“Was it because we never danced?” she stopped then, turning around, and immediately lost the smile she had just worn so beautifully as she saw the despair in his face.
“What?” Phaedra responded, confused.
Dane searched for the words, but could only find, “What happened to us?” His forehead was furrowed in wrinkles as he searched Phaedra’s face, the wonder and concern visible in his countenance.
“Oh Dane…I…” she drifted off. She found herself choking on her own words, tripping over her mind as she struggled to find an answer.
Dane looked down, “It’s okay. There really isn’t an answer, is there?” He had spent the whole night afraid to touch her, and yet there was something there that felt as though nothing had ever changed between them.
“…no,” came the hushed reply, “there is no answer.”
“I didn’t hold you enough. I couldn’t show you how much I loved you. We never danced…or kissed. I…”
“That wasn’t your fault.” Her response, though accurate, rung hollow in his ears. If only he had done more. But more what?
“I…love you, Phaedra. Nothing in this world will change that.” He grew silent, looked up to the stars on this clear night, and smiled. She was stunned silent as he went on, “Do you remember that night in the hills when we stared up at the heavens that seemed to go on forever?”
After a hesitation she replied, “I do.” Her face now mirrored his own, a sadness having fallen over it.
“Me too,” he smiled, and left it at that. He looked back at the floor, and turned to the opposite direction, tears filling his eyes. Before he ruined his coat, he took it off and carried it over his arm. He did all he could to keep his pace, but no matter what he did, he could not look back.