Can't Let You Go

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Postby Sarah » Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:04 am

<span style='color:deeppink'> :o poor Justin, but i can understand why Tony would be mad i mean he didn't have a clue that Michelle and J had history. Justin should have given Tony something back though instead of just taking it like that!
can't wait to see what happens next! update soon! </span>

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Postby megzrsa » Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:54 am

“We talked. Laughed. Listened to music. Had sex. Talked some more. Went home.â€￾
:rofl: Yes tell Tony everything, sorry i dunno this Tony guy must have just been oblivious to everything up until then <_< Leave michelle and Justin to it i say. Aww i really like michelle's character i just imagine her as being so cute :lol:
Update as soon as you can ash :P

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:54 am

<span style='color:limegreen'>Well, my original plan was to post this and the next chapter together, but I can't find it, so I might have to rewrite it. :ph34r: In the meantime, I thought I'd give y'all this one. :shrug: Thanks for feedback. Gimme more! :lol: :wub:

<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blueviolet'>Chapter 33
My Stupid Mouth

Fuucked up. That’s the one, single, solitary phrase that defines my emotions right now. I don’t know how the hell I’m supposed to feel. Yeah, I still love Justin. No surprise there, right? I knew that sh** when we broke up. What I didn’t count on was not seeing him for months and having those damn feelings – the ones I was acting like I’d forgotten – come rushing back to me in a matter of about 30 seconds.

The moment? Exactly? Yeah, I think there was a decisive action that served as a wake-up call, saying, “Hey Chelle. He got your heart again.â€￾ It was when we danced on the beach and he sang to me for the umpteenth time since we’ve known each other. But all that love came rushing back to my consciousness, and it was like we’d never been apart.

There are actually a million of those instances that are forever engrained into my heart. Yet, I still sit in the solitude of my bedroom, debating whether or not I should be choosing Justin or Tony. I don’t even know why I’m asking myself this question, because the answer is obvious, but the way I see it, if the solution is that simple, there has to be a catch.

My thoughts are ceased by the jingle of keys, and my heart jumps out of my chest because I just know that it can only be one of three people. My mother is at home in Austin, my landlord is on vacation in Spain, and so that only leaves the person that I’m desperately praying will be there.

“Michelle, you got any ice packs or cold steaks?â€￾ Justin’s voice is like music to my ears as it resounds through the hallway – so much so, that I pay no attention to his request. “Chelle, are you here?â€￾

I hop out of bed and head towards the kitchen, just before I’m met with Justin’s presence in the threshold of my room. I look him up and down in slight shock. His outfit is crisply clean, while his face is in utter disarray. A sizeable red lump is forming on the underside of his left eye. “Oh my God!â€￾ I exclaim, researching his features. “What happened?â€￾

“Your boyfriend happened,â€￾ he answers, somberly.

“Tony did this to you!â€￾

“That’s the only boyfriend you have, isn’t it?â€￾

Hopefully, that will be changing soon. “Justin, did you tell him what happened?â€￾

“Seriously, ice pack? Steak? Wet paper towel?â€￾

“Damn it,â€￾ I say, leading him back towards the kitchen. “Why didn’t you go to a hospital, or something?â€￾

He looks at me sarcastically. “You’re kidding, right?â€￾


“You, a publicist, of all people, should know that pop stars with black eyes in public don’t mix.â€￾

Duh, Michelle. I search the freezer for something that I can convert to a cold compress while waiting for the explanation. “So, why did he hit you?â€￾

“’Cause I told him what he thought he wanted to hear.â€￾

“You mean you told him what you thought he wanted to hear.â€￾ I find a block of ice and throw it into a Ziploc before handing it to Justin. “Right?â€￾

“No,â€￾ he says, taking the bag to his face. “He asked for the truth, so I gave it to him.â€￾

“What truth is that?â€￾

“I didn’t know there was a variation in honesty.â€￾

“Come on, J. What did you say?â€￾

He moves towards the couch and I follow, processing all the information as quickly as I can. “I told him we dated. I told him we slept together last night. I told him I loved you.â€￾ I nod in nervousness and attempt to put my short hair into a ponytail before realizing that I have no rubber band. “Your hair looks better when it’s down anyway,â€￾ he suddenly comments, staring at me awkwardly.

“Flattery won’t get us anywhere, boy.â€￾


“We’re in some deep sh** here, Justin.â€￾

“For what?â€￾

“Justin, we had sex last night!â€￾

“Chelle, we’re in love. That’s not a crime.â€￾ He settles into his seat and turns on the television as if nothing is wrong.

“Dude, I have a boyfriend!â€￾ I did last night, anyway.

“You knew that last night, too. You did what you wanted to do, and got me thinkin’ that you’d be okay about this.â€￾


“Besides, it would’ve been more wrong of you to deny your heart for another second.â€￾

Eh, he’s right. I hate when he’s right. “But – Well… yeah.â€￾

“So when Mr. Man calms down, we’ll just straighten it all out, and everything will be fine.â€￾

I smile at him gratefully and head back to the kitchen to retrieve the telephone. He makes some things so simple. Just when I’m ready to turn this into some matter of heartbreak and confusion, he swoops in and saves the day. He may be as addictive as a drug, but I’ll be damned if he isn’t also the cure.

