"Second Chances"
Author: Pia Pedersen

Rating: I'm thinking PG, maybe PG-13

Disclaimer: No names, so this is mine …

How is it possible that one person can have so much influence on your life?

The thought crosses my mind as I walk through the doors to see you sitting
there. I stand frozen, briefly contemplating what to do. I suppose I think
about a little longer than I should have, because suddenly I can feel you
looking at me. Your eyes are clear, concentrated, and captivating, and I'm
falling all over again. It isn't fair. Not when you've made up your mind
not to care.

I tear my eyes away from yours, and the pain searing through me is almost
physical. Without realizing it I've moved to a table, and I must have
asked for a drink as well, because when I look down on my hands, they're
closed around a glass. The liquid burns down my throat, and it is numbing.
I know it is only temporary, but right now that's good enough.


Your hand is on my shoulder, and I can feel you smile.

"Don't," I mumble, and you remove your hand. Is that bitterness in my
voice? I swore to myself I wouldn't be, I swore I wouldn't sink that low.
I thought I could control it. I thought I was stronger than this. But I'm
not; I'm just not.

"You're tough."

I want to smile, but I can't. Most of all I feel like crying. How pathetic
is that?

"No, I'm not," I counter, "and you know that."

"Sometimes you are."

"Only because I have to be," I sigh, playing with the empty glass and
avoid looking at you. "This is pointless."

"Do you think it is easy for me?"

"How should I know?" The pain makes my temper flare, and I draw in a deep
breath to calm down. "I don't know. I can't do this," I whisper, and the
tears form unbidden. Fortunately, I manage to keep them at bay as I get
up. You stand and reach out to me. It would be the easiest thing to touch
you, or at least it should have been.

"Don't run from me," you say, and I stop after a few steps. I'm angry.
Furious. Devastated.

"You were the one who said it isn't worth it," I point out, and you
concede silently. Once again our eyes meet and lock, and everything else
fades away. Your eyes were always what I loved most about you, and I can
see the truth in them. I can see the pain and doubt. I even see love, and
I wish I hadn't looked.

Maybe then I could have walked away. Maybe then I could have finally
broken free.

Now it's simply impossible, and you know it, too. I feel your relief as
clearly as if it had been my own. Maybe it is?

"I didn't mean that."

"Yes, you did."

"At the time, yes." You smile, but I feel the sadness that flows right
beneath the surface. It has been a while since I was this aware of your
emotions. "But I'm not so sure anymore."

"I need more than that," I say, and, with a last look on your face, I walk

I don't make it far, and the kiss leaves me breathless. "I miss you," you
say, holding me tighter. "Stay."
I can't help but smile. Just a little.

"Are you sure it's worth it?"

"God, yes."

You swallow my laughter in another lasting kiss, and I surrender.


I need you. I need us, and sometimes you just have to take a chance.