Till There Was You © 2012 Veradis. All Rights Reserved.
11 July 2012: When I originally wrote "Till There Was You" I didn't intend for there to be anything afterwards. I actually wanted to leave it up to the reader's imagination. However, that didn't really work out. I received a lot of feedback from readers, whom were curious as to what happened afterwards. So yeah, I gave in and decided to give it a go. Hope you guys enjoy it :) Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
"Claire, I love you."
I love you too, James.
All Claire needed to say were those three special words from her lovely rose-tinged lips. I had been dreaming of this moment for years, imagining her say them on countless occasions. There was this growing desire within me, craving and yearning for her reaction. I needed to know that all this wasn't just my overactive imagination playing a wicked trick on me.
A slightly suppressed laugh flowed from Claire's lips, shattering all my hopes and dreams.
"Good one, James! I see that your acting skills have improved. For a second there, I thought you were serious.”
My jaw dropped as her words flowed into my ears. To say they took me by surprise was an understatement. Her words left me absolutely mind boggled. I wasn’t even able to articulate a single sound – let alone ask her if she was serious. However, questioning her would’ve been a waste of time since there wasn’t much to ask. I already knew the answer – knowing Claire, there was high probability that she was serious.
Noticing her slip-up, Claire’s pearl-white teeth softy bit into the delicate skin of her lower lip, stimulating the tiny blood vessels beneath the surface and leaving a blossoming rose pink hue.
Still tongue-tied, I remained there, baffled. I couldn't believe she thought I was joking. I would never joke about something like th— okay, in the past, I would have. But not now, not when it came to something I held near and dear.
Sensing my loss for words, Claire fell silent as well.
After a few minutes, a nearby waiter cleared his throat, forcing Claire and I to move on from the awkward exchange.
"James," Claire spoke softly.
My mint green orbs met hers instantly. However, instead of giving her all my attention, I diverted it to a free flowing strand of her hazelnut brown hair. As much as I hate to admit it, Claire bruised my ego, embarrassing me in front of a restaurant full of strangers. I continued to stare off, hoping that she’d take the hint that I wasn’t going to give her my time of day. I was almost successful, but Claire was never the person to give up so easily.
"What's up with the silent treatment? Is something wrong?" she continued in a low whisper, her words strictly meant for only our ears.
'Yes, something is wrong,' I answered silently to myself. But instead of telling her that, I just shook my head in reply, my short chocolate brown hair disheveled in the process.
I sat there, trying to figure out a possible explanation of why Claire didn’t take me seriously.
Maybe she was too shocked by my public display of affection to register what I had said afterwards? That seemed like a logical reason.
As luck would have it, that realization was enough to give me the boost I needed for round two. I took a deep breath in and exhaled all remaining nerves.
"Claire," I started, a sincere beam spread across my face as I said her name.
The tip of my thumb slowly traced light circles on the top of her hand as I prepared myself to wear my heart on my sleeve for the second time tonight.
"I love you," I said earnestly, looking Claire dead in the eyes as I emphasized 'love'.
All she did was smile in response.
I didn't know what it was about saying it again, but it seemed to come more naturally this time. Despite that realization, it wouldn't have meant a thing if she didn't believe me. Oh, how I wished that Claire already knew the truth behind my feelings.
My love for Claire wasn't a recent discovery. I was going to tell her how I felt years ago. Unfortunately, someone beat me to the punch.
On the day I was planning on confessing my feelings, my friend Xavier shared the worst news to hit me since that pirate guy, Orlando Whatshisname, officially took Miranda Kerr off the market. After spending time with my best friend, Xavier had fallen for her as well. It wasn't his fault that he fell for Claire. She was a rare find.