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"Good morning, Jake. When you get this voicemail, call me back. I really need to ask you a huge favor. Okay, bye."
I tossed my phone on my bed. I let my body collapse on the bed and groaned.
Here I am, now. Scarred palms, tear-stained pillow, and desperate for you to just reveal yourself. Take off the mask already! I'm already crazy in love with you! I just can't tell you. I wish I could.
My phone started to vibrate against my bed. I lifted my head and pressed the phone to my ear.
"Natalie, hey!" Jake said on the other line.
"Hey, Jake. What time is The Sentimental Sunrise recording?" I asked.
"Soon, actually. I called you a thousand times this morning to check if you still wanted me to bring you."
"Sorry, Jake." I sighed and took a deep breath. "I just had a date with Cam last night. You know, my neighbor?"
"I'm guessing it didn't go so well?"
"No, actually. It went great!" I said with a groan.
I heard him laugh. "Well, it doesn't sound like you had a great time. What's wrong, Natalie?"
I didn't respond for a long time. But the good thing about Jake is that he was patient. He simply waited silently. I knew he was still there on the other line, waiting for me to say something. "Cam's great," my voice said shakily. "But that's the problem," I said, holding back tears. "I'm falling in love with him."
"Oh," was all Jake said. Then, another long silence.
"Well, I'm always here for you, Natalie. If you ever need something, I'm here. And so is Delilah," he assured me.
I smiled weakly. "Yeah, I know. It's just..."
"You don't have to tell me now if you're not ready, Natalie. We can talk in person if that's better," he suggested.
I nodded. "Yeah, I think that would be better."
"Okay," Jake said. "Bye, Natalie," he said slowly.
"Bye, Jake."

"Dad?" I called all around the house. "Dad? Where are you?" I checked his room, the garage, the backyard, and pretty much anywhere he could be.
I stopped in the kitchen and saw he left a note on the fridge.
Natalie, I didn't want to wake you. I got called in for work today. I'm not sure what time I'll be home but there's money on the counter in case you wanted to order pizza. Call me if you need anything.

