When Lightning Strikes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 13 (v.1)

Submitted: March 19, 2012

Reads: 558

Comments: 19

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 19, 2012

A A A

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A/N: I know there hasn't been any mention of the golden boy, but hold on, Jason Levine is coming into the picture in the next chapter! Hopefully we're all patient enough ... ;)

Love, Vanessa xoxo

The car ride back to my place was silent. I was still reeling from my revelation and I wasn’t sure if I was angry, hurt or sad. Maybe a bit of all three.

Even though Vince and Ruby had only just met a few times, they did have a certain chemistry that Vince and I did not have. Was keeping them apart the right thing to do? Was I that selfish?

I loved Vince … didn’t I?

Questions rang through my head, making me dizzy.

Was it just an infatuation? Was it because of his looks and gentlemanly manners? Was I always at ease with him…?

When Vince’s car pulled up the driveway, I braced myself. I needed to ask him. I couldn’t lie to myself and pretend to think that he was fully in love with me and committed to only me.

He noticed my tensed body and frowned.

“Thanks for today,” I stalled, feeling silly. I know I should have asked him straight away, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that just yet.

“It was all your planning, Gracie. You are simply wonderful.”

I couldn’t meet his eyes as I blurted out, “And do you think Ruby’s wonderful too?”

He still remained smiling, but I saw that it faded slightly. “Of course. She is your best friend.”

I shook my head, feeling my heartbeat starting to quicken considerably. I felt a great sense of sadness, but acceptance as well. If they wanted to be together because they clicked, I couldn’t be the home wrecker and come in between. I would be a horrible friend to hurt Ruby like that and knowing her, she wasn’t intentionally chasing Vince.

Vince and Ruby are good people and they wouldn’t want to hurt me like that. That was why I needed to end this, here and now.

“You know what I mean, Vince. I’m asking whether you like her. I’m asking if you have feelings for her.”

The only response I received was the crickets singing in the summer night. I peeked up from my lashes to see Vince, who was suddenly very interested in looking at the ground. I took that as his answer.

“It’s true isn’t it?”

He sighed. “Ma Cherie, I did not plan this. I am truly sorry. You are really a beautiful person, inside and out, and I … I am not the man for you, unfortunately. You deserve a better man, a man who can make you happy.”

My heart felt heavy. This was actually happening. He had just admitted that he reciprocated Ruby’s feelings.

“It’s fine,” I murmured. “C’est la vie.”

Vince chuckled as my use of French. “Mot juste.”

We both stood in front of each other quietly and on the edge of the driveway, looking away.

“I am sorry that it had to be like this,” Vince apologised.

“It’s fine really.” I put a hand on his shoulder to show him that I supported him. And of course, so he would look up. “Go and make Ruby happy.”

My eyes fluttered close as he leaned forward to place a kiss on my forehead. “Goodbye, Gracie.”

I savoured the feeling of his lips, knowing that this was probably the last time I would feel them. I didn’t dare open my eyes. Then I would see that he was leaving me … for Ruby.

I only opened them when the last noises of the car’s engine faded away into the night.

* * *

Groggily, I pushed myself up from bed and stared at the brightness of the sunshine streaming in through my window. My mood felt far from the summer weather. Where were the clouds and the thunder?

There was a hesitant knock at my door and it slowly swung open. Mom poked her head in, smiling gently at me. She was probably scared if I would burst into tears at any moment. “Honey, how are you feeling?”

I had told my parents about the break up last night, but I hadn’t dared to tell them the reason why the relationship ended. Dad would throw and fit and hunt down Vince in a heartbeat. Instead, I had pretended that it was a mutual agreement, so it made it seem like I wanted it to end as well.

Aubrey had visited me in my bedroom before I had fallen asleep and made me realise something. She had sat on the edge of the bed and smiled. “Don’t be so sad, Gracie. I think you and Vince weren’t really … fit for each other, you know what I mean?”

“What are you talking about?” I had asked, feeling a tad bit offended.

She had soothingly patted my shoulder in return. “I mean that I could see the two of you didn’t have the sparks … or the connection.”

“We do too!” I had exclaimed, before hastily shutting my mouth. Did we have chemistry? I reflected back on our time together and realised we didn’t really. We never had the passionate and lovely chemistry that couples seemed to have in romance novels and movies.

I liked his kisses, but honestly, they hadn’t made me weak in the knees or made me drunk for more. Also, Vince hadn’t even wanted to take our kissing further.

Another thing I remembered was that I always had this need to impress him. Take the first night that Vince knocked on my door – I had worried that the meals at the diner were too low for him.

