Stay

“Hey Sally, how’s it going?”

“Good good. It’s been a month into my new job and really like it there. How are things with you Sloan?”

“You remember that apartment I’d mentioned, earlier? The one in Seattle?”

“Yeah, the one with the terrace”

“That’s the one. I’ve decided to take it. I’ve also booked my tickets. I’m leaving in two weeks” said Sloan with an awkward smile.

“Two weeks? Are you serious? Are you seriously serious?” exclaimed Sally.

“Yeah, I am. If you think about it, it’s not all that sudden. I told you I’d been thinking about this for a while.”

“That’s true but I didn’t know you were this serious about it.”

“Well, I was. I am. It’s time for me to move, you know that.”

“I knew you were unhappy here Sloan but I thought it was for other reasons. And I didn’t think they were such strong reasons that would make you leave so soon.”

“Listen Sally, I know what you’re hinting at and it’s not fair. It’s not even true. I’m not leaving because of him.”

“Have you even told him that you’re going?”

“Well, I’d mentioned to him that I was thinking about it..”

“Yes, but did you mention how serious you were?”

“Um, well, no, I thought it would be better not to say anything then. I wasn’t in the mood for his comments.”

“His comments are usually constructive Sloan.”

“Yeah well, they’re still annoying.” Sloan turned her face towards the window and sighed. “Look, I’m going to tell him soon. I’m meeting him tomorrow for coffee, I’ll tell him then.”

“How are things between you guys now, if I might ask?”

“The same way they’ve been for a long time now. We’re neither on this side of the fence nor the other. I watched that movie again you know, ‘He’s just not that into you’. According to that movie, we’re not in the middle, we’re just on the platonic side of the fence.”

“Stop taking advice from movies!”

“Fine, whatever. Things are still in a weird place. He seems to be trying harder now but I really can’t get myself to appreciate it. His concern seems forced, very procedural, if you know what I mean. I feel like we’re one of those divorced couples where the husband still asks the wife if she’s paid the bills and checks in on the dog once in a while just because he feels like society or something demands it. You know he’d rather be heading off to Vegas with his slutty secretary.”

“Whoa! Where did that come from? And who’s this secretary?”

“I don’t know Sally, I really don’t want to talk about it.”

“Alright, fine, just answer one last question if you please. Really, why haven’t you told him that you’re leaving yet? He should’ve been the first one to know but here you are telling me instead and pretending that it’s not a big deal. Are you afraid he’ll be mad at you?”

“Mad at me? No, that’s the last thing I’m afraid of. I’d actually really like it if he got mad at me. If he was mad at me, that would mean that he still cared. No, that’s not what I’m scared of, I’m afraid he won’t ask me to stay, Sally. I’m afraid that if I tell him I’m leaving, he won’t ask me stay.”

Sally reached out and held Sloan’s hand as she watched tears flow from her eyes while the evening light framed her beautiful face.

Being Sloan

Sloan looked around at all the files and papers in her room with a blank expression. Work no longer interested her. She tossed aside a report and walked to her balcony. Leaning on the railings, she looked across the clear blue skies at the london skyline. He’s out there somewhere, probably with someone else right now, she thought. But he’ll find me soon she added to herself. Being the true romantic that she was, she turned around to look at the door hoping for a knock, then to her phone, listening hard for a ring and finally to her laptop, wishing for an email. But sadly, this not being a movie, none of what she wanted she got. So she turned back to look at the skies and traced a seagull’s flight across the rooftops. She watched it fly from one roof to another, occasionally resting here or there and then moving on. She finally turned away when she saw it fly to another seagull and the weight of her loneliness crashed upon her again. Moving back to her room, Sloan collapsed onto her bed, silently weeping. She thought of the countless days, afternoons and nights she’d spent like this recently. The tears had become such a routine that they didn’t even feel wet anymore.
You’d find it hard to ignore the beauty of the picture of our present scene if looked on from above. There she lay, on her big king sized bed, among all the white satin sheets and pillows, Sinatra playing in the background. Her slender figure arched in a demure way. Her arms were stretched out in the perfect angles of a damsel in distress. Her skirt formed an elegant pattern around her. Her long dark flowing hair contrasting beautifully against the sheets.
She hadn’t been able to concentrate on her work for a while now. She had other things on her mind that were taking up far too much of her time. She was twenty four and she still hadn’t met a single man whom she could love. Another woman, a stronger woman would’ve perhaps put this to the back of her mind and concentrated on getting ahead in her career. But our Sloan, she wasn’t that strong and she didn’t want to put this thought to the back of her mind. She knew she was meant to be a loving wife and an over-caring mother.
Our Sloan was brilliant beyond words, graduated top of her class and extensively impressed everyone at her workplace. But there was only so much satisfaction she could get out of work. Sloan was waiting, since she was probably eleven, for her prince to rescue her, from what she did not know, but from something for sure. It wasn’t that she didn’t have enough love, her parents loved her beyond belief and she had friends she could always count on. But for every girl like Sloan, that was never enough.
A buzzing from her phone interrupted her thoughts. Hope rushed to her heart. Maybe it was a message from that special someone she was meant to be with. She tried to push that hope away, but it refused to leave her shining eyes. She cautiously made her way to her phone and looked at the screen.
Her face fell as quickly as her hope had risen, it was only a promotional text message from her service provider. Sloan sighed, shrugged and went on with her day, never giving anything she did a hundred percent since most of her was busy being sad all the time. It didn’t show as much though, her boss was happy with her work, her friends enjoyed her company as they all laughed and drank together and her parents were happy to hear how well she was doing. It was only at times when she was alone that she felt she was being real. It was at these times that she was truly sad and didn’t have to hide it. It was obviously hard for her to be so sad, but she felt a sense of pseudo content knowing that she was at least feeling something.
As Sloan slept alone that night, somewhere far off in the distance, there was a couple passionately making love. When they were done, the guy looked at the girl and said “I want to be here with you forever.” He wouldn’t. Thankfully for Sloan, this guy would eventually find her and they’d work hard at making it work out.

Note:
The last paragraph might not be appropriate cause it makes the story boring but it is written as the author refuses to lose hope for Sloan.