Finding Ava ✔️

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28 | I Made A Mistake

“Thanks, Ava. What you did was amazing.” Miranda says, her voice laced with gratitude. Smiling, I take my apron off and head over to the locker room.

My forehead is sweating from all of the work I was doing in the hot conditions. I wipe it off with the back of my hand, releasing a tired sigh.

“Hey Ava,” Katilyn pops her head around the corner. “This was left for you.”

She hands me a small piece of paper. Curiously, I accept it and wish Katilyn thanks. After joining this homeless shelter, I met Katilyn who is a really nice person. She has been working here for three years, ever since her aunt admitted she was homeless to her family. She said she wanted to help everyone else who was in the same position as her aunt out.

Me, I wanted to join because I needed a distraction. Its nearly been a whole school year and with my exams almost over, I have more time. I started here a few months ago; have loved every moment here.

I also decided to do this to take my mind off of Max. It has been a lot harder than I expected for me to do things my own way. Perhaps if I was somewhere away from him, I would find it easier. But seeing him at least four times a week has been challenging.

I haven’t heard much from him. I think I overheard some girl gossiping that he was going on a date with someone my age. Apparently, she was a cheerleader. At first, I felt a tidal wave of jealousy. I had pictured that he would be ready to ask me the question as soon as graduation day came. But after a lot of mental deliberation, I came to realize that I shouldn’t be angry with him or jealous. This was my choice. And as a friend, I should be happy for him.

Never sad, angry or jealous.

And so I sucked it up. I plastered a smile on my face and felt happy for him. And I do. This is his choice, it’s his life.

We both needed time away from each other. We both needed to find ourselves and what we wanted. For too long, we let that incident determine our lives. But not anymore.

“Thanks, Katilyn,” I say with a smile. She returns it and then disappears again, back to work.

My fingers skim the thin piece of paper, wondering what it could say and who it could be from. If it’s from George, one of the workers who has been set on dating me since the moment I arrived, I’m going to kill him.

Mentally, I shake my head from those thoughts and unfold the note. As soon as I see my name written, I note how it isn’t in Geroge’s handwriting but in someone else’s - an unfamiliar handwriting.

Ava,

I’m sorry I couldn’t say this to you in person. I know I would prefer it would be better with spoken words. So I apologize.

I am writing this letter to thank you for all of the work you have done for me. When I first came here, I was miserable and lonely. I couldn’t see a future for myself. But you encouraged me to pursue my happiness. For someone so young, you are very wise. Every Sunday, I looked forward to your shift, ready to hear one of your funny stories or your little pep talks. Because o those talks, I am going to be starting a new job next week.

I never would have gotten to where I am without you. You put faith in me, hope. And I will always be in debt to you for that.

I have also noticed how sad you look. I’m not completely familiar with what’s going on in your life but if I could take a guess, from experience, I would say you are lost. Heartbroken. Lonely. So I’m going to give you the exact same advice you gave me. Pursue your happiness, Ava. Because you deserve it too.

You may think you are doing the right thing for yourself or others but you may not be. Don’t dwell on that now, you are young, live in the moment. Whoever the man you lost is, must be incredibly special. And you must have loved him deeply. For once, follow your heart. Do something for yourself.

With lots of love,

Karen XX

P.S. if you do come to your senses and follow your heart, remember to take that brain with you.

I laugh at the last part of her note, imagining her grinning ear to ear whilst writing that.

Tears stream down my face. Not tears of sadness but tears of joy, happiness. Never have I received such an emotional letter before.

Karen really got to me there. I am so pleased that she got a new job. She has been unemployed for a long time now. Knowing that my encouragement got her to try again is the best feeling in the world. It’s indescribable.

Her words towards me, concerning Max, who she never knew about makes me second guess my decision. I thought I made the right decision, for the both of us. We both needed to find ourselves. I wanted us to focus solely on our studies and careers. Feelings were an afterthought.

But now...what if that was it? What if our moment together is officially over?

Honestly, I don’t want it to be. I want him to be mine forever. I love him. Time won’t change that, a new girl won’t change that. I can’t change that.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry about school. I know where I’m going, long distance can be a thing. Whenever love is concerned, you always fight for it. We can fight. I know Max can - he’s been fighting for it the moment I stepped into the school. Me? I’ve been fighting against it.

I know what I want to be. I know what I want. And I know we can make it work.

Graduation is next week. On that day, I’m going to be waiting for him. And if he doesn’t come to me, I’ll come to him. I’ll show him I’m fighting for us now, that I want him. He at least deserves to know that I’m committed and that I know I’m an idiot.

A complete idiot.


“I made a mistake,” I state, matter of factly to the girls who are both lying casually on my bed.

Molly bolts upright, catching onto what I mean. Bree frowns in confusion.

“What?” She murmurs, perplexed.

I roll my eyes. “With Max,” I answer her. “I thought we should split apart to help us find ourselves. I thought we could test to see if we need each other. But I only freaking realized that I always did, even when I thought I hated him. I already know who I am, so does he. I found myself when I was with him, I was the person I wanted to be. School work can’t break us up, I can.”

With a breath, I continue. “I have to tell him on graduation day, no matter what his reaction is. He needs to know I’m willing to do this, that I know I want him. He’s the man for me, no one can compare. He’s what I need in my life. I love him.”

Bree sits up too, with a stunned expression. My attention turns to Molly who is grinning like a Cheshire cat.

“Yes!” She squeals, hopping off of the bed. She starts doing a mini dance, her dark brown curls bouncing up and down on her back. “Finally! I didn’t want to interfere because you needed to work it out for yourself. And now, finally, you see that he was good for you. He wasn’t a distraction, an interference, he was a supportive shoulder, a magnet to put you straight again. Thank god, you finally saw it. I was starting to worry that the wake-up call wasn’t going to happen.”

With an agape mouth, I stare at Molly with wide eyes. What the hell was that?

“U - uh,” Bree stutters, eyeing Molly cautiously. With her gleaming eyes, wide smile and flustered cheeks, anyone would think she had just won the lottery. “Are you okay Molly?”

Molly frantically nods her head, “I’m fine now.”

Bree purses her lips together but doesn’t delve deeper.

“But I’m so glad you finally woke up! Now you can go after your man.” Molly adds, smiling brightly. “Aren’t you Bree? We’ve all seen how she hasn’t been the same since they split. Now she can be happy again.”

“You’re right,” Bree agrees, “I’m glad you are going to do the right thing.” She then pauses. “So what are you going to do to get him back?”

And so I proceed to tell them my plan. I also admit how afraid I am of rejection. It has been months since we’ve had an encounter and for all I know, he could still be dating that girl. I really haven’t been paying attention to gossip. But I won’t let that stop me from at least speaking my thoughts - feelings.

Because Max deserves to know every single one of them.

“I really hope you guys get back together,” Molly says.

“They are perfect together,” Bree adds.

I smile at the pair of them and bring them in for a hug. What did I do to get such amazing friends?

{A/N: Are you happy with Ava's decision? My next update could be tomorrow or it could be Friday. I have no idea yet.}

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