Ethan Phillips

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Chapter 4

Ethan Phillips POV

I didn't understand what happened. One minute everything was fine and then the next, Nina stood next to me crying her eyes out. I couldn't believe what happened. What did I do? I don't know what I did, until I saw the face of the woman that was standing in front of me. Michelle...

I've known for over a year that she liked me, she tried to seduce me on more than one occasion. But I always told her no, I told her I was spoken for. I told her I loved someone, but she never caved.

I remember it clear as day, since it only happened yesterday.

I was wondering what that sound was coming from, it sounded like it was coming from the gym. It sounded absolutely amazing.

I was also wondering, what Nina was so scared about. She should know by now, that she doesn't have anything to be scared off when it comes to me. She can tell me anything, I love her so much, but I never told her that.

Jesus, I'm a coward. We've been together for about a year. A whole year and I never called her my girlfriend. Never, not once. I'm such a dick.

Just as I walk into the gym, I was completely fazed with the source of the sound. It was Nina, my Nina was singing one of my favorite songs. And she looks like she's enjoying it. I can't believe I never heard her sing before, why didn't she tell me she could sing? Why?

And like that Melanie, walks behind me slams me against the locker and kisses me. For what seemed like a second, I answered that kiss. I couldn't think clearly, just then I hear Sophie calling out to Nina.

The look in her eyes, says it all. This is the end.

Yesterday, she didn't want to talk, but today is graduation day. I'll see her again and I need to talk to her. Even if I have to drag her to my classroom again, I'll have her hear me out.

The ceremony is about to start, but I haven't seen her yet. I look around and see all my students, almost officially graduated. To say I'm proud is minimizing what I'm feeling right now. It's an amazing feeling to see your entire class graduate, knowing it's because of something you did.

Some of them needed an extra hand, an ear to listen to or even help to get out of an abusive home. It all happened, maybe not this year, but every time you see one of those kids get out of here and chasing their dreams, it feels amazing.

The ceremony is starting and I still haven't seen Nina. I can't believe, she isn't here. Graduating is what she wanted to do, she wanted to make something of herself. Showing her mom, that all the sacrifices she made for her were worth it.

You have to be a fool not wanting to make sacrifices for Nina. Hell, I would. I would've screamed it trough the hallways if I wasn't so paralyzed by her words, We're done... Those words were the only words I never wanted to hear, but I did hear them. Those words paralyzed me, the love of my life was slipping through my fingers. I won't let it.

Graduation was almost over, we came to the letter C but I never heard Nina's name. Like, she wasn't here. I searched the crowed for her but I didn't see her.

And just when the ceremony was over, and everybody was in the gym. Enjoying a glass of champagne or orange juice whilst talking to all the proud parents, grandparents but all I can do is search for Nina.

I look around, the gym is beautifully decorated, simple but beautiful. Just some drapes and the students pictures are being projected at the screen. Those pictures were taken all around the school year, and you almost never see Nina.

'Mr. Phillips? ' I hear a voice saying from behind me. I turn around and see, Nina... but an older version of her. But her mom has blue eyes instead of those big brown ones I love so much. 'Yes?' I wonder. 'I'm Francesca Clark, Nina's mom.' I nod, 'Yes?' 'They said I had to come and find you to pick up Nina's diploma.' My eyes widen, 'Nina isn't here?' I ask completely shocked.

'Mrs. C!' Sophie shrieks. ' Ethan.' She says glaring at me, I can only look away. Mrs. Clarks eyes widen and she's shaking her head, 'No.' She says still shaking her head.

And just like that she walks out, Sophie right behind her. I run after her as fast as I can. ' Mrs. Clark!' I call out to her, she turns around looking completely red. The anger radiates from her body, damn it, Angry Clarks aren't my strong suit.

'Lord no!' She screams trough the halls. I grab them both by the arms in to my class room. 'Let go of us, asshole.' Sophie says jerking her arm out of my grip. 'Jesus, Sophie. You don't need to hate me.' I tell her.

'But I should, you broke my daughter.' Mrs. Clarks says, tears in her eyes. 'I broke her? I tried to go after her, explain everything to her but she ran.'

'Of course she ran, she's so scared. And now, ... ' She says but looks away. Not looking me in the eye. 'Where is Nina, Mrs. Clark?'

She sighs, 'I won't tell you anything until you explain everything to me. God, in my eyes. You ruined her life, how old are you anyway?' She asks.

'I'm 28, and how did I ruin her life? She didn't even tell me she sang, nor did I ever ask her to give up on her dreams. I would never have done that.' I plead with her, looking her straight in the eye. Hoping that she'll believe me.

'I believe you, and I know she didn't give it up for you. She did it for me.' 'For you?' She nods, 'Nina, she has always felt responsible for our situation ever since she was 14 and I told her the truth about why her father left.' I don't know the details of this story, all I know is that her father isn't in the picture.

'Did she tell you?' She asks but I shake my head, 'I didn't even know she sang, she told me she wanted to get a good degree and a stable job. I know her father isn't in the picture. I know she has trustissues.' I explain further.

'She doesn't have trust issues, she has abandonment-issues.' Mrs. Clark explain, 'Abandonment?' ' Her father left me, when he found out I was pregnant. He packed a bag and flew right back home.' She explained.

'Oh Lord, I get why she didn't trust me then. I never committed, well I understood that and didn't want to scare her away, so I didn't push. Every time I pushed, to label the relationship or talk about the future, she would change the subject or get angry with me and run away.'

'That's Nina, alright.' She sighs, whilst walking back and forth. 'Where is she? Why are you picking up her diploma? She has been looking forward to this day ever since I met her.'

'Nina, she couldn't face you after the whole cheating-thing so she sent me.' She explains, but I can feel that that's not it.

'I never cheated on her, that stupid woman Michell Dumfort, doesn't understand a no. I followed this voice I heard and before I knew it she was kissing me. I didn't know what was happening until I saw Nina crying in front of me. Believe me, I never did this on purpose, I never wanted to hurt her.' I plead with them.

'I love your daughter and now I feel like I've lost her forever.'

Mrs. Clark steps toward the door as she says, 'That you did, she's already on her way, probably there.' 'Where?' 'She's with her father. She's starting college early.'

'In London?' I ask, knowing she got in to a local college in London.

She shakes her head, 'She got into a music program at Columbia, she's chasing her dreams. I told her, she had to chase them. Right now, she's in New York City.' 'She's in New York City?' I'm completely amazed, she got in. In New York.

'That was what she wanted to tell me, isn't it? That she was going away? That she was leaving me. No wonder she was so scared.'

Her eyes dilate, 'She didn't tell you, did she?' I shake my head, 'I didn't get to speak to her. I just lost her. And now it's too late.' I say defeated.

'It's never too late.'

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