The practice date had turned out for the better. It started out crumby but as soon as London and I got to the Eifel Tower, things got better. Albeit, slower but better. Oh, well. It's getting dark now and we're almost done with the practice date. However, London would occasionally complain of how much longer the practice date would take. Sometimes, it felt like listening to a child asking their parent when the family is going to get to their vacation spot while riding in the car. But I needed a practice date partner who wasn't a male. I needed a friend who had curves like Bailey and that is why picked London. But if Maddie was around, he would pick her over London. The practice date would have gone faster if I had Maddie to help me. I did consider both Maddie and London as older sisters to me, but Maddie was the nice sister and London was the annoying one. Nonetheless, I loved them both like family. Bailey, on the hand oh boy ! I wanted to be with her maybe forever. If there was one alternate lifetime that I wish I could be Bailey's true hero is if I was an honored knight who was a quest to stop all evil and save the princess. Bailey, of course, would be the princess and I would be the honored knight. Oh well London and I need to finish the practice date so that I have time to get ready and dazzle my Bailey, my own princess.
I look over at London and see the surprised look on her face. When she asked why we were up here, I played off her suspicious as her making a mistake. I covered up my lie with another one and moved on. I told her the last parts of the plan. London complained again but kept on with the practice date anyway. I am so lucky she still is here. I wouldn't know what to do if London bailed on me now. Huh. Bailed Makes me want to think of Bailey I smile to myself but then remind myself that I have a mission. I look back at London. She looks distracted. I wave my hand over her face. Luckily, she immediately looks back at me.
"So, what's next, Cody?"
"This is the part where I read Bailey a poem."
I pull out a black book that contains a hundred and seventy seven stanzas. London holds up her hand as to stop me before I could read the poem aloud.
"How long is it?"
"A hundred and seventy seven stanzas."
London raised an eyebrow at me in question. I clear my throat to clarify.
"We've been through a lot."
Then I go on to read the poem of mine and Bailey's love out loud to London.
"When I first met you, you were a boy. When I found you weren't, my heart filled with joy. In biology class our hearts connected over the organs of the frog we dissected ."
Just then London yanked the book out of my hands and tossed it over the Eiffel Tower. What the ?! Why did she do that?! London then glares at me.
I gather myself and then take London in my arms washing away my anger toward her because I was determined to get through the practice date before I would go through my anniversary date with Bailey.
"Now, we dance."
I led London into a dance that resembled the one I shared with Bailey when the ship crosses the International Dateline. London seemed to have been enjoying the soft swaying motion but then vocalized her regret once I began to spin her a little too frequently. I stop spinning her and slow things down a bit again. Finally I bring her back into a final embrace. London takes in a deep breath. I then say on cue before I dip London.
"Then, I do this."
I dip London and pretend that she's Bailey. I stare into London's eyes and tell her the words I want Bailey to hear.
"You're the most beautiful girl in all of the world. Your eyes shine brighter than all of the stars in the sky."
Then I bring London back up and let go of her. She takes in another deep breath knowing that the practice date is over. She then glances at me with what I could detect as pride. Was London actually proud of me? Was she impressed?
"Wow, Cody. You know, I can't believe I'm saying this, but Bailey is a lucky girl."
"You think so?"
"I know so."
After I had ditched Jean Luc, I did some sightseeing. I saw all sort of wonderful buildings and visited two beautiful parks. I saw the Arch De Triumph and went to Left Bank. On my way, I stopped by a little bakery and got a pastry that I planned on saving for later. Maybe I would save it for when Cody and I could share it and hopefully that would be soon. As I was near the end of my own self-guided tour of France, I had one last stop that I wanted to go to before I would meet Cody. I decided to go to the Eiffel Tower to see the city from a beautiful sight and take some pictures while I was up the tower. I make my way to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night just a few hours before my anniversary date would take place with my wonderful boyfriend, Cody. Oh, I loved him so much. I could just imagine a life with him. We'd be happily married, have four children and we both be doctors. That would be just great. As I happily jot up the last steps of the Eiffel Tower, my eyes betray me as I see something that I would never thought possible: another girl in Cody's arms. What's more, it seemed that he just dipped her. What's going on? Why is Cody with some ugly French girl? Why is there another girl in my man's arms? Was she taking advantage of his gentleman nature or had he forgotten about me? My worst fear is confirmed when I see Cody lovingly stare into the girl's eyes whom he had just dipped and utter words that I had dreamed him say to me for this night in particular.
