I told everyone around me not to worry... yet here I am, sittin' in my car, parked in Ty's apartment's parking garage. Just sitting. For an hour. Because I'm afraid to go in. A bit hypocritical, one might say... but I hadn't wanted to worry anyone. Maybe he won't do anything. Maybe he'll just throw me out and tell me to get the fuck out of his life already. But I'm not betting on it.
What I'm doing today will be selfish; it will be about me, not him. And he will not like that. I am tired of forcing myself not to flinch when he touches me. Tired of explaining myself to people who wonder what I see in him; those that know him well, anyway. Tired of being his 'reason' for everything he does, as if he would be a completely different person without me. I still want him... that's the strange thing, perhaps. Whenever I look at him... I always want him. He's still the most beautiful man I've ever met. I envy his skills, and enjoy our conversation. In a lot of ways... I admire him. And he's been good in the past couple years; good with me. So why... why can't I get rid of this hard knot of anger at him? Why do these all feel like mere fucking excuses for staying? We hurt each other too much... for too long, maybe... to ever really get over it. He still doesn't trust me; I can tell... and after the last couple weeks, I don't even blame him. Those old habits die hard, and it had felt good... so good, to fool around on him - fucking stick it to him like old times, the way he used to do to me, too. And it makes me realize how much I still hate him.
Love... hate... it's all the same coin. I love him... I hate him, too. I want so desperately to get over it... just fucking get over it and be happy... but I don't even remember what it feels like to be 'happy' being with Ty. It was too long ago, and too brief. We were too young. Happiness with him is fleeting, like bright spots, sun flares... and then gone again.
So today there will be an end to it; one way or another.
I take my keys out of the ignition, get out of the car, shove them in my pocket, and head towards the elevator. Ty is a long way up: 33rd floor, high enough to look down on a lot o' people. People get on and off a dozen or more times during the trip, but before I know it, I'm knocking at his door.
He actually smiles as he opens it. I think he likes it when I come out here to him instead of making him head out to New York all the time. Plus, I know he hates my apartment; too small, he says, too close. Ty's apartment is just like him; larger than life, but clinical, sterile. There isn't an item out of place, nothing not where it's supposed to be, and nothing extraneous. Everything you can see is meant to be seen, meant to shape your view of the man living there. Everything real is hidden. There are no picture frames, and the only thing hanging on the wall is one oversized wash of ambient color behind the wide, sharp sofa. The few personal photos he keeps, I know he keeps in his night-table, tucked away, out of sight. I hate his place; I feel like I suffocate here. And it has the audacity to be called 'open-concept' living, the only wall being around the washroom and even that has a large, etched-glass sliding door. It's hypocritical. Just like him.
"You made it," he says, letting me in and heading off to the spotless kitchen. There's a heavenly scent of coffee brewing. Not burnt, but just brewing. I'm more than an hour later than I'd told him and there's not a doubt in my mind that this is the second or even third pot he's brewed, just so he can offer me a fresh cup when I get in, like he does now, his voice carrying over the pale wood floors. He knows something's up when I say 'no' and he brings a fresh mug for himself with him to the sofa, setting it on the glass-top coffe-table before sitting down beside me. "What is it? Your new fuck-toy not living up to expectations?" He scowls a bit as he asks me this, his eyes growing cold; oddly enough, I am more comfortable with this than I had been the smile. Though the words bother me, I've long since learned it makes no difference; words are more easily ignored than argued over, especially when someone is purposefully being an asshole - not that I blamed him for the sore point he has with the man I'd cheated on him with.
"No... Summit... that's over," I tell him. I hate the flicker of confusion in his icy eyes at this, the doubt... the hope. I already feel like shit. "I've been... spending a lot of time thinking..." Best to get it over with; this is my plan. Say it and then probably argue... and then... fuck knows, but I don't want to pretend everything's fine, not even for a while. "I'm tired, Ty," I'd rehearsed this; I wonder if he can tell. "I don't want to argue. I'm tired of trying to force myself to forgive you. It can't be done, no matter how careful you are. Our past is so fucked up..." I can see his jaw tensing, and I am careful not to look away; he knows where I am going with this. "I'll take my share of the blame... for everything," I want him to know this. I am unsure if he takes it in. "And I want to let it go... but I can't. I've tried. It's not that I don't..." I pause, I'm not sure I can tell him I love him; my own ego will not allow it. "Care for you," is what I settle for, "I do... it's just that I'm also still... so fucking angry." His silence is starting to unnerve me. Truthfully, I'd expected at least some sort of remark by this point. He doesn't disappoint for long, his words cool, almost detached; he truly fucking scares me when he talks like this.
