Is He Really Better?

22 Feb 2022  C. chou  6 mins read.

He leaned forward in his seat, as he took another gulp of beer. As he drank, the laughter at the neighboring table drew his attention. He crushed the can in his hand, as his gaze drifted over. A couple. Perhaps he’d be enjoying life like the two of them had she not left him. Had she not gone running off with that infuriating mongrel.

He was of superior blood, she had said. The other man’s background would grant her more than he ever could, he remembered her saying in response to his pleas for her to stay. His blood boiled at the memory. It’s been years. A normal person probably should’ve moved on by now. After all, it wasn’t unusual for people to leave behind the past in persuit of something better. It was like that with business, why should he have expected anything different of romantic relationships? But, he couldn’t forget the shock and bewilderment he felt when he accidentally stumbled in on them.

He knew that her decision probably was better for her in the long term. Still, he couldn’t help but feel resentment toward her. Toward the way she stole his dreams. Toward the way she shattered what could’ve been. He couldn’t help the hatred he felt toward her. Toward the man that robbed her from him.

Perhaps it was an inevitable conclusion, but that didn’t prevent the ache in his heart every time he thought of her. That didn’t prevent him from shamelessly and pathetically remembering her at the sight of a happy couple. From remembering the happy and heartwarming times they shared together. The way she rushed to him and the tears on her face when he returned home after an accident. Feelings that he couldn’t persuade himself had been faked this entire time.

He wiped the tear that escaped from his eye, and turned away from the couple. Looking down at the table, which had been so carefully decorated for Valentine’s Day, he couldn’t help but wonder if things would have been different if she never met the fae half-breed. If he had insisted on dragging her with him when she asked for ice cream. Would anything have changed? Would they have been together this Valentine’s?

Suddenly, venom filled his chest. They’d been together for so many years. They’ve shared so many ups and downs. How could she just let go of it all in an instant? How could she abandon their past so easily? How she put it all down without regret? Did the their shared feelings not have any meaning to her?

He looked up, catching sight of a familiar face. It was the fae man that she ran off with. He watched as the man lifted the restaurant clerk’s chin with his fingers. Without pause, the man leaned forward to meet her gaze. Contrary to the satisfaction that he expected to feel, anger rose within him. An emotion that only strengthened the more he watched the pair. She gave up their shared future for this? This so-called superior blooded man, who couldn’t even keep his promise of dedication to her?

He couldn’t stop himself anymore. He’d always wanted to punch that man, fae or not, but had always held back for one reason or another. Watching him publicly flirt when already in a relationship with someone else… Especially when that someone else was as special as her… That was absolutely unacceptable.

Even if he was no longer the man in her heart… Even if his place had long since been replaced by one of the fae, he couldn’t stand the thought of someone bullying her. He couldn’t stand the thought of her crying or otherwise suffering. Before he could step himself, he found his fist making contact with the mongrel’s jaw.

“The freak?” The fae exclaimed, cupping his face with a palm and looking up. “It’s you.”

“Yes. It’s me.” He acknowledged. “Is one woman not enough for you? Or do you simply feel that being half-fae justifies your behavior?”

“She’s dead you know…” The fae stated, straightening.

“What?” He asked, his eyes widening in shock. But then his eyes landed on the clerk. No, the fae scum must’ve had countless lovers. He probably couldn’t even distinguish the women from one another.

“Come with me.” The fae said, waving him to follow, seemingly having entirely forgotten about the clerk.

Cautiously and curiously, he followed. He was going to see exactly what tricks this man could pull from his sleeves.

“She asked to be buried here, you know.” The fae stated without turning, his voice suddenly melancholy as he stopped in his steps.

He looked up, seeing the small church for the first time. It was the place that they’d once agreed to, one day, hold their marriage ceremonies. It was so small and rundown. There wasn’t any chance she would pick a place like this with the money the fae had. Not unless…

“You’re right.” The fae said, cutting into his thoughts, as if reading his mind. “There was never anything between us. She just thought that you’d move on faster if you believed that there was. You walked in and misunderstood, then she just went with it. You should’ve seen her tears after you left.”

“Then why tell me now?” He asked, crouching before the tombstone, and feeling the words etched into its otherwise smooth surface. There was no doubt about it. It was her name.

“Because you clearly haven’t.” The fae answered. “You deserve an untarnished memory of her. She died only a few months later. There was nothing more that the doctors could do.”

God. He was wrong about her. Tears streamed his face. But there was no way to go back. No way to make up for their lost time.

This story was inspired by a writing prompt from the “Microcosm” Publication.

The broken promise.

The Lie.
The Real Truth.

Explosively unleashed and irreversibly expelled.
A wishless genie with the power only to shatter lives and ruin dreams.

Who is the broken doll afterwards? Is it one of our lovers, or is it a third? Is it poison on the lips or venom in the ears?

The most potent hate often comes from love betrayed.

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: