Disclaimer: I wish I owned it but I don't
A/N: I believe I owe all of you this chapter. Yes, this is the final chapter and I'm sad to see it go. Thanks again to my betas. And now...the conclusion to Taking Over Me. Man I feel like it's a soap opera or something. But really. Aren't all my stories that way?
Taking Over Me
Five Years Later
"Are you excited?" my roommate of three years asked me as she sat on my bed, watching me as I applied my makeup.
"Excited for what?"
"Come on Gabriella. Your boyfriend is taking you somewhere fancy and expensive. You and I both know there's something behind that."
"You and I both know that you can overact also."
"Yeah, I can. But that doesn't mean I'm overreacting now. How many times has he taken you to someplace like this?"
"Doesn't that ring the slightest bit of a bell in your mind?"
"Oh come on. You can't be telling me that he's not thinking of proposing to you."
"I'm not telling you because I know that's not what he's thinking about."
"Fine. If you want to settle on that truth then go ahead." She left the room and I shook my head. There was no way...was there? Now I was getting myself confused.
Okay. So you're probably wondering what's been going on for the past five years. Let's start with graduation. I graduated from East High, not at the top of my class, but pretty close. Taylor was the one who got that honor and I was happy for her.
Troy had also graduated with us and under his real name, not the name he had been using for the three years he was out of my life. I never thought I would see the day that he would be by my side again. But it happened and my life was the way I wanted it to be.
But sadly during my freshmen year of college...things started going down hill. Troy dropped out of college. Why? I'll never know. He never told me. He just up and left without saying a word to me or any of his friends. I never saw him again. I did speak to him shortly after and he told me he was okay, that he was in Miami. I asked him why he left but he didn't answer me.
After that, I never heard a word from him...until recently. A few days ago, he called me and told me he was going to be in town for a few days and that he wanted to see me. I told him that I thought it best that we not see each other. I had moved on, I found myself a steady boyfriend that cared a lot about me. I didn't tell Troy that but I knew he knew. He told me that he wished me all the best and that was it.
Now here I am, sitting at my vanity, trying to figure out if what my roommate is saying is true. If it is then...I don't know what I'm gonna do.
"Gabriella. Your boyfriend's here." I heard Sarah, my roommate, yell.
"Coming." I yelled back and took a deep breath. Here goes nothing. I walked out to the living room and saw my boyfriend, Charles, or Charlie as he would like to be called, standing there smiling at me. "Hey."
"Hey. You ready?"
"Yep." He took my hand and led me out to his car. It only took ten minutes to drive to the restaurant and five minutes to find parking. Getting into the restaurant was no problem since Charlie had reservations.
We sat down at the table given to us and looked at the menu. I was reading it but my mind was too busy thinking over what Sarah had told me. Was Charlie really going to propose to me tonight and if he did...what would I say?
"I'll say yes of course." I thought to myself. But could I really be so sure I would? Sure I love Charlie...but would it be enough to seal my future with him forever.
"So what are you ordering?" he asked and I looked up at him.
"I'm not so sure yet." He smiled and took the menu from my hand.
"How about I order something for you?" I smiled and nodded. As soon as the waiter came, Charlie ordered himself a chicken parmigiana and ordered me a shrimp risotto. Okay, we've been going out long enough for him to know that I'm not a big fan of shrimp, so why would he order me that.
I didn't protest, knowing he was just trying to be a gentlemen. But I couldn't help but think back to when me and Troy had been going out. Troy knew me inside out, even though he had forgotten who I was for three years. He knew what I liked and what I didn't like. But I shouldn't be comparing Charlie to Troy. Of course, Charlie was no Troy but he was close. Troy left without a word of explanation to anyone so it wasn't time to think about him.
The food came a little bit after and we ate our food. We didn't talk at all. I sat there picking at my food, feeling myself getting queasy from just looking at it. Charlie looked up at me and frowned.
"What's wrong?" he asked and I smiled.
"I screwed up didn't I?"
"A little bit."
"Is it the shrimp?" I nodded.
"I'm not a big fan of shrimp."
"I'll get the waiter to get you something else."
