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Fade Into You

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"You know I love you, Donna."

The words kept echoing inside his mind all the way down to the lobby. He wasn’t sure if he didn’t listen to the concierge on his way out or if the old man wasn’t even there, the only thing he knew was that he needed to get to his apartment; otherwise, he was most likely to turn around and run up the stairs back to apartment 206, take Donna into his arms and kiss her the way he’s been wanting to do for so long. But he couldn’t. Harvey was absolutely aware of Donna’s main rule: she would not mix business with pleasure and he knew maybe that was the reason for their professional relationship to work so well. Theirs was the best partnership in that entire firm and no one could deny it.

Struggling against his own desire to go back, Harvey entered his car and drove to his apartment. The wind blowing on his face made him feel alive. Driving, right after working as a lawyer, was one of his very favorite things. He took a deep breath. The bottle of wine he shared with Donna was slowly leaving his blood, the sudden sobriety making his thoughts clearer, softer, and he grinned when his mind drove back to the case he would have to deal with in the morning. He didn't want to think about what just happened, for his own good, but it didn’t last two seconds: soon, his mind was back to Donna. Her outfit that night. The way her red hair fell in waves over her shoulders. Her hazel eyes staring at him, attentive to any movement. Her lips touching the glass of the cup, embracing it with such innocence and sensuality at the same time.

"You know I love you, Donna."

He knew that she was completely aware of his feelings towards her. She’s always been, just like he, but saying it out loud was somehow different, as if the words leaving his chest were feathers being blown into the air, taking with them his natural ability to breath. It was easy and at the same time it was so incredibly hard that he was still trying to catch his breath.

"You know I love you, Donna."

He arrived at the building. After parking the car in the garage, Harvey walked calmly to the elevator feeling like his feet were the only thing leading him to his apartment while his mind was lost into the thought of what might have happened if he had stayed. He would have loved to spend the night, even though they didn’t have strawberries or whipped cream like the first time. He would have stayed, but Donna didn’t ask.

As soon as he opened the door, the first thing he did was to walk towards the living room and fix himself a glass of whisky. He would probably regret that in the morning, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep that night anyway. He sat down at the armchair and took a sip of the drink. And then another one. And another. He felt the liquid burning all the way through his throat and closed his eyes, leaning back into the chair. This should be easier. Harvey was a man of his word and relationships didn’t usually bother him because he would always choose to stay away from them. He didn’t need anyone telling him that the way he behaved when it came to love was his mother’s fault, hers and Bobby’s. Deep down, he was aware of that. He was damaged for good and maybe he wasn’t the man for Donna, after all. She deserved better. A woman like that deserved someone whole, not in pieces. Not someone broken like he was.

“You know I love you, Donna.”

It felt like his chest was burning and he couldn’t identify the source of that discomfort. It felt like he had a thousand butterflies flying inside his stomach and the words inside his mind weren't anything more than a huge tangle of random letters he couldn’t decode. Harvey had so much to say, but he had so little knowledge of the depths of that feeling. It was all too overwhelming and it was actually ironic how a grown man like him, one of the best lawyers in the city, who won case after case, would feel so lost when it came to his own romantic life.

Harvey took a deep breath again before finishing his drink and fixing another one. A few sips and another glass of whiskey later, his living room was starting to get blurry and that was how he knew he had to stop and go to bed because the following day would be harder than the previous one. The cases? Nope, that’d be easy. The hard part would be facing Donna like he did everyday, trying so hard not to kiss her knowing that it would probably make things even worse. Harvey put the glass on the little table in the center of the living room, but he didn’t stand up. Instead, he took his phone from his pocket and stared at the screen for a second.

"You know I love you, Donna."

You. Know. I. Love. You.

“She knows”, he thought. And with the whisky clouding up his thoughts he dialed her phone number that he knew by heart. Of course he would know it. It’s Donna’s phone number, after all. It 's hers.

“Hello?” her voice sounded… Surprised. Maybe she was. Even Harvey was surprised by his own actions that night.

But he didn’t say anything. He just sat there, in the dark, with his cellphone against his ear.

“Harvey? Are you okay?” Donna asked, but again, he didn’t reply.

One more time, he took a deep breath. It was like drowning and trying to breathe underwater. It burned.

And as if she was able to read his mind, she also breathed heavily. He smiled. She is Donna. Donna always knows everything. And just like that, they stayed silent for what seemed to be hours. They didn’t have to say anything at that moment, they just listened to each other's breathing.

And the words again echoed inside his mind.

"You know I love you, Donna."