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Being Her

Summary:
A series of one-shots in Claire's perspective throughout the series For Her.


Notes:
Um, will not go in any order. they come as i get bored enough to write them. PSSSTTT if you want a new story, go review with her!


51. Turn Away

Rating 5/5   Word Count 692   Review this Chapter

His eyes widen in shock the moment we step through the door. Josh stands behind me, supportively.

I wince. “Quil?”

“Claire,” he whispers. His voice is soft and gentle and agonized.

“This is Josh. He also works at UNC with me, he’s a friend… Quil, I need to talk to you,” I start, softly. I brought Josh along mostly to show him that I mean this. I can’t let him cling to me. I have to reject him, so he can move on from this stupid destructive relationship he never wanted in the first place.

“No, you don’t. I know, Claire,” he says. I’m not surprised. He always did see too much. I hope he doesn’t see through this.

I shake my head and dismiss my entourage. “Josh, I’ll see you in a minute, okay?”

He shrugs. “’Kay.”

I watch him go. His steps are quiet and slow. I’m hurting him, too. The guilt starts up.

But of all people, the one I can’t hurt any more is Quil. Never again. Never again will I drag him down with me. It ends here. It ends now.

“Quil, you don’t understand. I love you, really, truly, I do. But I’ve been living with you for seventeen years. I don’t want to be dragged away from my life. I don’t want to be pulled onto a path I don’t want to take. I know you never meant to hurt me…”

I think that will work. But I don’t have the strength to continue, not when I see the look in his eyes, the abject horror. When I shrink from him, I see this.

It’s the imprint, doing this to him. He can’t bear my pain, especially if he thinks he’s caused it. Because of the imprint.

Yet I have to work around it. I can’t hurt him that much. “And you didn’t. Really, it’s me here, Quil. I just need some space. I need to find out who I am, before I find out when I can love you.”

He’s begging now, and it breaks my heart. “Whoever you are, I’ll be who you need, Claire.”

Doesn’t he remember? I told him so recently. I love him. Not some other person. Not a mask or a lie. Quil. But I’m lying now, about that.

Guilt. But also determination.

“Quil. Please. I feel awful, really, I do. And I want you to be happy, and I still want to stay here, if you’ll have me.”

All of that, for once, is the truth. The last part… selfish. But I think it’ll be good for him, being near me, but not with me. Help him get over it.

“Of course I will,” he replies automatically. I want to scream.

What do you think? I don’t want to hear from the compulsion, I want to hear from the man… the man that I love!

But I can’t, and I don’t. I just continue.

“Josh knows. Not what you are, but that you love me, and what happened when I was little. And he knows that… this is temporary. That I love you, too.”

I close my eyes. I should have forgone that. I shouldn’t be telling him this. Yet I’m not enough. I can’t smash his heart into pieces so he can rebuild it without me. I can’t dig the knife in deep enough to cut myself out. I love him too much.

And it’s killing us both.

“Quil, don’t hate me.” I shouldn’t be saying this. But I can’t bear it, when he moves on, to know that he… that he despises me. I need him to be my friend. I need that much. That little. “I love you. I always will. And I will come back someday. I’ll still see you every day. And when I’m ready… I’ll be ready for anything.”

I wince.

“You’ll marry me?” he says, full of tender hope.

I should refuse him. “Yes,” bubbles to my lips. And then I rip myself away.