Saying “I love you” (2) [Nygmobblepot]
Edward didn’t know what had happened. Why had he stayed with that woman? Only because she looked like Miss Kringle or was there something else? He had to admit that he had felt excited at first, but he couldn’t deny that this had started to change. As soon as he had been back at the house and met Oswald, this doubt, this stab in his chest was not ignorable any longer. Edward had seen the look on Oswald’s face, he had seen the worries, the sad smile and he didn’t know what to think. Why was it that, when he had stayed with Isabella, his conscience had felt guilty, in pain? He looked at Isabella and the excitement had slowly become nervousness; almost like fear. His mind always seemed to wander off to somewhere else.
Oswald was alone in the house, sitting in front of the fire place with a glass of whiskey in his hand. He was sobbing. Only a few minutes ago, when he had come home, he had do discover that he was alone; Edward wasn’t here. The only other person that usually was around the house was the kitchen help. But she was dead now. In rage, Oswald had called for a glass and when she had brought it, he had smashed it and slit the girl’s throat; he just couldn’t hold back. Trembling he had to fetch himself another glass and the bottle of whiskey from the shelf in the living room and now he had been drinking and mumbling to himself for the past ten minutes.
He knew very well where Edward was and it upset him. It made him feel a sort of anger he had never experienced before. Why was Edward even still around him? Oswald had never deserved someone like him and now that Edward had found that Isabella-woman, he wouldn’t come back; he would leave Oswald, just like everyone else.
Edward stormed through the entrance door, closed it and stayed there for a few moments. With a hand on his chest he tried to calm his breathing while pushing up his glasses. Slowly his eyes eventually wandered over the walls over the house and he made a nervous step.
“Oswald?” He was walking towards the living room and believed to hear the quick rustling of feet. But there was no answer. Hesitantly Edward walked towards the noise and stepped into the room where he discovered a dark figure sunken into an armchair in front of the fire.
“Hello, Oswald.” Edward was trying to sound confident, but didn’t quite manage it.
Oswald didn’t look at him, only took a sip and said, after a moment of silence: “Good evening, Ed. I must say I didn’t expect to see you.”
Slowly Edward came closer, looking over Oswald’s face. “What do you mean?”
Oswald scoffed. “Well-!”
He had to try to keep his anger down, Edward could hear it.
“Well, I assume you spend the afternoon with that woman again. It seems like your position as chief of staff, or me, your mayor, your fr-!“ Oswald had to hold himself back before he could continue. “It seems like all this isn’t that important to you anymore, so I thought I wouldn’t get to see you any longer. Now that you’re with that woman.”
Finally he looked at Edward and his expression was filled with every emotion he had tried to bottle up in the last few minutes.
“Oswald, I…” Edward took another step while adjusting his glasses. “It was never my intention to-“
“Were you?” Oswald interrupted. “Were you with her?”
An icy stare hit Edward and it took him a moment until he could answer. “Yes I was, but…”
Oswald moaned in now unhidden despair and emptied his glass in one go.
“But this is what I wanted to tell you!” Edward immediately said. “I was with Isabella and it’s true that I felt some sort of delight whenever I looked at her. Her resemblance to Miss Kringle is truly astounding.” He could see Oswald’s knuckles whiten as he tightened his grip around the glass. “But it’s also true that from our very first conversation on, I couldn’t help but feel bad about myself. It was like my mind wasn’t properly working, which happens very rarely to me.” Edward was still trying keep up his usual demeanour but failed more and more every second. “I kept looking at Isabella and I suddenly wouldn’t feel excited anymore. I became… angry, disappointed. With myself.”
Oswald was shaking his head by now, the hand which was holding the glass was shaking heavily.
“I don’t know what to say…” Edward now said quietly.
“Well, you don’t have to say anything.” A sarcastic, sad smile was on Oswald’s lips as he pushed himself out of the armchair. “I believe I see what you’re trying to tell me. – It’s fine.” He made one limping step without looking at Edward. “You can leave.”
Frowning, Edward stared at him both upset and confused. “Oswald” he sighed. “What are you saying? What-“
“YOU CAN LEAVE!” Oswald suddenly screamed and now tears were in his eyes. “You obviously have found someone and who am I to keep you here?! It’s not like I believed that we two would go through all of this together because it seems like I was mistaken! You don’t have to say with me, take that stupid woman and leave! I don’t need a chief of staff!”
Oswald was seething with rage, his nose trembling. Edward had taken his words without moving, only looking him in his red, wet eyes. The emotions he saw so bare in front of him had emptied his mind.
“Oswald…” Now the two men were standing only three feet apart, not blinking. “Oswald, I’m trying to say-“
“I DON’T CARE!”
Oswald smashed the glass on the table and suddenly grabbed Edward, holding the sharp edges of the broken glass close to his throat. It was exactly like back then in Edward’s home: Edward motionless and Oswald sobbing at his chest. The latter was shaking and staring into Edward’s eyes before he slowly sunk his head.
“Why aren’t you leaving?” he sobbed quietly under his breath, but the taller one had heard him.
“I don’t want- I can’t leave, Oswald.” Edward said strongly but with a quiet voice. “I can’t because you still have something of mine.”
The black-haired looked up to him; he didn’t ask, but his expression said enough.
“I’m called the centre of everything, whether living or not.” Edward replied and as he spoke, grabbed Oswald’s hand that was still holding the glass and lowered it slowly. “I give everyone life and even when I get broken I can still do my duty. You have one yourself and can still steal someone else’s. What am I?”
The first moment Oswald was frozen as he had taken the words in, then he was petrified as he processed their meaning. He looked up to Edward, who was smiling, then he became aware of their hands still touching each other.
“Heart” Oswald eventually said. “I have your heart.”
He let the glass drop and Edward’s fingers immediately reached around his own.
“And that’s why I will never leave you.”
And Edward didn’t even wait for Oswald’s response and just kissed him.
All at once Oswald didn’t feel angry anymore. Everything he had feared, all the doubts he has had, all the pain disappeared. Because Edward had taken them from him.
“I love you.” Edward said as they interrupted their kiss. “I couldn’t just ignore that when I was with Isabella, which is why I would never be able to stay with her.” Oswald only stared at him, half-smiling. “Because I belong with you.”
A tear ran down Oswald’s cheek, then he pulled Edward into another kiss. Never would both of them worry about being alone ever again.