Destined

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Connections

August

We walk in silence to the house next door. Gabe is still angry with me, but I don’t really care. He won’t dictate who I can and cannot be with. Neither will some dusty old book, either, though after I met Holly this morning I have to say I think Gabe is interpreting it wrong.

What I don’t understand is what this feeling is that they get when they’re around each other. And did she feel what I felt when we met? Or was it one sided?

Truthfully, I’m eager to see her again. Seeing her talk to Gabe annoyed me. I don’t like seeing them together, because they do kind of gravitate towards each other. The way she smiled at me gave me hope, though. I’m worried that when she sees me tonight she’ll back out of our date... if that’s what it is. I could kick myself for not being a little more clear.

Gabe steps up to the door and knocks. Holly answers, and she’s swapped her shorts for leggings, her long copper hair in a messy bun on top of her head.

She looks nervous.

“Come on in,” she says, pulling the door open for us to enter.

This is where it gets tricky. How will we navigate this? Will Gabe and I fight for her attention?

She follows us, closing the door softly behind her. Her living room is cozy and traditional, sort of cottage-like. She chooses to sit in a big recliner, effectively getting rid of any conflict of figuring out who gets to sit next to her.

“Hi!” A short, brown-headed girl says, flying by us. “Bye!” She adds, quickly grabbbing a sweater from the coat rack and then she’s out the door.

“That was my little sister, Emma,” Holly says, frowning after her.

“Where’s Grace?” Gabe asks her, glancing at me out of the corner of his eye. I roll mine in response. This is why we’re doing this. He wants me to meet Grace and magically fall in love with her.

I don’t see that happening, I think, as I stare into her bright green eyes.

There’s a light rap on the front door before it swings open, a girl who looks like the older version of Holly’s younger sister walking in carrying bags of food and balancing a box in one hand.

Gabe jumps up quickly to help her. He grabs the box from her hands and she blushes, looking nervous.

“Thank you,” she says.

“No problem,” he smiles. He’s oblivious. I can see from the way he’s looking at her that he’s so caught up in what he thinks is right, that he’s completely missing what’s right in front of him.

And judging by the bright pink blush she’s sporting, I’d imagine she’s very aware of who she wants—but so is Holly, who isn’t looking very kindly on their interaction.

“I’m going to go grab some drinks,” Holly announces, abruptly excusing herself from the living room.

“I’ll help you,” I volunteer, following after her, pouncing on it before Gabe can make the offer himself. He glares at me.

She walks up to the fridge and then pauses, seeming to be concentrating on something.

“Are you okay?” I ask, walking up behind her. She exhales loudly.

“I’m okay,” she finally says, bending to grab some cans of soda from the fridge. She hands me a couple and then closes the door. “It’s just all so confusing, you know?”

“Obviously it’s all confusing,” I start nervously, “but which part of all of this is bothering you now?”

Embarrassed, she looks down at her feet. “I don’t know what Gabe’s told you,” she starts.

“About y’all’s supposed connection?” I help her, trying to keep the bitterness from my voice. She doesn’t seem to notice my jealousy.

She looks at me with big eyes that seem almost apologetic. “Yeah,” she whispers softly. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“How does it not?” I ask her.

“It’s just... it’s hard to explain. If he touches me... it just makes me feel... I don’t know? Like I’ve stuck a fork in an electrical socket. Like it’s exhilarating, but painful and uncomfortable. And then when he’s not touching me, like right now, nothing.”

“I saw the way you looked when he was helping Grace,” I venture, terrified. “I’ve got to say, it didn’t really look like nothing.”

She nods. “Yeah, I don’t understand that either. Like because of this connection that we have that I have any claim to him. Or that I want any kind of claim to him, because I don’t even know him.”

“Yeah, I’m not sure I understand what’s going on between the two of you.”

Her eyes snap up to mine defensively. “Nothing is going on between us,” she says, earning a smile from me.

“There’s not?” I ask innocently.

She takes a step towards me, not seeming to even notice she’s done it.

“If there was, I wouldn’t be going with you tomorrow,” she says quietly. “If you still want to, I mean.”

God, she’s sexy. “Yeah, I do,” I tell her, my voice low and my heart racing in anticipation.

I know Gabe will be livid, but if she wants to go with me, fuck Gabe’s assumption that she belongs to him. Prophecy or not, she’s free to be with whoever she wants.

When Grace walked through the front door, I didn’t feel anything the way I did for Holly when I almost hit her with a frisbee.

I can’t even describe that feeling. It isn’t an electrical feeling like she says she gets with Gabe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as strong. Grace is cute enough, and I’m sure there’s many other amazing things about her. Things that make her perfect for Gabe.

She smiles shyly at me. “We should probably get back in there.”

I nod and take a step back, allowing her to lead me back into the living room, hoping Gabe has taken this time to get to know Grace.
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