“I can’t…” Roselynn managed to get through her trembling lips. She was at Austin’s place. He invited her over for dinner. And after dinner, he told her how he felt for her.
“Why?” Austin asked, trying to hide his disappointment.
“I can’t give you the power to hurt me…” she replied honestly.
“And how do you know that I’ll hurt you?” Austin asked, still determined to make Rose see how much he loved her.
“Everyone always does…” Rose said.
“Rose, trust me. Give me a chance. I love you. I won’t ever hurt you.”
“You can’t live your whole life in fear.”
“Rose, you don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve this pain. You’re keeping yourself in a prison…” Austin said before Rose could say anything.
“Austin, don’t…” Rose tried to stop Austin. She couldn’t take it anymore.
“No Rose. I’ve been quiet too long. I can’t see you like this. You’re breaking yourself. Please, let me help you…”
“…” Roselynn couldn’t say anything. She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes.
Austin moved closer, wiped her tears and said, “Roselynn, I love you. Just give me a chance.”
“I want to… But I’m scared…” she moved away, trying to hide her clearly visible tears.
“Scared of what?” Austin asked when Rose didn’t say anything.
“Love” she whispered.
“It scares me too,” Austin said trying to show Rose that she wasn’t the only who was scared of love. He continued, “I’ve never loved anyone before. This feeling that I feel for you, it overwhelms me. I don’t know what to do about it.”
“But I have. I’ve loved someone before and you know what it did to me…” Rose couldn’t say anymore.
“I know and I want you to know that I won’t ever do anything like that to you. Just trust me on this,” Austin said, trying his best to gain Rose’s trust.
“I trust you. It’s me that I don’t trust.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know… I’m too confused. I have no idea what I’m saying right now.”
“Well, just relax for a minute. I can understand that it’s too much for you… If you want, we can talk about this some other time…” Austin suggested.
“No. I want this to be done with right now,” Rose said, determined. She wanted to talk it all through right then and there.
“Okay…” Austin said, unsure of whether Rose could handle that conversation.
“Austin. You don’t want to be stuck with me,” Rose said like it was a universal fact.
“And how do you know that?”Austin asked.
“I know it because I’m messed up…”
“Everyone is messed up,” Austin interrupted her.
“But I’m too messed up. I’m…broken, beyond repair,” she said.
“That’s because you’re not a machine which can be repaired. Humans heal,” he said.
“Well, I can’t heal…”
“It’s because you don’t let yourself to heal,” Austin interrupted her again.
“It’s not easy…” Rose tried to say.
“I know it’s not. You can’t heal on your own. You need me and you know it. You just don’t accept it,” Austin said, trying to make Rose see that he will always be there for her.
“Austin, please don’t…” Rose tried to stop him.
Austin moved closer, took her hands in his and said, “Rose please, just let me help you heal.”
“I cannot do this to you…” Rose whispered.
“Do what?” Austin asked.
Rose moved away from him and said, “Austin, try to understand…”
“Understand what? That you’re not ready to give me a chance because of that idiot who didn’t value you, who didn’t understand what you’re worth…?” Austin said, frustrated at how Rose wasn’t able to see how much she meant to him.
“I don’t want to talk about him,” Rose said. She always preferred not to talk about the guy who left her, broken.
“Rose, you can’t let him do this to you. You’re closing yourself for him. You’re building walls which you think are for protection. But actually, you’re just suffocating yourself… You’re more like a castle than a human.”
“And you’re in love with a castle?” Rose asked him.
“No. The castle is beautiful, mesmerizing even. But, I’m in love with the person who lives deep inside that castle.” Austin said.
“Austin, I can’t…”
“What happens when you start losing these feelings?” Rose asked.
“How do you know that I’ll lose these feelings for you?”
“Feelings are never permanent. Eventually, you’ll lose these feelings. And I don’t… I can’t go through that again…”
“You won’t. I’ve been waiting for two years hoping that these feelings will go away. But it has only increased and I doubt they’ll ever go away,” Austin told her and moved closer to her.
“Austin… I can’t fall again. If I do, I won’t be able to get up again,” Rose told him.
“Just give me a chance,” Austin pleaded while taking her hands in his.
Rose looked up in his eyes. His face was so close to her that she was able to feel his warm breath on her forehead. “You better not let me fall,” she said.
“I won’t,” he said with a surety in his voice. “And even if you do fall, you’ll always land in these arms, these arms of mine.”