A loud knock on the door made me jump off the bed, I glanced at the clock on the wall while staggering toward the door of my apartment. What time was it? It wasn't dark enough for me to not see the hands behind the thin glass but I was way too out of it to read them. I felt like I had been up the whole night, smoking and trying to not worry but still worrying, sending texts, making phone calls and never getting an answer. At some point, in the middle of my night madness I had to be fallen asleep. I couldn't even remeber.
I stumbled on something on the floor, probably a shoe, not falling on my a.ss miraculously but almost hitting my head against the wall. I opened the door quickly, blinking my eyes at the guy in front of me. He was tall, skinny, with a pair of green eyes staring at me, the black circles around them matched his already dark hair, made it darker by the rain pouring on his head. "It was about time." I muttered, rubbing the back of my hand against my eye and trying to focus his face better, stubbornly, because I was too tired for that and my body was refusing to function. He looked like my boyfriend except for my boyfriend wouldn't let the rain extinguish the cigarette between his lips. He wouldn't let the rain make his cigarette damp.
"Are you going to let me in or should I find a motel?" He groaned, tossing the cigarette butt to a side and making his way into the apartment, not even bothering to wait for my answer.
"Matt..." I whispered, following his shadow in the semi-dark of the hallway after closing the door behind him. Was he Matt?
"Who?" He said sharply, turning towards me and his eyes were darker than the night. I loved those eyes, but they scared me too.
"I said nothing." I swallowed my lie, walking past him but the next thing I knew I found myself pinned against the wall, his face a few inches for mine and I could smell the booze in his breath. All I could do was hope he hadn't mix it with drugs.
"Are you f.ucking someone else Stella?" He asked in a low tone as he stared at me, his hands keeping my hips in place and forcing me to not move.
"No." I said quietly, shaking my head.
"Good." He smirked wickedly, his hand running up my side and almost reaching for my breast before I pushed him away.
"You're wasted." I shook my head and walked toward my bedroom, wanting nothing but sleep and forget this night turned into a nightmare.
His hand grabbed mine and he pulled me into a hug, his eyes blinking slowly as he looked down at me. "I want to be with you."
"You're wasted." I repeated and I knew my voice was about to break, just like my heart, but not like my will. I had made a promise to Matt...I couldn't break it for any reason.
"It wouldn't be the first time we f.uck when I'm wasted." He chuckled to himself but then he bore his eyes into mine and the expression on his face changed. "But if you don't want to..."
"I just want to sleep." I said quietly, leaning my head against the wall behind me and closing my eyes.
"That we can do." He blurred out and I felt his hand on my face, his fingers brushing gently against my cheek, "Why are you crying?"
I opened my eyes and reached for my own cheek, finding it damp surprisingly. I wasn't crying, but a tear had still rolled down against my will. "I'm not crying." I said in a barely audible tone, my chest heaving up and down regularily as I kept staring at the guy in front of me. I loved him, but I wanted my boyfriend back more than anything else.
"Then what?" He cocked his head to the side, the look into his eyes softening as his thumb traced circles against the thin skin covering my cheekbone, slowly.
I parted my lips, considering to tell him all I had on my mind, even wanting it for a second before realizing once again how absurd it'd be. "Where have you been?" I asked eventually.
"Are you my girlfriend?" He asked and his tone was hard like a rock, it scraped my feelings and my heart as he leaned into me, his face a few inches from mine. No matter how close it was to me, I couldn't read it anyway.
"No." I said simply as it was, timidly, already seeing what it was about to come.
He pulled away abruptly like I knew he would, turning away from me and walking quickly to the bedroom, his feet stomping on the wooden floor as his hand helped him keep his balance by running on the hallway wall.
I sighed, knowing that I didn't have to follow him but following him anyway, "Eros..." I trailed off, swallowing the lump in my throat as I finally reached for his hand to stop him.
He turned to me once more, jerking his hand away from mine and glaring at me. "If you're not my girlfriend then you have no right to know where I had been, Stella."
I ignored his words and the effect they had on me, biting down on my lip and being strong instead. Or at least trying. It seemed like my life was all about that: trying. "If I'm not you're girlfriend then you have no right to come back homein the middle of the night and treat me like s.hit." I retorted, my voice firm and cold.
His mouth dropped open and I didn't know if it was for what he had just heard or for the way I was talking to him. I never talked to him like that, I was too...afraid of him. He stared at me blankly, looking like someone had punched him in the face. "If you were my girlfriend I'd never do that." He said eventually, his words coming out slowly as his eyes lowered, getting lost in nothing, not looking at me anymore.
