Mike , Savy Ch. 09

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Note to readers: This chapter is from Mike’s point of view.

*****

There was no ring on her finger.

I looked back up at her face.

“Mike, I told him no.”

I involuntarily clasped my hands in front of my face. I didn’t know what to say.

My throat was completely dry and my voice hoarse, “Why?”

“I loved Josh. I still do, in a certain way, and he’ll always be special to me. I didn’t fully realize it until he set the ring in front of me, but I wasn’t meant to be with him.”

I was in complete shock. For six months, I’d seen the two of them together and I had completely resigned myself to their relationship. I even expected that he might propose to her. I hadn’t needed even five minutes to know I wanted to marry her; they’d been together for a year.

But she said no…

“Mike, I’m so sorry for how I’ve treated you. You gave me so much happiness and then, after we learned the truth, I did nothing but hurt you. I understand why you left that night. I was in shock when I left my ring on your bed, but that’s no excuse. You had every right to leave.

“And when you came back to me, I wanted so desperately to tell you to stay, but I couldn’t get the words out. You told me you loved me and still wanted to spend your life with me and I couldn’t say a single word. ‘Stay.’ I’m so sorry.”

Why was she saying this?

“You gave me months and months. I could have said one word and I know you would have come back to me. It’s my fault, Mike. I don’t blame you at all for leaving and going to Spain.”

I shouldn’t have left. I should have stayed and waited. I was hurting, Savy, but I should have waited a lifetime for you.

“And when you came back, I was callous and vicious towards you. We hadn’t seen each other for a year and a half and that was how I treated to you.”

She reached out across the table and brushed her delicate fingers against my cheek. I was on the verge of hyperventilating. All of the hurt that we had both been through for two years…

“Despite all of that, you’ve been there for me. You’ve always been there for me, even when I stupidly thought you weren’t. You came to see me perform. You were there even when I was with Josh and I know that couldn’t have been easy for you. You didn’t say anything, you were just there for me.”

I could barely whisper. “Savy… what are you saying?”

She smiled softly at me.

“Mike, I love you. I never stopped loving you. I hid it from myself and pushed it so far down that I could pretend I had moved on, but I can’t be with anybody else. I’m sorry that it took me so long to see it.”

She… still loves me.

“I’ve done so much to hurt you. I’m damaged goods. You don’t have to say anything to me. I don’t expect anything from you. I just need for you to be happy. I’ve been hurting you for so long and I don’t want to ever hurt you again.”

She got up and stood next to the table. My eyes followed her, from her bare left hand, up to her face.

“You told me you’d always be there for me and you have been, even when I didn’t see it. I love you and I will always be there for you from now on. I’m so sorry that I haven’t been. I know that all of this is too much right now. I’ll wait for you, whether it’s tomorrow, next week, or next year. As soon as you’re ready and know what you want, what will make you happy, I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.”

She bent down and pressed her lips against my forehead. I closed my eyes. I missed her so much and now she was telling me that she still loves me, that she can’t be with anyone other than me.

When I opened them, she was walking towards the door.

Savy…

No! I’m not letting you go again.

I got up and reached into my pocket, throwing down whatever cash I had pulled out onto the table. I turned in time to see her push open the door. I took off across the floor and slammed into the door, throwing it open.

“Savy!”

She stopped and turned to face me, her eyes widening as I burst through the door. I closed the space between us in just a couple strides. Barely slowing down, I threw my arms out in front of me and reached around her waist, picking up her petite frame and pulling her to me. Her arms closed around the back of my neck.

I held her to me.

My face was buried against her cheek. I squeezed my eyes shut, remembering the feeling of holding her, knowing that I was the one she loved. Now I was holding her again.

“Savy, I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mike.”

I held her with my heart pounding in my chest. Was it even an hour ago that I sat down, expecting to hear that I’d lost her forever? It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. She was in my arms again.

I wanted to hold her forever, but I reluctantly set her down. She leaned just far enough away that I could focus on her. She was crying, but with a smile. She reached up and touched my cheek, holding her palm against my skin.

“Where do you want to go now?” Savy asked.

“With you.”

She never stopped smiling. She izmir escort bayan slid her hand into mine and turned. We walked together.

