Two Worlds Clashing

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Chapter 5

Senior Year

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Three weeks into November. Last day before Thanksgiving break. Friday, fifth-period health.

As usual, the teacher was letting a boring thirty-minute video play as he sat behind his desk, on his phone. Tori tried to pay attention to the ten-year-old video but couldn’t focus for more than five seconds.

“Psst!” Tori lazily looked beside her to see Josh moving his desk closer beside hers. Ever since freshman year, he seems to never change.

“What are you doing?” Tori whispered.

“I got bored. And you looked bored. So, I thought why not be bored together?” he smiled.

“Out of everyone out of the class, you had to pick me?”

“Duh, silly. You’re closer.” Tori rolled her eyes as he leaned in closer to her. “Besides, I love spending time with my wife,” he smirked.

“Josh, it was one project.”

“Technically it was two.”

“They were still projects.”

“Love you too, babe,” he winked. The bell rang just as the video ended.

“Have a nice rest of your day,” the teacher waved, never looking up from his phone. Tori grabbed her binder and began to reach for her bag when Josh grabbed it.

“Josh, I told you before you don’t have to carry my bag.”

“Tori, I told you before that I know, but I want to because that’s who I am.” Tori sighed, already knowing how the conversation was going to end.

“Yeah. Let’s go.” Josh smiled and wrapped his arm around her shoulder as they walked through the hallway. Once they reached her locker, Josh leaned against the locker next to hers.

“Are you doing anything over the break?”

“Not much. My dad’s supposed to be coming home later today.”

“That’s cool. Is he staying for the rest of the month?”

“I don’t know. I know he’s staying for the rest of this year. How about you?”

“I’m traveling to Missouri with my mom and brother.”

“Missouri?” Josh laughed, handing Tori her bag.

“It’s where I’m from, silly. I don’t blame you though. I don’t talk about my life,” he shrugged.

“Yeah, cause I didn’t even know you had a brother.”

“He’s only two years younger than me. He’s a sophomore here.”

“What?!”

“Hey! What’s up, bro?!” Josh shouted to someone behind her, arms spread out wide. Tori turned her head to the side to see Mason walking up towards them.

“Oh, no,” she muttered.

“Oh, yea,” Josh smirked.

“How you doing, man?”

“Awesome. I was just talking to T, here.” Mason looked at Tori, giving her a small smile.

“I see. Hey, Tori.”

“Hi.” Josh looked back and forth between Tori and Mason.

“Yeah. This isn’t awkward.” Mason sighed, running his hand through his hair.

“Hey, man? Do you mind giving me and Tori a minute?” Josh raised his hands, slowly backing away.

“Catch you later, T.” Once he disappeared around a corner, Mason moved a little closer to Tori, dropping his voice lower.

“I want to give you something. Later, though. After school.”

“Give me what?”

“You’ll have to wait and see,” he smiled. He looked down at the ground, clearing his throat. “I never forgot about today.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. And I was wondering, if it’s not too weird, if you wouldn’t mind doing our little tradition together?”

“On the roof?”

“It’s okay if you don’t want to. I just thought it would be a step forward to easing the tension between us. It’s my fault anyway.”

‘He thinks it’s his fault?’ “Mason, I didn’t…”

“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” Mason sighed, frustratedly, as Tori turned around to see Viv, Jasmyne, and Skull walking up towards them.

“Damn it,” Tori cursed under her breath.

“You’re a hard girl to track down, you know? You walk in, mix in with the crowd, and disappear in the parking lot,” Viv smirked.

“Last time I checked, that’s not how you treat your friends,” Skull said.

“Last time I checked, you don’t leave your friends out to dry. How dare you preach about how you treat your friends.” Viv stepped closer so that she was in Tori’s face.

“Look who grew a fucking spine in that weak ass back of hers.”

“If you don’t get out of my face imma break yours.”

