Chain Letters

Chapter 5

Darren slapped the door and left you alone in your apartment. You couldn't answer anything in that moment so, as Darren said, after he waited five seconds for your answer and you didn't answer, he left. Those were the longest five seconds in your life; you couldn't believe that millions of feelings and thoughts crossed your mind in so little. You really wanted to stop Darren and answer him, but you let the panic to win you and the lump in throat didn't let you answer. You saw Darren's face when the five seconds were over. He looked down and sighed frowning, he was disappointed, frustrated and wretched. You only stayed sitting on the couch thinking about all that happened, trying to figure out why you'd treated Darren in that way if you were sure you loved him and you wanted to be with him. Because you thought that the worst mistake you can make is to walk away from the person who actually stood there and waited for you, and that was exactly what you did with Darren. Why you didn't tell him that you wanted to be with me, to give it a try? Darren was for you everything good that happened in your life, he was the reason why you were still there. Not only that, but he was the one who made you feel things you never felt before. Maybe that was the reason why you were scared and you didn't know what to do. Because you're experiencing something completely new and you didn't know how this kind of things worked. But Darren walked away and after several minutes you tried to follow him and stop him. Yes, you left your apartment to go look for him but you couldn't find him, he walked away very fast from there. And now was too late, Darren made it clear. Darren finally gave up and you didn't blame him because you were the one who acted in a childish way. You were the one who couldn't stop dawdling and who kept going in circles without being able to decide what you really wanted. And it was understandable that Darren was tired of this all. You didn't even know where he was staying, you weren't sure if you should call him. You were scared what Darren could say if you called him, because he really looked disappointed of you. Why was it so hard to give you all to him? You really needed to stop being scared about what could happen. If you weren't able to give it a try, you'd never know if what could happen would be good or bad. Maybe you were losing something good because of fear. Sometimes you wished you could be more determined, you could be brave to risk. Why couldn't you be like that? Yes, maybe everything that happened in your past made you to be in this way. But it was in the past, and Darren proved you that no matter what happened in your past you always can move on and make it better, make it be worthwhile. You only wanted to be happy and that only happened when you were with Darren. Why did you then let him go? Maybe it was because you didn't want Darren to be with someone who was problematic, with someone who was screwed because of the past. But Darren knew all you've been through and yet he told you he loved you. You didn't want to be like this. You didn't want to hurt Darren, you wanted to make him happy as he deserved. But you acted in a different way you wanted and for some reason you couldn't control it. Maybe that was the reason, you let Darren go because you wanted him to be happy and he couldn't be happy with you because you had many problems in your life. You needed to talk with someone now; you needed someone to help you clear up all of this. And you knew that someone was Matt. Matt was the only who could give you an advice, because he was a man and he'd give you a man's point of view. You grabbed your phone to text him.

To Matt: Matt, do you think you could come over to my place?

From Matt: Sure I can but...Is Darren there? Because really, I wouldn't want to disturb you and whatever you both have to talk.

To Matt: No, he isn't here.

From Matt: Alright, gonna be there in about 15 min.

In fact, Matt arrived in 15 minutes. You both sat on the couch with a cup of coffee while Matt was looking at you intently and you were looking down. You were uncomfortable, but you needed to talk about all of this.

"So, have you talked to Darren?" Matt asked after a few minutes and you only nodded. "I'm guessing that things didn't go so well."

"I guess not." You said still looking down and frowning. Matt gently rubbed your back and that made you feel a little better, he really cared about how you were feeling and whatever was the reason you were regretting to have asked Matt to come here, you changed your mind once he did it. "I'm so stupid, Matt. I'm such a little kid, I'm so damn childish."

"Hey, don't say that about yourself. Mind if you explain me what happened?" Matt asked kindly and you rested your head on his shoulder.

"He told me he loved me, Matt. And all I could do it was him to leave. I don't even know why asked him to do so." You said annoyed with yourself and sad because you were remembering the situation. "He said he loves me and I love him but I couldn't do it. I couldn't be with him because I'm scared and all of this took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting him today, I wasn't expecting he to come without warning and I wasn't expecting him to appear in this way. And I'm scared because I'm experiencing something I never did before. All of this is new for me. Is new for me to feel loved in this way and I'm scared because I don't know if it all is real, if it all is gonna last. I'm scared because if I let myself to feel and show all I'm feeling and it happens to end, I'm gonna be so down, I wouldn't know if I'd be able to stand again. And I've been down before and I don't wanna be down again once I got to stand and move on, because I don't know if I could do it again. But also I know Darren makes me happy, he's the one who always made me happy, the one who helped me to move on and realize that not everything is lost. And I want to be with him, I really do. But I don't want him to be with someone like me, who can't get over her past and who has a lot of troubles and insecurities. Because I don't know if this could work out, not because we don't love each other but because I don't know how to do it right. And Darren was there…he was being honest and he was trying hard to make me feel his love. And I told him if he loved me as much as he said, he had to leave me. And he stood; you should have seen his face Matt! He was disappointed and sad and so letdown. He looked at me once more time before go and he told me that he closed that door maybe he won't come back again and I had five seconds to make up my mind. And I did nothing and I said nothing! I just stayed there in silence and then he left. He left, Matt! And I don't know why I didn't tell him all I feel for him, I just I couldn't. I don't know why I acted like that. It seems that what I want to do and what I do are two separate things. And now it's too late, because he made a decision. Because surely he's tired of trying and I don't blame him for that. Because he tried so much and I did nothing. And I'm acting like a child; I don't know why I'm acting like a child. And now I lost everything I wanted. And I can't stop wondering what it could have been if I had stopped him. Everything would be different now; I wouldn't be feeling this bad. And I'm so stupid because it all was my fault! Why did I do it, Matt? Why did I let him go if it was the last I wanted?" You said sobbing on his shoulder, as Matt was caressing your hair and listening to you very intently.

"Shh, calm down." Matt said caressing your hair. "First of all, don't stress over what could've been, chances are if it should've been, it would've been. Life is weird. You can go from being strangers to being friends. From being more than friends to being practically strangers again. Don't let this happen and if comes to happen, well you should think that maybe being strangers again is a good way to start everything over again, to get to know the person again and to fall in love with the person again. You see, nothing is so terrible if you stop to think about it. And don't think that this I'm telling you is not gonna happen because Darren made you make a decision and now it's too late because it's never too late to do the right thing. We can't retract the decisions we've made, we can only affect the decisions we're going to make from here. So think about it, think what's gonna be the next decision you'll make. If Darren really loves you as you said, he's gonna be there always waiting for you. Yes, probably he's not gonna show it, but he can't object to something he's feeling. And no matter what he did before, when I saw him today I really saw in his eyes that he truly loves you. So you shouldn't give up on someone you love and who loves you, no matter what he did in the past. And please, never forget what took me a lifetime to learn; you have only one heart, be true to it. Don't let your brain interfere with your heart because that way you'd never make the right decision and you'd feel like hell. I think you should move your nice ass to go talk to him and be honest with him. It's time to risk. And..." Matt looked at you raising an eyebrow. "If you think he doesn't want to be with you because of all that happened to you in your past and because you're problematic then I'm gonna say you're completely idiot. Yeah, because it's the opposite. If he loves you, what he most want to do would be to stand by you to overcome your problems together, he's not gonna leave you alone and he's not gonna reject you for that. Because he'd want to make you happy again, to show you that next to him nothing that happened you before is gonna happen again. I believe he wants to do that. So don't think too much, just do what you really feel." Matt said smiling sweetly.

"Oh geez, Matt. What the hell would I do without you? Thank you very much, really." You said, hugging him and then you giggled a little. "And you know? Darren was jealous of you."

"He was what?" Matt said laughing out loud. "Oh damn. Please tell me he knew I was gay."

"No, he didn't know that and I didn't bother to tell him so." You laughed with him.

"Oh well, that explains why he treated me that way." Matt said still laughing and raising an eyebrow.

"Oh yeah, sorry about that!" You laughed even louder.

Definitely, Matt had helped you to clear up your mind and realize what you really wanted to do. You really loved this guy and you couldn't believe you had a friend like him, who will be next to you whenever you needed him. Your life really had changed and it was for good. Now you had truly friends and someone who loved you and you really had reasons to be happy. Now you were sure that what happened to you in the past won't happen again, because now you had people who would help you and who loved you no matter what. You were glad to be with Matt in this situation and he really cheered you up. You stayed with him till midnight and then he left, proud to see you smiling again. You went to bed smiling and decided that tomorrow you were going to talk to Darren.


Next day you woke up hopeful and lively. You knew you were going to make the right decision. You wanted to be with Darren and although it scared you as hell, you needed to risk, to find out all you were unaware and you knew that with the only person you could do this was with Darren. And Matt was right, if Darren really loved you, he'd forgive your idiocy and your childish behavior you had lately. You needed to stop thinking that probably you could end hurt and heartbroken, because for this reason you were losing a chance to be really happy with the man you loved. But there was a problem. You really didn't know where Darren was staying and you wanted to surprise him, because probably if you called him he wouldn't answer or he wouldn't want to talk to you in this moment. Instead, if you surprised him, he'd have no option but talk to you. Maybe he was in the same hotel than the last time he was in NYC, but probably he wasn't in the same room and if you asked the hotel clerk he wouldn't say anything because it was Darren Criss. Or maybe he was in other hotel, you really didn't know and you really didn't want to call him. You thought how you could find out where Darren was staying. Then Joey popped in your mind. Yes, Joey was Darren's friend and he surely knew where Darren was staying, and you had his number. Maybe you could text him, you had nothing to lose. Quickly, you grabbed your phone and started texting him.

To Joey: Hey Joey! Guess who's this? Yeah, that drunk and hopeless girl. I wanted to ask you something.

You didn't have to wait too much until your phone buzzed with a reply from Joey.

From Joey: Oh well, well. I thought you went to Pigfarts or something! Where have you been all this time? And don't answer me in a cupboard under some stairs! It's good to know about you and yeah, spit it out!

To Joey: Oh damn. I don't know what to answer then! I'm sorry if I bug you and all but I was wondering if you know where Darren is staying in NYC?

From Joey: Hey, the only way you can bug me is if you take my RedVines away from me. Do you mean where is he staying or where is he right now, like now in this exactly moment?

To Joey: In this exactly moment. If you don't mind to tell me, of course.

From Joey: Oh c'mon that's pure shit. Hold on, I'm gonna ask him.

To Joey: Thank you very much, Joey! But please…can you please not mention that it was me who asked that?

From Joey: Hmmm, planning a surprise?

To Joey: Something like that!

From Joey: Promise. I hope the surprise doesn't involve killing Darren or I'm gonna feel so damn guilty.

To Joey: You wouldn't know. Maybe I'm gonna just stab him.

You smiled widely and waited for some minutes Joey's reply. It was really nice to talk to him again, he was always funny and you found out another side of him the last time you saw him. He was a really amazing person.

From Joey: Okay girl…if you stab him, do not mention me. Then we have a deal. Here I send you the address where he's right now. Good luck in whatever you're gonna do! Hope to get news from you more often, girl!

To Joey: Thank you Joey, I swear next time I see you I'm gonna bring a large tub of RedVines only for you! If you don't get new from me more often you're allowed to kick my ass.

From Joey: I'm gonna remember that. Both things. Keep in touch, girl!

You smiled again and you noted the address. It was very far away from your apartment but you needed to go there. You showered quickly and got ready to leave your apartment and take the subway. You were nervous but happy at the same time. You had the feeling that everything would be fine.

