A/N: Here's a new LWD story. It's basically a reunion story…ah the rest you can figure out yourself. Uh it's very cliché in some parts or it could be interpreted as cliché. Uh, well….I think I've done a ten year reunion story for all the things I write for that have high schools. Enjoy. R&R! Really, please review…I love feedback. I get thousands of hits and like ten reviews…please Review! I will love you. Thanks. –Mac
Disclaimer: I don't own Life With Derek.
I had just walked in my front door when my phone started to ring. I tossed my keys and the stack of mail in my hand onto the kitchen counter and grabbed the phone off the hook. I placed the phone to my ear and held it steady with my shoulder.
"Hello?" I said.
"Casey, honey? Is that you?"
"Hey Mom." I laughed. My roommate and I sounded a lot alike on the phone, my mom could never tell the difference right away. "What's going on?"
"Well, your school is putting on your ten year reunion in a week or so. You and Derek got your invitations a couple of days ago. I forwarded it to you." My mom explained, "You should have got it today."
"Oh." I replied. "You know, I just got in. Let me check."
I slid over the stack of mail and began to shift through it. Junk. Junk. Junk. Coupons. Bills. Coupons. Letter for my roommate. Junk. Ah, here it is. I tore open the envelope and pulled out the invitation. The reunion would be next weekend. I left it on the counter as I went to do something else.
"Yeah, I got it." I responded. "Thanks, Mom."
"So, are you going to go Casey?" My mom asked.
"I don't know." I answered truthfully.
"Oh, you should go. See all your old friends. It'll be so much fun. Derek can't wait to go!" My mom exclaimed.
"I'll think about it." I offered. "I'll talk to you later okay?"
"Okay. Bye, honey."
I pressed the off button on the phone and placed it back on the hook just as my roommate walked into the room. She went immediately to the mail and started to go through it as I just had. She held on to her letter. Then she picked up my invitation.
"What's this?" Hannah asked. "High School Reunion, huh?"
"I'm not going." I responded simply. I don't care what I told my mom, I didn't want to go and no amount of persuasion was going to change that.
"Why aren't you going to go, Case? It sounds like fun. And…And you haven't been home in a while." Hannah replied as she looked over the invitation.
"Because I've made it a point to avoid these people." I responded, snatching it out of her hands.
"Well, what happened that could be so bad that you wouldn't want to see your old friends?" Hannah questioned.
"You're right. I should go." I said after a moment. I would rather go and hash things out with the people who already know what had happened than reveal it to her.
"That's a girl, Case." Hanna replied, almost a week later as I was packing my bags to go.
"I still maintain that I am going against my will and conscience." I responded, folding a shirt and placing it into my suitcase.
"Oh, Case. It's not going to be that bad." Hannah rolled her eyes. "Get over it already."
"Hannah, you have no idea. It's going to be terrible." I said. "I can't believe I let you talk me into this."
"Case, what happened?" Hannah questioned, watching me. "I've never seen you like this."
"You don't want to know." I shook my head.
"Is it that I don't want to know or that you don't want to talk about it?" Hannah responded.
"Both?" I shrugged.
"Come on Case. You know you can tell me anything." Hannah replied, as she sat down on my bed next to my suitcase.
"Not this." I shook my head. I hadn't told anyone that hadn't already known. I never planned on telling anyone.
"And why not?" Hannah exclaimed. "You know all the bad stuff I've done, I'm not one to judge. I bet I could top anything you could have done, Miss Perfect."
"I doubt it." I laughed. "Though you come pretty close."
"Hey, hey there. We're talking about you and your naughty little secret." Hannah smirked.
"You brought it up…" I laughed. "And your reputation is something to talk about."
"Sure. But, we talk about it enough…" Hannah replied. "Why won't you tell me?"
"I just can't." I murmured. "It's nothing against you or anything, I'd just rather keep it to myself."
"Okay." Hannah nodded, "I'll talk to you a little later. I've got to head to the store."
"Okay." I smiled. "See you later."
Hannah got up and left my room. I continued packing until I heard the click of our front door locking. I stopped as soon as I was sure Hannah was out of the apartment. I sat down on the floor next to my bed and leaned up against it. I didn't like thinking about what had happened, but I knew I would never be able to forget it.
My mom had said I should come and see all my old friends. My count of old friends from high school was one. Emily had been my best friend—my only friend—up until right before graduation. I made one bad decision, one mistake, and betrayed her. She never spoke to me again.
"How could you do this to me?" Emily screamed at me.