“Ooo! So, it took four white walls for you to get tough?” she smirked.

“I outta…”

“Back off, Viv.” Mason had slid in between the two of them, staring Viv down.

“So protective of her. Even after all this time.”

“Viv, today is not the day. So, just turn around and leave.”

“So, forceful. I like it.” The bell rang making students run to their next class. “I have an education to get and distracting myself with a drug addict is not healthy. Ta-ta,” she smirked, turning around to walk away with Jasmyne and Skull following closely behind. Mason turned around to see Tori glaring after her.

“You alright?”

“You defended me?”

“Of course. Was I not supposed to?” Tori just stared into Mason’s eyes, the pain and hurt that she put him through for so long, slowly crept its way into her heart. The second bell sounded through the halls again, snapping her out of it. “Tori?”

“I’ll meet you after school. On the roof!” she shouted, jogging down the hallway.

“O-kay.” Mason scratched his neck in confusion, before turning around and walking to his class.

-------------------------

The last bell for the day rang as students were already heading their separate ways to get home. Tori walked with Lindsey to her locker as they talked.

“I can’t believe she even bothered to talk to you. You would think she would mess with someone else.”

“It’s whatever. I’m just glad Mason was there to interfere. Who knows what would’ve happened.” Lindsey closed her locker and turned to face Tori.

“Are you sure you’re going to be okay with meeting him by yourself? You got pretty tense when we ran into him over the summer.”

“It’s not like he’s going to gobble me up,” she laughed.

“I know. It’s just that today’s already sensitive for you and now your ex wants to meet with you. What else has to happen today?”

“I’ll be fine. Now go on to your… thing or whatever.”

“It’s just a clan meeting, T. What are you going to do for the next hour and a half?”

“Well, Mason hasn’t texted me yet, which means he might be at practice. So, I figured while I waited for him to just hang out in the library and maybe research some colleges.”

“Ooo! Well, good luck. I’ll meet you in the parking lot later.”

“Cool. Bye.” Lindsey waved as she walked off in the opposite direction. Tori turned on her heels to head towards the library. Luckily, there were no club meetings this afternoon, which means the library is open and quiet.

Tori walked up to the front desk to sign-in. She stopped when she got to the date column. She sighed to herself as she pushed herself to remember what day it was.

“Damn it!” she muttered. “What’s the date? I know this!”

“It’s the seventeenth.” Tori looked up to see a guy standing behind the desk with a smile on his face. The sunlight streaming through the windows seemed to catch his golden-brown hair as he pulled the sleeves of his gray sweater up. “Friday the seventeenth to be exact.”

“Right. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Tori scribbled down the date in the notebook before looking back up at the guy.”

“I know this is just out of the blue, but are you new here?”

“Do I seem new?” he chuckled.

“I just never seen you around before.”

“Well, you’ve never been in the library before,” he smirked.

“That’s true. I also don’t pay attention in the hallways so there’s that.” The guy smiled at her as she looked at the floor, lost in thought. When she snapped back, she felt her cheeks becoming warm as she realized he was looking at her. “Uh, anyway, I just wanted to use the computers.”

“Cool.” He tapped on the monitor until the printer began to print a slip of paper. “Here’s the code for number 10,” he smiled, handing her the slip.

“Thanks. I promise I won’t take long.”

“Take your time. I’ve got nowhere to be.” He winked before walking away, disappearing in between a row of shelves. Tori made her way over to the computer, typing in the code, and immediately began her research on colleges. She spent the next twenty minutes writing down different colleges and programs. She began to notice that most of them excelled in culinary programs.

“I guess someone’s trying to tell me something,” she laughed to herself. She looked around quickly to make sure the guy wasn’t around to hear her. “Thank God.” Just then, her phone vibrated.

‘Hey, T. I just got out of practice. Meet me at the spot.’ Tori breathed out a heavy sigh as she stared at the computer screen. Her phone vibrated again. ‘It’s Mason, btw.’ Tori couldn’t help but laugh. “He’s still the same.”

