When Lightning Strikes

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

Chapter 5 (v.1)

Submitted: October 18, 2011

Reads: 955

Comments: 18

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Submitted: October 18, 2011

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A/N: Although I loved Gracie's hair colour more in the original picture of WLS character pics, I have now changed it :) So go and look if you want!

Yes, it was true. I did not like the curious looks my fellow peers of college were giving me as they leisurely strolled by. I didn’t blame them, since I was sitting on the curb of the street and holding two Starbucks cups in my hand and looking very much like a homeless person.

“Hey Gracie!” Dylan stopped by and raised an eyebrow at me. “What are you doing? You’re not asking people for spare change and hiding the money in those cups are you?”

I stared at him. “No! I’m waiting for Ruby!”

“Oh.” He paused and rubbed his jaw thoughtfully. “Well why isn’t she here?”

“College ends early for Ruby today and she went off to the library for a bit. So when I came out, I called her to pick me up,” I explained.

Dylan laughed. “It doesn’t look like she’s coming, G.”

Slightly embarrassed, I turned away from him. “Maybe she’s stuck in traffic?” I offered.

“Alright then. I’ll be going now.” He ruffled my hair, making me yelp. “See ya!”

During the twenty minutes it took for Ruby to arrive at the front gates, I sipped my caramel macchiato. I felt guilty for doing that though, because Ruby’s frappe sitting on the concrete next to me was growing warmer by the second. When her shiny, golden car came to a stop by me, a relieved sigh escaped my throat.

“Ruby! I’m so glad you’re here!” I exclaimed as in slipped into the front seat. “Here’s your drink.” As I placed it in the cup holder, I winced. “Your warm drink, I might add.”

“Oops.” She laughed guiltily without even taking a look at her frappe. “I’m really sorry I took so long.”

“Where have you been anyway?”

A petal pink shade blossomed on her porcelain face, making my eyes widen slightly. She was blushing? Why was she so embarrassed?

“I told you, I was at the library,” she answered edgily. Something was up with her, and although I didn’t like to stick my nose into other people’s businesses, I decided to fish around and see what reaction I would receive.

Ruby hated lying, so she usually would end up confessing everything. It was just that easy. God, I felt like a villain. “What did you do at the library?”

“Oh, I was asking the librarian which books were good to borrow for a read, and I also was doing research.”

I took a sip from my straw before asking, “That’s it?”

“Why would there be more?” Ruby, rather agitated by my question, took a sharp left turn, making my insides jump. This definitely meant she was uneasy about something.

I decided to just straight out ask her. “Alright, what are you-”

I met a guy!”

Once she blurted out her temporary secret, I gasped. Ruby never really took interest in the other gender, unless they were cute guys from bands, so for her to actually take an interest in someone was like … a miracle! I was so happy and excited for her!

It had always been me who had been dating others, while Ruby would play the role of a supportive best friend. That was why sometime last year, I had tried to play cupid. It was an epic failure because the both of them did not show up at the destination of the date, and trust me; I know this because I had been sitting at a private booth in the same restaurant waiting.

And no, I hadn’t been meaning to spy on them for long. I had just wanted to see if they would be ok at first.

I clapped happily. “Oh my god, who?!”

Her smile immediately faltered. “Well, I never had time to catch his name …”

My heart sank for Ruby. I couldn’t believe this!

I heard her laugh wistfully. “Maybe it’s not meant to be, G. Don’t look so down!”

“But it’s the first guy you’ve ever showed interest in!” I objected. “We have to track this guy down!”

Ruby put a hand over mine to calm me down. “If it’s destiny that I’m supposed to be with him, then we’ll meet again.”

I agreed, but not before biting my lip. “Ok then. I’ll leave you alone.” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her smile, as if she was proud of me for letting the issue go. “But tell me, how did you both meet?”

Chiming laughter came from Ruby. “We met in the library before I came to pick you up from Mercer.” She paused for a second, to think about her choice of words. “I was asking the librarian for The Pearl by John Steinbeck, but she told me it was checked out. I was completely bummed out; when a really beautiful voice says from behind me ‘It’s not checked out anymore.’ I turned around to find … Prince Charming!”

Dubiously, I repeated, “Prince Charming?”

“Yes! He’s got dark curly hair and a really chiselled face. He even has a model face! He has these pouty lips and a really nice figure too …”

I laughed; surprised that Ruby would go for this kind of man. From her celebrity crushes, I concluded that she preferred the lean guys who wore cute beanies, checked shirts and strummed the guitar. She had even admitted that I was right and now here she was, telling me that the dashing prince had caught her eye.

“He’s your type actually,” she added with a giggle.

Suddenly realising that she was right, I joined in with the laughter. “You’re right!”

“Moving on now,” Ruby said. “He then told the librarian to give the book to me and he just walked off, so after borrowing The Pearl, I looked for him in the whole library to say thank you. He was trying to find more classics and we then had a debate on The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.”

