Characters - Ian Miller, Detective, Boston PD
Side note - It is important to know for this story that Ian was married to a man named Casey, and together they had a daughter named Marissa. They were both killed in a hit and run accident by a drunk driver.
The air was perfect that night. Not too cool, and not overly filled with the humidity of summertime. Just a warm, gentle breeze. Casey would have said so, Ian thought as he sat out on the balcony of the two bedroom condo that had been theirs together. It was a 'fixer upper' when they bought it, and now it turned out that Ian was living in one of the most desired areas of Boston. Not that it mattered to him. Nothing had mattered, really, since they had died.
Ian was in his favorite chair; a bit of an eye sore, as it had been bruised and battered by Boston's coldest winters. But he was never one for looks, as growing up on a cattle farm in remote Montana really didn't give you a choice to have a taste for luxury. Casey had always tried to instill something of it in Ian, but....well. Ian would laugh it off. Casey would tease him. Ian would say something witty and flirtatious in return and they would both end up in bed together. That was how it was, before the crash; before one single man took everything from him.
Marissa was only eight. She knew nothing of what life had to offer, except that her daddies loved her with all of their being and that Ian had promised to paint her room 'Princess Pink' for the summer. That was....fifteen years ago now? Fifteen years. She would have been 23 this year. Probably too old for 'Princess Pink', he thought. Maybe she would have been in college, studying abroad, or learning a trade. Maybe she would have wanted to be a cop like her daddies. That brought a soft smile to Ian's face. Most likely not, as being the daughter of two cops, her teenage years probably would have been traumatizing.
Fifteen years. Ian sighed now as he shifted something from his right hand to his left, and then settled on holding it with all of his fingers. Small steps had brought him this far. Very small steps. He had been put on suicide watch for a full year after it happened. Shane O'Connell, his partner and best friend, had been in charge of him at that point. Looking back on that Ian felt a bit of guilt. He shouldn't have put that man through all of that hell, but...he had no one else to look to. In that respect among others he owed that man his life.
Every year that passed was like carving a tick mark in the wall. And for what? He could see it now. 'Congratulations on surviving fifteen years after your husband and daughter's death'. Hell, they make a greeting card for everything else, don't they? It wasn't like he did anything extraordinary. He would work. And work, and work. He would drink scotch and he would pass out with the help of sleeping pills only to wake up the next day to do the same thing. His only meals came out of a diner, or out of a box, and really that's the same quality in his mind.
And then one day, everything changed. So cliché, but true. Kerry Cardell, Shane's ex boyfriend...oh but that's a whole different strange relationship. Anyway the man cared for Ian for some reason and had been looking out for him as well. Kerry was the one who tried to get him to be more social; Kerry being the only one with the patience to handle a man like Ian. Years of convincing finally got the man to the annual Police and Fire Gala, a black tie event that most people looked forward to. Ian had really only said yes to get Kerry off his back. One hour, he told the man. One hour.
He had not planned on that hour including a meeting with perfection.
Ian had felt that his life had ended that day Casey died. That he would never have love again. That he would never be attracted to another man. That theory came to a shattering hault when he had looked across the bar and saw who was trying to make conversation with him. Riley Munez, Kerry's best friend. He'd heard all about him but never before had met him. Ian had been so nervous that he'd spilled his drink all over the front of his completely black tuxedo. His mind scolded him like it hadn't in years that night. He'd lost his chance, he'd made a complete fool of himself it told him. You're too old for him, he'd never be interested in you it added. His own worst enemy was an understatement.
And yet, that didn't stop Riley. They found each other again outside of a grocery store. Riley even helped Ian on a dangerous undercover mission. He didn't have to do that. He didn't have to give him a handjob that night, either.
And now Ian sat on his balcony with a box in his hands and Shane's words running through his mind. "It's time to take off the ring, Ian," his best friend had said. Take off the ring that Casey had put there when they had gotten married. Casey PUT it there. Ian flipped the box open; it was small with a velvety finish. Typical jewelry store box. Inside were two slots but one was full. Casey's ring. It was simple and silver just like Ian's, with scratches from wear and tear. Ian sucked in a breath as he stared at it. He hadn't looked at it in years; it had been too painful. Ian would not let them bury him with it. That was all he had left of his husband; their link together. "I can't believe that hasn't scared him off!" Shane had said. Ian couldn't believe it either. It was a bit....strange, he supposed, that he was wearing the wedding ring his dead husband had given him.
"It's time to let it go..." he whispered to himself. It was time. Time to let his life continue forward instead of being stalled in a lonely, cold neutral. Casey would be yelling at him now, he knew it. "I.....I'm sorry, Case.....that I....I didn't have the strength to do this before. That I couldn't let you go but I....well you know me so I don't have to explain myself do I? Mmn....Riley...he.....I think he can help me, you know? I think that....he's what I need to.....to get....get over you and I feel like shit just saying that! But I.....I know that.....this is what I have to do. I can't...hold a ghost. But I'll always love you...." he whispered then, tears coming to his eyes as he reached to his left hand, slowly sliding that ring from his finger like it was going to take all of him with it. But...it didn't. It was off of his finger now and his heart was still in his chest. Ian took a breath as he slipped that ring inside of the case, right beside the other. Beside it's partner, where it belonged. "I love you Cas--" he stared to say before he heard the sound of his phone ringing from the table inside. A song he'd never heard of before, from a station that he would never listen to; Riley had set it up for him so that he knew it was him when he called. And it made him smile. "Thank you..." he whispered. A sign, he thought, from the man he had loved. Things were going to be different now. Ian was going to remember how to smile.
*tears up* That is just beautiful..
Awers....thank you!! Don't cry...tears don't taste like chocolate.
this is so beautiful! <3 i love how you managed to get so much feeling through, together with amazing amounts of backstory and character description in such a short text. I would have needed a book to write the same thing >_O
OMG! OMG! I LOVED THIS!! Thank you thank you thank you!! I don't know what all to say! I..I...I'm speechless! Me.. Speechless...
Awers!!! I'm so happy you loved it <3 <3 <3 Ian is underrated XD
I loved this story. *^_^* My favourite part being that (and maybe it's just me) I really thought the main character was handling a gun at the beginning of the tale. I was sure this story was leading to suicide and to instead see it turn to hope was fantastic. It has such a beautiful and bittersweet ending.
All I could think while reading it: "From My Hands" by VNV. <3
All I could think while reading it: "From My Hands" by VNV. <3
Oh wow... -melts-