I fought back tears as I tried to explain myself. "I didn't mean to hurt you. I wasn't trying to hurt you. I made a mistake."
"You sure did." Emily agreed. "A big one."
"I know that." I nodded. "I'm so sorry."
"I wish that were enough." Emily replied. "You knew…and you still…"
"It just happened." I blurted out.
"Things like this don't just happen." Emily shook her head.
"I'm sorry." I said simply in response.
"It's too late for that. I don't ever want to talk to you again." Emily shook her head again and walked away.
I doubt she'll want to see me again, or welcome me back in the slightest. It was one of the reasons that when I went home to visit I made only quick trips. I was there for a day or so, but never left the house for very long. Outside of my family, I made only limited contact with the people from my past. I never saw Emily…or Sam. I made it a point to not see them. It was bad enough that I had to see Derek.
I guess I could count Sam, but after we broke up we didn't really talk. It was my mistake that broke us up, but he didn't take it as hard as Emily had. Or he didn't let on that he cared as much as Emily had. I knew I had hurt him. No matter what he said, I knew I had hurt him. I knew I had hurt Emily. That's why I felt so terribly about it. That's why it was so hard for me to willingly go to a place I'm almost certain they will be. That's why I didn't want to go.
But I would have to face them someday. And it wasn't going to get any easier.
This time as I returned home, I was anxious and scared the whole way there. I usually felt comfortable during my trip knowing I would be able to see my mom and sister, George, Edwin, Marti and Derek without having to face confrontation by Emily or Sam. Derek was one thing—I could handle him. No such luck this time. Memories of my one, single mistake and its aftermath plagued me the entire way. I couldn't get it off my mind.
When I got to my house, my mom nearly exploded with happiness. I, on the other hand, was not as thrilled to be home. They were all there to greet me, but I wasn't very enthusiastic in my greetings. I think they all picked up on it, but no one said anything. Once everyone had a chance to say hello to me, my mom ushered me off to my old room to get settled in.
I left the door open, put my suitcase on my bed and started to pull some of the clothes out. I was involved in unpacking and unresolved thoughts about my mistake, and I didn't notice him coming up to my doorway. When I finally looked up and saw him, he was leaning against my doorway and watching me.
"Do you need something Derek?" I asked, without stopping what I was doing. Over time we had learned to be civil to each other, sometimes more than civil.
"No." Derek answered simply. "You're not happy about going to this thing, are you?"
"Can you blame me?" I responded, looking up at him for his answer, but he didn't say anything. "Emily hates me. Sam hates me. I had no other friends. There's no reason for me to even go."
"I'll be there." Derek replied.
"Yeah, you will, but hanging around you will only reinforce everything Emily and Sam have to hate me for." I said.
"Don't let them get to you Case. Let it go. Move on." Derek came all the way into my room and closed the door behind him. "It's in the past."
"Is it really? I doubt Emily or Sam would say that." I started to continue but Derek cut me off.
"Forget about them!" Derek exclaimed, "Look, it they can't find it in them to forgive you then that's their problem."
"They haven't forgiven you yet, either." I commented before turning away from him.
Derek eventually left, realizing I was done talking about it. He meant well, I know he did, but the fact that he had been such a big part of my mistake made it hard for him to help me get over it. The more I tried to forget, the more he reminded me of it.
I lay awake in bed that night as flashes of that night—my mistake—bombarded me. What had felt so right in that moment turned out to be so wrong in the next. I always wondered if I would have regretted it if Emily and Sam had found out the right way.
I could never figure out how or why it happened, just that it did. Sam and I had a fight earlier that afternoon. I remember thinking that Sam and I weren't going to work out—that we would probably break up soon. I had been watching TV, trying to cool off. My mom and George had taken the kids to the zoo, or the movies, or something—I didn't really listen, I just knew I would be alone in the house with Derek. I had just found something I might have been interested in watching when Derek came barreling down the stairs, grabbed the remote and changed the channel.
I was already worked up over Sam and Derek had only pushed me over the edge. The next thing I knew I was fighting with him over the remote, physically. Yet it didn't stop when the remote flew out of his hand and across the room. I tackled him to the ground and we rolled around until he pinned me to the floor. We were face to face; just inches apart, and I tried to push him off to get my advantage back, but couldn't. Then suddenly, he was kissing me. As much as it surprised me, what surprised me more was that I didn't stop him. I kissed him back.
