A/N: Hope you enjoy, that is all I have to say!
Hate That I Love You
"What happens when everything you hate becomes everything you want?"
Chapter One: Mia
"Sitting at the beach alone is a girl seventeen or so. Rain is pouring all around her and yet she doesn't seem to mind; it hides her tears. She looks out towards the ocean with an empty stare watching how the waves crash angrily against the rocky shore. In a depressing sort of way it reminds her of how she's feeling on the inside. How do I know what she's feeling? The answer is simple…because that girl is me."
My name is Mia Mathews, I am seventeen years old, and here's the thing…I haven't had my first kiss yet. That's not the reason why I'm here at the beach in the pouring rain; I'm here because I've found out that my very first kiss will be shared with my fiancé.
I look disgusted by the mere thought of him; sadly my husband to be is not the man of my dreams, or the love of my life. In fact to me he's a living nightmare, he's a walking headache his name is Aaron James. I've known him…well…really all my life; I've known him before middle school, before elementary school even before preschool. Our moms were ironically pregnant around the same time so naturally when they met in the hospital they became instant friends; Aaron was born on December 31st while I was born on January 1st of the following year. Of course he being the jerk he is never lets me forget it; he's always rubbing it in my face that he'll get his license before me or how he'll be able to do this or that…it's infuriating! He makes it seem like such a big deal when really it's not; I was born one day after him, but unfortunately that one day makes all the difference.
Strange things started happening when we both turned one…when I look back I guess that's when it really all started: the secrets, the visits, and the lies. Every summer and winter we would see each other no matter where we were or what we already had planned. For example, he would come to my house for the summer and then I'll go to his house in winter; then we'd switch off the following year.
There was another little boy and girl that also visited us, but they start visiting us until I was three. Their names escape me, but I think they were something like Troy and Michelle…I'm not sure. They didn't keep visiting like Aaron they stopped when I was six or seven. Before they stopped visiting I remember always getting paired up with Troy and Aaron was paired with Michelle no matter what we were doing. It's funny how jealous I was of her even at a young age…I mean she got to do everything with Aaron; don't get me wrong Troy and I got along great, but being around Aaron was all I wanted. I don't even know why I wanted to be around him so much, but whenever I did get the chance he acted like a complete jerk so I stopped trying to be his friend. When Troy and Michelle stopped coming I felt alone because I assumed Aaron wouldn't give me the time of day, but for some reason he changed; he wasn't a jerk to me anymore and I was so happy because I finally got what I wanted. Unfortunately all good things come to an end so when the visits continued over the years we got sick of seeing each other; we hated how everyone always coupled us together all the time. There was never just Aaron or just me there was always Aaron and me; we were even forced to celebrate our birthdays on the same day until middle school.
It was horrible…one side of the party was all guys and then on the other side was all girls; we made sure to keep as far away as possible after all we were in the stage where the other gender had 'cooties.' Then in middle school that all changed instead of finding Aaron disgusting like how I did my friends started finding him cute and attractive; they started coming over just to see him, and that just made his already over inflated ego explode. He didn't have it so easy though because I figured two could play that game; so when his friends started wanting to hang out with me instead of him he got mad and blamed me for it. When I realized it bothered him so much I made sure to take full advantage, but unfortunately he caught on too quickly and did what I was doing only with my friends. All through middle school it was a battle of who could take each other's friends faster and how long could we keep them…stupid but that's how it was.
That didn't exactly help our loathing for each other, and being forced to do everything together didn't help either. If I was invited to a certain boy/girl party Aaron had to tag along, and if Aaron was going to an amusement park I had to go; that didn't stop us from having some fun, but it sure wasn't easy being around each other without fighting somehow. Our parents never really caught onto the fact that Aaron and I despised each other. So when Aaron cut off all my collectible dolls' heads my mom said I was being difficult; he acted like a perfect little angel in front of my parents, but luckily it worked both ways. So when he went tattling to his mom and dad about how I stole his signed baseball they told him to prove it; he tore up my room looking everywhere for it, but when he didn't find it they made him apologize and clean my room. I did take his baseball, but I wasn't stupid enough to hide it in my room; when his parents saw the ball in his room exactly where it always is they grounded him for lying. He was mad, but I was cloud nine…until he got me back; after that it was a game of who could get who in more trouble, but for us it was a war.
Luckily on my 16th birthday my mom tells me that Aaron won't be coming in the summer and I won't be leaving for his house in the winter. It was by far the best gift I received for my sweet 16 without a doubt; there was no Aaron for a whole year.