As you though, you got lost. It took you an hour to find the right house. You've never been before in that neighborhood and you felt as if you were in other country. It was a very nice neighborhood; the houses were huge with amazing front gardens and porches. But anyway it was weird that Darren was staying there, because it seemed a place where only families lived. You thought that maybe Darren wanted to be quiet. So there you were, in front of an amazing and huge house with a Victorian exterior with sweeping wrap-around terrace and stone staircase. You were standing in front of the door for several minutes. Once you were there, you were really nervous so you couldn't just nock the door. You didn't know how Darren would react once he sees you there because he didn't even know that you knew where he was staying. Oh god, you thought you would like a stalker. You should have warned him you were coming. What if Darren didn't want to see you? What if he was with other person? Darren would think you were completely out of mind and harassing him. No, you didn't want him to think that. Maybe the best would be if you go away from there, you were feeling uncomfortable there and you felt as if you shouldn't be in that luxury neighborhood, you felt like a gatecrasher. Maybe you could come later but before you should tell him that you were going. You tuned around to leave that place but then you stopped abruptly. You were there to talk to Darren and if you didn't do it in that moment, you'd never do it again. It was now or never, you needed to stop being scared. It was going to happen whatever it was supposed to happen and you'd have to deal with it. You walked to the door again, this time with more courage and determination. You knocked the door but no one answered. You waited for ten minutes and no one came. Maybe Darren wasn't there, but you could hear some music from inside. You knocked the door again, this time louder. After a few minutes you heard how some steps walked to the door and you saw how the handle of the door was opening. You tried to control your nerves. The door finally was opened and you could see a shocked and curious Darren looking at you. His eyes were wide open and he was slightly frowning. Besides being shocked and curious, he was also a little nervous, confused, sad and huffy. Instead opening the door to let you come in, he closed the door to only pop his head hiding his body behind the door. You automatically felt bad and embarrassed to have gone there. He didn't look happy to see you again and you regretted to be there without warning. Oh god, you didn't know where to hide or where to run. Why were you there? That was a stupid decision.

"What are you doing here?" Darren asked serious and frowning.

Oh damn. You were screwed. You didn't know what to answer anymore because Darren really looked displeased to see you. You surely weren't expecting this. You were expecting to see a hopeful and happy Darren. You gulped and cleared your throat to answer him.

"I...I wan-wanted to ta-talk to y-you." You stuttered like an idiot.

Gosh, you were so idiot. You went there to talk to Darren about everything you were feeling, to tell him that you wanted to be with him, that you were ready. But Darren obviously didn't want it from you any longer. You were freaking out and all the hope and courage you had minutes before, vanished. Now you were feeling stupid, ashamed, edgy, and hopeless. Damn, you wanted to run away because Darren was still looking at you with the same expression and you couldn't even look at him into his eyes.

"This is not a good moment." Darren answered shortly and a little sharp.

"Oh, okay. I'm sorry." You said sadly and looking down.

Crap, you wanted to cry right now, you were feeling like shit and Darren were looking at you in the same way. He even answered you in that way and he didn't want to talk to you, he really didn't want it. You screwed everything last night and now you felt as if you lost Darren forever. You couldn't handle it, you needed to go but you couldn't move. You were feeling very sad, embarrassed, disappointed and rejected. And only for one bad decision you made last night. This didn't seem so hard after Matt talked to you, but now it was. You wanted to go, but you wanted to talk to Darren; and Darren didn't want to talk to you and he wanted you to go. Why did you think that you could make it right? You knew deep in your heart that this was a wrong decision but you had a little hope. Now you were sure it was a wrong thing that you just did.

"Yeah. See you." Darren said a little cold and he tried to close the door but you stopped him.

"Can I ask you something first?" You asked trying to hide your choked voice and looking at him a little hopeless.

"Yeah." Darren answered shortly.

"Are you...are you with someone?" You gulped again not sure if you wanted to know the answer.

"Yes." Darren said, still serious and cold.

"Okay...I got it...Mmh..." You answered disappointed and letdown trying to hold back your tears and stay strong at least until to be sure Darren wasn't seeing you. "Bye."

You answered with choked voice and turned away at the same moment that Darren started to close the door, but someone stopped him to close it completely.

"Who's she, Dare?" A little girl's voice said intrigued.

You instinctively turned around to see who the girl who was talking was. You've never seen that girl before. It seemed as if she was six years old. She was really beautiful with dark hair and big blue eyes with some freckles on her rosy cheeks. She was smiling sweetly at you and she was clinging to Darren's leg. You smiled slightly at her while Darren was just caressing her hair and then he looked up at you a little uncomfortable. You had no idea who that girl was, Darren never mentioned you something about a little girl. There were a lot of things you didn't know about Darren that was absurd and ridiculous you were in love with him.

"Uhm...she is...Uhm..." Darren started to say very awkward.

"Dare...Is she the girl you told me? That beautiful girl who looked like a princess? She looks like a princess. Is she joining us? She should, she seems very nice and sweet as you said, Dare!" The little girl said excited and sweetly.

The little didn't stop looking at you and Darren was next to her very uncomfortable. You didn't know why that girl was looking at you in that sweet way, you didn't know why she said all that and you didn't even know if that girl she was talking about was you. You were abashed and didn't know what to say or do so you just looked down.

"No, Sami. She's not joining us." Darren finally answered avoiding your glance.

"But Dare!" Sami grumbled like throwing a tantrum. "She's the girl, the girl in those pictures you showed me! And I wanted to know her and you told me someday and now she's here and... Why isn't she joining us? Do you want to join us; do you really have to go?" Sami said pouting and looking at you.

You blushed hard and you widened your eyes. She took you by surprise and you didn't know what to answer. Actually you wanted to answer her that you wanted to stay, but Darren looked uncomfortable and he obviously didn't like the idea. You started to lisp because you were freaking jittery. Darren was still looking away and biting his lips. Suddenly Sami walked towards you and she grabbed your hand. You widened your eyes even more and opened your mouth a little, you were completely in shock. Darren also was a little surprised.

"Please stay with us!" Sami told you looking at you as if she was pleading.

"I…I don't think it's a…good idea." You said a little sad and guilty as soon as you saw Sami's sad face.

"That's right. Sami, let's go. She can't stay." Darren said grabbing Sami's hand and pulling her softly into the house while she was complaining.

"But Dare, is unfair!" Sami said frowning and grumbling. "At least for a few hours!"

"No, Sami." Darren said shortly and appellant, looking at her frowning.

"Why not?" Sami said pouting and annoyed.

"Because no. And that's it." Darren said forthright.

You didn't know what to do. You were really uncomfortable and heartbroken. Darren really wanted you to go and even though Sami was trying to convince him you to stay, Darren didn't change his mind. He really didn't want to stay with you and didn't want to see you. And it hurt to see Darren acting that way with you, because it was totally different than before. And you knew this was your fault, you took your relationship to this way.

"But Dare…you told me you wanted to see her, and that she was really nice and wonderful and she was everything you…" Sami started to say.

"Stop, Sami!" Darren interrupted her and this time he was a little upset and he was…blushing?

"You said you lov…"

"Alright, little lady. Go inside right now. That was enough." Darren interrupted her once again, raising his voice.

"No." Sami said crossing her arms, frowning and puffing.

"Oh God, Sami. Fine, she can stay. Do you wanna stay?" Darren said offhandedly and vaguely looking at you.

"I…I don't…I'm not…don't know." You said nervous and stammering.

You really didn't know what to answer because you knew Darren asked you that because Sami was insisting and he gave up. But that wasn't what Darren really wanted and you didn't want to stay with him if he was going to ignore you and treat you with apathy. And you really didn't know who Sami was and why she seemed to know you already. But Sami was already next to you smiling triumphantly and widely, grabbing your hand and pulling you inside. You were very astonished to do something and you couldn't stop her.

"You won't regret! Is gonna be a funny party now you're here. Darren told me you're so funny and zappy so we're gonna have fun! I'm so happy you're here. I didn't know you were coming and this is the best present ever because I wanted to know you, we can play later with my collection of princess dresses, I have one perfect dress for you. And Darren told me you liked Ariel! I love Ariel too and I have a beautiful drawing of Ariel and I'd like to give it to you. And then we can..." Sami couldn't stop talking and you were too astonished that you got the half of things she was saying while she was leading you inside the house.

"Easy, Sami! You're going to tangle your tongue." Darren said giggling behind as he closed the door.

"That's not true!" Sami said putting adorable. "She can understand me, right?" Sami said looking at you with a sweet smile and you just raised your eyebrows and nodded in silence. You couldn't talk; all of this was really weird. "I need to get you a name; I can't call you boo as Darren does. Maybe…I don't know, can I call you Ari? Since you love Ariel as much as I do, and you really could be Ariel and Darren could be Prince Eric! Darren should be Prince Eric and not that boy in the picture where you appear. And then we can eat cake! Did I tell you today I'm turning six? I feel big! And there's a bouncy castle!"

Sami was chattering nonstop at full speed while leading you to another room and while Darren was following you. Darren approached you both and grabbed Sami by her shoulders, stopping her. Darren kneeled and smiled kindly to her while Sami was still grabbing your hand. You just looked at them both. They looked adorable together and you were still wondering who Sami was.

"Sami, sweetie. You should give her a breath. Is the first time she's here and she needs to internalize where she is. Why don't you go to the bouncy castle? We'll join you in a few minutes." Darren said nicely.

"But Dare, I want…" Sami started to say.

"I know you want to talk to her and to play with her. But you have time to do it. I promise we'll be there in a few minutes." Darren said sweetly and kissed her cheek.

"Okay, pinky promise?" Sami said showing her pinky finger.

"Pinky promise." Darren said giggling and he intertwined his pinky finger with hers.

Oh that was super adorable. The way Darren was with that little and cute girl it was very lovely. You couldn't help it but smile sweetly at them both. Then Sami looked at you and she hugged you by your legs and the she stood on tiptoe and pulled you down to kiss your cheek softly. You got amazed by this action but you smiled slightly. She was probably the cutest girl you've ever seen. Then Sami left happy. You just stood there seeing how she was leaving. You were dazed about all that happened. Behind you, Darren talked and you startled.

"She's very sweet and cute but as you surely noticed, she cannot stop talking." Darren said smiling as you turned around to see him.

"Yes, she's adorable. Darren, I can go if you don't want…" You said looking down and embarrassed again.

"No, no. it's alright." Darren said, waving his hand and frowning. "I'm sorry if I treated you bad, I wasn't expecting you…anyway, Sami is my niece. Actually she isn't my niece, she's my cousin's daughter, but she calls me uncle. And yes, today is her birthday so we're celebrating it. And this is my cousin's house. How did you find me?" Darren asked confused.

"I just found you. I'm really sorry Darren I shouldn't be here and is her birthday and this isn't even your place and I didn't know it. I'm really embarrassed, maybe it'd be better if I go, I don't wanna interrupt you." You said slurred and blushing.

"Hey, no. I told you it's alright." Darren said placing a hand on your shoulder and you just tensed a little. "And Sami is happy to have you here, so you can stay."

"Yeah…" You said looking down trying to hide the sadness you were feeling because you were there only because of Sami. Because Sami was the only one who was happy that you were there, not him.

"I'm happy too." Darren said, squeezing your shoulder as if he had guessed how you were feeling.

"Darren you don't need to say that only because you…"

"Oh well, look who's here!" Chuck popped in the room with a big smile on his face and he walked towards you to hug you. "It's very nice to see you again, mysterious girl!"

"It's nice to see you too, Chuck!" You said giggling and hugging him back. "Maybe we can do the rematch to prove who the best cook is soon." You winked and laughed.

"No, I gave up since someone…" Chuck emphasized the last word looking at Darren who just looked down amused. "Is always going to pick your food. And I don't wanna lose again."

"Maybe Sami could pick this time." You said amused.

"Sami…alright I have the feeling she's gonna pick the same food that Darren. She didn't stop talking about you since she returned a few seconds ago." Chuck laughed slightly.

"Oh she was being like a chatty doll since she saw her." Darren said shaking his head and laughing.

"Well, if I were you, I wouldn't let Sami around your girl all the time. I'm pretty sure that soon Sami is gonna ask your girl to live with her in her princess castle. Sami's like haunted with her." Chuck said laughing out loud and you just smiled and blushed.

"Thanks for the advice, bro. I'm gonna keep it in mind." Darren said smiling amused.

"Always helping my little bro." Chuck said raising an eyebrow teasingly. "Darren, won't you offer her something to drink? Probably you'd like to introduce her although I know you must be scared that someone else gets haunted with her." Chuck chuckled and Darren hit Chuck playfully on the arm.

