Excerpt 3

Jeremiah stopped when he got to the edge of the drive way. While it’s true the bug caught his attention, it was more the girl driving it that made him look. Frowning he watched as the vehicle sped off. He was unsure if it had been his Bella, but she had the same dark hair and her face was shaped the same. Unfortunately he didn’t get close enough to confirm his theory. Although he’d heard through the grape vine that she’s driving, he wasn’t positive on the type of car or color. And there was no possible way he was going to catch up with it. Not to mention he didn’t have any shoes on. He wondered one thing, if it was her… why was she here? God, he wished he’d gotten closer before the car took off. Fully believing the female driver was his girlfriend, he would’ve done anything to get close enough to talk to her. Except what would he say. Brushing his hand atop his brown hair, he turned around and headed back inside.

Missing her was only the beginning, but he didn’t even know where to start explaining anything to her. But God knew how bad he wanted to. Leaving her alone hadn’t done any good. At least he knew it hadn’t for him and he tried to believe it had for her; though he only caught glimpses of her and had what information his sister and Vick were willing to share… it wasn’t the same as first hand. He wasn’t satisfied, no matter how fooled they were. However, they did have some information that he didn’t, which was exactly why he’s knocking on his sister’s door and cracking it open, “Hey sis, you decent?”

“Come on in,” she exasperated.

By the tone in her tired voice he suspected she knew what he was here for. Yes he’d been a bit preoccupied since they stopped talking…he just couldn’t go the source, so he relied heavily on others. Mentally he expected he’d walk into her giving him the finger, but he didn’t. Instead she was sitting at her desk focused on a book – homework. Obviously he interrupted her studying and yet he didn’t care, “I need some information.”

“And?”

Pushing into her room he sat down on her bed. Leaning his elbows on his knees he rubbed his face, “Look, I know you and Vick are tired of me asking questions.”

“Yet you always have more,” she snipped.

“Can you hear me out? Please?” he pleaded. Wanting to know Bella was doing okay was the only thing that made him staying away worthwhile. Doubts constantly crept in, but he had to believe that was the devil trying to get at him. If for one second he thought he was hurting her more, he’d never forgive himself.

Sighing, Amanda spun around in her chair and face him, “I’ll listen, but you need to stop coming to us. You need to talk to her. Even if she brushes you off, you should try.”

“And you don’t think I’ve thought about that?”

“Then why haven’t you?” his sister asked.

Her question was extremely logical. Except nobody ever liked his answer, “If I have to stay away for her to be happy, then that’s what I’ll do.”

“Even at the expense of your own?”

Burying his face in his hands he sighed. He hated that she had a point. Misery set up a nice little hammock in his heart and got comfortable like it had no plans of going anywhere any time soon. So, if the vehicle that had been across the way belonged to her, what would he do with that news? Could she be seeking him out? Was there a possibility that she missed him too? Slowly he lifted his head from his hands as more and more thoughts filled his head. For the first time in a long time they were good, not hopes or desires or wants, but likelihoods and he loved that. Looking to his sister he finally asked what he came in for, “What kind of car does she drive?”

“A black Volkswagen beetle. Why do you ask?”

“I saw her,” he mumbled.

“What?”

“Just a minute ago, when I was taking out the trash. I wasn’t sure it’s her because I didn’t know what car she drove, but … it was. She was just parked there, but sped away when I started her way.” There it was, the full answer out there with nothing held back.

The corners of her lips pulled into a warm smile, “Then maybe it’s time you return the favor.”

“And then what?”

Shrugging she replied, “I don’t know, but you and Bella need to figure that out. Now, are you going to stay here and annoy me or are you going to go tell your girlfriend you love her?”

Blinking at the blatant question she asked, he wondered what led her to the conclusion that he loved Bella. At the same time, he knew just how true it was. He absolutely loved her. Without any other thought he bolted to his feet, shouted, “Thanks sis!” and jogged out the door around the corner to his room. Grabbing a pair of sneakers and socks, he shoved them on his feet  then headed to the living room. His parents were kicked back on the couch in front of the television, “Can I borrow the car?”

His dad looked up at him for a split second then nodded, “Sure.”

His only assumption was that his father saw the determination in his face. Snapping to attention he snatched the keys and was on his way out the front door. Unfortunately she had a good ten to fifteen minutes ahead of him, but hopefully she hadn’t planned to leave right away. He had no clue what he was going to say, but maybe ‘hi’ was a good start. From there, he’d wing it.

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