Dear Nicholas

by Bo Jones

Dear Nicholas,

This will be the last letter I ever write to you. Things just arent the way they were back then. I fear that weve grown apart I know weve grown apart. I know this because theres someone else Ive grown close to. Ive grown closer to him than you and I ever were. I guess I broke my promise to come back. I do feel remorseful for breaking that promise to you, but I really had no choice. I couldnt face coming all the way back just to say good-bye. Please believe me when I say I had no intention of this happening. I had thought maybe some time away from one another would be helpful but Please do understand Nicholas that I do love you. And, even though its not the same way you love me, its because of my love for you that I couldnt come back; that I cant be with you. Please do try and be happy with the rest of your life. Youll find someone out there for you; dont lose hope. Maybe well run into one another again one day. Until then, good-bye Nicholas.

~Caroline

Nicholas read the letter over and over again for the next three days. He didnt bother to eat anything. The only sleep he got was the sleep that crept up behind him and took him by surprise; and even that barely lasted before he awoke. It was a grueling trial on him and he wasnt fairing so well. He would much rather end it all. End it all or do something about it.

Doing something about it was what hed have rather done but what could he do other than get on a plane, fly to New York, and kill the new someone? Then maybe he could patch things up and win back Caroline. He figured it was worth a try.

Finally crawling out of his corner, weak from hunger and lack of doing anything for three days, he went to the computer and started looking for a flight. It didnt take him long to find one, and in two days hed be on his way to New York to seek out the love of his life that had abandoned him.

* * * * *

Youre not seriously coming here are you Nicholas? Please dont, itll only make things complicated. I know I hurt you, but I just dont have those feelings for you anymore. If you get this please call me. It might make you feel better if we talk about it. Please call me before you do something

Stupid, he muttered as he slung his bag over his shoulder. He hadnt bothered replying to these messages when hed had the time, so why would he bother to now when he had a plane to catch? His cab was already outside. There simply wasnt enough of a chance to talk to her; he had to go.

* * * * *

Id really hoped youd pick me up at the airport Caroline. Maybe we couldve talked on the way to your place. Maybe we couldve made up but by then and be celebrating when we got there. Now Ill have to look you up and come pay a visit. I wish youd have picked up the phone. I was so busy getting ready to come that I couldnt talk before but now, when I finally return your calls, you dont answer. Thats a little rude, wouldnt you agree? Oh well, we can talk about it later. I just wanted to let you know my plane landed safely. Ill be checking into my hotel and then maybe we can get together for dinner. Call me when you get this. Love you lots, Nick.

The blonde man in black pants and long forest green tee hung up the phone and looked over at his girlfriend, handing it back to her across the caf table with an unhappy expression.

What is it Art? she asked him, her blue eyes nervous.

The blond, Art, made a distasteful expression. I dont like this one bit. The guys acting rather stalkerish. Im afraid he might come after you.

Nicholas is just upset, she tried to defend him, smoothing out the wrinkles in her dark purple dress and brushing away loose crumbs. He can be pretty irrational at times but, if you explain things to him, he usually calms down. I guess breaking up with him in a letter wasnt the best idea.

Are you saying youre going to meet with him?

I think I owe him that much, she said, running a hand through long and curly dark brown hair.

Art looked away, staring out the caf window. He wasnt happy with the fact that his girlfriends ex had came all the way see her so suddenly. The way hes talked in his message made it seem as if they were still together. No, he didnt like where things were going one bit. If youre going then Im coming with you, he decided. He looked back over at her and asked, Is that okay?

Caroline bit her lip, thinking to herself.

Youre considering his feelings now, arent you?

Me and him were together for a long time, its hard for me to hurt him, she replied, more upset with herself than anyone.

But if you go alone Im going to be worried about you. I dont trust this guy. He sounds like he hasnt accepted that its over.

I know he hasnt.

Art was going to say something more but Carolines phone rang again. He sighed as she looked down at the number and then back at him.

Its Nicholas, she said.

Art reached out with a grimace and took the phone. He pressed Accept and placed it to his ear, waiting for a voice.

There was a silence. Then he heard, I dont want to talk to you blondie, and the line went dead.

Art sat there, his mouth agape, staring down at the phone.

What is it? Caroline asked.

Did you ever mention what I look like to this guy? Art asked quickly, eyes scanning the caf.

No, why?

He looked back at her and said shakily, He just said I dont want to talk to you blondie and hung up. How did he know Im blonde? And how did he know I answered the phone?