"Yeah, uhm…" Darren said a little nervous looking at you and Chuck just rolled his eyes laughing and left the room. "Just let's go. There are some people who would like to meet you and who must be wondering who that girl Sami was talking about is." Darren said chuckling and he nervously grabbed your hand.

It felt good to feel Darren's hand again although he was nervous. It was as if he was really uncomfortable holding your hand; it was the opposite than before. But maybe it meant that maybe everything wasn't lost with Darren and maybe you could talk to him after and try to fix things between you both. Or maybe he was just doing it because people there didn't know you had some kind of argument last night and he was trying to pretend everything was alright to not screw Sami's birthday. Finally you went to the backyard where there were a lot of people. Suddenly everybody was looking in your direction, as if you were the focus of attention. You didn't know anyone there and you got very nervous and uncomfortable. Those people were looking at you as if they knew who you were, probably because Sami has been talking about you as Chuck said. Darren, next to you, was also nervous but he didn't let your hand and he led you because you couldn't move. Darren stopped in front of a beautiful woman who was about 32 years old, with dark hair and the same blue eyes than Sami. That woman smiled at you and waved.

"Hi, it's nice to meet you! I guess you're Ari, the girl Sami was talking about. Gee, you should have seen her, she was like crazy! And she doesn't like everyone so you should be really a special girl." The woman said still smiling at you.

"She's Lyla, Sami's mother, my cousin." Darren said to you.

"Oh yes! Such an idiot, I was talking about Sami and her craziness and I totally forgot to introduce myself." Lyla said shaking her head and frowning but still smiling.

"It's alright. It's nice to meet you too, Lyla." You said smiling back to her.

"So, are you staying with us? You Darren will have to introduce her to everybody, she must be freaking out in a place full of strangers." Lyla said giggling to Darren.

"I'll make it sure. And yeah, she's staying." Darren said smiling amused.

"I'm really sorry I came here without warning. I didn't know…" You started to say nervous and embarrassed when you remembered that this house was hers and you came here like an intruder.

"Oh no please, feel comfortable. We all are glad to have you here." Lyla said waving her hand and smiled at you cheerfully.

"Thank you, really. I promise it won't happen again." You said smiling shyly.

"Please, we're the weirdest family ever. We like surprises and unexpected events. Right, Darren?" Lyla said still smiling.

"That's right. Family thing." Darren said raising an eyebrow and smiling amused. "Okay Lyla, I'm gonna introduce her to…more people here, so she can feel comfortable."

"Yes, you should do that! Oh and don't forget our deal, Darren." Lyla said looking at him intently as if she was reminding him something like a secret.

"I won't, I won't." Darren said laughing and a little nervous. "Okay, see you soon Lyla."

"Have fun, guys!" Lyla said joyfully.

Darren was still holding your hand and he started to walk again among a lot of people who were still staring at you. Your hand was sweating with nerves and you only hoped that Darren didn't notice it. What were you doing there? Why were all those people staring at you? You couldn't be more uncomfortable and you couldn't stop thinking that all of that was really embarrassing because you weren't invited and still you were there. What would those people think about you? You didn't want to seem a stalker or something like that and maybe that was what those people were thinking. You felt very shamefaced. This shouldn't be happening. This wasn't what you planned, what you thought and what you were expecting the time you decided to come to talk to Darren. But now you were there and you couldn't run away looking like a fool. You just needed to stay there for a few hours and then all of this will be finished. Only a few hours. Darren walked towards two people you recognized. You now really wanted to turn around and leave because you were freaking out. You stopped and you made a feint to go but Darren placed his hand on your waist to force you to go in the direction you were going. He knew you were nervous but he insisted to keep walking and he didn't let you go. Oh damn, you really didn't want to meet them in this situation that was one of the most embarrassing situations in your entire life. You didn't want them to meet you as the girl who snuck into the party. Of course you wanted to meet them someday but not in this moment. You really weren't ready for this and you were sure that you wouldn't be able to utter a word. But finally you approached them and you just looked down, extremely flushed.

"Mom, dad, she's...she is..." Darren started to say next to you, apparently he got nervous too.

"Yes, we know who she is. The mysterious girl that you and Chuck talked about. It's a pleasure to meet you, sweetheart." Cerine Criss said smiling widely and grabbing your hand, you just blushed even more and your heart started to beat faster.

"The…the pleasure is mine, Mrs. Criss." You stuttered, still blushing.

"Oh please, call me Cerine! The way my sons talked about you, I feel as if you were part of our family already. I'd like if you could feel in the same way." Cerine told you smiling kindly and gently caressing your cheek.

"Oh mom, please!" Darren said, also blushing a little. "I'd appreciate if you don't embarrass me in front of her, like when you told all my friends all the awkward stories when I was a kid."

"Oh, I'm sure she's gonna enjoy those! You know?" Bill Criss said smiling mischievously to you and placing a hand on your shoulder. "When Darren was about six…"

"Dad, c'mon. Not that one." Darren looked at Bill with a warning look and a bit uncomfortable. You suddenly felt less uncomfortable and embarrassed and you looked at them all a little amused.

"Why not, son? It's a funny one!" Bill said laughing. "As I was saying, when Darren was six…" Darren bit his lips, raised his eyebrows and shook his head in disbelief. "He really liked animals and he was always trying to help every little animal he saw was hurt. Then once he arrived soon from school and Cerine hadn't had lunch ready so she started to cook and Darren decided to watch her while she was cooking. Then Cerine opened a tin of sardines. Darren looked at her in horror and the he started to cry desperate telling his mom that she killed those sardines because she let them drown in the oil. There was no way to calm him down! The boy was crazy! He didn't stop crying until we had to do a funeral for sardines. A freaking funeral and he brought flowers to them and he even made a little speech for them. I don't know how we didn't make it without laughing. But it was the only way he could be calmed. Unbelievable guy." Bill said giggling and you giggled along with him while Darren shook his head again.

"I was six! C'mon!" Darren said defensively raising up his arms. "I have the most incredible family ever, thanks dad."

"Oh please, son. Look at her! She's laughing now, you should thank me wholeheartedly." Bill said teasing Darren.

"That's right, Darren. It's cute, poor sardines. Do you still visit their grave?" You asked amused and smiling mischievously.

"Well, I wouldn't like to know they feel sad because of my absence." Darren said shrugging, continuing the joke.

The four of you kept talking for a lot, making jokes and having fun. Darren's parents were really very kind and funny, they made you feel comfortable with them and now you weren't embarrassed any longer. Whatever your reasons were to feel ashamed before now were invalid. There were no reasons to feel ashamed with them because they treated you as if they knew you for a lifetime. Both Cerine and Bill forced you to call them by their first name and after a while they got it. You thought that was what it felt like to have a family. Yes, you once felt that with your own family but that was a long time ago, you didn't feel it since you were eight when your dad died. You couldn't explain your feelings in that moment, because you were feeling a mix of things. At first you remembered how happy you were like them when you were a little girl. Then you felt a little sad because throughout your adolescence this was what you wanted to feel and you never could. If you'd have had this everything would be different in your life. You always wanted to have a family like them, who could give you love and who could make you feel good whenever you felt bad. But then you felt happy because now you were feeling all you wanted to feel since a long time ago. Because Darren's parents were making you feel as if you were part of their family now. You were feeling as if you had finally a family and that meant a lot to you. No one could make you feel bad in that moment; no one could ruin the happiness you were feeling in that moment. Minutes ago you wanted to leave; now you wanted this moment to last forever. You felt safe with them; you felt all that family love that you always imagined to have someday. And it was a good feeling. Suddenly you started to feel much moved and you just wanted to shed those tears of joy and sadness you were feeling to have remembered all you once had and you missed. But you couldn't do it because it'd very weird and you'd look like a loony in front of them. It seemed as if Darren was reading your mind because he rubbed your back softly.

"Mom and dad, if you excuse us…I'm very thirsty and I'm sure so is she. We didn't drink anything at all since she arrived and that was about an hour ago." Darren said gently and raising his eyebrows.

"Oh sure, Dare. Go drink something, we're gonna be here." Cerine said smiling nicely.

Darren grabbed your hand and you both walked in silence until you reached a table with a lot of drinks. He filled a glass with coke and gave it to you smiling. You received it with a smile and then you both sat near there. You were in silence, drinking your coke and Darren was just looking at you with a slight smile. You didn't want to cry in front of him and less in this moment that you were at a party and you had still to talk about a lot of things. But in that moment you weren't thinking about all you wanted to say to Darren, the reason why you were there at first place. You only were thinking about his family and all you could have had if your dad were still alive. Darren opened his mouth to talk several times but it seemed he didn't know what to say. You didn't want Darren to feel in this way right now because of something you were feeling and it has nothing to do with him. But you couldn't do anything to avoid that because really you couldn't stop thinking in your family.

"They already love you. I don't know why I had the feeling this is exactly what it would happen the day they get to know you." Darren said smiling slightly. "I'm starting to think that you have super powers or something."

"Maybe I do I have super powers." You said trying to smile. Darren came up closer to you and gently he hugged you. You couldn't hold back your tears any longer once you felt that embrace.

"Don't feel sad. You're already part of our family now. You'll have always a family with us, no matter what happened or what it comes to happen between you and me." Darren said kindly, rubbing your back.

"I didn't feel this way since a long time, Darren." You said sobbing on his shoulder. You shouldn't be sobbing, but you couldn't help it. Everything had been very emotional to you. "And I just feel so good, as if I were part of something special. Finally I remembered how it felt to have a family, and I wanted to feel that for so long!"

"I know. You should know that from now on you're gonna feel part of something special. I've never seen my parents so comfortable with someone in so little. It's unbelievable how they accepted you so quickly in our family. They really love you already. And believe it or not, they know so much about you already. So don't feel bad, I don't like when you cry; I like to see you smiling." Darren kissed your forehead softly and then he smiled nicely to you, wiping away your tears.

"Thank you, Darren. We didn't even talk about what happened last night and I really wanted to…" You started to say a little sad but Darren shook his head.

"No, don't talk about that now. We're gonna have time to talk about it later. Now I only want you to enjoy this crazy party and see you smiling. Would you do that?" Darren said again smiling.

"Yes, I'll try."

"I like that. But I'd like to see you smiling now." Darren said, raising an eyebrow and smiling a little amused. You smiled exaggeratedly what made Darren laugh and then you truly smiled at his laugh. "With that smile you should sponsor an advertisement for toothpaste."

"I'll keep it in mind." You said smiling amused. Darren checked his wristwatch and then he looked up to you.

"Sorry boo, but I have to go now. I'll be back soon." Darren said and he kissed your cheek lightly before leaving you alone there.

You couldn't ask anything to Darren because he really left really quickly. Why would he leave you alone there? You didn't know what to do or who to talk to. You only stayed there drinking your coke to wait for Darren although you didn't know where he went or when he was going to come back. Suddenly a man sat next to you. You looked at that man and you widened your eyes and raised your eyebrows. Why was he there? Grant Gustin was looking at you with a smile on his face.

"You must be Ari." Grant said with and amused smile as he stretched his hand to you. "Hi, I'm Grant."

"Yes, I guess I'm Ari, but that isn't actually my real name." You said smiling back to him and stretching his hand.

"I thought so! I really was so confused when Sami was talking about Ariel coming at her party. I thought it was Lyla with a costume of the little mermaid. But she just pointed me who Ari actually was." Grant laughed.

"Oh, sorry if I disappointed you because you wanted to meet the little mermaid." You faked a pout and then you smiled amused.

"Yeah. I really wanted to meet the little mermaid and have a chance to swim under the sea with her." Grant shook his head faking disappointment. "But well, maybe I got to meet someone better than the little mermaid. Who knows? I'd have to prove it." Grant said raising an eyebrow, looking at you straight in the eye.

"Is this the time when I have to run away to save my life?" You answered also raising an eyebrow and smiling playfully and amused.

"Maybe you're too late." Grant said getting closer. "Now you're forced to be put on trial. Can I bring you something to drink? Your glass is empty."

