Author's Note: Written for the LJ Shakespearian Quote Challenge. The quote is "But love is blind, and lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit." from The Merchant of Venice.
Veronica received the first letter from Duncan a couple months after he'd first gone to Mexico. Vinnie VanLowe had come into the office one day and dropped it on her desk, then headed in to talk to her father without saying a word. She had waited until she got home to read it.
I hope you're doing well. I know you said we shouldn't have any contact with each other, but I couldn't resist. I just wanted to let you know that Lilly and I are doing fine. She's a beautiful, happy baby. I hope you're doing well, also. I miss you.
Veronica smiled. She was glad to know that Duncan and his baby were doing well. She did miss him, although not as much as she thought she would. She had come to realize that, while she did love Duncan, she was not in love with him. As hard as she had tried to return to normal and the feelings she had had for him when they had gone out the first time, they hadn't returned. She had stayed with Duncan, trying desperately to return to the girl she had been before—the one who's only worry was whether or not her boyfriend would ask her to the homecoming dance.
She hadn't counted on her ex-boyfriend and his murder charges constantly popping back into her life or buses that she was supposed to be on crashing. As hard as he tried to stay away and not get sucked back into the PI business, she couldn't. That was who she was, who she had become. She had changed and her relationship with Duncan had changed. But neither of them wanted to realize that.
She glanced over at her mirror where the fortune cookie message he had given her for her birthday hung. "True love stories never have endings." When she first read it, she was elated and ran straight into his arms. She had wanted to believe that she and Duncan would have true love and that it would never end. Now it hung on her mirror, reminding her of what could have been.
Folding his letter up into a tiny square, she stuck it into the box she had kept of all her Duncan stuff, and then shoved it deep into her closet.
She received another letter a week after graduation. She had been surprised when Vinnie showed up at the graduation party her dad had thrown for her and slipped a graduation card into her hand. He gave her a wink and she knew she should wait and open it later.
Happy graduation! I'm sure you won that Kane scholarship and are probably off to Stanford now. I'm so happy for you. Lilly and I are doing great. I wish I could talk to you and hear your voice again. I miss you and I love you.
She ran her finger over the words "I miss you and I love you." She had wondered if Duncan had loved her. He had told her he did right before he left for Mexico, but she couldn't help but wonder if he loved her as much as he had loved Meg.
She shook her head. That didn't matter much now. She shouldn't be wondering about how much he loved her, when she knew that she herself wasn't even in love with him. She reached deep into her closet and pulled out her box of Duncan stuff. After folding the letter up, she stuffed it in the box.
Vinnie dropped another letter onto her desk at the office later that summer. She slipped it into her pocket to read in her bedroom, away from her father's prying eyes.
She waited until she was at home, in her nearly empty bedroom. She had been packing up since she would be leaving for Hearst in a few days and her floor was covered with boxes. Sitting down on her bed, she looked at the letter.
How are things going with you? Lilly's doing great, she's crawling all around now. I hope you're doing well. I think about you all the time. I miss you and I hope we can be together again someday.
The words "I hope we can be together again someday" echoed through her head. There was a time when that was all she wanted, too. To be with Duncan. But that's not what she wanted now. She loved him, she always would, but she would never be in love with him. She thought she was once, but she wasn't that girl anymore. It was time for her to move on, and she hoped Duncan would be able to do the same.
She walked over to her mirror, where the fortune cookie message was. She took it down, running her fingers over the words. Then she folded it and the letter up, and put them into her box of Duncan stuff. She had pulled the box out to be loaded into her car, so it could go into the closet in her dorm room at Hearst. But she knew that taking the box with her would only be hanging onto that part of her life, and she was ready to move on. She put the box back into the corner of her empty closet and shut the door tightly. Sometimes true love stories did have endings. Especially when it was never true love to begin with.