Short Story: Forever

This is a short story I wrote for a class I took last year. I decided to post it here. Let me know what you think. I always appreciate constructive criticism.

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Forever

“What’s that?”

She glanced up from wiping off the bar, and down to where his eyes were focused. Her hand instinctively came up to wrap around the ring hanging from a chain on her neck. She saw the exact moment he recognized what it was.

She moved away to tuck the ring beneath her shirt.

He turned his face down, his brows furrowed, as he pensively studied the amber liquid in his glass. “I can’t believe you kept it.”

She shrugged.

He frowned, and his grip tightened on his glass. “I-” His frown deepened, and took a gulp of liquid courage, “I’m getting married, y’know?”

“I know.” Her voice was soft, but steady, as she returned to wiping down the bar in smooth, even, strokes.

“Then, why?”

She barely hesitated, but it was enough that he noticed, for how hard he was watching her. She sighed, and tossed the rag into the sink nearby. “Sam.” She rest both her hands on the edge of the bar, and leaned forward. “Just because things ended bad-”

“Dahlia-”

“No,” she held up hand, stopping Sam from interrupting, “just because things ended bad between us, doesn’t erase the good times before.”

“Dahlia, I-”

“We were young and dumb, Sam.” She smiled wistfully, and ducked her head, turning away. “But, forever was nice while we had it.”

Sam opened his mouth to respond, but whatever he was going to say got lost.

“Sammy!” Sam tensed, then relaxed, when the familiar arm of his brother draped across his broad shoulders. “This is supposed to be a celebration, why are you over here looking all broody? You’re missing Kev all drunk off his ass!”

Sam shook his head, and gave his brother a fond, but exasperated smile. “Dean, you remember Dahlia?” He gestured at the woman with his glass.

Dean turned his piercing green eyes on the woman, crooked grin making the corners of his eyes crinkle. “Can’t say that I do.”

Dahlia smirked, “Hello, Dean.” For all his charm, and bluster, Dahlia could see Dean sizing her up, determining if Sam being around her could be some kind of threat.

“Dean.” Sam’s voice was low, and firm, a warning.

“Wait, Dahlia, is she…?” Dean returned his focus to his brother.

“Yes.” Sam slouched, tucking his large frame against his brother’s side.

“Long time no see, Dean.” Dahlia’s face had softened, and she was pointedly not focusing on how small Sam now seemed, tucked against his older brother, though he could very easily tower over everyone in the old bar.

Dean shifted, and somehow managed to shield his brother, without looking like that was exactly what his intention was. “Hey, so, what’re you doing here?”

Dahlia’s eyebrows rose, “I work here.” She said it slowly, as if speaking to a small child.

“Dean-” Sam’s attempt at a warning went ignored.

Dean frowned, “Yeah, I got that. I meant here, here.”

“I live here.” Dahlia crossed her arms over her chest, and jutted out her chin. “This place is my home, always has been. You two breeze into town when we were kids, and then disappear without a word in the middle of mine and Sam’s senior year, and then randomly appear again years later, and you want to interrogate me? I don’t think so. Get out of my bar.”

Sam winced.

“Your bar?” Dean stood up to his full height, shoulders back, chest out.

His posturing did not affect her in the slightest, “Yes, my bar. Not get the fuck out.”

Dean scowled and began to stomp away, “Come on, Sammy.”

Sam rose, though his shoulders were hunched, and his face was pinched. “Dahlia?”

“Look Sam, I love you, but you don’t get to waltz in here and mix my life up again.” Dahlia shook her head, and brushed a loose lock of auburn hair behind her ear.

Sam’s eyes widened. “Wait, love? Present tense?”

Dahlia’s shoulders and head dropped, like a weight had suddenly crashed down on her. “Yeah, Sammy, present tense.” She ran a hand over her eyes, “I never stopped loving you.” She looked up at him, and Sam could see the tears glistening along her lashes. “But it doesn’t matter does it, you’re getting married, right?”

“C’mon, Sammy!”

Both turned to look at Dean, who stood waiting by the door, a young man’s arm draped over his shoulder, looking annoyed.

Sam turned his hazel eyes back to Dahlia. “I-“

Dahlia shook her head, and took a step back, “Doesn’t matter, not anymore.” She turned her eyes up towards the ceiling, trying to keep the tears at bay, “Our forever was over a long time ago.”

Sam looked away, “Yeah.” His voice was too soft, too uncertain.

“Sammy!”

“Goodbye, Sam.”

Sam walked away, and didn’t look back, no matter how badly he wanted to.

*

So, what did you think? Should I continue it into a full blown story? Should I go back to the initial incounter at the bar? Should I go all the way back to the beginning, when Dahlia and Sam met and fell in love? Let me know what you think!