In that one year a lot of things changed about me inside and out. My normally short and dingy brown hair grew out becoming long layers of luscious chestnut, and my hair wasn't the only thing that grew out. I was no longer short and covered in baby fat; my body grew mirroring the shape and curves of an hour glass, and my skin developed a natural glow. I also grew more confident, and it was easy for me to read people. People who use to bully and tease me were trying to become my friends; they said they were just kidding and they didn't mean what they said or did. I don't know why they were trying so hard to become my friends all of a sudden, but I knew they wouldn't even look in my direction if my 'transformation' didn't take place. After all the teasing and all the fake friends a wall slowly formed separating me from the rest of the world. I'm not anti-social at all, but I am careful who I let in; I'm normally a nice person unless you hurt me or hurt my best friend Tina. Tina is the only girl that stuck by me when my other 'friends' ditched me for Aaron, before my 'transformation,' and stayed with me after it. Tina is the only one who can crack my walls although she hasn't fully broken through yet…no one has.
"Hey, are you okay?" Someone asks bringing me back from memory lane; I look around shocked that someone else is here. I see a figure about three feet away from me; I assume the person is a man by their voice and silhouette. "Are you okay?" He asks again sounding truly concerned; I squint trying to see him through all the rain and fog. I ignore his question momentarily too busy trying to see him more clearly; he walks closer, kneels down and gently grabs my chin lifting it ever so slightly. "Are you okay?" He asks searching my face as if looking for the answer; I nod dumbly unable to find my voice.
"Fine," I say dryly; I quickly clear my throat, "I'm okay." I say a little stronger than before; he looks at me and nods letting go of my chin strangely leaving me longing for his gentle touch again. He looks as if he wants to say something else, but thinks better of it. He stands up and looks around for a moment before looking at me again; he reaches for my hand slowly almost cautiously and pulls me up…I let him. He starts leading me towards the lighthouse which is only a short ways away; I take a couple of steps, but then my senses came flooding back to me. "Let go of me!" I yell hitting him; he lets go of me quickly and I back up annoyed, angry, and scared. He looks at me startled and confused, but then realization washes over his face; he takes a step and lifts his hands in a surrender kind of way.
"Oh…I'm sorry," he says nervously, "that must have looked so…jeez," he says looking down. "I didn't mean to," he keeps blurting out random sentences not making sense; he looks up and sighs annoyed. I stare at him confused and slightly amused, "oh…no…I'm not mad at you it's me…I just can't seem to say the right thing." I look at him and cover my mouth trying to stop myself from giggling; he looks at me and I can see him blush a light shade of pink. He seems like he was telling the truth; it's weird the walls I've spent the past year building is crumbling and to a perfect stranger. "Okay," he says taking a deep breath, "I'm sorry and I just thought that you were cold, considering it's raining and all, and you wanted a place to warm up and get dry." I hesitate looking around nervously, "I don't even have to be there if it makes you… you know uncomfortable." He whispers quietly; I look at him and he turns around and walks off slowly. There's something different about him, but I don't know maybe it was the way I felt when he asked if I was okay, or the way he got so flustered when he realized what I thought but whatever it was I didn't want him to go. I run after him and put my hand on his shoulder making him stop; he turns around and I come face to face with beautiful green eyes. I stare into his eyes speechless while the rain continues to pour down on us; his eyes are breathtaking, and so…familiar. "Yes?" He says softly almost inaudible; I blush and try to find my voice.
"Don't go," I blurt out making him look at me with an unsure smile. "I mean it's okay, I shouldn't assume the worse," I say then notice my hand still resting on his shoulder; I quickly remove my hand trying not to blush.
"No, it's okay you don't have to apologize, after all it wasn't your fault; I probably would have assumed the worse too. I mean it makes sense doesn't it," he says looking around lazily; I stare at him confused and he smiles unsure. "What I meant is that this is the perfect scene for a horror movie, a girl is alone at the beach crying and out of nowhere a guy comes up, and starts leading her to the lighthouse. It does seem a bit suspicious doesn't it?" He says scratching the back of his neck nervously; I smile at his attempt to make a joke of this awkward situation. "Wow…I'm not really helping myself am I?" He says after some thought, I giggle quietly making him chuckle, and before we know it we're both laughing uncontrollably. Our laughter comes to a quick stop when lightning strikes; we look at each other shocked and lightning strikes again about a mile away, and I can't help but scream and move closer to the guy scared out of my wits.
