'We were going out for dinner....' her voice gentle yet firm.
'Stop' The word came out almost silent, more felt then spoken. There was a canon ball in his chest and it hurt.
'But you need to hear this. You need to do this' she implored, her eyes momentarily closing as if to drink strength from her heart upwards.
'Just don't. Not yet. Not Now' he crosses the room in two angry strides, large fingers making hard work of his collar buttons as they fret and fumble upon them. 'You should start to get ready, we don't want to be late. The table is reserved for eight'
'Jay, please...I know it's hard. It's hard for me too. We need to do this though. We were going out for dinner, I was wearing the red dress that you loved so much, you said you didn't understand why so many red heads shied away from wearing red. It was our tenth anniversary and it was so bitterly cold outside. As we spoke and laughed our words were painted with our breath upon the air. You held the car door open for me, you always did. You're the ultimate gentleman...' She approached him, her pale fingers automatically going to his collar in a familiar and well rehearsed gesture to straighten it out, yet just caught herself at the last moment, her arms falling to her sides, resigned. Her resolve trembled as she inhaled the familiar scent of his cologne, his signature cologne that when mixed with the natural scent of him made her want to drink him, eat him, become one with him. It isn't fair. There, she said it. This isn't fair.
He turned suddenly all fire and indignation, his eyes wet and crazed. 'NO!' near roared this time, an anger born of desperation. 'Lissa, please. Don't do this. We just need to go out for dinner again. We'll do it right this time. Then everything will be okay. Nothing else matters.' Drawers open he begins to place her clothing on the bed, glancing at his watch. 'We can still make it on time if you hurry'
'You know we can't go out to dinner Jay. Right? Not after what happened. You have to stop this. You have to listen to me. You need to move on. You have to let me go. We've been here for four weeks now. Nothing has changed' Her lip bitten, her hands raise to cup his face, stopping just before connecting, his eyes capture hers, pin hers , she places a lone finger to her lips 'Shhhh Jay. Please'
'Lissa. It will be okay. We can get through this. Trust me, you trust me right baby? Nothing else matters. We just need to go to dinner' His voice soaked in desperation and dressed in Bourbon. He's pacing the room. Unable to look at her. Unable to not look at her. Hands worrying upon each other, agitating through his hair as if the act of smoothing his hair could somehow smooth life too.
Her movements in comparison are delicate, feminine as she crosses the room staring at her clothes laid out upon her bed, her book upon the nightstand, discarded earrings glittering in a blue glass bowl from their honeymoon. Lashes tangle in puddles that pool from her eyes 'We were going out for dinner. It was cold. REM were playing on the car stereo, Night Swimming, we were singing along to it together'
With one swooping gesture his arm swipes across the dressing table sending jewelry, makeup and trinkets scattering to the floorboards, bottles of perfume shattering 'SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHUT UP' near chanted. 'You need to shut up! Please....'
'It's time Jay....' A step towards him, then another.
'Oh shit. I'm sorry. I'l replace your perfume, i'll put everything back look...I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.' strong hands, kind hands, trying to recreate the tableau of how the dressing table looked before his outburst, his eyes burning their gaze upon the shattered glass in some poor attempt to avoid his shattered heart.
'Look at me Jay. I love you.' kneeling beside him. 'It doesn't matter. It's just stuff. It's not important' Red curls waterfall down her arm as she leans closer, attempting to force his eyes to meet hers. 'Shh, it's okay. It will be okay. I promise you.'
'Please. Don't make me do this. I can't' he closes the gap between them, knees nearly touching hers, his face just a kiss away from hers, his gaze finally meeting hers.
'We were going to dinner. We didn't see it coming. They were going too fast. They ploughed into our car. We never made it to dinner. We'll never make it to dinner.' Her voice small yet the only sound in their universe other than the beating of his heart as it quickens and breaks, again. And again.
'Lissa.. No.......don't say it' It's a plea, a choked plea.
'Because I died. I died Jay. But you didn't. You're alive and you have to stay alive, for you. For me. And to stay alive you have to start living. To start living you have to say it so I can go. Not because I don't want to stay, but because I can't stay. You know this.'
He can't stop the tears, yet the more he cries the blurrier she gets. 'We were going out for dinner...' she nods to him, to go on and as he says the words for the first time in four weeks he feels her, her hand on his, her lips pressed to his cheek 'and you died' and when he opened his eyes, she was gone.