I call Tony, building anticipation and anxiousness with every ring, wanting to speak to him as soon as possible. I’m scared as sh** to find out what he’s about to say, but I’m no longer willing to perpetuate this false happiness with him. Sure, he’s beautiful, but he’s not Justin. No one and nothing can replace the butterflies that I have right now, and I don’t want to try and act like anyone ever will.

“Hey Tony.â€￾ It’s his voice mail. “Give me a call when you get this message. We really need to talk.â€￾

Immediately preceding the end of my message, there’s a heavy knock at the door that makes my heart leap about ten feet before I gain the comprehension to hang up the phone and answer it. I pass Justin on the couch with an insignificant smile, before opening the door to reveal… “Tony.â€￾


Nervously, I turn back to Justin, who’s nursing his bruised eye, and then grin at the man in front of me. “I just called you.â€￾

“I know. May I come in, please?â€￾

Ah, sh**. “Why don’t we sit outside?â€￾

“I already know that he’s here, so you might as well let me in, Michelle.â€￾

I open the door wider to allow him inside and look up to God’s place in the sky, wondering if He’s enjoying the drama unfolding or if He feels just as sorry for us as I do. “Justin, maybe you should go.â€￾

Tony looks back and forth between us. “Don’t leave on my account.â€￾

“No, I was just leaving,â€￾ Justin adds, rising from the couch.

“Bullsh**,â€￾ Tony quips. “Stay.â€￾

I know that my eyes are darting between them, because I’m preparing to duck the second I see one of them flinch.

“Michelle, you want me to go, don’t you?â€￾

“Michelle, tell him to stay,â€￾ Tony directs.

I look at Justin hopefully, while his eyebrows heighten and his facial expression reveals a state of disappointment and shock. “Just wait here, please,â€￾ I request. I walk behind Tony towards the rear of my apartment, silently expecting a huge blowout. “Tony, I can explain.â€￾

He chuckles slightly and smiles at me. “You don’t owe me any explanations, Michelle.â€￾

“But you deserve one,â€￾ I protest. From the corner of my eye, I see Justin in the kitchen, trying to pretend he’s not listening. Closing the room door, I add, “I’m just so sorry that things have come to this.â€￾

“You can’t control who you’re in love with, can you?â€￾ he asks, nonchalantly.

“I wish I could.â€￾

“I do, too.â€￾

“I’m so sorry.â€￾

“Don’t feel sorry for me.â€￾ His smile won’t leave his face. In fact, on top of that, he’s looking at me rather… tenderly. “I mean, I still have you, right?â€￾

Say what? “You still want me after all of this?â€￾

“Of course.â€￾


“Michelle, everyone has a few bumps along the road. Correct?â€￾

“Well yeah. But—“

“So we’ll work past it.â€￾

“You know I love Justin, though, right?â€￾

“Look. Obviously you didn’t love him enough to work out your old problems, and you’re just going to bring them with you if you go back to him. So why don’t you and I just start off fresh?â€￾

Is it sad that what he just said makes total sense to me? “Wow.â€￾

“Is that a ’Wow. I’m ready to make this work?’â€￾ he laughs.

“Wow, uh, hold that thought.â€￾ I turn to reopen the door to find Justin glaring back at me. “Hey.â€￾

“You’re actually considering this?â€￾ he says incredulously.

“Justin. I –â€￾ Damn it! When did sh** get so freakin’ complicated? Not ten minutes ago, I’d been equipped with a perfectly logical resolution to all of this sh**.

“Michelle, tell me you’re not thinking about staying with him.â€￾

“No. I just—“

“Michelle,â€￾ Tony interjects, “Think about how happy and stress-free you’ve been lately.â€￾

Happy? Stress-free? What the f*** does he think this is? “I – Tony—“

“Michelle, you love me,â€￾ Justin says.

“Michelle, I love you.â€￾

I look at Tony, absorbing his words, wondering if he actually means it. My heart is spinning in fifty directions, and all I want right now is the right answer.

“Justin,â€￾ I say slowly, “Maybe it is best if you go.â€￾

Satisfaction creeps across Tony’s face, while a distinct gloominess overtakes Justin’s features. “Seriously?â€￾

“Yeah. I’ll call you later?â€￾

Unhurriedly, he turns from me and Tony, and walks through the hall with a few final words. “I hope you know what you’re doing.â€￾

God, so do I.</span></span></span>

And the countdown to the end begins... :unsure:</span>

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Postby Sarah » Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:45 pm

<span style='color:deeppink'>woo im the first with feedback! :lol:
as i said on the jt board she better make the right decision! Tony is just twisting things
Great chapter hun update soon :P </span>

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:11 pm

<span style='color:limegreen'>:hug: Thanks, Sar. ^_^

Okay, this one is like ultra short, but I'm running out of sh** to say. :lol: :blowkiss: Enjoy.

<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blueviolet'>Chapter 34
Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do

After hearing the slam of my front door, I look back to Tony in bewilderment. I mean, he did just say that he loved me. Even if he didn’t mean it, I can’t exactly ignore that sh**. Can I?


“Don’t talk for a minute,â€￾ I say, reaching for the foot of my bed as comfort. “Just. Shh.â€￾




“Shut. Up!â€￾ Can a girl get some damn privacy?

