Here's the second part.
Four days. That's how long Gabriella Montez had been back in New Mexico. 96 hours. That's how long she had been agonising over an email she had received the day she had gotten back from California. She hadn't had an email from him in six weeks, why did he have to send one now? They hadn't spoken since he had left her dorm room 42 days ago. What could he possibly have to say to her that he couldn't say to her when he got back?
She knew that she would get home before him it was something that they had discussed when they had first received their schedules. The plan had been for her to travel to Berkeley with her bags, watch his last game and head home together for the holidays. That definitely hadn't happened. She'd told him that they needed space. A break. The words were just as hard to think as they had been to say. The memory of his pained, cobalt eyes still bore into her mind. She never wanted to cause him pain, but she needed to do this for her. Ultimately it was for them too. They needed to figure things out separately before they could even begin to think about their relationship.
Gabriella had spent the day in the company of Taylor, her first real friend. She always gave the best boy advice and was an expert at making boys grovel, well just the one boy in particular, Chad Danforth. The two had become an item pretty soon after Troy and Gabriella in their sophomore year. Gabriella smiled at the thought of her friend and boyfriend, Troy's best friend. He had become like a brother to her, always taking care of her when Troy wasn't around. She cared for him a lot.
The girls had chatted about Chad's game and how much he had improved in a few short months. They discussed college: Gabriella, Stanford and Taylor, Harvard. She was so proud of her friend for following her dreams.
Reluctantly, the conversation had turned from Taylor and Chad to their friends and the state of their relationship. Taylor discussed Chad's visit to Berkeley the month before. Like Taylor, Chad was worried about his best friend and made his way to Berkeley to be with Troy instantly. Taylor had insisted on taking the first flight to California, but Gabriella refused to let her friend drop everything. Besides, she had Cassie who wasn't making her talk and she liked it that way. She knew Taylor would encourage her to think rationally and she wasn't ready for that just then.
Gabriella had spoken very little about Troy to Taylor over the next few weeks, and that fact had not changed, much to Taylor's annoyance and constant insistence. She said that Troy was deeply hurting, but having Chad around had helped to pick him up, a lot. Gabriella was happy that he wasn't hiding away from everything. She didn't want to impact on his game. He needed to stay focused to prove himself.
Just before Taylor left, Gabriella risked telling her about the email that she had received, but had yet to open. Taylor urged her to read it when she had gone. She even offered to go downstairs while she read it and would hang around in case she needed her, but Gabriella ushered her to go. Chad was back and she knew that Taylor wanted to see her boyfriend; they had spent such little time together since being away at college. A reluctant Taylor left, but not without making her friend promise to call her if she needed anything. She would be there with a tub of Ben and Jerry's in a flash. Gabriella had giggled, the first genuine giggle since she had been home, and hugged her friend with the promise of seeing her the next day at the big meet up.
Chad had organised for the gang, all of them, to go to his house. Everyone would be home, except Ryan and Sharpay, and had insisted on an old fashioned wildcat reunion: pizza, basketball and a day of just hanging out. She knew she needed to read the email before she faced him. She had to read what he had said before any conversation was sparked.
She knew she wasn't ready to read it. She had no idea what it was going to say. What if he decided while being apart that he no longer wanted her? That he had found someone else, someone who actually wanted to talk to him, someone who didn't shut him out?
So many hopeful and negative thoughts were circling around in her head; she knew she should just get it over with already.
Just as she was about to click on his name, the untitled email, she saw something move out of the corner of her eye. Startled, she nervously jumped up and turned to face her balcony.
'Please be the wind, please be the wind.'
Slowly, she tiptoed towards the doors and stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the moving object. It was not caused by the wind. It was the boy that hadn't escaped her thoughts for six weeks. He was here and was looking at her with the intent gaze that made her weak at the knees.
Her small hands lingered at the handle of the balcony doors. She didn't realise she was shaking until she tugged on the door and felt the cool air hit her as she removed the glass barrier between them.
Cobalt met brown. No words were spoken and neither knew what to say first. They just stared at their lover, taking in their appearance after eight agonising weeks apart.
Eight weeks ago.
She couldn't believe that he had let her walk out like that without going after her. He left her a voicemail asking if she had got back to Silicon Valley okay, but that was all the contact from him in two days. Wasn't she the one that was supposed to be ignoring him? He was making it extremely difficult with the lack of attempt to talk to her.
She knew that he had at least spoken about the argument to someone; Taylor had called within minutes of her making it back to her dorm room, Troy had spoken to Chad. At least she knew that he cared enough to talk about it.
She kept going over the conversation that Troy and his disgusting roommate Jack had had. Who was Seren? More importantly, why had she been in Troy's room?
The door to Gabriella's shared dorm opened and in came Cassie gladly interrupting Gabriella from her thoughts. She turned to face her closest friend at Stanford. They had been inseparable the whole two days that Gabriella had returned from Berkeley and Cassie refused to let her friend wallow in self-pity. She was doing her job as she had informed Gabriella when she had dragged her to a party the night before.
"So, everyone is off to the bowling alley tonight and I said we'd go." Gabriella watched from her place at her desk as her friend moved about the room picking up her clothes strewn on the floor.
"Do I have a choice in this?" Gabriella went back to her work, only to find her pen ripped from her hand. She looked up at Cassie with a feigned angry expression on her face.
"Oh come on Gabs, I promised Andrew that you'd be there. You remember Andrew right? The one with the major crush on you!" Cassie smiled widely and moved to her dresser, replacing the clothes on her body with dishevelled ones on the floor.
Gabriella rolled her eyes and looked back to her computer screen, saving her three sentences of her report she managed to get done.
"Andrew, seriously? He's so…slimy. Hasn't he hooked up with everyone on our corridor already?" Cassie knew that Gabriella was merely amusing her, she didn't take Andrew's affection seriously. Her heart already belonged to somebody.