"That was close, oh gosh that was just too close," I say shakily hugging myself. Lightning strikes closer making me flinch; I look at the guy fearfully, and he looks at me obviously trying to stay calm. He reaches for my hand but I pull it away not knowing what to do; he takes a deep breath and focuses on me.
"I know you're scared and I'm really sorry about before but you're going to have to trust me, okay?" He says calmly with the slightest hint of urgency in it; I stare into his green eyes trying to figure out why they're so familiar. "Are you with me?" He asks holding out his hand to me; I take his hand and strangely my hand fit perfectly in his. He tugs me gently towards the lighthouse, and we take off running in its direction with lightning flashing every couple of seconds. "We'll be safe there it has warmth and supplies we'll need," I send him a confused look and he smiles, he has a great smile, he speeds up pulling me with him. "It's not abandoned, in fact I actually know the people who live there," he says once again speeding up; my breath becomes ragged…I was never a good runner.
"What's your name? Mine's Nicole," I say trying to control my breathing; I know I lied but it's better to be safe or sorry, and I didn't really lie I used my middle name. He looks at me sharply, but continues running.
"Chris," he says with a small grin and then looks at the darkening sky. Lightning strikes closer to us making us run faster; I lose my footing and fall, but Chris comes back and helps me up. When we're stable we run off, but the lighthouse seems miles away still. Chris makes it to the lighthouse first; he opens the door struggling slightly. He lets me run in first and quickly follows me shutting the door behind him; I look around to see that everything looks in working condition. I turn to thank Chris when I see him taking off his shirt, his back to me.
"I can't believe you!" I yell, which was pretty stupid considering it got his attention; I run to the door but Chris yells telling me to get away from the door. When I reach for the handle the door flies open nearly hitting me; gusts of wind come in sending small items flying everywhere. I look around scared trying to dodge anything that flies at me; Chris runs and slams the door shut, but the window above us breaks raining glass down on the both of us. Chris pulls me towards him and then gently backs me against the wall; the wind starts blowing harder sending even more objects flying. Chris gets closer to me and puts his arms on both sides of me, locking me in. He's so close I can feel his steady hear beat and smell his cologne, which is probably weird considering I should be worried about the situation we're in, and not about how amazing he smells. Objects start falling from the walls; he gets hit by a small mirror and I can feel him flinch in pain. The winds calm down slightly making the room a whole lot safer; he looks me in the eyes for a moment and then starts closing the window's shutters locking up. I stare at him both in surprise and worry; once again I assumed the worse, he wasn't trying to hurt me he was trying to protect me.
"Are you okay?" He asks walking towards me; I nod unable to use my voice…again. I have no idea what comes over me, but I take a step towards him and hug him. He flinches slightly but hugs me back none the less; I feel something sticky and wet so I pull my hand back confused, and it's covered in blood…his blood. I pull away and turn him around so I can see his back; there's a long gash running just below his shoulder all the way down to his mid back. I gasp quietly but he must have heard because he turns back around, and I quickly hide my hand behind my back but he already saw. "What was that?" He asks but I just look at the ground, "let me see your hand." I take a step back stubbornly; he stares at me confused and takes a step towards me making me take another step back. "Mia—" He stops midsentence, and I glance at him sharply but he avoids my gaze. "Nicole, please let me see your hand," I stare at him trying to figure out what he's hiding behind those green eyes of his; I give up and show him my hand. "What happened? Are you okay? Does it hurt?" I shake my head trying not to smile at his unnecessary concern.
"Chris, it's not my blood," I say softly; he looks at me confused obviously not getting it, "it's your blood. I say slowing just to make sure he gets it.
"Oh…well…that's good," he says letting out a sigh of relief; I stare at him confused…now I feel like I'm not getting it. "I just didn't want you to be hurt," he mumbles trying to hide his blush. I gawk at him, how can he be so concerned about me when he just met me and he's the one who's hurt.
"Um…well…you're bleeding a lot so I need to clean it; can you please tell me where the first aid kit is?" He starts walking towards a door, but I place my hand on his bare shoulder to stop him. "I'll get it. Can you sit on that stool over there?" I ask pointing to a random stool; he grumbles and sits on another stool. I look at him annoyed, but he smiles innocently and I can't help but smile back. For some strange reason what he just did reminds me a lot of something Aaron would do. I open the door slowly and walk into the closet and give out a small sigh of relief; there are flashlights with extra batteries, clothes of different kinds, and thankfully a large first aid kit.