Finally catching the drift, he backs out of my bedroom, finding his way to what I’d assume to be the front of the apartment.

I just need a minute to breathe. And so, I do. Deep, slow breaths. You’re overdramatizing again, Michelle. Just do what you feel is right.

If only I felt any damn thing.

As I lay in bed, trying to figure out just what I want out of the end of the day, I somehow begin to cry. Not anything especially heartbreaking, but enough to build up a lot of unwanted emotion – enough to realize that I’m not confused. I’m just scared as sh** to revisit the old feelings I had for Justin, when I was doing so well with hiding them.

I love him – every inch of him. It’s worth the hard work that it takes to love him, but who’s to say that in another year, we won’t be doing the same damn thing we are now? Who’s to say that tomorrow won’t break my heart again? Where in the cards does it guarantee that love lasts forever?

Two and a half years ago, when I met Justin, I was naive enough to actually think that it did. I was dumb enough to believe that love was a feat, but not impossible. Just two weeks into our relationship, we had major drama. But we got through it. We always got through it. But as these years have come and gone, I’ve come to realize that it’s easier to forgive and forget – the operative word being ‘forget.’

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is, the harder I try to forget, the more my heart is reminded that it’s missing a part of itself. I’m breaking my own damn heart. Ain’t that a b****?

I climb out of bed, not even bothering to conceal the hurt that my face is revealing. I simply head straight for my living room, finding Tony, anxiously sitting at the kitchen counter, biting at his fingertips.

“I don’t even know what to say,â€￾ I announce.

“Are you okay?â€￾

“Yeah. I’m just – Yeah, I’m fine.â€￾

“So, you’re ready to move on past Justin, right?â€￾

I chuckle at him. “Are you really that naive? Or just a wishful thinker?â€￾

“I’m sorry?â€￾

“Tony, I’m in love with another man. How do you expect to base a relationship on that?â€￾

“People change, Michelle. You fall once, you can fall again.â€￾

“Baby, I don’t wanna fall again. I’ve found the love of a lifetime.â€￾

“I can be that love,â€￾ he protests.

I shake my head at his innocence. “I’m sorry.â€￾

“Don’t be sorry. Just pick me.â€￾

“Tony, that wouldn’t be fair to either one of us.â€￾

So why don’t you go your way, and I’ll go mine
Live your life, and I’ll live mine
Baby, you’ll do well, and I’ll be fine

“Look, Michelle, I know two months isn’t like an eternity or anything—“

“Yeah, it’s like two months,â€￾ I interrupt.

“What’s not fair is you giving up on me like this.â€￾

“Well then, what am I supposed to do?â€￾

“Give me a chance. Give your heart a chance to love me.â€￾

“Why? What’s the point, Tony?â€￾

“You never gave me one. I’ve been competing with your old memories since before we even met.â€￾

“It’s a losing battle.â€￾

“Put the odds in my favor, then.â€￾

“Why are you making this so f***ing hard! I don’t want to break your heart, Tony. I know sorry isn’t much, but it’s all I got. I’m terribly, insanely, profusely sorry that it’s coming to this, but do you really want me to act like this is gonna work when I know my heart isn’t in it? You don’t deserve that sh**. You should be with the woman that wants to love you, and I’m just not that woman. I don’t want to take someone else’s place.â€￾

“You’re right,â€￾ he agrees, nodding. “I deserve more.â€￾

Oh, Lord. I hope he’s not one of those bipolar people that go from one extreme to another. I don’t want him goin’ off trying to insult me now. “You really do,â€￾ I add. “You’re so incredibly sweet and considerate. I know there’s a million women out there that could use a man like you.â€￾

“You don’t have to patronize me, Michelle.â€￾

“I’m not! I was just – Okay, I’m sorry.â€￾

“Don’t apologize anymore. Please.â€￾

“Okay. Well…â€￾

He walks up to me, where I stand in the entry to my kitchen. He intertwines his fingers with mine and places a kiss on my forehead. “Good luck. With everything.â€￾

“Same to you, Tony.â€￾

Finally, he lifts my hand to his lips and lets them rest on each of my fingers, momentarily. “Michelle Josephine Alexander. Goodbye.â€￾

’Cause we’re better off…separated</span></span></span>

Can't hate me for this one, eh? :lol:</span>

<span style='color:hotpink'>Lyrics: "Separated" - Usher (8701)</span>

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Postby whatchagot4meMRJT » Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:34 pm

Now I want to be the first to reply over here! :strong: Great chap, Ash. Now she needs to go after Justin and tell him that she's ready to try it out again with him. :wub:

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Postby mtvjunkie » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:03 pm

:yay: she followed her heart! im happy, very happy. tony sucked :thumbdown: good on michelle for standing her ground though, tony has a way of twisting words but she made herself clear.

update. now. :lol:

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Postby Sarah » Fri Sep 03, 2004 2:12 pm

i'm glad she gave tony the elbow! :yay: now all she needs to do is get back with Justin! :lol:
great chapter update soon!

