"I think we both know this won't be an easy conversation to have." he started "But um we can't let this hang over our heads forever."
"You're right. I'm just…." she trailed off.
"Scared Tony. I'm scared. I know in my head we need to have this conversation and believe me there are a lot of things I want and need to say to you. But, in my heart I'm afraid that we may say things to each other that can't be undone."
"Like I hated you. I hated you for sleeping with and deciding to date Kathleen after our talk in Jamaica. You asked me to wait for you to figure out what you wanted to do with your life. I understood. I did and I respected it. But, you didn't wait did you? You asked me to wait. So why couldn't you do that yourself?! "
"Angela.." he started but she held up her hand.
"Please let me finish." she implored. At his nod she continued. "The strange thing is if you had told me that what had happened between you and Kathleen in the motel room was just a one time thing, that you had just gotten caught up in the moment I would have been okay. I'm not saying I wouldn't have been hurt and angry but I can understand how two people can get caught up in a situation like that." She stopped and wiped away the tears that had formed in her eyes. She regained her composure and continued. "But, when you told me that you didn't know whether or not it was over with her I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I couldn't breathe. I was just devastated Tony. You chose her over me! You chose to have a romantic relationship with her after our talk in Jamaica. I guess I was a fool wasn't I? Because I foolishly thought we would take the next step when you either figured out what you wanted to do or when you graduated. I was willing to wait for you Tony. Why couldn't you show me the same respect?"
He shook his head. Everything she had said cut him to the core. But, there were things she needed to understand. He didn't look forward to telling her but they needed to rip the band aid off if they were ever going to heal. He looked over at her. She was looking over at him waiting for his response.
"Angela, you have to understand I couldn't just walk away from Kathleen. I couldn't just sleep with her and dump her the next day. I had to at least see if there was anything more there than just sex."
"Oh I get it Tony!" she interrupted angrily her face red hot. "You couldn't walk away from her. You couldn't dump HER but you could walk away from me and a chance at a relationship that we had been building for nearly seven years! I guess the sex was phenomenal wasn't it?!"
He was taken aback by her vehemence. But, at the same time he knew it was necessary. Painful yes but necessary.
"Angela, it wasn't like that. I mean yeah we dated and yeah we had sex. But, that's all it was. Yes, we had things in common. We were-are at the same social status. We're both going to college years after most people. I guess I just saw a kindred spirit in her. I'm sorry if that hurts you but it's true. However, no matter how hard I tried to have romantic feelings for her I just couldn't. To tell you the truth at first I wish I could have because I didn't think I was good enough for you. In fact I still don't. So I tried to force a relationship with her that at least on my part wasn't there and never would be." He looked down at the floor and sighed. When he looked up and over at her she was wiping fresh tears from her eyes. He felt his own eyes prickling with tears and swallowed hard. After a few moments after they both got themselves under control he continued.
"The thing is Angela I couldn't forget about you. I tried. I tried denying my feelings for you. But, as the saying goes: *The heart wants what the heart wants.* "I'm sorry Angela. I'm sorry for hurting you. I'm sorry for hurting us." He got off his chair and knelt down before her. Taking her hand in his he continued. "I'm asking for another chance. Another chance to have the relationship we should have had before I screwed everything up. Because now I know that I can't live without you. Remember when we visited Billy's Grandmother in the hospital and I asked you what would I do without you?"
She nodded and smiled softly through her tears.
"Because the truth is I can't. I can't imagine my life without you." He smiled softly at her. "What had started out as my wanting a job so Sam could grow up in a good neighborhood and you needing a housekeeper and someone to help raise Jonathan and Mona of course." They both laughed at that. "Well it certainly is more than that now."
"Yes, it is."she agreed. She was cautiously optimistic. But, as always her reserved nature was at the forefront. She didn't want to get her hopes up. She had done that in the past and had been rejected time and time again. Would this time really be different? But, as the George Michael song went. *You gotta have Faith.* She chuckled to herself. While George Michael wasn't her type of music the phrase certainly helped. She had to have Faith.
He continued. "In fact it is so much more that it scares and amazes me at times. But, sometimes you have to take a leap of Faith." She smiled at his choice of words. Faith. That is what they both needed.
"So will you give me-us another chance?" he implored her his puppy dog eyes making her melt. Suddenly she realized this was sort of like a marriage proposal. Tony was on his knees pleading for heart how long before he was on his knees again pleading for her to marry him? Shaking herself out of her reverie she answered by gently touching her lips to his.
"Is that a yes?" he asked hopefully knowing the answer but wanting verbal confirmation from her.
"Yes." she smiled.
The relief on his face was so cute and funny she nearly laughed out loud. She refrained however when he got up and pulled her up with him. He took her face in his hands and gently kissed her.
"I love you Angela." he breathed.
"I love you too." she smiled.
Finally their secret and true feelings were out. No anesthesia. No sleep talking. Just honest revelations of their feelings. They both felt like the sun had just come out after a long gloomy rainy day. They went back to kissing not wanting to let go of each other. After a while Tony reluctantly pulled himself away from her.
"Stay with me tonight?"
She was stunned. Well stunned and very happy. But, her head prevailed once again over her heart when she remembered something he had said in Jamaica.
"Tony, I thought you didn't want to do *this* until or um unless we were married."
"Yeah, I did say that. But, the reason was that at the time I well I was scared."
"You were scared?"
"Yeah, of my feelings for you. I wanted you that night Angela. I did. But, I knew if we had gone to bed that night it wouldn't have been a one time thing. I just - I wasn't ready for more than at the time. So as difficult as it was I had to pull myself away. I'm not going to make the same mistake twice. So will you stay with me tonight?"
"Yes." her answer was simple but they knew their night wouldn't be and they were both looking forward to it.
Hand in hand they ascended the stairs.