I hadn’t read the book, but it was supposed to be amazing, according to Ruby. She had even said that it was better than Pride and Prejudice, which was saying something!

“You know how I feel about intelligent men who have read the classics!” She exhaled dreamily. “But you know what happened next … I had to pick you up from college.”

My smile fell. It was my fault that my best friend wasn’t able to catch the name of the man of her dreams. “I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s not a problem, honestly!”

“You sound like Cinderella,” I mused, liking the sound of Ruby starring as the princess in a magical fairy tale. “The clock struck two and you had to quickly dash out of the library in your summer dress and flats.” I laughed. “It’s a shame you didn’t leave one behind. Then the Prince would be able to look for you all over town.”

She licked her lips. “I don’t need a Prince.”

“Oh yes you do! You deserve one!” And no, I was not lying. She was the most caring best friend a girl could ever have. “You deserve a happily ever after!”

Ruby smiled sadly as the car pulled into the driveway of my house. “We’ll see, G.” She then turned to look at the front door. “I guess you should go. Your dad must be waiting for you.”

I agreed and leaned forward to kiss her cheek. “See you, Ruby!”

“Bye!”

After waving to each other, she zoomed off down the quiet street and I proceeded inside, using my set of keys from my bag. As I dropped my bag and books down at the edge of the suede couch in the lounge room, I called out, “Mom? Dad? You there?”

Dad poked his head around the corner and beamed when he saw me. “Cece! Welcome home! Your mother’s out working right now.”

“So how was your day then?”

He came forward and waved his hand, something he did when there was nothing much to talk about. “Oh you know … the usual! I made myself a cup of coffee in the morning, read the daily paper, went to practice some squash at the recreation centre and I also had an appointment at the doctors …”

My heart skipped a beat. He had gone to the doctors? Was he not feeling well?

“Dad!” I exclaimed, rushing up to him at the same time to clutch his arm. “What’s wrong?”

“Don’t be so alarmed.” He chuckled and patted my hair affectionately. “I just had a check-up.”

I let out a breath of relief at the news. Our whole family always worried when my father said he came back from the doctors. “How was it?”

He smiled. “I’m doing better, but that’s thanks to you.”

I blinked, feeling foolish as I did. “Me?”

Dad nodded and looked slightly embarrassed. “I always worry about you. You were living in France for a year! You know it took me a long time to come around!” He laughed heartily. “But I guess I have to accept the fact that my Cece is growing up now. Ever since you came back, I’ve been feeling healthy as a horse.”

A single tear fell from his blue eyes, the same ones I had inherited, except mine sparkled more than his. Maybe when dad was young, they used to look like mine – more lively and bright. The twinkle was still there, I could see it, but the blueness was fading into a paler shade.

It was something I always wondered about, but I shouldn’t be worrying too much. Nothing would happen to him. He was a strong, capable man.

“So you were worried about me while I was in France?” I whispered sadly. I had never known about this. No one had mentioned it to me while I was there. They had probably wanted me not to worry and stay focused.

It was my fault that his blood pressure escalated during the past year. I was so selfish for picking the exchange student program in Paris over my father’s health. Was I a loyal daughter or what?

“It’s nothing big.” I had the feeling he was trying to play it cool. There was definitely more to it. His face then brightened. “Now why don’t you find yourself an afternoon snack? There are ingredients for sandwiches in the fridge or leftover pasta if you’d like. I’ll be upstairs.”

I nodded and ambled into the kitchen, which was pristine due to mom’s love for keeping the house clean. Cheese, pieces of cold chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and sweet chilli sauce caught my eye, so I placed all of them onto the island and started to prepare myself a sandwich, one that would make even Jamie Oliver proud.

As I was carefully slicing up tomatoes, the doorbell rang. I heard my dad’s sturdy shoes echoing on the oak staircase and his voice telling me that he would answer the person on the other side of the door, so I didn’t bother moving away from the kitchen to welcome a guest into our home.

Talking reached my ears and then footsteps, coming closer. Once dad stepped into the room, his lips tightened. Calmly, he said, “Gracie Mae, you have a bit of explaining to do.”

My eyes widened at his blank expression. Explaining? What have I done wrong?! I racked my brains to remember if I had yelled at a professor or shoplifted at a shop, but nothing came up.

I watched as dad stepped aside to let our guest come into view, and once he did, I gasped without thinking.

“Gracie, ma Cherie,” he greeted softly. “Tu m’as manqué.”

My heart was hammering so hard from the tension and shock, that I felt like I was going to faint any moment now. I had thought I would never see him again.

“Hello Vince.” I squeaked like a schoolgirl. As I caught dad’s eye, I knew I was in some serious trouble.

~

So who do you think Vince is? How is Gracie’s father going to react?! I hope to hear all your thoughts and suspicions down below :D xoxo


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