What happened directly after that was a blur. I somehow ended up in Derek's room, on his bed with him on top of me. I shouldn't have been surprised at what happened next, he gave me a chance to back out and I passed on it. The thing was it never crossed my mind that it was wrong. It felt so right in that moment and even after. It was amazing, actually. I didn't feel ashamed. I didn't regret it.
Until Emily found out. The way she spun it made me feel so horrible. She made me regret it. She made me feel ashamed. She made me feel like I was the worst person in the world. Because she was upset, she had to hurt me too. I didn't deserve it, yet she made me feel like I did.
I couldn't understand. The way she acted was like the worst thing anyone could do. I knew it wasn't the best thing to do, I knew it was wrong in my situation. But it felt so good. Everything I believed about Derek changed in that moment. He was so sweet, so gentle. He was so adorable when he tried not to go too fast or be too rough. I don't know if he was more surprised that I was a virgin or if I was more surprised that he was a virgin. He said he assumed that Sam and I had…well, he couldn't even say it. I had just been sure that the reputation he had was creditable. And it wasn't just do it and run with Derek. I don't know how to explain it, but he showed me more affection than Sam had in a long time. It didn't seem wrong—even after I realized I had cheated on my boyfriend with my stepbrother.
We even talked about it afterwards. He was concerned about how I felt about what had happened, in regards to Sam and everything. Everything he did, everything he said, was to make me feel comfortable. He treated me wonderfully. I even remember thinking I was glad my first time was with Derek and not Sam. He made everything so easy for me. I got to see a different side of Derek, which I had never seen before. I just know he made everything about me. I tried to get him to tell me how he felt about it. He just smiled at me and wouldn't answer. I know what happened was about us—him and me. Not Sam. Not Emily. I didn't mean to hurt them and neither did Derek. He explained how I had to tell Sam, I had to be honest with him. And honestly, what happened wasn't intentional. It just happened.
If I'm really honest, Emily never crossed our minds—my mind. And I'm not saying that in a mean way. The only reason she was affected at all was because she had a crush on Derek. But more than half the girls in our high school had a crush on him. I hadn't done this as something against her, but she made it out as if I had personally attacked her. She acted as if I had been fully conscious of what I was doing and did it only to hurt her. I think it had more to do with how she found out. She took everything out on me because she was surprised.
The next morning flew by quickly. It was suddenly time to get ready for the reunion. There was this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wasn't ready to see them—her. But I was here and I was going.
I was almost ready; I was in the middle of putting on shoes, when Derek appeared I my doorway again. "Almost ready?"
"Yes." I looked up and smiled.
My mom had suggested that we drive together. So Derek offered his car. At first I wasn't quite up to it. Again, walking in with him would just make Emily hate me all the more. But I finally agreed.
I finished strapping on my heels and stood. I slipped a couple things into my purse and slung it over my shoulder. I followed Derek out of my room and toward the stairs. I felt his eyes on me as he took me in. I turned my gaze onto Derek and did the same. God he looked good.
"You look great tonight, Casey." Derek replied as we started down the stairs.
"Thank you." I responded with a smile. "You don't look so bad yourself."
Derek chuckled, "Please, I always look good."
I laughed along with him as we finished our walk down the stairs. My mom was there to greet us. She had a bright smile on her face as she observed us. She was just a little too happy. I didn't understand at first.
"So honey, are you feeling better about going to this thing?" My mom asked.
"Did you tell her…?" I began, looking at Derek with my eyebrows raised in question.
"She's your mother, she asked how you were feeling." Derek threw his hands up in the air. 'I told her the truth—that you were nervous."
I shook my head at him and he just shrugged at me. I turned back to my mom, "I'm fine. I'll be okay. I had some things I had to deal with. I'm fine really."
I emphasized my last word as I read my mom's doubtful expression. She let out a sigh and let us pass. I didn't say anything else I just waved at my mom when she said goodbye and to have fun. Ha, that was doubtful. I was silent all the way to the car. I sat in the passenger seat quietly as Derek started the car. He pulled out of the driveway and headed toward where the reunion was being held.
We had been driving for a couple minutes when Derek spoke up. "So…how do you really feel about this?"
"How do you think I feel?" I responded.
"Casey, I know having Emily so angry at you has been hard for you. But it's been years—if she's not over it by now…" Derek was trying to comfort me…it wasn't working.
"She's not going to be over it, I just know it." I said, "I hurt her so badly."
"It wasn't your fault."
"I know. She took it so personally. She made it all about her. She lashed out at me to make me feel what she felt. And I know I didn't deserve it. I know I shouldn't have had to go through what she put me through." I ranted, "But it still hurt. It still hurts."
