Tucked away from the stage, obscured by light shadows, sit Johnny and Gwen — two people with a long history.
She stares at him, nibbling on her lower lip slightly, listening to the words gently escaping his lips.
“I’m trying to figure out how to get this out just right,” Johnny says, fumbling with a cigarette. He lights it, letting wisps of smoke ascend to the ceiling. His eyes lock on hers, the soft ambiance flickering between them, bonding them.
“Things have been very hard for me, especially recently. You are about as aware of everything as I am.”
Gwen nods. “You’ve told me a lot,” she replies.
“Exactly,” Johnny continues. “I have told you just about everything there is to tell. I trust you enough to be able to do that.”
Gwen smiles. “Well, I’m glad,” she responds.
“Which brings me to my next point,” Johnny says. “You’re the only person I can trust enough to do that. You’re the only person who can do lots of things.”
“Like?” Gwen inquires.
“Well,” he begins, “you make me smile all the time, even when things are hitting their lowest, and most stressful, points. You allow me to see sunshine among cloudy days. You make me feel like I can achieve anything I want to achieve, no matter how Herculean the task may be.”
She smiles, and blushes.
“And,” Johnny continues, “you’ve made me start falling in love with you.”
Gwen is taken back by the comment. She sits across from him, trying to find something to say.
Johnny recants. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to catch you off guard like that.”
Gwen shakes her head. “No, it’s okay. I just wasn’t expecting it, is all.”
“Hey,” Gwen smiles, removing herself from her chair. “It’s okay.” She moves her chair closer to Johnny. She takes his hand in hers.
Johnny lets out a half-smile and squeezes her hand. “Well, what’s do you think?”
Gwen smiles and squeezes his hand back. “I really do care for you, Johnny. You know that. I’ve always liked you and neither you or I were never in a position to where I could vocalize it, or even act on it in any other way. You’ve been very vocal about fixing your issues before committing to anyone else, which I respect fully and deeply. That’s important for you to do. I also, don’t want to give my heart to anyone else until I get over Eric. It wouldn’t be fair for either one of us to jump the gun like that.”
Johnny nods, biting his lip.
Gwen continues. “But, I do hope that one day we can finally see if all this time we’ve spent watching each other hurt over love could help us be together. You’re the only person who could see me at my worst, completely depressed or distraught, and make me smile, even make me feel like it’s worth something.”
Johnny gives her another half-smile. “So, you do want to be with me, then?”
Gwen nods, squeezing his hand again. “Yes, but I want to be with you when you can be the Johnny I know you can be. The one who cares deeply and unconditionally, who smiles even when things don’t warrant it, who can always see the silver lining. That’s the Johnny I care for. That’s the Johnny I know you can be.”
Johnny smiles, giving her a soft kiss on her cheek. They adjust themselves, Gwen’s head resting on Johnny’s shoulder, their eyes glued to the stage.