‘Be there soon.’ She quickly logged out of the computer, grabbed her bag, and began making her way out of the library. She quickly signed out before walking out.

A few minutes later, Tori had reached the top of the stairs. It’s been a while since Tori last stepped foot on the roof, but it looked the same as she remembered it. She walked over to the gazebo to see Mason sitting on one of the couches with two flowers in his hands. He looked up before she could approach.

“Hey, T.”

“Hey. So, why did you want to meet me?” He walked closer to her and grabbed her hand. He led her over to the garden on the other side. He continued walking until they reached the back row of flowers. He knelt in front of one of the flower boxes, pulling Tori down with him.

“You really thought I would forget our little tradition?” He looked at her and saw the confusion on her face. “It’s November seventeenth. The anniversary of your mom’s passing.”

“You remember?”

“Why wouldn’t I?” He handed her one of the flowers and pulled out a small ribbon. “Just because we’re not together, doesn’t mean I don’t care about you.”

“Mason, I-I don’t know what to say. You even remembered the flower and color.” Tori stared down at the purple calla lily in her hand. Mason handed her another small ribbon with the date already written on it.

“Of course.” He began to dig in the dirt, making a deep enough hole to put the flowers in. Once Tori finished tying her ribbon on her flower, they placed them in the dirt together and pushed the dirt back over. Mason grabbed his water bottle and poured the rest of his water on the dirt.

“Wait, this one’s ribbon has November 2016 on it. I left before November so why…” Tori trailed off as she seemed to put it together. She looked over at Mason who was looking down at the ground, scratching the back of his head.

“I hope you don’t mind. I just didn’t feel right skipping a year. I just thought it was the least that I could do.”

“Even after everything that happened you still came up here and did this?”

“I know I messed up in the past, but I want you to know and understand how much I care about you. I just want you to know that you always can count on me as a friend.”

“Mason, I…” The sound of Mason’s phone ringing interrupted Tori mid-sentence.

“What’s up, J?... I’m with Tori… Yes I did. I told you right after practice… Of course you don’t… Yeah… I think so… Alright, alright. You don’t have to yell… Yea, I’m coming… Chill out, man. Bye.” Mason sighed, standing up. “I’ve got to go. I forgot Josh and I were heading to the beach before he leaves tomorrow.”

“It’s fine.” Mason held his hand out to her, helping her up to her feet.

“I’m glad you came. I know it was kind of weird for me to ask you and not tell you what was going on.”

“It’s fine. I’m actually surprised you thought of me.”

“Why wouldn’t I? See you later, T.” He gave a small wave as he disappeared down the stairs. Tori waited until he was out of sight before she sighed.

“He’s doing all of this because he feels like everything is his fault? This makes me feel worse every time. Why must he be so damn sweet and kind to me?!” she shouted towards the sky. She pushed herself up off the ground and began to make her way over to the stairs when she got a text.

‘I’m finished with my meeting. Meet me in the parking lot. I have a surprise!’

“Oh, boy.”

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Tori finally spotted Lindsey talking to some guy with his back turned in Tori’s direction. Lindsey spotted Tori and waved her over.

“Hey, girl. I want you to meet Tyler. Tyler, this is my best friend…”

“Tori Hale.” The guy had turned around and was smirking at Tori. Her eyes widened when she realized who it was.

“Tyler Woods?”

“Long time no see, Hale.”

“Wait, you two know each other?” Lindsey asked, confused.

“Unfortunately,” Tori laughed.

“I know you’re happy to see me.”

“I don’t think your definition of happy is the same as mine.”

“Still the same annoying child,” he smiled, smugly. Tori stuck her tongue out at him, smiling.

“I’m completely lost,” Lindsey said.

“So am I. You never told me you were talking about Woods.”

“I thought it was pretty obvious,” she shrugged.