"Uhm, yeah sure. I guess I'm thirsty."

"Yes, I'm thirsty too." Grant said, winking at you with a mischievous smile.

Was Grant flirting with you? No, that was impossible. You were sure he saw you talking to Darren; he probably already knew who you were. Maybe he was just that way; maybe he liked to tease everyone. You actually didn't know him so you didn't know what to expect. Grant came back few minutes later with your glass filled with coke.

"Here you have, Ari." He said giving you the glass and gently touching his hand for a few seconds with the same mischievous smile.

"Thank you, Grant." You smiled a little nervous at him. You weren't used to such treatment.

"It's my pleasure to please a girl like you." Grant said winking. Okay, you were starting to feel a little uncomfortable. And where the hell was Darren? "Sami was right when she said you looked like a princess and you were beautiful. Now I'd have to start believing all the things Sami says."

"Oh well…I don't know if I should say thanks or if I should say that kids almost all the time see the people older than them as princesses or princes." You said trying to joke but obviously you were still uncomfortable.

"Well you see, there you're wrong. You forgot about the witches, vampires and werewolves. For example, I could consider myself as a vampire." Grant said seductively staring at you very intently.

"Well, then I'd have to run away. I really don't wanna turn into a vampire." You tried to laugh.

"It's not so bad to turn into a vampire, you know? Maybe you should give it a try. I could turn you into a vampire right now and then you could tell me if you like it or not, but if you never try you'd never know." Grant said again seductively.

"That's not fair, you know? Because if I don't like it; then I can't turn back time. I think I prefer to be an attempt to princess." You said smiling.

"That's right; you can't turn back time, but we can always find a wizard you can revert it if you don't like it. Although I think you're gonna love it." Grant smiled naughtily and winked at you.

"What if we don't find that wizard?"

"I guess the wizard could be Darren. After all he's Harry freakin' Potter." Grant answered shrugging. "But as I told you, I'm sure we won't need him because you're gonna love it." Grant said again seductively.

Oh wow. You were really uncomfortable. You didn't know if he was like this all the time with everybody or if he just was being like this only with you, if he just wanted to joke or if he was serious. But you didn't like this too much. You really wanted Darren to come back, and then you won't be that uncomfortable with Grant. But Darren wasn't coming back and you didn't know where the hell he was. Suddenly Chuck appeared and you really thanked he came right in that moment.

"Hey guys, the show is starting if you want to see it." Chuck said smiling.

"Oh man, I wouldn't miss it for nothing in world!" Grant said really amused and excited.

"The show? What show?" You asked really intrigued. This family really was full of surprises.

"Oh, you'll see. I'm sure you're gonna laugh." Chuck said smiling mysteriously and he placed his hand on your shoulder to lead you where the show was going to start.

Everybody was sitting cross legged on the ground and you did the same, sitting next to Chuck and Grant sat next to you. Chuck and Grant were smiling as if they were already having so much fun and the show hasn't even started. Suddenly you saw something that made you laugh out loud and you couldn't help it, you couldn't stop laughing. Chuck turned his face to look at you and he started to laugh along with you and Grant grabbed his phone to start taking pictures, also laughing. Darren was there dressed up as a clown with a red nose and big shoes and a hat. He was wearing colorful clothes and suspenders. Oh god, it was really funny to see Darren like that, interacting with children and making some jokes. You didn't know if it was hilarious or if it was the cutest thing you've ever seen. But you were sure that you were enjoying it and laughing so hard along with Chuck and Grant. You thought that the most probably would be that children would get scared, because usually children don't like clowns. But Darren was a really funny and adorable clown and the kids couldn't stop laughing and playing with him. He made a lot of games for children and he really was making them to have a good time. Then you got distracted looking at one little boy who was trying to eat a chip through the nose. You didn't realize that clown Darren was standing in front of you with a mischievous smile on his face. He grabbed your hand and took you in middle of the stage. -Oh my fucking god, holy crap Darren what the hell are you doing? - You were freaking out and you didn't know what to do and you just wanted to punch Darren on his face for doing this to you. But it was late because everybody was looking at you entertaining and you didn't even know why you were there because you weren't paying attention to Darren in the last minutes. Chuck laughed out loud in the time Darren took you to the stage and Grant started to take more pictures, also laughing loud. Apparently you were supposed to do something he explained before, because he was staring at you waiting for you to do so and all the audience was expecting. You shrugged and looked at Darren desperate and that made you laugh at everybody. That was actually very embarrassing for you, so you just blushed while Darren tried to keep his clown role and not to scream with laughter.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a moony girl! And I thought the clowns were the most distracted people." Darren said with his clown voice, biting his lips to try to hold back his laughter.

All the people laughed and you looked sly at him a bit annoyed. He really would have to apologize you for this. Darren shrugged and he snickered you while you rolled your eyes. Then Darren grabbed your shoulders, lead you to a chair and he sat you there. Then he grabbed some of the drawings he asked the kids to do some minutes ago and he started to tape them on your clothes. He grabbed also some colorful and fluffy scarfs and entangled them in your body. You were looking at him frowning because you didn't know what the hell he was doing. When he grabbed a spare red nose you realized what he was trying to do. -Oh no, damn. Tell me this isn't happening. Oh shit. - Darren put the red nose on your nose and then he giggled and made you stand up.

"Please ladies and gentlemen, applause to Loopy the clown. Loopy is gonna join me until the end of the show!" Darren said amused and you just stared at him.

You really didn't know what to feel in that moment. You didn't know if you wanted to punch Darren, if you wanted to laugh, if you were really upset, embarrassed or terrified or if you just wanted to roll your eyes for the name Darren gave you. But everybody was applauding and you didn't have better idea than to do a bow of thanks like a real fool. Why were you so stupid? Oh wow, why did you do that? Darren couldn't help his laugh this time and you just wanted to disappear. But instead of doing all that, you just joined Darren until the end of the show. Actually you had fun doing that; it was like being a child again. You didn't know who were having more fun, if the people who were watching you both or you. But obviously you didn't have to admit this to Darren, because he really made you feel a bad moment minutes before when you had no idea what he was doing. At the end of the show, the whole audience cheered happily and you both bowed in gratitude, holding hands and smiling. Then Darren took you into the house as a signal that the show has finally ended. You went to some room that had tons of costumes, amazing costumes. You were impressed and you couldn't stop seeing all the costumes. It was like a dream for you to have all of those. Darren looked at you smiling widely and really amused.

"There you have." Darren said mysteriously, raising an eyebrow and smiling playfully.

"What?" You asked confused and stopped looking a pirate costume to look at him. Darren got closer to you, still smiling playfully.

"Do you remember our letters? Once, the two of us mentioned that maybe we would do a performance together. There you have, we did it as once we said." Darren said, this time smiling victoriously and looking into your eyes.

"Oh my god, Darren! How did you remember that?" You asked amazed and happy.

"Oh, I remember everything we said to each other. You told me a lot of things you wanted to do. Well, we're just doing those things." Darren said still smiling.

"Oh, Darren!" You said very impressed and really happy.

"Yeah, you can hug me now. We were amazing! We have to celebrate our victory!" Darren said ecstatic and smiling widely. You ran to him and you hugged him tightly. "And by the way, you're an adorable and funny clown. We both would be really famous if we decide to do this for the rest of our lives." Darren said while he was still hugging you.

"Oh shut up! And Loopy? Really?" You said in disbelief.

"Oh yeah. Perfect name for you!" Darren laughed and then he kissed your cheek slightly before breaking the hug.

You didn't want that hug to end. It was your first hug since a long time ago and you really missed those hugs, it felt good to be in Darren's arms. You looked at Darren into his eyes. He was really beautiful and adorable. You couldn't believe you weren't sure to start a relationship with him. Now that you were looking at him into his eyes you wanted to give him all about you no matter what would happen in the future. You never before realized that Darren was doing all you both said you wanted to do in your letters. But he was doing it. You remembered how you mentioned him that you always wanted to learn how to play the piano and then he gave you that little keyboard and he taught you so. Then you mentioned to Darren how you loved the beach and that going to the beach was one of things you would do if you had your days counted, then he took you to the beach. You told him that you wanted to go to NYC and he encouraged you to do so. You told him that you always wanted to go to Disneyland but you never had the chance, he gave you a ticket to go there. You told him you loved Nutella and he gave you a pot of it. Then you both mentioned that maybe someday you'd perform together, and you just did so. Wow. You never realized all that Darren was doing for you, he was fulfilling all you wanted, all you mentioned to him once and that you didn't even remember. But he did remember and he was doing all that to make you happy and all this time you were so blinded to see all that. You felt bad and guilty to not have realized this before. You really meant something to him if he was doing all of this for you. And he didn't even tell you that he was trying to do all you once told him you'd like to do. He didn't want you to know it; he just wanted you to feel it, to make you happy and he wasn't expecting anything in return. He didn't deserve all the shit you made him feel, he deserved to feel loved. He was the most outstanding and wonderful person you've ever met. You wanted to hug him again to show him all the love you felt for him, you wanted to kiss him to show him that you'll be with him forever, you wanted to give him your love to show him that he deserved it and that he deserved the best. But you couldn't do anything but keep staring at him deeply. He was also staring at you and he had a confusing look. It was a mix of love, sadness, happiness and hope. You just stayed like that, in silence and never breaking eye contact. Then suddenly, someone opened the door where you were and that made you both broke the eye contact. It was Chuck with a huge smile on his face.

"You rocked that! Holy crap you were amazing!" Chuck said excited and then he looked the situation. Darren and you were very close. "Oh sorry guys, am I interrupting something?"

"Nothing at all." Darren answered shortly, getting away from you and grabbing his clothes to go to the bathroom and change himself, leaving you and Chuck alone in the room.

You just looked down, frowning. Suddenly Darren turned as cold as he was when he saw when you arrived to this house. You really didn't understand Darren right now, he was cold and upset, then he turned sweet and happy and then he was cold again. Chuck looked at you and he walked towards you to place his right hand on your shoulder.

"Give him time. He loves you, but right now he's scared and hurt." Chuck said gently.

"Do you know what happened…?"

"Yesterday? Yeah, I know." Chuck answered honestly.

"I'm so sorry for that Chuck! I really don't know why I acted that way and I came here to apologize and all. But he's like that…and I don't like to know he's like that because of my fault, because really it wasn't my intention…I didn't know…" You started to say desperate.

"Hey, chill out. I know it wasn't your intention and it's not your fault. This is a thing that involves both of you. I know you want to apologize, I knew it since the time I saw you here. He just needs time now but you can be sure he loves you." Chuck said smiling slightly. "C'mon, let's go drink something. You must be exhausted."

You nodded and you followed Chuck to the kitchen. Almost all the guests were leaving the party now and you thought that maybe you should go too, because it was really late and you had to take the subway. But Chuck quickly gave you a glass with some drink. You talked a little bit and then Cerine and Bill Criss joined you both. They congratulated you for the performance and they said you were fantastic and that I should do it more often. It was really nice to talk to them, you felt good around them and you really felt included. Then Chuck, Cerine and Bill went away to greet some people who were leaving and you stayed alone in the kitchen until Grant walked towards you with a big smile.

"I must admit that I'm shocked by your performance. You do it well as a clown. Now I don't know if you're a princess or a clown. And a loopy one." Grant laughed, standing next to you.

"I'm part job a clown and part job a princess. Then it's legit." You said laughing too.

"Well, I need to tell you that i took a lot of pictures and I'm planning to upload them, so the world can know you." Grant said teasing you.

"Oh, you wouldn't dare..." You said half joking and half scared. You really didn't know what to expect from him.

"Are you challenging me? You got this." Grant said, raising an eyebrow amused and he grabbed his phone, typing something.

"Oh no, don't you dare!" You almost screamed, freaking out.

Then it happened. You tried to take his phone away so he couldn't post those pictures of you as a clown and he took advantage to take you by your waist and pull you closer to him. Then, in that untimely moment, Darren came into the kitchen. Darren looked at you both frowning, suspiciously and serious. You quickly pulled Grant away and he looked at you half amused and half confused when he looked your horror expression on your face.

