Reunited

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance
Eight years ago, Iona's family moved from America to England. She had friends, family and a life in America. she loves England deeply, but nothing will fix the hole caused by the loss of America.
Now that Iona is nineteen, her parents are letting her travel to America with her little sister, Daisy, to spend the summer with her grandparents.
As she reconnects with her childhood friends, she gets a familiar feeling when she connects with her long-term crush, Oliver Jones.

Submitted: May 12, 2017

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Submitted: May 03, 2017

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LAX. The fresh air of America. My first summer away from my home in England. Just me and my sister Daisy, spending the summer with our grandparents. 

I had lived in Los Angeles for the first eleven years of my life until my grandfather in England got sick. Cancer. So we packed up our home and moved to London, England. Eight years later, I’m returning to my hometown, this summer had been planned for months now, and now it’s finally happening. 

“Who’s picking us up?” my sister Daisy asked, she was only five years younger than me, she was distraught when she found out we had to move, she loved her life over here, even though she was only seven, she had a fantastic life.

“Grandma, you remember her, right?.” I do. She was beautiful, even in her sixties, she was still beautiful, she rarely had any wrinkles, and only a few strikes of gray running through her hair, the only way we could contact each other was over the phone, my grandparents don't know how to video call. “Obviously, her lasagna was amazing,” Daisy corrected, and she wasn't wrong, my grandma’s lasagna was the bomb, she always used her secret ingredient. 

We stood outside the airport for a ten more minutes until I saw my grandparents Lexus roll up in front of us, I’m surprised they still have it, I remember when they purchased it. I could see my grandma sitting in the driver's seat, acting like a teen with a boss ass car and an irritating attitude. She eventually noticed us standing and cocked her head round to us and smiled, so we just waved at her. She slid out of the seat and walked over to us with open arms. “How I have missed you two is too much for words! ” she said once her arms were around both of us, pulling us in with affection. “I could say the same,” I replied, I missed her dearly. “Come on, your grandpa's cooking up his special meal, only for his favorite grandchildren,” it wasn't a secret that we were their favorites, our cousins are all evil. 

I remember one time, I was playing in the backyard with my cousin, Jack, we were playing tag and he got violent. Let’s just say, I still have a huge scar that runs down the side of my left thigh from a loose piece of metal. 

 

We finally entered Santa Monica after being stuck in traffic for about fifty minutes, close to an hour. I was sitting in the passenger seat while Daisy was sat in the back with her earphones in, probably listening to Panic! At The Disco. I was getting the known feeling of nostalgia, I was glancing out the window, all the shops and building hadn't changed a bit, they only got re-painted, but that was it. Everyone that walked by had changed, when I used to live here, everyone communicated with each other, everyone knew each other, but now, no one looks at each other, their noses are stuck in their phones or they have their heads down and earphones in. 

“So, how’s your father doing?,” grandma asked, she always loved him, she even admitted it, she hated all my mom’s ex’s, I don't blame her, from the stories I’ve heard about them, I’m glad my mom dumped them who she did. “He’s great, he got promoted at work,” I praised. My dad worked at the hospital in our town, he loved it there, and all his patients loved him, he was head of his ward, he always went in every day ready to make a difference in someone’s life, even if that’s a good or bad way.

“That’s fantastic, he must be excited to be taking over a new role!” all we could do was praise how well my dad has done in life, which he has, he’s accomplished so much in his forty years of living. “He is, he’s never been happier in his life,” it’s true, he’s happy as can be right now. “And, how’s Henry?.” I knew this question was going to be brought up, I hated talking about my papa, I always wanted to cry when thinking about the pain he’s been in for the past eight years. “Still the same, still hurting,” I couldn't get the words out, thinking about him only made me upset. 

“They found another cancer cell in his lung,” Daisy popped up from the back. Unlike me, Daisy could talk about these things, she doesn't have the emotional connection to him like I do. “How’s Sandra coping?,” she asked, I just lowered my head to let Daisy tell her, I couldn't think about them right now, the only reason I organised this trip was to try and forget about my life back in England, and focus on my life that could have been in America.

 

We got to my grandparent's house. It was still the same, every inch of the building, heck, even the curtains were the same. “You’ll never guess who’s back for the summer?,” my grandma said as I helped her haul out our suitcases. From everyone that she knew around here, it could be anyone. “Who?,” I asked, dreading the answer, it’ll be some I don't even remember, after all, the last time I saw everyone was eight years ago. “Oliver and Katie Jones,” my heart stopped and my stomach dropped, I never thought in my life I would hear those names again. 

