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Chapter 35

It had been weeks since Mike had come out of his room ever since his meeting with Rainie’s father. Everyone was anxiously waiting for him to become his usually perky upbeat self but something was very wrong with him. Nothing seemed to help get him back to his feet. Now all by his lonesome, he huddles his body close in a sit up fetal position, solemnly listening to the birds chirp their hurtful song to him.

Suddenly a knock at the door of his room prompted him to shift his eyes, but not much of anything else. Joe, Rainie and Ariel were standing behind Mike’s door eagerly waiting for him to come out.

“Mike…” began a low voice. It was Joe. “Are you still in there?”

“…go away,” Mike whispered lightly.

“Well I have someone here who wanted to talk to you,” he enlightened. “I’ll give you a hint…it’s Rainie!”

“Mike?” Rainie whispered to him from the other side of the door. “Can we talk for a second?”

And to their surprise Mike opened the door to reveal a disheveled young man who looked unkempt and solemn; almost like he’s been dead for past couple of weeks. Rainie covered her mouth from the shock before lunging at him with a warm hug.

“What happened to you?” she asked. “Why have you suddenly gotten so isolated?”

Mike lifted her arms off of him, slowly, and she stared at his lifeless eyes in fear. He shook his head back and forth and everyone grew quiet. Rainie could see his soul tearing up piece by piece as he spoke softly to her.

“I can’t do this anymore,” he whispered.

“D-do what?” she shakily said, with a lump in her throat.

“No more…no more,” he continued to answer.

“No more what?” she naively asked.

“I can’t be with you…” he uttered between gasping for air as he wept a bit.

“Yes, of course you can,” she desperately believed. “It’ll all work out.”

“No…no more. I can’t do this anymore,” he repeated.

“R-rainie, I don’t think this is the time to talk to him…” Joe interrupted. She ignored him.

“I can fix this, so don’t say you can’t do this anymore-

“I want to break up,” he finally mustered.

Rainie felt her heart explode into a million pieces. Her hands grew numb and all she could do was keep her breathe from stopping. But she didn’t cry.

“What did my father say to you?” she asked bluntly. “Did he threaten you?”

Mike shook his head.

“Did he anger you? Blackmail you? Told you I’d stop loving you? What? What is it! Whatever it is, I’ll deal with it. Just… please don’t leave me. I know you love me…so don’t say it’s over when we haven’t begun to fight. Whatever it is…just don’t break up with me.” Her anger spewed from all directions until she finally lost all feeling in her throat.

“…I’m really tired,” Mike finally said as he closed his eyes in despair. “I just can’t…”

“WHY!” she screamed. “Don’t you love me at all?!”

“…I think it’s time for you to go,” he coldly responded.

“Mike!” Ariel yelled back. “How can you say that to her!? She loves you!”

Seemingly without consciousness Rainie pulls herself forward, locking her arms around Mike and held him harder than she’s ever held him.

“I won’t let go!” she cried. “I won’t give up on you! Not like this.”

Again, he reaches for her arms to pull them away, but Rainie only grasped tighter. He tried wiggling his way out, but she didn’t let go. She only left a stream of tears that ran all over his shoulder-the same tears that seem to burn his heart with every drop.

“It’s over…” he reluctantly blurted. “I know you’ll be better off without me.”

“How can I!” she wept harder. “I’ll only love you in this world…just you.”

“…if you let go now, it won’t hurt as much later,” he whispered into her ear.

“…Liar,” she whispered back.

“I hope the best for you Rainie,” he graciously replied, but Rainie only felt the sting.

“…no,” she said like a desperate child longing only for love.

“I wish you happiness in your new life,” he continued to say.

“…I won’t,” she cried harder and held tighter.

“You will be happy,” he lulled. “You will be the princess you deserve to be.”

“…not without you,” she bawled. “Not without you, I won’t be.”

“You must be happy,” he said softly.

“Stop saying that!” she screamed as she tore her arms away from him. “Stop saying these things! What if I don’t want a new life!? What if I choose not to be happy?!”

Mike said nothing, but instead slowly tilted his head towards the floor.

“…I can’t be that shore for you to crash on,” he solemnly said, trying to hold in his own pain.

“…what?” Rainie muttered back.

“…I can’t save you from the water’s current any longer,” he continued to reflect. “I won’t be there to fight in a water fountain with you, I won’t be there to dance with you anymore, I won’t give anymore stupid friendship promises…”

“Why are you saying this!?” she angrily hissed. “I won’t forgive you!”

He tilted his head back at her and stares at the woman that could never be his. Her face was glistening with pain and wrinkled with the lack of understanding. If only he could tell her everything that his heart wanted to scream out. But…he couldn’t. Instead he turned around and whispered something before entering his room once more and forever surrendering his love.

“…forever wasn’t meant for two believers with two very different paths.”

Slowly he closes the door and Rainie drops to her knees in agony. Everything that they’d had been through would be erased within minutes. Ariel took a hold of her friend and opened her arms to a field of tears that even tore at her own heart. Joe nodded at her helped Rainie up.

“Let’s get her back home,” Joe sighed.

As he locks the door behind him, Mike comes out of his room and like a zombie, marches his way to the front door. He gently lifts his hand to touch the door and brushes the stale paint.

“I can’t do this…I can’t take anymore of this…I…I…I just don’t know how you’ll ever forgive me…” he slowly wept to himself.

 

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