"You're the most beautiful girl in all of the world. Your eyes shine brighter than all of the stars in the sky."
My heart broke in two then in a million pieces. Everything that I used to know turned to darkness, everything crumpled. All that Cody and I had worked on went up in flames with two sentences. I felt betrayed and unloved. I guess Cody didn't want me in his life after all. Was he just pure evil or was it because I did something? I couldn't think straight. I could feel tears form in my eyes. Feeling completely unwanted and unloved, I turn away from the boy who used to be mine, the boy who I had the joy and privilege to turn into a man. I no longer had a special place in Cody's heart. I no longer was his to hold and he was no longer mine. I'd wish he had the decency to tell me himself before he moved on. Maybe he couldn't wait. He can tell me later. As I walk down the steps of the Eiffel Tower leaving my broken heart behind, I think of all that Cody and I had been through. The more I think of how Cody and I used to be, I begin to wonder what really is going through Cody's head. Then I get angry and frustrated. How dare he pick some French girl over me! Who does he think he is just picking any girl he wants? I'm starting to believe that maybe he had been spending too much time with Zack lately. Come to think of it, there were times when I could have thought that he was too charming like he was just playing me. No one plays with me. You either take me seriously or stay as my friend. I want to give Cody a piece of my mind. I'd like to see him try to get out of this mess of his. I turn around and march back up the ten steps I stepped and see Cody talking to the girl and hugging her. That floozy! She has no right to be in Cody's arms. I quicken my pace and finally reach Mr. Heartbreaker and Miss Boyfriend-stealer. When I get to them, I stop behind Cody by a few feet. I wanna see the shocked expression on Cody's face when I've caught him red handed. I even cross my arms and then notice my handbag hanging from my left arm. Wow! I never realized that I still had it with me. I guess you start to not notice things when I use them frequently. But I'm getting off track. I clear my throat.
Cody and the girl with dark hair jolt in shock. Both of them turn toward me at the same time. To my utter surprise, the dark haired girl is London. London!? Really? It was her with Cody? What is she doing with him? I thought she didn't think of him that way. Well, I guess people can change .a lot. I guess Cody now's into the dumbest, richest, most vain girls in the world. So much for Cody being a good guy with good values. And so much for London being a good roommate and best friend to me. I guess after this ordeal, I'm going to request for a roommate exchange. I glare at Cody. He seems happy and shocked to see me at the same time. I think he's trying act innocent. Bring it on, buddy! I'll beat you at your own game. Cody approaches me and looks like he's about to hug me. Oh, heck no!
"What are you doing?"
Cody stops dead in his tracks and drops his arms.
"What do you mean, Bailey? I was going to give you a hug. Although, you do have a point. Why are you here? Don't you want get ready for our date tonight?"
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, don't act all innocent with me, Mister! I know what you did."
Cody looked at me with pleading eyes. He acted like he was confused.
"What did I do, Bailey? Please, let me know."
Game on, cheater.
"You know what you did. You just don't want to admit it."
"Bailey, I seriously don't know what you're talking about."
Oh, he's good. I have my dignity to hold onto but I much rather get through the pain quickly. He already stabbed me in the heart before; I don't need the pain to drag on.
"Well, if you're so insistent on knowing what you did wrong then I tell you. I saw you dipping London and professing your new found love for her! Couldn't you have the decency to have told me before you fell for her?! I'm shocked at the most and fed up with you."
"I'm shocked too."
"What do you mean? Do you mean you're shocked to see me before our 'anniversary date' was supposed to happen?"
"No. I'm shocked that you think I fell for London."
London then pitched in. "I'm shocked too."
Cody then stares at me with disbelief and disappointment.
"Bailey, why would you think that I was into London?"
"I just told you! I saw her in your arms and I thought she was some ugly French girl that you met while you were up here. You had her in your arms and saying things that I had dreamed of hearing!"
"I thought you knew that I'd be up here!"
London then says something else.
"Uh, no you didn't. This was supposed to be a surprise."
Cody's face falls and then turns toward London. He blushes from embarrassment.
"Oh. You're right."
He bashfully turns back to me. I wanted to know what London was referring to.
"What was supposed to be a surprise?"