No person should feel that right? In a relationship, you were supposed to be yourself. If you couldn’t, then it wasn’t a relationship worth keeping.

Aubrey might have thought that it made me feel better about learning that Vince and I had no sparks, but it had the complete opposite effect. It saddened me to know that we had been fake.

“I’m good,” I replied. “What is there for breakfast?”

Mom frowned at the change of subject, but didn’t press further. “I’ve made one of your favourites.”

That perked me up and it gave me the energy to wash my face, brush my teeth and head downstairs. The delicious aroma made me drool.

“Cee, you look wide awake!” dad exclaimed, looking somewhat surprised. I couldn’t blame him. After all, weren’t girls mopey and depressed after a break up?

“Yeah I am. I’m fine, dad.”

Dad’s eyebrows furrowed. “Are you sure? I could have a talk with the Frenchie you know.”

For the first time, I smiled at dad’s threat. “No dad. Don’t worry about it.”

As I took a seat, mom placed a plate of mini bagels with chopped bananas and blueberries in front of me. I took the container of cream cheese, spread it on my bagels and drizzled honey over the top. Perfect.

“So who was Ruby’s date? Was he a jerk?”

Dad received a slap on the back of his head from mom as she passed by. “Don’t be mean.”

“Evelyn,” dad said, grinning as he rubbed his head. “We have to watch out for her as well and I bet that it’s some playboy who’s trying to get into her-”

“Ken!” mom scolded.

I blushed beetroot red, knowing what he was about to say. How awkward. “Don’t worry dad, I assure you he was very soft-heartened.”

Too soft, I mentally added. I wondered what happened to Lennon.

My answer came an hour later when Ruby visited. Dad had left to pick up some things from the hardware store, whilst mom was grocery shopping.

“Gracie!” Ruby exclaimed, once the door swung open.

I forced a smile as she launched herself into my arms. What was wrong with her?

I led her to the couch and sat us down. “Ruby, what happened?”

She closed her eyes. “I’m a failure; G. Last night, Lennon said it was better if we didn’t remain as an item. I have no idea what I did wrong! Was it my personality?”

Wow. Two endings in one night.

“So he didn’t tell you why exactly?” I asked.

She peered up at me and frowned slightly. “Do you know why? You seem to sound like you do.”

I bit my lip and decided to take a different approach. “Vince and I … we’re done as well.”

Ruby’s eyes widened. “What? Why?! You guys are perfect for each other!”

She didn’t seem to know what was coming did she?

“Ruby … Lennon ended it with you because he knew you were meant for someone else. I did the same thing with Vince.”

“I don’t understand,” Ruby whispered, eyes wide and tears sliding down her fresh, doll-like face.

I laid a hand on hers. “Ruby, I know about you and Vince and you needn’t worry. I’m ok with it. I’m not angry.”

She was quiet for a few seconds, shockingly processing everything I had just told her, before whimpering, “W-what? Vince and … m-me?”

I nodded and said gently, “You like him, don’t you? I also see the way he looks at you. Honestly, he never looked at me like that. He’s already smitten.”

Ruby started to sob and I felt a twinge of guilt. I know it was ironic for me for feel guilty, but I couldn’t help it.

“G-Gracie, I’m … I’m so sorry!” She hiccupped into my shoulder. “I really didn’t mean to like him!”

“I know, believe me, I know, you’d never do that.” I sighed. Looking at her state right now, I knew she wasn’t acting. This was my best friend of how many years, crying hysterically into my shoulder, feeling horrible for her own feelings. Her own feelings which couldn’t have been prevented …

“It just happens. You and Vince seem to have more chemistry anyway, so you don’t need to feel bad,” I added.

Like the sweet girl she was, Ruby shook her head. “But I do!”

“Well don’t,” I soothed her.

I waited patiently for her to dry her tears, which was when she spoke up again. “I don’t know where it’s going to lead Gracie … and I don’t want to hurt you. Vince is going to France as well … I’ll get over it, don’t worry. It’s probably just a teeny crush.”

She was willing to give him up?! The way Ruby was thinking hurt me. She couldn’t think negatively. She should be focusing on taking a chance.

“No! Don’t do that! Don’t give him up!”

“It’ll save me from more heartache when he does leave,” she said dully.

I shook my head. “Just go for it! He’s already crazy for you too! You have to, Rubs!”

“It’s not worth it,” she murmured, looking down at the carpet.

Her comment made me pray for Ruby to change her mind. She deserved Vince. She deserved happiness. She was my best friend and deserved any lovely thing in the world.


© Copyright 2019 vanessaxoxo. All rights reserved.

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