She lead me a short distance and then we went into an apartment building. We rode the elevator in silence. Her hands were incredibly cold from being outside. I pulled her hand up to my lips and blew warm air onto her skin. On the 6th floor, she stepped out of the elevator first. I followed her, never letting go of her hand, as she went to a door and unlocked it. I stepped into her apartment behind her and closed the door.

Savy turned and I took her into my arms. I was almost scared that if I let go of her, she’d disappear from my life again.

“Savy, I love you. I’m so sorry I left.”

If I had just stayed, if I had just waited, if I had been there for her, maybe I could have saved us two years apart. We could have been together. Where would we be now?

She pulled away from me slightly, but took my hand and then lead me to the couch. I sat next to her and she turned to face me, sitting cross-legged and holding my hand in her lap.

“Mike, I need you to listen to me. I meant what I said. It wasn’t your fault and I don’t blame you. I pushed you away and I hurt you so badly. I don’t know how you could ever forgive me… how you could ever love me again.”

I leaned closer to her and pressed my forehead to hers.

“I never stopped loving you.”

She tilted her chin up and kissed me. Her lips pressed against mine.

Our last kiss had been the night before Thanksgiving, the night I had proposed to her. We stood beside my car and I held her in my arms, then she kissed me. We were starting the rest of our lives together.

Two years.

I reached my arms around her and pulled her onto my lap. When our lips separated, she buried her face between my neck and shoulder. I simply held her, with my heart pounding in my chest. Time passed, but I don’t know if it was minutes or an hour. I was only aware of her in my arms and her warm breath on my skin.

I had been so close to losing her forever.

“Savy…”

“Mike?”

“You’re okay… that I’m your brother and you’re my sister?”

“You were right when you said that you were always my brother, whether we shared DNA or not. You’re my brother and the love of my life. You’re everything to me and I love you more because of it.”

“This isn’t going to be easy.”

“I know…”

I felt her lift her head and I looked down into her wonderful dark eyes. She reached up and brushed my hair behind my ear.

“… but we’ll get through everything together now.”

“Always.”

I leaned down and kissed her again. I had so missed the feeling of her soft, full lips… the connection between us. She was the absolute love of my life.

Eventually, I came down from the adrenaline rush of regaining everything that I had ever wanted in life and I fell asleep.

When I woke up, we were laying on the sofa facing each other, with her cheek pressed against my chest. I could smell the wonderful fragrance of her hair and feel the gentle rise and fall of her breathing against me. I waited for her, reveling in the feeling of holding her in my arms again.

She woke up when I heard keys jingling and unlocking the door. I looked down and her eyes were focused on mine. She had a soft smile on her face, as much with her eyes as with her lips.

I heard the rustling of plastic bags and then Maria’s voice. “Savannah, are you back?”

She kissed me quickly and sat up to look over the back of the sofa at the front door.

Maria saw her and asked, “Oh, hey there… how did it go? Are you okay?”

Savy took hold of my hand and gently pulled. I sat up next to her and looked at Maria.

“Mike!”

“Uh… hey.”

Savy answered Maria’s question, “Things went… okay,” and then she blushed as she made eye contact with me.

She stood up and kissed me on the forehead, before going to Maria and taking her hand, pulling her into the kitchen. I couldn’t tell what they were saying with hushed voices, but when they came back out, Maria simply smiled and said, “I’m happy for you… for both of you.”

I noticed it was completely dark outside now and I was hungry. Savy must have been thinking the same thing, because she asked Maria if she wanted to order a pizza with us. Maria, being always polite, said that she didn’t want to intrude, but we convinced her that we wanted her to hang out with us. I was extremely grateful that with everything Savy had been through, all the changes in her life, that Maria had always been there for her.

Once the pizza arrived, we sat and ate together. We talked about how things were going for Maria, what Savy was going to be doing in the music program going forward, and what I’d been working on at work.

It was amazing to me how quickly my entire life could turn around. In the span of hours, I had gone from absolute despair to sitting and having a normal conversation, with Savy by my side, like the last two years had never happened.

After escort izmir dinner, Maria again said she was happy for us and retired to her bedroom. Savy and I went back to sitting on the sofa. She leaned against me, with her arm wrapped in mine and our fingers intertwined. I stared at the delicate lines of her fingers as I lightly rubbed them with my own.

