The Unexpected

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7

“No, I can’t!” I said, backing away.

“What do you mean?”

“I…I’ve just met you and even though I am starting to catch feelings for you, I still don’t know if I’m really ready for a relationship.”

Joshua sighed and bowed down his head. “Well, whenever you’re ready, I’ll be here, but remember. I’ll be leaving in three weeks.” The rest of the dinner was a little awkward since hush was at our table for the rest of the night. Even though I know that Joshua is a really great guy, dating someone who lives across the world isn’t the best idea.

Mia came back with our bill and Joshua decided to pay for it. We left the restaurant and Joshua drove us home. Another car ride in silence. When we finally made it out of the muted travel, I unlocked the door and scurried inside.

“Hey, I’m gonna go get changed for bed,” Joshua said.

“Oh, okay!” He walked into the bathroom and closed the door. Bushed, I plopped down on the couch. I can’t believe I did that! Well, what did he expect though? I mean, I don’t know what to do! Now, our friendship might be ruined and he might leave this time. He only has three weeks left till he has to go back to England, so I need to make my decision sooner or later.

I wonder what he is doing. He’s been in there for a long time. Does he have to use the restroom or something? It doesn’t take long to change some clothes. The bathroom door opened and Joshua stepped out. He was looking down at the floor and the room seemed more quiet than before.

“Joshua, what’s wrong?” I asked him.

“Rebecca, I hate to say this, but I’m supposed to be leaving in two days,” he responded.

“What?!”

“I’m so sorry! I was hoping to stay with you a little longer.”

“Why do you have to leave so soon?”

“My clients have a fashion malfunction. They would send me a picture of the problem, but if I give them a certain task, they’re scared to mess it up if they try to fix it. I hate to leave you, Rebecca, but I’m afraid I have no choice.”

“No, you can’t leave!”

“I do have to, though. I don’t want anything bad to happen,” Joshua clarified.

“Joshua, I...I-”

He interrupted me. “It’s fine, Rebecca. I understand if you don’t have feelings for me.”

“But I do!”

“Well, whatever decision you make, I accept your choice. The only problem is that you only have two days left ‘till I’m gone, so you’ll need to make up your mind fast.”

“What about the plane flight?” I questioned him.

“They’ve already paid for the flight, don’t worry,” he answered.

I stood up from the couch and dashed towards Joshua. I hugged him tight which I know left him baffled. Tears trickled down my cheeks, tears that I thought could never be this real. “I really don’t want you to go!”

He hugged me back and wiped the drizzling water from my face. “I’m sorry, Rebecca. Just promise when I’m gone to not do anything stupid, okay?”

I nodded, even though it felt like a pity agreement.

“We still have enough time. Why don’t we do something fun tomorrow?” Joshua asked.

“Sure.” I moped my way to the bathroom to get changed into my pajamas. I decided to allow Joshua back into my room since it won’t be next to me anymore.

I was too bummed. Knowing that Joshua was leaving in two days made me kinda depressed. Him breaking the news kinda broke my mood and the hardest thing that I really need to do is choose a side. I either date Joshua or not and I only have a couple of days to decide. Even if I do choose to date him, how will this relationship work? All I can do now is fall asleep and think about this in the morning. I just want to sleep this all off, forget everything that happened.

When I awoke, I realized that Joshua wasn’t in the bed and I tiredly walked out of the room. Joshua was cooking breakfast in the kitchen. He seemed too cheerful after everything that went down last night.

“Good morning Rebecca!”

“Good morning,” I mumbled, still in pain. My pettiness is definitely showing and if Joshua can’t tell, then he’s either being polite or is just an idiot.

“Are you hungry?”

“Not really.”

“Oh, well whenever you’re hungry, there will be food waiting for you in fifteen minutes.”

I stepped out onto the balcony and closed the door behind me to make sure Joshua couldn’t hear me. I called my sister to tell her the bad news.

