3 YEARS LATER...
Carmen is watching me as I pack the last of my things I hear her ask. “What time are you leaving?” I look over at her. “My flight is at 5 am, I’m going to miss you!” Carmen gives me a weak smile as she helps me pack she says. “It’s only for 2 weeks, I am so sorry I can’t come with you.” I walk over pulling her in for a kiss. “It’s ok sweetie I understand you have to work, we can always go over together another time.”
After that night at the restaurant she just disappeared into thin air, I tried to forget it ever happened but I found it so hard to get passed it, why did she leave like that? Why was I so annoyed that I couldn’t find her? I felt so guilty thinking about Vanessa again, I pushed all my old feelings back into the vault and focused everything on Carmen.
Since then things were I suppose good, we moved into an apartment together and my mum and dad both seemed to get on with Carmen. I have been thinking that I should propose but something is stopping me from taking that next step, I need closure once and for all, I need to cut all ties, my life is here with Carmen I can’t keep one foot in the past it’s fucking my future up and it’s not fair. I felt that I was emotionally cheating on her, how the fuck can I be with Carmen for years and still feel a stronger connection with Vanessa who I was with only months.
Carmen is a little high maintenance, bossy but she is stunning and sweet ...when she wanted something, come to think about it all our dates where always fancy she wasn’t really down for bowling or playing pool in a normal bar. Her friends well I had nothing in common with them they were as dull as fuck. I am ripped from my thoughts when I hear Carmen’s voice. “Honey, did you hear what I said?” I look at her with an apologetic smile. “Sorry I didn’t catch it” Carmen crosses her arms pissed that I wasn’t paying her attention. “I said have a great trip I have to go now so won’t be able to see you off at the airport.” She comes up to me and gives me a quick peck on the lips, there was no all-consuming I am going to miss you every second for the next two weeks, our sex life is somewhat vanilla and far and few between. I hear the door close and go over to pick up the envelop I received 2 months ago. I pull the piece of the card out and admire the beautiful design.
You are cordially invited to the wedding of Miss Hartman & Mr Sinclair.
I get into bed and wait for the alarm clock to go off for my flight, I can’t sleep my mind is going a mile a minute. I’m sitting on the flight and working out how I should go about this trip? I did a little digging to find out where she went and how she was doing.
Dean and I had got better at staying in contact. There was a hell of an amount of tension as it was clear that neither Dean nor Carmen liked each other she was always throwing shade at him and well Dean refused to hold back. This was fate this trip home would give me everything I needed, the answers I had to have. Then I would come back to New York and give Carmen the future she wanted.
She had dropped enough hints, every time a friend would get engaged I would have it thrown in my face. Why haven’t you proposed already? What are you waiting for? I love you, you love me what’s the hold-up? What the hell was I supposed to say "yeah I love you but there is part of my heart belongs to someone else and after five years I still haven’t let go." Yeah, I fucked up I have never told Carmen about Vanessa, I just couldn’t talk about her.
Carmen would see in my face the truth and well she would have my balls cut off. So we just avoided that topic altogether... I know I’m a massive twat. I was in the dog house for a month when I went on Deans stag, what the fuck was I expected to do I was the best man. It was so worth it though the to be with the boys again was fun and easy-going, we had all done a lot of growing up in the last five years some married and had babies. Dean proposed to Victoria and are happy as ever.
When I came over for visits we would have dinner together but Vic refused to bring Vanessa up especially with Carmen there. Carmen and Vic had a few words exchanged. it was awkward and Victoria just walked away from the table. Dean had to calm her down and then I and Carmen had a fight over it, she was rude to Victoria and it was uncalled for, she apologised but you could see the dislike pour from her face. It made it so much easier she wasn’t here on this trip, it would just create a bad atmosphere and ruin the couples big day.
I had been lost in my own train of thoughts for so long I didn’t realise we landed. I got into a taxi and made my way to my hotel where I was staying after I checked in I looked at my phone I sent Carmen a text.
Landed safely miss you already talk later xo
I waited a while and nothing came through I put it back in my pocket and decided to go out and get something to eat. As I was walking to a little cafe. I walked past a jewellery shop a ring caught my eye I decided to go in and take a better look.
I walk over to a gentleman and make a request. “I would like to see that ring please?” he nods and slides out the tray from the window. “Yes, of course, sir, this is a 3-carat moissanite and diamond halo engagement ring.” I’m standing looking at the ring it’s stunning, it’s very Carmen out of the corner of my eye another ring catches my attention I stand and look between them both what the fuck am I doing, that second ring hits the pit of my stomach I see who I give it to so clearly. It’s autumn we are buried in leaves, she loved making leaf angels that's what she called them, I would get down on one knee under the tree I took her to for a romantic picnic, it was great for about the first fifteen minutes and then the skies emptied Vanessa laughed so hard and we were soaked to the skin her hair was stuck to her face she was the most beautiful I have ever seen.
With Carmen, I see the proposal some fancy 5-star restaurant the ring in the champagne glass. I just don’t feel the warm feelings. I’m standing holding the Carmen ring and looking hard at it. The shop owner clearly picks up my uncertainty. “I will give you a few minutes sir to have a look.” I near drop the damn ring when I hear a voice I longed to hear.
