Re-creative when Daisy and Gatsby are in Nick’s house meeting again for the first time.
A subtle knocking at the front door broke us from our conversation. After excusing himself, Nick went out whilst I was left to contemplate the crowded room. It certainly wasn’t what I expected his house to be and I certainly didn’t think Nick was one to decorate his rooms with excessive amounts of flowers. The bright colours were screaming and blinding, whilst the potency of the lavenders were intensified due to the humidity from the increasing rain.
Murmurs from the hall and trudging steps broke me from my reverie. From the corner of my eye, I could see a white, nearly transparent suit worn by an anxious man standing in a forming puddle. I know it’s him, I can sense it is. Betraying my mind’s plead to remain unaffected, I turned sharply towards him and we stared at each other. His eyes are frantic though his posture is rigid; my body is frozen and my hands pale though my heart speeds up and beats with the harsh patter of the rain, drumming faster though quietly as to not disturb us.
“You look young as I remember – the same,” he chokes out. I nearly snort at his remark and I want to scream and wail. Instead, I opt for conventions.
“I certainly am awfully glad to see you again,” I force. I silently thank a higher being for retaining my composure.
He reclines back onto a white mantelpiece uncomfortably as his whole body moves stiffly. His face contorts from a tense anxiousness to slight relief as we were joined by Nick. “We’ve met before,” he mutters as he stares down at me. My eyes are glued to the unmoving clock which fell from the pressure of his head as it tilted back from his forced laughter, only to be saved inches from the floor in his shaking hands. My lips slightly twitch to form a grimace as he apologises.
“We haven’t met for many years.”
“Five years next November,” he corrects me. He’s been counting? This man might genuinely still harbour feelings for me and it sets off an alarm.
After the suggestion of tea and exclusive chatter between Nick and I, Nick excuses himself for a short moment over something akin to “neighbourhood business”, whilst he stalks after him, afraid of being left alone with me. He hasn’t changed much physically – his jaw has become sharper, eyes that were once doe and exuberant are now undermined by dark bags and clouded in distress – but other than that, he still looked like him, just a bit more mature and starting to age like fine wine.
“I’m sorry,” the whisper nearly inaudible.
“Oh, it’s quite alright. I understand you don’t want to be left alone with me-”
“No! No, no – not that,” he rushes. The silence that surrounds us only confirms our shared understanding. Suddenly, I am five years younger again and I have just met him. I am rushed back into the night I died to become Daisy Buchanan as the letter he wrote crumbles into pieces, floating in the bathtub like I was. My left cheek starts to feel the unfamiliar substance of tears as he explains himself – the reason why he was gone for so long and how he wanted to come back to me, but he had to be patient. Then, he says what I’ve been waiting for, utters what I had only hoped and dreamt of: “I’m back for you.”
In that moment, we glowed. The room brightened and the smell of flowers reminded me of the parks we once ran and hid in as we got lost in each other. We could go back.
Amidst our moment, Nick came back and I swiftly rush to the mirror to fix myself. “Oh, hello, Old Sport,” Jay says still stuck and phased by his confessions and my acceptance. “It stopped raining.”