Till There Was You [ 1 ]

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© 2012 Choi Ji-hye. All Rights Reserved.


Three words. Eight letters. Today is the day I will finally say it: I love you.

Never in my twenty-one years have I ever met a girl like her. She is the one I've been searching for and I am sure of it. If only I had realized sooner—oh, how different my life would be . . .

"So," a familiar voice calls out, "you're finally going to say it, huh?"

Peering into the mirror before me, I spot my best friend, Claire, sitting at the edge of my bed. "Yeah," I tell her, a faint smile curving at my lips. My answer is beyond simple, sure, but in my defense, the reality of the situation is just as straightforward. I, James Montoya, am in love and she is finally going to know it.

"It's kind of weird, don't ya' think?"

Meeting Claire's gaze through the reflection, I raise a brow at her. "Weird?" I repeat. She nods with a swift bob of her head, and I go on, "No, not really."

Claire isn't the type of person to allow such a plain response to keep her curiosity at bay though, and rather than let the entire thing slide, she resorts to what she always does: she tries to make me see things her way. "Think about it, Jay," she says, her dark irises training solely on me. "You've managed to go your entire life without saying those words to anyone—"

I spin around and face her. "My entire life?" I question. She shoots me a look, like 'uh-duh?' and I roll my eyes. "That's a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, like c'mon dude, I tell my family I love them all the time so . . . your argument is pretty much invalid."

She casts me a sharp glare. "I'm talking about the people you aren't related to, smartass."


"And I'm not talking about your bromance with Pierce and Elliot either," she clarifies. "Now would you quit cutting me off and let me finish?"

I cross my arms and turn away. Sheesh woman! You're the one who keeps butting in, not me.

"What were saying?"

Oh, shit. Did I say that out loud?

"Hello? Earth to Jay?"

"Nothing. It was nothing."

"You sure?"


She smirks. "You suck at lying, Montoya. But it's all good, I forgive you."

I roll my eyes. "You always do, Han. You're such a pushover."

"Only with you," she croons, and I smile.


"Alright," Claire resumes with a clap of her hands, "where was I before?" A pause. "Oh, yeah— so . . . up until today, you've never told anyone you love them. But now, for some odd reason that I can't even begin to fathom, after meeting some chick —who, BTW, you have yet to introduce me to. Pfft. Some best friend you are, jackass!— you've decided to totally jump off the deep end and shatter your twenty-one-year streak by professing your love for her. In public nonetheless."

I laugh. "You say that like it's a bad thing."

"I'm not saying it's bad per se, it's just, um— how do I go about this in a nice way? I guess you could say that it's uh . . . it's just um, very out of character for you."

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