"Do you think you're leaving me? Is that what you're saying?"
I nod, feeling my heart race a little, "Ya... that's what I'm saying."
"I don't think so," he says, narrowing his eyes - such a pale blue, so beautiful, "You and me... that's forever. Do you think I would choose to want someone like you? You get a little nervous... and suddenly you couldn't fucking keep it in your pants if you tried." I can't help the wince at the accusation, though I can't deny it, either. I think, he senses the weakness. He leans closer; it makes me uncomfortable... and it's meant to. "You... don't get to leave... me. Really... who else do you think is gonna put up with your shit? I know you... inside and out. All your little secrets. And you know mine..."
I'm still watching him; it wouldn't be smart not to now, so I see the flash of hurt in his eyes... what might be longing... quickly buried under a taught jaw and shut away behind his distant eyes, again. He's always hiding himself like that; so fast you'd miss it if you blinked. I used to think I could chase that spark of something back behind his eyes, pull the curtains and lay him bare... but I rarely get more than a glimpse at a time. It's always been that way, leaving me feeling like I'm railing at a shut door, locked out... I'm so tired of it. "But I am... leaving you. I wanted to tell you in person--"
"Who is it?" he interrupts, and I shake my head - it's not important. Even if someone might wish I were doing this for them... it's not; it's for me. I want something good in my life... and the chance to find it. And that means leaving Ty. Ty doesn't get this. "I know you better than to believe you'd try to break up with me if you didn't have some other pretty little fuck-toy in your pocket. So who is it?"
"This is not about anyone else." I still hate that fucking word, and it makes me tense a little the second time, but I just shake my head again, "This is about you and me."
"Is it that fucking Summit?"
"I told you that was over," I can feel my cheeks flush as he leans closer yet again, his face inches from mine, eyes intense. I shift back a little but he follows me, putting his hand on my leg and squeezing enough to make me stop moving away, gritting my teeth. "It's not important--"
"I will fucking kill him if I find out you are lying to me," he says, his voice dropping low, and it definitely makes me shiver this time, the raw anger held in check with that one sentence. "I know where he lives..."
"This has nothing to do with him," I say. It's a struggle to keep my voice even, my heart feels like it's skipping beats it races so fast for a minute. Is he serious? I think he is. I think he would. "I'm leaving." I scoot back on the couch, removing his hand from my leg and feeling the muscle twinge as I get up - bruised... probably. I had more I'd planned to say... but fuck it. I just want out of here. I wonder if it's me that brings this out in him... or if he'd be like this more often if I wasn't around. I'm not sure.
"Are you really leaving?" he asks, and there's a brittle look in his eyes as he asks it, a tightness to his features and it hurts... and I feel like shit again. Even scared of him... I feel like it should be me being better to him. But no... This is the right thing.
"We'll both be better off," I say, my eyes dropping momentarily.
