Long story short, I felt so guilty about not giving Josh a happy ending, I wrote out this whole epilogue.
Read this is if you want, but just so you know, Chad and Sonny are not in this at all. I think Josh mentions them together once or twice and that's it.
You've been warned…
Josh's Point of View
Twenty-four weeks. Six months. Half of a whole year. That's how long it had been since I'd quit my job as the lowly mail carrier for Condor Studios and dedicated my time to school. I hadn't seen Sonny or Chad since that last day in the parking lot. I'd certainly thought about them, though. Well, not so much Chad, really, as I'd really just been thinking about Sonny. How she was doing. If she were already planning what dress she'd wear down the aisle and just how many of her relatives she should invite.
I had hopes- high hopes apparently -that after about four months the hurting would've at the very least eased up a little. It didn't. And eventually I got tired of just waiting around for it to "naturally" happen. To be honest, I didn't even know how you "naturally" got over someone. So since the natural way was out, I had to find a plan B.
There was always professional help. You know, shrinks, therapists, and other people of that nature to counsel you through your "letting go" journey. Or at least, that was what it seemed like it was all about after I read some of the online homepages for a few of the local professionals. However, after checking how much they charged per session, how much money I still had, and taking into account that I had yet to find another job, this was not my plan B, and nor would it ever be barring winning the lottery.
So at this point, the natural way was out, professional help was out, and I wasn't going to talk to my unsuspecting parents about it. What was left?
It was with this question in mind that I did a little research on the internet and came across a book. And yes, I mean a self-help book. Its title was The Road to Recovery: Getting over Your Lost Love. Several people in the reviews section said it was extremely helpful, and unlike one of their therapists, didn't ask them "how they felt about that" every five seconds. Well… it was worth a try.
I went to a nearby Barnes and Noble, found the book, and started reading it in the store… while I held a giant book full of science theories in front of it. People who were in my college classes went to the same bookstore as I did and even though I didn't talk to them or… anyone, I didn't need to add "needs love help" to the list of negative things about me.
To my extreme surprise, it actually did start to help me. Slowly but surely, it felt like things were getting a tiny bit better. Yes, things were slightly looking up as I read further and further into the rather lengthy book. It had twenty-five chapters and about three hundred or so pages.
And I was on the last chapter, Chapter Twenty-Five: Finding the Person Who Does Love You, as I walked through the school's quad after my class got out. I was practically to the end as I read the very last page.
"So hang in there, pal. That one special person is out there. You just have to be patient and wait for that one moment when you find them. It might be someone you already know, or it could be someone who you just suddenly run into out of nowhere and everything just automatically clicks into pl-"
Ironically enough, at that moment, I walked right into someone since I hadn't been watching where I was going at all. Whoops. How very typical of me.
The book fell right out of my hands and landed on the concrete with a smack. It closed automatically and was facing cover up. Next to it lay several other books that I guessed belonged to the person I'd just singlehandedly mauled.
With an internal groan, I kneeled down on the hard cement. On the ground was my book, one large text book, a spiral notebook, and… The Road to Recovery: Getting Over your Lost Love. What a weird coincident. I guess whoever it was, was reading the same book as me.
"I'm so sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going at all," a very feminine voice apologized right as a thin, pale hand reached for the light blue spiral notebook. A small, also very feminine, body was kneeling down next to me with her head bent towards the ground so I couldn't see her face.
"Neither was I. Sorry," I also apologized as she reached for my book and put it on top of her notebook. I frowned. I mean, in the long run I supposed it didn't really matter which copy of the book I had. But still, that one was mine. I bought it, and- being the mild dork that I am -I wrote my name on the inside cover. And that would probably mean that I'd have to speak up and tell her it was mine. Great…
She had her textbook in her arms now and finally looked up from the ground. Unlike most other people probably would've been in the same situation, I wasn't shocked that she was very pretty. And that was only because it was just so like me to run into not just a woman, but a pretty one as well. She had bright blue eyes, thinner lips, and delicate rimless glasses resting on her nose. Blond hair that just barely touched her shoulders framed her face. Yes, she was very, very pretty, but that was also very, very irrelevant.
"Uh, that's actually my book," I said quietly, pointing one finger at the book still resting in her arms. I reached down and picked up her copy, timidly holding it out for her to take.
Her mouth turned down into a speculating frown. "Really? I don't think so…" she spoke, trailing off as she set her other books down and picked up my book into her hands. "Let me check since I wrote my name in…" she trailed off again as she turned it open and must've seen my name written on the front cover.
