Crash into You
In every girl's lifetime, there will always be that ex boyfriend she never quite gets over. The one she sometimes (okay, more often than she should) thinks about and wonders why she ever let him get away. Regardless, she knows that as much as she wonders what a second chance would mean, she knows it's never going to happen because she'll probably never see him again. But most girls aren't unfortunate enough to live and work in the same small town as their ex boyfriends. Most girls don't have ex boyfriends who happen to frequent the same places at the same time. Most girls don't have a coffee-drinking-donut-eating cop for an ex boyfriend.
Case in point: Most girls aren't me.
But believe me; no girl wants to be me.
Sure, I've got the dream job working as an attorney specializing in corporate law. I have my own house, money, and independence. I can do anything. Nothing should be able to stop me.
Except for a guy named Aaron Meyer, former high school football star quarterback, now turned into every reasonably law-abiding citizens' worst nightmare: a police officer.
Now, in high school, Aaron was always one of those good guys everyone liked. All the girls had crushes on him (including myself), and he was friends with all the guys. I mean, this kid could do no wrong. Or at least that's what we all thought.
When Aaron and I began dating our first year of college, I found out the innocence was only a façade. Turns out he had a history of breaking and entering, not to mention a long list of misdemeanors I can't even begin to name. But he never got caught for any of this.
Case in point: Aaron Meyer was a total rule breaker.
So when I came back to our quaint little town of Summitridge, straight out of law school and equipped with my license to practice law, determined to open up my own private practice in the place I knew best – only to find out from my parents that Aaron Meyer was now the law himself – well, that shocked me into the next century.
I had never actually made direct contact with him since coming back to town. If we were both at the same coffee shop (which happened on more than one occasion), I always happened to spot him first and get the hell out of there. When switching coffee shops and even randomizing the times I went didn't stop me from seeing him, I knew the world was officially against me.
It's not like Aaron and I had parted on bad terms. I'm not going to lie and tell you I wasn't in love with him, because at one point I would have sworn he was the guy. But it had been a mutual decision that we both had different goals; mine being that I wanted to become a lawyer and Aaron's being that he didn't have any – at least not yet. I was leaving for law school, he was staying in town to figure things out. Nothing tragic. It was just a simple, easy break up. A break up I sometimes looked back on and wondered what would have happened if we had stayed together. Aside from ambitions, we were more than compatible. And the chemistry was definitely there.
I should have known from all the coffee shop near run-ins that running into Aaron in person was bound to happen, one way or another. It was a small town and Aaron prowled the city regularly, looking for reasons to issue violations or citations or whatever it was the police did.
I just hadn't expected to rear-end his squad car at a stop light.
Case in point: By deliberately avoiding Aaron, I was prolonging the inevitable.
It was definitely my fault, although it shouldn't have happened. For one, as a general rule, I avoided driving on the same streets as police cars; it was just a fear I had.
Another reason why this shouldn't have happened: the driver should have accelerated.
But as was the case, I was on my way home, it was late, and, despite the knowledge that there was a squad car right in front of me, there was no way I was going to take a detour just to avoid it. I was so close and what, really, were the chances of Aaron Meyer being the driver of the car in front of me?
Apparently the chances were greater than I anticipated, because once the stoplight turned green and the police car in front of me had released its brakes, I gently nudged my accelerator, only to be lurched forward and crash into the bumper of the police car in front of me. The police car, which I'd assumed would accelerate once the brakes were released, had slowed down, and in my eagerness to get home, I'd missed this and heard (not to mention felt) the jolt of my front bumper colliding with his rear bumper.
We both pulled over, me silently cursing myself as I sat in my car, eyes closed and hands gripped to the steering wheel, praying that I could somehow talk my way out of this. I hadn't exactly paid off law school yet, nor had my new law practice brought me a substantial amount of profit.
There was a tap on my window and I rolled it down, eyes still closed.
"Officer, I am so sorry. I thought you were going forward, but you slowed down and I didn't notice and – " I stopped and opened my eyes, realizing I was babbling. That was no way to talk myself out of this situation.
And then my heart literally stopped for a split second when I opened my eyes and looked straight into the familiar, smoldering brown orbs that belonged to Aaron Meyer himself.
It was Aaron Meyer, in the flesh, leaning down into my window and not looking surprised to see me in the least.
World, what do you have against me?
Aaron immediately smiled when we made eye contact. I'm talking that trademark, million dollar, one hundred mega watt smile he used to give girls. That smile that made them – and me, now that I think about it – swoon. The smile that still, to this very day, has the same effect on me. I all but melted in my seat.
Case in point: Oh, hell. No case. Aaron Meyer was just still as attractive as ever.
"Well, well, little lady," he said, eyes twinkling, "Looks like you've bumped into me."
"Aaron!" I exclaimed in surprise (though I definitely should have seen this coming). "It's you!"
