Just The Way You Are

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Chapter 3.

Kayla didn’t mean to be outside Hart’s bookstore but it just sort of happened. She remembered all the time she spent there with Chris when they were growing up. It was here she knew she wanted to be more than what this small town had to offer. She just never knew that she would be back. But she knew that life worked in mysterious ways and maybe her being back in Lakehart will give her the courage to appreciate the small town that she was so desperate to leave 6 years ago. Kayla also knew that she had to figure out who she was and only she could do that. Not her mother. Not her childhood best friend who had seemed like he wanted to stay here in Lakehart from the time they were 10. Not anyone but her. She knew that she would have to talk to Chris. Especially considering her mother wanted her to pick something up from the Harts bookstore later.

While walking around she noticed that the town was getting ready for the 4th. Lakehart always seemed to go big or go home when it came to these kinds of things. She never seemed to understand why her small town was like this. Christmas and Thanksgiving she understood which is why she always came back for those two holidays. But things like the 4th? She always seemed to despise things like the 4th and everything that came with being a small town girl. She always did enjoy the busy life of New York this time of year. But always hated the snow that showed up as early as November. But right now, after the mess she made New York wasn’t an option. She knew that it was only a matter of time before the whole city of Lakehart knew what she had done. Then she might never have a career in writing again. Right now, she still had a glimmer of hope. Maybe coming back might give her the inspiration to write a new story that her mother clearly wants her to give up. But after what Barbra had said at the airport she wasnt so sure. Even though when she was growing up being something was a silly dream to Barbra. But to Kayla, it wasn’t a silly dream. Kayla had always thanked her mother in her stories as well as her father. Her books were still getting more praise than hate. Which was good. But she never felt happy in that big city life. Maybe that’s why Kayla did what she did. She did go into her favorite coffee shop growing up here in Lakehart. She always had her notebook and a pen with her so that way she could jot down any ideas that she might have.

“Well, Kayla Starr in the flesh.” Kayla heard someone say. She looked up and saw one of her many friends but wasn’t surprised to see Hunter here. She did run the place.

“Hey. Sorry for just stopping in. I needed a place away from my mother and this seemed like the perfect place.” Kayla stated.

“It’s fine. I was actually wondering if what your mother was saying was true. That you returned for the time being.” Hunter stated.

“I was honestly hoping my mom wouldn’t tell anyone. But then again my mom is the town’s biggest gossip. So I shouldn’t be too surprised if she told multiple people that i was coming back.” Kayla smiled knowing that those words sounded like her mother.

Hunter had always been a close friend to Kayla. When she felt like she couldn’t go to Chris, she definitely went to Hunter. Hunter was one of the only people that Kayla said goodbye too before she went to New York. Hunter would come and see Kayla when she could which was very rare. But when you’re running one of the best coffee places that both locals and tourists like to visit it was kinda hard to take off for multiple days or weeks at a time.

"You know Chris came in here before you did. He seemed confused on what to do when it comes to you." Hunter stated.

"Yea well were both going to have to face the music. My mom needs me to pick up something from his families bookstore. And truth be told kinda need some normal in my life." Kayla stated.

"Because of that creep you were involved with in New York?" Hunter asked.

"The very one. Threaten my career so my team thought it would be best if I just came back to Lakehart and kinda have them deal with it. I feel bad though that they are cleaning up my mess." Kayla replied.

Kayla had heard that a lot over the last few months but it didn’t change the fact that she still felt guilty about letting herself get involved with someone like Cole. She knew if she had stayed home in Lakehart she probably wouldn’t have ran into Cole but at the same time she wouldn’t have figured out how strong she had become. That was something that she had to go threw. After visiting Hunter at the coffee shop she found herself wondering around with alot more questions than answers. She didnt want go home just yet because she knew that her mother would just give her another reason to go out.

When Kayla entered the Harts bookstore after close she was happy to see that it hadnt changed. She saw Chris come up front to tell her that they were closed but he seemed surprised to see her standing there in Harts bookstore after 6 years.

“Hey Chris. My mom wanted me to pick something up. I hope you dont mind I came in after close.” Kayla stated.

“Not at all. Thats why we keep the door unlocked after closing till all the packages are picked up. Because all the businesses tend to close around the same time. Since some cant come in before work they tend to wait till after work. Its fine though.” Chris spoke.

Chris handed her the package as she smiled looking at the package. The only other time that she smiled like this had been for her books that she didnt know if Chris had read. Something that she didnt want to do was ask weather or not he had read them. Because she didnt want to admit that she had missed him and wrote some of the characters after him. Which were some of her roommates favorite characters in her stories.

“Do you want to go get coffee or something tomorrow. Think it would be best if we talked.” Kayla stated.

“Fine with me. Just text me the time and we can pick a time and a place to meet.” Chris told her.

Kayla smiled again as she left. She was ready to rekindle any relationship that she had with Chris. She knew that she might feel something more when it came to Chris. There was really only one way to find out if she was ready to ruin any chance of happiness that she had with Chris. Everyone wanted them to end up together. Kayla had a feeling that she MIGHT feel something for him but never really went into it because it would admit knowing that she had a reason to stay. A reason that she didnt want to hold her back. Kayla had given Barbra the package when she came in. What she didnt know was that she was still wearing the smile.

"Im guessing things went good?" Barbara asked.

"Things went good. We plan on getting coffee and talking tomorrow. So thanks for telling me to get the package mom." Kayla stated.

Kayla had a feeling that her mom wanted her to pick up the package for a reason. She just didnt know what that reason was yet. But if this was a small step in having her get her childhood friend back she was all for the help. Because Kayla knew that she needed all the help that she could get. She was ready for this next step with Chris. But was she ready to let her heart be on the line? That was the million dollar question that had to be answered by none other than her and Chris. Which she was more than ready to find out. To see if her soulmate was right under her nose the whole time and she didnt even know it.

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