Lyrics are from All I Ask
I will leave my heart at the door
I won’t say a word
They’ve all been said before, you know
So why don’t we just play pretend
Like we’re not scared of what is coming next
Or scared of having nothing left
It had been nearly two weeks since she’d seen him. She’d hoped the distance and the time would make the pain go away, but it hadn’t. It was one thing to know it couldn’t work, to acknowledge the pain and destruction their relationship would cause, it was another to get the message to her heart. To say she never loved him would be a lie—a lie that neither of them believed—a lie that even Jack had seen through. She wanted to save her marriage—that hadn’t been a lie, but she was beginning to realize her affair with Billy didn’t have anything to do with that goal. Leaving Billy had done nothing to repair the relationship she had with Jack, just as being with Billy hadn’t really been about Jack at all. Being with Billy had been about Billy. It had been about their connection, their relationship, the way he made her feel.
“I can go,” Billy said quietly after a few moments of uncomfortable silence. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting when he came here, but it wasn’t this. In his mind, he’d been afraid she would be angry, but the silence had never even been a thought. When had he stopped mattering enough to her to even warrant a reaction?
“No, Billy wait..” She reached out, touching him for the first time in weeks. The moment seemed to spin in slow motion as he turned around to face her. Her eyes were shiny, a clear indication of tears and she said nothing, choosing instead to simply step aside and let him walk through the door.
“I wasn’t sure if I should come here,” he said quietly as he heard her shut the door and watched her take a seat on the sofa next to him.
“Why did you?”
The breath seeped through his lips as he stared at her. No matter what she said, no matter how many time she told him she felt nothing, he couldn’t believe it. He didn’t see that when he looked in her eyes. She couldn’t be that good of a liar..no one could. “I guess I just needed to see you,” he whispered.
She nodded. “I’m glad you came.”
“You are? I didn’t expect that. The last time we talked you told me to leave you alone and you were pretty damn clear about it.”
Phyllis sighed. “I know. I’m sorry about that. I think I was trying so hard to get you to believe that I didn’t want to see you because I was afraid to see you. I was afraid if I saw that I wouldn’t be able to keep telling myself the lies.”
“That I never loved you. I did love you. I still do.” She saw the look in his eyes, the flash of hope and her heart broke again. “But Billy, we can’t do this. It’s too hard. There’s just too much that…” Her voice broke. It had almost been easier to let him believe it had been a lie than to admit it had been so real while simultaneously admitting it could never work.
Look, don’t get me wrong
I know there is no tomorrow
All I ask is
If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do
It matters how this ends
‘Cause what if I never love again?
He stared at her for a long moment, not knowing what to say. She’d just said the words he’d prayed for, followed by the words he’d never imagined to hear. “I don’t understand,” he breathed. “If you love me…if you admit you want to be with me, then why can’t we be together? Everyone knows now. The fallout has been as bad as it will be. There’s nothing else that can possible happen.”
“Yes, there is,” she said sadly. “As long as we’re together, we’ll be a constant reminder for everyone. You’ll never have a chance to rebuild your relationship with your family and I know how important that is to you.”
“You’re what’s important to me…just you.” He reached out, grabbing her hands, holding them tight in his as he stared into her eyes. “My family will understand eventually and if they don’t, well then it’s their loss.”
“You don’t mean that. You need your family, your mother, your brother, your sisters….If we end this now, there’s a chance you can get that back. You can explain that we both agreed that the relationship wasn’t good for the family and we ended it.” Her own voice shook as she said the words. They were much easier to think than they actually were to vocalize…especially while staring into the eyes of the man she loved.
“So what is this exactly?” Billy stood, running his hands over his face in frustration. “You said you were glad I came….why? So you could tell me in person that we can never be together?”
She stood up, taking a few steps til she stood in front of him. His eyes were wet with tears as they flashed at her in anger.
“This isn’t easy for me, Billy. I want you to know that. Believe me, in a perfect world, you and I would be together and I would never..ever look back.”
“But this isn’t a perfect world.” His voice was low, resigned.
“No,” she whispered. “It’s not.” She drew in a deep breath as his hand touched the bare skin of her neck. “But I’m glad you came here because I didn’t want us to end the way we did. That wasn’t fair to us. What we had was real to me and to act like it meant nothing was wrong. It meant something. It meant a lot and it deserves to end better than that.”
“How do we do that?” he asked quietly. “I don’t know how to say goodbye to you.” He wiped the tear from her cheek as he saw it fall from her eye.
I don’t need your honesty
It’s already in your eyes
And I’m sure my eyes, they speak for me
No one knows me like you do
And since you’re the only one that matters
Tell me who do I run to?
She could feel them inching closer together, the warmth of his body now nearly touching her. “This is probably not a good idea,” she whispered, closing her eyes as she felt his fingertips begin to run through her hair. Before she could protest further, his lips captured hers. They both stood, captured in the moment, neither wanting to break the kiss, but both very aware of where it was leading.
Billy leaned back after a moment, dropping his head to lightly kiss her cheek. “Probably not.” His fingertips moved down to the tie on her robe. His hands stopped, his eyes looking up to meet hers. “If you want me to stop, just say so.”
Tears still streamed down her face and leaned back, his hands now cupping her face, swiftly brushing away the tears. “Hey,” he whispered.
“No,” she shook her head. “Don’t stop…” She took a breath, trying to reign in the tears.
Billy hesitated. “I just…I can’t…” He pulled her closer to him, sitting back on the couch and pulling her down into his lap. “What’s the matter?”
“It’s hard to say goodbye to you,” she whispered. “No one knows me like you do. You’re the one person that I could always be honest with—no matter what. I always knew I could count on you.”
“And you always can,” he whispered. “Just because we aren’t together, doesn’t mean I’m going anywhere. You’ll always have a place here.” He pulled her hand to his chest, softly leading her hand to his heart.
“Thank you for saying that.” She let her head fall to his chest, the sound of his heart beating comforting her, just as it always had.
“I’m not just saying it, Phyllis.” He turned his head, staring in to her eyes again. “I mean it. Just like I’ve meant every word I’ve ever said to you. I will never stop caring about you.”
“Same, Billy Abbott.” She leaned up, her lips lightly brushing his. “So I guess in a way this isn’t really goodbye, huh?”
“It’s never goodbye…not for us.”