All characters are disclaimed to Meg Cabot.

This is a continuation to Not Goodbye. I've decided to start anew because the style of writing in this story is different than the one in Not Goodbye, which was written more as a one-shot. And in this story I might switch around the Point of View between Suze and Jesse, but I'm not sure yet. I might.

This story will be AU, so expect some differences especially regarding Jesse and his family.

My interpretation of the age-old tale of forbidden love.

Feedbacks are very much welcomed!

-Aina-


Suze

Three months.

Three months of pure hell, and then a month of pure bliss.

I know that this is wrong. Wrong because we're going against his parents' wishes, wrong because we're sneaking around and lying to our friends, wrong because we're never sure if what we have will last.

But for something that is so wrong, it just feel so right.

Maybe the fact that we have a special something that only both of us know makes us a little braver, a little rebellious. Our own sacred secret. I don't know, but to tell you the truth, it's kinda fun.

Jesse doesn't want to push things with his parents and I don't want to make him. I'm fine with what we have at the moment, as long as I'm with him. Those few months of trying to forget, trying to accept, trying to be happy, was torture. And once he swept me into his arms, I never wanted to leave.

He left his date at the party, saying he had an emergency. A part of me felt guilty while another was too happy to care.

Should I care?

Jesse and I are destined to be with each other. I knew that the first time we met. Well actually, the second time.

It was a sunny summer morning and I was at the park, jogging. My headphones were on and that was my mistake. I didn't hear the guy sneaking up behind me.

The dead guy, I mean.

Next thing I knew I was on the ground and being punched relentlessly. I didn't know why he was so mad. The only thing I did the day before was told him that his multi-million worth of a dot-com company was sold to another company after his death. After all, he was the one who told me to find out about his company's fate.

Maybe he was mad at the fact that I prevented him from trying to kill the new owner of his company and took out his anger at me instead. That I could understand a little.

I didn't scream. I should have, but all my life I've never screamed when ghosts of various kinds attacked me and I never intend to, even though my life was at stake. It's a pride thing, I guess.

And besides, if I scream, people will think I'm weird for being scared of thin air. They didn't know that thin airs could punch, of course.

But it turned out I didn't need to scream because someone noticed my distress anyway. At first I thought he came over to see why in the universe I was punching at nothing, but when he pulled the ghost guy from me and gave him a punch of his own, I was left feeling surprised yet relieved. Another mediator, I thought. Cool.

That was before I passed out.

I woke up in the hospital and immediately thought about getting out of there. Hospitals remind me of other previous bad encounters with ghosts, and the smell of medicines makes me sick.

He was still there. He came over and said he was a doctor working at the hospital, and made me sit back so that he could check me for the last time before I could be discharged. A lot of bruises and some grass-burns, but nothing broken, lucky me.

I heard the other staff call him Hector. And I realized for the first time that he was very good-looking. Latino hottie who was a mediator and a doctor. Lucky, lucky me.

He asked for my name. "Suze Simon," I replied.

The man I knew only as Hector stared at me, his hand paused on my bandaged arm. "Susannah Simon?"

I was about to ask him how the heck did he know that when I suddenly felt that he looked familiar. But I couldn't place where I had met him.

He smiled a perfect smile and said, "Jesse De Silva."

And then I knew where I had seen him and why I couldn't remember. It was at least 15 years since we last met.

My mom and I went on a vacation to Spain when I was 7. We had been planning to have that vacation for a while, but then God decided to take my dad away and that trip never happened. But about a year after my dad's death, my mom decided that our mourning time was over, and we should get some time alone away from the bustle of New York City. And so I found myself at the city of Madrid.

There I befriended a small girl who was fascinated with my ability to do back flips – something I learned from the ghost of a female gymnast. The girl's older brother was not too happy when I started to teach his sister to do flips – he said it was dangerous - but soon we became friends too. He must have been 11 then.

Jesse said that he and his family moved to the US about a year later after one of his younger sisters was offered a place in a prominent dance school. They've stayed in San Francisco since then, with occasional trips back to Spain to see their other family members.

I couldn't help but be amazed that he remembered me. I asked him how did he know that I was the Susannah Simon, and he grinned as he said, "I remember that the young Susannah wasn't afraid of hitting a boy who she said was disturbing her and her friend even though all he wanted to do was to make sure that his sister wasn't hurt. And I could see that same spirit in the Susannah in front of me who wasn't afraid to fight off her attacker, even at the expense of her own life."

I flushed at that, but it was nothing compared to when he continued, "And how could I forget those beautiful green eyes?"

I never used to believe in fate and destiny, but meeting Jesse again after so long made me believe that maybe, just maybe…we were meant to be.

Of course, catching up with Jesse on the years since we've last met not to mention sharing stories on our mediating adventures took a few meetings, and finally about a month after we met at the park, he asked me out to dinner. Our first official date.

After dinner, we took a stroll at the beach under the moonlight. The setting was as romantic as it could be. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling the romance due to the fact that my shoes were filled with sand and I had to take them off and walked barefoot, which wasn't very comfortable.

And then there was my dress. I had decided to be girly for once and wear a light peach-colored summer dress, which was pretty and all that. But when I said light, I meant light. The dress's hem that reached my knees kept being blown by the wind – reminisce of Marilyn Monroe's famous pose and all – so I was pretty much struggling with one hand holding my shoes and the other making sure that my dress stayed down and anything that wasn't supposed to be seen stayed unseen.

But the breeze calmed for a moment, giving us just enough time to stood still watching the waves crashing against the beach and a second later for Jesse to lean down and give me a kiss.

All things considered, it was a pretty darn good first date.

Of course it was heaven for the next two months, until that day he brought me to meet his family at his parents' house. Strangely enough, his younger sisters were the ones I worried about since I had imagined them to be guarded against the girl who had taken away their brother, but my fears were unfounded. His first three sisters remembered me from years ago, and that was enough for them to accept me. The other two were too little to be judgmental and were just happy to meet me.

I never thought that it would be his parents objecting to our relationship. It wasn't exactly what they had said, even when we had that conversation at the end. It was how they looked at me.

His mother was accepting at first, but looked disapproved the moment I said I could not cook Spanish cooking. "Jesse loves Spanish cooking" she had said coolly.

But his father had looked disapproved the moment I walked in with my pale skin and green eyes. He asked me about my family, and my reply that my mother had remarried after my father's death was greeted with a dead silence. Apparently he believed that a person should only have one marriage in his or her life. Obviously he thought that one day I might leave Jesse for another man, or - God forbid - remarried when Jesse had died.

The clincher? "You cannot speak Spanish? But everyone in our family speaks Spanish. It's our mother tongue."

And the door to the De Silva house was officially closed to poor, little, language-challenged Suze Simon.

I felt that to end it with Jesse was the best thing for us to do. I hadn't foreseen the pain that took place in my heart in the following weeks or how I wished I had died when I saw him and his date at the office party held by the company where CeeCee worked. So when we were together once more, the least I thought about was his parent's reactions.

None of those matters, especially when I see him walking towards me as I sit in his car, waiting for him to open the car door on my side. And when we walk towards his house where he lives alone and where we could finally spend some private time between the crazy schedules of our jobs. We couldn't go out to town except in places that aren't in the heart of the city where we are less likely to bump into people that we know who might tell on us, intentionally or not, but it doesn't matter. We are happy just to be together.

I had no idea that our bliss will end sooner than both of us expected.