"Sorry...Did I miss something here?" Grant said frowning and smiling a little.

"Nothing at all. Only the fact that I gotcha you both trying to make out on my cousin's kitchen." Darren said raising an eyebrow and standing there really serious.

"We weren't doing that!" You said defensively and frowning. "I was just trying to stop him to post the picture he took of me as clown."

"Yeah, sure! And you tried to do it in that way!" Darren laughed bitterly and sarcastically. "Whatever, you can do the fuck you want but the only thing I'm asking is you to respect this family house."

"Whoa, dude! What's up with you?" Grant said confused.

"A fucking shit, Grant. If you want to make out go get a hotel room. Don't do it here." Darren said coldly as he grabbed a water bottle and he turned around.

"Hold on, dude!" Grant said, stopping Darren.

"What the hell do you want? I'm not in mood right now, you know?" Darren said angry and frowning.

"Oh dammit. I'm getting this..." Grant said, widening his eyes. "Oh crap...you both...are you both in something or...?"

"We're nothing. So you can get her." Darren said, sulky.

"No, dude. Really. What she said is all true. She was trying to take my phone away and...I was the one who pulled her and then in that moment you came in. But seriously man, I had no idea that you both..." Grant started to say a little concerned.

"There's no us between her and me." Darren said coldly and offhandedly and you just looked down frowning and trying to hide your gloom.

"C'mon, Darren, don't be such an idiot…" Grant started to say.

"Sorry, how the fuck did you call me Grant?" Darren asked, looking at him very intently and frowning, getting closer to Grant.

"Oh man…really?" Grant asked half in disbelief and half scared while Darren was getting even closer to Grant. Darren was really upset at that time.

"Oh fuck, Darren. Stop that shit right now. I'm fucking tired of you acting in that way for stupid and senseless things, things that you got wrong because you didn't see a damn shit, because you didn't see what really happened." You burst of anger as soon as you realized that Darren wanted to hit Grant, maybe because of jealousy and you couldn't stand there idly.

As soon as you said those words, you regretted. Both, Darren and Grant, were looking at you shocked for your reaction. They obviously weren't expecting you to say something like that. There it was, any chance you had to get Darren back vanished in that moment. You threw all your chances to get him back for those stupid words. Now Darren was looking at you frowning and upset and you knew you totally messed up everything. Why couldn't you just stay quiet? Why did you have to talk? No, you wanted to take back your words. You wanted to show Darren that you loved only him and you always took the wrong words to say that. Oh god, there was a really awkward silence.

"Darren...I...I meant..." You started to say nervous.

"Please, just shut up. You made it clear. If you're so fucking tired of me why do you keep popping in my life? God dammit." Darren said upset and frustrated.

"No, it's not like that. Really, Darren. You know why i came here in first place...I just want to..." You started to say this time desperate and a little sad.

"Shut up now, for god sake." Darren said exasperated.

"Dude, you really need to chill out and try to get things right. You really need to do that." Grant said a bit fearful.

"Whatever." Darren said and he turned around to leave, but suddenly Sami popped in the room.

"Uncle Darren! Here you are!" Sami said happily and she clung in his leg. "You were the best clown ever! And you were even better when Ari joined you! You both were amazing and this was my best birthday!"

"I'm happy you liked it, Sami." Darren said trying to smile, caressing her hair.

"Uncle Darren?" Sami asked.

"What's that, Sami?" Darren asked, trying to soften his voice.

"Can you sleep with me tonight and read me a book or tell me a story till we fall asleep as you always do?" Sami almost begged him.

"Of course I'm gonna do it, Sami!" Darren smiled sweetly to her.

"Can Ari sleep with us too? I'd really want it!" Sami said, with hope and happy. Darren frowned and suddenly got serious as you started to feel uncomfortable.

"No, she can't. Sorry Sami." Darren said determined.

"Please, just for this night, uncle! Pretty please?" Sami looked at Darren with puppy dog eyes. Definitely that look was a family thing. Darren sighed.

"No...She has things to do. Right?" Darren said looking at you coldly and you just babbled. That was really awkward.

"Hmm...ye-yes." You stuttered and looked down.

"But, uncle Dare! Is already late and you told me it's dangerous to be alone at this time!"

"But she's not a little girl like you, Sami. She can take care of herself." Darren said again determined and a little coldly.

"Dude, Sami is right. Is really late and no one can accompany her to her house." Grant said gingerly.

"She came here by herself, she can go by herself." Darren answered sharply.

"That's right. Sorry Sami, but I should go. It was really nice to know you and please take care of your dresses!" You smiled sweetly to her while Darren looked away very serious.

"Please, Ari! Stay with us!" Sami protested and begged.

"I can't now. But maybe we'd see another day." You smiled again and you waved. "Bye guys." You said a little sad and you left the kitchen.

You left the house as fast as you could, you tried to remember the way to come back to your house, but you couldn't think about it. Your tears were falling down your face and you couldn't see almost anything. This always had to end up in a bad way. You never could have the chance to tell Darren all you felt for him, always something bad had to happen and you couldn't stand it anymore. You always had to screw everything and you hated yourself for that. You had hoped that this time everything could be different, that this time everything was going to be fine. You even got along well with his parents, brother, friends and Sami but for some reason you couldn't do it right with Darren. It was supposed that everything had to work out; it was supposed that you both should have that special relationship you used to have. This wasn't supposed to be this hard. But you didn't have to give up; you needed to tell Darren everything you felt regardless if your relationship would work out or not. He needed to know everything you felt for him. After an hour you arrived to your apartment and you went to bed, falling asleep in tears.


Next day, you woke up at 10am because someone was ringing the bell of your apartment. You got up lazily and opened the door looking as a complete mess and rubbing your eyes. You got surprised when you saw Darren standing behind the door with a bouquet of flowers with a note that spelled –I'm sorry, I was an asshole. - looking at you with his puppy dog eyes. You looked at him deeply into his eyes but you didn't say anything. Finally you sighed and you tried to smile.

"Come in." You said to Darren, opening the door wider to let him in.

"Sorry, I can't. Sami is waiting for me in the car, I promised to take her out as a birthday present." Darren said, giving you the flowers.

"Oh, okay. Thank you for the flowers. I hope you both can have fun." You tried to smile once again, starting to close the door but Darren stopped you.

"No, wait. I was wondering if you'd like to join us."

"Uhm…I'm not sure…I mean, it's her present, and…probably she wants to be only with you and…I don't know if it's a good idea." You said a little uncomfortable and doubtful.

"Please?" Darren said looking at you again with his puppy dog eyes. "Sami would be really happy if you could join us. I wasn't lying when I said she is haunted with you. Please."

"Fine." You agreed because damn, you couldn't say no every time he looked at you that way. "Just…I need to change. Hold on."

"Thank you." Darren smiled and kissed your cheek quickly. "I'm gonna wait you in the car. I can't leave Sami alone for so long. She's kinda…hyperkinetic." Darren giggled.

"Okay. I'm gonna be there in a few minutes." You said, giggling a little.

You closed the door and smelled the flowers with a smile before leaving them on the table. You still weren't sure if you should join them because you really needed to talk to Darren about everything and for some reason it seemed that Darren didn't want it. You thought that maybe being with them all day before talking to Darren, would feel a little uncomfortable because you really didn't know how to act in front of Darren. Because you wanted to be with him, hug him and kiss him; but maybe what you had to do was just talk to him and don't show him all of this. Because you really didn't know what Darren was thinking about all of this, what he was feeling or what he wanted to do with you; you didn't know if Darren had forgiven you and he wanted to try this again with you, or if Darren only wanted to be nice with you but only as friends. And that was driving you crazy because you were constantly doubting about what to do or what to say, and you didn't know when you'd have the chance to talk to him. Sometimes Darren acted as if he didn't want to be with you, and all those things he said last night about there wasn't an "us"; but then Darren came with that bouquet of flowers telling you he was sorry and asking you if you wanted to go out with him. That was really confusing. Sometimes you felt Darren didn't want a relationship with you now, and sometimes you felt as if he wanted to try to make it right with you. But again, you didn't know and you couldn't talk to him. Even though it was really hard to spend time with him without first talking to him, you really wanted to spend time with him because it made you happy; if it was up to you, you'd spend all the time with him. So that was the reason you accepted Darren's invitation to spend time with them. And maybe at the end of the day, you'd be able to finally talk. So you changed your clothes quickly and you left your apartment to go to the car where Darren and Sami were waiting for you. Sami was sitting in the back seat and she was looking through the car window. As soon as she saw you, she started to yell your name happily with a smile on her face and waving. That caused Darren to turn his head to look at you smiling. You sat in the passenger seat and Sami, behind you, wrapped her arms around your neck and kissed your cheek and you just smiled widely. Darren, next to you, started the car and began driving, smiling joyfully.

"I'm so happy you came, Ari! Darren is taking me to the park and then to lunch and to the movies and then we're gonna get an ice cream! And we both decided that you should come with us! And Darren was scared because he didn't know if you..."Sami started to say, speaking at full speed like yesterday.

"Sami, Sami..." Darren interrupted her, warning her and you just looked at Darren intrigued and amused.

"Oops, uncle Dar! I'm sorry. But it's true!" Sami said smiling, still wrapping her arms around your neck.

"Well, just sit properly Sami, and buckle up." Darren said looking at her through the inside mirror of the car.

"But why, uncle? Ari isn't wearing the seatbelt!" Sami complained and you just got amazed, you weren't expecting her to say it.

"Oh no? That's so bad. Buckle up, boo! Is this your example to Sami as a responsible adult?" Darren smiled mischievously, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes, sir!" You answered as a soldier, buckling up while Darren laughed and shook his head. Then Sami did the same and stayed quiet on the back seat, smiling. "Who would say you could be so serious and responsible?" You said looking at Darren and smiling amused.

"Oh, sometimes I can be like a grumpy grandpa. Don't get surprised if later I ask you to find my dental adhesive because I forgot where I put it and then I ask you to work with me on a Jigsaw puzzle or if I ask you to do massage on my feet." Darren said smiling amused. "Hey, thinking about it... I could use a foot massage."

"Go to a spa, then. It's not that hard, Darren. You can do it." You said laughing.

After few minutes you arrived to the park and you played there for a few hours. It was really cute to see Darren playing with Sami as if he was a child too. Then you also joined them and you used the swings, the slide, and the climbing frame, you also used the seesaw and the carousel. You even went to the sandbox and the three of you played there for a while. You really felt as a child, you lived all that it was taken away from you in your childhood. You seemed as if you were six like Sami and you never had more fun before. You were really glad that you decided to join them because you weren't sure if you could experience this again. After that, you went to get some food and then you went to the movies as Sami told you'd do. You watched The Muppets and you weren't sure who enjoyed more the movie, if and Darren or Sami. When the movie ended, you went back to the car. Now you were supposed to get that ice cream. You were walking to the car and Sami stood between you and Darren and she grabbed you both by your hands. You slowly walked to the car in this way. It felt good, Sami really seemed to like you and you also liked her. She was a very nice and cheerful girl. Then you finally arrived to the car and Darren started to drive.

"Uncle Dare, can we skip the ice cream and go to Ari's apartment? I'd like to go there and see all the amazing things she has like you told me!" Sami asked from the back seat and you turned your face to look at her amazed and then to Darren.

"No, Sami. I don't know if she would like..." Darren said a little uncomfortable. Really, Sami knew how to bring out all that Darren said when you weren't with them.

"It's alright, you can come." You said chuckling and amused because of Darren's reaction.

"Really?" Sami said excited and smiling.

"Yes. As long as you don't mind to paint with me." You said, looking at her with a playfully smile.

"Of course not! I want to paint with you!" Sami said even more excited. "Can we go there now, uncle Dare? Please?" Sami begged with her puppy dog eyes.

"Oh you two are impossible. Remind me why am I rounded by two girls?" Darren said laughing and shaking his head. "Fine. We can go there. Just I'm gonna stop by in the way to buy ice cream, because I really want to eat ice cream."