"Are you okay in there?" Chris asks sounding like he was getting up; I quickly walk out and lead him back towards the stool. Then I start to clean his wound, but every now and then he flinches; I stop afraid of hurting him further. "No, don't worry it'll be worse if you don't clean it," he says smiling; I smile back and continue to clean his wound. "You know we don't know a lot about each other," he says slightly amused as if knowing something I didn't, but I ignore it and urge him to go on. "So how about I'll ask you a question, and then you'll ask me a question," I frown uncertain, and he looks at me over his shoulder. "I'll even let you go first," he says quickly. I think about it imagining what could possibly happen; I nod smiling slightly.
"Okay—" I say before erupting in shivers; I didn't realize I was still wearing dripping wet clothes. "Chilly," I say jokingly while rubbing my arms trying to gather some form of warmth; he laughs and grabs my hands gently. I try to hide my surprised expression; his hands feel so warm compared to mine even though he too is soaking wet.
"Cool, but maybe we should change first before we catch pneumonia," he says releasing my hands carefully. I nod trying to ignore the longing he left on my hands. "Here you go," he says handing me a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and a t-shirt two sizes too big; I take them avoiding eye contact.
"Thanks, um…how do I…I mean where do I…you know…change?" I ask timidly looking down; no matter how hard I can't stop the blood from rushing to my cheeks. I look up expecting him to be either laughing or smiling perverted, but to my surprise he looks just as embarrassed as I do.
"Um…you can change in the closet if you want," he says looking everywhere but my direction. I head to the closet sneaking a shy glance at him; all the way there I couldn't stop thinking about him protecting me…or his blush. Unfortunately there was a nagging voice reminding me about the similarities between him and Aaron, it was so weird, they're hardly alike. Why does Chris remind me of that jerk so much?
When I'm done changing I walk out and start looking for Chris, but when I find him I drop my wet clothes shocked. He's only wearing boxers and what's worse is he turns around to see me watching him; I quickly cover my eyes and stand completely still. I hear him chuckle quietly making me bite my lip in hopes I don't say something unnecessary. Now that I looked at him, I mean really looked at him Chris is really handsome, but at the same time he looks so familiar. Like his dark brown almost black skater hair that reaches just past his ears, or his bright emerald green eyes that stand out perfectly against his tan skin. It might be his toned body and six pack…yes, he actually has a six pack. I immaturely peak through my fingers and watch as he tries to find the right way to put his shirt on, and that's just his looks, he's really funny, considerate, nice, protective (in a good way), respectful, and…watching me check him out…awkward. I quickly cover my eyes as if that's going to change anything, I hear him laugh again at my apparent embarrassment.
"I'm glad you find my embarrassment amusing," I mumble under my breath; I feel his hands grab mine and he sets them at my side.
"I think you're really cute when you're mad," he whispers in my ear before walking away; he flops on the couch getting comfortable. I blush a light pink hoping it'll go unnoticed; "you're even cuter when you're blushing." My blush goes from a light pink to a tomato red; I blush a lot when I'm around this guy. He's reminding me of Aaron more and more by the minute; I quickly push that thought to the back of my mind. "I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable…I didn't mean anything by it," he says with a shy smile; I sigh but forgive him.
"And I'm sorry," I say bur he just stares at me confused, "for what happened earlier." I explain thankfully without blushing; he shakes his head smiling a little. "What?"
"It wasn't your fault; how could you possibly know that I wasn't done changing?" He says looking at me; then he pats the seat next to him with a sly smile. "Let's start the game before you blush again," he says laughing; I glare at him but a smile breaks through. I walk over and take a seat next to him; I couldn't help but notice how small the couch really was. There was absolutely no room between us, but to be honest I didn't mind too much and by the smile on his face neither did he.
"You can go first," I say kindly, but the truth was I had no idea what to ask him.
"You sure?" He asks looking at me with a small smile; I nod trying not to think of all the weird questions he could ask.
"Ask away," I say in what I hope to be a brave voice; the one thing I really hope he doesn't bring up is why I was at the beach.
"What's your favorite Christmas memory?" He asks after some thought; I look at him blankly. "Was that a bed question?" He asks looking confused; I smile shaking my head.