Both of them began looking around fearfully, Caroline trying to see her ex and Art looking for anyone that seemed suspicious. He was about to suggest they leave when her phone sounded again, this time the tone for text messages.

Her heart picking up a beat, Caroline reached out opened her messages, reading the newest one:

U always did look good in that dress. Come to room 234 @ the Athenee on 64th around 8:30 and ill make u look even better out of it

Lets get out of here, she said once shed let him read the message over.

Idiot told us where hes staying, lets go to the police, Art suggested.

Caroline hesitated; she didnt want anything to happen to Nicholas, though things were getting too weird for her. He was watching them right now and there was no telling what else he might do. When they were together he often did crazy thing when he was mad. He once chased a car for three blocks because the guy in it had whistled at her. It was sweet, but it was insane. She knew he might pull something like that and it was scaring her.

Okay, lets go to the police.

They got up, paid their check, and left. Neither noticed the mean standing just outside the caf door dressed in a black trench coat, shirt, and slacks. He was wearing sunglasses and had long black hair pulled into a ponytail. It was his dark attire that made him seem invisible in the shadows he stood in.

Run, run, as fast as you can, Nicholas said evilly.

* * * * *

Well just grab some of my stuff and then go to your place and stay in for the night, Art said as they climbed the stairs toward his apartment.

Caroline and Art had gone to the police and filed a report, but that was all that had happened. They hadnt been convinced by just a few texts and messages that Nicholas was a real danger and not just trying to intimidate them. The detective they had spoken to had given them his card, and told them to call if they actually saw Nicholas, or if he said or did anything legitimately threating. When the couple had said they didnt live together the detective had suggested Art stay with Caroline in the meantime, just in case.

Looks like well get to try living together after all, she tried to joke. Theyd talked about it before, but felt it was too soon. They hadnt even spent a night together. Caroline hadnt quite been over Nicholas when she met Art. She wasnt entirely sure she was now even.

They reached the floor Art lived on and walked toward his apartment.

Whats that? she asked, indicating the piece of paper stuck to his front door.

Art was cautious as he approached, snatching the note off the door when he was close enough and holding it up to the light. It was written in a dark red ink.

Going to the police after only one day? Thats a little tacky, isnt it Caroline? Does this mean its really over between us? Please meet me in Central Park tonight. I just want to talk. And if you really want it to be over Ill let you go. Just please meet with me one more time so I can say good-bye with all my heart. I still love you Caroline, but if the only way to make you happy is to let you go then Ill let you go. I just want to say I love you one more time. Please Caroline.

Carolines heart contracted and a tear slipped from her eye.

Art could read her expression clearly. Youre going, arent you. It was a statement, not a question.

She looked at him with gleaming eyes. He wrote this in his own blood. He just wants one more good-bye.

You really think its going to be that simple?

She looked away from Art, back at the letter, while a tear dripped down her cheek. I do. She looked back at Art. I know Nicholas, I know that hell give up if I go and talk to him.

How can we know it isnt a trick? The detective said we should contact him if we heard from Nicholas, or if he did anything threatening, and getting blood notes sounds like a perfect excuse.

Caroline wanted to repeat that she just knew it would be all right but her phone sounded again. She sighed and took the item from her pocket, checking her new message.

Ill wait here all nite if I have 2. Plz dont make me wait long, its very cold out

If hes really gonna be there all night then the cops can get him, Art pressed, reading the message over her should. He needs help. We can let the cops take care of him. Please Caroline, I dont want anything to happen to you.

Caroline only bit her lip nervously.

* * * * *

Under the bridge, Nicolas said on the other end of the phone. Ill be waiting. The line went dead and Caroline sighed.

I cant believe youre going through with this, Art said spitefully as they walked. This isnt the romantic stroll through Central Park I had once imagined us taking.

Dont worry, Caroline asked of him. I dont want him to see you, but you can watch from a safe spot. If anything happens call the police.

Art just scowled. He didnt like this one bit, but there was no talking Caroline out of it. He was going to have to trust her on this.

Okay, dont come any further with me, she said as they drew close to the place Nicholas was supposed to be waiting.

I dont like this, he said her again.

I know, but please, just let me do this. She leaned up and touched a soft kiss to his lips. Ill be okay.

He sighed and agreed, then found a tree that he could hide behind while Caroline went ahead to the meeting place.

