Facade

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Maybe falling

THEA’S POV

"You're serious?"

The sheepish look disappears for a second, replaced by a flat one. "Yes. Now, are you coming?"

"Where?"

Cole rolls his eyes. "I'm not going to kill you."

"There are worse things than murder."

"God, you're impossible." His tone implies annoyance but I see his lips twitching slightly which makes me grin.

"Oh well. But I'm going to text Lily to tell her that if my dead body is found or I go missing, the first suspect is going to be you."

Upon the mention of Lily's name, I watch his irritation falter, giving way to a tenderness I'm not used to seeing in him. That makes me curious as to what he wants to talk about.

We end up going to up the building's terrace. Usually this part of the school is not allowed for students to visit but nobody really checks anyway.

"Be quick." I'm meeting Xavier at cliff after this. He had texted me earlier just telling me to be there. When I asked what it was about, he just said he wants to spend time with me.

The thought brings a smile to my face. He's the sweetest boyfriend—

We never had that talk.

I mentally face palm myself. I completely forgot about that. But then again, when I'm with him, labels hardly describe what I feel for him.

"It's about Lily." Cole's voice brings me back to the present.

"Did you hurt her?" Despite me not wanting to, I remember his words when he had confronted me. If he does the same with Lily, I won't be as patient.

"What? No! I'd never hurt her! I lov—like her."

My brows fly up as I hear the slip in his words. Boy, you've been banging for less than two weeks.

"And I want to make it official. I even planned out everything needed to ask her about it." The words tumble out of his mouth as he runs a hand through his hair.

"So? You here for my permission? Don't worry, you kids got my blessings. You may be an ass but she never had a chance to complain."

He gives me a look that suggests ' why aren't you dead yet' which only causes me to be smug about his annoyance.

"I don't care about your opinion. Although she does," he whispers the last sentence, "But that's not why I'm here."

"Well then spit it out! I've been standing here too long."

He looks away, eyes cast downward in a sense of shame. I stare at him, trying to figure out his motives before he sighs heavily. "I'm scared of commitment."

I blink. "That's a problem you should discuss with her."

"But I want to commit to her. And she's just going to tell me to take things at my pace and not hurry but I want to."

"What do you need me to do about it?"

"I've seen you and Xavier together. I want that with Lily, I really do." He sighs again. "That day when I snapped at you? My parents had finally signed their divorce that day. I was pissed and I took it out on you. And I'm sorry for that. It wasn't right. I'm sorry."

My shoulders relax all of a sudden and my chest feels a little lighter. I didn't realize I was holding a grudge against him. I've been trying to forget about his behavior thinking it best to move on. Only now I realize I had bottled it up instead of confronting him about it.

He doesn't excuse his behavior and truly looks sorry for what he did. "Thanks. For apologizing."

"Don't get the wrong idea, I still don't like you." And he's back to being an ass but I see his lips tilt in a small smile before hurt replaces his features. He sighs again. "I think I may be in love with her. Lily. But I'm also afraid, I'm might to stop feeling this way."

"Why are you afraid of that?"

His eyes meet mine and a sad smile forms on his face, making him look much older than his age. "When I was little, I used to watch my parents have fun with each other. They were in love. That's all I knew. But over the years, I've watched their feelings fade with time.

"The same reason they fell for each other are the reasons why they fell out of love. My Dad loved it when Mom used to dance around the kitchen, listening to songs early in the morning but now it annoys him because he can't sleep properly. My Mom loved my Dad being spontaneous because it made her come out of her shell to become more adventurous. But now that spontaneity seems reckless."

His eyes turn pained. "I brought Lily chocolates yesterday and the girl looked at me as if I brought her the fucking moon." I chuckle. That seems like her. It's chocolate after all. "I'm just scared that the person who saw best in me may one day think they're the worst part of me."

I have no words to what he just said. Truth be told, that is something even I'm afraid of. My mother never loved her husband but he loved her and look where that got us.

Feelings fade with time. That's not something I'm new to. Most of my past relationships ended because I stopped feeling for them. I'm worried it may repeat with Xavier.

A sharp pain clutches my chest when I think about not being with him. I don't think I can ever do that.

But no one knows what the future might hold.

"Do you think love is a choice?"

Cole looks at me, confused at my abrupt question. "Won't people argue it's more of a feeling?"

I shrug. "Sure. But some feelings fade over time. I've always believed it's a choice." I smile at him when I remember the time Xavier had asked me to leave, never wanting to see my face again. Surprisingly, it doesn't hurt as much because it turned out well. He chose me. "You can't control who you fall for but you can control if you want to stay with them."

I know if I ever stop feeling this way about Xavier, which I think may be impossible, I think I'd like to talk to him about it, figure out why it's not working.

"You choose to communicate your feelings and try to find the problem so you can fix it. Or you can choose to walk away. Either way, it's a choice. And I have a feeling if I ever have doubts about Xavier, I'd rather choose to stay until I find something good even in all the ugly. Until I fall for him again."

I think I'm falling in love with him.

Admitting that brings a smile on my face. I don't know if I'm there yet. It scares me more than I'll admit. The only person I've said 'I love you' to was my mother.

I've never loved someone. To be honest, I never felt myself capable of having suck feelings for someone. But now, that seems to have changed for the better.

"Your smile is creeping me out."

I flash him my teeth, broadening my grin. "Of course there are exceptions to what I said but it's something worth believing in."

Cole stares at me for a while, his mind however seems to be lost somewhere else.

"Maybe you're right. Maybe you're not." A smile overcomes his features. It's not a happy one but it's not a sad one either. More like a relieved one. As if he finally let his worries go. "I won't know until I try."

"You do that. But remember, you hurt her and—"

"—you rip my balls off blah blah blah. I know."

I smile up at him sweetly. "When her last boyfriend broke her heart, I send his dick pic to his Mom. Careful, Cole."

He gulps, trying to hide his expression. "That's...disturbing."

I move my hand in a dismissing motion. "Nah, you'll understand if you know the full story."

"I don't think I want to."

I nod before we enter a peaceful silence.

"'Kay. I gotta go now. I'm meeting Xavier."

"Thea?"

I turn around right before I exit the door leading to the stairways. "Yeah?"

"Thanks."

"No problem. Now you owe me food."

He rolls his eyes. "Fuck off."

"Aw. I can feel your love from here."

"You'll feel it better when I throw you down the stairs."

"Murder doesn't look good on you. You seem too...vanilla for that."

The look he sends me screams ' murder' but that assures me that we're on good terms.

Without another glance, I leave to go the person who has been on my mind all day.

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