“No, it wasn’t! I thought you were talking about Vickson or Andrews or Griffith.”

“I would never interact with Vickson. Andrews doesn’t even know what a library is. And Griffith is a nice person. He skips too damn much though.”

“Skips?”

“Down the hall. Looking so content. Anyway, do you two hate each other or something?” Lindsey asked, a hint of disappointment in her voice.

“Nah. Nothing but love,” Tyler smiled, slinging his arm around Tori’s shoulders. “We’re the definition of sister from another mister. Brother from another mother.”

“Oh, okay. So, how do you two know each other?”

“We used to be neighbors before she moved to another neighborhood.”

“You say it like I moved three towns over.”

“Might as well been.”

“It was a ten-minute walk at most.”

“That’s too far.” Tori rolled her eyes.

“Well, I’m just glad that you two get along. I was kind of worried.”

“I told you before she came here, Linds, not to worry about anything. I’m a likable person.”

“Ooo, the lies you tell yourself,” Tori scoffed. Tyler pulled her hair, moving quickly behind Lindsey. Tori glared at him as he laughed. “Lindsey, will you please move aside so I can smack him?”

“No. You shall be nice.” Tyler burst out laughing.

“Won’t you look at that, T. Even now, you still can’t “hurt” me.”

“It’s okay. One day, I’ll even the score.”

“It’s three hundred to nothing, dumb dumb.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Okay! As cute as this is, you can settle this another day. I have some news.”

“About?”

“The Clan. The meeting I had today turned out to be an official induction. Not as a member but I got a higher classification.”

“That’s a good thing, right?”

“It’s the best! I’m a third rank which means I’m technically a leader.”

“So, you get to slap people like Tyler around?” Tori smirked at him.

“Ha, ha. No. I’m a leader, so I get to do the smacking.”

“Why would they let you out of all people have such control?”

“To make sure people like you don’t destroy the world. Sane is better than the insane.”

“I am not insane.”

“Says the girl who would burn ants during recess.”

“What?! I would never!”

“You used to burn ants?” Lindsey asked.

“No!”

“Yes,” Tyler laughed.

“Shut up, Ty!”

“Make me.”

“You two act like brother and sister.”

“She played the annoying younger sister too well.” Tori flipped him off, making him laugh. “I’m just messing with you. Come here. Hug me.” Tori stared at him as he held his arms out towards her.

“Uh, no.”

“Yes!” Before she could protest, Tyler wrapped his arms around her, squeezing her tightly against his chest. “I’ve missed you, dumb-dumb.” He put her down and ruffled her hair a bit.

“Why must you mess with my hair?”

“So, it still bothers you, huh?” he smirked. “Good to know. Anyway, I’m going to head out. Friday’s are made for brinner at my house. I’ll catch you later, Lindsey.”

“Alright, bye.” He winked at her before turning to Tori, giving her a small salute.

“See ya, dumb dumb.”

“Bye. I hope you fall.”

“Ack! My heart! It hurts!” Tori rolled her eyes at him. Once Tyler was out of earshot, Lindsey turned around with a giddy expression on her face.

“Did you see that?! He winked at me.”

“Cute.”

“He is,” Lindsey sighed.

“Yeah, I’m not about to talk about him in that way. That’s just… weird.” The girls got into Lindsey’s car. Almost immediately after Tori fastened her seatbelt, Lindsey continued to ramble.

“I can’t believe you two know each other and you didn’t tell me! That kind of information could’ve changed everything. You could’ve introduced us. I could’ve had you hype me up. We could’ve accidentally ran into him in his neighborhood.”

“Like I said before, I didn’t know you were talking about him. I didn’t even consider him a possibility.”

“Why not? We like pretty much the same thing!”

“I guess. It’s just he doesn’t date. He never has. He just friends people and goes about his life.”

“What do you mean he doesn’t date?”

