I’ll Believe It’s Not My Fault

I honestly can’t remember if I wrote this before or after we saw the January 2003 confrontation in Kelly’s. I feel like I wrote this first an episode tag to that day’s show, and then I wrote Do You Ever Think of Me as a rewrite. Either way, I was inspired to give my own version of how Elizabeth’s reaction would go, using this Ben Lee song that I adore to this day.

This story is set in January of 2003 and written at that time. Jason and Elizabeth had broken up in October of 2002, sharing very few scenes after that point. Jason and Courtney started dating in December, and he arranged for a loft where they could see each other privately while Elizabeth tentatively started seeing Ric Lansing. When Elizabeth learned that AJ (Courtney’s estranged husband) had hired a PI to follow her, Elizabeth was worried and followed Courtney to warn her. Instead, she saw Jason meeting Courtney there. This story is set directly after that.


I should let this go but I just can’t
And now it’s just a lesson I can’t grasp

She walks into Kelly’s, her head still held high. She finishes her shift somehow and manages to forget where she’s been today.

It’s only after she goes to home her empty studio that she even lets it register.

Her first instinct is to cry. She sits on her couch and cries for a good solid hour. She cries thinking of the times they’d spent in this studio—safe and hidden from the world. Just the two of them in their little fantasy world.

So what’s really the best that I could do
To hope to see you every year or two

Her second instinct is to rage. She breaks blank canvases over her knees and throws empty glasses against the wall, the sound of them shattering making her bruised feelings feel only mildly better.

She crumples to the floor after all the anger has been drained from her small body. She sits against the door he gave her and holds the remaining pieces of a beautiful deep fire red piece of glass. She once threw it against the wall, shattering into thousands of tiny little pieces.

She’d then spent the next three hours picking up every single solitary piece. She saved them all and now she stares down at them.

And the things you said
Do they still make sense

Her third instinct is silence. She doesn’t speak and she doesn’t move. She sits against her door and stares out the window.

She remembers what it was like to come into the studio and see him standing at the window peering out at everything and nothing. She remembers what it was like to stand next to him.

She watches the day pass into dusk into night into dawn. She doesn’t move—her body is paralyzed.

Could you mean them now
Did you even mean them then

She briefly entertains the thought that all the long nights she spent in the penthouse alone, he was with her. Like that.

The thought doesn’t last long. No matter what she thinks of Jason, she has to believe that his relationship with his brother’s wife and best friend’s sister didn’t begin until she left.

Because if she thinks for one second that it’s any different…

She’d never be able to look at herself in the mirror.

I could torture myself insane and tense
But I don’t have the strength

Her fourth instinct is acceptance. She comes to that just as the new day begins. She can’t be upset. She can’t be angry.

She can’t cry betrayal.

She left him. She told the other woman it was okay. She never gave him the chance to work it out. He came to her twice and she stopped him cold.

And if he is really…truly happy…

Then she can be okay with this.

I’m crushed in pain you drifted through my life
But even looking back I know it’s right

Her fifth instinct is to stand. She stands and stretches. Sitting in one spot for so many hours is something she isn’t going to do again.

She takes a shower and dresses in fresh clothing. She throws her hair up in a messy pony tail and doesn’t bother with make-up.

Today is a new day. It’s not a better day than yesterday or the one before it.

It won’t be any better than tomorrow—but it’s still a new day.

I gave you my heart scared complete and whole
When all you ever asked for was my soul

Her sixth instinct is to leave. She pulls on a coat and goes to work. This time she’ll stay out of other people’s business. Even if they lie to her and do suspicious things—

She’ll never follow someone else again unless she’s completely prepared for what might happen.

She never…ever wants to be blindsided again. She’s sick of it and refuses to let it happen again.

And there’s nothing left
But a song or two

When she sees him in the courtyard, standing outside Kelly’s, the first thing she wants to do is to run.

She doesn’t give in. She walks towards him, touches his arm to get his attention. He frowns and turns towards her. She hasn’t initiated contact between them for a long time.

“I just need to say a few things,” she says softly. He stares at her for a second and then nods.

That mean not a thing
If I can’t play them for you

“I’m sorry,” she begins. “I’m sorry I walked away from you so many times. I’ve made mistakes but the ones I’ve made with you will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

He lets out slow breath, rubs the back of his neck. “Elizabeth—”

“Please—” she says, holding up a hand. “Just let me finish.”

