“She’s right.” I turned to face Jack. “And there’s nothing to worry about.”
“What do you mean?” Jack narrowed his eyes at me.
“I can’t be bonded with this girl,” I said. “It’s not possible.”
“But there is something weird going on,” Jack insisted. “I am drawn to her.”
“You like her,” I shrugged.
“No, I don’t,” he shook his head. “I mean, I do. But… I don’t know. We’re just friends.”
“If you’re really worried about her, bring her around,” I said. “When she meets me, I won’t feel anything, and then you’ll know.”
“That doesn’t explain how I feel about her,” Jack said.
“That’s something you’ll have to figure it out on your own,” I said. “You’re probably just a bit closed off because of what happened with Aisha.”
“Don’t even bring that up,” he shook his head. His cell phone buzzed in his pocket, and he pulled out. “That’s her. Alice. I’m going to go meet up with her.”
“Alice?” I asked.
“Yeah, the girl.” He smirked at me. “The one we were just talking about?”
“Oh, right,” I said. “I don’t think I’ve heard you say her name before.”
“Well, now, I have. I’ll think about what you said, though, and maybe I’ll bring her around sometime,” Jack said as he turned to leave the room. “But not tonight.”
He left in a hurry, so eager to see her, but I thought it was good for him. He needed something to care about, other than me, Mae, and Ezra. There was a life outside of this, and he needed to live it.
“What if it is you?” Mae asked quietly once Jack had gone.
“What?” I asked, looking back at her.
“What if she is bonded to you?” Mae asked.
“She won’t be.”
“But Peter…” Mae chewed her lip thoughtfully. “I think she might be. It’s a feeling I have. And you need to have a plan in case she is bonded with you.”
“Nothing,” I said. “I will do nothing. My heart is buried with Elise.”
I closed the subject and went up to my room. I didn’t want to think about the matter any longer. But I couldn’t shake it off. I thought it would help to write it all down, but it hasn’t. Because what if Mae is right?
April 2, 2009
I have no one else to talk to about this. It feels like sacrilege to speak of this to you, but I’d rather write to you than say it aloud to anyone else. Even though they know. Mae knew the instant she saw me, and Jack must know. He can probably feel it, the way I can feel it when his heart speeds up when she walks in the room.
Jack brought his human girl, Alice, over tonight. I’d told him to. I’d assured him that everything would be alright, and everything should have been alright. I was bonded with you. Elise, I’m certain I was. The way I felt about you, it was unmistakable.
But now this girl has come into our lives and everything is… a mess.
As soon as Jack brought her in the house, I felt it. I didn’t even need to see her. I was upstairs in my room, reading and waiting for him to return. But I could hear her heart as soon as she walked in, beating like a frightened rabbit. And it was like music. It sang to me, Elise, in a way only your heart had ever sung to me.
I didn’t want to see her or meet her or feel this way. Mae brought Alice up to my room, and I nearly suffocated. I couldn’t even breathe around her. It was so overwhelming, the pull inside me. I thought it would rip my heart from my chest. I wanted to rush to her and…
I don’t know what I would’ve done. Simply feeling this way is a betrayal to both you and Jack. You should see the way he fawns over Alice. It would be so sweet if I didn’t want to tear out his throat to get to her.
I actually want to do that, Elise. At the thought of him being with her. When he touches her. I want to hurt him. It’s something animal and dark and unlike anything I’ve ever felt for Jack. Half of me wants to protect him and step aside so he can be with her, and the other half wants to kill him and claim her for mine.
That’s crazy. None of this makes any sense. She isn’t mine. You were mine. I loved you. I still love you, Elise. I can’t love anyone else. My heart died with you.
And yet… my heart is still beating, still being pulled to this silly, awkward girl. She is beautiful, not the way you were, but in a disarming way. She seems like she’d be plain, but then she smiles, and it lights up the whole room.
But it doesn’t matter. I can’t love her. I’m not even capable. And even if I was, she’s in love with my brother – a brother who I care about more than I care for myself. Alice glows when she’s around him, like he’s a light that shines from inside her.
What am I saying? This is all madness.
I can’t be around her. For your sake, my sake, her sake, Jack’s sake. I need to leave. Jack would make her so much happier than I ever could. I could never even make you happy, Elise, and I loved you more than I had ever loved anything.
I still love you. Why am I talking of our love in the past tense? When did I begin to do that? When did I put you behind me?
I will not love this girl. I promise you that, Elise. I’ve already promised you that. You are my love, my true, my only.
I will leave her. I will leave them all if I have to. Ezra has a family now. He needs me less than he used to, and if Jack had to choose between Alice and me, he would choose Alice.
No, I don’t believe that. Jack would still choose me. He would stop seeing her if I asked him to. But I won’t do that. He deserves to be happy. I already had my chance at happiness, and I lost it. I can’t punish him for that.
I will make Alice hate me, and I will learn to hate her. And she and Jack will be happy in a way that you and I never got to be.
June 10, 2011
After all these years, I finally have peace for you. Alice is onto something, and it might be my chance to rectify what happened to you. I will never forget you, never stop loving you, no matter what happens. But I will make it right.
I know I’ve failed so many of my promises. I fell in love with Alice, the way I said I never would. But we’ve come to something different, something like an agreement, and I feel close to happiness. I’ve made peace with her choices, and I’ve found peace in my life.