Remember Last Knight

keep running

I look at the wooden door, painted bright red, bringing my fist up to knock twice against it with my knuckles. As soon as the door opens, he’s talking. He takes my arm gently, opening the door wider for me to come in.

“Elle, listen to me… I know I messed up big. I know. I already apologized to your brother, and he accepted it, so now I just have to apologize to you…” I just look at him for a moment. I don't like the way that sounds. Now, he just has to apologize to me. Just has to. Because' that's the only way this will ever work, if we keep apologizing. I take a deep breath, my arms crossed over my chest.

“I asked you for only a few things, Knight. You knew how things were for me. You were there for me when no one else was, when I tried to shut everything out like I had been for years, you pushed your way in. I asked you to stand by me, to be there for me and to help me with my brother. I knew he was getting into the wrong, and you were being so good.

“What the hell did you think you were doing? Who do you think you are, Knight? You can’t just hit my brother. I know he’s an asshole, but you can’t just fucking hit him. You just can’t! He’s acting stupidly, without thinking, just as you did. You know what it’s like. You promised me you would watch over him, that you wouldn’t get involved physically…” The words kept coming from my mouth even though I told myself to stop. This wasn't how to go about it. Only when I finally could stop, Knight was ready to jump in.

“I tried, okay? What else can I say, Elle? I fucking tried. You’re right, your brother is an asshole. I know what it’s like. It takes one to know one, whatever. What does an asshole need? What did I need, that night I met you? A good hit to the face. I didn’t mean to hit him, it just sort of happened… he had it coming, anyway. Ever since you left, once Andy came back, everything just went back to the way it had been. He was talking shit all the time, Elle!”

“Grow up, then! You’re an adult now, Knight. Act like it. Take responsibility for your actions. You hit him. Saying he had it coming isn’t owning up to it. Don’t run from it.”

“Oh, please, I know I hit him. I’m glad I did it! Ever since you left… you weren’t here! You don’t know what he said. He was drinking and smoking, and most importantly, not thinking. He said horrible things, Elle; horrible things just to make me angry, to set me off.” I slipped easily from his hand, which had reached out to touch my shoulder. My legs bumped against the coffee table, and I held my hands out, balancing myself.

“Don’t blame him, Knight!”

“Don’t blame me, either! We both had equal responsibility in this fight!”

I shook my head. No.

“Besides, you say that I’m running away from it. You’re the one who had to leave, had to get away from your parents and brother and me! Left us all here to struggle without you, even though we all struggle because of you. You didn’t even look back, Elle, just ran straight on toward any opportunity to get you out.”

“Don’t go there,” I whispered. That wasn't true. College isn't running. College is slow, college is getting better. It's making me better. It's what I wanted, what I needed.

“Why not? You hit me where it hurts, now you can’t take it? We’re all hurt here, Elle. Your parents are working on it, Ayden’s getting worse, and what? I’m supposed to keep it patched up while you’re gone? I miss you, Elle. I can’t just live your life, trying to fix everything you messed up, and still live my own. It doesn’t work that way, Elle.”

“Fine,” I said. “Then don’t help me anymore. Don’t do anything else. You miss me? Fine. You want your own life? Fine. You’re gonna be missing me for a long time, then, because I can’t do this. I can’t be with someone if you’re going to act like this. We’re done, Knight.”

I turn around, starting toward the door. Hand wrapped around the handle, I begin to turn it, before stopping. We worked too hard on this relationship for it to end like this. I turn back toward him, walking to where he is, leaning against the arm of an overstuffed chair. He’s watching me.

One hand pressed against his chest, I lean forward and kiss him once on the lips. His eyes watch me as I do this, neither of our lids closing for more than a blink. I lean away from him, whispering to him. His palm spreads over my skin, fingers wrapping around my wrist. “Have fun.”

I turn around, his fingers slipping easily from my skin at the slightest pull, and headed home.
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In case your wondering, the chapter preceding this, this one, and the following are separated for a reason.

Question: Which character's point of view do you like reading more? Who do you think is better written?