I opened my eyes the next day to the beautiful sun shining in. I yawned and looked over to my left. Leo laid naked with only the sheet covering his ass. Then I remembered last night. We had sex all night long. It was like we couldn't get enough of each other. I don't really understand what got into me. I'd never looked at Leo as more than just a friend, my best friend, now I know he looks at me differently. I can't believe I did this. How could I be so careless with his heart? I said to myself. How am I going to make this right?
"What's going on in that pretty little head of yours? Are you over analyzing this?" Leo said. I looked over at him. He was still laying on his stomach with one eye open watching me.
"How do you know that's what I'm doing?" I asked him. He pushed himself up and turned his head away from me.
"Because Beth, I know you." He said. "I know you don't look at me like I look at you. I knew it when I kissed you last night. I already knew this. So stop thinking about it so much." He said. I heard him yawning.
"But Leo," I said softly.
"No buts Beth, please." He said. I knew he didn't want to talk about it anymore, so I just stayed quiet. I reached over and ran my hand up and down his back. Within seconds he was asleep again. I couldn't sleep anymore, every time I tried to sleep, I thought about what Leo and I did. He was right, I was over analyzing. I rolled my eyes because he does know me very well.
I gave up and got out of bed and went in to have a shower. When I walked back into the room, Leo wasn't in bed any longer. I looked around the room for him, but he wasn't there. Maybe he went down to the kitchen or to use a bathroom. I got dressed and brushed my hair out. I pulled it into a braid. I put some light make up and headed downstairs. I looked all around, but I couldn't find Leo anywhere. Damn it, I said to myself. Then I saw the piece of paper on the kitchen counter.
Had to run to a job. Be back later. Leo.
I took a deep breath. He said he would be back later. I was worried he wouldn't come back. Maybe I should give him a call? I never called him or text him when he was gone for work. I never knew what he did and I never asked, but I also never bothered him when he was out doing whatever it was that he did. I knew he worked for a gang, but I never asked him questions. Fuck it, I sent him a text.
"Do you promise?" I hit send and waited. I wasn't getting anything back and I started to get scared. Maybe I did make a mistake. That's when my phone went off.
"Your still over analyzing this. Yes, I promise." I took a deep breath. I sat my phone down and started to make myself some breakfast.
After I ate, I went back upstairs to my room. I was in the mood to clean. I needed to clean my bedroom, so I plugged in my phone to the speakers in my room and started to go to town. Most of my cleaning consisted of me dancing around. I was enjoying myself for the first time in a long time. My mind stayed free of Dante and Leo. Which felt good to have that not constantly playing on my brain. I decided to move my room around and do some actual deep cleaning. I got everything in it's new place, but the bed. I started to move the bed and found a tee shirt under the bed. I picked it up thinking it was one of mine, but it wasn't. The familiar smell hit me like a ton of bricks and I knew it was Dante's. I sat on my butt and held it close to my chest. I didn't realize how much it affected me till I felt the tears fall down my cheeks.
I looked over at my nightstand. I opened the bottom drawer and found his letter. Sometimes when I got to feeling like this, I would try to reread his letter. I've read this letter a hundred times. I opened the envelope and pulled the letter out. That's when something caught my eye. There was something inside the envelope. In very small writing were the words, Sugar is comforting in Paris. That's all it said. I didn't understand why that was written inside the envelope. I sat there feeling confused. Why would he write something like that inside the envelope? Now have I never seen that till now? Sugar is comforting in Paris? I kept saying it over and over again.
I jumped up and grabbed my phone. I called my father.
"Hey baby, how are things going at home."
"Everything is good dad, is Damon around?"
"Yeah, he is right here next to me."
"Can I talk to him please?"
"Sure, hold on a moment."
"Hello Beth, how are you?"
"I'm good uncle, how are you?"
"Just enjoying a nice visit with your parents."
"I need to ask you something."
"Did you ever receive a letter from Dante?"
"I did not, but my partner Enzo did."
"I need to get in touch with him."
"Are you sure you want to go down that road?"
"Yes, please tell me how to get in touch with him."
After Damon gave me the information I needed to talk to with Enzo, we hung up and I gave Enzo a call.
