In the End
A/N: Here's the prologue of the sequel to 'Us Against the World'! I promised I was going to write a sequel and as you can see, I kept my promise! I don't really know where I'm going with this story yet, so any thoughts and ideas are more than welcome, but...this is the sequel and I hope you enjoy!
Special thanks to Valerie!
It is possible to read this without reading 'Us Against the World' first, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you decide to read this without reading 'Us Against the World' first, then I would at least read the quick summary below.
Just a quick summary of 'Us Against the World' to refresh your memory:
Lily Kinser was sixteen years old when she met Ryan Davies at a party. She knew he was older than she was, but the two really had a connection. As you can imagine, Lily was more than shocked to find out that Ryan was her new English teacher. He turned out to be over seven years older than she was. The two tried to keep their distance, but eventually they couldn't deny their love for each other. They started a secret relationship that stopped being secret when someone caught them. The story quickly spread through the small town of Lakefield and the consequences were huge. Lily's mother and best friend refused to accept the relationship (as did the rest of the town) and Ryan lost his job. Lily and Ryan still decided to stay together and were happy for a little while, but eventually realized their relationship was never going to work. Ryan couldn't get another job and Lily missed her family and friends more than she would ever admit. Ryan went back to Los Angeles to work in his brothers company. Lily was heartbroken.
Set 3 years after 'Us Against the World'
Lily made her way through the crowd of people. Everyone seemed to be in the same hurry as she was, but she really couldn't care less about the hurry other people were in. She had to get to her business meeting and she had to get there now. She checked her watch and sighed. She really had to get there soon, because she was already ten minutes late and this wasn't the first time. She seriously doubted if her boss would buy the story about her crazy alarmclock that never woke her up at the right times. She almost tripped over something, but didn't have the time to look down and idenitify the object that caused this. She once again checked her watch. She was over eleven minutes late now. Her boss was going to kill her. For a second Lily considered taking off her high heels so she could run faster, but then she realized that wouldn't make much of a difference. Late was still late, with or without heels. It was then that she passed the Starbucks. Sure, there was one on every corner, but until now Lily had been able to resist the temptation. She really tried to stop herself, but it was as if her feet refused to obey her mind. So she went in and ordered herself the largest cup of coffee there was. To go, of course. The clerk handed her the coffee and for a second she considered giving him one of her famous 'you're a God' speeches that she gave everyone who was kind enough to give her coffee. She wasn't in the mood though. And she didn't have the time either. So instead she just handed him the money and turned around, already sipping from the hot coffee.
If she hadn't been in a hurry, she probably would've seen it coming. But as we all know: fate doesn't care about if's. In fact, fate feeds on if's. Without if's fate wouldn't have a job. It are the if's that give fate the opportunity to jump in. And what a great opportunity this was.
Lily saw the blonde woman, the second she turned around and did a step forward, but by then it was already too late. In less than a second, the damage had been done. She spilled the entire cup of coffee all over herself. Which is quite the achievement as it is, since most people in her situation would have spilled the coffee all over the person that they had bumped into. However, Lily is one special girl and she managed to spill it all over her own grey coat. Her beautiful, long, incredibly expensive, grey coat. The blonde woman immediately started apologizing and grabbed a few napkins from the counter to help Lily clean up the mess. It was a nice gesture, but it didn't really help Lily. After all, the coat was ruined, the coffee was gone and...oh yeah...the meeting had started at least 16 minutes ago.
"I'm so clumsy." The woman started, while trying to clean Lily's coat. "I was standing way too close to you. I am so sorry. I'll pay for the coat and..."
"It's okay." Lily found herself saying, although it was everything but okay. "It was kind of my fault too. I'm in such a hurry and then I tend to forget that I'm not the only one on this planet."
"I feel so bad." The woman continued, after giving up on the coat. It was officially ruined now. "And your pants...There's coffee on your pants too."
Lily looked down and realized the woman was right. She didn't think the pants were ruined, but...they definitely needed cleaning. Lily sighed. She couldn't show up at her meeting like this. Today just wasn't her day.
"I can't show up at work like this..." Lily muttered under her breath to no one in particular.
"Listen...let me help to make it up to you, okay?" the woman said. "My apartment is on the other end of the street. I think we're about the same size, so I could lend you some pants. In fact, I think I have one pretty similar to yours..."
The woman gave her a questioning look and Lily stared at her in amazement. Why would she do something like this? Why would she be so nice? Lily was pretty sure if this had been any other person they barely would've apologized and just would have ignored her. And now this woman offered to lend her one of her pants? What was that about? It was a good offer though.
"That would be great, thanks."
"You're welcome." The woman said, smiling as she held out her hand. "I'm Theresa."
Lily shook the hand.
"I'm Lily. Nice to meet you."
"Same here." Theresa said. "Well...follow me."