"She took it so badly."
"You can say that again." I mumbled, "It was just the way she found out. If it had been different, if it had happened any other way…things wouldn't be this way.
It was the middle of the school day. Lunch had just begun and I was heading for the cafeteria when Derek cornered me in the hallway. He glanced around to make sure no one was watching and pulled me into an empty classroom. He shut the door behind us and then turned back to me. I walked further into the classroom so I could sit down at one of the desks. I knew this was coming. This talk was inevitable. It had been a few days since that night and I had yet to talk to Sam as I had agreed to do. This was Derek calling me on it.
"So have you talked to Sam yet?" Derek asked as he leaned against the desk, across the aisle from the one I was sitting in, without sitting down.
No. He knew I hadn't. Why give me a hard time? "Not yet, but I will. I just need a little more time."
"Casey, you need to talk to him. If you think it's hard now, it's just going to get harder the longer you wait." Derek said.
"I know." I nodded. "I know, I do. It's just…"
"He deserves an explanation." Derek replied. "We slept together Case."
There was a sharp gasp that filled the air and we both whipped around to look at the door. There was Emily, her mouth hanging open and her eyes wide in shock and horror. I opened my mouth to speak, but before the words came to speak, but before the words came out she was already starting to run.
"Oh, God." I started. "Emily…"
I was instantly out of my chair and racing out the door after her. I completely ignored the fact that I had left Derek in the dust. I followed Emily through the halls and out the school's exit toward the parking lot. I called after her, but she didn't respond.
"Emily, wait!" I called, but she refused to turn to me. "Emily, it wasn't what it sounded like!"
"Oh really?" Emily exclaimed, finally looking at me. "He said you slept together. If it wasn't what it sounded like what was it? If you didn't have sex with Derek, what did you do?"
I stayed quiet. How could I really answer that? I turned my gaze toward the ground. Her tone alone made me feel ashamed.
"That's what I thought." Emily replied, walking away as I stayed stationary.
It was a few minutes later that Derek caught up with me "Case? Hey Case, are you okay? You took off so fast…what happened?"
"I betrayed my best friend that's what I did." I murmured. "I feel horrible. I'm going home. God, I think I'm going to be sick."
We spent the rest of the drive to the reunion in silence. Derek pulled into the parking lot and parked in the first available space. I stared at the building through my window, anxiety probably evident on my face. I took in a deep breath to try and steady myself and then I felt Derek's warm hand slip into mine. I looked down at our fingers intertwined. It seemed so foreign. But it had somewhat of a calming effect. I looked up at his face and he gave me a reassuring smile. Yet even that wasn't enough to quiet all my nerves.
I just had to do it. I had to walk in there with my head held high. If I believed in myself and my choices, then nothing she could say would tear me down. Too bad everything that had happened all those years ago made me doubt myself and I never stopped. I just had to do it quick—like a Band-Aid. How cliché, but true.
I just had to get it over with. Now.
I walked through the banquet room doors with Derek right beside me. His presence made the tension dissipate just a little. But I was appreciative of even that. The room was already packed with our old classmates. I was hoping what I thought—probably knew—would happen wouldn't happen for a while. But who am I to actually have a moment to settle? One of the first people we saw when we walked in the room was Emily. And she saw us too.
I was surprised that someone so sweet and naïve could muster so much malice in a split second. I was less surprised through, that the malice was still there after this many years.
"What a surprise." Emily cooed sarcastically as she approached us—me. "I didn't think you'd have the guts to show up."
"Lay off her." Derek immediately stepped to my defense. "It's been ten years. Get over yourself."
"Ten years is nothing!" Emily said. "She knew how I felt and she trampled all over my feelings. I haven't forgot and I never will. She deserves to live with the guilt about what she did."
"Emily, please…" I started.
"I was your only friend. Who else are you here for? Sam? He still hates your guts. Derek?" Emily questioned. "Well you did come together, maybe you're hoping to hook up with him again."
"Leave her alone." Derek replied, watching me. I could feel his eyes on me. When I met his gaze, he had this look that seemed to be urging me to stand up for myself. So I tried.
"What happened wasn't meant to hurt you. We weren't against you. I wasn't against you. It just happened and you ended up getting hurt in the process. I tried to apologize—you wouldn't accept it. I hurt you, I admit it." I said firmly. 'But I didn't deserve the crap you threw at me. You had no right to try and make me feel guilty. You had no right to try and intentionally hurt me. You had no right. I hurt you. I know it. But it's your own fault that you haven't let it go."
