Authors Note: A little something from my wandering mind tonight. I'll warn u this is a bit sad, but I think you all will like this one very much. Enjoy.
He was angry. He was exhausted. His heart pounded against his chest with pulsating curses on her. On Olivia. James lept up from the hardwood floors and began to wipe his eyes.The vestige of tears still stung on his cheeks. What had he done wrong? What had he missed? How could he fix it? Those questions would soon be erased from his mind and replaced with the real question: Why didn't she ever say she loved him?
James had been waiting for eight long years. High school and college were behind them both, yet Olivia had still not returned his feelings. He had written sonnets, recited sonnets, bought gifts, made birthday, Christmas, and Valentines cards, and given her everything her heart desired, yet she still dismissed him as a crazed obsessive. In fact, the two had known each other up through elementary school, and he had always loved her with a deep passion. Her deep brown eyes and cherry lips, her dark hair that shone brightly on a brisk April morning, her voice like a fallen angel, and her smile. Oh, that smile. The one James had seen many a time through teary eyes as she passed with a countless string on boyfriends. Of course, Olivia knew. She knew he loved her, and she knew he would do anything for her. He had bought her the very dresses she wore on her dates, and he had catered to her every whim.
Not too long ago, it had occurred to James that it was time. Olivia had once again gone through a devastating breakup, and now he would fulfill his lifelong dream. He would propose. The ring was a homemade wonder. No stones, no gold or silver. Just an old ring-pop accessory. It was their third grade "friendship ring". In mint condition. "You've got it, James.", he recited to himself as he eyed the ring in the mirror. "Today, she'll finally love you, just like we planned." He began to tremble and gave that hushed but hysterical chuckle he gave whenever his great dream seemed closer to reality. And then, the tears came.
James had remembered how he had burrowed restlessly through the cold, dark mud searching for the plastic treasure many years ago. Olivia had rejected him many times before, third grade, fifth grade, all through high school, and most memorably in college. He had spent a year or two compiling a list of the things he loved about her, and read them during their Psychology lecture, only to receive a prompt rejection and a humiliation he would never forget. But tonight would be different, it would.
"Will you marry me?" James began to cry once again as he looked up into her worried, puzzled brown eyes. She began to speak, and then stopped, as if rethinking her response. Just as she began to speak, a knock came promptly at the apartment door. "Who's that.", James said meekly," "Oh, just a friend.", Olivia said nervously. She walked to the door and opened it just enough to let her head peak through. James heard scolding whispers in a voice that was unmistakably hers. After about thirty seconds, the visitor was gone. "James." "Yes, dearest." "Don't call me that!", she harshly responded, "Go to bed." But I-" "Go to bed. Now." He sadly wrapped up his ring and began to walk grudgingly towards the bedroom. He knew what was coming.
James could not sleep. The noise was too much. The cold, hard floor was uncomfortable and he began to toss and turn in the unquiet darkness. It was always like this when her "friends" came over. James heard the springs of the bed tense and relax with every movement, and he heard Olivia's cries of pleasure. He wished it was he who was with her up on the bed, and not that stranger. But he was told to be quiet, so James covered his mouth as he cried himself to sleep under a pile of old sheets.
"Good morning, dearest." "Good morning, Jimmy. Have yo-" "Yes, here you go." James pushed a hot plate of pancakes towards Olivia. "Do you love me?" She asked. "Yes, very much, dearest." "That's good." She gingerly sipped at her Lipton tea. "Do you love me
?", the troubled man asked quietly. He gently placed his hand over hers. There was no response. Olivia swiftly got up from the table and walked out of the apartment. James looked out through the window to see that she got to her car safely. She hadn't touched her food.
"She must love me...she must." James repeated over and over as he walked up the stairs and into the bedroom. He looked back at her picture. It was from college. There she was, smiling that smile. And there she was, looking right past him. He hopped onto the bed and began to rock back and forth uncontrollably. James started to scratch his forearms with repetitive motions, all the while trying not to cry. Olivia had told him never to cry. "There's nothing I hate more than a crybaby.", she had said. Suddenly, James heard the shrill ringing of the telephone.
"H-hello?" "Oh hi James, this is Dr. Adams. How are you doing? Is everything all right? Did you do as I advised." "Uh, well, not exactly, I just...I can't leave her, Doc." "Well you need to, James. Do you remember what we talked about? This girl is killing you inside. You do not need to be around her." "But I love Olivia." He paused. "And she loves me.
" "No, James, I want you to come to my office this aftern-" "SHUT UP!" He threw the phone to the ground and it shattered into pieces, leaving a warbly Dr. Adams on the other end of the line. "Pssssh James? Are you alright? Pssssh." With that, he hurriedly dug through the desk drawer on the other side of the room for the plastic ring, as he had dug through the mud back in third grade. It wasn't there. Had anything really changed since then?
"I LOVE YOU!" he screamed, the tears streaming down his face as he kneeled before the oval portrait of his dearest Olivia at the end of the hall. "WILL YOU MARRY ME?" There was no response. As James began to sob harder, he heard the knob on the front door slowly turn. Upon seeing the front of the black Stilleto heel that had entered the doorway, James dashed towards his love and wrapped his arms around her legs, causing her to stagger into the house. "I'm so glad you're home, Livi. Lets go out on the town later on. What do you say?" "Is this the guy." An unfamiliar voice had uttered these words. It was a rough voice, and a voice that made James tremble at every word. "Yes, this is him.", said Olivia. "Jimmy, you mustn't do this anymore." "Oh, yes dearest...who is with you?" "Uhhh, this is uhh, my business partner, Mr. Stevenson." "Hi,", said the gruff voice. James unwrapped his arms from around Olivia's ankles and stood up. He stuck his arm out as if for a handshake, but the man just stared at him. "James, I need you to pick up some things from the market, here's the list." "Oh, sure thing. Anything for you buttercup." Olivia rolled her eyes. Those beautiful eyes. With that, James Adler left the apartment en route to the local Ralph's, leaving his beloved behind with her "business partner".