I looked at him in silence, my breath regular once again but I still could feel my heart beating fast, actually I could hear it in my ears for how quiet the house was all of a sudden. I walked over him and grabbed his hand, knowing that there was no return from that conversation, we had reached the bottom and there was no way to dig in deeper. We were done talking and even if a part of me was glad, another part still wanted to know about his night out.
"Where am I sleeping tonight?" He asked quietly as we walked past the small room with the single bed which was usually for guests and friends and him, his hand holding mine softly.
I didn't bother to look at him, but kept walking instead, "My room." I answered with a tone of forced calm, trying to hide how hurt I was because it was just a pointless kind of pain, nothing could heal it.
We stepped into the big bedroom and he stopped as I let go of his hand to climb on the bed. His eyes moved from one photo to another until her took the framed one on the bedside table, "We look happy here." He said with an half smile which faded as quickly as he set the frame back on the woodden surface. I just nodded my head, not needing to see that picture because it was my favorite and it reminded me why I was going through this hell...in the morning I'd find my paradise again.
He took his shoes off and laid down next to me, just a few inches between us that felt like miles to me and I gave up when I rolled over onto one side to cuddle against him. "Good night." I whispered simply.
His arm wrapped around my shoulder and he pulled me closer to him, his head tilting down for him to press a kiss on the top of my head, "I haven't been with anyone tonight." He said in a barely audible tone before setting his head on the pillow and I was almost sure that he felt asleep instantly.
There it was, what I wanted to know now I knew and yes, I was feeling so much better now. I set my hand on his stomach, gently, my fingers running up his chest and feeling his bones and muscles through the wet fabric of his shirt before stopping on his neck, finally able to feel his skin too, cold and thin. I closed my eyes, trying to relax against his motionless body, my thoughts going wild and scary as they made their way to the dark place of my mind I always avoided...and I opened my eyes again, I widened, the now early morning lighter than my mind, it was like taking a breath after being underwater for minutes, hours even.
I shifted slowly against the bed, sliding out of my boy's hold and getting in a sitting position, my feel back on the floor before I got up to walk to the kitchen as quietly as possible, almost as if I was a ghost.
The clock on the wall said it was 23 past 6 in the morning, making me remember that I hadn't eaten in a day. I opened the fridge and reached for some milk, a glass from the cupboard and cookies from a drawer, I set everything on the table before slumping on a chair as I glanced outside the window. It was still raining, but it wasn't night anymore. I poured some milk into the transparent glass, thinking about my life during the last year to figure out all the goods and realize that yes, after all, the bads weren't so many. I had been out of the reformatory and out of my bad habits for the most part, after months of silence I had finally met Matt again and the timing was finally right, we could work and we did, but it was hard sometimes. I had given up on my model career for many reasons, one of them being tired of obsessing over my body, also I wanted to be with Matt more than anything and that meant I had to take care of him now that he finally let me do it. Doctors, therapists, pills and swings of mood were now part of my life, but also concerts, parties and love songs. I was very supportive of Matt's career, I was his number one fan and I'd do literally anything for him. After all I couldn't complain, we lived together and I was happy about my job as fashion stylist...I just wished that nights like this never happened, and they rarely did to be honest, but when they did it was like a cold shower for me. I glanced at the food in front of me, not hungry anymore, and pushed it away from me as I lifted my feet on the seat of the chair and wrapped my arms around my knees, setting my head on them.
"Stella?" The voice echoed through the hallway, getting closer until I saw Matt from the corner of my eye.
"Awake already?" I asked, forcing a smile as he glanced at me. He was back, I knew that from the look on his face...he didn't seem lost anymore.
"I was about to ask you the same thing baby." He said quietly as he bent over me and wrapped his arms around my body from behind to press a kiss on my cheek.
I shrugged, still too upset to put up a show. "I couldn't sleep." I admitted.
He lifted his torso in a straighter position as his eyes dropped on the table, this lips parting slowly as if he was coming to a sudden realization. "Why is everything untouched?" He asked slowly, not looking at me.
"I was waiting for you." I lied shamelessly, biting down on my bottom lip so hard that it almost hurt.
A horrified expression crossed his face and he swallowed, his gaze moving to meet mine. "Stella..." He trailed off, his voice not sounding like his at all.
I got up quickly and reached for his hand, holding it tight, "Don't be mad at me, please." I whispered, knowing that he could sense the lie. He wasn't stupid and he knew me better than anyone else.
He walked backwards until his back hit the wall and stared at me, the expression on his face killing me, "I did it again, didn't I?"
I ran my free hand through my hair, trying to act cool, "Yeah but nothing big, it was...nothing." I said in a lame attempt to convince him. Truth was, I'd do anything to keep him away from his guilty trips which always ended with him hating himself for how his problems had consequences on me too.
He leaned his head against the wall, looking past me, "I don't remember anything about tonight...or yesterday."
