My two best friends

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Chapter 24

Seven years later...

As I sit here looking out at the city. I have to take a breath. My life has been going very successfully. I have a lot to be thankful for. I came to New York for college and graduated top of my class. I now work for a large marketing company called Banner. I'm head of marketing and bring large companies together with ours. I'm very good at my job. I have done well for myself, but I'm not happy.

You would think with all my success, my high rise home and more money in my bank account then I need. That I would be happy, but my personal life is not where I want it to be. I have been dating a man named Brent who works with me for almost three years now. He is a good hard-working man, but he can be a hateful man. My position puts me at a higher rank in the company than him. He is a jealous man and I think, no I'm sure he has a hard time accepting that I'm his boss. I have been wanting to cut him out of my life for some time now. I shut my computer off and grab my cup of hot tea and walk out onto my balcony. The cool New York air hits my face as fall is beginning to accept winter is on its way.

I loved New York in the winter. The snowfall makes the city even more beautiful than it already is. Then their faces come into my mind. The huge regrets I have out of life. They always hit me like bricks to my face. I haven't spoken to Mason or Marcus in seven years. I have no idea where they are or what life has given them. My heart still hurts with the choices I made seven years ago. I wish I would of at least stayed in touch. If I had made other choices. Where would I be right now? Would I be happy in my personal life? I had no way of knowing. I never tried to contact them and they never tried to contact me. Regret, I think turned out to be the worse pain. I'll never forget high school graduation night...

Flashback seven years ago...

"So we have made a decision." Mason started to say. I was drinking my water while we all sat around the fire pit at a graduation party. Tomorrow was my eighteenth birthday, and we had all just graduated high school. I still hadn't made a decision on who I wanted to be with. Marcus and Mason had already turned eighteen and we had a huge party for both of them at the same time. It was actually a very big deal. I got together with as many people as I could. We threw them a huge party in the woods by a lake. A party that Mason and I had to drag Marcus away from. He had gotten so drunk that night. But all In all, they had a great party.

"Okay, what's that?" I said to him.

"We want to stay together," Marcus spoke up. Mason then began to talk. Telling me that they wanted to stay here in our hometown for college and wanted me to stay with them.

"We also are giving up on time." I shot my eyes at both of them. "Its time for you to choose. We can't keep going on like this. I'm sorry Cans, but you need to pick." My heart was racing because I was being selfish and was trying to hold on to them both for as long as I could. I had no argument for them. They were right and I did need to make a session, but listing to them talk about giving up their possible futures for me. That didn't sit well with me. At that moment I knew what I had to do. It was breaking my heart, but it had to be done. I closed my eyes and then opened them again. I reached out and touched Mason's face. I then did the same to Marcus.

"I choose none of you. Before you say anything. Please hear me out." I did my best to keep my tears hidden. "Our whole lives have been each other. Look at us, we just graduated high school. We have our whole lives ahead of ourselves. This town has nothing to offer us but a community college. Were all better than that. None of us have had a chance to live. Live lives that don't make us stuck to each other. I'm in deep love with you both, but I can't have you both and I understand that now. So my choice is to set us free. I choose none of you and choose to let you go to live." I stopped taking and I knew what was going to happen next.

Marcus stood up and I could see the pain on his face. He said nothing and turned and walked off. I sighed to myself. I looked back up and Mason was still looking at me. "Are you sure, this is what you really want?" He said shutting his eyes. This was actually killing me.

"Yes, Mason, its what I really want," I said quietly. Mason reached out and touched my face. I closed my eyes and the tears fell. Then I felt his lips touch mine. I kissed him back and they were gone as fast as they came. I opened my eyes and now Mason was standing up.

"Goodbye Cans. I hope you find what it is your looking for." I watched him turn and walk away. I must have set out there for hours. I was alone as the party had stopped before Mason and Marcus left.

The summer before college started was a sad one. I spent my time with Missy until she left for a school overseas. I decided on New York and I was to be there in July. I spent my birthday with only my parents and Missy. I hadn't heard a word from Mason or Marcus all summer long. The last thing I heard from them was when flowers were left at my home. Telling my happy birthday and goodbye.

My parents were packing my things in the car. We were headed to the airport. As I placed my last thing in the car. I heard a voice behind me. "Candace." He said and I turned to see Marcus standing there. I took a deep breath and didn't move. "I wanted to say goodbye in person." He said, struggling with his words. I gave him a small smile. I then took a shy step towards him. He also stepped towards me.

"I'm sorry..." I started to say, but he stopped me and pulled me into his arms and his lips met mine. He held me for a long time and then as he let me go. He said one last thing to me.

"I love you." And then he turned and walked away. I didn't stop him. I just stood there and cried.

Flashback over...

Every time I thought about them. My heart still to this day broke a little more. I haven't heard from them since. I missed them more they could ever know. My only hope was that they had good lives now. I tried to imagine them happy and living life to the fullest. That gave me a smile thinking of them happy. I finished my tea and headed back inside. I needed to get my sleep. I had a huge meeting with a billion-dollar company called Three, in the morning. Landing this account meant big things for my company.

The next morning I was up bright and early. I put my game face on. I had cut my hair short to my shoulders and straightened it out. I loved my hair cut and I kept it sharp. I got on my short black skirt and a white silk top. I then grabbed my black suit jacket and gave myself a wink in the mirror. You got this, I said to myself. The building was huge. One of the tallest ones in New York. I grabbed my bag and got out of the company car. I took a deep breath and started to head in. That's when Brent came walking over towards me. "Brent? What are you doing here?" I asked him. I was confused, I didn't need his help, or even wanted it. I crossed my arms at him and looked at the time.

"I'm here for you babe." I just looked at him.

"Did Jim send you over?" I asked him. Jim being my boss.

"No, I just thought you could use a good mindset."

"Thank you but I got this. I don't need you there." I said and started to walk to the counter. Of course, Brent started to follow me.

"You don't have to be such a princess Candace." I just looked at him. The woman behind the counter took my name. I waited for her to hand me my pass. I took the pass and started to walk off.

"You such a selfish bitch." I heard him say behind me. I stopped and that was when I had enough. I turned and walked back to him. Knowing this was going to make me late and I didn't do late.

"You listen to me, Brent. You and I are done and if you keep giving me problems. I will go straight to Jim and have your job." He just stood there looking at me. I turned and walked off. Once I got to the top floor. A good looking young woman took me to the board meeting room. I could see everyone was already there waiting for me. Damn it, Brent, I said to myself. I walked in and started to speak. "Please excuse my tardiness gentlemen," I said as I set my things down on the table. I looked up and my mouth fell open. The look on his face matched mine. There, sitting at the end of the table. Was a grown man, a man that aged amazingly. A man who turned into one of the sexiest men I had laid eyes on since young Mason and Marcus. My heartbeat went up as I looked into the eyes of Mason Black. His mouth hung open right along with mine.

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