Zoey's eyes were glued outside the window as the plane made it's descend to the Chicago Midway Airport. She had always found the view from a plane amazing. The big fluffy white clouds reminded her of those old fairytale movies where the prince and princess danced on clouds as they fell in love. She had always dreamed of doing that herself. They were pretty juvenile thoughts, she knew, but she couldn't help herself. Inside, she didn't feel like a 25 year old. She felt like she was 13.
In a few minutes she would finally see him for the first time in almost three years. Their eyes would meet as she rushed down the escalator. He would smile his crooked smile and speed-walk to her awkwardly but excitedly. She would throw her arms around him and then maybe he would even spin her before he gently set her down as they waited for her luggage together. Together...Wow, she hadn't been able to use that word with Chase in a long time.
It's not like they didn't want to keep in touch. They did. But their lives went separate ways. She went to college and stayed in California, while Chase got his business degree and moved to a small town, which was a little closer to his hometown, and took over a little coffee shop. From his letters and e-mails the place didn't sound like much but at least he seemed happy.
"Flight attendants prepare for landing," The captain announced over the intercom.
The plane landed with a little bump and before she knew it she was looking for Chase at their meeting spot, the bench by the big fountain at the luggage claim. Only it wasn't exactly how she had imagined it. Chase was no where to be found. After about ten minutes of sitting on the hard metal seat alone she finally decided to call him.
"Hello?" she heard his familiar voice come through her phone.
"Chase? Where are you?" Zoey asked.
"Shoot. Was I supposed to pick you up today?" Chase asked playfully.
Zoey didn't catch the sarcasm in his voice and groaned, "Yeah. Please don't tell me you forgot!"
"I didn't forget. I was just kidding. Don't worry I'm on my way. In fact, I'm here. Not inside but I just entered the parking garage." he said.
"Okay, good. I'll see you in a few minutes," Zoey closed her phone and put it in her purse. A minute later, her black suitcase with a pink bow came down the luggage ramp. She grabbed it and turned around to see an older looking Chase, smiling at her.
Zoey smiled, "Hey!"
"Zoe, Is that really you? You look so professional." He pulled her into a big hug.
Zoey looked down at her black skirt and white silk top with pearl white high heals," Oh, yeah, well I came straight from work." She said.
"Ah, work. What do you do again?" Chase asked as he picked up the bag and followed her up the escalator.
"I'm the personal assistant to June Harris, the head of a modeling agency." Zoey said. She played with a strand of her blond hair nervously.
"Very nice," Chase said. "Well, we'd better get on the road. I have a few surprises for you."
"I already know about Nicole. She told me yesterday that she was coming. That girl could never keep a secret." she laughed.
"No, she can't, but that's not the surprise." Chase took Zoey's bag and threw it into the trunk of his car.
"Oh, do you think I'm going to like it?" Zoey asked.
"I hope so," Chase said.
Zoey smiled and then she realized how cold it was, "Gosh, Chase is it always so cold here?"
"It is February in Chicago," Chase pointed out as he held the car door open for her.
"Oh, yeah," Zoey laughed at herself as she stepped into his car.
"So, are you ready?" Chase asked as he went over to his side and sat down in the driver's seat.
"Do I have to prepare myself for this surprise you have for me?" Zoey put her seat belt on.
"You may have to," Chase said seriously.
"So, why did you move to Wisconsin? I thought you wanted to be a Psychologist." Zoey asked.
"My great-grandfather had a heart attack and passed away a few years ago. He left me his coffee shop and his house, which is very nice by the way. You're going to stay with me right?" He asked as he pulled out of the airport and got on the highway. He was strumming the steering wheel with one hand and steering with the other.
"Sure. Is Nicole staying with you too?" she asked.
"Yeah, Michael, Logan, and Dana are too."
"Are you serious? When was this decided? It's going to be like a mini-reunion type of thing. And what about Lola and Quinn?" Zoey asked, starting to get excited.
"I guess you could it a mini reunion. Lola is 9 months pregnant and ready to pop any minute, or that's how Nicole described it. Quinn is in Argentina studying some kind of wild life," Chase said.
"Quinn is in Argentina? Gosh. And I had no I had no idea that Lola was having baby. I didn't even know she was married! We didn't keep in touch. Actually it was hard for me to get a hold of any of you guys because I was so busy." Zoey said.
"Yeah, I know. A lot can happen in three years," Chase said.