I left the money on the counter, untouched. I had a granola bar and a glass of milk that morning for breakfast. It was almost lunch time and I still wasn't hungry. Well, I actually was hungry but I didn't have the appetite.
I decided to go outside, hoping the beautiful spring weather would make me feel better.
I opened the front door and sat on our porch. All I heard was the quiet sound of digging. No doubt it was Cam working on his garden again.
Everything sort of rushed back into my system. I suddenly remembered that last night I had kissed him. I had held his hand. I let myself get lost in his eyes. I let him kiss me. To top it all off, I let myself fall in love with him.
I let the tears fall slowly down my cheeks. I never knew falling in love could cause so much pain. I bit my lip to refrain myself from making me cry any harder.
Now, I just wish you could've handed me the daisy personally.
I was hopelessly confused. I hated to admit it but I was literally falling in love with a guy a didn't know! Plus, I was falling in love with another guy who I did know. I knew if some people were in my place, they would want me to play it safe and stay with Cam. But, like some people, I wanted to wait and see who my secret admirer was.
I glanced down at my bracelet for reassurance. I just reminded myself of all the things he did for me. The game, for one. He's worked so hard to set this all up. He would feel crushed if I just gave up because I was simply falling in love, unless he was Cam.
I hated what I was doing! Questioning 'what' and 'if' but only coming up with an 'unless'. I felt a headache coming.
Was my secret admirer Cam? Or was he someone totally different?
"Hey, stranger," Cam said, making me jump up from the bench.
My hand shot up to my chest to check if my heart was still beating. Yeah, it was still beating. But there was only one question. Was it because Cam really startled me or because I was seriously falling in love with him?
I forced myself to pull together a weak smile. I stood up and shoved my hands in my pockets.
"You scared me again," I said so quietly, it seemed like I was talking to myself. I realized how hard it was for me to speak.
He smiled as his eyes steadily followed me as I made my way to him.
"But at least this time I said hey," he reminded me with a proud smile on his face.
I laughed a little but strangely, it hurt to laugh. "I know."
Cam and I stood there, in total silence for a long time.
We were so close. I could see his face so clearly and up close.
He lifted his hand and wiped his thumb over my cheek. "You've been crying?" he asked, suddenly sincere and concerned.
I nodded slowly. "But I'm fine. It's no big deal," I shrugged it off like it was just eraser shavings being wiped off the table. I rubbed my palm against my shoulder. It was still sore from the scars. I quickly broke eye contact with Cam to quickly glance. Dammit. They were so visible.
Cam lifted my chin with his finger and locked eyes with me again. It's always the guys with beautiful eyes that made me weak in the knees. And I swear, I could just stare at his soft, blue eyes forever and not mind.
"Something's different about you," he said bluntly. "After you left my house, you seemed kind of sad." He paused, making me feel weak all over. "Natalie," he said in a voice so smooth. "I had a really great time last night. But, if you don't want to--"
"No! I do, I really do want to go on other dates with you, Cam," I said, yanking the words right out of his mouth. "It's just I'm having personal problems right now. That's all. It has nothing to do with you."
He looked deep into my eyes. "Was it something I did?"
"No, no. It has nothing to do with something you did." I sighed. "It's something that I did," I whispered, not sure if he heard me.
He reached over the fence and gave me a hug. Reassurance was definitely needed at the moment. I wrapped my arms around him and sighed. He let go and looked at me straight in the eye.
I should've just told him from the very beginning of this conversation. But, I drew a deep breath and came out with it.
"Cam, I'm falling in love with you."
His eyebrows furrowed but a smile started to form at the same time. "Really?" he asked, unconvinced.
I nodded again. "Yeah, really."
He smiled widely and laughed, I wasn't sure at what. "Oh my God," he mumbled as he laughed.
I stared at him. "What's so funny?"
He controlled his laughter but kept it all together with a smile. "Natalie, you have no idea how long I've waited for you to tell me that," he said with a sigh.
I looked at him, puzzled. "Really?" He's been waiting for me all this time to say that?
He nodded and inched closer to me. I felt the warm brush of his fingers on my cheeks and it felt so wonderful, it sent a shiver down my spine. "Really," he said while his lips were barely touching mine. I felt his breath on my lips.
I turned away quickly and bit my lip. I closed my eyes and took it all in. I wanted to know if this was the right choice, if Cam was the right choice. But, honestly, I knew the question could never be answered until I know who he is.
When I opened my eyes, I saw only his crystal, blue eyes locked with mine.
Cam finally spoke. "The truth is, I think I'm falling in love with you too."
I smiled weakly, happy from his response. But, still my heart squeezed inside.
I looked up at him and gazed in his eyes, feeling terribly lost. I felt my eyes fill with tears again. "I don't think, I can handle this."
"Handle what?" he asked, confused.
"This!" I sobbed. "I don't think--I can't..." I stuttered. I didn't know exactly what to say. I was at a loss for words.
I simply held my wrist up, exposing my bracelet to him. "This is a real diamond bracelet given to me from a guy I don't even know," I explained in the quietest voice. It made me sound vulnerable. I hated it.
Cam looked at me strangely. "What?"
"There's a guy out there who's in love with me too," I explained again. Tears just kept sliding down my cheeks.
"I don't understand why he would give you a bracelet with real diamonds."
I shook my head and turned away. "Nevermind, Cam. It's just complicated," I said, sitting back down on my porch steps.
But he made his way and sat down right next to me. His hand were jammed into his jean pockets.
"So, what're you doing out here anyway?" he asked.
"I'm waiting for someone," I said. I didn't know why I was still staring at my bracelet. It just kept creeping back into my mind!
"Oh! The other guy who gave you diamonds?!" I whipped my head and faced him. His expression was hurtful and he was clearly pissed off. He was definitely angry, more like furious.
"What?! No! I told you, I don't even know who the guy is!" I said more loudly than I should have. Now, I regret it.
"Look, I will never be able to afford diamonds like that. And I'm sorry that I can't, okay?!"
"What are you talking about, Cam? I don't expect you to buy me expensive things or anything like that!"
"Then, why?! Why are you waiting for a guy who's been giving you all these gifts just to make you fall in love with him?! Why are you waiting for this guy when I'm right here?!" His eyes started to turn red from holding back tears.
I shook my head, speechless. "I don't know, Cam! Is it so wrong that I might be falling in love with two guys?! And it just so happens that the other guy doesn't want to tell me who he is! It's not like I can control who I love!"
He yelled, "Well, what am I supposed to do?! Wait here and watch you fall in love with him and with me?! You want me to wait and risk my heart being broken, Natalie?! Because I don't know what's worth waiting for anymore!"
He stood up and walked heavily, dragging his feet. I shot up and grabbed his arm.
I heard a car zooming down the street and the tires screech to a stop.
"Wait, Cam!" I stepped in front of him to stop him. I gazed into his eyes. "What do you want me to do?!"
A car door opened and was slammed, the engine still running.
"Make a choice," he said under his breath. His nostrils flared with anger. He stepped around me and walked back through his side door. I stood there with tears falling and endless questions making my head spin and making my heart ache. I wanted to scream because I was angry at myself for being so vulnerable!
I turned around. I realized I was crying and I felt slightly embarrassed. But, he'd seen me cry before so what's the difference?
I ran to him and threw my arms around him, giving him a tight, warm hug.
"I don't know what to do," I said weakly.
He let me rest my head on his chest and cry. "It's okay, Natalie."
I took a deep breath and wiped away the tears. "Thanks, Jake." He smiled down at me.
I knew I had to shrug this off, but I couldn't. Because now, Cam was mad at me for falling in love with two guys, my secret admirer still hasn't revealed his identity, and I was angry at myself for being so stupid and letting this all happen in the first place.
I just wish you could've handed the daisy personally. Now, I'm losing my mind, losing the guy I was falling in love with, and it's breaking my heart and tearing me apart. I wish that I never played your little game.
I just couldn't decide which I wished for more.

Submitted: August 05, 2009

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Add Your Comments:



Poor Natalie. I hope she finds out who he is soon.
awesome chapter :)

Fri, August 7th, 2009 2:17pm


thanks so much!

Fri, August 7th, 2009 7:03pm


Cam noooo o.o he is sweet =] and i think he has a good reason to be angry at Natalie - even though it is not her fault either - but, if the girl you love is in love with anothey guy .... :/

Wonderful =] This is turning out great :]

Thu, August 13th, 2009 11:36am


Thanks so much for the comment!

Sun, August 16th, 2009 1:02pm

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