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Postby PreCiouSbAbY » Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:19 pm

Poor Tony...Michelle's a biatch :lol: Is there no remorse for any of them? Dude love ain't all that great when it goes down like that. :no:

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Postby tendertoes » Mon Sep 06, 2004 8:18 pm

<span style='color:purple'>I'm back and trying to catch up with everything I missed...
my feedback...

Go get him!!!
</span> :P

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:38 am

<span style='color:limegreen'>Okay, well I promised myself that I wouldn't prolong the inevitable, and although I'm so sad that this is over, I'm happy that I got through it, reasonably satisfiably. So, without further ado, I give you the last chapter of Can't Let You Go. ^_^ Oh, and it's long, so if you don't have time, read it later. :lol:
<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:dodgerblue'>
Chapter 35
Two Wrongs Make It All Alright

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned the hard way that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.â€￾ – Gilda Radner

The night sky was crystal clear – a gorgeous navy, with, what appeared to be, little diamond studs decorating its canvas. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect view of God’s playground than right now.

I sat in the driver’s seat of my Aston Martin, with the top down, simply taking it all in. It’s been a long while since I’ve really taken a step back for me. Right now, it’s just the night and me. Whenever I’d get ready to perform, my mom used to say, “Listen to the room. It’ll tell you what to do.â€￾ Today, I’m taking Mama’s advice a step further. I’m going to listen to the atmosphere – the sky, the moon, the breeze. It’s been talking to me for some time now. I need to finally hear what it has to say.

It seems my heart has always led me wrong. It might guide everyone else, but I think mine might by dysfunctional or some sh**. Maybe it’s doing too much bickering with my head. Either way, it doesn’t seem to know what the f*** it’s doing. It got me cheated on three times, and just when I thought I’d found something perfect, she picks some Italian dude over me.

It’s been about half an hour since I left Michelle’s apartment, but from the shock, I haven’t even been able to leave the damn parking lot. Not only that, but my bike is still here from last night, and I’ve been trying to figure out how the hell I can get it back home without coming back here.

Call me immature, but I’d like to avoid any more run-ins with Michelle and Mr. Man. There’s a million things I could have (and would have) said – had the circumstances been different – to make her pick me. But dude, my face hurts, Tony was standing there giving out orders, and if I was going to walk out of there with anything tonight, it was gonna be my dignity.

When I think about it, I realize that Michelle and I aren’t made for each other. We were good together, but people change. I’m not the man that I was when I met her. She’s not the woman that she was when she met me. We’ve matured. We’ve opened ourselves up to new experiences that have altered our beliefs in certain things. We aren’t that match made in the stars anymore. Maybe she just happened to notice it before I did.

Okay, so I’m rambling. I still love her to death. But you have to admit that I have a point.

In the midst of arguing with myself, I saw the silhouette of Tony’s frame approach the side of the building. Expecting to see Michelle following shortly behind, I replaced the top of my car and awaited their advance to his Maserati, parked about three inches from my passenger side.

Instead, Tony walked up to his car alone – somberly – hopping into his car, and driving off. Of course, I wondered what the hell was going on, but I’m not one to pry. I simply remained in my car, patiently anticipating the composure to drive myself home. Since I’ve coaxed myself into a logical explanation, I decided to move on with my life – the first step being to get out of the parking lot.

The very second that I put the car into reverse and released my foot from the clutch, the sound of my cell phone ring made its presence known throughout the car. Backing out of my parking spot, and headed for Fuller Avenue, I flipped my phone open hurriedly. “Hello?â€￾

“Hey. Justin?â€￾ It’s Michelle.

“Yeah. What’s up?â€￾

“Are you busy? I was wondering if we could talk.â€￾

I sighed into the phone lazily. “What do we have left to say?â€￾

“I don’t really know. I just – I was hoping we could, like, discuss our future or something.â€￾

“Since when do we have a future?â€￾

“Well I thought – I just figured that you wanted to get back together.â€￾

Oh, sh**. I’m confused now. “Michelle, didn’t you just choose Tony over me?â€￾

“What?â€￾ she cackled. “Of course not!â€￾

“But you asked me to leave,â€￾ I said, stopping in the middle of the street. “And you said that’s what you wanted to do this morning.â€￾

“I know,â€￾ she conceded, “But come on. You know how I am.â€￾

Not really. Not anymore. “Yeah, I guess.â€￾

“So can you swing by, or what?â€￾

“Uhh, yeah. I’ll be there in a minute.â€￾

Immediately, I redirected my car into the opposing route, headed back for Michelle’s place. I slowly walked through the building, cautiously, unsure of what was really happening. I stood perfectly still in the confines of the building’s elevator on my journey to the 7th floor. The doors opened, and there she was, waiting on me in sweats, a smile, and an ice pack. Before I could walk out, she hopped on me, thrusting the two of us further into the elevator car.

With a big sloppy kiss on my cheek, she held the bag up to my eye, and slid off of my body, pressing the elevator’s stop button. “I’m sorry,â€￾ she proclaimed.

I nodded, not really know what to say – mainly because I don’t know how I feel. I just stood there, staring at her, hoping that I could avoid conversation by tending to my pain.

“Does it hurt a lot?â€￾ she asked.

“Yeah, every time I blink,â€￾ I lied.

