The Flame by Adam Drake

They sat in the near darkness, staring at the last candle burning. The diminishing flame was fighting the rising tide of melted wax.

Silence held the only perfect words for what they had, but he could not stand the weight of it any longer.

“Happy Valentine’s Day babe.”

“This will be our last won’t it?”

“Yeah.”

“Where did it go wrong?”

“I’m not sure. What happened to all the stuff that made us fall in love in the first place? It’s only been two years…”

She thought about the beginning often, especially on this day.

“I remember the moment I knew I wanted to be with you.”

His eyes widened in surprise.

“You do?”

“Oh yes. It was three years ago today.”

Memories rushed the front of his mind. It had been an amazing year. His roommate Mike had found “the perfect girl”. And she had a roommate. Within a month both of them had girlfriends in the same convenient location.

“Wait. Three years ago I was with Jenny and you were with Mike?”

“I remember walking into the living room and seeing the roses that you had bought for her. They were beautiful and…”

“You broke up with Mike the day after Valentines Day because I bought her roses?”

“No. It was the card.”

“The card? The Valentine card?”

“Yes. When I read that card I knew right then that I wanted to be with someone like you. The way you loved and cared for a girl. The way you took in every detail of her and appreciated it. All I ever wanted was someone to love me like that.”

“And when Jenny broke up with me there you were to step right in…”

“I have been waiting for a card like that. I have been waiting to be loved like that, but it never came. Is it me? Am I not worthy of that part of you?”

“I didn’t write that card. Mike did. I saw the way he looked at you and asked him to help me write something for Jenny. I just wrote his words and signed my name.”

A single tear crawled down her cheek as the flame died leaving only a trail of smoke and the smell soot.

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