Too Much

By: Ella Miles

A romance that starts at the end, and ends at the beginning.

He's not coming.

He promised.

He swore.

He said he would always be here for me.

Except this time, when I really need him to be here, he isn't.

He isn't fucking here.

Quinn met Hunter five years ago at age eighteen. It wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, it was the complete opposite. But they did make a promise that day. If times ever got shitty again, all either of them had to do was text each other for help. For five years, they had always been there for each other until…they weren’t.

He’s not coming.

He promised.

He swore.

He said he would always be here for me …

Except this time, when I really need him to be here, he isn’t.

He isn’t fucking here.

I glance down at my watch, and he is only twenty minutes late. Something could have happened. His flight could have been delayed. Yeah … that must be it. A delay in his flight.

I lean back in my chair and glance out the window of the bar in the Denver airport at the perfect day. It’s sunny here with not a cloud in the sky. The weather here wouldn’t cause a delay in his flight. But it is possible his flight was delayed from wherever he is. I know he lives in Dallas, but he could have been anywhere this week, depending on if he had a home or away game.

I wouldn’t know, though, because he doesn’t talk to me. And I don’t look up where he plays each week. I know if I did, I would be on the next flight out to see him. And once I saw him, I’d never leave even though he chose a different life than I chose. He chose a life where he could be free—live for the moment—while I chose to live for someone else. A life he made clear he didn’t want.

I take a sip of the red wine sitting in front of me, wishing I would have ordered something stronger as the liquid goes down my throat. I didn’t want to be drunk when I saw him again, but now, I don’t know. Now, I wish I was drunk because I’m afraid he isn’t going to show up, and I’m going to need something to deal with the pain.

I glance out the window and watch another plane land, hoping it is his flight. But I know it’s not. If he were coming, he would have been here on time or he would have texted and told me he was going to be late. He wouldn’t leave me stranded and worried like this.

I down the rest of the expensive red wine that I ordered, and I glance at my watch. It’s thirty minutes until three. He should have been here a half an hour ago, so I’m giving him until three and then I’m leaving.

I shift in my seat in the booth and glance over at the woman smiling at me from behind the bar across the room. Initially, I didn’t want to sit close to the bar because I wanted some privacy to talk to him when he came. Now, I wish I had chosen a seat at the bar—at least until he came—so I could talk with the bartenders. That might have distracted me from the fact he isn’t coming.

The woman walks over. “Another?”

“No, I need something stronger.”

She smiles sadly like she knows what I’m going through. Except she has no idea. She has no idea what I’m hiding. No idea the pain I will feel if he doesn’t come.

“What’s your poison? Whiskey, vodka, tequila …?” she says in a soothing tone.

“I’ll have vodka.” I choose the one drink that gives me no memories of him. I never drink vodka and neither does he.

She gives me one final sympathetic look and hesitates for a second like she’s trying to decide if she is going to hug me before heading back to the bar.

I continue to stare out the window and count the planes as they land. Thinking every single one of them could be him flying in to see me. Each time one lands, my heart does a little flip, hoping and wishing.

My heart is stupid, though. It doesn’t understand what my brain already understands—he isn’t coming.

The bartender brings me my drink. It’s a double even though I didn’t ask for it, but she knows I need it. She must be able to tell my heart is about to break.

I take a sip of the unfamiliar liquid. It burns a little, but it’s a good kind of burn.

I glance down at my watch again. It’s 2:47. Only thirteen minutes left.

I pull out my phone and read the text I sent him.