"Sure. Blame the victim." Emily scoffed. "Don't you feel any remorse? Don't you feel any regret? Don't you just feel terrible? Dirty? Disgusted with yourself?"
I tried to fight the tears back, but I couldn't. "Everyday. Everyday I feel those things…because you made me feel them."
I wiped the first tears that trickled down my face away. I couldn't look at her anymore. I couldn't be here anymore—even though I hadn't really been here at all. I turned around and ran. I fled. She got her way. She hurt me. She broke me. Even ten years later she could shatter me. I wound my way around the building until I found an isolated corner I could tumble into.
I sank to the floor leaning up against a wall. I drew my knees up to my chest, and dropped my head against them. My body heaved with silent sobs. Barely a moment after I got there a hard place itself on my shoulder, gently massaging circles there.
"Derek…don't, please, don't." I murmured.
"Don't what?" He responded as he sat down next to me, still not removing his hand.
"Don't be near me. Don't touch me. Don't try and make me feel better." I replied. "Just stop."
"Why?" Derek exclaimed softly, slightly tilting my chin up, and forcing me to look at him. "Hmm? Why? Because she says some hurtful things and makes you believe them? The person she is making you out to be is not you Case. I know that. I can see that. Why can't you?"
"Because what we did…" I began then trailed off. I pulled away, and looked toward the ground. "We shouldn't have…"
"Well it's a little too late for that." Derek said with a laugh. "Just let it be what it was. Don't let her change it."
"And what was it?" I asked, choking on fresh tears.
"Two people who gave in to a feeling that felt right. They wanted so badly to feel that feeling. They didn't think about what everyone else might think—it was all about them only. They made a choice—a choice that was theirs to make—to get that feeling and they shouldn't fell ashamed or guilty for making it." Derek spoke softly, and all the while he was gently wiping away my tears.
"I miss having her as a friend." I admitted.
"Don't." Derek responded. "She doesn't deserve you. If you still want her as a friend after what she did to you, and she can't forgive you for what you've done. She doesn't deserve you. If she can't see how much you care."
"Derek, how did we let this happen?" I questioned letting myself lean into him.
"Which part?" He said, putting an arm around me.
"All of it."
Even as I said 'all of it', I didn't mean all of it. I was thinking more about the aftermath and less about the leading up to. I was thinking less about Emily and more about Derek and me.
That night was a turning point for Derek and me. The hate and fighting kind of phased out. For a while I believed—I think we both believed—that when I broke up with Sam, we would be together. The funny thing was, I really, really wanted that. Every detail of that night just kept playing over and over in my head. I wanted to experience it again and again. And it wasn't even about the sex I was thinking about—it was Derek. Every word he spoke, every move he made, every touch, every emotion he erupted inside of me. I wanted to memorize it.
I wanted more.
I was ready to be with Derek. I don't know if it was a conscious or subconscious desire—but it was there. I had fallen into this feeling and I couldn't escape it. I didn't want to. I was going to be with Derek. I wanted him. In the least obvious ways—which were obvious to me—he made it clear he wanted to be with me. But it was going to be honest. After that night it was going to be honest. We hadn't kissed, or hugged or even touched since that night. I had to let Sam know before anything happened. We had agreed upon that.
But I took too long and Emily got in the way.
We had this understanding that once I talked to Sam we'd be together. It may have been unspoken—neither one of us had said anything about a relationship. We just felt it. We just knew. But I never got a chance to talk to Sam—to be the one to tell him. Emily got to him first. Emily got into an even bigger fight ending with her vow to never speak to me again. Her opinions tainted everything. She made me feel so…so torn. I found myself rethinking my decision to be with Derek—only because Emily stood in the way of it actually happening for us. If I felt so ashamed of what we had done how could I begin a relationship based on it. She stole my chance to be with Derek and I regret—really regret—letting her.
We really had a chance. At least I think we did. She made me let go of that chance. She made let go of that chance. She made it so I couldn't hold on, grasp on, to it. She made it so it would slip through my fingers even as I fought to hold on. She made any chance we had disappear. We could have been good together. We could have been great. We could have been so much. I could have loved him for all this time. Love? Yes, love. He could have known that I loved him for all this time.
Something changed that night. Emotions exploded. Feelings changed. Something began that night. Emily got in the way. But maybe, just maybe, it isn't over yet. Not yet.
