He stared at the
dark green door with its peeling paint and brass numbers it looked like any
other door in New York, but this wasn’t any door in New York it was her door.
It was the door that could make him or break him. It had been a 10 years since
he last saw her, ten years since she ran away. Damn door he thought. He took a deep breath and knocked.
She was staring
out the window at the raging storm; she watched intently as the rain hit the
glass and traced the trails of the raindrops with her eyes silently
contemplating which would win the imaginary race she had created in her head. She
was cradling a mug of coffee in her hands lost in thoughts of the past. The “what ifs” still haunted her even after a
decade; what if I had stayed she
thought. She remembered how his brown eyes lit up when he was excited and how
his laugh was deep and rich like good cup of coffee and how when he looked at
her it was as if she was the only other person in the world it made her feel as
if she was glowing. The knock on her door jerked her away from her thoughts.
“Milo I told you I don’t want any….” She swung the door open her voice trialing
off when she realized that it wasn’t Milo. It was Aidan.
He felt as if his
breath was knocked out of him. There she was, she was as beautiful as ever. Her
hair was longer and no longer black, it was more of a chocolate brown but when
the light hit it became redder, as if her hair was made of fire. She looked at
him as if he had just risen from the dead in front of her. Her green eyes held
joy and pain in them. “Hi.” He smiled
sheepishly. Hi that’s your great opening
HI what are you thinking? She is the girl you love have always loved and all
you have to say is hi you’re an idiot he thought while mentally slapping
She felt as if she
was seeing a ghost, a hallucination, and a mirage all in one. It can’t be him. “You
can’t be here. Your not supposed to be here. What are you doing here?” she
said. He stomach was doing flips and her head was spinning. This isn’t happening, this cant be
happening. She studied him carefully, hoping that she was just going crazy
and he wasn’t really there, but he was and he looked…. the same. He was still
tall, his hair was slightly longer and he looked a little more muscular but
other then that it was still him and it made her heart ache.
“May I come in?”
he asked tentatively. She blinked at him. Once. Twice. Then she finally stepped
aside and let him enter her apartment. Everything about it was her. There was
books every where, an over stuffed leather chair and sofa dominated the living
space as well as a large coffee table made from reclaimed wood, a huge window
that looked out onto that famous New York skyline governed the far wall behind
the sofa, but the thing he noticed the most the thing that made him smile was
the fact that there were plants all over the place; her living room and kitchen
looked like a jungle. There were fresh cut flowers on the tables and the mantle
above the fireplace. There were ferns and fricassees sitting on the floor in
pots and hanging from the celling in planters. “Since when do you like plants?”
He smiled at her. Her heart started beating faster and her knees grew weak.
“Every since they
remind me of someone. Would you like some coffee or tea? Or maybe some water or
juice? I think I have orange juice maybe some apple juice around here
somewhere. Or I have something harder if you want that. I know its only 10 am
but I don’t know about you but I could use a drink.” She was heading to the kitchen
as she talked. She turned to look at him the kitchen island separating the two
“Coffee is good,”
He stated. She gave a slight nod and began making the coffee. He watched her
movements she was stiff and her movements were almost robotic. “Are you okay?”
He asked wanting to hold her in his arms but stayed I where he was perched on
the other side of the island.
“No I am not
okay.” She pressed the button making the coffee machine whir to life. “You
weren’t supposed to find me. You weren’t supposed to come after me. Nobody
was.” She sighed
“I…I… Uh…” He had
an entire speech prepared about why he had found her. Now he couldn’t remember
it. He had kinda hoped that she would be so excited to see him that it would be
like in the movies where they just get together. She wasn’t excited and this
wasn’t a movie. “You changed your name.” was all he could come up with.
people do when they don’t want to be found.” She placed the coffee in front of
him. Three sugars no cream; She remembered.
“Why are you here, Aidan? Why did you come looking after all this time?”
“We miss you Jaz.
I miss you; I need you.”
“It’s a Anastasia
now, Anya if you would prefer. Jasmine Mackie is long gone. All the people I wanted to know where and who
I was I have contacted. Do you even know why I left? Why I became Anastasia
Diggory?” Her gaze bore into his and made him look down at the marble
“I was slowly
dying there. I felt as if I was suffocating; I wasn’t happy. I needed to be
somebody different and somewhere different. The person I was back in Windport
wasn’t the real me. Jasmine Mackie was
sad and in pain all the time. She allowed people to walk all over her and was
afraid to shine.” Her eyes were clouded with pain of the past. “The person I am
now is the person I want to be. I don’t think I have ever been happier in my
life. I graduated top of my class at Colombia University and now I work as a
high school English teacher at The Dalton School and I love my kids. My
neighbors Ms. Peterson and Her grandson Milo have become like family to me. My
life here is all I ever wanted and more. I am happy.” Her expression had
changed from one of pain to one of thoughtful excitement.
“What about your parents?
Your friends? Me? We are all back in Windport.” He whispered.
“My parents come
see me for the holidays ever year and I talked to them three times a week.
Charlotte actually only lives 10 minuets from my apartment so I see her all the
time in fact we have a standing brunch reservation in an hour and as for
Genevieve and Kaden they come visit whenever they can. I actually just got back
from Europe with them. Everybody else was toxic for me.” She let out a sigh.
“As for us, well, you know we would never work. You love being in the great
outdoors and you love Windport. You wouldn’t like it here and you would grow to
resent me for it. I know you are going through a hard time with the divorce and
that you want everything to go back to the way it was, but Aidan you don’t
really love me not the me I am now anyway. You loved the girl back in Windport
and even then it was the happy one you created in your head.”
“How did you know
about the divorce?”
“Windport is a
small town and my mom knows everybody’s business.”
“Of course she
does.” He chuckled. “But I could learn to love it here, I could learn to love
the real you if you would just give me the chance. You never know stranger
things happen all the time. I know I want to be with you. Please Jaz… I mean
She walked around
the island and cupped his face in both hands forcing him to look into her dark
green eyes. “See you can’t even let go of my old name.” She said softly. “And
even if your words were true and you could learn to love me and love the city,
“Honey I’m home!”
The chipper male voice filled the apartment. “Oh whose this?” Anya quickly
crossed the room and gave the man a bear hug.
this is Aidan.”
“Nice to meet
you.” Anders smiled and held out his hand, but Aiden didn’t shake it.
“Dose he even know
you? The you that I knew; the you that you call fake?” his voice is dripping
with bitterness and resentment towards the man he doesn’t even know.
course I do. I know all about Windport and Jasmine. I know all about you too
Mr. Zeller.” Anders spoke before Anya could reply.
I think its time for you to go. I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking
for. I really hope you do.” Anya stated as she ushered him towards the door.
one more question: Why didn’t you ever contact me?” Aiden asked her his voice
filled with pain.
I loved you and I knew you would never be able to love the me I wanted to
become. I knew I wasn’t for you long before I left and it hurt. It hurts just
like your hurting right now because you are finally realizing the same.” She
gave him a soft smile and a tight hug. “You will find happiness Aiden I know
you will.” And with that she shut the dark green door leaving him in the
hallway once again. Damn door he thought as he walked away. Turns out the door broke