46 | The Graduates

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Caps and gowns always looked so regal in graduation photos. Take my parents, for instance. In their photos, both Andrea and Charles looked like they could have been on the front of a brochure for prospective students. I, however, had just discovered that those damn gowns were an absolute horror show in real life.

"Christ, what is this thing, a men's three XL? I thought this was supposed to be a gown, not a trash bag."

Sebastian gave me a once over, clearly amused by the sight in front of him. "It might have something to do with the fact that you wrote down six-foot-two on your order form. They probably assumed you were a guy."

I frowned. "Well sorry they asked women to factor in how tall they were in heels. Not my fault that makes me six-foot-two!"

"The woes of being a model," he laughed, reaching out to grab at the extra foot of fabric around my waist. "At least this way we're almost the same height. Makes kissing easier."

"Piss off," I scowled, pulling out of his grasp, but my cheeks warmed anyway. "That won't be happening."

A little less than a month had passed since we had reunited at Jude's house, but things hadn't exactly gone back to normal after that. How could they have? We had been forced to start over again, and this time I was determined to take it slow. This was our one and only chance to rewrite our story together, one that would hopefully contain a hell of a lot more trust and understanding than it had last time. Unfortunately, it wasn't as if that was going to appear overnight, so I had made the decision not to get back together—yet.

It had been a hard choice to make, but Sebastian had respected it, knowing it was my turn to call the shots. Still, he made it clear every once and awhile what he wanted to happen between us, and it didn't include remaining just friends for too long.

In the time since then, his nose had healed—with a new slight bend in it, only truly noticeable if you were either Sebastian or the person who had bestowed it upon him—and I had slowly begun to realize how much more I liked my life with him in it.

I loved him. That much was obvious and undeniable, and I would have been kidding myself if I said I didn't want to try working out things between us. The only thing stopping me from jumping back in feet first was the fact that I loved myself more, and I would be damned if I let myself rush into something that wasn't the best for me.

But right now, all of that was the last thing I wanted to think about. Because in T-minus twenty minutes he and I were both about to say goodbye to Georgetown Trinity Day School for good.

Currently, the entire gang was standing outside in Trinity's parking lot, the makeshift staging ground for the graduates as we all waited to walk through the school's auditorium.

Michael was fussing over his own gown, which looked like it would have fit me better than him; Marcus, our valedictorian, was rehearsing parts of his speech, looking a little green in the gills as he did so; Jacob and Jude seemed to be having a heated debate over which one of their universities was better, getting the Harvard vs. Yale debate started early. Watching them all made me smile, but there was a tinge of sadness in my chest.

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