Aryssa Valladares attends Full Sail University and is pursuing her Bachelors in Creative Writing for Entertainment. She is also an intern for 3300+ Climbing and creates content for their blog. After she graduates, she aspires to become an editor for a publishing company
The tension in the car made it hard to breathe. Silence filled the air and all Allison wanted was to swing the door open, leap out, and leave Ryan, her now ex-boyfriend, in his car. What does one say when they leave a relationship? She wasn’t sure, and that’s why she was stuck in her driveway, only feet away from her house, her escape.
“I’m sorry,” Allison said picking at the fringe of her jean skirt.
“Don’t apologize. If this is what you want then it’s fine,” Ryan said, trying his best to keep his voice from wavering but failing.
“That’s it? You’re not even going to fight for us?”
“What is there to fight for? You said you don’t think you love me. There’s nothing to fight for.”
That was what Allison needed to leave the car. She opened the door as if she was going, but looked back at Ryan one last time, a small part of her hoping he would stop her. But he didn’t. He kept his eyes straight, and his knuckles were almost white from the harsh grip he had on the leather steering wheel.
“Can you leave, please? You’re letting the AC out,” Ryan said through clenched teeth, a tear spilling down his cheek. She stepped out entirely and shut the door, the heat immediately causing sweat to form at the crown of her hair. She hadn’t even taken a step away when he reversed out of the driveway and sped down the street, leaving charcoal skid marks on the road and the smell of burnt rubber lingering in the air.
Allison didn’t shed tears. She loved him but she knew she wasn’t in love with him. She wanted to be wrong, she wanted to believe she could maybe make herself fall for him to spare his feelings, but she knew that was something she couldn’t fake. She was only 17, but she believed she knew what love was.
Love was the way her father looked at her mother as if she held the whole universe in her eyes, as if she was the universe. Love was the way her mother held her father’s hand when they were on the couch watching a movie, clenching on to it as if it were her lifeline. Love was the small kisses they stole in the morning and randomly throughout the night after they got home from work. Love was the flowers her father brought her mother when he knew she was having a rough day.
She walked through the front door, welcomed by her mother sobbing on the couch. She ran to comfort her. She had never seen her mother cry, unless she counted the one time they watched Me Before You together, which she didn’t. She was about to ask her mother what was wrong until she looked at the wall next to the door. She hadn’t noticed before, but there had lied her father’s suitcases and bags.
Her father walked out of her parent’s room, or what was her parent’s room. He was about to announce that he was leaving until he saw Allison. He felt as if there was a frog in his throat, choking on the emotion that had built seeing his only daughter.
“You were going to leave without even saying anything to me?” Allison asked, her voice cracking.
“It was easier this way,” he said.
“Bullshit.” Allison’s voice couldn’t go as high as she wished it would have. Not when she was holding back her sobs to stay strong for her mother who was still crying into her hands.
He went to place a kiss on her forehead, but she stepped away from him, not wanting to be touched. He sighed, gave both her and her mother one last look, grabbed his bags, and walked out of their life.
Allison couldn’t believe what just happened. She looked at her mom and wondered what went wrong and when it wrong.
“I tried to love him, and he tried to love me, it just wasn’t there,” her mother told her through her sobs.
That’s the moment Allison realized what she hadn’t noticed before. Her mother and father hadn’t had movie nights in years. There were no longer flowers decorating the table. They had no longer stolen kisses from each other, they rarely even looked at each other. That’s when Allison realized she had no clue what love was.