I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears !
(Lewis Carrol – Alice in Wonderland)
Leonora was walking in the park, the night was surreal and kinda cold; her phone vibrated in the pocket.
She took it out, thinking that Mark probably have sent her the usual goodnight message.
Suddenly her heart had a jump: James’ name was on the screen…
James… she barely could remember him, almost an year was passed since the last time they met.
She has heard from a common friend that James has met another girl, and spent quite a long holiday with her…but then, he was back.
She wrote something back, quickly…again the phone rang in her pocket…and then again, again, and again.
“ I have thought to you” “I’ve missed you” “I want to see you” “You should take a train and come here, otherwise I will do it”, the words pierced Leonora’s heart like an arrow, and she was 15 again.
Too many thoughts and feelings were clouding her mind while she kept walking in the park, writing fast on the phone’s keyboard.
Ria crossed her and took a look at her face:
– Are you ok, baby? –
Leonora rose the gaze from the phone and smiled:
– Oh yes..it’s just… I dunno, something that makes me really happy and really scared at the same time… –
– I think you need another glass of wine, I’ll get it for you! –
– Yes, please –
The wine acted like a magic potion, calming her down, and giving her the bravery to write what she wanted
“Wanna call me?”
“Yes :) “
James’ voice was like silk, and suddenly a day wasn’t past since the last time they spoke.
Words were alternated with long silence moments, in which the air was , as always, saturated by all their unspoken words.
-…I like you ‘cause you say always the truth, and I can always say the truth to you… – the sound of his voice hit her, she knew wasn’t true…there was something they never said the truth about.
– That’s not true….I know you lied once –
– Me? –
– Yes, you said something to Mark I know it’s not the truth… –
– What is it? –
– You told him you didn’t have any feelings for me, that it was only me, and you would stop immediately this thing if he was feeling hurt…that was almost 3 years ago….so, James, if you didn’t care, why are we speaking right now? Why do you keep coming back to me? –
For a second the silence became solid, then, he answered
– You know why, Leo –
– Yes I know, but I want you to tell me –
– You know I won’t… –
– Sooner or later you will admit it, one day… –
James’ voice sounded bitter
– Yes, maybe one day… –
Her mind jumped to a night 2 years earlier, they were sitting at the table, fighting
– Well, the truth is that maybe I just misunderstood you all the time, you are a selfish, spoiled kid, and you don’t care about anyone but yourself!! –
– Do you really think I don’t care about you, Leo? –
– Well, that’s what you told to Mark, and what you’re demonstrating right now –
He jumped on his feet
– Really?! – he screamed
– Really you think this of me?? –
Leonora looked him from the chair, her face was emotionless and cold
– Yes. –
– Well, maybe I misunderstood you all the time then, stupid girl –
She jumped from the chair, angry:
– What do you mean? I told you I care, I demonstrated it in every possible way, everyone in this fuckin’ city knows I’m in love with you! For God’s sake, James, even Mark knows it! –
James took a step, his face on her face, screaming:
– So what? What do you want from me, Leonora? Do you want me to tell that I’m in love with you? So what? So you can brake my heart in one milion pieces? I already tried it with Claire, and almost killed me, I won’t do it again! –
– So that’s it? You are running away from your fears..what a smart idea! Let’s hurt others because I’m too coward for facing my fears…well done, James, really well done! And then I would be the selfish one… –
James caught his glass from the table and threw it to the wall, sending it in pieces
– Oh you are so blind, girl, so fuckin’ blind…Did you ever stop and ask yourself what the hell I’m doing here? –
She rose an eyebrow
– To fuck me, I suppose…- she answered bitter
– Yes, of course…’ cause I really have problems in finding someone to fuck! Leonora, if I wanted someone to fuck I could just walk downstairs, buy a drink to a random girl and my night would be done! Did you ever think why I’m doing this? Why I keep traveling up and down, fighting with everyone that considers me a bastard that is “stealing” you from Mark, why I’m facing all this sorrow, and risking to loose my best friend? Leonora, you just told me you chose another man, that the one will never be me, and still, here I am…trying to convince you that I care…Did you ever ask yourself why?