“Never had a girlfriend. Never went on one date. Always claimed he was busy. He was always focused on school. He claims he doesn’t have a certain type, but I don’t believe him.”

“Huh,” Lindsey sighed, sadly.

“I’m not trying to discourage you or anything. I think you should go for it. Maybe you’re what he needs. He’s a great guy in the end. Just… be patient with him.”

“But, do I even have a chance?”

“He didn’t friendzone you, so you have a big chance. I think he likes you. He has his tells. You just have to watch him.”

“You’re right. Patience. I got this.” Lindsey turned up the radio as she continued to drive.

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Lindsey pulled into her driveway. Her mom, Olivia Payne, greeted them at the door with a huge smile and open arms.

“It’s been a while since I last saw you, Tori. My, have you grown into such a pretty young lady.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Olivia.”

“Come in! Come in!” She ushered them in, closing the door behind them. “Dinner is ready. The bread should be done by now.”

“What you make, momma?”

“Shrimp Scampi, corn, mashed potatoes, and bread.”

“Sounds good.”

“You girls can go ahead and head over to the dinner table. I’ll bring the bread over in a minute.” The girls made their way into the kitchen. Lindsey’s dad, Terrance, was sitting at the dining table writing something in a notebook. He looked up when he noticed the girls walking in.

“Hey, sweetheart. Nice to see you again, Tori.”

“Hi, Mr. T.”

“Hi, daddy.” Lindsey kissed him on the cheek before taking a seat next to Tori. Olivia brought the bread over to the table. They began to eat, talking and laughing.

A few minutes later, they had moved into the living room. Olivia had just finished washing the dishes, when she walked in, sitting next to her husband.

“So, how’s school, girls.”

“Stupid. My calculus teacher said that we had to do a project after the break. What kind of project could you possibly do in math?”

“What topic are you guys doing?” Tori asked.

“I don’t know. Something with lines and circles and numbers and pi.”

“You could be doing that project where you have to make a picture out of the graph.”

“So, coloring?” Tori shrugged. “It’s still stupid.”

“What about you Tori?”

“It’s not that bad. Just trying to graduate in May.”

“It’s going to be so quiet when you two leave for college,” Terrance laughed.

“Dad!”

“What? It is. That way, I’ll be able to hear the tv.”

“You know you’re going to miss us, Mr. T.”

“Ah! I’m just messing with you two. It’s going to be weird having dinner without you two.”

“Have you heard from your father?”

“Not since this morning. I don’t even know what time he’s supposed to be coming home.”

“I talked to Henry earlier this afternoon and he seemed pretty excited to be coming home so early,” Terrance said.

“Did he by chance mention what time he was getting back here?”

“I’m afraid not. Give him time. It’s only eight.”

“I know. It’s just I haven’t seen him in months.” At that moment, Tori’s phone began to ring. She looked down to see her dad facetime her. “It’s him!” She answered, waiting impatiently for the call to connect. Once it did, she saw her dad walking down a hall.

“Hey, love!”

“Hi, dad!”

“Where are you at? That doesn’t look like our living room.”

“I’m over at the Payne’s.”

“Hi, Mr. H!”

“Hi, Lindsey.”

“Hey, Henry!”

“What’s up, man!” Henry waved through the phone.

“How are y’all doing?”

“We would be better if you would hurry up and get here,” Terrance laughed. Henry laughed looking away from his phone for a moment.

“Soon, man. I’m actually on my way. I just had to pick up some things and get a few things out the way.”

“What time should you be here, dad?”

“I would say around ten.” Tori looked up at the clock at the wall. 8:20.

“Cool. I’ll see you when you get home.”

“Okay. I’ve got to now, but I’ll see you later. Love you.”.

“Love you, too.” The screen turned black for a second as the call ended. Lindsey pushed herself off the couch and smiled at her parents.

“I guess that means we better go. I’ll go get my bag.” Lindsey jogged up the stairs and disappeared down the hall. A few seconds later, she ran back down the stairs with a backpack over her shoulder.

