|Thereafter| After That

Ekko was never the relationship kind of girl. They both knew that. When Derik and her first met, he was at the brink of losing his sixth love, and Ekko, well, she was having fun with everybody, not paying extra attention to love. It took a long time coming. While Derik was open about his emotions most of the time, Ekko was the opposite. Whatever she was feeling inside, she normally wouldn’t tell it. And if she did tell it, she wouldn’t elaborate it. She laughed with everyone, but she never cried with anyone. Derik, he laughed with everyone, and cried with everyone. It was this difference that drawn the two together. Though they were fire and ice, they melted into a puddle of water.

By nature, they were polar opposites.

Derik tended to develop strong attachments, having to stay close as much as possible to feel the joy of intimacy—or at least the comfort of it. To be able to see his lover was his sense of security—the result of insecure attachment from childhood. Ekko, on the other hand, was more independent. She needed a lot of time to herself, a lot of free space—the result of secure attachment from childhood.

By nature, they were polar opposites. Yet they blended.

Or…maybe they bent. Bending, however, is what comes before breaking.

She needed more freedom, she told him. She felt strangled that he needed to know her every move. The first time, it made sense to him, and he agreed.

As time went by, she realized she really wasn’t the relationship type of girl after all. No matter how much she loved him, she wanted her independence like she had it before they met.

Early in December, Derik told her how Decembers used to be so depressing for him, and that even though he had the same feeling this time, he was more confident. Early in December, she asked him to believe in that December, that he could spend it happily, that she was there to make sure of it.

Early in December, he held on tighter than usual. Early in December, she told him she couldn’t take any more.

“I’m sorry. I love you, but I feel strangled.”

He was quiet for a moment. Then, he said, “You’re just going to let me go?”

Those were words that brought tears to her eyes, but at the time, she felt strangled enough to just let go.

“Let’s…just be friends.”

← Good Times
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