for what seems like forever before I turn and enter the safety of the bedroom. I bury my head in the pillow and sob realizing that even after I said what I just said there was still a look in your eyes that I can't really place. After what seems like an eternity I fall asleep as the realization of what that look was hits me
Resentment. You're eyes were filled with resentment and even in my sleep I can understand what that's like. I feel the tears running down my cheeks as my sleep gets deeper and I feel myself hoping that after you've read what has been my salvation for the past years of my life the resentment will disperse. I can only hope that the resentment you hold inside you is far less than the kind I still hold inside me towards this situation. For it's been three years and I'm still just starting to let it go.
Sequel When Night is Falling
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