“That was fast,” Tori chuckled.

“I had some extra time this morning, so I figured why not go ahead and pack.”

“Smart.”

“I know. I’ll see you guys, tomorrow.” Lindsey gave both of her parents a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“You girls have fun and be safe,” Olivia said.

“Sure, momma.”

“Bye, Mrs. Olivia and Mr. T.”

“Bye!” They waved them off from the front door until Lindsey pulled out of the driveway.

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Tori was sitting on the couch in the living room waiting for Lindsey to finish with her shower. She continued to flip through the channels, glancing at the clock on the wall occasionally.

9:32 p.m.

Tori sighed to herself when she heard Lindsey running towards the living room.

“Stop running.”

“No! Change the channel!”

“To what?”

“Guh! Nevermind!” Lindsey snatched the remote from Tori’s hand and pressed a channel number. Real Hollywood appeared on the screen seconds later. “You were moving too slow.”

“You didn’t give my brain the chance to process.”

“Think faster!”

“Speak slower.”

“Shh! It’s on!” Tori rolled her eyes.

“Now, even though they couldn’t be here with us physically, the Evansdale’s stopped by earlier to chat with me and update you all with some interesting news. But don’t worry. We have the tape from earlier right here. Take a look.” The screen switched over to the pre-recorded interview. Aiden and Amber were sitting on the sofa opposite of Sharika. “It’s so good to have you both here together. We don’t get to see this too often.”

“I know! It’s just Aiden’s schedule never stops being busy.”

“What can I say? The people can’t get enough of me,” he smirked at the audience.

“He’s so full of himself,” Tori huffed.

“He’s so dreamy.”

“Gracious.”

“There’s no denying that. You modeled for Crisp last month and it’s still the front page on magazines.”

“It is? I haven’t noticed,” he smirked.

“It’s kind of hard not to. Beautiful pictures.”

“Thank you.”

“Also, your show, Lockhart Academy, is still raking in the views. Rumor has it that this season has more drama in it than anything.”

“The rumors are true. Lockhart Academy is changing. We have two new characters that got introduced earlier this month and it’s just chaos everywhere you turn. My character doesn’t even remember his love interest.”

“That’s true! It’s all fans are talking about. The curse that seems to be tearing them apart. Tell us, will your character, Brian ever wake up and get back with Juliet?”

“I want to know that answer, too Sharika,” Aiden laughed. “I’m in the dark about it too. All I know is, I can’t wait to find out because I have a bet I’m trying to win.” Sharika and the audience laughed.

“Well, here’s to winning your bet. Now, on the topic of romance, Ms. Amber here has been dating her mystery man for some time. Is it the same man or did you already move on?”

“I assure you it’s the same man. We’ve been officially dating for a year and four months and it’s been incredible.”

“That’s good to hear. This sounds serious.”

“It is. He’s an amazing man and an even better father. We learned so much about patience and sacrifice because of how our schedules would rarely match up to where we could meet for more than a second. It came down to facetime and calling at crazy times in the night. But, it made it all worth it and it made me fall even more in love with him than I thought was possible.”

“That sounds beautiful. All of that must have been worth the wait because I hear you have some huge news.”

“I do!” Amber held her hand up to the camera with a huge smile on her face. “I’m getting married!” The audience was mixed with gasp and cheers.

“She’s engaged!” Lindsey squealed.

“Never thought I’d see the day. I wonder who her fiance is.”

“Maybe they’ll show him.”

“Congratulations!”

“Thank you! He proposed yesterday! After Aiden and I leave from here, we’re going to head home to finish packing before heading over with him to his place.”

“Ooo! Exciting! So, Aiden, have you met this mystery man?”

“I have. I met him this past summer and he seems like a great guy. He makes my mom smile and that’s all that matters.”

