Heads up: Wrote this book when I was 14 and English isn’t my first language so set your standards there lol. Considered unpublishing it as it no longer depicts my skill in writing (I’ve worked pretty hard to improve and would like to believe that I made some progress) but decided to leave it up here since a lot of my amazing readers liked it <3.
Anyway, let’s begin!
Considering how hard my heart was pounding in my chest, I wouldn’t be surprised if it leaped out of the cavity any moment now. To say I was having a mild panic attack would seem as though I was exaggerating, but only I knew how terrified I was of flying.
As we slowly ascended, the imbalance in my ear was beginning to grab my attention. I was too focused on minding my breathing to even bother grabbing a hold of my earplugs that were inside my purse.
I should’ve known better than to travel alone. Especially when I was well aware of my qualms when it came to flying in an airplane.
In a desperate attempt to keep my mind off things for a while, I closed my eyes and thought about my family.
Back in high school, I was always sure what I wanted to be and who I wanted to be with. But like all of my other plans, they were put to trial. I no longer wished for them now. These days, I just wished for small things to happen.
Coming home to my family and talking to them about my day, celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving with close friends and family, accompanying my dad for his general medical check-ups - these were the few things that I knew I wished for the most at this point in my life.
I wished my job didn’t consume most of my time. I knew I wanted to be an actress ever since I was in high school. There was a small phase before I was sending out applications for college where I had doubts about my chosen career path. No matter how rewarding, being part of the entertainment industry is intense.
But again, isn’t that what I’d wanted in the first place? I wanted my life to be like this. I enjoyed being a workaholic and found true pleasure in pursuing my passion. But it came with the price of not finding enough time to spend with my dear ones.
It had been seven years since I last saw my friends together. I met them separately and mostly bumped into a few of them at parties but I could never attend any of the reunions they had planned for us. I had missed most of their weddings too because I didn’t want to see him.
It was seven years ago that I last saw the former love of my life. Ethan. He was my first love, of course. And also my only love. Whilst we were together, I shared a profound bond with him. Although we had both disappointed each other at times, we had managed to grow out of quarrels and emerge stronger than before.
When we had first split, we were just seventeen. Since we were relatively younger, I had imagined that it wouldn’t be as tough to move on from him. We loved each other so much despite the rivalry between him and my brother. I loved him so much that even now, seven years post my heartbreak, I couldn’t manage to lose my heart to another man.
The day of our graduation was probably the last time I ever looked at him directly. For the past seven years, I’ve kept myself away from him but seldom did that work well for me. No matter how hard I tried, I would always know about how he’s doing from various sources. My friends would randomly talk about him with me and how he’s coping with our breakup.
Although it had been seven years since we broke up, I couldn’t forgive him for doing what he did. I didn’t find it within myself to have the heart to let go of everything he did and be with him.
In these seven years, I grew to become an actress, the profession I had always dreamt of taking up. It was probably the only thing from my teenage years that remained concrete in my wish list.
I wanted to do the films that genuinely intrigued me and made me feel like it was a story that had to be told. It was perhaps this notion of mine that worked well for me at the box office.
My friends had always made plans for me to join them on their reunions but I never showed up because Ethan would be coming there too. He loved our friends and he would not just skip on the reunions because I was going there too. In that regard, he was very different from me. He didn’t give a shit about me anymore.
Ethan took over his father’s business when he was really young, right out of college. Now, he’s twenty-five and from what I knew, he was too good at his job. I had never doubted his abilities - I knew how versatile he was and given any circumstance, he is the kind of person that you can count on to bring a solution. He is the man in the storm. And all the appreciation he was subjected to since he took over the company was completely justified.
Being one of the eligible bachelors in the world, he was always seen hooking up with girls but he never had a serious relationship with anyone until recently. I didn’t particularly focus on him under the gossip section but I had somehow stumbled upon a rumor regarding his wedding.
Nobody knew who the girl was, but the reports claim that he had been dating her for a while now and soon had decided to put a ring on her finger.
After knowing it, I felt foolish to ever think he was stuck up on me like I was on him. He moved on and even agreed to a wedding with someone. It was almost heartbreaking for me to know that the only guy I ever loved was getting married to someone else.
I blocked every source that would make me aware of what was happening in his life. It was a desperate attempt to block him from my life although I wasn’t proud of my ways. I felt despicable being so affected by him and the news but at the same time, he was the love of my life. People take a lifetime to get over their love. How was I any different?
As I stepped into the villa, I noticed that a feverish smile was playing on my lips. Lindsay and I have been close friends ever since we first bumped into each other in one of our college fests. Having been interested in singing, we were part of a small local band in college.
We never wanted to professionally pursue singing as it was more of a fun hobby to us more than anything. It fueled our friendship through the years as we shared similar tastes in music. Moreover, due to band activities, we were made to spend a good amount of time together, which inevitably helped bridge a profound friendship between us.
