His job had transferred him out of state and I had been heartbroken. After eight months of building a solid relationship, he was moving to the other side of the country. How could fate be so cruel? But he had sworn to me that he didn’t want to give me up, that what we had was worth it, worth everything, and we would make long distance work where so many couples before us had failed.
At first, it had been wonderful. Every evening, we’d skype and it was almost as good as being together. I couldn’t touch him, smell him, taste him, but it was almost and it was what he had. We’d carry our laptops with us as we went about cooking dinner, watching TV, life in general, talking about our days and our lives.
But then, after six months of that, he’d started to pull away. He’d make excuses; say he had to work late or that he’d had to meet a client for dinner. I’d tried to talk to him about it, suggest that we should maybe take a break, but he was adamant that was not what he wanted. It was a rough patch, we would get through it. But lately, our skype dates were coming fewer and farther between. And as I sat there in the corner, staring at the laptop and waiting for him to call, my heart was breaking. Because this was the fifth time he’d simply not called when he said he would. Afterwards he sent emails and texts, swearing it was unforeseen and he was so, so sorry. And I kept falling for it.
“So what’s his excuse this time?” my roommate’s voice startled me. I jumped but didn’t look at him. “Or did he just blow you off again?”
I didn’t respond. There was nothing I could say. Quickly, Julian was across the room, kneeling before my chair. I couldn’t look at him. He was beautiful and kind and loving, but he was my best friend. And I was committed to someone else.
Julian’s warm hands gripped my calves. “Forget him, Henry. He’s not worth it. Never was.”
I couldn’t respond. Didn’t know how. Julian’s sentiment echoed my own, mostly. There had been a time when…the chime from the laptop interrupted my thoughts. I was receiving a call. Three hours late, but there he was.
Before I could react, Julian reached over and snapped the laptop shut. He shoved it off the bed and it landed with a thump on the plush carpet. I opened my mouth to protest, to say something, anything. But Julian was quicker, rising up on his knees, and pressing his soft lips to mine. I couldn’t believe it, didn’t even know how to react, but Julian was not dissuaded. He kissed me gently, coaxingly, until I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him back with equal fervor.
He pulled back, both of us panting for air, and gave me a soft smile. His big hands framed my face and forced me to look at him. “You’re mine, baby. Always have been. So you’re done with that jerk. And you are never going to hurt again.”