by Melissa Maney

The one-bedroom apartment felt like the aftermath of a storm. After all of the screaming and yelling like thunder and lighting and the downpour of cries and tears, the smell of rain on the pavement was all that was left. That, and the undeniable love we felt for each other. But this time, we knew it wasn’t enough. The storm had happened, and we could still smell it. And it wouldn’t leave until one of us did.

Elle knew it had to be her.

‘This could be a play,’ Elle said, as she gathered her things to leave.

‘How could it?’ I replied. ‘We’re living in the end.’

Elle finished gathering her last few things. ‘I guess this is goodbye,’ she said.

I looked at her, admiring the woman I had dedicated years of my life to, and suddenly couldn’t bare the thought of this being the end to our story. If we were truly living in the end, there could still be a chance to change what happened.

I stopped her just before she opened the door.

‘Can you stay with me, just for tonight?’ I asked.

‘It won’t change anything, Maya,’ she responded.

‘I know that. But can we pretend, just for tonight?’

It was in that moment that we knew how to finish it. Perhaps, for one night, we could play the parts of a relationship that we knew had died. For just one night, we could be the girlfriends again, say our lines, and take the final bow to honor the love that was still there, even if it wasn’t enough to go back to the beginning.

‘Now what? Elle asked.

‘Let’s take a shower,’ I said.

I moved to the bathroom, turned the faucet on, and steam from the shower head filled the room and fogged up the mirror. She snuck up behind me and kissed my neck as she began to take off my clothes. I turned to face her, and we continued kissing as I took off hers.

The water felt soothing as it ran through my hair and trickled down my back. I held her against me under the water and touched my forehead against hers, our hands touching and fingers intertwining. There wasn’t an ounce of lust or infatuation. It was tender and soft; the way love should be. Every ridiculous fight we had ever had seemed to wash away. Any past feelings I had of anger or hate towards her was almost purged from my body as we stood under the water and stared at each other with the utmost affection.

We got out of the shower, dried ourselves off, and headed to bed, knowing that this would be the last night we would sleep next to each other. It was then that I realized the play was almost over. I held her tightly, and waited until she passed out. I quietly cried myself to sleep.

In the morning, Elle quickly gathered her things to leave. She opened the front door, and turned around to look at me one last time.

‘I meant it when I said this could be a play. You should write it one day. You were always the writer.’

‘Maybe,’ I responded, knowing that I never would.

She smiled and walked out the door.

I couldn’t imagine a better ending.

Melissa Maney is a playwright located in Midtown Manhattan. She has produced many of her own plays Off-Broadway, like Theater Row and Theater for the New City.  She loves the world of fiction, and wants to continue to write stories about the female experience, animal rights, and horror.