“Hey, what’s up?” she answered.

“I have bad news, Brooklynn.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Joshua is leaving in two days,” I replied.

“Oh no, that’s too bad!” Brooklynn said in a sneer tone.

“Okay, what’s with the sarcasm?”

“I don’t understand you, Rebecca! Obviously, you have feelings for this guy. You’re just not seeing it.”

“I do see it!”

“Really? Well, then date him!”

“I can’t! Didn’t you just hear me? He’s leaving,” I replied.

“Why don’t you just go with him?”

“What about you?”

“I’ll be fine, I have Lucas.”

“Still, I don’t feel comfortable moving to another country.”

“If you really love him, then you would go with him. If you don’t go, then you’ll go back to what you were before. Lonely and depressed Rebecca,” she stated.

“Do you really think moving is the best option?”

“I know that’s the only option you have if you want to be with him.”

“Okay, I’ll have to think about it. Thanks Brooklynn!”

“No problem!” I hung up and opened the balcony screen door, walking inside the apartment and closing the door behind me. Was my talk with Brooklynn motivational? No. Did she help me? Yes and no.

“Hey, are you good?” Joshua asked me.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I just had to think about some things.”

“Like what?”

“About you going back to England,” I responded.

“Oh, what about it?”

“Brooklynn was thinking maybe I could go with you.”

“Really? That’s great!” he exclaimed.

“The only hard thing is, I don’t know if I really want to go to England.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t really feel comfortable moving to a different country, a different continent, you know?” I tried to explain.

“No, I don’t know what you mean!” he fired back.

“Joshua, I-”

“I literally traveled all the way from England to here and I was supposed to stay here for a month! Sure, it took me a couple of days to get used to it, but when I did, I was happy!”

“You’ve only been here for a week and you were supposed to stay here for a month. Why don’t you just stay here instead?” I asked him.

“I can’t move here because I have a business back in England! I can’t just abandon it!” Joshua declared.

“Same for me, I can’t leave my sister here!”

“Rebecca, she has a boyfriend that can take care of her,” he said.

“I also am still writing my books!”

“You said you were on a break and never got back to work! You also said that you’re using your father’s money to pay for things! I think you could live a better life in England if you just come with me,” Joshua stated.

I sighed. I’m just making up excuses now. “You don’t know how hard it is to leave my hometown. I told you Brooklynn left in a flash when I took her out of my dad’s house and as you can see, I’m still here.”

“Do you know how difficult it was for me to leave England?”

“What?”

“I was actually thinking about visiting Ireland for my break, but I chose here. I thought it might’ve been interesting visiting a place that I’ve never been before.”

“Still, I’ll be living there for the rest of my life!”

“Rebecca, you know how long it took me to get used to this. I feel like it might be easier for you to get used to my lifestyle.”

“Joshua, I just have to think about it, okay?”

Joshua grabbed a plate from the cabinet and placed the breakfast food on top of it. “Alright, this is called a fry-up. It has fried eggs, sausages, back bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread, white pudding, and a hot buttered toast. I also made you tea since you don’t like coffee.”

“Wow, y’know you didn’t have to make all of this for me,” I stated.

“Well, I wanted to make you something special since I’m leaving tomorrow.”

“I guess British people can eat!”

Joshua chuckled. “I guess so.”

“Okay, so how is this beach day going to work?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like are we going now or-”

“Oh yeah, I guess we can go after we eat.”

“Do you have a swimsuit or trunks?” I asked him.

“I actually do. I bring them just in case something like this happens.”

“Smart.” After Joshua and I ate, we got ready for the beach. I wore a black cut out, one piece swimsuit with my ripped denim shorts on top. I tied my hair up in a high ponytail and wore my ankle-strapped, black sandals. I exited my bedroom and found Joshua sitting on the couch wearing a dark purple t-shirt, white and blue swim trunks, and black flip flops. As you know, that is the worst outfit combination ever! He continued reading my book, Unnatural Love.

