He checked himself in the full-length mirror, swallowing anxiously as he smoothed out imaginary wrinkles, wiping his sweaty palms on his pants. His pale green eyes darted to the corner of the mirror as the door handle gradually began to turn, a blonde head of loose curls peeking in. A smile lit up his face as he turned around, seeing his once best friend that he once knew like the back of his hand.
"Wow…hey, I didn't know if you were going to make it! I sent you an invitation, but you never got back to me—" He eyed her ripped jeans and small black hoodie that ended just beneath her chest, a white tank top underneath. Her blonde hair with brown streaks was a bit tousled; her bangs clipped back shabbily. She wasn't dressed as if she was attending a wedding, but no matter what she had on any day, she could still catch the eye of any man in a room. She had that affect since the eighth grade.
"I've been," she rapidly searched for an excuse, "so busy, with my two jobs, with babysitting my new two little sisters, and with school," she finished quietly, her hand reaching up to rest on her elbow, her brown eyes dropping to the white carpeted floor. "I…I'm not here for the wedding," she told him as she dodged his exotic eyes, nervously beginning to rub her elbow and upper arm, "but I at least wanted to see you on your big day."
It took only a second for the smile to drop from his face, for his eyes to inspect her for any explanation as to why she wouldn't stay for his supposedly 'big day'. Didn't it matter to her? He wanted her to be at his wedding, to dance around like the silly fool everyone knew she was at his reception. Or did she change? Was she no longer the girl that laughed at the stupidest things, that could make the grumpiest person burst into laughter by a lame joke? He didn't know. She slowly pulled away from him those three years ago, when he met his current fiancée.
"You look handsome—jeez, I can only imagine how beautiful Candace is in her wedding dress," she forced out, her bottom lip trembling as her eyes widened at the floor. This was it. He was getting away from her, and in a few minutes, he would be a married man. She was losing him. Why did she wait so long? Why was she such an idiot? "You two will paint the perfect picture," she added, her throat tightening as her palms became damp, tears rushing to her brown eyes, but didn't dare to spill over in front of him.
He turned his back to the blonde, fixing his hair as he stared back at his reflection, "Why won't you be attending?"
"I have to work," she lied, "but I made the effort to drop by and see you…before you leave on your honeymoon and everything."
"…I see," he murmured disappointedly, "you'll be missing out—especially at the reception! You know Jake," his best friend and number one party animal, "will let loose on the dance floor after a few drinks. It'll be a blast—he's always fun to be around. Also, Candace mentioned that she wanted you to be at our wedding—maybe more of a chance for you two to bond, ya know? After meeting her for the first time, you just kinda…stopped hanging around—"
"I love you."
"—and you never told me what was wrong—" He stopped his rambling, his eyes sharply darting to her figure in the mirror as his mouth formed a thin, tight line. Their eyes met, and he saw the unshed tears, the way her hands were at her sides and clenched tightly. He looked over his shoulder, a small smile coming to his lips, "I've missed you, and you're my friend, so I love—"
"No,Owen—I don't love you as a friend, o-or a brother. I love you—"
"Shut up," he interrupted harshly as he turned to face her, pointing his index finger at her, "shut up—don't do this to me—"
"I've loved you for so long, but I've been such a coward!"
"It's my wedding day, Sophie! How the hell can you walk in here and say this shit to me?" How long has he waited to hear those three words from her? He waited so long while they were in high school, as she flirted in front of him, as she went out with other men. He kept quiet, until he finally declared that he loved her during their senior year in high school, a day before graduation. She turned his feelings down, and said that she wanted to remain friends, and that was that. He never bothered her again, and two years later, he finally met a woman that could mend his heart, and he made the choice to move on.
"I…I…wanted to let you know. Are you sure you love her?"
"YES," he shouted, stepping closer to her, "I'm marrying her, aren't I? I'm committing myself to her, Sophie. I love Candace. She's going to be my wife in a matter of minutes—"
A sob tore through, and she lifted her fisted hands to her face as tears came, her hands covering her eyes as she stood helplessly in front of him, his heart wrenching at her sobs. Was he absolutely over her? No. Could anyone ever say that they forgot their first love?
"How could you do this to me? Telling me now, of all times, Sophie?" Feelings were stirring. How many times did he imagine holding her in his arms intimately, kissing her, caressing her face, having her body pressed against his—plenty of times, until Candace began to take those thoughts away.
"I've wanted…to tell you, but…I've never been so scared like I am now. You're getting married and…I'm losing you. I'm so scared."
"You should have told me—you shouldn't have held back! I can't help you now—I can't do anything—I can't return your feelings, I can't stop the wedding, and I can't hurt Candace." He watched miserably and silently as she continued to tremble, her muscles tensing as she felt his warm arms embrace her, his fingers threading themselves through her hair as he held her close.
He flinched when someone knocked on the wooden door, his eyes lifting to stare at it as he heard his brother's voice from the other side, "Five minutes! Get rid of those nerves and get your ass out here."
