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November 25, 2018 6:24 pm  #1

To Know When One Is Needed

[I don't think I need any context for this one. Enjoy the story!]

“Well, I’m sorry that my presence bothers you! Would it be best if I tried not to exist?!” Edward yells, throwing his hands up.

“No, of course not! I’m just saying that I need some space every once in a while! You can’t keep smothering me all the time!” Rachel shouts back, anger swelling within her small frame. Rosie, their cocker spaniel, whimpers from the corner of the room and paws at her ears as if the shouting is hurting her ears. Rachel feels a pang of regret, but the anger quickly returns.

“This apartment is a freaking 500 square feet! How am I supposed to give you any space?!” Edward gestures around at the small apartment in exasperation.

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe you could leave!” Rachel storms over to the front door and jerks it open. She stands there, nostrils flared, fire in her eyes.

Edward’s stomach drops. Some of his anger dissipates. “You don’t mean leave for good, right?” He asks in a low voice, holding his hand out as if to steady himself.

Rachel doesn’t back down or close the door. “Maybe I do. I’m sick of being around you.” She speaks slowly and deliberately.

The words cut straight through Edward, and he fights against the sudden burning behind his eyes--a sensation he hasn’t felt since he was a teenager. “You don’t mean that.” He whispers, fighting to keep his voice steady. Any show of weakness now might ruin everything.

“Yes, I do,” Rachel says, but Edward hears the slight quaver in her voice--she doesn’t completely want this.

“Rachel,” Edward’s voice cracks, and he pauses to breathe. He focuses his gaze on the ground in hopes that she doesn’t notice the tears swimming in his eyes. “Give me one more chance. Please.”

“No! I’ve given you too many chances, and you’ve screwed all of them up. Right now, I need you to leave.” Rachel gestures forcefully towards the door.

Edward turns around just as a tear slips out of his left eye. He swipes at it and nearly runs to his and Rachel’s bedroom. He dashes inside and tries to close the door, but Rachel’s hand stops it. Abandoning the door, Edward sits on the edge of their queen-sized bed and buries his face in his hands.

“Hey!” Rachel yells, yanking open the door. “You can’t just--Edward?” She stumbles a little and catches herself. It finally dawns on her what’s happening.

Edward turns his body away from her, keeping his head firmly in his hands. He struggles to control his breathing as the hot tears slip through his fingers. He feels his last shred of masculinity slip like the tears through his fingers, and he knows that Rachel knows what’s going on.

All of her anger gone, Rachel walks over and sits next to Edward. She places a hand on his shoulder, half expecting him to jerk away, but he doesn’t. Testing the waters a little more, she reaches across his back, grabs his other shoulder, and brings him closer to her. “I’m sorry,” she says. “I didn’t really mean it.”

Knowing that he can’t hide it anymore, Edward slowly removes his hands from his face. He looks at Rachel out of the corner of his eye, and is shocked to see that silent tears are running down her cheeks. She’s staring at the carpet. “No, I’m sorry,” Edward whispers. “I know I need to give you more space.”

Rachel looks into Edward’s eyes. Her eyes fill with compassion, and she reaches over with her free hand to wipe Edward’s cheek. He winces, but lets her do it. “I don’t think I need any more space.”

“What?” Edward asks, confused. “But we’ve been fighting about this for weeks.”

Rachel opens her mouth, but she hesitates. “I think--I think what I really needed was to know that you need me. It sounds stupid, I know.”

“No, it doesn’t. I’m sorry I didn’t see that.” Edward frowns, frustrated with himself.

“You don’t need to apologize. You can’t read my mind. Besides, I didn’t even know it, myself.”

“Huh.” Edward doesn’t know what else to say. Deciding that actions speak louder than words, he leans over and gently kisses Rachel’s wet cheek.

She smiles and turns to look at him. Love fills her entire body. “I love you.”

Edward smiles back. “I love you, too.” Cupping her face in his hands, Edward kisses the tears on Rachel’s other cheek. She returns the favor. Once all of their tears have been kissed or wiped dry, Edward falls back onto their bed and sighs. Rachel does the same.

“I need a nap,” Rachel says.

“Me, too.” Edward chuckles.

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.

November 26, 2018 6:09 am  #2

Re: To Know When One Is Needed

I never thought about the difference in how men and women notice they are about to cry. In this story you mention how Edward notices the tears burning the back of his eyes, in the case of Lexi, you highlight the way she tries to suppress the lump in her throat.

I am also interested in his reaction when he knew he would definitely cry, he tried to hide all signs of crying, he quickly wiped the tear, he whispered to try to avoid her hearing his voice breaking, I am surprised he chose to dash inside the house, where he would be vulnerable of being seen by Rachel, which by the way, was the cause of his tears, instead of running out of her reach, seems he secretly wanted to be comforted.

I am not sure if this is the first time he cries in front of her, but he didn’t insist closing the door to be alone. He definitely is ashamed, maybe even feels humiliated crying in front of her, as he tries with all his will to stop crying, avoiding facing her as he turned his body away from her. I don’t know what changed in his mind that he allowed her to touch him without rejecting her.

Anyways, I liked how he noticed he was between the sword and the wall when he gave up covering his face, nice detail that she was silently crying, allowing her tears to fall unchecked, she seemed more comfortable crying in front of him than him in front of her, maybe she had cried to him before? I loved how she had the courage to proactively wipe his tears, and, even though he winced, he allowed her to!!

I saw it almost a must, after having his tears wiped, to correspond kissing hers, I like the way she lets him wipe and even kiss her tears, seems it’s not the first time he did it, as she didn’t even put resistance, instead she surprised me kissing his tears in correspondence without him resisting her touch.
Simply lovely. I am just missing the scenario where the guy is the only one crying and is comforted, it’s not the same interaction. Waiting eagerly for that scenario.

Thanks a lot.


November 26, 2018 10:56 pm  #3

Re: To Know When One Is Needed

You’re welcome. I will work on the other scenario for sure!

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
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