“Hey, are you ready?” he questioned me.

“Yeah, I just need to get something.” I grabbed my maroon tote bag and placed it on my shoulder.

“What’s in there?”

“Sunscreen, sunglasses, and towels. I usually bring two towels for tanning and when I’m wet, but I guess one of these towels is yours for now.”

“Oh, alright then.” We left the apartment and I drove us to the beach. When we made it there, it turned out to be a lot of people. We walked on top of the soft, warm sand and it took us a couple of minutes to find the perfect spot to put our stuff. I placed the two towels on top of the sand and put my bag next to my towel. I took off my sandals and shorts while Joshua took off his shirt and flip flops.

“Ready?” he asked.

“Yep, I am so ready.” I laid on top of my towel.

“You’re not going in the water?”

“Um, I’ll be out there in thirty minutes.” I shut my eyes and laid in the burning sun. While I was trying to sleep, I kept hearing children laughing, adults talking, and the waves crashing to the edges of the beach. It was a painful experience. I just wanted to throw everyone in the water, so I can go back to a peaceful dream.

All of a sudden, I felt a shadow blocking the sunlight from my body. I was about to open my eyes to see what was going on ‘till a splash of cold water hit my face. The whole upper part of my body was wet and I found Joshua holding a bucket that was once filled with water.

“What did you just do?!” I asked him, infuriated.

“Making you wet, so now you’ll get in the water with me.”

“Do you really think I would get into the water after what you just did?!”

“Okay, if you don’t get in the water with me, then I’ll have to make you,” Joshua stated.

“And how will you do that?” He picked me up off of my towel and started to carry me towards the ocean.

“Joshua, what are you doing? Put me down, now! Joshua!” I shouted. He dropped me in the water and I was now fully soaking wet. “Are you kidding me?!”

“Alright, now c’mon!” I flicked water on Joshua’s face and he rubbed it off of him, fuming. I giggled at his anguish look.

“Okay, you want to play that game?” He splashed more water on me. I stood up from the water and we both started to spray water on each other.

“Wait a minute, where did you even find a bucket?” I asked him.

“Oh, I borrowed a bucket from a little boy. That reminds me…”

Joshua got out of the water and picked up the bucket that was still on my towel. He walked towards a little boy and his mother who were making a sand castle. Joshua handed the bucket back to the boy and I could tell that he was happy now. I smiled at his joyous glow and Joshua started to make his way back to me.

“What?”

“The kid looks really happy,” I said.

“Oh, well it’s hard to make a sand castle without a bucket,” Joshua responded. He jumped in the water and started swimming farther away from me.

“Hey, come back here!” I swam closer and closer to him ‘till I didn’t see Joshua anymore. Where did he go? Did something take him away? Even if it did, why wouldn’t Joshua say anything? I searched around and around in the water. I even went underwater, but he wasn’t there. I started to freak out. Where could he have possibly gone?

“Joshua, JOSHUA!”

“Boo!” he shouted, jumping out from under the water; I shrieked in terror.

I punched him in the arm. “You freaking scared me!”

“Oh, did I?”

“Yes, you did! Don’t go doing that, okay?”

“Fine, but you gotta admit that was funny,” Joshua answered.

“What? No, it wasn’t!”

“Yes, it was and it was worth it!”

I groaned. “No, it wasn’t! You almost gave me a heart attack, so I’m not admitting it.” He leaned in and held my face close to his, our foreheads grazing one another.

“Joshua,” I said, backing away from him.

“Rebecca, I’m leaving tomorrow. If you don’t come with me, this will be the last time I’ll ever see you.”

“You won’t come back?”

“Maybe on vacations, but not really. I belong there, in England.”

“I still need to decide, though.”