She winced as if she could feel my pain. “Maybe you should go to a doctor, J.â€￾

“No! No, I’m okay.â€￾ I raised the pack of ice like a champagne glass. “This is all I need, thanks.â€￾

“I see.â€￾ She smiled expectantly and looked around the small space. “So…â€￾


“Why does this seem so weird?â€￾ she chuckled.

Because it’s contrived. It’s artificial. It’s not us. “I dunno.â€￾

“Yeah, me neither.â€￾ She repositioned herself so that she was right in front of me, and she pulled the ice from my face, letting it drop to the floor. Finally, with a childlike glance of innocence, she touched her lips to her fingers and delicately ran her hand along the side of my face. I watched while her thumb traced my mouth, and in a velvety whisper, she stated, “I love you.â€￾ Seconds later, her own pouty lips were on top of mine.

As wonderfully familiar as it was, I had to stop her. “Michelle.â€￾

She pulled back and looked at me in alarm. “What’s wrong?â€￾

I looked down, avoiding her hazel eyes, and shook my head. “It’s nothing.â€￾

“Well then stop acting like you don’t know me, boy.â€￾ She grinned and lifted my chin so she could see me. “Smile, baby.â€￾

I offered her a slight grin and tried to look back down to the floor. “You ever feel like something’s missing?â€￾ I suddenly inquired.

Staring out depressed about what words I have to plea

“I feel like that every day that I don’t see you,â€￾ she replied. “That’s what I’m standing here trying to fix. Why?â€￾

“I dunno.â€￾ I bit my lip and, with much trepidation, finally faced her. “That’s how I’ve been feeling all day.â€￾

So torn apart

“Well do you wanna talk about it?â€￾

“I dunno. Not really.â€￾

The more we spoke, the more fire-like worry appeared in her eyes. “Justin, you’re scaring me.â€￾

I’m scaring me, too. Listen to the room, dude. “Michelle, I don’t think we should get back together.â€￾ The words stung my lips as hard as it seemed to hit her at first.

She cracked a smile and presumably waited for my face to do the same. “What?â€￾

“I just – I think it’s over.â€￾

“You’re kidding,â€￾ she chuckled. “Right?â€￾

I shook my head slightly as a tear slid down my cheek. “I wish I was.â€￾

“Justin! What? What are you talking about?â€￾



“I’m sorry.â€￾

“No! You’re stupid. You’re drunk, or you’re high or something. Justin, tell me you’re joking!â€￾


“Tell me!â€￾

“I can’t!â€￾

Shattered by impressions of confessions in defeat

“Tell me you’re out of your goddamn mind! Say that you’re insane!â€￾ She dropped to the floor of the elevator, looking at me with rage.

“Calm down, Chelle.â€￾

“Don’t f***ing call me that.â€￾

“Michelle – just please, calm down.â€￾

“You can’t leave me, Justin.â€￾

“I don’t want to.â€￾

“Then don’t! Not now. Not like this.â€￾

“Then when, Michelle? When we hurt each other, again?â€￾


“You’re killing me!â€￾

My broken heart

She looked at me with uncertainty and stood back up. “What does that mean?â€￾

“It means that I’m done. It means that I have to walk away now.â€￾


“Why? Because you and me are hell together. Because you don’t know what you want and you break off another piece of my heart when doubt creeps up on you. If I don’t go now, I’ll soon have nothing left.â€￾

“What the hell are you talking about? I know exactly what I want.â€￾

“Yeah, today you do. How do I know that that won’t change tomorrow?â€￾

“How can you say that?â€￾

“Michelle, I’ve turned into a convenience for you.â€￾

“Okay, you’re talking absolutely crazy now.â€￾

“You know you don’t know what you want, too, don’t you?â€￾

Crying desperate
Fighting questions

“I want you!â€￾ she yelled.

“Really? Because you’ve questioned us for a long time now.â€￾

“Justin, I’ve never had a doubt about you and me!â€￾

“For God’s sake, Michelle, you broke up with me!â€￾

“We needed it!â€￾

“Never once have I doubted you and me. There was never an instance where I even entertained the notion that you and me couldn’t make it.â€￾

“So then what’s cha—“

“Until now.â€￾ I watched her head drop in defeat and she leaned back against the wall of the elevator for support as I continued. “Michelle, I can’t live wondering when’s the next time we’re gonna hurt one another. I can’t be that guy that sends you flowers and watches you throw them across the room in angst. I can’t stand by and let you wonder if I still love you because you don’t know – because you don’t feel it anymore. I’m not gonna betray you with abstract thoughts of you cheating on me. I can’t fall in love all over again when I see you for the first time in four months, just so you can break my heart again when you introduce me to your new boyfriend. Those two feelings always seem to coincide when we’re together – sheer joy and utter pain. And I can’t go through the latter anymore. I’ve grown up a little, and I’ve realized that I’m perpetuating my own misery – crying for unknown reasons and constantly praying that we’ll find our way out of the fire for good. I’m just not up to it anymore. Yes, we have our beautiful moments, but the past eight months have only been tainted by sadness and anger. We’d only be setting ourselves up for disappointment.â€￾ Damn near out of breath, I bowed my head and waited for her response.

“What a moving soliloquy.â€￾

“Michelle,â€￾ I sighed.