Oliver and Katie Jones were part of my friend's group when I lived here. They stayed next door to my grandparents, so we saw each other pretty much every day. Katie was my closest friend out of everyone, I could trust her with my deepest secret, especially my secret crush I had on her twin brother, Oliver. I had a crush on him for years, and when I moved, I felt like I had broken up with him, that’s just how much I was hurting, knowing that I’d never see him again. But I guess I was wrong. I guess this is fate, I’m getting to see my childhood crush once again. 

“I’m guessing that’s their car’s in the driveway then?,” I rhetorically asked. I was staring at their driveway, there was a Subaru BRZ, white, parked on the sidewalk, and a Dodge Charger, black, parked next to their parents Range Rover. I just knew that the Charger was Olivers, he was the biggest fan of the Fast And Furious franchise I knew. “Actually no, that’s Katie’s, the Subaru’s Oliver’s,” my grandma corrected me, I was surprised, I must admit, but I always knew that Oliver would get a nice, fast car. “He’s got a good taste in cars,” I commented, I couldn't stop staring at the car, it was stunning, spotless. “They’re coming over later for dinner and a catch-up, but they don't know you’re here,” my grandma told me, I cocked my head down to her. I’ve only been here for under two hours and already being told that I basically have a mini reunion with my two best friends. “Really?,” I tried not to smile, or burst of joy and excitement. We got the suitcases out of the trunk and started walking into the house, I could smell the meal my grandpa was cooking, it was a familiar scent, he was cooking his infamous spaghetti and meatballs with his secret sauce, my favorite meal of his whenever I visited. 

I walked through to the kitchen to see my grandpa dancing around to his favorite sixties song, House Of The Rising Sun, he was doing a cringe-worthy dance, swing his hips and trying to sing along to the song, I guess my laugh caught him off guard. He jerked his body around to face me, his eyes widen in joy. “Iona!,” he yells in happiness before throwing his hands in the air and walking towards me, I couldn't help but run and wrap my arms around him, I’ve missed him so much. “I had no idea you would be back so soon, I thought the traffic was horrendous,” it was, we were stuck on the freeway for a good half hour to forty-five minutes, but I did get to watch people in their cars, their road rage was hilarious, I remember one guy was cursing at the cars in front him, no one could hear him, but he was going at it. 

“Well, we’re here now, ready to spend the summer with you guys,” I praised, I was looking forward to the summer, hoping that this could be then best summer yet. My grandpa let me go and turned to hug Daisy, but she wasn't as happy with it, she was just being a normal teenager with a shit attitude. 

“And it’ll be the best summer of your lives, your grandma has been planning so many activities to do with you, Daisy,” my grandpa said as he pulled away from the hug with Daisy, not that she was bothered. I had to think about what he just said. Activities for my grandma and Daisy? What about me? I know I’m older and the expect me not to take part, but I came here to spend time with them, not to be pushed aside to let Daisy get the limelight. “What about me? What has she planned with me?,” I asked, trying not to sound like the spoiled grandchild that has a tantrum when someone else gets all the attention. “She thought that since you’re older, you’d want to either catch up with your old friends or go about doing your own business,” my grandpa admitted, which hurt. Of course I want to spend time with my grandparents, and of course, I want to catch up with Katie and Oliver, and my other friends, but mainly my two closest friends. 

I could see Daisy smirking behind my grandpa, obviously, she could tell I was pissed. “I get it, I’m gonna go take my suitcase up to my room, if that’s fine?,” he knew I wasn't happy, but he couldn't do anything about it, and it didn't feel right taking my anger out on him it wasn't his fault, or my grandma’s. “You’re in your mom’s old room, Daisy’s in your uncle Dean’s old room,” my grandpa informed me, at least one good thing has come out of this trip so far, I’ve got the good room. “Thanks,” Walked through to the hallway to get my suitcase, and I noticed that my grandma was on the other side of the road talking to Mrs. Charleston, I think. The last time I saw her was eight years ago and the years have not been nice to her. 

I opened the door that led into my mom's room, nothing was changed in the past eight years, her ABBA posters will still staple to the back of the door, it was obvious that this was a teenagers room in the late 1980’s. I closed the door at the back of me and flopped down on the bed, I was then making eye contact with my mom’s George Michael poster. “Iona? Honey, are you in there?,” I heard my grandma knock on my door, I could tell from her soft tone, my grandpa told her about my mood. “Yeah,” I responded. she creaked the door open, I didn't move, I didn't want to move, I was comfortable where I was, just laying on the bed my body relaxed. “You have a visitor,” she said, I let my head fall to the side so I was facing the door, she was smiling, which means that it’s either someone I like or a family member who irritated me. 