She cracked a smile. "Well, I guess that is yours, then." She closed the book and held it out for me to take also.
We exchanged our books.
She smiled again, appearing to look right at me. I had to resist the urge to check and make sure she wasn't smiling at someone right behind me. She flipped open her own book, and bent back the front cover of the paperback. "Hi, I'm-" She turned the book and held it up for me to see the two words written in dark blue marker. It read "Angela Marks." Angela closed the book after a few seconds, still smiling, and still looking at me. "-but you can call me Angie. And you are…?"
I copied what she did and held up my book to where I'd written my name. Huh. Maybe it wasn't so dorky after all if someone like her did it too.
Angie nodded once. "Josh Mason," she read off of it. "Hi."
"Hello," I greeted her, closing the book uncomfortably. I wasn't exactly what you'd called used to being around girls a lot. Especially not actually talking to them, being this close to them, keeping eye contact with them… That sort of thing.
Angie ducked her head and picked up all of her books again. "Well, I should get going, I guess. Studying for midterms, you know," she said, rising up to her feet.
Silently, and stupidly, I also got up off the ground awkwardly.
Somewhere behind me, there was the sound of a door closing with a click.
"…it could be someone who you just suddenly run into out of nowhere and everything just automatically clicks into place…"
Oh, come on, I thought to myself. What are the odds that this Angie and I bumped into each other and things are clicking around us, and that just automatically makes it fate?
Another passage from the book reminded me of another good point. It said to not be afraid to put yourself back out there once you feel ready. Was I ready yet? I wasn't sure. I'd never been through true heartbreak before so I had no clue as to what it felt like once you were "ready again." It's kind of like when you have a cold for over a week. You get so used to feeling miserable and stuffed up all the time that you can't even remember what it feels like to not be sick. I'd been heartsick, officially, for over six months now, and I had no idea what it felt like to not feel heartsick. Maybe I was better.
And in turn, that could mean that possibly, I'd somehow been thrown into this situation where I met Angie, and we seemed to have some things in common, and maybe it was meant to be. If that were true, then that would also mean doing something that I was not fond of at all. It would mean throwing myself out on a limb, putting myself out of my comfort zone, and talking to her. Something I was no good at. That much was clear since I spent five years silently pining for Sonny, and my total number of dates was still at the zero mark. Yep. Almost twenty-two, never kissed a girl, never been on a date.
I started feeling nauseous at the thought of having to speak up and talk to her. The nausea and the shaky feeling were usually what stopped me from talking to Sonny, or to any girl I liked a little. My comfort zone was safe. It didn't make me feel like I was going to throw up at a moment's notice or like I had a giant magnifying glass pointed at me to amplify my mistakes.
Probably three seconds had passed as I thought all of this through. I looked down at Angie, noticing how her head barely even came up to my shoulders, and how the smile still quirking up her lips made her look unbelievably sweet. Maybe… well, maybe even sweeter than Sonny.
Angie nodded once at me as a goodbye. "Bye, Josh." She turned around and started to walk away.
Internally, I was literally battling with myself. I so badly wanted to talk to her, but that idea just seemed so impossible. What if what I said to her was stupid and she thought I was an illiterate moron? What if she thought I was just an emotional train wreck since I was reading that book and she'd only been being nice before? Ugh! But on the other hand, I really didn't want to just let her go. Hadn't I spent enough time being antisocial and never talking to women because I was too scared? Did I really want to spend the rest of my life living with my parents after college?
Finally, I quickly took a deep breath and walked forward a few steps to go after Angie. "Do you like the book?" I blurted out.
There, that wasn't so hard, I congratulated myself. Now I just had to mentally deal with how very random that question had been.
Angie stopped walking and spun around to face me again. She stood just four feet away from me, hugging her books to her chest, and in general… looking pretty cute. The deep, nervous pit in my stomach dipped and I started having regrets saying anything.
That is, until she grinned a little and nodded at me. "Yeah, I do. It's very… helpful. Do you?" Angie questioned me, conversationally.
Don't say anything moronic, ran swiftly through my head. "Yes, I like it. It… helped a lot. I'm on the last chapter. 'Finding the Person Who-'"
"'-Does Love You,'" Angie finished. "Me too. I'm almost finished with it and my 'road to recovery,'" she said with a wry smile.