“Whatever you choose, I will accept your decision, no matter what. Now, c’mon!” Joshua exclaimed. I smiled, even though it was hard for me to be this happy. He’s supposedly leaving tomorrow morning and it’s difficult for me to let him go. I know that I don’t really have anything here, but I don’t want to leave. Choosing whether I want to go with him or not is leaving me miserable. Maybe even the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do. No matter what I choose, I have to respect how Joshua will respond and hopefully, the rest of the day won’t be so bad.

Joshua and I have been on the beach all morning. When it got to be one o’clock, we stopped by Taco Bell and even though Joshua was a vegetarian, he decided to eat meat one last time before he left. Plus, he’s never had tacos before.

Rolling through the drive thru, we ordered ten tacos supreme, five each. We both knew that we were probably not going to eat five right now, but just in case. We made it back home and Joshua placed the bag of food on top of the kitchen counter.

“Here you go,” he stated, handing me a wrapped soft taco.

“Thanks!” I sat next to Joshua on the kitchen stool. “I’m definitely washing and blow drying my hair tonight. It’s soaking wet!”

“Your hair doesn’t look so bad.”

“You don’t have to lie to me to make me feel better about myself.”

“I wasn’t lying. Your hair looks perfectly fine.”

“I’m still going to wash it though.” We continued eating our food and kept talking to each other which felt real to me. I know by tomorrow, I’ll be missing these conversations if I don’t go with him.

When we were done, I walked into the bathroom and got changed to take a shower. While I was shampooing and conditioning my hair, I kept thinking about what to do. I’ll be leaving this town, this country, to live in a whole new continent. This was one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do. Maybe, I might be overthinking this.

When I got out of the shower, I blow dried my hair and put it into a bun. I changed into my pajamas and found Joshua already in my bed, drawing in his sketchbook.

“Hey, you okay?” he asked me. I nodded with a fake smile and got into the bed with him, opening my laptop. We both finished the first season of Friends which took my mind off of things.

When it got late, me and Joshua ate dinner, which was the rest of the tacos we saved, and continued watching season two. To be honest, we both thought it was depressing that for the rest of the day, we were just in bed watching a show. We didn’t care though, this was the perfect way to end the night.

When it became eight o’clock, we both headed to bed. We had to go to sleep early because Joshua’s flight was at six in the morning and he would be on the plane for nine hours. I wanted to see him one last time if I don’t go with him.

At 3 a.m, Joshua and I got up and he got ready for the flight. I fixed him a bowl of cereal and he hurried up with it like a wild wolf who hasn’t eaten in days. It was now four and Joshua had his bag packed, standing in front of the door.

“Goodbye Rebecca, I won’t see you in a long time. Unless, you make your choice and come with me. I’ll pay for your flight if needed,” Joshua said.

“I don’t know…”

“I’m leaving and I won’t be coming back anytime soon. It’s either now or never.”

“I’m sorry, but I still haven’t made up my mind yet,” I replied.

“Well then, I’m going to take that answer as a no.” Joshua held me tight in his arms, tears trickling down my face. “Goodbye, mon amour.”

He let go of me, grabbed his bag, and walked on out of the apartment. Last night, I asked him if he wanted me to take him to the airport, but he said that he wanted to take the bus just in case I didn’t want to go with him. He didn’t want to feel the pain and sorrow on the plane and would rather do it on the bus.

When Joshua left, I held my phone and searched up the word mon amour since I had no idea what it meant. When I did, more tears flowed down my cheeks. “Mon amour” meant my love in French. If I really loved him that way, I should go to him, but it would be hard to let this place go. Is this really how I’ll be in the future, lost and alone?

Joshua made me happy and he brought out a side of me that I never knew would ever come back. This was the moment of truth. Am I going to be single and depressed for the rest of my life? I should’ve left with him, but I can’t even call him since I don’t have his phone number. It’s too late! I should’ve ran after him, but he’s already gone. Joshua Evans has disappeared out of my life and I guess it’ll stay that way forever.
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