"…I'll be right out," he replied, overlooking the part of him that wanted to continue holding the girl in his arms as soon as her hands slipped up between their bodies, resting on his chest.
"I'm so sorry," she murmured solemnly, "it's your wedding day, and I only thought of myself…barging in here and telling you how I feel. I knew you wouldn't leave Candace on your wedding day, that you wouldn't abandon her so easily, but I needed you to know…and I don't know why. I just wanted you to know how I really feel." Her eyes shut as she enjoyed the feel of his body, knowing that most likely, this was the last time she would allow herself to get so close to him.
Sophie forced herself to pull away from his body, facing him with a small smile. He was happy, wasn't that what mattered the most? Who was she to come between them?
"Owen, come on already!" A voice shouted from outside the room, snapping the both of them out of their staring. Owen swallowed uncomfortably, unsure of what to say to the woman in front of him. She extended her hand, patting his bicep, "It's your wedding day, and if it's possible, just put what I just said in the back of your mind, and just focus on you two." Her slender hand fell from him and he passed her, no more words exchanged between the two of them. She turned; watching as he opened the door, her eyes focused on his back as he stood for several seconds more before walking out.
"So, since you managed to get days off for Christmas, what are your plans?"
"Earth to Sophie!"
Sophie paused in placing cans on the shelf, looking at her co-worker and friend with a puzzled look. "What were you saying? Sorry." The brunette rolled her eyes, repeating her question. "Oh…hmm, I'm not too sure. All I know is that my parents want us to be at their house on Christmas Eve and stay for a few days. I'll probably ask around for some Christmas parties."
"I see…is something bothering you, Soph?"
"No," she lied with a smile, "why do you ask?"
"Ever since this morning, you've just seemed…so out of it. Tony asked if you wanted a bag of chips, and he threw them, and they hit you right in the head because you were staring off into space. And then you tripped over a box…that was right there, out in the open, hard to miss." She smiled, "You know you can tell me anything, if something is wrong. I'll listen."
Sophie nodded slowly, placing a few more cans on the shelf as costumers passed by. Exhaling loudly, she looked back to her friend, "Jen, you remember Owen, right? He was at a few parties that we went to."
She sighed dreamily, "How can I forget those green eyes of his?"
Sophie laughed, his eyes always being the first thing that women noticed. "Anyway, he's been…dating this girl or whatever-I don't know, I didn't ask for details…and I'm feeling a bit jealous."
"I thought you two were friends though."
"Yeah, we've been friends for a few years…and at the end of our senior year, he told me he loved me."
Jen gasped dramatically, "And you turned that hot piece of meat down! What the hell is wrong with you, girl? He's a handsome human being."
Sophie rolled her eyes, "At the time, I had a boyfriend, and Owen is a great guy. He's funny, kind, and we have a lot in common—and honestly, yes, I was attracted to him at the time, but I wasn't going to leave my boyfriend for Owen, and test out a relationship with him. But after that boyfriend dumped me a few months later, I sat down and really put some thought into dating Owen…but I've been way too shy to even bring it up."
Jen glanced over her shoulder in annoyance when a child began to throw a tantrum in the middle of the store. "Pfft. You? Shy?" A big grin appeared on her lips, "You table dance at parties, Soph."
Color came to her cheeks, "After too many drinks!"
"Mmhmm…hey, Owen has had girlfriends before, so why are you getting all jealous over this girl?"
"I've…just been sitting around for so long, and I've never told Owen how I feel about him, and I'm sure he's confused too about where we are with each other. I don't…want him to continue to think that I see him as a brother and close friend, because…he'll move on. That scares me."
"You're looking a little out of it," Owen spoke as he entered the small apartment, brushing snow from his hair, "and you really should learn to start locking your front door." He paused, unzipping his coat as his green eyes focused on the blonde sitting on the couch, wrapped up in an electric blanket, the television on low volume. "Another vision?"
"Ah—yes…" He knew of her visions, visions that could travel seconds, days, weeks, months, or even years into the future. Some were frivolous, like receiving a gift of what she wanted, while in some visions, she could see severe accidents happening.
"How far ahead?" He asked, kicking off his wet shoes and draping his coat over the back of a chair.
"…Far enough," she murmured, watching as he took a seat next to her, pulling some of the blanket away from her to feel the warmth as well. "Is the weather clearing up any?"
"The news said it was going to get worse in an hour or so," he replied with a small smile, "so I may be stuck here tonight if you don't mind." She shook her head in a negative manner, "Oh," his brows shot up, "remember when I was telling you that I've been seeing this girl Candace while you were away visiting your mom and dad last month? I want you to meet her, you'll like her—she's a friendly person, and I think I'm going to make our relationship official the next time I see her. Maybe it'll turn out to be a good move. She's a really cool girl, and she's fun to be around. You two will get along great."