"Very true," Zoey thought of her messed up marriage with Ryan.
As if he read Zoey's mind Chase asked, "So, um, how's Ryan doing? Last time I saw you two, you guys were engaged."
"We were married for about two and a half years," Zoey said with a deep breath. " And then went on a lot of "business trips" and eventually I found out all of those business trips was another woman. So I asked for a divorce and to make a long story short, now I am a single woman living in a tiny studio apartment on the west coast of California." Zoey felt a breath of relief come out. She had wanted to tell him that for a long time.
"Wow. I knew that guy was a moron, "Chase muttered.
"Yeah, he is, and you tried to warn me. But I was stupid and didn't listen," Zoey said.
"You weren't stupid. Ryan just happened to be a very deceiving guy,"
"But you saw through him, "Zoey whispered.
Chase said nothing. This was only going to make it harder to tell her. Maybe for one night he could pretend like it was old times. He looked over at Zoey. She was breathing deeply, starting to fall asleep.
"Zoe, we're here," Chase gently tapped her shoulder.
"Oh?" Zoey lifted her head and saw a small corner building right across the street from a big frozen lake and a library. It was dark by now. "This is it?"
"Yeah," Chase said. Zoey started to open her car door," Wait! Don't come out yet!" he said. He took off his thick winter jacket and walked to the other side, opened the door and handed it to Zoey. "It's freezing out here."
Zoey put the coat on and got out. He was right. It was frigid. "Oh, let's hurry." She ran over to the door and waited for Chase with the keys. Shortly after, he opened the door. Rushing in, she walked into the coziest place she had ever been in. There was a few couches, ten sets of tables, and a big oak shelf filled with books and magazines. But the best part was the stone fireplace in the center of the room with two big marshmallow looking armchairs. "Wow. It's awesome!" Zoey exclaimed, "Do you get a lot of business?"
"On cold days like this, yeah," Chase turned the fire place on and motioned for Zoey to come sit down. "Do you want something to drink? Coffee?"
"Yeah, sure. No coffee for me tonight though. It's too late. Maybe some hot cocoa." Zoey sat down next to the fireplace.
"Coming right up," Chase said and he started to fiddle around behind the counter.
The two laughed and reminisced about old times over their warm drinks. It seemed perfect. They could see the snow start to fall gently from the clear glass windows.
"Hey, do you remember how we first met?" Zoey asked.
"How could I forget? I ran into a pole. Or was it a tree... I don't remember. All I know is that it hurt." Chase said with a chuckle.
Zoey laughed, "And prom. You can't forget prom."
"Yeah that was interesting. Do you remember when we got Drake Bell to play at the Spring Fling?" Chase asked enjoying taking a visit to the past.
"Of course I do. That was amazing! What about the time when we went to Santa Barbra for spring break and were a part of that TV show Gender Defenders?"
Chase got quiet, "Yep I remember that. Yeah I'm going to go get some more cappuccino. Be right back." He rushed back into the kitchen.
Zoey was confused for a moment and then remembered that that particular topic was a little touchy for Chase. Interrupting her thoughts the little bell rang, signifying that someone had entered the cafe.
"Hello? Chase I saw the lights on and figured you were here. Oh hi! You must be Zoey," a girl in a black trench coat walked in, snow in her shoulder length, light brown hair.
"Yeah... I'm Zoey. Um, who are you?" Zoey stood to her feet, the steaming cup of cocoa in her hand.
"I'm Christine, Chase's fiancé." the girl pulled layer upon layer of clothing off and hung it on the coat rack and reached out to shake Zoey's hand.
Chase walked back to the fireplace, "Hey. Christine what are you doing here?" He asked, surprised.
Zoey stood there feeling a little dumb, "His-his fiancé?" She felt a little light headed.
"You told her?!" Chase asked starting to panic. He stared at the girl and then at Zoey.
"Well, I thought you would tell your best friend that you were getting married in four days." Christine said.
"I was waiting," Chase looked toward Zoey, who still looked shocked.
"For what, our golden anniversary?" Christine asked. "Sorry about that Zoey. I am Christine. Chase and I are getting married Saturday." Christine pulled Chase into a deep kiss.
"Um...wow. I'm feeling a little tired. I think I'm going to go ahead and leave. Maybe I'll go check into a hotel or something. I'll call you guys in the morning. But right now is just a really bad time. So good-night, and have fun you two," Zoey said quickly and bolted out the door before the two could protest
A/N: To be continued.
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