The rain fell hard. He was drenched as the water slid down his face but he did not care. He just stood staring at the girl in front of him. Well she was a woman now.

"But…I love you…" he said in a barley audible whisper.

For the first time since they had met all those years ago there was silence between them. All that could be heard was the splashing of the rain as it crashed down from the Heavens to the Earth. It was raining so hard now that he had to squint his eyes to stop the water from going in them.

"I…" she began. She stood on the porch of her house, shielded from the rain. But he knew she was cold. "I…can't."

"Why?" he asked immediately.

"Because…" she took a deep breath. "This isn't right. I know that and so do you."

"What do you mean this isn't right?!" he yelled. His emotions getting the better of him. "We've been through so much together! You've seen the best and worst in me and I've seen the same in you!" He stopped, giving himself time to cool down. "But we were always there for each other…"

"Alex…" she began.

"NO JASMINE!" he said. "I'm in love with you! It's as simple as that" tears began to fall from his eyes although they couldn't be distinguished from the rain already falling down his cheeks. "You don't think I've tried to snap myself out of this? You think I wanted this to happen? For so long I tried to ignore how I felt about you, tried to brush it away. But I just couldn't!"

Alex held his head low so Jasmine couldn't see his tears. But she knew he was crying. She always knew when he was in pain.

"You said these exact same words about Natalie---"

"Natalie is my past!" Alex cut in. "I want my future to be with you Jasmine."

"I couldn't betray Natalie like that" Jasmine said as tears began to flow down her own face. "She was...is my best friend."

Silence once again passed between the two. Alex raised his head to look at Jasmine. God how did he get himself in this situation he asked himself.

"After the accident…" he began. "After what happened to Natalie…" he stopped. It had been four years and he still found it hard to speak about what had happened, even to Jasmine. "I was empty. I felt nothing but this dull pain right in my chest. The way I was…"

"It hurt me to see you like that Alex."

"The way I was…" Alex continued. "I never want to feel like that again. Nothing mattered but the pain and guilt I felt." Alex looked down at a puddle on the ground. Taking a moment to watch the smooth water surface break as rain and his tears splashed into it. "I thought I'd be like that forever" he said looking back up at Jasmine. "But you saved me…"

"No" Jasmine whispered. "You saved me Alex. After the accident…we both needed someone to lean on."

"Jasmine, I won't lie to you" Alex started. "What I had with Natalie was special and…" He rubbed the tears away from his eyes. "She will always be a part of me. I never thought I would feel like that about another girl but…" Alex gave a meek smile. "Just like always you had to prove me wrong."

Jasmine let out a small smile.

"And I'm sure Natalie would want us both to be happy. Even if that happiness was only found with each other. She was so kind and good hearted like that…"

Jasmine knew he was right. She had known Natalie practically since she was born and they had been best friends since as far back as she could remember. Natalie was the most kind and good willed person Jasmine had ever met. Even though Jasmine used to tease her about how shy she was Natalie always put herself out for others and tried to make the best out of any situation.

"This thing between us can't be wrong if it brings us both so much happiness" Alex said. "And I can't go on ignoring it."

"This was it" Jasmine thought to herself. She had to make a choice now whether she liked it or not. Give into her feelings for Alex or continue ignoring them for her friendship with Natalie.

"I…"

TO BE CONTINUED