"Candace," the name clicked instantaneously, "brown hair, blue eyes, freckles on her face?"
He took his eyes away from the television to look at her, "Did I tell you what she looked like?"
"No way!" A smile spread across his handsome face, "Did you have a vision of her? Tell me, what was it about, Sophie?"
"It was all a big blur," she grumbled, dropping her gaze and picking at the chipped red nail polish on her fingers. She made a mental note to get her nails done when she had the time.
"Liar! I don't believe you for a second. Was she in it?"
"Whatever! I am not a liar. I've told you before that some visions aren't all that clear." He gave her a dubious look, and she sighed, nodding tentatively, "…Yes. Okay, so maybe she was in it for a split second."
"Are you going to tell me?"
"…Tell you?" Her eyes traveled to the balcony window several feet away, a small frown on her face.
"Yeah, are you going to tell me what you saw? Sophie, it isn't nice to keep secrets from your closest friend!" He wrapped an arm around her, "I can easily go outside and get snow, putting it down the back of your shirt if you don't tell me," he threatened lightly, losing his small smile.
He would do it too.
She turned her head to glance at him, hesitation coming over her as soon as their eyes met each other. It was clear that he wanted to know what she had seen. She wanted him to forget, wanted him to change the topic as soon as he started to pick up on how uncomfortable she was becoming.
"…you'll like her—she's a friendly person, and I think I'm going to make our relationship official…"
He sighed as minutes ticked on by, removing his arm from her shoulders and scooting to the edge of the cushion, standing up, "Got anything to drink?" Her brows wrinkled as she stared at his back, the same back she saw when he was walking away from her, and to another woman to marry. She knew it bothered him when she didn't share her visions with him, since she trusted him, and he was one of the first people she told about her gift outside of her parents and siblings. She gripped her blanket, her jaw clenching as she remembered him in his tuxedo, the cheerful smile on his face.
"…I'm committing myself to her, Sophie. I love Candace. She's going to be my wife in a matter of minutes—"
She recalled the two of them walking out of the church, hand in hand, large smiles on their faces as everyone cheered, but her, as she watched from across the street. It was a nightmare.
Her hand shot out, her fingers gripping the fabric of his sweater as she sat forward, her eyes full of apprehension as Owen looked at her over his shoulder. He became concerned, feeling the trembling of her hand and turning around as she stood up, the blanket slipping from her body and falling onto the carpet. Her hands reached up, cupping his face and putting her weight on her tiptoes, pressing her lips onto his.
Shock was palpable in his green eyes as her warmer lips remained connected to his, but it didn't last as long as he would've liked. Her hands on his cheeks, she parted from him, "I know it's sudden and all, but I don't want anyone else but you, and I don't want anyone else to have you. I love you, only you—"
"What? But…w-what about Toby?"
"All I think about when I'm with him is you," Sophie replied openly, the both of them referring to her current boyfriend, her boyfriend that she knew would cheat on her in a week or two with some other girl at a party. "I love you, I want to spend…th-the rest of my life with you. I only want to see you when I wake up in the morning, I want to see you when I go to sleep at night, I want to lay my head on your shoulder, I want to see you as the father of my children in the future—"
His eyes widened, "We have kids in the future?"
Confusion entered her brown eyes for a moment, "What? I don't know…but…I just want you to know…I don't want to be scared," she no longer wanted to see other women by his side, "I want to trust you, I want…to be with you, b-but if you don't want—"
"Silly girl," he murmured, "I'm still not over you. I've been trying to get over you, but…I've been unsuccessful in that."
"…But, Candace?" Was it really okay for her to be changing things? Wasn't she being selfish?
He scratched the back of his head, "Well…I like her, but we're not that serious."
"But you were planning on asking her out...I don't…I mean, if you really like her…" Her hands fell from his face and she played with her fingers, her cheeks becoming red, "I…it's just hard for me to accept living my life…without you there and I don't mean to say this when you're planning to ask some girl out, but…"
His hand rested on top of her head, messing up her hair just a bit. "It's okay, Sophie…I'd choose you over any girl any day. For once, something is turning out the way I want it to." He laughed, a large smile on his face, "It makes me…very happy to hear these words coming from you, Soph."
He embraced her in those strong, safe arms of his, and she slowly returned the gesture, staring out of the balcony window. They were both happy, but she didn't think about Candace and her feelings at all. Was she doing the wrong thing by getting in the middle of their relationship?
Or was the vision sent to her so she'd have the chance to change how things would've turned out? That's what she wanted to think. She closed her eyes, squeezing her arms around him, wanting to forget about her hellish vision and about the future Owen could have with Candance, and more than glad that Owen seemed to have forgotten about the vision that involved Candance.
"...I love you, Owen," she murmured softly into his chest, pushing away the guilt as he tightened his hold on her, kissing the top of her head.
I'm not too sure where this all came from, but tell me what you thought :)
Sorry for any mistakes found!
As always, reviews are appreciated.