“Who is it?,” I asked,  lifting myself up on the bed, blood rushing through my body. “An old friend,” she smirked before disappearing back downstairs. I could hear the chattering of two familiar voices that only made butterflies circle my stomach. I was certain that it was Katie and Oliver. 

I hopped off the bed and ran down the stairs leading into the living room. Once I got to frame in the wall opening into the living room, I froze with excitement. The two figure were ones I would never forget. The long platinum blond hair on a thin, tall woman, and short light brown generic hair on the tall, buff man, it was amazing to see how they turned out, I only remember them as awkward tweens. 

“This has got to be a bloody dream,” I said, I was thinking for ages what I was going to say when I saw them again, I was trying to think of a smart sassy way to reintroduce myself. When they heard my voice, they both looked at each other then back to my grandma, she nodded slightly with a grin on her face. Katie shifty twirled her body to face me, Oliver was slightly slower at turning. I could see tears forming in Katie’s bright blue eyes, shimmering under surface of tears. Oliver, on the other hand, was just smiling at me, he was even cuter than before, I must admit, he isn't cute anymore, he’s hot. 

“This ain’t a dream, Iona,” Katie whispered, her voice strained from emotions. She walked towards me and analyzed before pulling me in for the biggest hug I’d never had. “I’ve missed you so much,” I whispered, we were both too emotional to speak normally, our voices strained from the gasps we were talking for breaths. I’ve never felt this happy in my whole life. I’ve been reunited with childhood best friend, I’m in her arms again after eight years, I could feel the younger Iona bursting with joy. “Hey, Iona,” I heard Oliver’s deep, masculine voice say from the side. Katie broke away so I could see him, puberty was excellent to him. “Like what you see?,” he teased, obviously I had been staring at him for too long. A smirk crept onto my face, I’d missed him like crazy. I never thought I’d see my childhood crush ever again. “Come here, you,” I held my arms wide out, asking for him to accept my pending offer for a hug, which took him a few seconds to accept. “I’ve missed you,” Oliver whispered into my ear, sending a shiver down my spine, I never thought I would be in his arms. “Me too,” I tried to hold my tears, I couldn't cry, not now, not here. “You know, Iona, I never thought I’d be holding my long-term crush in my arms, many years later.” My stomach dropped, my heart stopped pumping, butterflies were whizzing around in my dropped stomach. Oliver just admitted that he had a crush on me when we were children, just like I did towards him. I was over the moon, and from all the joy throughout my body, I just cried not his shoulder, tears of joy. “Can I tell you something? ” I asked, trying not to hiccup in his ear. 

“Anything,” his voice was deep, only making me wish I spent my teenage years with him and not half way across the world in boring old England. “Okay you two, come on, we want to hear about life in England,” my grandpa butted in, swooping me back to reality. He let go of me in the space of a heartbeat, moving away to the sofa, I was still in the same place I was when I was entangled in his arms. I sat on the sofa opposite him, with Katie by my side and Daisy at the end, still sitting with her earphone in. 

 

We were talking about what my life in England was like, we did try to get Daisy into the conversations, but she was too busy on Snapchat. “So, what are the boys in London like? ”Katie asked, nudging me while raising her eyebrow. I could see from the corner of my eye, Oliver looking at me with fear, there was no way that he still liked me, eight years have passed, and I doubt feelings like that could stay for that period of time. Could they?

I rolled my eyes at Katie’s question, of course, I loved living in London, but it didn't compare to living in Los Angeles. “It all depends on who you hang about with, luckily, I got dragged to a horrendous house party and landed myself in the most popular group of friends in my school. Which, just so happened to include fit boys,” I praised. I wasn't wrong, the boys in my friends group were lush, in my opinion, Andrew was the best, he was the one that was always at the gym, and had an odd crush on me, even though he could have any girl he wanted, since every single girl that wasn't apart our group fell head over heels for him, I never understood what they saw in him, and I still don’t. “Oh have you got pictures? ” Katie asked, I really hope she doesn't ask me to set them up, as much as I love them both, Andrew would be a shit boyfriend, he never settles down, he'd only hurt Katie. I pulled out my phone and went into my photos, I scrolled through to one photo that came straight to my mind when she asked. It was a taken two years ago, it was taken the summer we finally finished high school. We traveled up to Edinburgh, in Scotland for the weekend, it was the best weekend I’d ever spent with them. The photo was all of us in Edinburgh Castle, just before the one o’clock gun fire, we all got a photo near the canon, we were happy that weekend until we all got home and things fucked up. Everyone went away to college or university, I’ve not seen most of them since that summer. 