She closes her eyes for a moment and then opens them again. “You listened when no one else could hear me and I really think you saved my life all those years ago. I don’t know what would have happened if you didn’t stop that guy that night at Jake’s.” She stops and looks down at the ground. “You were always there for me. You never flinched and you never turned me away, even when I asked you to…even when I did things that hurt you.”

If I could hear your voice just one more time
Maybe I’d be fine

She looks up and meets his unwavering gaze. “I am so sorry I was never that kind of friend to you.”

She takes a step back from him, clutches at the strap of her purse. “I just needed to tell you all that before I tell you this last thing. I hope, Jason, that you find happiness. I really, truly hope you do. Because the only thing I’ve ever wanted for you…was for you to be happy.”

He looks at her for a moment and swallows hard. “That’s all I ever wanted for you, Elizabeth. And…I’m sorry, too.”

But I guess I won’t
Cause it’s too late now

She blinks and tilts her head to the side. “For what?” she asks.

“For not trying,” he replies. “For letting you walk away. For leaving you by yourself at that time. For not telling you about Sonny. For pushing you away. There’s a lot to apologize for.”

She sighs and looks away. “Can I just ask one question? I just…I need to ask it for my own sanity.”

And I guess you’re gone
Cause it’s too late now

He nods and she looks at the ground. “When you weren’t at the penthouse…you weren’t with Courtney were you?”

She can hear the sharp intake of break and she looks up instantly, horrified that she might actually be right.

“I know…there’s something between you,” she says, softly, the tears burning her eyes. “She was in yesterday and I told her about AJ hiring the investigator. See, I overheard him and the guy said Courtney hadn’t been at home. I asked her…and she said that she’d been at Mike’s. And then she asked me to cover for her so she could check on him.” She stops and takes a deep breath, closing her eyes. “But Mike called. He hadn’t seen her in days. So when Courtney left…I…” Her cheeks flush and her eyes dart to the side. “I followed her.”


“So, I just need to know,” she cuts in, looking up at him again. “That whatever it is going on…it didn’t start before I left, did it? I mean…you meant the things you said that night, right?” She licked her lips nervously.

And the pain I feel
Is all I can take

He exhaled slowly. “It didn’t start until last month, I swear. Elizabeth, I could never do that to you. I was guarding Brenda at the safe house the nights I didn’t come home. Nothing happened between me and Courtney.” He takes and deep breath. He tilts her chin up so he could look her fully in the eyes. “And I meant what I said that night.”

Her eyes soften. She believes him.

As if realizing a second too late how close he is to her, he lets go of her chin and steps back. She blinks back the tears again and looks away.

Maybe this turn of karma
Is too late

“Just be happy,” she whispers. She turns away and goes inside the diner, hurrying behind the counter.

Her blonde co-worker gives her a weak smile as she ties the green apron around her waist.

And for the first time, she recognizes the guilt swimming in the other woman’s eyes.

And it almost chokes her.

Maybe I was wrong
Maybe I was caught in a net of passion

The shift crawls by and she finds her thoughts drifting to the courtyard time and time again.

It’s still there—the connection. She can feel it and she knows he felt it, too. It was in the way he spoke, the way his eyes looked at her, the he touched her skin.

She could feel that his feelings hadn’t changed or gone away. And neither has hers.

But it didn’t matter anymore.

Maybe I was caught
Maybe I should take it all with salt

Whether or not he felt the same, he’d moved on. He was married—and dating someone else. Anyway she looked at it—

Their chance had passed.

They’d never had a chance, to be honest.

And that in itself spoke volumes.

And soon I’ll believe that it’s not my fault
And it’s not my fault

She was the reason they never had a chance. She’d pulled away, walked away and pushed him away for so long…

And now he’d gone away on his accord. He’d found someone who gave him her love freely and without terms, without conditions. She didn’t hold back, she didn’t run away.

Things she couldn’t give him. Things she’d never be able to give him.

And it’s not my fault
And it’s not my fault

She pulls her coat on after her shift. She walks through the snow once again to her empty studio.

Its only inhabitants besides herself the memories of a friendship that had once upon time…meant the world to her.

And if she was honest with herself, it still did.

And it’s not my fault
And it’s not my fault

She opens the door and frowns, seeing the single white sheet of paper laying on the ground. She kneels and picks it up.

I still mean them.

She smiles then…a real genuine smile.

Maybe it still meant something to him, too.

And it’s not my fault
If I say it enough
I’ll believe that it’s not my fault


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