"No. It's fine. Really." He nodded and went back to eating. Once again, I compared him to Troy. If Troy was here, he would have just switched plates with me. Troy could eat anything and didn't mind switching if I didn't like something.
How was it that I was thinking about Troy again after all these years? Maybe it's because he called me. Maybe it's because I never realized how much I actually miss him.
After we finished eating, well more like Charlie finished eating, the waiter came and took our plates. Charlie looked at me with a smile on his face before taking my hand in his.
"Gabriella...there's something I've been meaning to ask you."
"W-What is it?"
"Well, I know that we've been dating for only two years but, I feel as if we should take this relationship a bit further." this could not be heading in the direction I didn't want it to go. No way was he going to propose to me. "You've made me feel so lucky to be with you. It's like I've been missing something and you were that missing piece. So will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" he asked and got down on one knee in front of me.
I just sat there like a fish out of water. I couldn't believe he actually proposed to me.
"I-I don't know what to say." I really didn't.
This was it. This is what I've been thinking about the entire time I've been on this date. What should I say? If I say yes, then what? I'll become Mrs. Charlie Adams. But then what? What comes after? I couldn't see my future looking at Charlie. I couldn't see any part of it, not like when I looked into Troy's eyes. I saw everything in his eyes. That's when I realized, I couldn't say yes to him. How could I say yes to a man that I really didn't love?
"I'm sorry Charlie. I just can't say yes to you." I stood up and left the restaurant. I headed in the direction of my favorite park, the one that was situated on the beach. I sighed and sat down on the swings, slowly moving myself back and forth. "I believe in you. I'll give up everything just to find you. I have to be with you. To live, to breathe. You're taking over me."
"Still as beautiful as I remember it."
That voice. It couldn't be...could it? There was only one way to find out. I turned around and everything seemed to go in slow motion. I gasped when I saw Troy standing a ways away from me. I stood up and we stared at each other.
"I'll just go now." He said and turned around to leave.
"T-Troy..." I whispered before breaking into a run towards him. "Troy!" I yelled and he turned around just as I jumped into his arms. He spun me around before setting me back on my feet. "I can't believe it's you." I said, tears falling from my eyes.
"Hey, hey. Don't cry." he said and wiped away my tears.
"I've missed you so much." I said before burying my face in his chest.
"I've missed you too, Gabi." he said and tightened his grip on me.
Minutes later, I found myself walking hand-in-hand with Troy down the beach. Nothing was said between us, but I knew there were things that needed to be straightened out.
"Why did you leave?" I asked and he sighed.
"Because...I don't know I just felt like...there was more for me out there."
"So you left because Albuquerque didn't hold enough for you?"
"Believe me, Albuquerque held everything I needed. My friends, my family...you. I just felt like there was more out there, things that I would miss if I stayed."
"Did you find what you were looking for?" he chuckled and shook his head.
"No. Every place I visited was the same. There was just something missing. Then I finally realized that it's because those places didn't hold the one thing I needed."
"And what's that?" he smiled and looked at me.
"You." He stopped and turned to face me. "Gabriella you have no idea how empty I've felt for the past five years."
"Believe me, Troy. I do. I felt like I did back when I had no clue if you were alive or not. It's hard to go through that twice."
"I know. I'm sorry that I put you through that. But I'm willing to start over if you are. I want us to always be together. I don't want to be without you ever again." I smiled and placed a hand on my cheek.
"And neither do I but...let's start off slow, okay?"
"Does that mean heading to Vegas and getting hitched is out of the question?"
"Okay fine. Geez kill a guy's dream won't y..." I put a finger to his lips and smiled before wrapping my arms around him.
"As long as there's an Elvis impersonator as the reverend then I'm fine with it." I said and he smiled.
"Seriously?" I nodded "But what about going slow?"
"When I said slow, I didn't mean going back to the beginning of it all. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Troy Bolton." I said, pressing my lips to his. He smirked against my lips and pulled me closer. When we broke away, he looked into my eyes and I into his. This was what I missed the most about him: his eyes.
"Then we should get going, shouldn't we?" I giggled and he grabbed my hand. We ran up the beach towards his car and hopped in. He started it up and we were off to Vegas, off to a new life. Just the two of us. Together...forever.