Imperfect Strangers

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Goodbye

REN’S POV

I stared at my phone screen and it blinked at me before it blanked out again.

This had become the norm whenever I get the urge or temptation rather, to text or call Oaklynn. I always chickened out.

But then again, what was the point of it all? She was back with her scumbag boyfriend and he made it clear as day that I should back off. And that’s exactly what I did. I respected her enough to step back and give her a chance at rekindling the romance with her high school sweetheart. I mean how could I even compete with that? The bond and their history alone were enough for him to get back in her good graces. I didn’t stand a chance.

I mean, honestly, what did I have to go on? I hardly had a leg to stand on. She didn’t even know me. Had no idea what I looked like. Even if she had to bump into me on the streets she wouldn’t even know me. Same goes for me, I had no idea what she looked like. All I knew was that she had a voice like an angel and I liked her. I liked her a lot.

Now that it was over I was almost tempted to look her up on social media but decided against it. It would only hurt me more, make me want her more. Make me yearn for her more... It was best to let sleeping dogs lie.

So I did the honorable thing and let her go. Gave her a shot at happiness with the love of her life.

It hurt though. I think it hurt me more than it hurt her.

I could still hear Tristan’s voice just like it was yesterday...taunting me, warning me off...staking his claim in no uncertain terms.

Why hadn’t she told me? Why didn’t she level with me and save me the humiliation and the heartbreak? She had ample opportunities to mention that she kissed and made up with her ex, and yet she chose to leave that piece of very important information out of our daily conversations. Relentlessly flirting with me, leading me on- letting me think we could be more, that there might be a chance for the dream to come alive.

I’m an idiot. A special kind of stupid.

Everything being equal, I left it for too long. Strike while the iron is hot, isn’t that how the saying goes? But I wanted to be a gentleman and hesitated, not wanting to scare her away or freak her out.

That was my biggest mistake I guess. I should have just grabbed the bull by the horns and gone after her guns blazing. The worst thing that would have happened was that she would have turned me down and I would have lost her forever. But the end result was still the same.

I lost her anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OAKLYNN’S POV

I was rushing out of the high rise building that housed our offices when I bumped into Tristan.

“Hey.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I thought I’d surprise you and treat you to an early lunch?”

“As much as I’d love that-I can’t...” I pursed my lips in a pout.

He looked disappointed. “You’re busy? I understand-I should have called first-”

“I have to go to London on the afternoon flight.”

“Why?”

“It’s work. Long story really,” An exasperated sigh escaped me. “Can we walk and talk. I’m kinda running late?”

“I can drive you to the airport?”

“No Tris... I can’t ask you to do that...”

“I insist. I have time on my hands anyway,” he flashed his heart-stopping smile and I was sold.

“Okay then,” I laughed as he led me to his car. “I have to go home first-I need to pack. You know what? Why don’t you just drop me off at home and I’ll-”

“Oakley... stop. ” He laughed as he opened the door for me. “I don’t mind. Honestly.”

We drove to my apartment, while he made me a sandwich which I wolfed down on the way downstairs and washed down with the soda I found in his car.

“Someone was hungry,” he cackled as we sped down the highway.

“You have no idea...” I replied, trying to swallow down a burp. “Thanks for the sandwich-it was delicious as always.”

“I’m glad you liked it. You always did...”

He was silent again for a few moments and when he spoke it was in a controlled voice. “I’d like us to try again Oaklynn. We were so good together.”

“Tristan I-”

“I know what you said but I know we belong together, baby. You do too... so let’s not fight this anymore. It’s destiny Oaklynn.” He pulled up to the front entrance of the airport and leaned over to kiss me. “Please think about it while you’re gone? Please Oakley? For us?” he cupped my cheek and stared at me intently.

“Okay.”

“Promise me?”

“I promise.”

“Call me when you get to my dad’s hotel. I’ll make sure they give you VIP treatment.”

“Tris... you don’t have-”

“I want to okay? I only want the best for my girl,” he said earnestly. “Besides ..you might as well get used to this-it’s going to be all yours when we get married.”

“I need to go-”

“Let me get the door for you.”

He got my bag from the trunk and hugged me before he let me go. This was moving too fast-I needed to get away. Space. That’s what I needed. I desperately needed space.

“Take care of yourself and call me if you need anything okay?” he stroked my cheek with the back of his hand. “Anything at all...”

“Thanks Tris. I’ll remember that.”

“I wish I could come with you -but with everything going on at home-I can’t leave right now.”

Thank goodness for that.

“It’s okay...I’ll be okay. Don’t worry, I’m a big girl,” I laughed as I grabbed the handle of my suitcase.

“Get out of here before I drag you back into the car.”

“You’re funny...that’s funny...” I hurled my bag and made to leave.

“I’m going to miss you...”

“Yeah..me too...”

“Bye baby.”

“By Tris.”

As I walked away from him I got the feeling that this was goodbye for keeps...

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