When Fili opened the door to the house, his heart was pounding fast. He had dreaded this moment all week, ever since he had finally made his decision. It hadn’t been an easy one, more precisely, it had been the most difficult choice in his entire life, given that he had been with Kili for more than three years now and that they always had been a happy couple. And now he was about to break his heart and that drove him almost insane.
But he couldn’t go on like this, that was for sure. Cheating on Kili was not an option at all, but he knew that it would inevitably come to that, if he didn’t put an end to their relationship soon.
He almost regretted to have gone to that party four weeks ago with Gimli while Kili had been working. If he had stayed at home, he never would have met Bard. Then they wouldn’t have discovered their shared love for the same crazy kind of music and wouldn’t have met for exchanging files and concert stories. Kili and he would still be happy and everything would be okay.
But he had been at the party and met the tall brunet and so they had managed to fall head over heels in love, despite the both of them being in committed relationships. Fili had tried hard not to fall for Bard, but in the end it had happened and now he had made his decision.
So far, nothing physically had happened between the two of them, but they were very serious about the feelings they had developed during the last weeks. And so they had decided to go for the only solution they could imagine was best for all of them. To leave their respective partners and start a new life together.
Fili felt nauseous with guilt when he entered the hall. There was absolutely no way to not hurt Kili, no matter how he was going to tell him the truth. The brunet would be heartbroken and devastated and the light, which usually shone in his eyes, would vanish. At least for a while. Fili was sure Kili would recover eventually, but as passionate and kind-hearted as he knew him, he would probably go through hell before that. His poor, sweet, innocent Kili.
When the blond arrived at the living room and the open kitchen area, he froze, mouth agape and eyes wide in terror. Did Kili really choose this very evening to arrange a romantic dinner?
There were candles everywhere and the smell of his famous roast hung in the air. The person in question himself was standing at the kitchen counter, already pouring them a glass of red wine and wearing his widest shining smile. Fili slowly entered the room and swallowed dryly.
“Fee, I was already waiting for you. Dinner is almost ready.”
Fili’s heart sank at the cheerful mood the brunet obviously was in. The knowledge that he was about to ruin it, his whole life included, almost made him choke.
“What … Kili, what’s going on?”
“I wanted it to be special, so I cooked your favourite dish and ..”
“What do you mean? Kili, I … I have to talk to you.”
Fili wanted to prevent Kili from implementing whatever joyful idea he had in his head, knowing none of it would matter at the end of the evening. And taking the next step would be the harder the more time would pass. His palms were sweating and his heartbeat had sped up again. He tried to brace himself for the upcoming events, the tears and the pain.
Kili, however, was oblivious to all that and could barely pull himself together. He had planned this evening for weeks, had pondered scenarios and words in his imagination, but finally had decided to go for simple and classic. But his excitement, as usual, ran away with him again and so he started to speak, completely unaware that Fili, a very serious, unhappy looking Fili, wanted to tell him something important.
“Fee, I wanted to wait until we’ve finished dinner, but I’m way too excited and …I love you so much, you are my world and I…“
Fili, who could see the brunet fumbling with something in his pocket, was close to a panic attack. Could this even get any worse? Surely the item in Kili’s hand wasn’t what he thought it was?
“Kili, listen, it’s very important. I have to tell you something …”
“No Fee. Let me first, I need to do this now or never.”
Never, Kili. Never would be better!
But before Fili could speak up again, it was already too late and Kili was down on one knee, holding a golden ring in his hands.
“Philipp Durin, I love you with all my heart and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
Silence. Eerie, treacly silence, so thick one could almost cut it with a knife. Fili stood there with an open mouth. This couldn’t be happening, breaking up with his long-term boyfriend was bad enough, but breaking up after said long-term boyfriend proposed? That was unbearable. For the both of them. But he couldn’t possibly lie to him, he hadn’t deserved that.
He slowly sank down to the floor and knelt in front of the brunet. He looked carefully in Kili’s shining eyes, which slowly lost their shimmer, his bright smile wavering in the corners of his mouth. The lack of an answer worried him and doubts were lingering in the back of his consciousness.
Until now his voice sounded just the tiniest bit insecure, a slight quiver resonating with it, but realisation slowly dawned on him and Fili could see his face fall in slow motion. His bright eyes widened and turned unbelievably sad … and watery.
Fili took the hand with the ring and slowly closed Kili’s fingers around the piece of jewellery. The brunet’s mouth opened and closed while he swallowed thickly, a confused and hurt expression on his face.
“Kili”, the blond whispered sympathetically, “You should keep it and give it to someone, who deserves it.”
Kili’s voice, a hoarse whisper, sounded close to panic when he slowly comprehended what was about to happen.