So Lily did. She followed the tall, blonde woman out of the Starbucks. They crossed the street and entered a huge, white building. The second they closed the door behind them, Theresa turned to her and smiled.
"I live on the third floor so you'll have to climb a few stairs."
"That's okay." Lily said, returning the smile.
Theresa started climbing the stairs and Lily followed. She checked her watch again. Twenty minutes late.
Theresa opened the door of apartment 18C and stepped inside. She held the door open for Lily and made an inviting gesture.
Lily stepped inside and Theresa closed the door behind her.
"Make yourself at home." Theresa smiled. "I'll just go and find those pants. I'll be right back and then I'll make us some coffee, since...well...I owe you a cup."
Before Lily could say anything to that, Theresa disappeared into a room and left Lily all alone in the livingroom. Because that was where she was. Apparently the frontdoor led straight into the livingroom. It was a rather big livingroom though. Nothing to complain there. Although it was big, it was still warm and cozy. There was a couch standing in the middle of the room and there was a glass table in front of it with a vase of red roses on it. There was a beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling above the table, which gave the room a kind of classic look. Lily really loved it. There was an old-looking bookcase standing against one of the walls filled with, how surprising, books. Next to the bookcase stood a desk. It was kind of messy, because there were a lot of papers and books scattered all over it, but at the same time this was a part of its charm and it added to the coziness of the room. On either wall were hanging paintings. They seemed to be made by the same artist. They were landscapes mostly, but not of the boring kind. They were actually pretty nice and although Lily thought she knew a lot about art, she couldn't place quite place these paintings. The windows were covered up with curtains with flowerprint on them. They weren't the kind of curtains you would find at your grandmothers house though, they were a bit more modern with red and white roses on them that perfectly matched the roses on the table. On either side of Lily there were doors. Two on her right side and one on her left. The two on her right were open. Theresa had disappeared into the first one and it obviously led to a bedroom. Lily could hear Theresa going through her closet and felt bad for putting her through all of this. The other door seemed to lead into the kitchen. The door on her left was closed and Lily had no idea what could be found behind it.
"Found them." Theresa's voice came from the bedroom.
Lily slowly took off her coat and held it in her hand. At that moment Theresa came out of the bedroom holding a pair pants that indeed closely resembled the pants Lily was wearing.
"Here you go." She said as she handed Lily the pants. "You can put them on in the bedroom if you like, but my fiancé is in the bathroom right now, so you might want to wait for a few minutes. He'll probably get a heart attack if he gets out of the shower and finds a strange woman in his bedroom."
"Understandable." Lily nodded.
"You still up for that cup of coffee?"
Lily hesitated for a second, but then nodded at Theresa. She could never say no to coffee and she was already way too late anyway, so it would be best if she just skipped the meeting and immediately went to the apologizing part. With clean pants on.
"Okay...well...you sit down and make yourself comfortable and I'll be right back." Theresa said.
"You sure I'm not messing up your plans for today?" Lily asked.
"My plans for today were still pretty much non-existent since I have the day off today, so...no...I just went out to get my fiancé some coffee, because I know he adores Starbucks coffee, but he'll just have to stop whining and drink homemade coffee."
"Spoken like a true wife." Lily said.
"I'm getting there." Theresa joked and disappeared into the kitchen.
Lily walked up to the couch and sat down. She put down her purse, coat and the black pants next to it and looked around the room once again. Theresa seemed like a really nice woman and she really was a lifesaver. If she had showed up at her meeting looking like this, they would have fired her without a doubt. Of course not showing up at the meeting at all wasn't exactly a great move either, but hopefully a good excuse would fix that.
"Why were you in such a hurry anyway?" Theresa's voice came from the kitchen.
"I had to get to a business meeting...but I'm already late now anyway." Lily said.
"What kind of meeting?"
"Well I recently started as a journalist...well an intern actually, since I still go to school."
"A journalist? That sounds like fun."
"It is. Although so far I only got to watch the big guys work and I haven't had any writing action of my own yet."
"Sounds fun nonetheless."
"It is." Lily confirmed.
It was then that Lily heard someone come into the room. Probably Theresa's fiancé. Before she had the time to get up and turn around she heard the man's voice.
"Ehh...Theresa...honey...There's a strange woman sitting on our couch."
It was supposed to be a joke and Lily heard Theresa laugh.
"It's okay. She ruined her clothes because of me, so I'm loaning her some clothes."
When Lily turned around she couldn't believe her own eyes. The man smiled at her and held out his hand, obviously not experiencing the feeling of recognition that Lily was. She managed to shake the guy's hand.
"Is she a gift from heaven or what? This is just another reason for me to teasingly call her Mother Theresa. She hates that." the man started. "I'm Ryan. Ryan Davies."
"I know..." Lily said.
Ryan froze and they just stood in front of each other, holding each other's hand. Fate had struck once again.