Short Story Progress I

     He opened the door to find her standing there , crying . She had her back to him and he could see by the stack of tissues on the table beside her that she had been crying for a while . Dustin had never seen Ariel cry , not even when her father passed away . She always kept the tears at bay . Her strength had been what drew him to her in the beginning , you could see it in the way she carried herself . Dustin had envied that strength , it was something he always lacked . Now he had to be strong , and he knew it would be the hardest thing he had ever done .

The floor creaked loudly as Dustin tentatively took a step towards her slight frame. Ariel startled at the noise, and turned slowly to look at him. She tried to smile through her tears, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. The pain she was feeling was written so deeply in her crystal blue eyes, Dustin didn’t know how she had kept it hidden for so long.
“I wish I could turn back the clock to before I found out. I wish there was a way I could be strong and stay, to tell you that it will all work out. But I have never lied to you Dustin, and I won’t start now,” Ariel admitted as the tears continued to fall down her face.
“Ariel, come on, what ever it is we can get through it together. You are my best friend, I would do anything to make this better,” he didn’t know how else to reply. She hadn’t really told him anything.
Ariel sighed and walked towards the window that over looked her abundant garden. She always had a knack for making anything thrive, including Dustin. He could remember when they first met. She just seemed to understand how messed up his life had been. As she stared out at the flowers she had tended to almost religiously, Dustin felt something in the room shift.

“It can’t be fixed this time. Nothing can change what I’ve found out. I won’t have you pulled down with me. You have done so much to turn your life around, and I know you will make it through this.” With that Ariel picked up a bag from behind the couch, and turned and walked back towards Dustin. She smiled sadly as she walked out the door away from him and the life they had built together. As she passed by him a slip of paper floated out of her hand unnoticed. Dustin managed to slip the paper away from her, he had a feeling something on that paper scared her away.

***

     It took several hours for the reality that she was not going to be coming back, to fully hit Dustin. He has walked through every room of their house just trying to find a trace of her presence. It wasn’t to be. Ariel had removed everything, right down to any pictures he might have had of them. She had done her best to make it as if she had never existed.

     Once he was certain that she had left nothing behind, Dustin sank to the couch. He finally pulled the paper Ariel dropped from his pocket. He glanced at the folded paper and noticed by the flowery script of the front that the note was addressed to him. It was for him this whole time? He couldn’t understand it, the writing was not Ariel’s and he didn’t recognize it as anyone else’s he knew either.

     Dustin slowly unfolded the note, unsure now if he truly wanted to know what it contained. Something about the handwriting gave him a very bad feeling. He could not think of anything he could have done, or with whom he could have done it with, that would have caused Ariel to completely disappear like she had. He knew he couldn’t put it off any longer, so with a sigh Dustin opened the note:

Dustin,

     I am writing this with a very heavy heart. I do not normally involve myself in the lives of my family, however, Ariel is a special case. I can sense you might doubt not only who I am, but also what I am going to tell you. That is your choice, but I caution you to pay close attention. You see, Ariel is not who she claims to be, in fact Ariel is not even her real name. She is actually …

     Dustin was in shock, the letter abruptly ended. After reading it, he noticed that the page was torn. It was as if someone had ripped it in two out of anger. From what little information he had to go on, he still could not understand why Ariel would leave. This was obviously a cruel joke. He would never had believed a letter over her. Only, if it wasn’t true, then why would it have caused her to leave making sure all trace of her life was gone?

*This is the beginning of a rough draft for a short story for a fiction writing class, I welcome any constructive criticism on this piece seeing as it is a rough draft. At this moment I am unsure if this piece will end as a short story or if it has the potential to become something longer. So I hope that you enjoy and thanks for reading. =)

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