secondhand serenade

He stood at what felt like the edge of the universe the clay ground crumbling as his feet dug deeper into the soft earth. Staring out at the bleak midnight ocean the rough sea wind held him steadfast to the earth. His eyes stung and his body ached from the icy wind, but he hardly noticed, he’d stopped shivering hours ago as his body slowly shut down. He ignored the pain his mind wandering to a girl, to her. 


Images flashed through his numbing mind as he reached for the things he couldn’t see, faces of people he’d never met, rooms in houses he’d never remember, places, cars, names, and more and more people. 

And the background repeating like a broken record was her last words, “I love you” but those weren’t the same eyes from twenty years ago, they weren’t the same words, they were words filled with the greed and hunger of money and wealth and everything he despised about this life. 


“That was then, this is now Ollie, I have my life you have yours…and we both know we’d never last” ‘because I don’t have what you want’ he thought in silent reply, he nodded in glum response as she blew out the door with a shimmer of laughter leaving the scent of a warm summer day in the air. 


A brightly lit room swam into focus in his dieing mind, the sound of laughter at a deafening volume. He watched himself stumble in the open door; awkward and uncomfortable within the crowd. Looking around dazed he caught her eye, she smiled, his stomach flipped and he started forward, but she became once again distracted by the man beside her a large bouquet of roses hidden behind him. At that instant the lone rose in Oliver’s hand was forgotten as the pieces of his heart began to shatter, ‘you can repeat the past’ he thought ‘I’ll make her see me the way I want to be seen’ 


Pictures faded and others drew into focus. He was wandering aimlessly around his stylish apartment gazing at his possessions one by one as if it were she. Would she like this? Does it show my worth? Will she even notice?


A more recent scene, a few nights ago even, broke through the haze of confusion, a sharp knock to the door of his apartment made it all clear, Oliver scrambled to the door, his hands fumbling to unlock it in a frenzy of motion. 

She’d already turned to leave as he swung the door wide, “Annie” he called feebly his eyes locked onto her. She turned back to him and pulled his face to hers kissing him tenderly, “I love you” she murmured before gently letting go and returning to her life above. 


The images faded those words playing to him, driving to distraction. He’d driven to the cliff determined it was her cliff her favourite place to be, maybe one day she would come up here and see his car with the note written for her and the one yellow rose. He gently let go, his feet lost their grip on the earth and he tumbled towards the icy water, the wind whistled through his frozen ears, his mind finally relaxed as hit the water and breathed in. 



Annie drove up to that peak every so often and tonight she was driven there by a urge to show her lover a secret place just for them and because she loved the scent of the ocean. It always reminded her of her high school romance. 

They pulled up next to the deep red Camero that she knew belonged to Oliver, and she smiled slightly. Her lover helped her from the car, as she walked passed the yellow rose on the front seat caught her eye. Pausing for a second she let her lover head off, she leaded in carefully and gently removed the note below. 

She read the note a smile touching the corners of her mouth, she slipped it into her coat and followed after her lover. The note and the man who’d sent it instantly forgotten as the new man in her life produced a bracelet studded with diamonds. 


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