We had so much to talk about, so much had happened, but for tonight, I just wanted to be with her again. The stabbing pain that had been with me every time I had seen her since I came back from Spain was now just a small knot… the fear that I could lose her again. I hoped even that would go away. Until it did, sitting with her, feeling her skin and hearing her breathing was healing me.

When I just couldn’t help myself, I would glance at her, following the contours of her face with my eyes, seeing and memorizing the incredibly subtle changes that had occurred since I’d last been able to truly see her. When I had fallen in love with her, she had been stunningly beautiful, of course, in a slightly girlish way. I’m sure that the actual physical changes were miniscule, if any existed at all, but knowing what we had been through, she now had a certain maturity. She was perfect.

Eventually, I could feel myself drifting and I had to say words that I dreaded.

“Savy, you’ve made me… unbelievably happy today. You’re everything to me, but I think we need to go slow… learn who we are together again. I should probably get going.”

She held my eyes and looked frightened.

“No, please stay. Don’t go.”

“I want to stay, but I don’t want you to be uncom…”

She clutched me to her.

“No, stay. Please. Even if you stay here on the couch, just don’t go. I want to know you’ll be here in the morning.”

Her voice trembled and she was on the verge of tears. Had I done this to her? Was she scared that I would leave her again?

“Okay, I won’t go. Savy…”

I tilted her chin up until we were looking into each other’s eyes.

“… I’ll never leave you. Never again.”

I squeezed her tight until she relaxed in my arms. When she did, I kissed her and got up and went to the bathroom. When I finished and went back to the living room, she wasn’t there, but she quickly returned carrying sheets, a pillow, and a blanket. After she set them down, I embraced her and rested my chin on her head.

“I’m here for you, always.”

“I’m sorry. I just… I just…”

“It’s okay. You have nothing to be sorry for. I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Mike.”

She looked up at me and I kissed her again before she turned and I lost sight of her as she went to her room.

I made a simple bed for myself on the sofa and laid down. I wasn’t feeling tired anymore. I just laid and stared at the ceiling, thinking about the past twenty-four hours, the past six months, the past two years.

I had been into the absolute darkest place, expecting to hear the love of my life tell me that she was going to marry someone else. Right before I fell into a void that I could never escape, she pulled me back out. She was back in my life, not just as my sister, but as my Savy. Again.

Yet in the darkness of the room, I couldn’t completely suppress that little knot in my stomach that remained after the stabbing pain had gone. I was terrified that I would do something to lose her. That she would be ripped out of my arms, out of my life, again. What if she came to regret saying no to Josh and she blamed me? I could barely survive the thought of it, much less if it came to pass.

Don’t do this, Mike. You can’t live your life in fear. Part of loving someone is giving yourself over to them, even in the face of possibly losing them. Beyond that, she’s hurting so badly. Whatever happens to me is irrelevant, I have to be there for her. Her happiness is all that matters. I have to help her heal.

When exhaustion finally overtook me and I closed my eyes, I saw her. She was smiling… at me.

I woke up slowly the next morning. It was light out, but not bright. It might still be slightly before full sunrise.

I lifted my head and then I saw her. Savy was sitting on the floor leaning against the sofa, her head resting on the cushion near my knees. She was sleeping.

I carefully sat up and reached under her arms, gently pulling her up to me. I laid down with her beside me and wrapped the blanket around us. She pressed herself into my embrace, but I couldn’t tell if she had fully woken up. I whispered to her.

“I’m here, Savy. I love you. I won’t leave you.”

Eventually, I felt her body and her breathing relax. I drifted into a light sleep.

When I awoke again, Savy had moved up a bit and her lips were lightly pressing against my chin. I turned my head and pressed my lips to hers. I could feel her smiling through our kiss.

“When did you come out here?”

“I… don’t know. It was still dark. I just… I wanted to be near you. Please don’t be angry.”

“How could I be angry? I’m here for you. I love izmir escort having you next to me. I love you.”

I enclosed her in my arms and gently rubbed her back.

“I love you, Mike. I’m so sorry.”

“Savy, please forgive yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Do you forgive me?”