“No,â€￾ she said, clapping slowly. “Honestly. I’m touched.â€￾

“Don’t do this.â€￾

“How long have you been rehearsing that?â€￾

“That was from the bottom of my heart,â€￾ I replied solemnly.

She nodded in compliance. “You’re good, then. Every word you said made perfect sense.â€￾

“But you don’t agree…â€￾

“I didn’t say that.â€￾

“Well then what do you say?â€￾

“I just don’t understand how you say that you don’t want us to hurt each other, but you don’t think that this here is gonna f***ing kill me?â€￾

Scared to let go

“I know it hurts. But you’ll be fine. We’ll both be fine.â€￾ Eventually.

“No, I won’t.â€￾

“Give it time. It heals all wounds eventually.â€￾

“Fuuck a wound, Justin! Time isn’t gonna replenish my f***ing air supply!â€￾


“Justin.â€￾ She looked down with a whisper, “I can’t breathe without us.â€￾

“You were fine with Tony. Hell, you were even more fine before we met.â€￾

“I wasn’t even living before we met.â€￾

Damn. That’s heavy. “Michelle.â€￾

“Justin, do you even remember me when we met? I was this broken shell of confusion and low self-esteem. I didn’t even wanna let you in. You! Justin f***ing Timberlake – beautiful you. I was scared. I was in emotional disarray. But in a few short days, your love showed me something new. You let me see life through your eyes. You allowed me to live inside your heart.â€￾ Tears rushed down her cheeks as she spoke. “The very second you bumped into me, I was immediately thrust into intrigue. I’ve never fallen in love so quickly. Hell, you made me realize that I’ve never fallen in love before. I may not have wanted to acknowledge it then and there, but it was love at first sight – first touch, first kiss. I’ve been continuously falling ever since. Yes, there have been rough spots, but that’s what we are – imperfectly perfect. I can’t stop now. I can’t let you go.â€￾

We used to be so beautiful

My eyes were flooded with tears and I struggled to see her perfection through the blurriness. I need every glance that I can get. “I’m so sorry.â€￾

“Don’t tell me you’re sorry, Justin!â€￾

“I am.â€￾

“No! What am I supposed to do!â€￾

“You believe in love at first sight. Don’t stop looking. It’ll happen again.â€￾

“You just don’t get it,â€￾ she sniffled. “It already happened. I don’t need to keep looking. I don’t want to.â€￾


“You believe in love, Justin. Don’t stop trying.â€￾

“Why not? You did it? You left me.â€￾

“So sue me! Just don’t end it here. Don’t f*** us up because of my mistake.â€￾

“I’m not. I’m walking away because we’re already f***ed up.â€￾

I’m weary from the war
I’m losing half of my soul

“Are you trying to make me hate you?â€￾

Her gaze was monstrously fierce, distracting me from the fact that her hand was about half a second from the left side of my face. A definitive slap brought me into her reality.

“Is that what you want?â€￾ she asked in fury. She slapped me again, and this time, I let my face remain towards the opposing direction. “You want me to beat you up to make you stay?â€￾ Another slap. “You can’t leave me!â€￾ She punched at my chest and shoulder as she cried and shouted. “You can’t leave me!â€￾ she repeated, underneath the sobs. “You can’t!â€￾ Her hits dwindled to a cease as her body fell into mine. Her crying created a quiver that shook both of us as she continued, soaking my shirt with her salty tears. “Why are you leaving me?â€￾

Past the point of reasons
I just want you to believe that it’s not your fault

I embraced her as tightly as I could, unwilling to look her in the eye, but watching my teardrops fall to the top of her head, infiltrating her short brown locks. “Because I love you.â€￾

Cry your eyes to sleep
Is like a thousand rainy nights
Drowning loves
Photographs, the ghosts of what we had come undone

“Then let me love you back.â€￾

Where did it all go wrong?

“You have loved me back. More so than I ever thought humanly possible. I’ve learned so much from you. I know there were times it didn’t seem like it, but you showed me to trust the soul of the one you love. I’ve learned that things aren’t always what they seem.â€￾

“That’s bullsh**, Justin!â€￾ She pulled away and turned to face the elevator door. “You know that’s bullsh**. You always told me that love was never too hard to work through. Why are you giving up on me?â€￾ she asked, just above a whisper. “Where along the line did you stop believing that that was true?â€￾

You harden like a stone
To face the world alone

“There’s no question that there’s love lacking. It’s about the fact that I just can’t – we – I dunno. I just – I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of hurting you.â€￾

“I’m not complaining here, Justin.â€￾

“I’ve just come to the point where I’m seeing that we’re not growing anymore. We’re stuck – just like you said, back in January.â€￾

“So you honestly think that we can’t get past it?â€￾

“There’s nowhere to go. I’ve depended on us for too long now.â€￾

“So? I have too, Justin. That’s what I thrive off of.â€￾

“No! Don’t you see? Love is a gift. It’s not supposed to be an obligation! Depending on someone – something – is a weakness. We’re a crutch to ourselves.â€￾

“I can’t believe that these words are coming out of your mouth! You’ve given me a million reasons to leave, and somehow, you’ve said nothing at all. What it all comes down to is that you’ve just gotten too lazy to love, isn’t it?â€￾


“You heard me!â€￾


“Yeah, it is. If you don’t want to hurt me, then don’t. It’s that f***ing simple. But you don’t want to love me. That’s the problem. All this other sh** is just a cop-out.â€￾

“You’re insane. I don’t know how you could even entertain that thought, much less voice it.â€￾

She paused, stressfully rolling her neck in circles. “I know right,â€￾ she said softly, finally turning around to face me.