Upon returning to his 5th floor apartment, James noticed that something was different. The visitor had left, and Olivia sat in the kitchen with an amused smile on her face. "You're a sad little man, Jimmy.", she said. "...Anything for you, dearest." James didn't know how else to respond. "Look, Jimmy, do you love me?" "Why, of course, Livi." "Well I love you too." At those words, James dropped the groceries and lept towards her, as if wanting to give her the world. "Do you?" "Sure." "Does this mean we can get married, and have a family?" "I don't know." "Well, what does it mean, sweetpea?" "It means, I love you. Your'e quite the entertainer. My friends think you're hilarious. And I love the way you beg like a sad little puppy dog every time I come home with them." James began to cry a little. "JIMMY! What are you doing? Do you remember what I told you about crying?" He sadly wiped his eyes. "Yes, dea-" "It's Mrs. Jacobs to you!" "I'm sorry, Mrs. Jacobs." "Now go upstairs and fix the bed sheets. And don't misplace the pillows."
James folded the last corner of the comforter over and a familiar feeling of doubt crept into his heart. "She doesn't love me. I need to try harder.", he thought. Later that evening, James would return home with two dozen roses from the local florist.
"Hello, dearest." "Hi.", Olivia said, exasperated. "I got you these, sweetpea." "Oh, did you?" James had heard this before from Olivia. It meant the conversation was over. "I think i otta go get a vase...that's all, a vase." "No, you won't be getting a vase today." I'm going to the movie house later. I need you to clean the bathrooms later tonight." "You're going out again? It's out annivers-" "We're not married!" Olivia pused a firm finger to his lips. This was his cue to stop talking.
Once again, he stood at the lonely bedroom window and watched her Mercedes roll out of the lonely driveway and down the lonely street to the lonely street corner where she would turn away from his lonely apartment for the rest of the night. BANG! James smashed his head into the wall. "Relax.", he told himself. "She'll be back in the morning." Still, James was devestated that his dearest Olivia didn't want to be with him on their special day. Of course, they weren't married, but James had always kept July 12th specially reserved for her, just like every day. The phone began to ring. It seemed whenever she left him alone in that apartment, the phone would ring. Olivia had scolded him for having been so dumb as to break the bedroom phone. He ran to the kitchen and answered it nervously. "Hello?" "Jimmy?" "Yes, dearest." It was her. "Can you put that gelatin in the fridge, I forgot to ask you earlier." "Yes, dearest." He hard a click and the call was over.
James walked to the counter-top and lifted the gelatin. Underneath, a suspicious piece of paper. He read it aloud, his voice trembling with sadness:
I've greatly enjoyed our time together, but I am leaving you. I will not be coming back. It's become clear to me that you aren't going to become a man any time soon, so I'm going to find my true love. I know you are probably hurt by this, but, I need not explain my reasoning. You know you always were a bit...less than what I had expected. I did take your "friendship ring" or whatever you called it. I believe I misplaced it somewhere when I was out with Scott. I do think you'll find a way to...bounce back. That's what you always do is bounce back. A word of advice, do not call any woman "dearest" or "sweetpea" ever again. If you do, she will have my full permission to slap you. And please do get some newer clothes, shirt and tie every day is quite...boring. I'm sure you'll find what your heart desires. Goodbye, Jimmy.
Your Friend (And nothing more.), Olivia Jacobs.
P.S: Buy a new place, that apartment wreaks of weakness.
James fell to his knees and wept. The ink on the paper was beginning to smudge as his salty tears caressed her words. He desperately tried to wipe the wetness from the letter, but to no avail. "James Norden Adler,", he cried, "what have you done?" He ran into the bathroom, grabbing the oval portrait of his vanished love off the wall and slamming and locking the door behind him. He heard the phone ring, and became silent. When he heard it wasn't Olivia's voice on the phone, but Scott's, he began to cry harder. "James looked into the mirror as he gently rubbed the portrait of Olivia with his thumb. "YOU LOSER! YOU LET HER SLIP AWAY. YOU WEAK BASTARD!" James lifted an angry fist and slammed it into the glass, cutting his hand. The reflection still prevailed. "STOP CRYING!", he yelled, "LIVI TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT!" James opened the bathroom window and the warm, dark summer air rushed in at him. He imagined her coming out of the darkness and into his arms. "OLIVIA?", he called, probably waking neighbors. "OLIVIA JACOBS! PLEASE COME HOME! I'LL WITHER AND DIE WITHOUT YOU!" There was no answer, just a gentle breeze. He'd had enough. James staggered up from his position hanging over the sink, and used the little energy he had left to propel himself through the window. Eyes closed, he felt the darkness envelop him and pretended that it was Olivia's arms bringing him closer to her loving embrace.
The next morning, law enforcement would find no trace of James Adler's body. Instead, they only found the oval portrait of Olivia Jacobs, gently smiling out from the counter-top of the sink, towards the window from which her adorer had jumped the night before.