How?: 2P England and Reader:
The paper was blank, but his mind was spinning with yards of thread, delicate lace, sewing patterns, and color swatches. For once he was happy someone was so indecisive on what color their reception gown should be. It meant he had a few more private moments with her and her numerous laughs, small smiles, and plenty of teasing that would slowly fade through the years.
He tried in vain, for about the thousandth time, to forget, thinking back to what would work, his mechanical pencil hitting the paper as he began to carefully sketch the figure, soft skin, plump lips that always seemed to turn up into a small smile, and kind eyes that thought of a new story everywhere they looked.
If he had been paying attention he would’ve noticed the sun slowly setting across the small café, filling it with bright orange light and warming his freckled cheeks. He shifted uncomfortably and glanced outside. When he had arrived it had been a bright mid-day, the sun the same color as his lemon yellow car and his now empty coffee cup had still been warm.
The sore spot on his lower lip only stung a bit when he bit down, chewing in worry as he glanced around for a clock. He had been doing a lot of both lately; chewing his lip and glancing around for (Name), waiting for her to show up.
He checked the clock on his phone instead, discovering a series of texts from (Name), first saying she was late, and then canceling plans all together. For a moment he felt happy that he might have a chance to get over everything that had happened, but it was dashed away when he glanced at his picture.
It was meant to be a blank-faced model, but it had turned into a portrait of (Name), from the smile that made his heart go wild to the tips of her fingers that he wished still brushed a lock of pink hair behind his ear and would think nothing of it.
Artie sighed and carefully ran his fingers carefully over the page so as not to smudge the drawing, but the minutes passed and anger surged through him. Somehow he had to move on and decided that the first step would have to be this paper and throw it away.
It would take a while to forget moments like this, chuckles and snorts shared over private jokes; long hours spent in their favorite coffee shop just talking, while they shared their stories and reminisced about college where they had met.
But now it was different. Though she hid a smile behind her coffee cup, it was almost sad and tired, the bags under her eyes didn’t help and neither did her constant drifting, not entirely in the conversation as she thought of other things.
Instead of talking about college they talked of fabric, patterns, what kind of cake should be served, music to be played, and if there should be a chocolate fountain or not. (He was all for it.)
“How would I look in lace?” she asked, eyeing the new picture he had drawn that thankfully looked nothing like her.
He wanted to say gorgeous and as delicate as the lace itself, a wide smile would spread across his face and he would’ve held her hand, but instead he had to act like he was just a wedding planner, not a friend with thoughts of a crush and though it pained him he took the safest route.
“What would Arthur think?” he asked, the word felt like biting into a lemon, lip-puckering sour and burning on the way down. He would want to spit in either scenario.
She sighed and either his hopeful imagination was playing tricks on him or she did seem more defeated, a look of longing in her eyes as she wondered, “I should go with something else, he wouldn’t like the lace.”
But instead her smile grew and she set the lace aside, “I’ll ask him when he gets here.”
Artie’s insides froze. When he gets here? He didn’t remember her mentioning that Arthur would be tagging along. Yes he was half the reason the whole thing was happening, but Artie didn’t want him to have a word in this matter. But, he had to kick himself and remember that this was (Name’s) choice too. He plastered a fake smile on his face and distracted them with wedding colors; “Lavender or Ocean Blue?”
He was able to keep his mind from the events, until the small doorbell rang and (Name) detached herself from planning, a wide, heart stopping, stomach fluttering, finger itching, smile spreading across her face as she stood and pulled up a chair for Arthur.
“Hi Honey,” she said, her voice as sweet as sugar as she interlocked her fingers with his; “How do you think I would look in lace?”
The usually moody man smiled, glancing at Artie before he leaned down and kissed (Name’s) lips.
Artie’s blood boiled and rushed to his burning red ears, guilt churning in his stomach for a moment and he averted his bright blue eyes. He couldn’t watch the abomination that was occurring, lasting a bit too long for his liking, which was about 5 seconds.
He wanted to flip the table, smashing the other Englishman to the floor. He was a hundred percent sure that it was not his imagination playing tricks on him. He saw a mocking smile spread across Arthur’s face, deepening the kiss and slowly reaching a hand to place on (Name’s) back, pressing her closer and opening a bright green eye full of mockery.
Artie now had to fight the urge to stand and walk out, but words filled his head, repeating them over and over again, “You’ll get over her, it’s not the end of the world.”
How could he get over the many times his tongue felt like sandpaper and his hands became moist as he tried to stutter out the words; possibly replacing Arthur’s current role? How could he accept that she was somehow happy with Arthur; a man who seemed to only care about himself? How could he get over being a coward? So far it had come back to haunt him and could become impossibly worse.
How could he get over the dull thudding of his heart when love was ripped from him?
The answer was simple;
When it stopped.