Alma made Leo want to. She wanted to belive he was the one.
Will his demons get in the way?
I feel him turn away from me, and I lift my tear-soaked face. “Why?” I say into the darkness.
Leo turns back toward me.
“We were perfect,” I say. “Why’d you do that when we had everything?”
“You are perfect,” he retorts, his heartache palpable. “I am nothing.”
My lip trembles. “You were something to me.”
A slow song starts, and the ache in my chest grows. The first notes of “If the World Was Ending,” by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels, echo against the basement walls. I’ve been listening to this song on repeat over the past month every time I need a good cry. To me, it speaks to two people who desperately love each other but can’t be together. The music connects with my heartbroken soul.
Leo extends his hand, barely visible, save for the glow band around his wrist. Without thinking, I take it, and he pulls me into his arms. He holds me, and I cry against him as we sway to the melancholy music. He smells like Leo, a mixture of his natural scent and his body wash. It’s intoxicating. I breathe deep, committing the way he smells to memory. My arms circle his body. I want to remember what it feels like to have him in my arms. He’s always been so much bigger and taller than me, larger than life as he captured my heart. The way he holds me and how I melt into his body, it’s pure magic. It’s undeniable chemistry, and this is the last I’ll feel of it. This dance is our good-bye song.
Leo kisses the top of my head, his lips lingering, and his chest swells as he breathes me in. His arms squeeze me tight, and my body shakes against his as I cry. The slow song is over, but we remain in this tortured embrace. My battered soul clings to his for several more fleeting moments, and I break as he pulls away.
“I’ll never forgive you.” My lip trembles.
He swipes a tear-soaked strand of hair away from my face. “I’m counting on it,” he says before walking away.
He told me that he’d destroy me.
I knew he wasn’t lying, and I loved him anyway.
I believed in love—in him.
I just wasn’t prepared to carry the weight of his demons.
I wanted forever with him, but life showed me love was temporary, and forever was a dream.
Despite everything that happened, even now, I wouldn’t change any of it.
For a love to have the capacity to destroy you, it has to be extraordinarily powerful—and that kind of love is impossible to walk away from.
I warned her that I’d ruin her. I knew that I’d taint her innocence with my bad intentions.
I was weak.
She was perfection.
I was nothing.
The truth is that I loved her, and I selfishly wanted to hold on—to her, to the man she had made me, to the life we could have.
I wanted to dance with her in the light despite knowing that the darkness would find me anyway.
Heartbreak was inevitable.
Yet I held on to the sliver of hope that I was wrong, that love really was enough.
Destiny isn’t something I buy into, but she makes me want to believe.
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Ellie Wade resides in southeast Michigan with her husband, three children, and three dogs. She has a Master’s degree in education from Eastern Michigan University and is a huge University of Michigan sports fan. She loves the beauty of her home state, especially the lakes and the gorgeous autumn weather. When she is not writing, you will find her reading, snuggled up with her kiddos, or spending time with family and friends. She loves traveling and exploring new places with her family.
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