The next two days I spent in a total whirlwind, finishing the last preparations for the wedding. Tasha and Jake’s parents came to New York and the night before the wedding we spent having family dinner. I felt so much at home with all these people. My face started aching from all this smiling. Tasha slept this night with me. The wedding was far from traditional, but she wanted to avoid Jake seeing her till it will be the time.
Tasha’s dress was the color of ivory and she was so pure and so beautiful in it. I cried from happiness too much this day. I was afraid that I will ruin my makeup, but I just couldn’t help it. For me she chose the pastel beige dress. It was long and straight with a deep neckline. It highlighted my features, covering my every curve. The guests couldn’t hide their excitement when they saw Tasha with her dad. And I can’t blame them. My girl was gorgeous, so I felt my eyes watering again.
The wedding started perfectly and so it was for the whole day. There were so much laughter, happy tears, good music and delicious food. The wedding wasn’t fancy, it was cozy and sweet. I enjoyed my time here, using this opportunity to spent time with my friends and family. I was so used to think about Tasha’s parents as my family, that I spent two hours only talking to her mom. I told her everything about my life in LA, about my relationship’s failure with Tyler. She was sad to hear it, but she tried to cheer me up and I must say, that she was successful.
When I caught a bridal bouquet, I was stunned. It wasn’t my intention, honestly. I even wasn’t planning to play this game. But here I was, standing with this bouquet, not knowing what to do, while everyone around me was cheering and chanting. I went back to my seat, to place the bouquet and looked at my phone. There was a message from Nate. He asked me to call him back. The message was sent 10 minutes ago. I decided to call him. I was sure that it was something urgent. He knew how important this day was for me.
“Vera. I am so sorry for bothering you. How is the wedding?”
“Spectacular and sweet.”
“Glad to hear.”
“Nate, what’s the matter? I am sure you contacted me for a solid reason.”
“Hell... I am sorry for doing this, but it was necessary.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Just know, that I care about you a lot. And I think I will be mad at myself for doing this... But I am a good friend, and I don’t like to see my friends suffer.”
I was standing outside, staring at my phone. What the hell was that? What was he talking about? It doesn’t make any sense. I shook my head, I didn’t have time for this right now. I should have gone inside.
No! It can’t be. No, no, no. Suddenly everything fell into places. I turned around and saw Tyler. He was standing before me, with hands in his pockets. He had a little stubble on his face, it was making him look even hotter than usual. But it also added something dark to his features, something grim. He was wearing a black suit with a white shirt. Everything in him sent my heart in turmoil. There was so much hidden. I couldn’t read him.
“What are you doing here?”
“You look absolutely breathtaking.”
“That’s not what I asked.”
“I want a chance to explain myself. I want to talk to you.”
“No. There is nothing you could say.”
“Let me disagree with you on that. Please, Vera.”
“Vera, I am begging you. Hear me out, please. After that, I will leave you alone. For good. I promise you that.”
Ty and I stood there, silently staring at one another. I knew that if I want to end this torture between us, I should have listened to what he wanted to tell me. But should I? Was it reasonable? He brought so much happiness and so much pain to me. I bit my lower lip and saw his eyes shifting from my eyes here. Bad idea, Vera.
“Fine.” I turned around and went through the restaurant right to the back yard. There were few benches and fountain in the middle. I strode to the farthest one, it was right in the shadow of a big tree. I plopped myself on it, folding my arms across my chest. Tyler followed mine every step and now he was standing before me, clearly not knowing what to do. “You may sit.”
“I am good.”
“Then just start talking. Do it fast, Tyler. I don’t have any desire to be here.”
He ran his hand over his face, sighed deeply, closing his eyes.
“Shit, it’s harder than any negotiations I’d ever participated...”
I narrowed my eyes at him without saying a word. Tyler opened his eyes, met my gaze and started talking. His voice was quiet but firm.
“Back in high school, I was selfish, egocentric jerk. I dated Cindy while sleeping around with every girl, who was asking attention from me. I never refused them... There were times when being with Cindy at the party, I was hiding with another girl in the bathroom, while she was giving me a blowjob.”
“Why do I need to hear it?”
“It’s my story and I want you to know it. I won’t be hiding anything from you. I should have done it a long time ago. I really never cared about Cindy. Yeah, she was sexy, beautiful, but at the same time, she was a real bitch. She thought only about herself and her reputation. It was the time when the business of my father started to earn success, big money came along with it. Cindy’s father was a good ally to my dad, so he persuaded me to continue this relationship, just for the benefit of our family business. You know it already, but I really made bet on you, that I could seduce you in no matter of time. It was a game for me, a competition I wasn’t planning to lose. I didn’t know then that I will be a loser there. At this party I shared a moment with you, I know that you remember about it. It left me confused. What the hell was that? I wanted to kiss you. Really wanted it and badly. I tried to reassure myself, that it was alcohol and that you were forbidden because you weren’t single. Soon enough I realized that I was wrong. I searched for you in hallways, at classes, in the cafeteria... When I finally kissed you in my car, hell, Vera! This emotion was too strong! It scared the shit out of me!”
I blinked. I was listening to every word he was saying. He was telling me everything that he wanted to explain to me after our graduation, but I refused to hear him out.
“I tried to keep my distance after our first night together, but you know what happened. I failed. Our attraction toward each other was stronger than any rational thought. When I told you, that I broke up with Cindy, that I could be with you, it was true... But when my father discovered you in my car and about my breakup, he was furious. He was already planning to leave our hometown with me in tow, but he still needed connections of Cindy’s family. He begged me to resume my relationship with her, at least until the school will be over. And I failed you, I succumbed to his persuasion... You have no idea, how much I regretted it. It destroyed our relationship then. Death of your parents, me being with Cindy, when I actually wanted to be with you, your fallout...”
“Kith...” I blurted out the name of his friend without thinking. He looked at me and nodded.
“Yeah... At first, I was furious at you for sleeping with him, I was going nuts, visioning his hands on you... Then I realized that I didn’t have any right to judge you. I hurt you when you were in the most vulnerable state. When you needed me, I obeyed my father. I was angry not with you, but with myself and with Kith... I couldn’t stay friends with him. But you... I couldn’t find strength in me to not to think about you. I wanted you back. I was the happiest idiot when you agreed to be friends with me. I talked myself into believing, that you will be just my best friend and that’s all. That will be enough for me. How wrong I was? 100% wrong. But the realization of that came to me too late.”