She was afraid of what might happen when she saw Nicholas. The last time shed seen him shed promised to come back to him. That had been six months ago, when her life was still uncertain. Coming to New York had been the best decision shed ever made. Shed gotten a job she loved; met Artemis, a compassionate man who cared deeply for her, and it had always been her dream to live in a big city. The only thing that had held her back had been her love for Nicholas.

Theyd met their first year of college and been together since. At first things had been great. Nicholas was possessive and paranoid though, and the past year had been rough for the two of them. She thought a trip to the big city and some distance would help her clear her head so that when she went back to Nicholas things would be all right. Obviously that hadnt gone as planned. Now this was happening, and she didnt know where it was going to end up.

Caroline? a voice asked as she approached. She turned and saw a figure emerging from under the archway. It was difficult to make anything out since he was dressed all in black, but she knew in an instant.

Hello Nicholas, she said as the figure drew closer.

He was so quiet as he walked that, without the sound of his footsteps, all she had was the little puffs of his breath reflected in the streetlamps slowly growing closer to tell her that he was moving. He was wearing sunglasses, so it was impossible for her to see his eyes, though she wondered how he could see anything at all.

Hello Caroline, he said when hed come to a halt just before her. How have you been?

Ive been pretty okay, she replied, her fingers twiddling nervously, her heart pounding in her chest.

So what happened? he asked, not wanting to beat around the bush. I thought things were getting better between us. Then you left and promised to return; and you didnt. What happened?

Things changed Nicholas. We were always fighting. I thought maybe a little time apart would help. But you know I always talked about living in New York. It was just so amazing her. Then I met Art and it was like something that had been missing was suddenly there.

Something that I couldnt be? he asked. His voice was ominously toneless.

Please dont be like this, she begged him. I never wanted to hurt you.

But you did. You hurt me so badly.

Im sorry Nicholas. I still love you, but not in that way anymore, she painfully pleaded, hoping it would get through to him. Its really over for me.

Did blondie make you say all this? he asked, taking hold of her arm, his voice taking on a panicked edge. If hes trying to hold you away from me, just tell me and Ill take care of it.

Its not Artemis, she said, her voice raising an octave. Im with him because I choose to be. Just like I was with you.

Is he better in bed than me? Is that it? he shouted, tightening his grip fractionally.

Listen to yourself, youre paranoid, Caroline told him, trying to pull away. Me and Artemis havent even had sex, this has nothing to do with sex. Why cant you just except that my heart isnt yours anymore? she shouted, throwing his arm off hers. It wasnt until his hand was gone that she noticed the dampness and looked down at the red stain on her jacket sleeve. Her eyes widened and she looked at his hand, seeing now the red stream slipping down it, dripping to the ground. Nicholas, she gasped, looking up at him.

A smile crossed his face and he reached up with his good arm to take off his sunglasses. His eyes were lidded and he looked as if he were on the verge of fainting. I told you, you hurt me, he said weakly, his legs giving out.

Nicholas, she cried, catching him before he hit the ground. Why did you start that again?

If I cant have you, he said weakly, Then whats the point in going on?

Tears seeped down from Carolines eyes. Nicholas do you really love me that much? Am I really that important to you?

His smile grew a little and he reached into his coat, pulling out a folded piece of paper. See for yourself, he said, giving it to her.

Caroline took the paper and unfolded it, reading aloud:

Caroline,

Im not going to try to stop the bleeding. If you come tonight then I just might have a chance at living. But if not then Ill just bleed myself to death. I have no purpose in life if Im not with you. I cant help but love you as much as I do. Im so very sorry if my love has ever or still is being any type of burden on your life. I just want you to be happy. If youre happier without me then Ill except that and pass on. Im very happy for the time we had. Even when we were fighting, being with you was the best time of my life. Ill always love you Caroline.

~Your darling Nicholas

Carolines hand covered her mouth and the cold air stung the tears falling down her face as she finished the note and looked at the man in her arms. He still looked weak and his arm was still warm and moist with fresh blood.

Nicholas she whispered. Im so sorry Nicholas. If I had known you felt this way I wouldve tried harder to make things work.

Its okay, he said softly, still wearing that same smile. Youre with that guy now. I cant tear you two apart. Now that youve said that, I can leave you peacefully.

But Nicholas

Dont worry Caroline. So long as I know you care I can be happy. I just want one more thing.

What is it?

One last kiss

Caroline wasnt sure. Shed feel wrong kissing someone else while dating Artemis. Seeing Nicholas like this broke her heart though. She did still love him, in some way. One kiss wouldnt hurt, would it?

Caroline, dont do it, Art called, coming out from behind his tree and running at the two who were dangerously close to kissing.

