Everything has to have a beginning and an end. That’s the stuff that fairy tales are made of, not only in make-believe worlds, but also in real life. There is birth and death, denial and acceptance, A and Z.
In love, the beginning is as equally important as the ending. There will be no “happily- ever -afters” without those “once-upon-a-times”. But, in application, these happily-ever-afters, seldom manifest in this world.
The silence was deafeningly loud…
Chelsea did not want to look up. She did not want to see the look on Seth’s face. She knew it was going to be hard, though not this hard.
Instead, she stared at the darkest corner of the stairwell, the one place where light never touches the walls. It was a quiet afternoon for the whole school and she had expected the serenity will wash over any guilt she has.
Why would she be guilty in the first place? She was doing the right thing. She knew her parents would approve of it, though they do not know Seth, will never know about Seth, she corrected herself. And her friends Katie and Sidney would too, because they have helped her in making this decision. They had assured her, countless of times before today that she would be all right, after the break-up.
For Chelsea, it was a weird thing to even think about it. It‘s not like we’re a couple or something, Chelsea justified herself. So, why am I doing this in the first place?
The moment that Seth stepped into her college life on a balmy afternoon, life as Chelsea knew it, rocked. Seth was not the type of guy that Chelsea would normally date. Or even like. He was the bad news boy, juvenile delinquent, playboy and Mr. Probation .He had blatant disregard for school rules, had different “flavors of the week” flings and trophy girlfriends. He was arrogant, cocky and self-centered. Chelsea too, was not the kind of girl Seth would go out with. She was straight-laced but not stuffy, she was everything Seth was not.
They were not supposed to even like each other.
So they were right after all, opposites do attract. And at a fast pace too.
Seth was drawn to her sweet demeanor and practical mind. For once, he met a girl who did not cling to him or thought he was a jackass. She was the only who took him for him, all the bad sides and good sides, even if sometimes he himself did not believe there was some good in him. He swore to himself that he would never let anything come in the way between him and Chelsea. She was a breath of fresh air for his stench. She still went with him despite the fact that her friends think he’s just a piece of junk. They were happy, Seth was happy, he never thought he’d be able to love and feel love in its purest form. And he hadn’t even kissed her yet. Dreams do come true, he said to himself, as he watched Chelsea sleeping beside him on the bus, her head on his shoulder. He felt as if forever was at his grasp, with her beside him.
His fears had come true.
The first thing that came into his mind was that Chelsea’s parents had forbidden her to see him. He knew them, from the way Chelsea talked; he knew what her folks were. Strict disciplinarians who knew how to pull the right reins on their children, Chelsea was an obedient daughter.
Seth looked at Chelsea, how could this be easy for her?, he asked himself. Chelsea was staring blankly at the wall. She had pulled him into the stairwell and quietly told him that they should not see each other again. Seth was more than shocked. Was it only yesterday that Chelsea had smiled up at him and told him that she had never been so happy spending an afternoon at the marina watching boats anchor and sail away, with the wind blowing on her face. She was a picture of sheer happiness, Seth was too.
Seth felt betrayed, was it all just a joke? Had the tricks he played on other girls finally exacted payment form him? If it were true, he would give everything, if he could just have Chelsea’s love.
Seth was too weak to stand so he knelt in front of Chelsea. He had done it countless of times before, to bring a girl back into his arms. But this time, it was more painful, like a knife into his heart. Chelsea closed her eyes shut.
“I thought you liked me” Seth finally managed to say. He was controlling his voice so it ended up more like of a whisper. Deep inside, his voice was quivering, like a child in fear. His head bowed down, he placed his hands on the floor. They too, were shaking.
“I do” Chelsea replied. She was rubbing her thumbs on the handkerchief she held. Seth was not making it easier. He could have laughed her off and said something like “You’re not that special!” in his arrogant way, and stomped off. Then she would find a reason to hate him and forget him. Things he did today only made her feel worse.
“You know I’d do anything for you, I have changed because of you” Seth said, his voice getting hoarse. He was trying to stop the tiny sobs that were building up inside him. He found it difficult to breathe. “Just give me a chance”. He looked up at her. Chelsea almost gasped, Seth was crying, tears were streaming down his face.
But she had resolved, not with anyone’s help at all, even though she knew lots of people would freely give their opinions about Seth. It was for the better. She liked him, she is afraid that she already loves him. She knew that even if their feelings were strong and it felt right, there is no guarantee that they would never hurt each other. She wanted whatever memories they had would remain happy and not be forgotten, not tarnished by fights and grievances. She knew that it would hurt for the moment but the beauty of what they shared will remain for a lifetime. She also knew some would think her a coward, for not fighting for her love, but what’s the use in fighting for it? She was a coward, because she wanted to love Seth forever and this was the only way she knew how.
“Seth” Chelsea said with desperation. She took his face in her hands. “The mere fact that I want to give you a chance scares me. I like you; in fact I may even love you. But what we have is too beautiful to just take advantage of. I want to remember you as what you are when I loved you and not what you have or will become. You, our love, it was too precious and I am not sure if I’ll ever have this again”.
“It would be more beautiful, Chelsea, that I promise, I would do anything”
“I am afraid, I can’t do that to you”, Chelsea sadly said. She leaned over to Seth and kissed his forehead. She stood up and slowly walked away, before Seth could even see the tears.
Seth watched slowly, as Chelsea walked out painfully out of his life.