An Angel Mystique short.
To: Chloe Golden
From: Bradley Larson
Dear Miss Golden,
Giving the current state of our partnership, I must decline further assistance from you as my editor. Listed below are the reasons why.
You… and I started out as professionals: editor and client. But now that things have changed; I find myself more and more stuck. Your work is good. Excellent even. And I’m probably going to be a feel like a fool for a while for not working with you. No bother.
I feel it’s past time we let this go. Let whatever it was -that we felt for that short span of time- go. I am happily devoted to my girlfriend, as you are with your man. Who would want to stand in the way of each other’s happiness when we know… When I know… I’m with the woman that is The One for me? I cannot speak for you, and I don’t want to do that.
I’m just writing you this to say that we can be friends. Friends who check in with each other from time to time. Friends who say hello, for a few minutes, and nothing more than that. The more I think about it, I would rather us remain cordial than completely shut the door.
I’m not that kind of person. I’m not mean. Not spiteful. I don’t hate you. How could I hate you based off a moment of inappropriate flirting? I don’t know whether you conjured up in your mind that you were going to make me feel something for you. You don’t seem like that kind of person.
But no matter.
Friends are all we can be. For now, until eternity.
I hope you understand my point of view.
With a heavy heart,
Chloe stared at the email, unsure of what to do. Where to go. She couldn’t say anything, could she? Couldn’t respond to him in the way she wanted to.
He was right. He was the with woman he was meant to be with… and she… Well. She was stuck in limbo unsure of where she and her boyfriend- Paul- should go. It wasn’t any fault of her own. She told herself that all the time to help keep those voices of blame out of her head.
She loved Paul. She did. They had been together for two solid years. Two good ones. And then, somewhere along the way, life took them in different directions.
He said he wanted to explore other options. To be free to just live a little. After all, he was still twenty- six, still in that party phase of his life.
So, they split up for a year, and had since, found ‘their way back to each other’. She had always thought that phrase was such bullshit. But not with Paul.
Even if he was living on another continent. What she shared with him was real.
Dammit. It was real.
Chloe sighed, as she shut off her computer for the night.
She would tackle Bradley’s email in the morning.
“Hi,” he spoke into the phone, trying to clear the shakiness out of his voice.
“Bradley? You’re calling me now? I- I tried responding to your email.”
“I figured as much. Why don’t I come see you? For a few hours? Then I’ll be back home and out of your hair.”
“No. That’s- not a good idea. What do you need to see me face to face for anyway?”
Bradley sighed. To tell you that even though it’s been a few months that I still-
“Bradley? Just forget about me, okay? It’s for the best.”
He bit the inside of his left cheek. There was that statement again.
“It’s for that- Really, Chloe? That’s all I get?”
“I love Paul. Deeply. I’m in love with Paul, Bradley. What we had was a moment. Brief. A fucking fire spark that died instantly.”
It sure as hell didn’t for me.
“Right.” He scoffed, loud enough, so that she would hear him.
“And it’s over. I’m devoted to him, Bradley. We can’t do this. What about- You have Chandra.”
She sighed heavily, and he wanted nothing more than to see her. Go to her. But, he couldn’t. He wouldn’t, as hard as it was to deny the fact that he thought about being in her presence every day.
“Just let it go, Bradley.”
He heard what she was saying loud and clear.
Let me go.
He heard she shifting, footsteps quietly padding over the carpeted floor of her bedroom.
“Look, Chloe. I just have to say one thing, before we go.”
She sounded on edge. Rightfully so. He had shifted the supposed formula, and rather quickly. He had… let everything change in a matter of moments.
She hadn’t been looking for him. He found her.
“I’ll always…” he bit the inside of his left cheek.
She sighed. “Yeah. Me too.”
He ended the call, running a hand along his face, as he leaned back in his bed.
He would always… care.
What he hadn’t been expecting was for her to agree with him.
That gave him a little comfort.