"Same here," I said, letting myself also smile. Okay, my comfort zone was still a couple of miles back, but it seemed to be easier now that I was actually, already talking to her. My stomach dropped again when I thought of something that I wanted to do, but also had zilch experience in doing. My pause was another two or three seconds as I battled it out again in my head.
Oh, what the heck? I've already jumped out on the limb. Who cares if it breaks at this point? I finally conceded in my head.
"Uh… do you… drink coffee?" I asked her awkwardly, nervously running my thumb over a small part of the book in my hand.
Angie ducked her head and chuckled a little. She was probably laughing at my insinuation of an offer. Alright, where was the nearest rock to crawl under?
I was proven wrong though when she raised her head up again and her cheeks looked like she was blushing. "No, I'm actually not a big… coffee drinker," Angie told me shyly. "I don't like the taste," she added after a small pause.
Hmm. Alright, so she wasn't laughing at me, and she hadn't outright denied me yet, unless of course she was lying. She didn't seem like she was though.
My hands felt shaky again and the nauseous feeling returned. "Smoothies…?" I asked.
"Smoothies are always good," Angie said.
Just blurt it out and get it over with already!
"Do you want to go get one… with me?" I offered, nervously. Well, even if this ended up leaving me rejected again, at least I'd have gotten farther along in the process than ever before. At the same time I could feel myself cringing and chanting in my head, please don't say no, please don't say no.
"Now? Sure," Angie agreed with a small smile still brightening her face.
Huh? I'm sorry, did she actually just say yes? Can I get a recording of that?
I nodded casually a beat too late. I hoped she didn't realize it was because I was too stunned by her answer to reply right away.
"To… the cafeteria…?" Angie suggested.
We started walking at a leisurely pace to the campus cafeteria not too far away. Out of the corner of my eye I glanced down at her. For the most part, all I could see of Angie was the top of her head and her wavy dark blond hair blowing in the slight breeze. She was wearing a knee-length black skirt and a dark blue, delicate blouse. …And she agreed to go get a smoothie… with me?
Huh. Although I was still a little shell-shocked that anyone from the female population would be interested in getting a smoothie with me and talking with me, I realized something. Well, a few things, actually.
For starters, I was actually interested in a girl who was not Sonny Munroe. That was definitely something considering I first saw Sonny I never thought any other girl could compare to her. To be honest, I was a tad happy to be wrong in this instant.
I was proven wrong twice in this one moment. I'd always thought it was physically impossible for me to talk in full sentences to any female that I liked without sounding like a complete moron. Back there, there could've been definite improvement, but it didn't all come out horrible. Small success.
Not to mention the fact that this was a living, breathing, beautiful girl who said yes to me. She didn't turn me down, or anything. Not to say that I suddenly thought that this one acceptance either healed me or made Angie my girlfriend. I wasn't that delusional. But unlike some of the other girls in middle school and my freshman year in high school that I asked out, Angie didn't say no just to hanging out with me, casually (since as far as I was concerned, this whole smoothie trip as a completely casual, no-romantic-strings-attached outing). This was… progress, I think.
I mean, sure. This wasn't the fairytale ending I'd subconsciously imagined. I wasn't going to marry Sonny and have little Sonny and Josh juniors. But… surprisingly, that was okay. It was okay because this wasn't even an ending for me. It was more like the beginning, after having wasted five years pining for Sonny Munroe. And that was good that this was just a beginning for me since I still hadn't even been on a date yet.
And who knew? Maybe that first date would be with Angie. You never know…
What I did know, though, was that also from this point on, I would be happier, somehow. And not just because I was no longer the lowly mail carrier. There were other reasons too. Not being the lowly mail carrier anymore was just a really good perk.
"The end…?" does not actually mean I plan on posting anything more for Josh and Angie. Just implying again that it's not really an "end" for Josh.
So, my inspiration for this long, long epilogue was the song "Edward Leaves" from the New Moon Movie Score. The first five notes of this song always make me really sad, and while I was listening to it once, it made me think of the sad ending I left Josh to deal with. Unexplainable guilt took over and I suddenly just had to write him a happy ending. And thus, this was written.
On a side note, if you really like beautiful instrumental music, may I recommend getting the "The Twilight Saga: New Moon Movie Score" whether you like the franchise or not. Seriously, all of the pieces are so wonderful regardless of whether you like the books, the movies, or both. Yes, I am shamelessly advertising again. ;-)
Alright, thanks for reading this mostly pointless two-shot. :-)