“Kili, I have to tell you something. I … I … I’m leaving you.” He inhaled deeply, closed his eyes and continued, “I fell in love with another man. I am so sorry.”
There was no answer. Kili, too shell-shocked to react, could only sit and stare. He couldn’t believe that this evening, which should have been one of the happiest in his life, had taken such a horrible turn. The heartbreak he felt was too much to deal with. It was probably just a bad dream, but subconsciously he knew that wasn’t the truth. This was cruel, excruciating, cataclysmic reality.
“I didn’t do that on purpose, I tried hard not to, but … it just happened and I … I…”, Fili’s voice cracked when he saw the anguish on Kili’s face. “I am so sorry. I never wanted to hurt you.”
When Kili finally answered, his voice was barely audible, for it was small and already thick with tears.
Fili could feel the brunet’s pain and it hurt him deeply. He was a good person, not one of those arseholes, who usually did those things to their boyfriend. He hated himself for what had happened to him. Why them? Why was that happening? But things were as they were and so he answered in all honesty.
“I met him four weeks ago, we came to talk and somehow it happened. But we didn’t do anything else other than that, you have to believe me. I promise. We only talked, we didn’t kiss, let alone did other things. I … I … couldn’t do that to you. You are very special to me, please believe me. But I’m in love with him and I can’t go on without him.”
Kili was still kneeling and stared into empty space. A single tear was rolling down his cheek and Fili’s heart wanted to burst. From all people, the brunet least of all deserved such a thing done to him. Fili was so busy wallowing in his own guilt, that he almost missed Kili’s next question. Again, a small whisper, full of pain and doubt.
“What did I do wrong?”
“What? Kili, no, you didn’t do anything wrong. Really, please believe me! It was me, me alone. It happened to me. And it just did, I didn’t ask for it. You didn’t do anything wrong!”
Fili didn’t know if the brunet had understood. He continued gazing into nothing, kneeling there on the kitchen floor, his hand still clutching around the ring. He sniffled quietly, then whispered with a monotonous voice.
“I wish you would have told me before I made a complete fool out of myself.”
“I tried, I wasn’t fast enough though. It was not my intention to hurt you even more.”
“But you did.”
There were more tears now, but the brunet still seemed to have zoned out, his posture slumped and face blank now.
“I know that. And I can’t tell you, how terribly sorry I am about this. You were my everything for years and you deserve to be happy. And believe me, one day you will be.”
Kili, still beside himself, didn’t answer. They sat there for a long while, both suffering in their own ways. Eventually Fili rose to his feet and slowly left the room.
Withdrawn in his own world, a world of white, blazing lances of pain and a oppressive heartache, which took his breath away, Kili could scarcely hear Fili rummaging through the house, packing his belongings. He still knelt on the kitchen floor, hands around the ring. His face showed no emotions, but deep inside a hurricane was rampaging, raging through his hurt feelings, leaving only desolation where once had been a vibrant soul.
When Fili came back down with his stuff, Kili was still on the floor. He didn’t react to him at all, just knelt there, staring. Before Fili left, he came back to the distraught brunet. He couldn’t just leave him there. He hugged him tightly and apologised multiple times, shedding a few tears, while Kili’s face stayed dry. Eventually, after pressing a last kiss on Kili’s forehead, Fili stood up and put his keys in the little bowl by the door. He turned while standing in the doorway and looked back into the house where he once had been so happy. Now it was a place of anguish and despair. He turned around and left, a sinking feeling in his stomach when concern about Kili’s wellbeing overcame him.
Tauriel arrived at the house two hours later, having received a text from her best friend’s now ex-boyfriend.
“Please make sure, he’s okay”
When she entered the kitchen, using her spare key to the house, she found Kili still kneeling on the floor. He was still staring into the distance, his face a blank mask, not a single tear on the cheeks.
She crouched down beside him, taking the hand which still was balled into a fist, clutching the ring tightly as if his life depended on it. She tried to open the hand, but Kili didn’t allow it. Only a broken whisper left his dry lips.
“I wanted it to be special.”
Tauriel stroked over the knuckles for long minutes, whispering soothing words to her friend, hoping to reach him in his vulnerable state. Eventually his fist opened ever so slightly and she was able to gently grab his fingertips and open the hand entirely, taking the golden band. The ring had left an angry red mark on his palm. Although it must hurt, his face remained straight when she traced her fingers over it.
“Come here, Kili. Let go.”
She whispered and took him into her arms, engulfing him in a tight embrace.
“Let him go.”
And with that, being rocked like a baby in Tauriel’s arms, the dam broke and the brunet started to cry openly. His body shook with violent sobs and his agonised wails echoed loudly through the empty house when he cried out all his anguish and pain, feeling he rather wanted to die than go on without the love of his life.
But Fili was gone.