I couldn’t see anything. I looked around to see if I can recognize anything.
I covered my eyes as a bright light shined in front of me. I took a step towards it and realized what it was.
Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?
No. No way am I dying now!
Everything comes back.
The mission, the ceremony, the fight, Rochelle, the gunshot.
Let’s also not forget the little number Rochelle was wearing.
In front of other guys. I tried not to dwell into that too much.
I ran the other way from the light until I found myself in the backyard again. It was empty.
I turn around and I see Rochelle, smiling at me. I rushed to her and hugged her tightly. I missed her so much. Rochelle started to cry as I pulled her closer to calm her down.
“I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you got shot. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you and been more careful and-”
“Rochelle. It’s okay. Everyone’s okay. It’s all over.” I cooed and ran my hand through her soft hair.
She sighed and snuggled into my chest.
“You better wake up soon. I’m freaking out while your unconscious. You are giving me a heart attack.” She exclaimed.
I chuckled at her exasperated expression.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be up soon. Don’t miss me too much.” I said teasingly. She just rolled her eyes at me and rises on her tiptoes. I felt the anticipation race through me.
She gave me a soft kiss.
“I’ll always miss you. See you later.” She whispered.
Then she vanished.
Ugh. It hurts like hell.
I let out a groan.
“Cole? Wake up, please. Open your eyes for me.” I heard a plea.
I tried to open my heavy-lidded eyes. After a few attempts, I managed to open my eyes to the bright light.
I began to focus on my surroundings. The room was white and it smelled horribly of disinfectants. I realized I was in a hospital. I focused my attention on the person I have been wanting to see.
Rochelle handed me and a cup of water, which I took gratefully.
After my throat wasn’t as parched, I tried to communicate with Rochelle.
“Are you okay?” I asked hoarsely.
Rochelle looked at me incredulously.
“You got shot and you’re asking me if I’m alright?” She asked shocked.
“Yep.” I say popping the ‘p’.
“You’re ridiculous sometimes, you know that right?” She sighed shaking her head.
“But you love me anyway.” I sang.
Rochelle stared at me intensely with her chocolate eyes. There was an emotion that I couldn’t quite read. She was about to speak when the door opened.
“My little Bernie is awake!” Mom squealed. She ran over and hugged me tightly.
“Mom! Can’t. Breathe.” I strangled out.
Dad pulled her back so I can get oxygen back into my lungs. Dad patted me on the shoulder.
“I’m glad you’re alright son. Gave us all a heart attack there.” Dad said.
I rolled my eyes playfully.
“I knew you were getting old dad.” I joke.
He just rolled his eyes at me.
“COLE!” I recognized the squeal.
A blur of blonde tackled me. Thankfully, nothing hurt after that crash landing.
“Hey, Suzie. Missed you kiddo.” I smiled at her. Suzie beamed at me.
“Rochelle said you had a boo boo. Is it all better now?“, she asked innocently.
“I feel WAY better now. I just hope we get to leave soon.” I mumbled.
“You promised to play with me!” Suzie said cheerfully and my eyes widen as I remember the promise I made to her. I can already see the dresses and lipstick.
Before I could say anything else, the doctor walked in with a warm smile.
“Well, looks like someone’s up. I’m going to have to take a few tests. I suggest you stay overnight and go home tomorrow.” The doctor says.
After a couple of tests, the doctor said I was free to go tomorrow. Everyone left to get some rest, while Rochelle stayed to keep me company. I patted the space beside me and she shook her head.
“No way. You are injured, Cole. I don’t want to make it worse.” Rochelle said stubbornly. I pouted. and continued to pat the bed.
“Your touch helps me feel faster and I missed you. And didn’t you see Suzie tackle me? I think you will be fine.” I tried to convince when I saw her stubborn expression. I sighed. “Please, Rochelle. For me.”
I knew that got her. Rochelle sighed as she crawled over to snuggle into my side. I sighed contently at the sparks I missed so much.
“Stubborn boy,” Rochelle muttered and I chuckled.