"Most people call me Officer Meyer now, but I'll let that one slide since we've got history and all," he grinned amicably. "And yes, it is me. I'm surprised we haven't run into each other before this. Deanna told me you were back in town for good a few weeks ago."
Deanna, his younger sister, had been the one to set us up way back when. It seemed fitting that she'd be the first person to tell him I was back.
"You know," I began, tapping my fingers on my steering wheel and wondering where this was going, "I might have seen you at Pete's Coffee and Donut shop the other day, but I wasn't entirely sure it was you."
Aaron smiled again and nodded. "Sure," he agreed. "It's been, what, almost five years since we last saw each other? Understandable. We've changed. I look different, you look different."
"Actually," he paused to study my face, "You look great."
I was glad it was dark enough that he couldn't see me blush.
"Oh, please," I scoffed, trying to hide how pleased I was to hear this, "Everyone looks better in the dark."
He shook his head slightly and said, "No, I'm pretty sure you're even more beautiful since I last saw you."
As he said that, he leaned in to brush a stray strand of hair from my face. His fingers brushed against my skin, and at his touch, I involuntarily shivered. This was the closest I'd been to him in at least five years.
"I missed you, Tiny," he said fondly. A goofy grin replaced the megawatt smile that had graced his features just moments before. I could only imagine that he was reminiscing.
Tiny was what he'd started calling me after our third date, when we'd been wrestling and he'd scooped me up, proclaiming how tiny I was. I'd been offended at first, because the way he'd said it made it seem like there was something wrong with me. Not that I was tiny at all – I was just smaller than he was. He'd been a football player, after all. I lost that particular wrestling match, as he'd proceeded to show me just how powerless I was against him. Recalling that night brought a smile to my face, as that was the night he claimed his win by making out with me like the lusty, hormone-driven teenagers we were.
I'd protested to his calling me Tiny until I finally realized it had become a term of endearment coming from him, rather than a way to tease me. And now he was bringing up the past again. I wondered if he was remembering the same memory I'd just recalled.
This conversation was wandering over toward some dangerous territory – territory I wasn't sure was safe to enter.
"Are you sure this is what you should be talking about with a woman who just hit your car?" I asked, desperate to change the subject.
Thinking about Aaron Meyer was one thing. Imagining meeting up with him again was another. But actually breeching the topic of the past with him was entirely another matter in itself. Because it was then that I realized I wasn't sure I was as over Aaron Meyer as I'd told myself. In fact, if I put the evidence together, I was definitely still head over heels for him. Seeing him was like falling in love all over again. I was sure he had to have a girlfriend or even fiancée waiting for him at home, though, and that was why I couldn't let this go any further.
"You're not just a woman, though, Tiny. You're you!" he smiled. His demeanor suddenly changed. "Why are you so desperate to get rid of me?"
"I just," I fumbled for the right words to formulate a plausible lie, "I just really want to get home, that's all. And I mean, it's great seeing you again but it's been a long day and now that I've seen you once, I'm sure I'll see you again. This town is so small, right?"
"Come on, we haven't seen each other in years and now you're trying to avoid me? Are we in high school?"
"No!" I shook my head fervently, flustered. "No, I'm not trying to avoid you at all! I just want to get home."
"Then maybe you can get out of your car and come inspect the damage," he coaxed. "Maybe I'll let you off easy."
Straightening up, I tried to put on my best happy face. "Can't we do this tomorrow? It's dark and I think it would be better if we saw this in better lighting."
But nevertheless, he stepped back so I could get out of my car.
"Tomorrow would mean seeing me again," he reasoned while I crouched down to inspect the damage to my car. I thought for sure this would buy me some more time to process that here was Aaron Meyer, the guy I'd never gotten over, turned into the man I still couldn't seem to let go. He'd just called me beautiful and told me he missed me. What was that supposed to mean?
"But no," he concluded. "Best to file a report tonight while everything is still fresh in our minds. It would be best not to forget that I slowed because I saw you in my rearview mirror. This was my fault, really."
My jaw dropped right then, and I got up and turned around. "You stopped because you saw me?"
"Can I be honest with you right now, because I doubt I'll ever feel this audacious ever again," he paused and grinned nervously, watching me nod numbly like the mute that I was.
"Deanna told me you were coming back, so I kept a lookout for you. I've seen you all over town the past few weeks, hoping to run into to you by some 'coincidence'. We never did, and I couldn't wait any longer, so I figured I had to make something happen. That minor crash was orchestrated by yours truly and perfectly executed, if I do say so myself. Not a bad job on your part either; there's just a little dent. Nothing that can't be easily fixed."
Aaron finally took a deep breath and exhaled. "That felt good."
I still wasn't sure what he was trying to communicate to me. "So you set this whole thing up?" I asked, dumbfounded. "Why?"
"Well, Tiny, I didn't know how else to get your attention. You've been avoiding me since you got back. Tell me, do I mean anything to you now, or am I just some guy you dated for three years?"
