Author's Notes: This is an original story I wrote for my creative writing class. Apparently, it's cliched and could use more background, but I like it anyway. (It's just a good thing I don't plan on ever making money off of this.) The point of the exercise was to tell a story using mostly dialogue. (I tell you, creating interesting original characters is a pain in the ass. I definitely prefer fanfiction.)
She laughed bitterly. "I'm certainly not staying here." She finished folding the blouse she had crumpled in her hands at the sound of his voice, and packed it away in the green suitcase that lay open on the bed.
"Why?" Footsteps approached from the doorway. She refused to turn around.
"I have to." She picked up a pair of linen slacks and shook out the wrinkles.
"No, you don't." He was close. So close she could feel the heat radiating from his body. Her bottom lip began to wobble. She clenched her teeth and grabbed the next shirt. It was his. She tossed it aside and reached for something else.
Her breath caught as he placed his hand atop hers. "Please don't," she whispered. His right hand entwined with hers. His left came up to rest on her shoulders. She was certain he could feel her trembling.
"Why are you leaving?" His breath was hot on her cheek. She closed her eyes, willing the tears away.
"How can you not know?" Her voice cracked. She swallowed against the lump in her throat.
"Because you haven't told me." A hint of frustration entered his voice. It was enough to set off the anger and hurt she had been bottling up for months.
She yanked her hand away from his and shoved back, using the bed as leverage. He staggered, but kept his balance. "You want to know why I'm leaving? Do you?"
"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't!"
"Because of you!" she shouted. "Because you've been ignoring me for three months! Because the last time you touched me--really touched me--was a month before that! Because every time I try to talk to you, you take the dog for a walk or read the paper or watch TV! Because I--" A sob caught in her throat. "Because... because I can't live like this anymore."
"Live like what?" The question was quiet, but she had known him long enough to hear the emotion behind the words. She couldn't stand to see that pain in his eyes.
"I love you." She gave him a wavering smile. "I do, so much. It's killing me to sit in the living room and not tell you about my day--to eat at work because sharing a meal has become an exercise in martyrdom--" She swallowed again, hating herself for her weakness, but needing to say everything before he walked away or she lost her nerve. "--To lie beside you at night, aching for your touch, desperate to know in some small way that you still love me." She turned away again, trying to hide her tears, unable to meet his steady gaze.
"But you promised." Now he sounded close to tears. "You said you wouldn't leave. You said you'd stay as long as I wanted you."
She started to pack again. "You obviously don't want me anymore."
"I never said that."
"Actions speak louder than words. Somewhat literally, in this case." Her lips twisted into a mockery of a smile. She tossed in the rest of her clothing, not caring about neatness anymore, and zipped the suitcase.
"But I love you."
She picked up the suitcase and turned for the bedroom door. "I know." Her hand was steady as she reached for the doorknob.
"Please... don't go." His broken whisper made her pause. "I need you. Stay. Please." He touched her cheek. "I'm sorry."
The suitcase handle slipped from her hand.