“When I moved to New York I was in euphoria. Big city, big money, rich friends and lots of girls. It could drive anyone crazy and I wasn’t an exception. But at the same time, I was looking forward to talking to you, to seeing you, when I was visiting mom. With time I found myself counting days until I will be with you again. It was the time when we resumed our friendship with benefits. It felt so good, but I was over and over led by other girls, as soon as I was in New York. However, I never wanted to be with anyone longer than a month. I thought, why do I need a girlfriend if I have Vera? It was the first call and I should have listened to it, but I ignored it. Until there was Daya...”
“I don’t want to listen about her, Ty. Not again.”
“I just wanted to tell, that I realized how wrong I was this whole time, only when I broke up with her. I was blind and deaf, I didn’t even understand how badly I hurt you until I was back from Costa Rica. I was afraid that I will lose you and it happened exactly like that. When year after, after avoiding to meet me, you finally told me, that you didn’t want to see me ever again. And you told me, that you loved me. Funny thing, but after hearing you said that I realized that it was the deal. I was in love with you. Whole this time. I talked with my mom about it and she told me, that I should let you go. That you suffered enough because of me and I listened to her. I knew a little about your life after our separation. Mom made friends with Tasha’s parents, so she knew about you and so did I. But I forbade myself to reach you. I thought it was the best decision because I did what was best for you.”
I closed my eyes for a few seconds. It was hard to hear all that at once.
“I told you this already, that when I saw you at the charity event... All of my resolutions went down. I was thinking about you at day and at night. You were everywhere... I didn’t want to lose you this time...”
“So you decided to act like a jerk... Scaring me away...”
“I know. Forgive me for this... Vera, I was on cloud nine when we resumed our friendship. And later, when we finally were together... When you agreed to move in with me and to be my wife, I never was that happy before. It was the happiest moment of my life, believe me!”
“If all that you’re telling me is true, why you didn’t cancel your engagement to Penelope?”
“My dad was on my back. He was calling me over and over, screaming, yelling, scolding me because of my refusal to talk to Penelope. She was calling me almost daily, she tried to reach me through my secretary, but I didn’t talk to her for months. I knew, that she will come to New York. I hadn’t had any feelings for her. Nor when I proposed to her, nor when she came here. I agreed to it only because of my dad. But she was in love with me... Being with you, made me see things differently. I wanted to break up with her the right way, looking her in the eyes, I wanted to be honest with her. I waited for her visit...”
“Yeah… It was the worst surprise ever... To find your dad in the living room, waiting for me...”
“Vera, tell me, why you hadn’t told me, that it was my father?”
“When you finally called me back and told me about my engagement, about Penelope... I thought that she came to my place, while you were there... That you recognized her and she told you about our wedding...”
“I didn’t think that it was important. What point was for me to tell you, that it was your dad. It wouldn’t have to change anything. Penelope came later, as I was leaving your apartment. When she saw me, she wasn’t happy. Your father explained to her, that from this day I will be out of your life, so well... She was glad to hear it. She told him, that she didn’t care about your unfaithfulness, because she only wanted to be with you, that’s all.”
“Fuck! If only I knew...”
“You can’t change the past, Ty.”
“I know, Vera... You have no idea how much it affected me… I went to my mom, as soon as I returned from Washington. She told me, that I look like a ghost... This and the fact, that I was wasted almost every night. I didn’t want to sleep with Penelope, so I tried to avoid this by getting drunk. I stopped calling you only because I accepted, that you didn’t want to see me. I didn’t want to hurt you ever again. But I was sure, that you will come to Tasha’s wedding... I was planning to find out, where it will be held and to come here and talk to you. But fate had other plans for me. When I saw you at the restaurant... How beautiful and how fragile you were... I realized, that I can’t do this anymore. I can’t marry a woman I hadn’t been in love with. I want you and only you...”
“Let me finish, Vera. When Tasha blurted about my father... Hell, when I realized that I was totally wrong about this mess, I was furious. I left the restaurant immediately and went to his place. Penelope called me, but I turned my phone off... Let’s just say, that right now my father has a very nasty bruise under his left eye... He didn’t have any right to talk to you like he did, so I taught him a lesson. I am not a young boy anymore, whom he could manipulate with ease.”
My breathing quickened. The heartbeat was insanely fast. I was glad that I was sitting because if I am not, I could have fainted.
“I told my father, that I was working hard for the benefit of our company. I did everything, what was needed. And I will do everything in the future. But at the same time, I won’t sacrifice my happiness. Not anymore.” He pulled his phone from his pocket and extended it to me. “I think you were too busy today to read this article.”
I took his phone and stared at the screen. It was an article about Penelope and Tyler. There was said, that their wedding was canceled and that she flew back to Italy. There wasn’t listed the reason for cancelation, only rumors that Tyler Douglas refused to marry the daughter of his father’s business associate. I was silent for 10 minutes for sure. Thoughts were swirling in my head.
“Vera, I am so sorry for everything... I don’t deserve you, I know that. Nate is so much better than me.”
“Nate?” I arched my brow in surprise.
“He told me. How you came to him back in February and that you were working for his company in LA. And about your relationship with him...”
“Vera, if there is any chance that you could forgive me and give me the last chance, I will fight for you and I will do everything to deserve your forgiveness. But if you don’t want to be with me, I will step aside. I love you too much and I want you to be happy. Even if it won’t be with me.”
“I know what I want, Tyler.”
“It’s you. It will always be you... Nate knows about it. That’s the reason why our relationship stopped at the level – friends with benefits...”
Tyler didn’t hesitate, he bent down and wrapped his hands around my waist, pulling me up from the bench. He lifted me, his grip was tight and firm. I allowed my hands to sneak to his neck, then to his hair. All of him was too familiar. He really was my home. I let myself go, completely forgetting myself in his arms. As soon as his lips were on mine, I knew that this time everything will be different.
“I guess, I want my ring back.”
We were sitting on the bench some time after. I was on Tyler’s lap and his hands were wrapped around my hips. His lips were on my neck, caressing me with tender kisses.
“You sure?” He reached his pocket. I had guessed that it was here.
“Absolutely.” He put the ring back on my finger and I smiled, admiring it. This ring meant only one thing that I belonged to this man. Completely. “But...”
“I don’t want anything from your wedding planning with Penelope. Nor the place, nor the date, nothing. I want my own wedding as we planned. In early September.”
“You want to wait for more than a year?”
“Silly! I was talking about this September!”
“What? I want to give you the wedding of your dreams!”
“No. Give me the honeymoon of my dreams.”
“Yep. And Russia. I want to visit it. So, what’s your answer?”
“For you? I will do anything.”
Right now, I was the happiest girl in the world. I had a feeling that this time everything changed. That we finally will be together. Because we were in love and our love overcame too much. Tyler and I were the perfect matches from the start and we finally were able to accept it.