Finding Ava ✔️

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22 | How I Really Feel

22 | How I Really Feel

“O’gentle lady, ’tis not for you to hear what I can speak. The repet— ” I angrily cut Max off by smacking the back of his head. In surprise and shock, Max flinches and mutters an ‘ouch.’ “What was that for? I was only reciting some Shakespeare quotes.”

I arch an eyebrow and give him an innocent smile. “Oh were you? My bad.”

Max presses his lips together and narrows his eyes. I mentally dust off my shoulder at my slick reply and focus back on the busy hallways. Without another word, Max walks beside me with a scowl etched on his face.

"Aww, did I upset the poor Max?” I coo patronizingly.

Max doesn’t reply, he only huffs. I snigger at his behavior. Apparently, acting like a five-year-old is Max’s specialty.

“Ava, can I ask you something?” Max seriously asks. I’m taken aback by his sudden change in attitude yet curious to know what brought it on.

I smile, reassuringly. “Sure.”

Max rolls his shoulders, an action he does when he is nervous about something or doesn’t know how to put it into words. Its surprising how much I can remember about him, how I what he does in certain situations.

“Do you think you will ever be able to be back with me? Do you see a future for the both of us?”

I stop mid-stride in the packed hallways. Max, who is a few steps ahead of me, stops as well and turns around to face me. Some people walking in the hallways scowl at me for getting in the way but I ignore them.

My mind is too submerged in thoughts about what Max just said. Once upon a time, I saw a bright future with Max and I. Two years ago, if someone asked me where I would be in twenty years time, I would respond with something like ‘married to Max, with beautiful children and a stable job’. But now...I have no idea at all.

When I was seven, I had everything thought out. In my head, I saw myself as a vet. I imagined living in a nice house, with a garden full of flowers and children’s toys. When I was seven, my dream was to live happily ever after.

But I was naive. So naive.

At the age of sixteen, I pictured what my house would look like—with Max. I had a clear image of the house and I dreamed about my wedding.

But at the age of eighteen, I have no freaking clue. I was hurt— hurt badly. The prospect of marriage and children seems daunting. I don’t think I want to go throw any sort of heartbreak again.

Sadly, I can see myself living in a cozy one bedroom apartment alone. Whilst I like having time alone, I also like spending my time with people. I’m a people person. I value spending my time with friends.

They hold me together, they keep me sane. Grounded. I need them more than they need me. When Rosie didn’t reply to any of my messages, I was hurt. I still am. I don’t know if my best friend is going to talk to me ever again; I hate it. A part of me is pissed that she’s ignoring me on purpose because I did something she didn’t approve of. Another part of me is understanding.

Maybe I should try calling her aga—

“Yo, Ava?” Max interferes with my thoughts, waving his calloused hand in front of my face. Flinching in shock, I give Max a sheepish smile when I recover.

“Sorry,” I apologize, feeling my cheeks heat up. “I just got lost in my thoughts.” I explain and bitterly add quietly: ”again."

Max presses his lips together, “that’s okay. So whats your answer?”

I blink. “Answer?”

“For the question, I asked you,” Max replies, rolling his eyes, annoyed. Or at least, I thought he was annoyed by my lack of attention until his lips began curving upwards.

“Oh,” I say, dumbly. “Right, yes. I—um—I.” I stutter pathetically like a blubbering piece of fish. How is it I always end up like this in front of Max? How does he still have this effect on me? Clearing my throat, I try to answer again. “I—I don’t know Max. Honestly, I’m not even sure what my future looks like. Let alone a future with other people in my life. I’m confused. I used to have all of this planned out but after...well, you know, I became somebody who lives in the fast lane instead. I go with the flow.”

Max lowers his head, sadly. My heart aches at the thought of him being sad.

