summary: it's not until much later he realizes what he lost; at this point, neither alcohol or pills cure the sudden loneliness that stabs him in the heart, it can't subdue that horrible ache in his chest.
notes: language, written for inrevelations challenge #3 (music) & memories_child (winter song by sara bareilles, wake up time by tom petty).
Lila says love is more than just a feeling, it's all in the pull of attraction; the realization that neither can live without each another.
She holds out for that, rejecting advances from men until she feels that force beckoning towards him, the man lazily draped like a cloth on the living room sofa of a stranger's house.
His eyes are tinted gray, scruffiness overtakes the majority of his chin and tendrils of hair trace the contour of his sharp cheekbones (sharp to slice diamonds/hearts).
She can't explain it, to be honest. She knows a man like him needs some form of saving and she never fancied herself superwoman.
But she still tastes the whiskey on his tongue later that night.
Marcus wasn't expecting someone like Lila to waltz into his lap that night.
"Hello, I'm Lila," she whispers.
He groggily looked up at her, already placing his hand on her thigh, "Marcus."
She removes his hand from her thigh, "Did you feel that?"
He's had too much to drink, "Feel what exactly?"
She looks, her olive-colored eyes piercing his, "I looked at you and the room turned upside down. Tell me you felt it, too."
He's thinking he might be the sober one in this conversation and starts to shake his head before she tugs at his lips with hers.
And he swears he feels it, too.
Marcus didn't know what the fuck he was doing exactly.
Lila was the type of girls he ignored, the type of girls that expected family dinners, movie dates, and cuddling after sex (none of which he had ever done and didn't plan on doing).
She wanted more of him, tugging at his brain with incessant questions about his feelings, his life, tips taken from the self-help books at Barnes & Noble.
He needed to get out of this apartment, this bed, this life she was setting for him. He climbed out of the covers, tugged on a ratty coat and went out into the Chicago winter.
Lila was awake.
"You must be crazy if you think I'd let you go," she says quietly from the pay phone on the street.
"Marcus, don't be afraid of this, it's supposed to happen. Meet me at my apartment in five."
Funny thing is he goes.
Instead of sex, they talk (Lila asks, he answers).
She uncovers that Marcus was the cool guy back in high school before he dropped out of college at twenty. She finds out that he writes when he can't sleep, that he visits his mother at a nursing home every Sunday even if she doesn't remember her son anymore.
She also sees who he is without words. She sees how he seeks solace in bottle after bottle of whiskey, rum, vodka. She sees him when he's high on some sort of antidepressants (not prescribed); she stays when he's coming down from his drugs, when all he does is hold her so tight, his nails scratch her back, leaving her skin raw days after he's gone.
She doesn't know if she can keep playing superhero.
Marcus thinks of Lila as more of a concept than an actual person.
He uses her when he needs to relieve himself of sexual tension. He uses her when he's coming down so hard, he can't bear being alone.
He doesn't think she minds when he walks into her apartment uninvited, takes off his clothes and joins her in bed.
When they're finished and laying next to one another, she cries bitter tears and he doesn't even ask what's wrong (she wanted him to).
"We need to talk," she walks into his studio, littered with bottles, stains, and broken lightbulbs.
"Close the fucking door, it's bright."
Lila desperately looks for somewhere to seat in the littered room before deciding to keep standing, "What are you doing? Where have you been? I haven't heard from you in three weeks, I thought.."
Marcus rubs his temples, "Why do you care?"
She looks at him, eyes glazed over, "Fuck you, Marcus."
She grabs a whiskey bottle with the intention of throwing it, instead she cries, drops it to the floor and leaves, leaving traces of perfume and unspoken words.
He lights a cigarette and opens a window.
Is love alive?
It's not until much later he realizes what he lost; at this point, neither alcohol or pills cure the sudden loneliness that stabs him in the heart, it can't subdue that horrible ache in his chest.
He knows what he has to do, but he's scared of doing it- his high school days of bravery are over and all that remains is a shell, dampened spirits of what Marcus used to be.
Because really, Marcus is a poor boy, alone and a long way from home (Lila).
Lila hates herself. She hates herself for believing that her love would change him, that she could be the matching piece to him.
She wasn't. She wasn't. She wasn't.
(She was. She was. She was.)
He says sorry before she walks out of the diner they found each other in.
"I don't believe you."
"Well you should because it's true."
"I can't do this."
"Do what, Lila?"
"I don't know, change you. Reform you. Make you love me as much as I love you. I thought- I thought that I could be the girl that helped you, that completed you, but I wasn't. And I don't think I could be."
Lila walks out, once and for all and it takes all of Marcus not to chase after her.
Days passed and Lila never stops crying.
December never felt so wrong because you're not where you belong, inside my arms.
The more he thinks, the more he realizes that he did feel a change that night (when they first met).
It hits him like an epiphany, like the unlocking of Pandora's box that fills his heart with warmth.
It's too late to grab a taxi and the winter storm is silently crouching onto Chicago but he doesn't care.
He doesn't care; he finally found the girl to shoulder his pain and letting her slip by wasn't an option.
It happens too quickly.
The bullet pierces his chest and his body falls over, the rushing sensation of numbness enveloping his body like an old friend.
Someone screams, footsteps pound the dirt-streaked snow as the blood freely rushes.
The man runs toward him, grabs the wallet from the inner breast pocket of his coat.
"Sorry," he says before running off.
Marcus smiles despite the pain in chest and struggles out the words sorry, lila, i, love, you.
He hopes she hears.
Lila hears the sirens passing her apartment building and thinks nothing of it and sleeps silently.
"If the bullet didn't kill him, the fucking weather would have done it," the policeman says, "So young, too."
"But look at his face-he looks happy, doesn't he?"
"That's the best way to go, I think, happy with your life."
They all agreed.
She doesn't find out until later, when she reads the newspaper during her lunch break.
The birds flew from all over the park at the sound of her scream.
She finds herself staring at empty windows, mentioning his name in random conversations, trying so fucking hard to keep him alive in her head.
But she has to stop eventually and she will, one day.
Is love alive?
She says no but thinks yes.