"This is Enzo."
"Hello Enzo, this is Adriana Jackson."
"Hello Beth, how are you doing?"
"I'm okay, but I've got a question for you."
"Okay, I'm listening."
"This is going to sound kind of weird, but do you still have your letter from Dante?"
"I do, why?"
"Was there anything written inside the envelope it came in?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I've held onto my letter from him and I just found something written on the inside of the envelope. I don't know what it means or why it was written there."
"What does it say?"
"Sugar is comforting in Paris."
"I don't know what that means. It's got to have some significance to you. I'm looking at my letter now and there's nothing written inside the envelope. It has to mean something to you." I took a deep breath.
"Okay Enzo, thank you for your time."
"Your welcome, if you need anything please don't hesitate."
We hung up the phones and I just sat there staring at the words. Maybe it's just his way of telling me to move on. I sat the letter down and just looked up at my ceiling. I know he knew just how important Paris was to me. Maybe he just wanted me to follow my dream. That has to be what that meant. I've always held onto the fact that I just couldn't one hundred percent believe that the letter wasn't fake. Even though everyone told me it was real. I still had that feeling inside me that was screaming at me that the letter was fake. The more time that passed be the more I started to believe it.
I put the letter and his shirt back inside my nightstand. I finished cleaning up my room and no matter what I did, I couldn't stop thinking about the letter. I think it was time for me to just put my dream into reality. It was time for me to go to Paris. It was time for me to start to move on with my life. I was about to turn twenty five and I was still at home. Enough was enough. I started to put my trip together. My plans before were to move out to Paris and study art and literature. I wanted to live there for at least a year. I wonder if the apartment I was after might still be available. About four hours had passed and the last thing I needed to cover was my flight and when I was going to leave.
I heard someone call out my name and I realized it was Leo. I took a deep breath and was happy that he did come back. "I'm up here in my room!" I hollered out. Leo found me sitting in the middle of all my Paris stuff. I had all the brochures and papers I had on Paris.
"What are you doing?" He asked as he made his way to me.
"I'm going to do it Leo, I'm going to go to Paris." I smiled up at him. He smiled back at me.
"Is this because of us?" He asked me. I didn't think about that, but I guess some of it was.
"It's not just about that. It's a lot of things. I'm almost twenty five years old Leo, I'm still at home. I gave up my dream of Paris for Dante, and he is gone. I need to move on with my life." I said. I felt Leo's hand go around my shoulders. He pulled my close to him.
"I understand." He said. I knew that he would, but then I remembered him offering to go with me. I wondered if he still felt that way?
"Leo?" I said turning toward him. "Do you still want to go with me?" I asked him. He took a deep breath.
"I can't go with you Beth, I've got that huge job I told you about." I looked at him funny. I bit down on my lip. "Look, I know last night meant more to me than it did to you. I know you don't love me. I knew that when I kissed you, but I couldn't help myself. I've wanted to kiss you forever. I guess I just took advantage of the situation. I've got to let you go and do this on your own. If I go with you, I'm going to love you forever, alone." I sat there listening to his words. I felt the tears fall down my face. "Don't cry, I know you care about me. You didn't do anything wrong last night. All you did was give me a beautiful memory, that I will hold onto forever. But I've go to learn to move on with my life as well." I just nodded at him as the tears continued to flow.
He pulled me into his arms and held on to me tightly. "When do you plan on leaving?" He asked me. I tried to clear my throat.
"As soon as possible." I said. He stayed quiet. I lifted my head up and looked at him. He wiped the tears off my cheek. He leaned in and kissed my lips. I kissed him back. Leo would always be someone I will care about forever. Leaving him was going to be very hard on me. Being alone was going to be hard on me. "How am I going to get through my days without you?" I said to him. He laughed.
"Your just going to have to find someone else to push around." We both giggled. "I think this is the best thing you can do for yourself." He said to me. "I believe your going to do great things in Paris. Just make sure you don't forget me." He said.
"I could never forget you Leo." I said. He kissed my forehead and I heard him clear his throat. I knew that was hard for him to. I wrapped my arms around him and held on.