"But playing with him is so much fun, don't you think?" She looked over her shoulder at Gabriella who was transfixed by her computer's background, a collage of pictures of her and Troy, all from happy times in their relationship. Suddenly the pictures were gone with the slam of her computer lid and before she knew what was happening she was being pulled to her feet.
"Get ready Gabs, we're going out and you have no say in the matter." Cassie's green eyes sparkled as she put on her mock-angry façade that she had sported ever since a miserable Gabriella had walked through the door two days ago. Her auburn hair shone in the light as she dragged Gabriella towards the bathroom. A knock on the door ceased their movement and both girls turned their attention to the distraction.
Cassie looked toward the door then at Gabriella. "Look, you go freshen up in the bathroom" she took in her friend's pyjama state. "I'm sure your appearance is salvageable, a brush and some make-up should do the trick." Gabriella huffed as there was another knock on the door. "You. Bathroom. Now. I'll get the door."
Cassie made sure that the door to the bathroom was shut before she opened the dorm room door. "I said we'd be ready in fifteen minutes not two…" She stopped mid-sentence when she saw the boy that stood on the other side. She had expected it to be Paul or Randy, not the reason for Gabriella's misery.
She was about to make a sharp comment, but decided against it as she took in his appearance. His hands were shoved in his jean pockets, causing his jeans to ride further down his hips than they should, and she couldn't help but let her eyes wander over him. She had only seen pictures of him, but seeing him in person was an entirely different thing. She knew that he was good looking, but standing here in front of her looking so vulnerable, Gabriella had failed to tell her that her boyfriend was so devastatingly handsome. However, there was a difference in his persona. His eyes had dark rings under them from what she guessed was caused from lack of sleep. His hair wasn't styled and left incredibly messy, falling in his eyes. He looked just as bad as Gabriella.
"I uh…" he trailed off, not wanting to meet Gabriella's infamous roommate for the first time under such circumstances. "Is Gabriella here?" He brought his hand to the back of his neck and scratched it nervously.
Cassie realised that she was staring, but she couldn't help it. Damn he was good looking, how was Gabriella refusing to speak to such a fine specimen? As she allowed her eyes to scan over the boy in front of her, she caught his questioning gaze and coughed.
She moved aside from the door and motioned for him to come through. He gave her a small smile as he crossed the threshold from the corridor into his girlfriend's room and took a look around. Sure he had seen it over Skype, but being there was an entirely different experience. He knew instantly which side of the double-room was hers. Pictures decorated every available space, some of them together with their friends, but mainly separate photographs of just the two of them. He gravitated towards them, needing to see her face, not spotting her in the room physically.
Cassie finally found her voice after a minute of watching him. "Um, Gabs is in the bathroom. I'll just call her." She cleared her throat and knocked lightly on the bathroom door.
"Tell them I'll be out in two minutes. I'm just finishing up and then I need to change, I haven't been in here ten seconds Cass!" Gabriella's irritation was evitable through her tone. Troy's head whipped towards the door at the sound of the heavenly voice.
"Um Gabs, someone's here to see you. Look, I'm going to Randy's room. We'll wait there 'til half seven and then we're gone, okay?" Cassie turned around and was making her way to the door as her friend's muffled voice sounded through the bathroom door. Unsure what Gabriella had said, she stole one more glance at the pained, beautiful boy who was stood staring in the direction of the bathroom and slipped out into the corridor.
Moments later the bathroom door opened, revealing the girl that Troy had travelled especially to see. He almost missed the look of utter shock on her face as he stared at the clothes, or the lack of, which she had on. There she stood in front of him looking too desirable for her own good. The most beautiful sight Troy had ever seen. Her pink pyjamas left nothing to the imagination, the small top barely met the shorts, exposing her midriff. He was momentarily distracted by the longing to run his hands along her soft, inviting, golden skin. His attention wasn't lost for long, but long enough to appreciate the natural beauty of the girl he loved so dearly.
"What are you doing here?" she asked quietly, more than aware of his gaze upon her. She wrapped her arms around herself in embarrassment, attempting to shield herself from his lustful eyes; a pink blush grazed her cheeks. He had seen her in much less, but at that moment in time she wished she were wearing so much more. That gaze, she shuddered, one look from him was enough to cause her anger to crumble.
He tore his stare away from her slim body and locked his cobalt eyes on her face. He felt as vulnerable as she looked, but he needed to see her, to talk to her, to make everything okay again; to make her understand.
"I wanted to see you, to talk to you" he sighed, "To explain." She broke their eye contact and moved towards her dresser. Without looking she pulled out a hoodie, anything to cover up her body.
"I'm surprised you're here, Troy." She pulled the sweater over her head and grimaced when she noticed it was his wildcat hoodie, did it have to be on top of the pile?
Troy moved closer to her, the jumper causing a distraction to her attention. "What do you mean?" He spoke softly, but his tone was anxious, underlain with hurt.
Gabriella scoffed. "Well, it's been two days Troy, you only called once and that call doesn't even count! You only did it out of guilt, making sure that I got back okay." She brushed passed him. "Why do you even care?"
She hadn't expected her comment to anger him so much, but it did. His sudden outburst and change in tone startled her. She felt his hand pull on her arm tugging her around to face him once more.
"What do you mean?" He demanded, "of course I care. How can you even think that I don't?" His blue eyes had turned murderous. For the first time since he had entered Gabriella's dorm he was angry, livid at her words, at her.
She was furious, how dare he walk in here and be mad at her, how dare he.
"What do you mean, what do I mean? You're one of the guys now aren't you? A sleaze, a cheat!"
Troy's eyes widened. His hold on her arm relaxed, his hand falling to his side.