“Oh, damn, the one in the far rights cute, what’s his name? ” she pointed one boy out, one boy that changed my life. My ex-boyfriend, Kyle. Seeing his face again was strange, when I saw his smile, all I felt was guilt and anger, flashbacks of our break up started to flood my mind. 

We broke up seven months ago, it all happened quickly at a shit house party during the winter. It wasn't my fault, at least that’s what I think. He broke up with me because some idiot tried to get me into one of the spare bedrooms, but it didn't look like that, it looked like I was trying to get the boy in the room. I was faithful to Kyle, I would never cheat on him, he was my best friend. After that night, all my ‘friends’ ganged up against me because I apparently acted like a slut, but to this day, they don't know the truth. I’m still the slutty little American girl. 

“That’s Kyle, my ex,” my voice was dry, monotone. I couldn't talk about what happened between us, I’d only end up in tears since that party I've not heard from anyone of my friends. Everyone could see my mood shift drastically, I could see the worry plastered on their faces, even Daisy looked worried, I never told her the story, everyone just knows that we broke up. Katie handed me my phone back, I just looked at Kyle’s face in the photo, guilt ran through my blood, even though I didn't cheat on him, I still felt guilty. 

“So how’s school Daisy?,” my grandma shifted the conversation, I was glad, if I spoke one word, I wouldn't be able to stop crying. I lifted myself off of the sofa and walked through to the kitchen, I didn't need anything, I just wanted to go somewhere and cry. I stood at the counter and could feel my body jerk from sorrow, soon after tears started rolling down my face. When I came in I closed the door, I didn't want anyone to hear my pathetic weeping. At least, I thought no one would. I heard to hinges creak, I could look up, I looked horrendous, I didn't care who it was, I wasn't looking up. 

“I’m guessing it was a bad break up? ” I heard a deep toned voice say from the door. It wasn't as deep as my grandpa’s, he had a thick Jersey accent, this one was soft, which could only be Oliver. “Is it that obvious?,” I joked, pretending I’m fine. I lifted my head slightly, he was seated at the small round table in the kitchen, staring up at me, worrying in his light brown eyes. I walked over to the other seat that faced him on the other half of the table. “Don’t put on a brave face in front of me, Iona, I’ve seen you in your worst moments, like when you fell and cut your knee and wouldn't stop crying about it for hours after it,” I remember that day. We were playing hopscotch, because iPhones weren't made for us back in those days, or even made at all. I remember I tripped over my own two feet and fell on a stone that cut a large bloody gap on my knee, although the pain went away eventually, I couldn't stop crying about it. 

“Do you not remember how much blood I lost that day? I thought I was going to die,” at that age, yes, I thought I was going to die, but I was just a drama queen. It was nice talking to Oliver again, I must admit, whenever Katie wasn't around, he was always my favorite best friend, despite the major crush I had on him. “You think that was a lot of blood? You should have seen how much I lost two years ago at a football game,” and there it was, I should have seen. There was a lot of things I should have seen, I should have been there, been there to see my childhood best friends hit major milestones, watch their excitement as they got accepted into colleges, their joy, and tears at graduation… but I missed it all. “Fair point,” we both laughed at my reply, he had a nice laugh, a calm laugh. 

“Iona,” his voice was calm, there was no sign of laughter or jokes. “Yeah?,” I was curious to why all laughter in him had vanished. I looked at him, his eyes meeting mine, even though I’ve not seen him in eight years, his eyes were so familiar, like an old friend. “You know when we wee hugging earlier, what was it you were going to tell me?.” Crap. I thought he’d forget. A part of me is dying for him to know, but the other part of me is dreading his answer, but that was before I found out he had a crush on me as well. “When I lived here, I had a major crush on you,” the familiar feeling of the butterflies swirling in my stomach had returned. I shifted my eyes to the ground to avoid the awkward tension that was forming between us. “Wow, Iona Wallace had a crush on me, Oliver Jones,” he seemed happy with my recent confession, I looked up at him, he had a massive smile stretched over his cheeks. “At the same time as Oliver Jones had a crush on me, Iona Wallace, too bad I moved,” I said, his smile slowly transformed into a cheeky grin. “Who said I stopped? ” he raised an eyebrow before swaying away into the living room. At least now I could grin like a complete moron and no one could judge me. My brain was running over every possible logical answer to what just happened here a few moment before. Oliver Jones, my childhood crush, admitted that he wasn't over me. 