Cody rubs his neck with his right hand.
I was going to have our whole date here rather than going to various places that would lead up to being here."
"Why are you here with London?!"
Cody steps toward me and brings my hands into his own. I immediately take my hands away from his. He can sense that I'm still angry with him. He sighs ..out of anguish? That can't be possible. Could it? I shake my head. No. I am not going to let my guard down. Cody stares into my eyes.
"Bailey, I was on a practice date with London."
What!? A practice date? I didn't get it.
Just then, London clears the air.
"It's because he loves you."
Did I just hear London correctly? Cody loves me. This wasn't adding up right. How did he love when I feel so sure that he moved on with another girl? I couldn't make any sense of this. Distracted, I had let Cody grab onto my hands once more. His voice made me lose my train of thought.
I look back at him.
"I would have never wanted to hurt you. I don't know what else to say except that I'd wish you would love me back because I truly and deeply love you with all of my heart. You've made me so happy and you were able to cheer me up when life got me down, especially when Zack got under skin and had put me down. I'm sorry if you thought that I didn't love you. I think that it might have not looked good from your point of view, but I don't love London or any other girl the way I love you. But I also want you to look it through my point of view: I only wanted the best for you since you're the best thing that has happened to me and that is why I was compelled to go through a practice date with London so I was sure that our anniversary date was perfect. And you know me; I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. I mean, how many times had I expressed to you that I thought you were perfect?"
I tilt my head to the side in confusion. Cody can sense what's going through my head.
"Even though I've indicated to you that I thought you were perfect three times to you, there have been many other times that I have told you in my dreams."
Oh ..That makes more sense. But still I'm still mad at him.
"Bailey, I realized long ago that you're not perfect because you're human, but you're perfect to me. I just want to let you know that I think you're perfect for me. I need you in my life. I don't know what I'll do if you still walk away from me. Please, Bailey .."
My hands slip out of Cody's. His face is paler than a ghost and he looks like his hear just dropped down and transcended into the deepest and darkest part of the underworld surrounded by red fire. Did I read his express and reaction correctly? Why did he act like his life just ended just because my hands slipped from out of his? Cody drops his head down and London mimics him just a little bit.
"Oh .I see, Bailey. I guess I can't blame you for feeling this way. I'd just wish that you would have stayed with me."
Then Cody limply stepped forward and passed me. He barely got a chance to walk away because I grabbed onto one of his shoulders. I turned him toward me. He lifted his head up and looked up at me with a perplexed expression etched on his soft features. I kept my hands firmly placed on Cody's taut shoulders as I stared into his eyes.
"I'm done with you."
Cody drops his shoulders underneath my hands which made my hands fall down at my sides.
"What else to do you have you want to say to me before you rip my heart out even more?"
Okay. This was freaky! First, I feel like Cody ripped my heart out and stomped on it. Now, he feels like I'm in the midst ripping out his heart. I then realize that Cody was telling me the truth. There was a small part of me that wanted to believe him at first but I was mad at him for something that I thought he did to me when he did nothing but love me. I didn't want to admit that Cody was pouring his heart out to me when I so determined to end things with him. Now I just feel plain bad. I feel so ashamed of myself. I just want to sink into a deep and dark abyss and die alone of hunger and of grief. I swallow a lump down my throat and hope Cody will still want me. I take his left hand in my right one. London can sense what's going to happen so she announces that she will leave us alone.
"Maybe I should go, guys. I want to do some shopping before I return to the boat."
Both Cody and I turn to London.
"My credit cards are whining."
I roll my eyes.
London whips out one her credit cards and puts it up to my ear. I actually can hear whimpering and whining from the card!
"Whoa, that's freaky!"
"I told you. Can I go? You guys need to be left alone and I need to go shopping."
"Uh sure, London."
London claps her hands together, does a little happy hop and then prances down the stairs. Okay. Now I know there would be no way that Cody would go for London. What was I thinking? The thought of Cody being with London was just ludicrous. Once London was out of sight, I turn my attention back to Cody. He seemed nervous. I don't blame him. Up until this point, I was course with him. Now I just want him to know that I still love. I deeply love him. Cody focuses his eyes on mine.
"Uh, what did you want to talk about, Bailey?"
I yank onto Cody's hand and lead him over to the railing. "Come here."