His voice startled Nicholas back to life. His eyes refocused and he moved quickly so that he was back on his feet, holding Caroline in front of himself like a shield. From his coat he withdrew a concealed knife and brought it to her throat. I thought you came alone, he hissed to her. I said to come alone!

Im sorry Nicholas, she said quickly, holding very still. The edge of the knife was cold against her throat. Please dont do anything.

Just calm down, Art suggested, taking a cautious step toward them.

Dont tell me what to do blondie, Nicholas barked, taking a step back. Not unless you want to lose Caroline.

You do it and shes lost to you too, Art pointed out, one hand on the phone in his pocket. It was already dialed 911 and all he had to do was press Call.

But thats the beauty of it, Nicholas said. Me and Caroline have a bond. You could say were soul mates even If I kill her, all I have to do is kill myself. Our souls will find each other in the next life. Then well be together forever.

Youre insane, Art growled, pressing Call and he moved his phone from his pocket to his ear.

Seeing this, Nicholas tossed Caroline aside and lunging at Art with his knife. Art saw him coming and threw the phone to Caroline, but that didnt stop Nicholas. He had to jump aside to dodge the attempted slash, landing closer to the archway. Nicholas was quick though, and was right back on Him, swinging his knife down again. Art wasnt sure but he thought he could still see that same smile on his attackers face, giving him a deranged demeanor.

Youre fast, Nicholas complemented, turning his blade downward. But you wont stop me from taking back my Caroline!

Nicholas, please stop this, Caroline called as they scrimmaged. The police are already coming. Just stop before someone gets hurt.

Nicholas, having missed another attack, glanced over at her with that crazed smile. But I cant stop it. I cant stop it until hes dead.

Using the moments distraction, Art jumped at Nicholas. He tackled him to the ground but couldnt get the knife from his hand. He tried to pin Nicholas down but he wasnt as strong and soon the pinned mans arms were pushing him back up, his smile looking more and more crazed.

I wonder what sound youll make when I kill you, Nicholas thought aloud.

That statement shocked Art, giving Nicholas the perfect chance to toss the defending man off of him and get back to his feet.

Just sit still and let me kill you, Nicholas said, closing in on Art who was backing away, not realizing there was a tree close behind. Caroline already said she wished shed have given me more time to work things out. With you out of the picture shell have all the time she needs.

Arts back was pressed against the trees trunk now but he stood petrified while the other closed in on him, licking the knife he held insanely.

Nicholas, please dont! Caroline cried. She wanted to run to them but her feet wouldnt take her. She could only bring herself to yell and shout while the most important person in her life killed her boyfriend; watch Art be killed by this madman she loved. Nicholas Ill come back to you! Just please dont kill Artemis!

Not now darling, Nicholas said merrily, not turning his eyes away from his prey. I just have to kill this spider for you, just like before.

Caroline, Art managed to croak out.

I didnt say talk! Nicholas shouted, his knife driving into the boys chest, causing Art to let out a soft gurgling sound. His face came close to Arts and he hissed. Not the noise I was hoping for.

Art only stood, his gaze transfixed on Caroline as the life drained from his eyes and his body went limp.

No! Caroline cried as Nicholas took his knife from the boys chest.

Nicholas snickered to himself, taking Arts hand from his side and placing it over his head. It was so nice meeting you Artemis, he said as he ran the knife over Arts wrist, letting a crimson cascade consume the victims face and causing Art to scream out in pain. Thats a much better sound. Dont go anywhere and maybe we can do this again sometime. He reared his knife back and stabbed it through the mans hand and into the tree, pinning him to it.

Nicholas, how could you? Caroline cried as he walked passed her.

You broke my heart, so now I broke yours, he said as if hed done nothing at all. Im tired, but Ill call you tomorrow and maybe we can go to dinner. Night. With that he left her, walking out of the park and licking Artemiss blood off his fingers as if it were a parting gift.

* * * * *

Dear Nicholas,

Im still kind of shaken about what happened that day. I know it was three months ago, but its not something thats easily gotten over. I cant believe you killed him like that. Was it because you love me? Or was it just because you were jealous that youd lost me to someone else? I only wish you were here for me to ask. I dont know if its right, but, the truth is I still love you Nicholas. I think about you every day. Breaking up with you was the worst mistake of my life. I just hope youre doing okay, wherever you are. I wish I knew where you went after that day. But wherever you are, I just hope you know that I still love you so much. Have a nice life Nicholas.

~Caroline

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