"Yay! You're the best, uncle Dare!" Sami said happily and kissed Darren's cheek as Darren smiled nicely.

Darren stopped in an ice cream store and then you went to you apartment. Sami was excited when you came out the car and walked to you apartment and you and Darren laughed at her excitement. Once you opened the door, Sami widened her eyes and squealed.

"This is the best apartment ever! When I grow up, I want to have an apartment like this!"

Sami was really amazed and she was looking around with a big smile. You grabbed her hand and you showed her your entire apartment. Darren just sat in the couch, looking at you both with a smile.

"And here..." You said to Sami, showing you the table where you used to paint. "Is the place where you and I are gonna paint right now." You said smiling at Sami and sitting on the chair next to her.

"Yes! I want to paint. I love to paint, but uncle Dare told me I need to practice more." Sami said pouting and you looked at Darren raising an eyebrow. He was looking away because he knew what you were about to say.

"Don't listen to your uncle Dare. He once painted with me and he's a disaster. I'm sure you can do it better than him." You winked at Sami and she smiled again. "Ready?"

"Yes, I'm ready!" Sami said excited.

You both started to paint and you showed Sami how to do it. She wasn't bad as Darren said, considering the age she has. You played a game while painting and you were having so much fun. Sami was really funny and she always knew how to make you laugh. Then you finished to paint something that seemed a house and a dog and you both turned around to show Darren the painting. Darren was sweetly looking at you both and smiling.

"So, what do you think of our painting?" You asked to Darren, also smiling and raising an eyebrow.

"Fine. I admit it. You both are good." Darren said laughing.

"I knew it!" Sami said happily and ran to Darren to hug him and kiss his cheek.

"Okay, okay! But only this painting." Darren said and Sami pouted. "Fine, all your paintings are amazing." Darren said smiling amused and he kissed Sami's cheek as she was smiling. "Now who wants some ice cream?"

"Me, me, me!" Sami bounced on the couch excited.

"I'd like an ice cream too." You said, sitting next to Sami.

"Alright, that makes three of us." Darren said smiling and stood up to go look for the ice cream.

Darren came back with the ice cream and you started to eat it, watching a movie you had. That was nice moment. The three of you were sitting on the couch smiling. Sami was between you and Darren and once she finished her ice cream, she grabbed your hand and Darren's hand. She already was a little sleepy but she refused to come back to her house. Darren rested his head on Sami's head, caressing her hair. It was really sweet to see the way Darren was with her. He was really affectionate with kids and you've never seen this side of him. Every time you were falling more in love with him. Then Sami looked up to Darren.

"Uncle Dare? Can move here with aunt Ari and live here forever?" Sami said softly and sleepy.

You widened your eyes when Sami said this and you got really surprised. Has Sami called you aunt? You really thought she did because Darren, next to Sami, shifted uncomfortably in the couch and blushed.

"Sami!" Darren said in high voice, really embarrassed and uncomfortable. "We agreed that you weren't going to call her in that way because she may feel uncomfortable." Darren muttered looking at her with a warning look.

"I know, but you call her like..."

"Sami, stop it." Darren said firmly, looking into her eyes. "I'm sorry she called you like that." Darren said, this time looking at you really embarrassed.

"Oh no, it's alright. She can call me that way if she wants, I really don't mind." You said smiling slightly but also a little uncomfortable.

You really didn't mind her calling you that way. Actually you really liked it. She was calling you aunt and...Was she trying to say that Darren called you aunt in front of her when you weren't with them? Probably not, but Darren really seemed embarrassed, as if Sami were saying al lot of things she shouldn't be saying in front of you. Like their secrets. You suddenly felt really good. If it was like that, Darren probably was still in love with you. You couldn't stop smiling goofily and you hoped Darren didn't notice it. But anyway, you still had to talk to Darren, this time you didn't want to make up things in your mind.

"See? She doesn't mind if I call her aunt as we do when we..." Sami started to say, looking at Darren.

"Sami..." Darren warned her, blushing harder. "I don't know if you should...Do you really don't mind her calling you...that way?" Darren said, looking at you, but not into your eyes.

"I really don't mind. Don't worry about it." You said laughing slightly. It was cute to see Darren blushing like that. Then you looked at Sami, smiling sweetly. "You can call me aunt if you want." Darren looked up to look into your eyes, surprised.

"Thank you, aunt Ari." Sami said smiling and she hugged you. You looked Darren's face covertly. He was looking at you both with a cute smile and there was a twinkle in his eyes. Then Darren's phone started to buzz and he grabbed it to look who was calling.

"I'm sorry. I have to take this call. It's from work." Darren said frowning and you nodded before Darren went to the kitchen and started to call about a show or something.

Sami, next to you, yawned and she snuggled up to you. She rested her head on your shoulder, wrapping her arms around your waist. You smiled at her sweetly and you held her in your arms. Later, you let her sit on your lap, as she wrapped her arms around your neck and rested her head in your shoulder before she fell asleep. You sweetly kissed her forehead and started to caress her hair softly. You didn't realize that Darren had finished talking and now he was standing in silence looking at you both. He had a expression of sweetness on his face, smiling tenderly and looking at you both fondly with the same twinkle in his eyes. His eyes were shining and he looked even more beautiful.

"I guess she fell asleep. I'm going to lay her in my bed. Wait here." You said softly to not wake up Sami. Darren just nodded, apparently he was astonished and he couldn't utter a word.

You rested her on your bed carefully and sweetly you kissed her forehead. She looked really precious while she was sleeping. Trying to not make any noise, you turned around to let her sleep quietly. Darren was leaning against the door frame, looking at you fondly still with the twinkle in his eyes. You smiled at him and then you made a gesture to him to leave the bedroom in silence. Darren nodded and both of you went to the living room again and sat in the couch, still in silence. Then Darren looked up to you.

"It was a nice day." Darren said gently.

"It really was." You said looking at him and smiling. "Darren...we need to..."

"No, please. Not now." Darren interrupted you. "All I want now...if you want too, of course...all I want now is to be like this. Just like this, and...I'd like to...can I...?" Darren rambled, a little nervous and you gently grabbed his hand.

"You don't have to ask me anything, Darren. You can just do it, what you want to do." You said, looking into his eyes.

Darren smiled at you before resting his head on your shoulder. He wrapped his arms around your waist and he nuzzled his nose on your neck, closing his eyes. At first you got surprised for this, because you thought that Darren wanted to say something, but instead he did this. Then, you also wrapped your arms around him and you rested your head in his, feeling his soft curly hair on your cheeks. Darren tangled his legs with yours and then he sighed on your neck, what made you shiver. You really missed being with Darren like this. You didn't even try to understand the situation, you didn't even try to ask him something, and you didn't even try to talk to him. All you did was to enjoy this time with Darren because you didn't know what this really meant. If Darren wanted to be like this with you from now on, or if Darren was doing this because maybe it'd be the last time you were going to do so. So you just held him in your arms, just letting yourself to feel and enjoy as much as you could the moment. Suddenly your phone started to buzz and Darren quickly got away from you, frowning slightly and looking away. You had no idea who was calling you this late, you weren't expecting a call. You looked your phone to see who the person who was calling was. Your relaxed face turned into a horror face. You suddenly got pale and started trembling, frowning and not knowing what to do. Darren looked at you confused and suspiciously. You took the call.

"Hello?" You said, your voice trembling and choked. "What?...Yes... No... I don't know... Fine... Ok... Bye."

You hung up and put your phone away, your face still pale and in shock. Darren looked at you frowning and confused.

"Who was it? That Matt guy?" Darren asked frowning and serious.

You shook your head and tears started to fall down your face, you couldn't help it. You were completely nervous and you couldn't stop trembling, you didn't know what to do. You were confused, sad, and nervous, in shock. Darren looked deeply into your eyes and got closer to you to grab your hands.

"Hey. Is everything alright? Who was it?" Darren gently said, still grabbing your hands firmly.

"It was my mother, Darren. My mother." You started to cry inconsolably and Darren looked at you surprised and concerned. He hugged you and started to rub your back to calm you down. "I don't talk to her...since...since I was 16, Darren! And she...she..."

"Shhh, calm down. I know. Just clam down." Darren said, still rubbing your back gently. "What did she want?"

"She...she wanted...she wanted to see me. She is...she is in NYC and she...she wanted to see me...right now. She wants...she wants me to go right now to...to a restaurant. And...and I don't...I don't know...I don't know what to do!" You sobbed on Darren's shoulder. "I can't do this. I can't see her again, I'm not ready, Darren. I can't do it."

"Hey, calm down. Everything is gonna be alright." Darren caressed your cheek and wiped your tears away, looking into your eyes. "Maybe this is your chance to talk to her. To tell her how you feel, how she made you feel. And maybe she wants to apologize." Darren said reassuringly.

"I can't Darren. I can't do this. I'm still hurt and I can't see her. This is too much, I need time. This was... this all was...very hard for me. I was alone almost all my life...and why has she decided to see me right now? Why has she appeared all of a sudden, just when I was starting to get used to be by myself, when finally I learned how to move on without her? I don't know what she wants and I can't look at her. I fucking can't!" You sobbed again, breathing fast and still trembling.

"I think you need to go meet her." Darren said calmly and you looked down, still sobbing. Darren took your hands and lifted your chin so you could look at him into his eyes. "If you can't do it alone, then I'm going with you."

"No, Darren. No...you...you don't have to do this. You don't even have to deal with me and my problems; I don't want you to do this only because I'm like this..."

"I'm gonna do it because I know what all of this means to you. Because I know how hard all of this is for you. No matter what happened between us, no matter what is gonna happen with us next. I'm not gonna leave you alone on this, because regardless what happened with us, you're important for me and I know this isn't easy for you. And I know you need me now, and I'm not leaving you alone when you need me the most. I'm gonna stand by you and if everything with your mother goes well, I'm gonna be happy with you. And if everything with your mother goes like shit, I'm gonna be there to hold you. So yes, I'm going with you." Darren said looking deeply into your eyes and caressing your cheek. You hugged him tightly and he hugged you back, rubbing your back.

"Thank you, Darren. Honestly." You said, still sobbing but this time it was because you were nervous and sad, but also touched because of Darren's words.

"There's nothing to be thankful. Just let me take Sami to her house and then both of us are going to meet your mother." Darren said soothing and you nodded, wiping away your tears and trying to calm.

You were scared, but Darren was going to be with you so that made you feel a little better.

You both left Sami in her house and the Darren drove to the restaurant where you and your mother were supposed to meet. You stayed in silence all the way to the restaurant, shedding some tears and trying to calm down. Now you weren't as nervous as you were a half hour before, but still you were scared and confused for all that was happening. Finally you arrived to the restaurant but you didn't get out of the car. You kept staring through the windshield, but looking at nothing in particular, in shock. Darren looked at you and he placed his hand on your thigh.

"Are you ready?" Darren asked gently and looking deeply into your eyes. You only nodded in silence.

Darren got out of the car and he opened your door. You got out and you both started to walk to the restaurant door. Once there, you stopped abruptly, in shock. You started to feel nervous again, you were panicking and you wanted to leave. You weren't ready, no matter that Darren was there, you couldn't do it. Darren turned around and looked at you. He grabbed your hand and, in silence, he led you inside the restaurant. There she was. Your eyes filled with tears as soon as you saw her. She was dressed up with expensive clothes that surely she bought with your dad's money. She looked better than the last time you saw her. She seemed neither drunk nor drugged. But she had that empty look in her eyes; she had that attitude of superiority and arrogance. You looked down and tried to hold back your tears. You didn't know if you were doing the right thing, but Darren squeezed your hand, letting you know that he was with you no matter what would happen.

"Where's she?" Darren whispered in your ear.

You pointed her with your sight. Darren nodded and he started to walk toward her, still holding your hand. When you were near her, you stopped abruptly again and you tried to turn around to leave. But Darren stopped you, taking you by your waist and pulling you against his side, tightly. He softly kissed your cheek and smiled slightly and reassuringly.