Once Cody and I get to the railing we look over it and see an amazing view of Paris. I can feel the weight of my hand bag dragging my arm so I put it down. I gaze at Paris and found it to be so romantic and whimsical. After a while, Cody and I stare at each other.
"For accusing you of cheating on me. I know that you may feel that I don't trust you anymore and I wouldn't blame you if you ended things with me instead me breaking things off with you. I see now that I was wrong. It's just a scary thing to see another girl with your guy. I mean, what would you have done or thought if you saw me with another guy?"
"I would be furious."
"And I probably wouldn't have thought very kindly of you. I'd assume that you didn't love me anymore."
"And why is that?"
"Because I'm self -conscious. I'd especially expect better out of you since we had gone through a whole year together sharing our joy and disappointments. We had our up and downs but we still stuck together."
"Exactly my point. I felt worthless when I first saw you with London. I felt so self-conscious and so vulnerable and hurt."
"I'm not mad at you, Bailey. I understand how you feel."
"So, do you forgive me?"
"I'm relieved to hear you say that. I mean, I realized that the people who you love the most can hurt you the most."
"And people do crazy things when they're ."
"Bailey, are you trying to tell me that you're in love me?"
I didn't know what to do. I shied away from Cody and looked at the floor. Apparently, I found it to be more interesting than Cody. I stare down at my feet but then I can feel Cody's left hand lift up my chin which forces me to look at him straight in the eyes. How gosh .Those charming eyes of his Goose darn it, Bailey Pickett! You're falling for him all over again. NO. How can this be? How can I deny that I'm in love with him and then fall for him again? How is that possible? I suddenly snap out of my zone and see that Cody is leaning towards me. What? Wait! I didn't sign up for this! Can we go a little slower? Why am I afraid? Cody's my boyfriend and he's about to kiss me and I'm freaking out! Ahhh !
Oh my ..Oh, yes. I missed Cody's warm lips caressing mine. This feels SO good right now. I can feel Cody wrap his arms around my waist and everything feels so right. I lean into the kiss and snake my arms around his thin neck. He may be scrawny and have a fragile body, but he's my Cody. I don't care what other people may think of him because I love him. Correction. I'm in love with him. Being in love with someone is a different experience than just loving them. After a minute or so, Cody pulls away from the kiss. What? It's over already? Boy, he really knows how to make me go on a roller coaster of emotions. Cody and I lean our foreheads together.
"Where do we go from here, Bailey?"
"Well, are we still a couple or do we start over? Will we still be able to celebrate our anniversary? Can we salvage it?"
"We salvaged part of it. Do you think we're still a couple?"
Without a thought I knew the answer in my heart. "Yes."
"Okay. What do you want to do, Bails?"
I smile. My heart got electric therapy and sprung back to life and was fueled up by Cody's love. Oh, yes. My boyfriend is my lifeline.
"What did you have planned?"
"What I did have planned now has gone down in the dumps."
"What were your original plans?"
"Take you to caf and have cheese fondue and then sing you an opera. Then we would walk through a garden and finally come up here for dinner and dancing. We would have escargot and listen to an accordion player play some music. Our dinner would have candle light and we would have been seated at near the railing."
"It was nice. But during my practice date with London, I got kicked out of the caf since I found that they do not have the best service or food and London wasn't a big fan of my opera for you."
"No one can be as big as fan of you as me."
"True. Anyway, the practice date was a total disaster except when I able impress London with my dancing skills. I thought that I could somewhat impress London then I could really sweep you off your feet."
"So, the practice date was bust?"
"Yeah. But I only wanted to be prepared to give you the best anniversary ever. But apparently even that blew up into flames."
"We can still have a good time. The night is still young, Cody."
"Come on. We can go down to a park and talk a night stroll as we think of things to do."
"I love how you think of solutions to complicated situations. You're so efficient and organized. Those are one two out of many things why I'm in love with you, Bailey."
Cody's in love with me too? Oh, what a relief. Well, there's only one thing left to do and that's to salvage our anniversary night. I grab onto Cody's right hand.
"Cody, before this night is over, I expect a dance and some romantic words out of you."
"That won't be a problem."
"Great! Now, come on, Cody. We've got an anniversary date to save."
I tighten my grip on Cody's hand, grab my hand bag and happily lead the two of us down the steps of the Eiffel Tower.
To Be Continued