"No, I just wasn't expecting that," I say puzzled; he laughs but patiently waits for my answer. "Well…" I say thinking back to every Christmas, but I realize that I was struck with Aaron every Christmas. Although last year's Christmas wasn't all that great either, "I was eleven and my family was visited by family friends. They had a son, we hated each other, but that Christmas he gave me a really beautiful necklace. When I told him "thank you" he automatically said his mom picked it out and if he had it his way he would get me a black eye. With our history I believed him in a heartbeat, but then I heard his mom talking to mine about how he picked it out and everything. I never told him I knew but whenever I think about it, it always makes me smile." I say while grasping the necklace from that very Christmas that I always have on. He looks at me smiling, but there's a tinge of annoyance hidden in his eyes; I don't think it's for me though.
"That was nice of him," he says dryly; I nod uncertain of what his mood swing was about.
"My turn," I say trying to sound intimidating; he jokingly cowers in fear making us both laugh. "Okay, okay, so what's your favorite summer memory?" I ask looking at him closely; his smile drops for a second, but reappears so fast if I would have blinked then I probably would have missed it.
"Um…family friends came over and they had a daughter, we despised each other, that summer I was twelve. We got in so much trouble…well…we got each other in so much trouble, but that summer we built a tree house in my backyard. It was so fun, but then she fell out…well…I pushed her out. It wasn't really high but she broke her arm, but surprisingly she didn't rat me out to my parents; she even let me sign her cast. I felt really bad about her arm so I volunteered to be her 'slave' for the rest of the summer, unfortunately summer just began, but you know what. That was probably one of the coolest summers I ever had," he says a smiling forming on the corner of his lips. We look at each other smiling, but quickly look away. There was something really familiar about his summer; I could have sworn I had a summer just like it except with Aaron.
"That sounds like fun," I say honestly but I must surprised him because he looks at me quickly, and nods agreeing with me.
"It was," he says smiling, "well, my turn. Let me see…who in the world gets under your skin the most?" He asks staring at a picture barely hanging onto the wall.
"Aaron," I say absentmindedly. He looks at me sharply; the picture falls. It was like slow motion neither one of us speaks as we both watch it crash on impact.
"Aaron, what about Aaron?" He asks nervously looking away from the shattered remains; he looks at me intently making me a little uncomfortable. I look at him confused; I mean he was the one who asked the question in the first place.
"Aaron's the one who gets under my skin the most," I state in a 'duh' tone; his nervous expression transforms into a small frown.
"Oh…my bad…your turn," he says like that awkward situation never happened; I searched his face for an answer but came up with nothing.
"Okay…um," I think for a moment, "why did you come down here anyways?" I ask hoping to lift some tension out of the conversation. He thinks for a moment than opens his mouth as if he's going to say something, but closes it rethinking.
"Well, I came down to visit family, friends, my fiancé, and the college I got accepted into is down here," he says with mixed emotions. I try to mask my disappointment; he has a fiancé…wait…so do I. He gets really serious, but looks at me concerned, "you don't have to tell me, but why were you crying earlier?"
"I'm being forced to marry someone I don't want to marry," I feel his eyes studying me closely, but I feel a whole lot better; I really needed to tell someone.
"Aaron," he says then instantly covers his face with his hands; I look at him confused.
"Yeah, how did you know that?" I ask getting nervous, "wait! I have a different question." I pause and take a deep intake of air, "why did you call me Mia earlier?" I ask with curiosity burning inside of me; Chris looks up uncovering his face staggered.
"Well…you look like a Mia," he says slowing as if choosing his words carefully. I nod my head, but I don't believe he's telling the whole truth; I stay quiet not wanting a fight. "Okay, why do you hate Aaron so much?" He looks like he wants…no…like he needs to know.
"Well…I don't really hate him," I say thinking about it; Chris grins at me arrogantly reminding me of Aaron. "It's just…I dislike him with a burning passion," I say looking at him; his head drops and the grin is wiped form his face.
"Why though?" He asks urging me on; I inwardly groan.
"He's always so mean to me except on that rare occasion where he actually treats me like a human being," I say getting slightly depressed; I start thinking about all the similarities between Aaron and Chris. The signs are all there, and Aaron's middle name is Christopher…I just had to make sure. "My turn…are you…are you Aaron James?" I ask my voice quivering; I really hope I'm wrong. What if he looks different? I mean I look different, so he can too…right? He starts laughing…a laugh I've grown to enjoy, but once he sees I'm serious he stops. He gives me a sheepish smile and I grab onto that lasting chance that I could be wrong; I've never wanted to be wrong so much before. His sheepish smile stays, but before I can rejoice it slowly forms into a smirk I know all too well.
"Took you long enough Mia."
Thanks For Reading!! I know it is flawed, it was my first story after all but I hope you guys get as much enjoyment out of reading it as my friends did...Read and Review!!