"I'm right here with you, I got your back. Everything is gonna be alright." Darren whispered to you. You nodded again.

Darren led you to the table where your mother was. She finally looked up and looked at you both from head to toe, raising an eyebrow.

"Hi daughter." Your mother said formally and then she looked at Darren, raising her eyebrow. "And who are you?"

"Hi, I'm Darren." Darren stretched his hand to her politely, but your mother just looked away and then she looked at you again.

"I told you I wanted to talk to you, not with anyone else." She said coldly.

"I...I..." You stuttered nervously and Darren put an arm around your back, looking at your mother intently.

"I'm her boyfriend. So I'm staying with her." Darren said firmly as you looked down and your mother looked at Darren displeased.

"What we have to talk it's something private. So I'd appreciate if you leave now. My daughter is big enough to stay here by herself. She doesn't need a pet to follow her everywhere she goes. So go find something entertaining to do while I talk with her. I'm sure you'll find something better than her. Trust me, kid, she's not so worthy as you may thinking." Your mother said coldly and discourteously. Darren was turning red of anger by her offensive words to you.

"You definitely don't know a shit about your daughter, do you?" Darren said, losing control and his polite behaviour.

"You have nothing to do here, kid. This is a family thing. So you should leave. And please, tell your mother to teach you how to behave." Your mother answered arrogantly and Darren got more furious.

"If you want to talk to me, then he's gonna stay. Besides, he knows absolutely everything what happened." You answered firmly and threateningly. Finally you weren't feeling nervous and you faced your mother for the first time in your whole life to defend Darren. Darren grabbed your hand again and squeezed it while your mother looked at you surprised and disgruntled.

"Fine, that boy can stay." Your mother said presumptuously and then she whispered something to herself but that you and Darren could hear. "Thankfully I won't see him again."

You sat on the table in front of your mother and next to Darren. Darren placed his hand on your thigh and you placed your hand above his. You looked at your mother straight in her eyes. Now you weren't scared, you weren't nervous and you weren't sad. You were upset with her, you hated her because of the way she treated Darren. You didn't know why you were looking at your mother so threateningly, but you felt good with that. For the first time you were facing your mother, you weren't anymore that scared little girl that everything that wanted was to be fine with her mother again like before her dad died. You weren't going to let her to treat in a bad way all the people who truly cared about you, who truly loved you and who were with you whenever you needed. She meant nothing to you, she never was when you needed her, she never made you feel loved, and you never got a shit from her but her indifference. Yes, it was still hard to see her, but now you were aware of what you really wanted. And that was to listen to her but not letting her to hurt the people you loved.

"Let's go make this simple and easy and lets go straight to the point. What do you want to talk about?" You said firmly, determined and coldly. Darren looked at you sideways and completely amazed by your determination as your mother looked at you with haughtiness.

"Fair enough. I don't wanna waste my magnificent time." Your mother answered with arrogance and bitterly. She looked something in her purse and put it on the table. It was some legal papers. "Since your father died we had some troubles with inheritance." You looked at those papers in disbelief, raising your eyebrows as Darren looked at your mother widening his eyes and frowning in anger. "I was supposed to get every possession, but for some reason your father has passed down to you half of his money. Of course you couldn't have it before and when you were legally able to get his inheritance, I didn't see you again and I couldn't contact to you..."

"You had my number phone. I never changed it." You answered more coldly than ever.

"Whatever, I couldn't make the time to come to see you. The point is, this is a legal paper that says you agree that only a quarter of his money can be given to you or if you accept you can give me all his money. I came here to bring you these papers so you can sign it. And please, make it easy and just sign it. It's a madness that the half of his money has to be given to you. We must agree on that." Your mother said laughing ironically, giving you a pen.

You looked down frowning and biting your lips, trying to control yourself. Darren was looking at you with sadness and then he looked at your mother with impeachment, shaking his head. Your mother only was expecting you to sign with her arrogant and superiority attitude. You finally looked up to her, still frowning.

"So... this was all about? To get money?" You looked straight in her eyes, coldly and with a hint of sadness and disappointment. "You know what?" You said this time furious after a few seconds of an awkward silence, grabbing the pen. "I'm gonna sign this shit. But you know what? I'm gonna give you all the money. I don't want a shit from you. I don't want a fucking shit. You can have it all, I don't want all this fucking money. I don't care. I hope you can shower yourself in shit and money now, that's all you care, isn't it?" You said in a rage, signing the papers.

Darren looked down this time and he squeezed your thigh. He was surprised by the way you were talking to your mother because he didn't know this side of you. You didn't even know this side of you, it was the first time you were facing your mother and you were losing your mind. Your mother was just looking away, waiting for you to finish signing the papers. Finally you ended to sign the papers and you threw them to her face, still in a rage. The papers flew everywhere and your mother had to get up to collect them. You were trying to breathe at a normal speed, but you couldn't get it. You were feeling adrenaline throughout your body and your body started to tremble again but this time it wasn't for fear or because you were nervous. Darren placed a hand on your shoulder to try to calm you down. But then you saw your mother, once she collected all the papers, she tried to go away from there but you grabbed her by her wrist, looking at her threateningly.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?" You said fiercely, looking at your mother. "I signed that shit for you, I wasted my time signing that shit; so now you're gonna waste your stupid time to listen to me."

"I'm in a rush. Sorry." Your mother said indifferently trying to go away again. But you stopped her and you forced her to sit. You had no idea why you were doing all this, you were blinded of anger and you couldn't think but act.

"You're gonna fucking hear me. I waited for this for so long and now that finally I have the chance to see your disgusting plastic face, I'm not gonna stay here idly. I'm not that stupid and scared girl anymore. Yeah, thanks to your lack of concern and care I grown up on this person you're seeing right now. Yeah, it took me time. So many fucking years of loneliness and depression. But I got it." You said madly, placing your hands on her shoulders to prevent her of any attempt of moving. Your mother was a little scared of you but she was looking away, pretending she didn't care all you were saying. Darren was looking at you in shock with widen eyes. "I was so fucking lost. I needed you. I needed a mother to stand by me in all those rough moments I had to live. I needed love, support, advices, I needed a hand to guide me, I needed a shoulder to lean on, I needed a lap to rest my head to cry. But I was completely alone. I had to find out the way to move on by myself, I need to experience new things by myself. I didn't have anyone to celebrate with all my victories; I didn't have anyone to cry with all my failures. The world seemed so damn unfair. Why everybody had someone to love and be loved and I had no one? Why did I have to be alone? Why no one seemed to notice me? Why no one could see that I needed a little love? No one seemed to care about me. Oh fuck how I needed someone in my life! I felt so frustrated, so unwanted, so excluded, so alone. I had nothing to live for; I had no purpose in my life. I started to think that everything was my fault; that I wasn't worth it, that I was nobody but a ghost walking around. I let myself sink by depression and I took very bad decisions. I wanted to kill myself because...let's face it, I had nothing." Your voice choked and you shed some tears but quickly you wiped them away. Your mother was still looking away with indifference. Darren was looking at you sadly and heartbroken, he was shedding some tears. Darren knew some of all that by your letters, but you never told him all of this in person and it was completely different. "But you know what? Then I met awesome people who helped me to go through this, who helped me to move on. Yes, I was fucking scared because never before someone had helped me, I was experiencing new things. And I wasn't supposed to be experiencing all of this as new things. I wasn't supposed to know what love is just at this age. I was so little, mother! I was so little and helpless and it was supposed that you had to help me, to help your little daughter who were feeling lost! I waited for your love for years, for ten years! Ten fucking years and I never got not even a little love from you!I had to live ten fucking years by myself!" Your voice chocked again and Darren looked down still shedding some tears while your mother only sighed still with her arrogant attitude. "But I didn't give up. I keep moving on because now I had people to love and who gave me all the love you never gave me." You looked at Darren into his eyes with your eyes filled with tears and Darren stared at you with a slight smile. Then you looked back at your mother, she was still indifferent. "I found my way to be happy. I was being so damn happy regardless some events I had to go through. But I realized all the troubles I had, all the fears I had, all the lack of courage I had, all of that it was because of your fault. You gave me the worst that someone can have. You were the only one who made me feel depressed all these years; you were the only one who made me feel insecure of myself; you were the only one who made me feel that I don't worth it, that I'm nobody, that my feelings don't matter. All the bad things that happened throughout my life weren't because of my fault; it all was your fault. And I just realized all that now. I wasted all my fucking life blaming myself for something I shouldn't. I wasted all my fucking life waiting for your forgiveness and your repentance. I wasted all my fucking life waiting for that day you could love me again to be a family again; to feel that I had a family; to know how to have a family was. I wasted my life, I did. And I regret all that with all my soul. If I'd realized all of this some years ago, my life wouldn't be so screwed. Right now I'd be able to fully love someone, I'd be able to show the people I love all I feel for them, I'd be happy enough to think that all in life is beautiful, I'd be able to love myself, I'd be able to know I'm worth it. But I can't do it and all thanks to you. Do you realize how shitty person you are? Do you realize all the evil you have done? It's unbelievable how only one person can destroy the life of another one. And today...today you called me to talk to me. I finally thought that you wanted to talk to me to forgive each other, to talk about all that happened in the past and start over again. But I was so fucking naive! And I realized that I can't learn my lesson. I let myself over and over again be blinded by my desire to recover our family. And I never got it, and I will never get it. All you wanted was damn money! You didn't bother to ask how I was all this time, you didn't bother to ask me if I needed some kind of help, you didn't bother to show your little daughter a little mom's love that I always needed. You didn't give a shit about my feelings. You only cared about yourself and you'll always do that. Because your life can be summed up in you; you and only you. I hope you can wallow in money. And I feel sorry for you because you'll never know what real love is. Because soon you won't have a damn place to live; because someday you're gonna get old and not even money will help you to get love. I feel sorry for you because before you die, you'll realize that you're completely alone because you've done much evil, because you've been very selfish, and because all you care is about money and money can't buy people and love. And someday you're gonna run out of money. And I feel sorry because no one is gonna help a person such a shit as you are. You'll realize that your entire life was a complete waste of time. So enjoy your money while you can and don't you ever dare to look for me again, because this time it's gonna be me the one who's not gonna be there when you need someone. Because I won't let myself to be down again because of you. I wanna enjoy all I achieved in my life by myself. So don't you dare to call me again, to look for me, to get me back. I'm done with my stupid fantasy to feel your love for once in my life. I hope life doesn't treat you as rude as you deserve. And for the record…I forgive you, only because I feel pity for you. Bye...I can't even call you mother because you never were a mother for me. Bye, stranger. Yeah, that's more accurate." You looked at your mother once again coldly but you took a load off. Your mother was still looking away and you laughed bitterly.

You turned away and walked toward the restaurant door to leave. All your body was trembling but only because the adrenaline that was running in your body. Before leaving you heard how Darren said something to your mother.

"Look for the last time at your daughter and realize all you lost because of your selfishness. Look for the last time at the most awesome and brave person in this world, look how the most valuable thing you could have had is walking away from you to never come back. Since the very first time I heard you talking I realized that a person like you doesn't deserve the best, so you don't deserve her. and I feel sorry for you because you think that money is gonna give you all you need, and with time you're gonna realize that all you needed was your wonderful daughter and it's gonna be already too late. I'm the luckiest man to have found her. Now I can give you her all she deserves."

You finally left the restaurant and you walked with no direction, you just walked away from there. You wanted to be as far as possible from that person who was supposed to be your mother. Finally you told her all you wanted to tell her all your life. You didn't even know how you found all that courage to say it all. You even forgave her, as you said you wanted to do. You finally took a load off. You kept walking and you started to cry, you couldn't see where you were walking but you kept doing it. But you weren't crying because you were sad. You were crying because finally you could do that thing that was your biggest fear; what was the reason that made you feel so lost and miserable in your entire life. It was like ending a stage in your life, to start a new one. Finally you wouldn't be vulnerable to your mother any longer. You just lost your mother but you weren't feeling sad, you were feeling happy. Because you lost that thing that didn't allow you to be happy and enjoy all you had. You were feeling happy because you wouldn't have to worry about your mother and all she did to you any longer. You finally stopped to sit in a bench you found. Your heart was beating at high speed and you were breathing fast. This was a feeling you never felt before. Finally Darren approached you and first thing he did was to hug you with all his might. You cried on Darren's shoulder and you felt how he was crying with you. But your tears were sad neither for you nor Darren. Darren's tears were full of proud, joy and sympathy. He hugged you for a long time and then he kissed your forehead, wiping away your tears and smiling at you proudly while caressing your cheek.