"Better off?" he scoffs, sighing a touch dramatically before I feel his long fingers snake around my wrist. I'd barely seen him move, but he's already standing and yanking me back to him. Now I'm not a small man, and I'm not pulled around easily, but Ty's grip is iron-clad, hard and tight; I can feel the bones ache as he holds me. I try to shove him back; instinct. He grabs my other wrist and before I know it, my head is spinning and my nose is throbbing. He's fucking head-butted me! Goddamn bastard! That's the thought that goes through my head as he tells me once again in his smooth-as-silk voice, "I told you... you don't get to leave." He tsks at me as I try to pull away, trying to stay calm, despite my fear. "I've been so good, haven't I? Haven't I?!" his voice rises, pulling himself close again, his voice wavering a touch as he puts his lips to my ear, speaking in a slow hiss, but so tight it almost cracks, "I've been good... but it hasn't worked. You're still upset with me. So maybe I should stop being nice." His lips catch at my ear, teeth pulling for just a moment and he kisses my neck just below. It makes me shiver, reacting in a way I wish I wouldn't, but do... and he seems to still against me, voice softening to a low rumble... sounding... almost reasonable, "I saw this coming, you know. How could I not? You started fucking around on me again, and I knew it was only a matter of time before you found yourself some fucking toy to amuse yourself with... and convince yourself you don't need me, anymore. You're good at that, aren't you? But Connor..." his voice edging into a quiet threat, "You know what I decided? I decided... that if you are leaving me, again... then I just don't give a fuck about anyone. And you don't get a third chance, Connor. You don't want to be with me... you don't get to be with anyone."
I shiver again at his words, and I can sense it coming... that moment when he's going to let go, the shift in his step that tells me he's planning on using his fist for something else. I'm not wrong. This time I'm ready for it, yanking my hand back as he lets go and driving my fist into his gut. He still manages to hit me and my cheek seems to explode in pain.
I kind of lose track of things after that.
I am bigger now, than I was then. And I'd learned a thing or two. I am pretty sure I landed a blow to his jaw, and my mind spares a moment to wonder if he'd broken my ribs when he aimed a kick with his knee. Somehow I get him down on the ground, straddling him, and I'm hitting him over and over. Adrenalin and fear and an incredible rage have built up in me and I can feel it boiling in my veins. I'm screaming at him as I hit him, once, twice, three times I hit him; I'm screaming, "Never again! You don't ever touch me again!" I might not stop, my muscles are already burning; it's harder than one might think to hit someone. Exhausting. He shoves me off and I push myself back away from him, scrambling to my feet. We're both breathing hard. I'm shaking; I can't stop shaking. He's bleeding. I probably am, too, but I can see him, and even as he glares at me, cold eyes burning, I see a bruise starting on his cheek, near his mouth, and on his jaw; a cut on his eye is running red.. and it hurts to see him like that. It fucking tears at my soul; it's not fair... why I should even care. But if there were any part of me that had clung to a hope we might still be civil with each other after today... it dies looking into his eyes. And maybe that's what hurts. "Fuck you," I all but spit the words out at him, forcing myself to straighten, despite the desperate pain in my ribs, feeling like something is stabbing my insides. "You don't fucking touch me. Ever again..."
I back out towards the door, never taking my eyes off him. He doesn't take his eyes off me, either. The look in his gaze is pure rage, boiled down to a hard intelligence, wariness the only thing that keeps him back - I can tell - and it scares the shit out of me.
He doesn't come after me. Doesn't come flying down the hallway, doesn't find me at my car as my fingers shake so hard I drop the keys before getting the door open. I lock the doors and set my hands on the wheel, gripping tight to stop them shaking, but the rest of me seems to keep on doing it. I finally notice my hands, the knuckles red with bruises and Ty's blood mixing with my own. I look at myself in the rearview; I have a gash under my left eye. Every time I breath, something hurts in my chest, and I know enough to know that isn't good. It occurs to me that Ty has no reason to follow me, now... because he doesn't just know where Summit lives, he knows where I live. I remember what he said to me... If he can't have me... Jesus fucking christ. I turn the keys in the ignition and start my car, putting it in drive. I consider driving back to New York right then, but the pain in my side worries me enough that I switch on my GPS and find the nearest hospital first.
It's nearly midnight by the time I hit New York again, patched up and with a clean bill of health - more or less. I'd bruised a rib, apparently, but nothing was broken. I'd insisted rather stubbornly to the nurse that I'd fallen down some stairs. They hadn't liked that explanation at the hospital, but I'd refused to give another. I'm sure they filed a report of some kind about it. Fuck it. As I near my apartment, I slow down. I'm afraid of my own god-damn apartment. How fucked is that? I love my apartment. Tonight though... maybe I'll call up a friend or something; crash elsewhere.
~C'est La vie~