“Aww!” Lindsey sighed in time with the audience.

“That was so stupid.”

“Shh!”

“How sweet.”

“Touching on something you said earlier. I also have an announcement to make and it hurts me to say it. Since my mother is getting married, Lockhart Academy’s fourth season, this season, will be its last.” The audience gasped in shock.

“What?!”

“Thank all that is holy!”

“I know, I know. It’s sad to be ending the show, but I decided that I wanted to take the time to help my mother with the wedding and make a connection with my new family. We will of course finish the season off right. I just want all the attention to be focused on my mom and the wedding.”

“That’s so considerate of you to even think about that. Putting your family first. Cute.”

“That’s what’s always been important to me. And who knows, Lockhart Academy might be coming back after a short little break,” he smiled, winking at the camera. The screen faded back to Sharika sitting on the couch smiling.

“Wasn’t that something? Last time I heard, Amber and Aiden are with Amber’s fiance, who’s still unknown at this time, heading towards their new home. It seems like all of America is holding their breaths until we at least get a glimpse of this mystery man that has seemed to have stolen Amber’s heart.”

“This is crazy! Has the whole world gone crazy?!”

“The world’s been crazy. You’ve just been too distracted with “pretty” faces to notice.”

“Tori, this is serious.”

“Not really,” she muttered.

“Amber’s getting married. No one knows who he is. Aiden’s taking a break from acting. Lockhart Academy is ending after only four seasons. What else could possibly happen?”

“Aiden could fall off the face of the earth for good.” Lindsey’s head turned sharply towards Tori.

“That’s not funny,” Lindsey glared.

“You’re right. It was hilarious.”

“Wait… hold on… what, now?... okay… understood. I have just been told that the Evansdale’s have just arrived at the front of their new neighborhood. According to my on-site reporter, Nate, they have agreed to do a quick interview. We’re switching over to our live feed now. Nate, are you there?” The screen behind Sharika changed to show a flash of cameras going off as Amber stepped out of the car.

“I can hear you. You’re just in time to see Amber finally reveal it all.” Nate turned around and held his mic out in front of him towards Amber, along with the rest of the reporters. Amber walked up with a smile on her face.

“Hello, everyone. As you know, I am Amber Evansdale and as many of you know, I am engaged to a wonderful man. I know many of you are wondering who he is and tonight is the night that you will get to meet him. Please understand that we only waited so long to protect his and his family’s privacy. Babe?” Amber turned towards the car just as the driver’s door opened. The man walked up beside Amber and placed his arm around her waist.

“Oh…”

“My…”

“Gosh.” Tori and Lindsey said in unison. The two stared blankly at the screen in disbelief.

“Nate Croker reporting for Real Hollywood. Can you please give us your name, sir?”

“Sure. My name is Henry Hale and I’m Amber’s fiance.” The cameras began to flash as they posed for a couple of pictures.

“Do you have anything you would like to say about Amber?”

“She’s an amazing, kind, fiery woman and I feel like the luckiest man in the universe to be marrying someone like her. She’s instilled a new purpose in my life and I can’t wait to begin that journey with her.”

“Real quick, Amber before we let you go. How about you?”

“Henry makes me feel secure and confident in being relaxed and myself. I see a beautiful future with both of our families and I’m excited.”

“Thank you.”

“Thank you,” Amber smiled. Henry waved one last time before helping Amber in the car. Once she was in, he jogged over to the driver’s side and got in, driving off. Tori and Lindsey were still staring at the screen, mouths hanging open, at who they just saw.

“You heard here on Real Hollywood. I’m Nate Croker. Back to you, Sharika.”

“Thanks, Nate. Well, folks. The mystery man has been revealed. Reminder to self to make sure to schedule a tell-all interview with them soon. Anyway, good wishes to the newly engaged couple. I’m Sharika, and this is Real Hollywood.” The outro music began to play, fading out as the next show began to start.

“Dad?”

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