Since I started this thing with you I had nothing but sorrow and problems, and I can tell you that, no fuck is worth this amount of shit! – James’ eyes were filling up with tears
Leonora opened her eyes wide, trying to say something
– James, I….I…- she whispered
Boy’s voice calmed down
– So no, Leo, I won’t tell what you wanna hear only for making you feeling better…because it would be totally useless, and devastate me….-
– Oh, James…- her eyes filled up with tears that fell down to the floor, seeing her cry James hugged her tight
– Of course I care, Leo – he whispered, covering her face with kisses
– Little, stupid, girl…-
Since that night this has become their private game, she was catching moments, false steps, little allusions, trying to make him saying he was in love, and he was saying it in every possible way, without ever saying the exact words she wanted to hear…
– If I will ever be able to run from this thing, I will, Leonora –
– Fair enough – two long streams of tears were covering her cheeks.
Few days later Nina walked from her room to the table, Leonora was sitting there, alone, staring the void in her glass.
– What is it, sweetie pie? Are you sad? –
Leonora rose her gaze and smiled sadly to Nina
– I don’t know…I just feel…awful –
– I know sweetie, I can see it right into your eyes…it’s because of James, isn’t it? –
She nodded, starting to cry.
– I see you sitting here alone every night since a week, you look so incredibly tired, and sad…I know what’s going on: you cannot love him, but also you cannot stay away from him…you don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you don’t know what you’re doing, and James…I know it’s the same for him… but listen, love, if you guys keep this way this love will tear you apart –
Leonora took a long sip of the rum in her glass
– Yeah, love will tear us apart, all of us…-
Leonora smiled again at the phone.
– So, did you miss me, James? –
– Yes, sometimes –
– Tsk, sometimes…all the time, admit it, because I’m an amazing human being! –
The boy giggled at the other end.
– So, you coming next week? –
– Maybe.. –
– Uff, tell me you will –
– I don’t know yet, James, maybe –
– Please…pretty please –
– Ok, ok, I will do my best, now I have to go… –
– Ok…goodnight, then –
– Goodnight, sleep well….oh, and…James? –
– It has been nice, to talk with you again.. –
– Yes, it was nice –
Leonora closed the call, Ria was looking at her with curiosity.
– With who did you spend all this time on the phone? Mark? –
Leonora shook her head
– With James… – added, blushing.
Ria opened her eyes wide
– James? Really?! Does he still call you? –
Leonora lighted up a cigarette
– Eh, it seems yes… – answered blowing out a cloud of smoke.
Two days later Leonora was entering the bed, the night was quite cold and Mark was already laying under the blanket.
He hugged her, she took a deep breath.
– Mark…I have to tell you something… –
– What? –
– Do you remember when I told you that James called me, couple of days ago? –
– Well, it was quite clear what he wanted from me…and I wanted to ask you how do you feel about it? –
The man remained silent for a second
– I don’t know, Leo –
– What it means that you don’t know? –
– It means I have to think about it… –
Leonora was a bit surprised
– Mark, what is changed since 3 months ago? –
– I cannot explain it –
– Do you know that you’re always the most important person for me, and you will always be? I really want to be sure to don’t hu.. –
Mark interrupted her
– Yes, yes, I know –
That cold answer felt like a stab in her chest.
– Mark, I really don’t want to hurt you, so please, tell me what is going on…I’m going to see James Saturday, and I don’t want to screw up everything this time also –
Mark turned himself on a side
– Now I have to sleep, goodnight Leo –
he kissed her and switched his light off
Leonora took the notebook she was used to keep on the side table, for some minutes she reflected on Mark’s reaction, on what James told her, which feelings those words have woke up inside her, she turned her eyes, looking Mark sleeping, and as every time, she felt her heart exploding with love for him; for a moment, her memory jumped to those terrible days, in which both James and Mark were asking her to choose one of them, and she couldn’t, every time it was like to think of losing a piece of her own heart.
She remembered of that night, at the table, while desperately crying she confessed to them what she really thought and wanted:
– I just wanted see everyone happy. I really, really wanted to see you two happy. No more jealousy, no more rage, no more pain…Can we just be happy?
I know that everyone cares for the others, I know that everyone doesn’t have malice…can we just stop this madness and be happy again? Please, guys… –
She took the pen, while a shiver was going down her spine, remembering all that pain, and wrote something in the middle of the page, big:
“ Love will tear us apart, again”