Part Two

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"Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break.
S
ometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did,
but we don't."

~Stephen King, Hearts of Atlantis

Maisie thought she would be more overwhelmed than she was when looking at her colourful reflection for the first time.

She always thought she was quite pretty, but really, she was nothing that special. Her hair was the same colour as her mother's yet a little duller, her eyes were blue but not as bright as Lucas', her skin was so pale she may as well be seeing in black and white again and her freckles stood out a little too much.

Maybe she should put black and white filters on all her photos from now on.

How does Ciao Bella on Southern Avenue, 7pm sound? Maisie x

She sent the text and then debated with herself whether the kiss was too much. Her heart raced as her phone buzzed in her hand.

I didn't see you walking home today! Where were you? Are you okay? Call me xox

Funnily enough, her heart was not racing after reading the text from Aubrey.

Sounds perfect. I'll set off at 5:30pm with Google Maps firmly in hand so I can make sure I'm there on time x

Maisie smiled and tapped out a reply faster than Isobel's bra clasp buckled under the weight of her chest.

Surely if you have Google Maps you won't get lost? x

I could get lost if it was next door to me. I'll be there from 6:30pm. See you there xx

For some reason, all Maisie could think about on the walk to Ciao Bella was what she was going to do about Lucas leaving again in a few weeks. She didn't even know this boy, and she was willing to stop him moving home just so she could be with him.

Maisie shuddered. She was turning into Aubrey; a love-stricken puppy dog. All she needed now was a knee-length skirt and thick eyebrows.

She reached Ciao Bella before Lucas, and took a seat near the back of the restaurant. Time passed and she waited and waited... and waited. She had been to Ciao Bella so many times before but now, looking around, she was sure she could sketch the place with her eyes closed and get it almost perfectly accurate. 

The floor was covered in black, blue and purple tiles, and a golden chandelier hung from the ceiling above her head, sending rainbow droplets of light dancing over her skin. The walls were chocolate brown and cream and adorned in those types of paintings they used to do in Roman times; very curvy women being fed bunches of grapes and apples by other curvy women and little fat flying Cupid's.

She looked down at her phone. Lucas had said he would be there from 6:30pm. Why hadn't he text? What time was it?

6:17pm

He hadn't text because she was ridiculously early herself. She hadn't been waiting long at all, she was just impatient and the passing minutes were feeling like hours. She gave out a long sigh and tapped her fingers on the table, staring at the seat in front of her.

6:22pm

Okay, any minute now and Lucas would be walking through that door and sitting his very attractive self down opposite her. What would she say? Was she supposed to stand up and hug him? She zoned out while thinking about the socially acceptable standards of dating and listened to the elderly couple next to her.

"What are you doing?" the woman asked, putting down her fork with a little bit of cannoli speared on the end.

"What's that, dear?" the man replied. They both spoke quite slowly and they must have been well into their seventies, possibly their eighties.

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