Although she was one of my closest friends from college, the bond we shared was a bit unusual, or so it might seem to others. She was a very reserved, introverted person, and often didn’t ask for the liberty to be able to vent to me. She was somebody who was more emotionally mature than I was and didn’t feel the need to share a lot of things about herself with others.
She had complained in the past about how few of her friends found that kind of behavior offensive as most people measure the closeness of your relationship by the amount of things they know about each other. Luckily for us, I didn’t subscribe to that idea at all.
It didn’t bother me that she knew more about me than I knew about her, because it was a choice I made and I was comfortable with sharing my secrets with her. And it was not a question was whether or not she felt secure in me, but of if she even was interesting sharing things.
As I mentioned, she was extremely reserved, and I respected that. It was perhaps this understanding between us that never created silly problems between us. We hardly paid each other any thought when we were together since we had an inherent understanding of we worked.
When Lindsay called me a couple of weeks ago saying she was going to get married to someone, I wasn’t even surprised. She was a rather simple person and regards weddings with no special status. It was simple ceremony for her, therefore, it shall not attract a lot of attention from others.
When she had called me, I was on my way to a production house to finalize few things about an upcoming project. Because of that, I couldn’t get into the details of her wedding. I only vaguely remember the person she was getting married to. I could decipher from the tone of her voice that she was not very happy with the marriage.
But I didn’t need to ask her to know the reason why she was getting married if she wasn’t interested. I was aware that Lindsay’s father has a better say in her matters pertaining to her personal life than she does. Everything was a matter of business to him and Lindsay has warned me several years ago that she would have to marry somebody her father chooses for her. And worst of all, that she we have very little choice in the matter, if not nothing.
“Look who’s here!” I announced my arrival and stepped into what I assumed was the bride’s room. But much to my dismay, my smile wavered away as soon as I saw the sight of the room and a weeping Lindsay in the middle of it.
A worried frown occupied her face when she first looked toward the direction I walked in from, but soon recovered when she realized that it was me. It felt as though the blood drained from her face upon realizing that someone just walked in when she was all deranged. When her eyes found mine, tears ran down her swollen cheeks.
“Lindsay, what’s wrong?” I asked as I rushed to her. Her shoulders were shaking uncontrollably and I had to press my palms tighter so as to stop her shaking body.
“I’m so glad you came,” Lindsay spoke through her wobbling lips. “I really needed you.”
“Tell me what the matter is,” I spoke impatiently. I’ve never witnessed any bride cry like that before her wedding. What was wrong? “Why is there no one in here? And where is the wedding happening?”
“In the backyard.” She wobbled. “Skylar, I don’t want to get married.”
Her words didn’t surprise me. I saw this coming, but I didn’t expect her to find her in such a state.
“I begged my father not to do this, I told him I was in love with someone else. That’s why he called for the wedding early.” She said, wiping her eyes with the hands. “Skylar, I don’t love him. He isn’t the one for me. I love someone else.”
“Lindsay,” I said, trying to cool her down. “If you stay here any longer and people will come looking for you. So it’s better if you call your father and explain it to him before things get out of hand.”
“I’m not going out there.” She said, removing my hands from her shoulders. “I’m not going to get married to someone I don’t love.”
“I’m not asking you to get married. I’m asking you to discuss it with-”
“I’m going to run away.”
My jaw almost dropped on the floor when she said that. “What?”
“I don’t have a choice.” She said. “Please Skylar, you need to understand this.”
“I can’t let you make a mistake you’ll regret for life.” I said, trying to shake some sense into her.
“I’m not going to regret it.” She said.
“You will.” I said. “Do you think running away solves the problem? It’s just a temporary escape!”
“Skylar, I’m already in love with someone else. Do you think my father will listen to the end of it? He will force my hand in marriage and Parker will gladly take it.”
I sighed and shook my head.
“What do you think I’ve been doing for the past one month? I begged Parker too, but he was too arrogant to even consider my feelings. He wants this business deal as much as I want.”
“But there are so many guests in here. So many close friends and business associates of both the families are here. It’s going to humiliating once things simmer down. I urge you to handle this more dignity.”
“I don’t care.” She said. “Maybe my father deserves the humiliation he’s going to get after I run away.”
We heard foot steps trailing towards us. I sucked in a deep breath. Lindsay widened her eyes at me. “Skylar, they’re coming for me.”
“Please help me run away.” She said. “Please Skylar, it’s my life.”
“Lindsay!” Someone knocked on the door. Thank god I locked it when I entered.
“I have to go. I have a friend waiting for me outside. Please, help me, I need to go. I swear I’ll handle this mess later.” She said.
The desperation that I found in her eyes was unmatched. I never saw her like this before. In the wake of it, I realized that I was perhaps underplaying the gravity of the situation. I was only slowly grasping onto consequences of her staying behind. I could only imagine the kind of power her father yields, and judging by her present state, I was understanding where she was coming her. If her fear is indeed justified, what kind of friend would I be if I ruined her life when I could do something about it?
“Alright,” I said, defeated. “I’ll cover up for you.”
