Thanks for the reviews on the first chapter! Hopefully you all enjoy this one. I'll tell you now, the start may be a little bit slow, but if you'll bear with me, I'll try and make things as interesting as my imagination will let me! Also, if I owned Bloomington, I wouldn't have to write fanfiction ;)
She doesn't think she's ever tried this hard to look like she was having a good time. Wondering why she thought it was a good idea to go to dinner, she attempts to pay attention to the conversation at hand. When it came to meeting new people these days, she just didn't have the patience to see where things could go. She always felt like they would never meet her standards now that she's had the best. This date was no exception.
It was clear that this man had nothing better to talk about than himself so she takes this opportunity to dwell upon how far she has come. She never imagined that she'd get away from Bloomington, let alone find herself in California. As luck would have it, she found an appealing career option in L.A. She was weary, yes, but she figured her chances of bumping into a certain blonde was slim. A name that high-profile would be hard to come by in public. In the end, her passion for teaching won out. If she was honest, her hope may have influenced her decision as well.
Three years ago, it had gotten to the point where she could no longer stand her own company. With the two things she loved gone, she felt she had no reason to be there anymore. Her career torn away from her, her love walked away from her, though she held herself accountable for both. Come the end of that year, she decided that she needed a change. With her bags packed and a ticket to the first destination she could think of, she said goodbye to Bloomington, with hopes of not returning for a long time.
Difficult was one way to describe her escape from the place she once held dear to her. Upon her arrival at the airport, the panic sank in. It dawned on her that to get away, she'd have to get on a plane. What was once fear of flying became a reminder of what she had lost. Or rather, who. A sigh. She recalls berating herself for lingering on the one thing she was determined to forget about. She walked in with new-found confidence as she thinks about how she'll make a change for the better.
Her thoughts interrupted by a loud shrill, sounding from her bag. Her date doesn't look pleased at the interruption so without a glance, she rejects the call, hoping she hadn't upset him too much. He carries on about his career success and she can't help the sigh of boredom that escapes.
"Catherine? Are you okay?"
She's pulled out of her thoughts upon realizing she was asked a question.
"Yeah, I'm okay." she plasters on a fake smile, but he remains oblivious.
"Are you sure? We can do something else if you prefer?" she suddenly feels bad when she hears the change of tone.
It's not completely his fault that she'd rather be with someone else. Since moving to L.A, she's steered clear from the dating scene. Every time she met someone, she'd push them away, always comparing whoever she was with to Jackie. She eventually decided that she had enough of being lonely. That it was time to give someone a chance. Partly why she's here tonight.
"No really, Lucas, I'm fine." she attempts to reassure him.
"Oh, okay." he begins, "It's just that you've been so quiet and I'm getting a bit concerned. Was this date a little too soon?"
Before she can respond, her phone rings again. She glances at the caller ID, thankful for an escape.
"I'm really sorry, I have to get this. I'll be right back." she says absent-mindedly and Lucas can only nod as he watches Catherine rise from her seat.
In an instant, he's out of his seat and attempting to steady Catherine as a young woman all but rams herself into his date. For a second, the entire scene was an image of tangled limbs with various items flying around haphazardly. He bends down to pick up her phone, as it was the closest thing to him. Straightening up, he notices Catherine freeze whilst the younger woman continues to gather Catherine's belongings.
Curiosity gets the better of him and he allows himself to watch the women in front of him. The younger blonde rises and a look of recognition graces his features. It was Jacqueline Kirk, the hottest thing in Hollywood. Before he can say anything to her, he notices the look of surprise on Jackie's face.
"Catherine?" the younger actress breathes.
Catherine remained quiet. Her heart was racing and breathing became one of the most difficult tasks. She questioned the reality of the situation, convinced that she was just in a dream, much like many that she's had over the last few years. A hand on her shoulder pulls her out of her musings and she looks up to see Lucas with questioning eyes. She smiles at him, hoping he took that as her being alright. Her attention is back to the younger blonde. All she can do is stare at the woman who meant the world to her
"Jacqueline." She breathes, finally finding her voice. Catherine hopes she sounded a lot more confident than she felt.
The two continue to look at each other for what felt like an eternity. For Catherine, the world around her didn't exist anymore. In this moment, it was just her and Jackie back at the house in Bloomington. The world was theirs again. Her head swam as she was overcome with emotions. How she wanted to reach out and touch the face she had missed the most. But their eternity was cut short as a brunette quickly made her way over.
"Sweetie! Oh my God, are you alright?" the new woman is all over Jackie and Catherine finds it near impossible to not wring her neck then and there.
"You know me, always the clumsy one" Jackie admits bashfully, causing Catherine's stomach to do somersaults. She barely notices the brunette staring at her in the midst of her admiration for the actress.
"Listen, I'm really sorry about this. It was my fault for distracting her" The younger brunette apologizes, simultaneously placing her arm protectively around Jackie and maintaining her gaze at Catherine. The older blonde began to feel uncomfortable under her scrutiny. Taking note of the rising tension, Lucas decides to intervene.
"Jacqueline Kirk! And Hayley Quinn! Oh my, fancy seeing you two here!", Lucas cries in excitement, gaining the attention of all three women. Jackie and Hayley take a moment to acknowledge Lucas' presence, politely shaking his hand and making conversation with him.
Something clicks in Catherine's head upon hearing the brunette's name and she feels her heart breaking all over again. Though it's something she'd rather not do, she'd occasionally delve into the happenings of Jackie's personal life. The most recent article she read had mentioned rumors a blossoming relationship between the two women in front her. She so desperately hoped they were just rumors.
"Well, as an apology, choose any bottle of champagne you like. It's on us. We'll be making our way back. Hopefully we didn't interrupt your date too much" Hayley announces, not taking her eyes off the other blonde, only look away to smile at Lucas and Jackie. She finally turns away, guiding the young actress back to their table, arm still around her.
Catherine releases a breath she didn't realize she was holding. She has felt more emotion in the last two minutes that she has in the past three years. Taking a seat, she rests her head in her hands, recounting the events that just transpired. Deciding that she would be much worse company than she already was, she looks up at an expectant Lucas in hopes of cutting the date short.
"Wanna tell me what that was about?" he questions before she can begin to excuse herself.
"She bumped into me" Catherine was in no mood to discuss this with Lucas.
"How do you even know Miss Hot Shot Kirk anyway?"
"She was one of my students back in Bloomington"
Lucas nods, accepting the answer though it was obvious that he didn't completely buy it. Catherine sighs. Her head was starting to pound. Whether it was from the crash or from the sudden onslaught of feelings, she wasn't sure. All she knew was that she needed to go home and compose herself.
"Luke.. I'm really not feeling too well" it wasn't a complete lie. "I think that collision did more than what I initially thought"
"Yeah, it looked pretty bad. Would you like me to take you home?" he offers
"No it's okay. I can take a cab."
"Oh" he replies, looking dejected "Well, can we do this again sometime? Properly?"
"We'll see." she states with a small smile, though they both know that it meant no.
With that, she grabs her purse and makes her way to the door. It takes everything within her to not find Jackie amongst the other patrons. She just knew that if she did, she wouldn't be able to stop herself from telling her how she felt. She definitely wouldn't be able to fight the urge to kiss her. So while she had the willpower, she wasn't going to stop herself from getting as far away from Jackie as possible.