“I’m just trying to make sense of it all in my own little way. I just can’t comprehend how someone that I love so damn much, and that I know feels the same, can be telling me that he needs to move on – that I’ve been his crutch for the past two, almost three years; that my love is so painful that he has to walk away from it.â€￾

“I didn’t mean it that way.â€￾

“Yeah, well it still hurts like hell.â€￾

Exhausted of apologies
In search of something comforting

“I wish I could take the pain away.â€￾

“You can. Don’t go.â€￾

I, too, leaned back to the wall and rested my head against it. “What will that prove? What will it solve? We’ll go back to the same mess we were in just a few months ago.â€￾ I exhaled and scratched the back of my head. “I dunno, maybe I love you too much. Maybe you didn’t go through the emotional turmoil that I did when you left me.â€￾

“Justin, do you remember your last words to me? Let me refresh your memory. You said ‘Whatever.’ That’s all. There wasn’t anymore. Yeah, Justin, you were really f***in’ hurt.â€￾

Brought out the best and worst in me

“I was. I didn’t understand how you could say you loved me and then just give up like that.â€￾

“So why are you doing it to me!â€￾

“Because I get it now. Back then, you had your doubts about us, and you did what you had to do. Now, I’m doing the same.â€￾

“You make it seem so simple. Just pack your sh** and go,â€￾ she chuckled. “No second chances; no, ‘Maybe we can see where we are in a few months.’ Not a shred of optimism here. It’s just over, huh?â€￾

I nodded slowly and stared across the small space to the surveillance camera in the corner. “It’s just… over.â€￾

She nodded in the same manner as me, and slid back down to a crouch on the floor. She began to cry again. Steady tears fell from her eyes before she buried her face into the crevice between her knees, which had been pulled up to her chest. She picked her head up and ran a hand over her disheveled, tear-stained face. “You know what I’ll miss the most?â€￾

“Please don’t.â€￾

“No, not the sex,â€￾ she chuckled, with a sniffle. I looked at her in depressed amusement. “I’m gonna miss that smile when you sing to me.â€￾

“Michelle –“

“I am.â€￾

Her unrelenting tears gave my own ducts the urge to resurface a steady precipitation. “But please.â€￾

“I,â€￾ she drawled, imitating Al Green’s singing, continuing to cry, “Am so in love with you. Whatever you want to do,â€￾ she hesitated. She stopped to permit her tears to fall at will, staring at me while the vigorous sobs overtook her. “Is all right with me.â€￾ It was barely audible underneath her wails of sadness, but in her whimper, I got her message loud and clear.

You gave your all unselfishly

I sat down on the floor next to her and pulled her into my arms. “Thank you,â€￾ I stated, simply. As my mind commenced to involuntarily reminisce in our lives together, my tears became more prevalent while hers decreased slowly. “Remember our first Christmas together?â€￾

She sniffled and giggled. “I remember peach cobbler, lot’s of Donny Hathaway, and the birth of The Mizzle.â€￾

“Can’t forget Jizzle.â€￾

“Yes! Actually, I remember trying insanely hard not to laugh uncontrollably whenever Jon would call you that.â€￾

I sniffled and laughed with her. “Hey, he’s young.â€￾

“Well it was certainly fitting.â€￾

I plucked her nose as I smiled. “My family still talks about how they fell in love with you in those two days.â€￾

“My family, too. You left quite a lasting impression after the family reunion, Bugs.â€￾

I’m gonna miss them. I swallowed hard and cleared my throat. It amazes me how far we’ve come in these two short years.

Girl, we used to be so beautiful

So many memories that we’ve created – good and bad – just burning a hole through my heart because I know that this moment will be the last that we’ll ever have. All the joyfulness that she’s elicited from me has all amounted to this moment of incomprehensible pain.

I’m losing half of my soul
To face the world alone

She leaned further into me, seemingly watching both of our tears dropping to the wood of the elevator floor. “I’m glad that we had last night,â€￾ she announced.

“I am, t—“

“It was the most beautiful night of my life. It was like – I dunno – I felt like God woke up inside me last night. At the very least, I get to take that with me.â€￾

Damn. I think she just completely ripped my heart out to take with her, too. Without another thought, I leaned down to kiss her. I wasn’t looking for anything particularly special, but when our lips came into contact, I felt the need to express all the urgency that I’d never let out before. Our hearts and our souls were combining – for the last time. I had to make this one count. I had to act as if this one could be bottled up and taken with me for emergencies.

For once today, she pulled away first. Yet again, her tears resurfaced and she scooted across the floor to the wall opposite me. “This just feels like a really bad dream,â€￾ she commented.

The last eight months have felt that way to me. “I know.â€￾

“I can’t even believe this is really happening.â€￾

We’re not the type to just give up

“A magnificent mistake,â€￾ I mumbled.