"You did it, boo. And I'm so fucking proud of you, so fucking much." Darren said looking deeply into your eyes, his voice choked but still smiling proudly. "I've never heard you saying all those things in person and I can't believe how brave you were all this time, how you could move on and leave behind all the bad things that happened to you. You aren't only worth it, you're gold. And I've never seen you like this, pulling out all you felt within the bottom of your heart, being determined and firm. You were standing there and you just...you're an outstanding person. I'm so proud of all you've achieved. You moved me with each one of your words." Darren said, shedding some tears again but still smiling at you.

You returned to your apartment after a while. Your head was still spinning and you couldn't believe all you did. Darren made some coffee for you to try to calm you down. He was looking at you in a way he never looked at you before, but it was a good kind of look. You both stayed silent for a long time; you just staring at nowhere and realizing all you've done, and Darren just with his sight fixed on you. It was already very late, but you didn't want Darren to go, you wanted him next to you right now. You knew he was the real reason you helped you to be like this now, he was the reason that encouraged you to say all those things. If Darren had never appeared in your life, you probably would be the same scared little girl. You needed him by your side. Finally you looked up to him and your eyes met his.

"Could you stay with me this night?" You asked him almost in a whisper.

"I wouldn't leave you alone in this moment. C'mere." Darren said smiling fondly, coming closer to you and hugging you. You rested your head on his chest and he kissed it. "Let's go to sleep, it has been a long day full of emotions."

You nodded and both of you lay in bed. You snuggled up to him, resting your head in his chest and wrapping your arms around him. Darren crossed an arm under your body and with his free hand he started to caress your hair. You missed him like this and you really needed to tell him all you felt for him, you couldn't wait any longer. You were more than sure to be with Darren.

"Darren…what happened with us, I wanted to tell you…" You started to say almost in a whisper.

"No…don't talk about it." Darren interrupted you.

"But I really need to tell you…"

"Please, not now. You've been through a lot today."

"Why are you avoiding this conversation?" You asked sadly.

"Because I want to be with you. Because I'm scared cause I don't know what you're gonna tell me. Because I want to enjoy this I'm living now. Because I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you. Because you're everything I never knew I always wanted." Darren answered honestly with a hint of sadness and desperation.

"What do you think I'm gonna say?"

"That you want to leave me. And I don't want to hear those words. I'm not ready to hear those words." Darren said worried and you rested your chin on his chest so you could look at him into his eyes.

"Look at me, Darren." You said gently and Darren looked into your eyes and gulped. "When you appeared that day, I wasn't expecting you. And I'm gonna be honest, I was trying to keep you away from my mind and I was getting it. But then you appeared and everything got twisted. I wasn't ready to see you again, because I was trying to be happy because the last time we saw each other got me sad. And I was pretending to be happy but inside I was so lost and I really didn't know what to do." You stayed in silence for a while and Darren was biting his lips.

"Yeah. I thought about it. And I know how you feel. Empty, betrayed, and no happiness whatsoever. You don't want to laugh, because you know it's not going to help, but you don't want to cry, because it'll just make you feel worse. You feel like your heart is falling apart, but not only that, but you know soon your life is going to feel like it's falling apart too. You don't think it'll ever end, and no matter what this person has done to you, it feels impossible to stop loving her. And everyone wonders why if she has hurt you so much, then why do you still love her. That's the confusing part, you don't know why, you just do, and the people who hurt you the most, and normally the ones you love the most. And then, after a few weeks, you finally feel a sense of relief, like you're getting happy again, but you know inside that you're just going into denial. And after a few more weeks, you're back to where you were an empty soul and teary eyes. You thought you got over her, but really, you just stopped showing it. And you can't help but to show it again. It leaves deep scars on your heart; which are there forever. And no one understands how you feel, and how deep you are hurt, no matter whom they are, because it hasn't happened to them. And even if it has, every broken heart is different. They don't know the true pain you feel and carry each and every day now, so you learn that basically you're alone with all this. And the feeling starts to overwhelm you, and suddenly you just break down, right there, because you know you've had enough, the tears just instantly start flowing, and you're to the point where you don't care who sees. Because you've spent so many nights lying awake in bed, and so many days being haunted by the scars and fear of rejection. And in the midst of all these tears, you know that it's not helping any, and it's not going to bring her back, if you ever even had her in the first place. After about a million tears have been cried, you finally pull yourself back together and keep going. Your throat starts to clench and your eyes burn with the tears you're trying to hold back. Everyone says, -It will be okay…- But you know it won't. And that's the truth, it won't. And you look back on all of the hurt you had from this, and you realize that people are horrible. You're still hurt, but you've learned to hide it so that everyone thinks you are okay. So now every time you see this person, you know you still love her, and you feel a slight tingle in your heart yearning for her to love you, screaming out, but for some reason she doesn't hear it. And then you sit back and wonder how one person could have caused all of this. I know all that, because I've been through that." Darren said frowning with his voice choked and his eyes filled with tears, but not shedding them. You were looking at him deeply trying to hold back your tears. All he was saying was exactly how you were feeling days ago; but now you weren't feeling like that, you needed to tell that to Darren but just in the moment you were going to talk, Darren kept talking. "I can't stop thinking about you. That has to tell you something. I can't get you out of my head. And quite frankly, I don't even want to try. Because I want to be the only one for you. I want to be the person that touches your heart and makes it skip a beat, I want to be that person whose arms make you just melt, I want to be the person that your destined to be with."

"Darren…" You started to say softly, but Darren interrupted you.

"No please boo, let me finish. If I don't say all of this now, I probably won't later and I really want to say you all of this." Darren said gently but firmly. "I was so fucking scared of losing you. And I really didn't want to talk to you about all of this because we were living great moments since you appeared in my cousin's house. I was rude with you at first because actually I was scared and I'm really sorry for that and I'm sorry for the way I treated you when I saw you with Grant. After you left I felt like an asshole, because I couldn't believe I let you go at that time alone and all that. After you left, I talked to Grant and he made me see how things were. And I felt really bad, because the last I want is to make you sad, trust me. But when we were there, performing together, I totally wanted that to last forever, I wanted us to be as happy as we were being in that moment. Then today, when we were with Sami and when I looked the way you were with her. When you were with her laughing and playing together, when you were holding her in your arms while she was sleeping, when you took her to bed and kissed her forehead. And Sami, calling you aunt! That just made me melt, that made me feel something here." Darren grabbed your hand and placed it in his heart. "Something here in my heart; something that I never felt before. You were all I always wanted, you were the perfect girl. I even pictured us like that…like in our future, you know, us as a family. Don't ask me why I pictured it, I just felt it and honestly I didn't feel that with anyone else, not even Mia. And today, when I saw you like that with your mother. I never saw that side of you, I never saw you that honestly, that firm, that brave. And I heard your entire story and it made me feel bad that you felt like that because someone like you should never have felt that way. I understood all the reasons why you were so scared, why you didn't want to make a decision the day I appeared here, why you weren't sure. And I felt bad because I was so blinded that I couldn't see those reasons before. Then you looked at me, while you were talking to your mother and I really wanted to hug and kiss you in that moment, I wanted to tell you how much I loved you and how much I'll love you, that with me you were going to be always safe because I wouldn't let you to be through all you lived again. Today I felt so proud of you, today I felt lucky to have someone like you. You're the most outstanding, wonderful and brave person I've ever met. It's like day by day I'm finding out more things about you that made me fall more and more in love with you. And I'm undoubtedly deep in love with you. And I want to make you happy, I want to give you all that love you always deserved but you never had. I want to help you to move on and not because of pity or compassion but because I love you. I want to be next to you to overcome all your problems together, I want to do it with you. I want to be with you either in good or bad moments. I want to make it work, I swear I'd do everything for you and I swear I'm not lying. You're what I've been looking for all my life and I want to experience and start my life again only with you. I can't do it without you. I never realized how important you're now for me, how I need you in my life. You're the only one who makes me feel like this and that's why I don't wanna lose you. Because I'm not gonna find someone like you again and because with you I feel complete. You're like that piece of the puzzle that was missing in my life. I love you and so fucking much, boo." Darren said looking at you deeply, still grabbing your hand which was in his heart. His heart was beating fast and his body was trembling.

"Darren. I love you." You said honestly, looking deeply into his eyes. Darren's heart started to beat even faster and his eyes lit up. "Yes, I love you. I love your name, I love the way you look at me, I love your gorgeous smile, I love the way you walk, I love your beautiful eyes, I love what you look like when you are asleep, I love the sound of your laugh, to hear your voice fills my entire heart with an indescribable feeling. I love the way I can be having the worst day of my life and seeing you completely changes my mood. I love how when you touch me I get weak. I love you a whole lot more than just a little."

You couldn't say anything more. For some reason you couldn't explain him all the love you were feeling for him, because actually words couldn't explain it. What Darren said touched you deep in your heart and soul. He made you feel loved as anyone else has done. He wasn't lying; you saw in his eyes that he was pouring all he felt in his heart. You stared at his eyes. There was that twinkle and now all you could see in his eyes were love, happiness and hope. You slowly came near your face to his and kissed his lips very softly. Darren placed his hands on your cheeks and deepened the kiss. He was trying to make feel his love with that kiss. He was trying to say you that he was happy; that it was all he wanted, to be with you and only with you. You didn't know how you knew it all, you just felt it. And that was what made it the most perfect kiss.

"Boo? When we met your mother…and when I said I was your boyfriend…I really meant it." Darren whispered in front your lips. "And I was thinking that we actually didn't have a very first date. I'd like to have a first date with you."

"What are you talking about? Don't you like this we have now?" You whispered also in front of his lips, confused.

"I love this." Darren smiled and pecked your lips. "But I want to have a first date too, a day that neither of us is gonna forget."

"Darren…" You smiled amused in front of his lips.

"Tomorrow night. I'd have to leave your apartment to get some clothes and all. Then tomorrow night I'm gonna pick you up and we're gonna have our first date." Darren smiled fondly, caressing your cheek.

"This is what makes me love you more and more." You giggled and kissed him again.

Nothing more happened that night. You both slept holding each other and loving each other. That was the best day in your whole life. Finally everything was going well.


It was the night and you were waiting for Darren to come to pick you up. You were going to have that first date he told you last night. He wasn't joking about it, because when you woke up at morning, he kept insisting to have that first date. He was very excited about it. He told you that first date would be a day we could tell everybody and things like that to convince you. After a couple of hours you finally accepted, so he came back to his cousin's house four hours ago to get ready for your first date. You spent all your day cuddling, kissing and enjoying your time together. This time was better than the last time you were with Darren, because now everything was different. Now you both were completely sure about this, because this time you proved that it doesn't matter what you've been through because you were going always to find the way to overcome it, to overcome all the bad moments and to enjoy all the good moments, always together.

It had been two hours from the time that you had agreed to meet and Darren hadn't arrived and he hadn't texted or called you. It was weird. He would've called you if he had to change the plans because of something unexpected happened to him. Maybe he regretted that first day, but he would've said it to you. Maybe he was just late and he forgot to warn you. You just waited for him, already ready to go. Now it had been four hours from the agreed time. Now you really started to worry. You checked your phone again. Nothing. Maybe he was stuck in traffic, but he really would've told you so. Maybe he really didn't want to make that with you. Maybe he changed his mind and he needed time to think. You honestly didn't know what to think. Suddenly, your phone started to buzz; you thought that it had to be Darren. But you looked at your phone and it wasn't Darren. Frowning and confused, you took the call.

"Mysterious girl?" Chuck's voice sounded nervous and edgy. "Something really bad has happened."

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