Chapter Six

Stirring out of his sleep from the loud buzzing blaring from his alarm clock placed conveniently on the nightstand next to the bed, Edward "Eddie" Winslow reached over with one arm at the clock to slap the large silver snooze button on top of it, sensibly labeled "snooze" in large black writing. Acting as if it were the first time he had been brought to life from sleeping, it was actually the third time this morning, and the final time due to having to wake up now or else he would be late for the lunch he planned to have with Greta McClure: his main squeeze. Eddie loved her with all of his heart and she was the first woman he actually had genuine and deep feelings for. Like that classic Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell song, there was no mountain high, valley low, or river wide to keep him away from her. Dressed in his blue sweats and loose white shirt, Eddie took a few minutes to get out of bed and do his usual morning warm-up consisting of stretches, sit-ups and a few bouts of jump rope. Afterward, he ran into the shower, brushed his teeth, brushed his hair and got dressed into some casual clothes. He figured since it was his day off why not just wear some black pants, some black casual shoes and a few sweaters with his Chicago Bulls sweater on top and relax. Eddie remembered that today was not just an ordinary day off. He planned on surprising Greta with something he had been saving his money for years to buy for her. His relationship with Greta had its ups and downs, yet he felt that the time was right to give his gift to her since it was their fourth anniversary of the first day they went out on a real official date, having to nearly wrestle his way past her overprotective father Mr. McClure in order to take Greta out. Plus, the gift wouldn't hurt as also acting as a peace offering to close the conflicting gap between the two due to the misunderstanding Eddie had those months ago about the relationship of Greta and Stefan. It was the best time to offer his gift to Greta, as not only did he have time off but she would be home at this time of the day and that would be the perfect opportunity to take Greta out to lunch and surprise her. Picking the small black leather box off of his nightstand next to his alarm clock, Eddie walked out to the living room to pick up his black coat, which had been thrown nonchalantly onto his sofa last night, before leaving the apartment and closed the door behind him, ready to give Greta some great news.

Greta McClure lay nervously in her bed, squirming as if something terrible was about to happen or would happen to her. It was something about being alone in her apartment that always kept her on pins and needles and she wanted it to stop, yet she knew thinking about it so much or telling someone about it wouldn't help. She just couldn't give up the agreement she had made but was forced to regret. She had an education to finish, an apartment to live in and a life to live. She forcefully shut her eyes, almost as if she didn't want to close them, nonetheless she wanted to. Greta did not want to go on with what was going to happen today. She wished she was sixteen all over again when she first met Eddie Winslow, her first true love. Back then, she had no credit scores, rent, utilities or tuition to pay and take care of – it was all paid for by her father. But sacrificing his support for sticking with the man she loved was a price she had to pay. In a perfect world, she would still have her father's support and belong in a great relationship with Eddie Winslow. Yet, in reality it was almost the complete opposite. Greta and her father did not speak much unless he called her to know how she was doing in school or to see if she wanted to come by for the holidays. Other than that, there was no real communication between the two. As for Eddie, they continued their little game of "break up to make up", fighting over something so small that they would look back and laugh about it later on. Nevertheless, it took a little strain on her and she wished that they would not fight over such petty things. Greta looked at her alarm clock and swallowed a lump that was tickling her throat, nervous about what time it was. 8:20 am. Ten minutes left until he arrives. She shuddered at the thought of him coming by on his usual Monday morning and tried to think of other things. Remembering that last Friday was her last day of school, she felt relieved that since finals were over, waking up early was no longer on her priorities list for a month. But paying for school and her place of residence was always going to be number one, no matter how it would be paid, and the way she was paying for it now caused Greta to feel a large wave of nausea run its course through her stomach. She asked herself over and over why she had to do it like this instead of asking her father or even Eddie's parents, but that opportunity to do so was in the past and there was nothing she could do to change it now. Sighing, Greta slowly dragged her feet out of bed and looked around her large, plush bedroom. On her own, she knew she could not even afford to buy an apartment that was even the size of her bedroom closet which was outrageously huge and was comparable to the size of half of a one bedroom apartment. She slipped her feet into her pink, comfortable slippers Greta wrapped her matching pink robe a little tighter to bring more warmth to her body and lazily meandered out into the living room, staring at the front door. She knew that he was about to step inside any second. 'When he gets here,' Greta thought to herself, her hands gradually balling up into fists. 'We need to talk. We need to end this once and for all.' Her instincts proved her right, as she heard the keys on the other side of the door jangling and bumping against the door knob before it swung open to reveal who she was thinking about.

"Speak of the devil…" Greta muttered low under her breath, staring at the man who leisurely walked in with great panache.

"You know what time it is…" The man smiled, straightening the collar of his white button up shirt, matching perfectly with his black dress pants and black and white casual shoes. He was now only a few feet away from Greta as he put his key to the apartment in his pants pocket.

"No I don't…and I don't want to know because it's over…I'm through with you…" Greta turned her back towards him, crossing her arms. She sighed and looked down at the ground, patting her right foot on the ground.