Rochelle filled me in on everything. Derrick and Victoria were arrested and would be put on trial for their crimes. It brought relief to me that it was finally over. What didn’t make me happy was the news about Dylan. I didn’t want to believe it. Dylan was my best friend and wouldn’t ever do something like that. I could tell Rochelle thought the same thing. Rochelle made sure Dylan wasn’t arrested, but he had to answer some questions.
“I’m glad it’s over. Everyone gave me the creeps over there. Especially that waiter.” Rochelle finished, disgusted.
“Who’s the waiter?” I asked curiously.
“Just some guy who kept hitting on me when Sabrina and I went to the mall.” Rochelle said absently.
I felt jealousy shine through. I wanted to kick this guy’s ass. He was soon forgotten when Rochelle snuggled her face into my neck and kissed the skin there. I shuddered underneath her touch.
“He’s gone. Don’t worry about it,” she whispered. I just nodded my head, tongue-tied. How did I get to be so lucky?
We stayed cuddled next to each other when we heard a knock. Rochelle got up to open the door and outside was Dylan. I honestly don’t know what to say to him. I didn’t know the full story.
“Can I come in?” Dylan asked. Rochelle glanced at me and nodded her head to let him in. He stood at the foot of the bed, looking down.
“What happened over there, Dylan?” I asked.
Dylan looked up at me, shame in his eyes. He closed then tight.
“A few weeks ago, I saw some guys messing with a teenage girl when I was going home from a party. I interfered and the girl got away. After the fight, I came back to my house and found Derrick inside my living room. He liked my attitude and told me I might be useful to him. I refused to be involved with him. That’s when he started threatening my sister. I couldn’t let anything happen to her. He ordered me to spy on you guys. I’m sorry, but I had no choice. I couldn’t let anything happen to them.” he said with pleading eyes.
I was speechless. How come he never told me? We could have worked it out together. I couldn’t be angry at him protecting his little sister. I would have done the same for Suzie.
Rochelle hugged him.
“I forgive you. You saved my life. So thank you.” She whispered.
Dylan pulled back with a smile. He turned and looked at me nervously. I grinned goofily at him.
“If my lady forgives you, I forgive you. Thanks for helping Rochelle last night.” I say sincerely.
Rochelle and Dylan frowned. What?
“Cole, that happened a week ago. You were out for seven days.” Dylan said slowly.
My eyes widened. I looked at Rochelle for confirmation.
“Your body needed to rest Cole. So yes, it’s been a week.” She said softly.
Woah. I liked my sleep, but I didn’t like it that much. Rochelle giggled at my reaction.
After talking for a bit, Dylan left. It was late so Rochelle and I cuddled into each other. We drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
After we got Cole out of the hospital, we took him home.
Once we got through the door, I think I went blind.
My brother and my best friend were making out on the living room couch, Kyle’s hand underneath her shirt.
“My eyes! My innocent eyes!” I cried out as I hid behind Cole.
They jumped back, flushing.
Sabrina buried her face into Kyle’s chest, embarrassed.
Cole looked at the scene with a smirk on his face. I slapped the back of his head.
“That’s my brother, you idiot. I think I’m going to throw up.” I muttered.
I turned to them.
“But I am happy for you guys. Just make sure to use protection. I don’t want to be an aunt this soon.” I warned.
Sabrina turned even redder while Kyle laughed out loud. He gave me a wink.
Cole took my arm and led me to his room. He closed the door and looked at me. I examined him. His arm was in a sling to help his body heal. His blonde hair was messy, just the way I liked it. His blue orbs were looking at me with an emotion that gave my stomach butterflies.
“Rochelle, after you were taken, I couldn’t handle that. I realized how much I needed you. How much I...” Cole trails off.
He silences himself. After a few minutes contemplating his word choice, he spoke again.
“I love you.” He said simply.
My heart soared at his confession. I smiled so big, my face was going to split in half. I was so happy. I kissed him softly.
“I love you too.” I murmured against his lips. I can sense his happiness at my words and kissed me back passionately.
This is perfect.
Everything is going to be okay.
I have my soulmate in my arms.
We were safe.
Life couldn’t get any better at this point.