3 months later.
I woke up on a crisp Saturday morning and I felt the cold seep into my bones. I shivered and turned my head to the side at the empty bed and stared out the window. I show the garden covered in the December frost, in its beauty the way Ava saw it. I had that dream again. Of what happened to her. I lay there for ages till I sent a quick text off my phone and plucked up the courage to go to the place I have not been to because of my guilt.
Rolling out of bed and jumping into the shower I let the scalding water wash away my guilt and sins. I sighed as I stepped out of the shower and felt it all come back as I wrapped the towel around me. I walked out into the empty bedroom and the memory of when Ava was in my bed hit me hard. A small smile made its way to my face at the thought of her.
I left my bedroom 10 minutes later all dressed in a somewhat presentable way. Thumping my way down the stairs I headed out the door and let my feet crunch in the frost.
It was a long walk to the sedimentary. I didn't drive. I needed to suffer in the way she suffered. I couldn't live with myself after what happened.
Letting the cold nip into my skin and bite its way down to my bones I didn't stop. I kept going, plodding along to the rhythm of my heartbeat. No matter how cold I get no matter how much I suffer I kept going because I need to get there.
Soon the crunch of the frost beneath my feet turned to the crunch of gravel as I wandered down the familiar path that I had dared not walk down. The quick journey felt like it took hours as the slow plodding of my feet dragged me down and the guilt weighed me down.
I finally arrived at the rusted gates and started out at the fog that lay across the ground. Letting my hands rest on the rusted gate, I let the cold burn through my skin and down to my very bones. The rust-stained my hands and the gate whined in protest as I pushed it open wanting to keep the grief of families and friends inside.
The graveyard was cold and grey and I was careful where I stepped making sure I wasn't disrespecting anyone. Making my way to the back a found the gravestone I was looking for, the neat gravestone shone back at me with neat carved letters and flowers that had started to wilt.
I sunk down to my knees and started at the gravestone that stood there. It wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for me. Tears filled my eyes and flooded my face as I let them fall freely.
"I'm so sorry for what happened to you, it would never have happened if I never got you involved with me. If I could turn back time I would never have let you get close to me, I would have pushed you away and not let my feelings get the better of me. You were my first love and I still love you. You will always hold a special place in my heart but, know I've hurt another Jasmin and I don't know how to fix it. I need your help. I would try to express my feelings but as you know I've never been very good at that.
"I really like Ava, and I need her to know that. I would go as far to say I loved her but she deserves so much better than me. I guess I need her but, I just don't know how to tell her."
I feel myself shake as I let out a breath and I stare at the headstone. I hear a small voice behind me that makes me freeze.
"You just did."
I turn around and there she stood, no sign that she's been through hell and back except for the look in her eyes. She looked just as gorgeous as ever and all I wanted to do was tell her how sorry I was but, the words were lodged in my throat I couldn't get them out. I rose to my feet and calmed my breathing.
"You got me a text then." I wanted to shoot myself for saying something so stupid, clearly, she got it otherwise she wouldn't be standing in front you dipshit. She simply nods her head at me and an awkward silence falls over us.
I look at her and I notice how she touches her arms subconsciously and I felt the guilt get heavier in the pit of my stomach. I pushed the guilt aside and I found the courage to speak what was on my mind.
"Ava look, after everything you've been through because I just want to say sorry and I never meant for you to get hurt, and I do love you, Ava, my feelings for you were never faked and I want you to know that I truly care for you and I love you. I just need you to know that." I finish off my ramble in one breath and at first, I wasn't sure if Ava heard me at all but then she smiled and I felt myself relax.
"Hunter I'm not mad at you and I don't blame you for anything. At first, I was mad you never told me but then I realised it was so painful for you to let people in you didn't bother. I feel the same way about you and maybe we could try dating for real this time?"
My smile was wide on my face and my eyes were bright as I listened to her words and I felt like a kid on Christmas day. I made my way towards her and cupped her face in my hands.
"I'd like that very much."
Ever so slowly I dipped my head down to hers giving her room to pull away from me but, she didn't and finally, my lips met hers. The kiss was smooth and gentle and eventually turned into one of passion and a need for feeling her close to me.
I pulled away from her to catch my breath and smiled at her and she smiled back twice as hard and she looked radiant.
"So what do you say Ava, will you be my real girlfriend?"
She smiled at me and I returned it as she giggled and let out an excited yes. I picked her up and spun her around as I kissed her once more.