"You did nothing." I reassured him, walking closer to him until my body was just a few inches from his and I could wrap my arms around his neck, "You're here now and it's all that matters." I said honestly because it was that simple. As long as he was with me, nothing could be that wrong.
"What did I do?" He asked, ignoring the part of my sentence where I was trying to be optimistic. Kind of.
"Nothing." I repeated as I cupped his face, his sad expression hurting me even more than the other side of him. I listed myself up on to my tip toes and pressed my lips against his, softly, needing to feel him as close to me as possible, "I promise, it's fine."
His arms sneaked around my waist, finally pulling me against him as he bore his hypnotizing eyes into mine, "Baby, you don't have to do this."
"Do what?" I asked as I furrowed my brows, not getting where he was trying to go.
"You know..." He trailed off, breaking eye contact and making me nervous, my body tensing in his hold, "Don't treat me differently because of my condition, don't keep things from me just because you don't want to hurt me."
"But I don't treat you differently." I protested even though it wasn't completely true. What was I supposed to do? Having his life under control was what every doctor had told us to do, and it was exactly what I tried to do. But for me he was still my same Matt, the one I had always loved even when he had turned his back on me.
"Then tell me what I did." He said stubbornly, reaching for my hands and pulling them away from his face as he led me to a chair, taking a seat and forcing me to sit on his legs.
"Okay." I nodded and took a deep breath, speaking quietly, "You went out while I wasn't home and didn't come back until a few hours ago."
"And?" He pushed, looking nervous as he set his hand on my thigh.
"And then you went to bed." I added, shrugging and leaving out the bad part because he didn't need to know that.
"Nothing else?" He asked, cocking his head to the side to meet my gaze, his brows furrowing as I shook my head, "Then why do you look so upset?"
I grabbed his hand and tangled my fingers with his, "I was worried and I didn't sleep, that's all. I feel so much better now." I smiled, meaning it. After he had left me the first time I had always had this crazy fear of losing him again, but I knew that this time it wasn't going to happen. The fact that we were officially together now and that we even live together? It was like a miracle, knowing him. Oh and having him so open about his feelings about me or anything else? It was even better.
"I don't deserve you..." He trailed off, using his free hand to push my hair off my face, a small smile making its way on his lips timidly.
"You do." I said seriously as I wrapped my arms around his neck, loving how he held me and touch me, how we were perfect despite our imperfections.
"Do you promise I didn't do anything bad?" He whispered and leaned into me, his words leaving his mouth as it pressed against mine.
"I promise. Even if your evil twin wants to be with me." I joked as I tried to make the moment lighter. What could we do? Find the funny side even in the worst situation was always a way to make it better.
"Don't. He's an a.sshole." He smirked as he cupped my jaw, making me relax...finally. "You're all mine and you won't see him anytime soon. I hope."
I shifted on his lap, my hand inching up the back of his neck and playing with his hair which were still slightly wet. "I know so, you hadn't had an episode like this in months, I think it's a good thing."
"Then why now?" He sighed, leaning his forehead against mine and looking at me.
Unfortunately I didn't have that answer, I could just guess. "Maybe you're too stressed with your rock star life." I said softly.
"I'll try to take things easier." He nodded like he was speaking more to himself than to me, then pulled his head back and smiled. His smile was wide, it shined like his eyes.
"Good idea." I smiled too and I nuzzled his neck, inhaling the familiar scent of his skin as I pressed a kiss on it. "What are you going to do today?"
"I'll be with you. Nothing else." He said quietly, his hand sliding under my shirt and causing a shiver run up my spine. Now that we were both back in our usual mood I could focus on him, on me, on us.
I glanced up at him, smirking at the thought of a whole day spent in his arms. "It sounds perfect."
"I think so." He agreed before grabbing my waist and forcing me to pull away from him. His eyes glanced at my lips then moved back to my eyes, the look into them serious, "Now, eat."
I tossed my head back like a little brat and even pouted a little, "I'm not hungry." I said flatly and this time it wasn't because I was back in my old behaving pattern.
"Stella." He raised one eyebrow at me, his fingers poking my sides and making me jump.
"Fine, I'll drink some milk and I'll have breakfast with you. Later." I added with a wicked grin playing on my lips as I reached for the glass and took a long sip.
He watched me closely as I swallowed the liquid before setting the glass back on the table, a pleased smirk plastered on his face. "I love you Stell." He said leaning into me and kissing my lips.
"I love you too." I said back quickly, with no hesitation. I was crazy for him and I hoped he knew, but to be sure I remembered to remind him at least one million times a day.
His smile got wider and my heart melted, the love showing in his eyes. "What would I do without you?"
"I promise, you'll never know."