“Of course I do. It’s okay. We’re here now, together.”

We lay in each other’s arms until I saw Maria come out. She saw us, but didn’t say anything before going into the kitchen. She briefly popped her head out and held up a coffee pot and I nodded at her. Quickly, the apartment was filled with the aroma of brewing coffee.

Savy wiped her eyes and looked up at me. “Oh, Maria must be up.”

“Yup. So, how do you want to spend the day?”

“With you.”

“That sounds exactly like what I planned.”

She put her hand behind my head and pulled me to her, giving me a kiss. She then sat up and went into the kitchen. When she came back, she had two mugs of coffee and Maria was following her. I quickly sat up myself.

Maria touched Savy’s arm and whispered, “Take your time,” and then disappeared down the hall. Savy put the two cups on the table and sat down next to me. We sat sipping coffee and watching the day slowly get brighter.

After we had each had a second cup, Savy was resting her head on my shoulder and asked me, “Will you stay here tonight?”

“Of course. I’ll need to get some things from my apartment, though.”

“Okay. I need to call mom. She’s been emailing me about my trip to North Carolina. I should let her know what happened.”

“Are you going to tell her about us?”

She looked up at me.

“Not yet. I want to. I want to tell everyone about us, but I think she’ll be shocked enough that Josh and I aren’t together. I don’t think she can handle everything at once.”

“You’re right.”

I slowly got to my feet, a little sore from sleeping on the sofa. I grabbed my keys and wallet off of the table and Savy stood up to say goodbye to me at the door. She hugged me and then rested her chin on my chest, looking up with her gorgeous eyes. I gave her a quick peck on the lips, then kissed her forehead.

“Mike, bring everything you need for the week. I don’t want to spend a night without you.”

“Alright. I love you. I’ll be back soon.”

“Okay. I love you, too.”

Back in my truck, I pulled onto Route 1 and was quickly on the Beltway. I drove slower than normal, hanging in the right line while I let my mind wander. I was doing my best to keep myself from racing. I wanted to be back to exactly where we were when I had proposed to her, but it would take time. I knew that I needed to tell her about Spain, I just hoped that she wouldn’t hate me for leaving and having a relationship with Ana.

I was so lost in my thoughts that I actually missed my exit off of Route 50 and had to take a somewhat more circuitous route back to my apartment. Inside, I grabbed one of my larger dufflebags and started collecting the various things I’d need for the week. Right before I walked out the door, I stopped and set my bag down. I went back into my room and opened a drawer in my desk, pulling out a small box.

I flipped open the lid and looked at Savy’s ring.

I sat down on the floor, with my back leaning against my bed, and I cried. I was so completely overwhelmed with emotion from the journey of where I had been to where I was now.

I had been completely engrossed in school and work, with my personal life barely an afterthought. Then Savy had come to me and we had found each other in a way neither of us had expected. Suddenly, it was all ripped away and instead of working through it, I had shut down and then run away. I don’t know if I had actually healed in Spain or just had a sort of superficial healing, but I remember sitting in the cafe by the sea and closing my eyes. I could see Savy so clearly. I had to go home and face her.

I gave up my new life to go home to my old life, to the heartache and the pain. I had thought that losing her was the worst thing that could happen to me, but then I saw that she had moved on. She was successful and happy, without me. Over the months, I don’t know if I had shut down again or was trying to process all of it, but I refused to let her see. Her happiness was my only priority.

And then, she came back to me. I don’t know how or why, but she loved me and was in my arms again.

I collected myself and went into the bathroom to splash water on my face. I put on my coat and slipped the box into my pocket, then picked up my bag and went outside to my truck. I was going back to Savy. She was all I needed in life.

Before getting back on the highway, I stopped at a grocery store. I wandered through the aisles, not entirely sure what I was looking for. Eventually though, I had all of the ingredients for lasagna in my basket. When I went to check out, I stopped and picked up a small bouquet of flowers for Savy.

Half an hour later, I was knocking on Savy’s door. She opened the door for me and as I walked in, I held up the flowers for her. She broke into an ear-to-ear smile and reached inside my coat, sliding her arms around my back.

After putting the groceries away, we sat together and I asked her, “How did your call with mom go?”

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