“She’s a very lucky lady!” That voice... my hairs at the back of my neck stand up I look around and she is simply exquisite as I remember. “Vanessa, what are you doing here? ....I mean, Hi how are you?” Vanessa gives a smile and tucks her hair behind her ear. "Hi, yeah I’m good just picking up the wedding rings I would ask what you're doing but that’s clear it’s a stunning ring, are you finally proposing to Carmen?"
My body stiffens as she says Carmen's name. "You know about Carmen?" Vanessa nods and fiddles with her hands her tell when she is nervous. "Well yeah, Dean and Victoria have mentioned her a few times. Congratulations." I automatically talk without thinking "Thanks ... wait what are you congratulating me for?" Vanessa's gaze drops to my hand. "Logan look down what are you currently holding?" I feel embarrassed of course that's what she was congratulating me on "Oh yeah that..." Vanessa looks confused and she tries to lighten the mood. "Don’t sound too excited." I hear the shop owner's voice. "Miss Hartman a pleasure to see you again here are the wedding rings would you like to have a look."
Vanessa smiles at him and takes the rings in her hand. "Thank you, Nick, for everything the first shop messed everything up I am glad we got sorted you have been a dream come true not a bridezilla moment happened." he smiles at her and takes the rings placing them back in their box. "You are very welcome just glad we could help on such short notice, is everything ready for Saturday?" Vanessa takes the little ring bag "As ready as it will ever be I’m just heading now to collect the dresses." Nick smiles at her "Well I hope the day goes off without a hitch" Vanessa starts to walk towards the door. "Hope so too, take care"
Vanessa turns back to me trying to avoid eye contact. "It was so good to see you, Logan, I guess I will see you Saturday?" I give her a friendly smile. "Yeah you will, it was so good to see you too." I walk over to her and lean in to give her a kiss on the cheek, she never moves away. I feel a rush of emotions hit me, she feels the same, smells the same. She walks towards the door. I literally shout my question at her.
"What happened in New York?" Vanessa's eyes dart to mine and lock, our gaze never breaking. "Logan ... I was there on a business meeting and you were on a date you didn’t need that awkward meeting between your ex and your girlfriend so I just left. Thankfully my meeting was just over when I saw you. I was doing you a favour we didn’t exactly leave things great, we haven’t spoken, years have passed. There was no need for a conversation."
I scoff at her. "Bullshit, you saw my face when I saw you! The least you could do was give me a few minutes." Vanessa shrugs "What for exactly nothing good would have come for it. Look at you, you have moved on, you're I’m guessing going to propose marriage?" I walk closer to her and my voice strains to come out. "I needed you to give me closure, we need to end us. If that makes sense." She looks down at her feet. "If that’s what you need ok. How about lunch tomorrow at the Belmont say at 2 pm?" I can't help but smile I loved going to the Belmont with her. "Do they still do the ..." Vanessa smiles and says "Chilli cheese sub with curly fries... yeah they do." I look at her just like I use to I whisper. "You haven’t changed a bit!" Vanessa blushes I didn't think she would hear me but my heart breaks at her words. "Somethings never change, while others clearly do... I will meet you tomorrow, see you, Logan."
I can’t help it I don’t intentionally look at her breasts but it’s what is sitting on her neckline that pulls me there. After five years she’s still wearing it, I couldn’t believe my eyes, she was still wearing my heart around her neck. I watch as she walks out of the shop she looks back in the window and gives me a little smile, not a flirty one like she used to but a friendly one. My heart is beating so hard I can hear it pump in my ears I am brought back to my body as the owner asks me. "Well sir, have you made your decision?" I decide that I am done messing around I have to move forward and I have decided on my future. "Yeah, actually I will take the ring."
There is no avoiding him he was here in front of me after my lucky dodge in New York how the hell did I not expect this to happen. Well, it was going to happen I was just hoping it would happen Saturday. He looks so good even better he has that rugged manly look about him. Stop it, Vanessa, what the hell are you playing at, look at what he has in his hand. My heart drops and I feel sick, what was I expecting it’s been five years. We haven’t spoken except for a few words in New York. I tried to move on, I did. I dated Christian for a little while but we soon worked out we were better off as friends which were such a shame. He was good looking, sweet and loyal but there was just no spark not really no matter how hard we tried.
I didn’t pine for Logan I just hoped that one day when we both had our shit together it would come together. I knew about Carmen I was jealous I can’t lie but seeing him with that ring in his hand proved our time had passed. I walk up to him and we have a brief but friendly enough chat, I try to keep my composure when he asks to meet up for closure. There we have it the final nail in the Logan and Vanessa coffin. Here he was settling down while I just worked and raised Jasmine. I put my love life on hold hoping that one day he would come back to me that we would go back to each other.
How could he know I still loved him, I went to New York to see him. Oh, I saw him alright at the bar with some model. Turned out that was Carmen, Victoria and Dean had to break that news to me. I still wore the necklace I wasn’t ready to let go of him. It’s safe to say that as of that moment when I walked out of the jewellery shop. I knew it was over, he gave his heart to Carmen and tomorrow we would both get closure and move on. I reached around for the clasp and removed the necklace. I had rarely taken it off and my neck felt lonely without it. There was no point pretending anymore after five long years. It was done.