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Walking into the Italian restaurant, I'm a bundle of nerves. My heart races so fast I'm surprised Derek can't hear it. Derek leads me to the table where his mom watches us walk up. The smile on her face seems genuine and she stands when we reach the table.

She wears a tight black dress and a brown jacket over it. Her dark hair is curled to perfection and her makeup looks like she could be a movie star.

"Ash, hello," she says. "I hope you are doing well."

I smile and nod. "Thank you, you too."

We all sit down and a waiter comes over to take our drink orders. Once he leaves, Derek's mom asks me about my family.

"I am an only child and my parents live here in Minnesota, about eight hours away. I live close to pretty much all my family and I'm close to my cousins."

She seems to be a little off set by that but continues asking me stuff. "Derek tells me you are an English major. What are you planning to do with that?"

I swallow. "Um, I'd like to be an English teacher. I've always enjoyed English and would love to teach it to others."

Linda nods her head considering my answer. "If Derek goes to the NHL lots of money would be coming your way."

My eyebrows scrunch together and I frown.

"Mom," Derek warns, I see his eyes glare at her.

She has a sour look on her face. "I'm just letting her know that she's not allowed to be with my son if she's only in it for the money." She states.

I gasp. "I um," I stammer.

"Ash if you can't be genuine to my son then there's no reason-"

"Mom. Stop. It." Derek grunts out.

I try my best to keep the tears from falling out of my eyes. I love Derek. Way more than I should but the fact she thinks this of me makes this even more nerve racking than I anticipated.

Before she can say anything else, the waiter comes back over with our drinks. I feel Derek's hand moves under the table to caress my knee but I don't look at him.

I decide to speak up. "Ms. Collins, I know you might have some misconceptions of me and who I am but I can assure you, I am none of those things. The way I feel about your son is something that is all new to me. If you think I would use him for something that doesn't have any value to who a person is then I really hope you could at least try to get to know me and realize that the way I feel about your son is genuine." I stand up because I'm getting too overwhelmed and need to take a breather. "I'm sorry Derek I can't do this." I say and walk to the door.

I rush out the front door and breathe in the cool air as I choke a sob. I'm being dramatic, I know. It's just I'm new to love. And parents. And all this weirdly stressful stuff. Being in a relationship with Derek is very natural but the outside things that come with it are something I didn't anticipate.

I hear the door open behind me and Derek rushes to my side.

"Hey, hey, it's okay," Derek soothes.

My tear filled eyes look into his. "I'm sorry." I apologize. "I just-" I'm cut off by Derek.

"No I understand." He says. "My mom just can't let others be happy until she is." He says flatly.

I pull away from him. I feel awful about what I say next. "Can you take me home?" I ask.

He watches me concerned but he nods. He wraps an arm around my shoulders and we walk to his car. He shoots a text to his mom telling her that we left and he pulls out of the parking lot.

The car is silent on the drive back to the dorms and Derek's face is blank. I sniffle and Derek's face shoots to me. I give him a look to assure him I'm okay, but there's something off.

We pull up to the dorms and he turns to me. I look at him and a sad look is on his face.

"Ash, I'm sorry," he says.

I interrupt. "No it's not your-"

He shakes his head, cutting me off. "I've caused you too much stress." He says.

My face fills with confusion. "No that's not true-"

"But it is," he says.

I'm still confused. "No, I-"

He runs a hand through his hair. "Ash can you just let me speak," he snaps.

My eyes widen.

"I'm sorry, this is new to me too. And I-" he stops, hesitating.

I wait for him to keep talking but he doesn't. "What?"

His eyes don't meet mine. "Nothing." He says.

I watch him. "Are you sur-"

"Ash never mind, just drop it." He snaps.

Now I'm even more confused and a tad angry. I go to open the door and he doesn't stop me. I get out of the car in a huff and storm to the entrance of my dorm building.

Im hoping to post another chapter tonight or tomorrow!

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