"Are you sure, baby?" He asked, sticking his arm out to touch her shoulder. Jerking it away from him a split second after he felt the soft, warm material from her robe that was covering her shoulder, the gentleman sighed and shook his head, feeling almost as if he should laugh at how silly she was acting, but instead he smirked and turned around. Leaving, he dropped the key belonging to the apartment on the ground. Stopping in front of the door, he turned around to look and see if Greta had turned around, yet she remained with her back turned to him. "Greta…after one more month, you can kiss this apartment and your education goodbye…well, onto the next customer," He finished, closing the door behind him. Even though he closed it quietly, Greta shuddered from the sound as it felt as it had been magnified a hundred times louder than normal. Feeling the effects from what just transpired before her eyes, Greta felt her knees buckle from under her as she fell to her hands and knees. Her body began to shake from her sudden outburst of sobs. Tears began to run down her face and chin, dripping down onto the white carpet underneath her.

"Why meeeeeeeee, Lord? Why meeeeee?" Greta let out in almost a growl, slamming her fists onto the floor in frustration. She didn't care if the people living under her heard her. She just wanted to let her pain and sadness out anyway that she could. Knowing that she only had a month left to live in this apartment in the great part of Chicago, she couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't allow the feelings she had bottled up in her heart to stay hidden in her any longer. After a few moments, Greta crawled over to her sofa and placed herself in the middle, wrapping her arms around herself and haltingly rocking from side to side in an attempt to try to relax during all this heartache and torment. Hearing the door open once more after the familiar sound of keys moving around, Greta grimaced and cringed, turning to her side in an attempt to not see who was coming, wondering if it was 'him' again. Stefan Urquelle.

"Greta, what's wrong?" A familiar, reassuring masculine voice asked, sitting next to her. Greta felt his arms enclose around her and a spark of warmness begin to fill her body as if it were being recharged with energy. Looking up through her now teary, reddened eyes, she saw his face looking at her with great concern. It was Eddie's.

"Eddie…it was…Stefan, he was here, and he…baby, it was awwwwwwwwwful," Greta didn't know what to say between her tears, throwing her face into his shoulder. Patting the back of her head, Eddie looked around the place and then back on her. He couldn't believe it. The place appeared to be in great shape thanks to Stefan's help. What could Greta be upset about? Did Greta's sudden shaken up disposition have something to do with Stefan? 'No way,' Eddie denied the possibility of it being him. 'It couldn't be.'

"Relax Greta…calm down…tell me what's wrong?" He asked as Greta finally let her face out of his shoulder and looked down at the ground, feeling embarrassed and ashamed.

"Eddie, it's a long story…" She said, her voice shaky from crying.

"Greta, I've got the day off. If it takes all day, I'm listenin'."

"I never had a roommate this whole time, Eddie…I've been living here by myself…"

"That's what you're upset about?" Eddie honestly asked as his eyebrow flew up in confusion.

"Stefan helped me get this place…"

"He did?" Eddie said in a calm rage, wondering why she did not tell him this before. Greta was about to move away until he did not become enraged like he usually would if something came up that was out of the ordinary or was kept secret, especially if it involved his woman.

"Yeah…being a model at school wasn't bringing in enough money, and neither was my regular job. My dad still won't help me…so…I had to ask somebody…"

"Why didn't you ask me? I could have seen if my dad could have helped you out!"

"I know, but…" Greta didn't notice that another tear dropped down her cheek as she continued with her story. "After Stefan came by when I first got this apartment from the money I got from modeling…he said he could help me with my finances, so…" Greta paused, knowing that what she was about to say could either cause Eddie to become upset or decide to leave her or worse.

"So…what happened?"

"…He said that I could be helped, but only if…" Greta looked away from Eddie and turned her head away from him, ashamed from what she was about to say. "…I gave myself to him…" Greta suddenly exploded into a horrible fit of crying, her entire vision blinded by tears. Looking on at Greta, Eddie could not describe what he was feeling. His gut was telling him that something was wrong with Greta, yet she could not describe what it was until now. Grabbing Greta, he brought her close and sighed, whispering reassuring words in her ear that brought her to somewhat of a stop from her involuntary trembling. Greta began to tell Eddie the whole story about how Stefan had only done it twice with her and that she regretted every second of it, also mentioning that her roommate from her first apartment had left before she moved in to her new apartment and so she kept the lie going in order to have Eddie not worry about her living by herself. After she finished, Eddie began to tell about why he had showed up to her apartment in the first place. The final sentence Eddie had said to her caused the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up. At that point, Greta decided it was safe to finally return Eddie's giant hug that he had been giving her nearly the whole time of his visit. She stared with weepy eyes at what was contained in the box in his hands that was eventually placed delicately onto her ring finger.

"Will you marry me?"

Author's Notes: I'm not sure whether or not I should continue this story and have an epilogue. If you want it to continue and have an epilogue, let me know. :) -FoC