“Listen,” I start, touching his chin and gently lifting it up. His brown orbs stare into mine, searching for something. “Just because I don’t have a plan anymore doesn’t mean you won’t be in it. Maybe you will be in my life, maybe I will date you. Who knows. I certainly don’t. But don’t be disheartened. You may find someone else, another girl who makes you happy.”

As much as it pains me to say those words, I have to get through to him in some way. I’m beginning to get over him. I’m happy that he’s in my life and I won’t lie, he has made me brighter. But perhaps we weren’t meant to be. Perhaps all we had was a connection and we were only stepping stones.

Max’s face falls, whatever gleam in his eyes burning out. He swallows and clenches his jaw.

“Right.” He spits and roughly drags a hand through his brown hair. I watch him, memorizing him.

“That summer was the best I had.” I blurt out before I can think twice. His eyes snap to mine, confused but I ignore it and continue. “You showed me what love is, what heartbreak is. That’s how I know what we had was true because of that pain afterward. I don’t regret it though.” He silently watches me, assessing me. My hand reaches up to touch his cheek; when he doesn’t flinch back, I cup his cheek and step closer and bury my head in his neck. His whole body stills for a brief moment. “We were young and we made mistakes. But that’s what everyone does - they make mistakes and then they learn from them. I know that now and I’m glad it did happen.”

“Me too,” Max says, huskily. “What I did was wrong and I know that now. And yes, I need to start accepting that we might not be together again. All I want is for you to be happy.”

I smile and cling to his top. “I am. Right now, I have amazing friends, I talked to my ex-boyfriend and I know more about myself. All I have to do is talk to Rosie and help Bree out.”

Max chuckles. “I think my mission is going ahead as planned.”


“Oh, definitely.”

“Where is the surprise you were on about?” I question Max once we make it to the empty field. My eyes search the area, trying to pick anything out that would relate to it. Unfortunately, I come up with nothing.

“Dammit, she bailed.” Max curses under his breath, so quietly I barely get it.

“I don’t see anything,” I remark. “Is someone coming?”

Max shakes his head, upset. “Not anymore, let’s just go.”

He places his hand on the lower part of my back and guides me back into school. I glance over my shoulder one last time, trying to figure out who was supposed to come.

One week later.

“Guess what.”

I flick my eyes up to Max who is lounging on one of the sofas in the library. “What?”

“My parents want to meet your parents for dinner this weekend.” He answers.

“Oh my gosh, really?” I ask, feeling excited at the prospect of seeing his parents again. I missed them so much, they were like my second parents.

Max’s parents are the definition of a polar opposite couple but they are perfect for each other. They always treated me like their daughter. Whenever Max said something rude to me or teased me, they would say the funniest things that would embarrass him. I would be laughing so hard for hours after hearing them tell a humiliating story about him that tears would be falling down my cheeks.

“Yep, my mom is arranging it with your mom.”

I put the book I’m reading down and fist pump into the air. I’m already excited about next week.

“Hey Max, this Friday, do you want to go to a party with me and the gang?” I ask him, hoping he will say yes. Over the last few days, Max has basically become officially accepted into the group. We are all friends—minus Bree and Harry—and we already have plans for upcoming weekends. This weekend, we want to go to a party. Lawrence offered to be the person who stays sober to look after the group meaning the rest of us can get drunk.

“That sounds great. I haven’t been to one in a while, it’s about time I busted out some moves.” He jokes, doing a dance move to prove his point about not doing one in a while. I giggle at his awful attempt and blow out a breath.

“Oh god, please don’t tell me I have to witness that,” I whine, already envisioning him dancing. Long story short, the dude has two left feet.

Max rolls his eyes and gets his phone out of his pocket. “Maybe you and I can dance together for a song?”

My eyes shift to him at his suggestion. “Hmm, as long as you don’t step on my feet—sure.”

Max smiles brightly whilst I read the first line of the next page. God, I hate history.

{A/N: I know I promised a dramatic chapter and this isn’t that dramatic...but trust me, there will be soon :)

I will update again Thursday }

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