Chapter 31: The Valentine { Bethanny POV }

354 18 7

It was February tenth, and my whole world had changed.

        In some ways, my life was perfect.  We had easily won the state soccer championship. Nolan Porter was given a hefty jail sentence: twenty-five years in prison. And the cherry on top of my happy cake was the fact that I'd been accepted to Berkeley with a scholarship.  My dad had called and refused the aid money, because of course, he could afford to buy Berkeley if he wanted to. But the gesture of not just being accepted, but also given extra incentive to go, was so flattering. 

Still, life was different in some not so positive ways.

Aaron was still at basic training.  He emailed me every other week. It was a set of detached emails, impersonal and unemotional.  He just wanted me to know he was alive, but he never showed any sentiment or anything deeper. He was done with me. As much as I wanted to accept it, I just couldn't.  So when I replied,  I shared details.  I told long stories and my feelings. I told him of how I wished I could make up for my mistakes, well, for kissing Jason. I tried to show him I still wanted him. The irony was that now it was more impossible than ever for us to be together.

        He was almost complete with Basic training.  In two weeks, he'd be a real soldier. He'd be sent put for real danger. And if he left, I at least wanted him to know I was waiting for him. Damn it all to hell: I would wait for Aaron.

I walked into the lunchroom and sat down. Across the room, two tables away, Mel and Buck were canoodling at the table where all the other football players sat with their girlfriends.  I waved at her with a half-smile. She waved back. It'd taken time, but we were on a smile and wave path. We weren't close, because how could we be? She betrayed me by being with Buck, lied, and also told Jason all my deepest secrets. But I didn’t hate her. I never could.

        Our distance was mostly due to the fact that Buck and I could not coexist. We were not friends.  We would never be friends. So if he made her happy, which she swore he did, I would give Mel space. The irony was that I was finally beginning to understand Aaron's sacrifices. Giving someone space because you love them is not a rejection; it isn't giving up. It's a choice to sacrifice your own needs for another person, and that was beautiful.
Soon enough, the other soccer girls sat down. Emily idly stole a french fry and grinned.
"Excuse me," I said, feigning offense.

"Hey, " she said. "You stole my man last night. You owe me a French fry."

        "I didn't steal him," I clarified. "Jason asked me to help him study for Physics.  We're lab partners. Besides, technically you're stealing my best friend whenever he cancels movie night for your little sex parties."

She rolled her eyes at me.

"I'd go to movie night with you, but...""I'd can't watch any hall while you two grope each other!" I laughed.

Ah yes, my weird little circle of friends.  After thanksgiving, Jason and I had a serious talk about boundaries.  Oddly enough, we really did make good friends.  He was there for me for all of the Mel drama that went on in December. We were close.

        So in January, we were solidly close friends. The thought of kissing Jason was so very disturbing now. So when he mentioned that he liked Emily, my soccer friend, I was happy. They were obnoxiously cute. And I didn't even have to be a third wheel because Emily had a very sweet twin brother, Noah. So we usually "double dated", and Noah and I would talk while Jason and Emily flirted shamelessly.

The Rockstar's bodyguard { A Bethanny Mcnarie novel }Read this story for FREE!