 

As eight O’Clock approached, the dinner was coming to an end, which meant that our guest had to leave soon. We were all sat round the dining table, half way through our meal, I forgot how good my grandpa’s Spaghetti and meatballs were. 

“So Oliver, how’s NYU been? ” my grandma asked from the top of the table. NYU, as in New York University? Oliver Jones, the slack of our years, made it into New York University. I didn't think I’d have ver guessed. 

“It’s brilliant, I’ve made so many new friends, and the classes are amazing,” Oliver praised, he seemed enthusiastic about NYU, as if he prepared an answer before he came here. 

“What course are you doing?,” I asked, before stuffing a fork full of spaghetti into my mouth. “Law, every since I was sixteen and the incident happened, it’s always been on my mind.” Katie drew a sharp glance at Oliver as if he had mentioned something he shouldn't have. “What was the incident? ” Daisy popped up, she obviously didn't see the death glare Katie drew to Oliver. “We don't talk about it, very often,” Katie said, she suddenly got picky with her food, she was just swirling her spaghetti on her fork. “Then why bring it up? ” Daisy mumbled under her breath as she rolled her eyes down to her plate, she stabbed a meatball before shoving it into her mouth. “Daisy,” my grandma hissed, I don't know what happened to Daisy, but once we got off the plane, she has had an attitude that I’d gladly slap out of her. “What?!,” she raised her voice at my grandma before roughly placing her fork on the plate. My grandma didn't argue, not on our first night here, and not in front of guests, which is a rule grandma has always followed. 

 

We sat in silence ever since Daisy mini outburst. There was obviously a secret hidden between them, they awkward tension that flew around the table gave it away. We finished eating ten minutes ago, but we just sat at the table in silence. Daisy disappeared up to her room when grandpa cleared the table. Every now and then grandma tries to make conversation, but we only respond with one worded answer. 

“Katie, Oliver, I am so sorry about Daisy, I don't know what had gotten into her,” grandma apologized for Daisy behavior, it was embarrassing to sit here and act tough. I slid my chair out causing it to screech against the wooden floor boards, which made everyone look at me. “I’ll be back in a bit,” before anyone could say anything to me, I was heading for the staircase. As I approached the top of the stairs I could hear Daisy’s music blaring, and of course, it was her My Chemical Romance playlist, I wasn't going to complain about the music, I loved their songs, but I would complain about the volume she had it at. 

” she had her nose buried in her phone, her thumbs tapping the screen, her acrylic nails hitting against the glass screen. I may have over a thousand nerves in my body, but Daisy was managing to get on every single one of them. 

“What the hell was that at dinner?,” I tried not to raise my voice at her, but it was tough, I didn't want to worry grandma and grandpa that we weren't getting on, that would make this summer a living hell for them. “What do you mean? ” it was typical of her to act dumb when she knows she’s in the wrong. “Your god damn attitude, that’s what I mean,” her eyes drifted up from her phone to meet me, she looked agitated, but I didn't really care. She didn't answer me, she couldn’t, she didn't have an answer. I was sick and tired of waiting for her excuse, she just sat there on her phone, tapping on the screen. “Change your attitude, or don't bother coming out of your room, because grandma and grandpa want to spend time with their sweet grandchildren, not me and some grumpy bitch,” I snapped, I could see the look on her face since I stormed out the room slamming the door behind me, my heart breathing fast and my breath increasing from the anger running through my veins. 

I got back to the kitchen table and just sat with my arms crossed, gritting my teeth, everyone was just looking me at confused about what happened moments before. I just sat in my chair and stared down at my jeans, I didn't want to make eye contact with anyone, I was still feeling angry from earlier. “So does anyone want a cup of coffee?,” my grandma perched up, everyone murmured among each other agreeing in having a cup, but I just sat in silence. “Iona? ” my grandma asked, but she sounded worried, scared to talk to me. From her tone, it brought me back from my anger phase. “I’m fine,” I said, I’d feel horrible if I left her hanging. As my grandma walked through the kitchen, my grandpa asked Oliver how Erica was, and that got me thinking, who the hell is Erica

 

The night eventually came to an end when Katie and Oliver had to go home. I had to sit and listen to Oliver talk about that Erica girl, who happens to be his girlfriend, and I must admit, it hurt me. After hearing him tease that he still liked me after all these years, then hearing that he has a girlfriend, who sounds like the perfect girl, it feels horrible. 

I walked Oliver and Katie out the front door, only to seem civil, I was over the moon to see my childhood best friends again, but from the recent information that I just found out, this summer may not turn out to be as good as I imagined, but it’s something I have to put on a brave face, and remember that Oliver has found love for someone else.

 


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