Title: For my pains she gave me a world of sighs
Category: Gossip Girl
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Word Count: 730
Summary: Sometimes, he imagines pressing his lips against hers.
The days are brief, the nights are scarce, and from time to time Nate can do naught but think.
Alone and from the sidelines of this imaginary world, observing the revolving carrousel of life – the dramas, the laughs – with a childlike naivety and intrigue.
Up, and down, and all around. Set to repeat, again and again.
He takes it all in, gradually. Seeks to attach meaning to every twist and turn, every act and course, and sometimes, to the astonishment of others, he succeeds. Plays philosopher with alarming clarity (thinking of lost beauty and forgotten words). Surprises even himself. Mouth all stale and thoughts swimming–
among dreams and a lingering trail of smoke.
Lurking in the shadows, like a ghost.
And that is Nate’s little secret, the source of his wisdom and insight. He speaks to ghosts, all aged and wizened, and gains the world. Experience in solitude.
But Nate talks to people too (sometimes).
It’s all a matter of preference.
Because the dead can’t retort back. He likes invectives only when they’re blistering.
He watches her fight for recognition, for her place among the family – honoured, revered, and fucking respected like the beacons of divinity and sainthood the name Vanderbilt demands and preaches (and falls short of practicing). But she is never appreciated, no matter how much she tries, how much she sacrifices for their petty banes and blights.
So he watches her fail, watches her fall, knees scuffed and bruised and bloodied on the floor.
And sees, oh so much of him in her.
Both strangers in his grandfather’s house. Two soulless butterflies stuck in a barren wasteland of tragedy and decay.
Nate wishes she would save herself (he’s bound by blood and beyond salvation), wishes she would open her eyes and see (the future).
They’ll pull you in and destroy you in the end.
Only, she does not.
And he can only watch on.
And sometimes stare (blatantly silently despair).
With a sigh. He resigns and lets fortune take control.
Sometimes, he imagines pressing his lips against hers. Just to see what it is like, what it feels like. How it is and how it might be.
If only he wasn’t a millennium too young with a heart already sold and spent.
Seeing her dance with Tripp comes as a dull shock to the senses, utter confusion wrought in spite.
Because the world has changed, everything has changed and there she still remains, all dutiful and loyal and he swears it’s a fucking joke. Enough to leave him pouting, despondent and mourning rightfully.
Everyone in the family now knew that his cousin had turned into something resembling the court fool, but it is so unfair, so awful, that his beautiful wife must suffer too. So as a fearless knight – determined gentleman – he cuts in and dances away–
with Maureen in hand, smiling back diplomatically.
Startled and curious and just a slight bit puzzled and, Nate thinks, another slight bit thankful.
He wishes she hadn’t been.
It’s hide and seek, and he’s forever it.
Sometimes, he thinks he comes close to finding that which eludes him, whatever that may be (the unnamed, the unsaid). And every time, he is stupid enough, naïve enough: I like you… I love you.
If history has taught him anything, it’s that every longing glance, silent plea, and sinful thought will, in time, come to pass as a fancy.
Nate eagerly awaits the day.
And is disappointed, add frustrated, to find it’s taking so damn long.
The weeks go by.
And with every turn of the page the more he forgets. Begrudgingly forsakes. The curve of her spine, the planes of her face – those soft, pale lines and cursed red lips he likes best. All of it leaves his mind. Ablated into the past as he drinks the nights away, and at the bottom of every glass lies the knowledge that an epilogue is waiting to be written.
That a story must be put to rest, and once upon a time along with it.
He sees it as a fantasy dying; short and bitter and sickeningly sweet, but there are no regrets. Not when the delusions and pains and tensions (unspoken, uninhibited, unnoticed) have come to a close and are no more.
She is no more.
Nate is relieved–
that he can return to his ghosts.