Chapter 13

I got on the plane that was bound for New York. I had 5 hours so far to plan out what to say to her and I was still at a loss for words. Nothing seemed to sound good enough in my head. I still can't believe Bella. She wasn't drunk, that's disturbing. She could have stopped it but she didn't. She had said she felt something for me long before that night; she didn't make it obvious, did she? I mean she didn't act like she had feelings for me, did she? As I'm standing in line to board the plane I think back over the years in high school, Bella had become an important friend to me. Someone I could confide in. We joked around with each other, yeah who didn't make jokes with your best friend. But now I remember, there had been times when her hand would brush up against mine, or her leg would brush up against mine when she walked by sometimes, crap. She did like me back then and I had just been too stupid to realize it.

As I made my way to my seat I felt horrible. If I could get through this flight and see Jake surely everything would be okay. The plane took off and they came around asking if we wanted something to drink. "Water." There must have been something in my voice because the old woman next to me then asked me a question.

"Are you okay young man?"

I turn my head to look at her. "Yes ma'am. I'm just…tired."

"Okay. Whoever the girl is she is very lucky."

I sit up a little straighter now. "What do you mean ma'am?"

She looks at me and she smiles. "You love her a lot. You seem troubled though. If I may give you some advice though, don't worry so much. You're young, everything will work itself out. Whatever problems you have or questions you have they will work out, when the time is right. I've been in your shoes before, love. It's the greatest thing to find, but it's also the worst thing to lose."

She was offering me advice? She doesn't know me. My problems, I don't think they are that simple. I have a feeling this won't just work itself out. "With all due respect ma'am I think this trip is a make or break situation. I messed up big time and it's taken her 5 years to talk to me again."

"Would you like to talk about it? Maybe I can give some words of wisdom, or I can just listen. Sometimes that's all one needs is someone on the outside to listen." I find myself nodding my head and I sit back to explain it to her.

"It all started 5 years ago. We were seniors in high school and had been dating all throughout high school. High school sweethearts. She was it for me; she was my best friend…" I got through the story. I told her everything, even about how Jake pretended to be a boy and me thinking I was gay, she chuckled at that part. I even told her about the recent phone call from Bella. I told her that I hadn't had another drink since that night, not even on New Year's like every other college kid. I even told her the secret I had kept from Jake. "I knew that my parents were paying for her college and that they were paying the rent at the apartment in New York for her. They were doing it for me, because they love me and they knew I'd want them to. I found that out 6 months after I graduated. She has spent the last 5 years thinking that they are the ones who supported her for years, but it wasn't them. It was me. I sent them the money and they sent it to her. They never told her, I don't know why. I did it because I love her. Because after everything that had happened I still wanted to look out for her, so I did what I could. I made sure that she was taken care of financially." I told her that I was sorry, really sorry for any pain that I'd caused Jake. I told her how I hated myself for letting what happened with Bella happen. I told her that I knew I didn't deserve Jake's forgiveness nor did I deserve her love. When I finished I was surprised to her still smiling at me.

"That's a lot to go through with someone. But Hamilton, from what you've told me I have to disagree with you. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives, its human nature. It's how we handle them that define us. You think you don't deserve Jacqueline, why? Because you had one night where you made a mistake? I don't think that's true. I think you do deserve her, let me tell you why. You stepped up. You went to her to tell her yourself, that's what a man does or should do; you did the right thing there. You gave her space and time to think about everything, even after you found out your parents were supporting her. You could have gone back and yelled like madman for her not coming to you but you didn't. You decided to keep doing what you've always done and love her even if it meant she didn't always know or see how you loved her. Hamilton, you shouldn't hate yourself and I don't think you should hate Bella either. Hate is such a strong emotion, almost as strong as love. It has the power to destroy things that are very precious, take it from me I know." I must have given her an 'are you crazy' look because she held up her hand and continued. "I'm not saying that I agree with Bella. What she did by not telling you sooner what she felt and that she wasn't intoxicated like you were, that was wrong, but she did tell you. She had to come to terms with it herself first Hamilton. What I'm saying is don't sell yourself short. Don't give up hope before you even have a chance to see where the wind takes you. Was I any help?" The plane had landed and we were walking to de-board the plane.

"Yes ma'am, you helped a lot. Thank you for listening. I think I'll take your advice, I'll see what happens with Jake. Maybe everything will be okay."

We walk to baggage claim together and I help her get her bags. I see Jake pacing and I know Scout see's me but I shake my head for him not to say anything, he nods his head so I know he understands. "That's her." I point Jake out to the woman. She looks beautiful, even though something is on her mind that's making her nervous.

"She's beautiful. It will work out Hamilton. Thank you for walking with me." She turns and heads for the door.

I turn to get my bags and suddenly Jake is colliding with me and I stumble back into the wall. Did she miss me this much? "Hamilton! I missed you so much! I'm sorry!" She's apologizing to me? There's nothing for her to be sorry about. I wrap my arms around her and hug her tight. I bury my face in her hair and when I go to pull away I see the old woman smiling at us. I smile back at her and for once I have hope that she's right, everything will work itself out.

"I missed you too Jake. I love you so much and I'm so sorry for everything. Let's get home, we should talk." She nods. "Hey Scout. How ya been man?" I give him a one armed hug.

"Oh you know, so so. Jake's been keeping me company. We had a whipped cream fight the other day it was awesome." I have to laugh, that sounds like something Scout must have started and I'm 99.9% sure Jake ended it.

"Sounds fun. Let's get home."

We grab my bags and head out to the parking lot. I notice that Jake never lets go of my hand, she's holding it like it's a life preserver or something. I put my duffel bag and backpack in the trunk and go to get in the car. Scout has this expression on his face, he's going to do something, but I have no clue what. Maybe I'm just reading it wrong. The car turns on and I hear the song on the radio.

Baby, babe, I'll meet you

Same place, same time

Where we can get together

And ease up our mind
Oh do a little dance, make a little love

Get down tonight, get down tonight

Do a little dance, make a little love

Get down tonight, get down tonight

Scout. I lean up and whack him in the head then turn to look at Jake. She's fuming mad. She leans up and glares at him in the eyes "It's on Calhoun. Sleep with one eye open." I couldn't help but laugh a little. The song kept playing as Scout exited the parking garage. Things actually felt normal. I had my arm around Jake and Scout was ragging on us like he always used to about our relationship.

Maybe everything will be okay.