“What’d you say?â€￾

“I said ‘magnificent mistake.’ Maybe that’s what we are.â€￾

She nodded in, what I assumed to be, agreement. “You know how much I hate to admit when you’re right.â€￾


“That’s it,â€￾ she laughed. “Can you hear, or what, dude?â€￾

But I know that it’s what’s best for us

We rose from the floor simultaneously and I wrapped my arms around her, indulging in the strawberry scent of her hair and the warmth of her body next to mine. We swayed slightly, sniffling and holding back more tears. We stood in our hug for so long, I didn’t think we’d gain the capacity to ever let go. There used to be moments where I’d be counting the seconds until she’d be out of my face, my hair, or whatever, but this instance, as she stands in my arms, I prayed that the Earth would stand still so that she never has to leave my embrace. Eventually, though, she squeezed tighter, and I knew she was on the verge of another breakdown.

“Just do me a favor, okay?â€￾ she began, wiping the sadness that had fallen over her face again.

“As long as it doesn’t cost me any money,â€￾ I grinned.

She chuckled with a lick of her lips. “If I ever need you, don’t turn your back on me like I did to you.â€￾

I held her one more time, assuring her that that thought had never entered my mind. “I’ll never turn my back on you because you’ve never let me down. You can’t.â€￾

She pulled away and advanced to the panel of elevator buttons, pressing 7, and looking down to the floor. We rode from our unknown location back to her level in silence, dreading the opening of the doors.

As they opened, she took hold of my hand and brought each of my fingers to her lips. Her final tear slid down to my fingers when she looked up to me. “You better win a Grammy for the song you write about this.â€￾ She smiled with a sniffle and turned to walk out of my life.

I’ve never cried as hard as I did when those elevator doors closed on the most beautiful existence to ever grace my heart. I let it flow, not caring of who was bound to walk into my world next. Slowly, but surely, I found my way to the parking lot where my car sat, adjacent to my bike. Suddenly, memories of last night rushed back to me, and I headed straight back inside. Back through the lobby, into the elevators, I went, right up to the seventh floor. The doors opened, and there she was again – true déjà vu.

We’ll pass some crossing roads

She held one hand to the opening of the door to prevent it from closing and the other to wipe away my tears. “Did you forget something?â€￾

“Kind of,â€￾ I replied, reaching into my pocket. “You?â€￾

“I was just looking out of the window and wondering what you were gonna do about getting your bike home,â€￾ she answered, innocently.

God, she still reads my mind. I pulled the keys from my jeans and threw them to her, just as the doors threatened to close on us again. “Keep it.â€￾

And that was that. There you have it – our happy ending. No forever and a day. No Mrs. Timberlake and Mr. Alexander. Just Justin. And Michelle.

Surviving on our own

She got me. I had her. We lost us.

But the days go by and…

The End</span></span></span>

Yes. :unsure: I know. My little end-of-the-story spiel will be coming soon, but I'm sure y'all are pissed off at me at the mo, so I'll just shut up for now. :lol:</span>

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Postby whatchagot4meMRJT » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 pm

:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:


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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:00 pm

<span style='color:hotpink'>Okay, so as for my little speech. What can I say? I dunno. I just can't thank y'all enough. Thank you for reading it, enjoying it, embracing it, feeling it. Justin and Michelle are my fanfiction babies, and I thank y'all for watching them grow with me as I've tried to mature as a writer. It means so much that you appreciated this story and hopefully have had as much fun reading it as I have with writing it. :notworthy: I absolutely love all of you's. :lol:

As for the ending, I went back and forth in my head a million times trying to figure out what to do with it, but this was the original plan, so this is what I stuck with. There have been talks about turning this into a trilogy in the not-so-near future. We'll see how I feel after my next few stories. BUT if you guys are tired of Justin and Michelle, this can definitely be the last. I'm not even sure how much more of them I can do. :lol:

Again, I love y'all, appreciate y'all, and thank y'all. Ahh, I can't believe it's over. :no: It's been awesome though. Again, thanks gals. :blowkiss:</span>

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Postby tendertoes » Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:15 pm

<span style='color:purple'>Bittersweet...I know I have been slow but I really do love this story and I am sad to see it end. You did a great job!

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Postby Sarah » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:37 am

That was a great ending, its sad that they didn't get back together but i guess thats just the way its gotta be lol
I look forward to all your other storys hun :hug:

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Postby Angelpopstar7 » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:52 pm

:notworty: :notworthy: Awww Ash you have tears in my eyes right now :cry:

Justin and Michelle :wub: I'll always love them....i don't really know what to say...that was one amazing story :nod: :notworthy: :notworthy:

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Postby shortie17 » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:39 pm

Wow, I mean that was unbelievable. Your a very talented writer :D
I can't wait to start reading your next story

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Postby megzrsa » Sat Sep 11, 2004 4:29 pm

Ash what an amazing writer you are :hug: Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story with us, really you never made me feel bored with this story :P And the songs you put in there, like the end chapter i put chasez on and kept the song going, songs were always perfectly suited:( Its strange i thought chelle would dump him :unsure: but he left her man, thats so sad :nono: Why? :(
Anyway Ash I loved this fic and im sad to see it go, chelle and justin were the best!

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Postby PreCiouSbAbY » Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:16 pm


I'm speechless...that was amazzinngg..


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