I shook my head dumbly. How could he ever think that?
"You were the one I let get away," I murmured, surprised by the words that were coming out of my mouth.
Even in the faint glow of the streetlight behind us, I saw his eyes widen. He hadn't been expecting that.
"Why'd you let me get away?" he asked, crossing his arms over his chest.
"I thought that was in our best interests for the future," I said. "We wanted different things."
"I wanted you," he said quietly, shaking his head ruefully. "That was all I ever really wanted."
"I wanted you too," I said, looking around helplessly. "But I also wanted a career. I wanted to get out of this small town and be someone."
"If you were so eager to leave, why'd you come back?" he challenged.
"Not for you, if that's what you're assuming," I said quickly, although I immediately wished I could take the words back when I saw the hurt that stung on his face.
In my head and to other people, my explanation had been simple. Summitridge was a small town, the town I knew best. I knew what the people who lived there were like and the common legal issues that would arise. I was no outsider to the community. But I knew that subconsciously, the fact that Aaron Meyer still lived and worked there factored into my decision in coming back. I'd never openly admit that to anyone, but it was the truth.
"I didn't expect you to come back for me," Aaron said gently, "But maybe I was stupid to think I'd have something to do with it."
I sighed. "I loved you, Aaron," I told him honestly. "But even I'm not foolish enough not to try to come back and rekindle a flame that burned out years ago."
"Who says it ever went out?" he asked.
I scoffed. "Are you telling me you don't have a girlfriend or even a fiancée waiting for you to get home?" I demanded.
"I never quite got over you, Tiny," he said huskily, smiling as he took a step closer to me.
All of a sudden my breathing became uneven and my heart was racing. In the five years that I'd been gone, no guy had ever made me react this way. My mouth had gone dry and I wasn't sure what to say.
"All you have to do is say you missed me too," he tilted my chin up with his fingers and instinctively I closed my eyes, waiting for him to kiss me.
He didn't. Instead, I opened my eyes, and was met by Aaron's smirking face.
"I let you go once, so I want to hear you say it," he urged gently.
I sighed and leaned into him. "I still love you," I whispered.
I stood on my tip toes and pressed my lips into his. Aaron resisted for a while, stunned but in seconds he was giving in to anxious, suppressed pleasure, as if he were afraid I'd leave again. He slammed his lips into mine, expecting the timid kisses of his shy and demure former girlfriend. But that girl had disappeared long ago. In her place was a woman with wants, desires and needs. I'd missed him, and I wanted him. So badly.
We kissed so roughly that neither of us flinched when our bodies crashed into the hood of my car. I matched every movement of his tongue with my own and I gasped when he lifted me off the ground. Instinctively my legs wrapped around his waist. His hands explored the curves of my body, familiarizing himself with every inch again. All the while he kissed me with fervor, and I could tell he'd waited five years to do this. I'd waited that long to kiss him, too.
"I'm not sure this place is big enough for the both of us, if you're going to crash into me all the time," he whispered breathlessly in my ear when we finally stopped for air.
This was what I remembered best. Breathless. He always managed to leave me breathless.
"Then maybe you should stop getting in my way," I shot back unevenly, still trying to regain steady breathing.
Five years ago, I will admit to thinking that Aaron Meyer was what was stopping me from getting out of Summitridge and going to law school. But now, I think the real reason I made Aaron the scapegoat was because I was in love with him, and that alone scared me. That was why I left, but to be fair, that was partly why I came back.
Case in point: I never fully got over Aaron Meyer, and I probably never will. But the good thing is that some exes just aren't meant to be forgotten.
A/N: So if you're one of my loyal readers, you know I don't write one-shots, mostly because I enjoy writing more developed stories. I tend to like to hang onto my characters and develop a nice, strong bond with them, and with a one-shot you can't really do that. With that said, should you decide to review, please keep in mind that this is my FIRST real attempt at a one-shot (This is for You doesn't really count), and I am open to any critiques or suggestions you may have. I probably won't write these regularly, but comments would be extremely helpful if I were to attempt writing another one-shot in the future. Thanks for reading and I hope you can spare me a few seconds to leave some feedback!
A side announcement: To those of you who have read my other stories, I'm currently in the process of planning a sequel to Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell -- something I never thought I'd do. But I was oddly inspired the other day to do something from Brendan's POV and right now it's all I can think about writing. It would pick up where Brigette's left off (around the time she gets the concussion but before she and Brendan get together) and tie up some loose ends that weren't, er, tied in Brigette's story. Plus, I'm just not quite finished with Brendan and Brigette yet. I'd like to know what you all think about that. HOWEVER that does mean that Accidentally in Love would stay on hiatus until further notice. Again, Brendan's story is still tentative and I may decide not to go through with it after all. Suggestions or comments? Feel free to leave it in a review or send me a personal message!