A relieved smile tugged at her lips, but she knew that time was running short. She had to hurry, and she couldn’t afford a proper farewell. “Thank you so much, Skylar. I will never forget this.”
I nodded and watched her leave through the windows. I didn’t know how she was going to escape from all the security. The pounding on the door grew harder as I hurried to the windows.
I was taken aback as the door blasted open. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I turned around.
My breath hitched in my throat when I looked at the man before me. The same grey eyes, but this time, they grew darker than ever.
His otherwise warm eyes, that had always reminded me of how much he loved me, had turned intolerably dark. Visibly paled, he breathed out in disbelief.
It almost felt like a dream. There was something inside of me that hoped for it all to be a one of all the other nightmares I had of I meeting him again in an absurd situation, and then waking up to reality where it would just vanish away like air. But it also was so hard to regard as a dream. I was so aware of all the things that were playing through my mind that I have confined to my heart to until this moment.
How could everything that happened around seven years ago just come crashing into my mind like it just happened yesterday? How could just one glance at him stir those deep buried emotions to come back to the surface, brimming with the same level of anticipation. I remained rooted in my place, unmoving.
My mind was constantly trying to escape to all the past times I’ve spent with him together, as though my entire life depended on reliving all the emotions and moments that I shared with him.
Was every break up in the world like this? Did everyone else feel the same that I was feeling when they met their former love of their life? Do people ever manage to recover from it?
“What the hell are you even doing here instead of my fiancé?” He asked, his voice recuperating from the shock that he received upon laying his eyes on me.
“Lindsay..” I stammered. Where was all the vocabulary inside of my head vanish to? “She ran away.”
It felt so ridiculous to even talk about it. Why was I here in the first place? Why was I being questioned on someone else’s behalf? Why did his looks seem so accusing?
“She ran away?” He widened his eyes at me, his jaw ticking. He approached me in hasty steps and came close enough for me to listen to him whisper in a dangerous tone. “What the hell do you mean by she ran away? We’re supposed to get married in fifteen minutes.”
“Why are you asking me?” I said, raising my voice at him . “Shouldn’t you be asking yourself how you failed to understand that she never wanted this marriage?”
“Her father made a deal with me in return of marrying his daughter off. She knew it and I thought she was on board.”
“She obviously wasn’t. And neither of you understood her.” I defended her. It was perhaps not the concern or love that I had for Lindsey that had me fighting for her. It was probably the urge and the wanting to contradict him that was making me oppose him in every thing he said.
“Why the hell are you even here?” He asked me. “Did you know I was getting married?”
“I would have never stepped in a mile radius if I knew you were the one who she was getting married to.” I spat on his face.
His face grew grim and I could sense him heating up. I wasn’t under the control when I was saying it. It took all of my energy to sustain my cool and talk to him like a civil person.
“You shouldn’t have helped her run away.” he said. “You put me in deep trouble.”
“I don’t care about it, you aren’t exactly a man without a tainted name in public opinion.” I said.
“This is not the time for me to fight with you.” he said. “I’m going to send my men to fetch Lindsay.”
“You wont find her.” I said to him. “I think you can never make it back with her even if you use every power within your reach to bring her back.”
The look on his face was murderous and I had to step back in an instinct. I never saw him this pissed and angry. Back when I knew him, he had his anger in control. He never let it on me in a way that would scare me. But I always heard how things changed him through the years.
I remembered my friends telling me how he turned into a ruthless business man that sees nothing but profit in everything. And that when he was angry, he was uncontrollable.
“Every time you came into my life, you absolutely wrecked me, Skylar.” He said. “You ruined everything that I had seven years ago. You ruined the little good inside of me, the part I preserved for someone I love and now you came back to ruin the only piece of hope I was clinging onto. You are at the verge of ruining my career with your stupid revenge plan on getting back at me for what I did to you years ago.”
“This is not a revenge.” I stated. “I would never waste a penny on you or on something that isn’t valuable for me.”
Hurt flashed across his eyes before he masked it quickly. “What a foolish woman you grew to be.”
“You left you’re impact on me before leaving.”
He tightened his jaw. “You certainly should be worried of the consequences of ruining my marriage.”
“I’m glad I stopped a friend from ruining her life.”
“Skylar, I cannot afford to have this right now. I have the most important business men waiting for me to get married at the altar. And if the news of the bride running away breaks out, my life will be ruined.”
“Are you listening to yourself?” I asked, “How can this be just about business for you?”
“It’s not just business for me, Skylar. It’s my entire career.” He said, “Everything I’ve built so far.”
“And why should a marriage decide it?”
He sighed, “You won’t understand. You’re relatively new to this business, you’ll soon realize how the world works. It’s a complex mess and I don’t have the time to explain it to you.”
“Well, what do you want me to do?” I asked, incredulously.
He heaved yet another sigh through his nose and looked at me with a frown. I realized that he wasn’t particularly going to enjoy what he was going to suggest next but also that it was necessary for him.
“I’ve got a favor to ask of you.”