I turned to look at Derek and he met my gaze directly, his eyes locked onto mine. I started to say something but I couldn't get the words straight in my head. I let out a frustrated sigh and looked away. I couldn't do it.
"Casey, what is it?" Derek asked.
"It's more than just Emily…it's about us." I responded.
"What about us?" Derek frowned, his brow furrowed.
"Back then, before Emily found out and told Sam and everything fell apart—what were you thinking?" I questioned, to be more precise.
"What was I thinking? About us?" Derek started and I nodded. "I don't know. It was a long time ago."
"Don't do that." I shook my head. "You know you just don't want to tell me. Look, I'll tell you what I was thinking if you tell me."
"Okay." Derek nodded. "You go first."
"Uh, it doesn't work that way, buddy." I laughed.
"Fine." Derek said. "I remember thinking that you turned my world upside down. You made me feel something I had never felt before. You made me think things I had never thought before. You made me want something I thought I could never have…"
"What was that?" I asked, just over a whisper.
"You." Derek answered simply.
"I wanted you too." I said after a moment of drawn out silence. "I thought it would be so easy to transition from Sam to you. I thought we could be so good together, then Emily…"
"Made you change your mind." Derek finished for me. "I knew it. I saw it. There was this shift—it was in your eyes. One minute you couldn't wait to be with me and the next you couldn't even stand being around me for a second. I saw it—I tried to fix it, but you wouldn't listen to me any more."
"She took something so good and trampled all over it. But I…" I started to stutter and I paused to collect myself. "I'm over it now—I think. I want that feeling back. I want it back now."
"I don't understand." Derek replied.
"Derek, I've wasted so much time because of her, because of one night." I said. "I was so torn up over Emily and Sam and you. You asked me once why I left so quickly after high school…why I never really said goodbye to you…"
"I knew why. I just wanted to hear it from you."
"I didn't answer though."
"No, Case, you didn't."
"It was because it was so hard to face you. I felt so much. I was confused. I couldn't look at you without feeling a million things at once. I didn't know how to walk away, but I didn't know how to hold on either."
"Casey…" Derek began after a moment.
"Mmhmm." I responded.
"Did we miss our chance?"
His question rung in my ears as I tried to come up with the right answer. I wanted to say no—because I wanted to believe that. But I wasn't sure. Had it been too long? Could it really work? Was it too late?
"I hope not." I answered.
After my last comment, we were quiet for a long time. It wasn't just a pause. It wasn't just a moment. It felt like ages. I wanted to say something, but I couldn't get the right words to leave my mouth. Derek hadn't furthered the conversation, and I was afraid to add anything. I didn't want to say the wrong thing.
"Look," I started, breaking the silence. "I spent four years unconsciously regretting letting you go. I've been on maybe two dates in that whole time. I think I compared every guy I've met since high school to you. Losing Emily's friendship was hard on me, and I've had one really close friend since her—my roommate Hannah. She's a great replacement for Emily, but I don't think I will ever find a replacement for you."
Derek just stared at me, as he took in everything I had said. "Do you mean that?"
"Yes." I nodded.
"I went on one date a year after you left—a friend set me up. I spent the entire night wishing she were you. I was acutely aware of everything that was wrong with her. She was blonde, when she should be a brunette. She wasn't very bright when she should have been a genius. She just wasn't you." Derek was rambling, but I caught every word, "I went home that night knowing that there was only one person that I could be with…and that was you. Only you."
"Is this serious? Are we really going to try this?" I murmured.
"Yeah, I think so." Derek nodded.
After a minute I stood, "We should probably get back to the…I mean, we're here. We might as well make the most of it."
Derek nodded, "Sure."
Derek stood and we started to walk back toward the banquet room that held our reunion. We barely moved—besides our walking. I don't think we even looked at each other the entire time. Then just as we were about to turn the last corner that led to the room, Derek turned to look at me. We stopped and I gave him a questioning look. He just smiled at me.
The next thing I know he's kissing me, and we're stumbling—I'm stumbling backwards—trying to find the wall. When my back finally touched the wall, I leaned against it for support. Derek pressed against me, wrapping his arms around my waist. I let my arms wrap around his neck as I tried to pull him closer. I could feel my knees start to buckle, but Derek held me up. That feeling—so right, so amazing—filled me. I was where I belonged.
Derek finally pulled away, a grin stretched across his face. He stepped back and caught hold of my hand, lacing his fingers through mine. Without a word I let him lead me back into the reunion. I could face her. I could face anything. My mistake was no longer a mistake. It didn't matter if she couldn't see that. I could.