Chapter Thirteen: I Love You

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"Which one do you like better, the blue or the purple?" you ask, holding up two dresses in front of the computer so Tom can see them.

"I don't know. I think you'll look great in either of them."

"Tooom. I don't know which one to wear."

"What about the red one you wore for dinner on your birthday?"

"Tom, it's Thanksgiving. I would like something a little more casual."

He sighs. "I like the purple one."

"Really? I think I like the blue one better."

"Okay, then wear the blue one."

"Fine."

"You're so difficult sometimes," he chuckles.

"You're one to talk."

"What do you mean? I'm not difficult!"

"Keep telling yourself that," you say, sitting down on the bed.

He smiles. "So, what do you usually do for Thanksgiving?"

"Well, my family comes over, and my mom cooks a huge meal. We eat until it hurts, then we decide it's a good idea to play a game that includes running up and down a field chasing after someone who has a ball."

"You play American football, Bea?"

"Not often, only at family parties. It wouldn't be my first choice of games to play, but my brothers insist."

"I bet you're very good."

"Um, I wouldn't quite say that."

"I think you underestimate your capabilities," he smiles.

"I think you're trying to be flattering."

"Is it working?"

"Maybe a little."

He chuckles. You're both silent for a moment.

"I miss you," you whisper.

"I miss you, too, darling. You're still planning on coming for New Years, right?"

You nod. Tom is buying you a plane ticket to visit him in England to welcome in the new year.

"I really hate to do this, but I should probably get dressed and head downstairs."

"Mm, you can change in front of me," he winks.

"I don't think so," you laugh. "Goodbye, Tom. I'll call you tonight."

"Goodbye, love."

---

"Where's Tom? He could've come to Thanksgiving," John says, stuffing a piece of leftover turkey into his mouth.

"He's got some things to do back home. How are you eating? I'm still stuffed from earlier."

"Football makes me hungry. You'd be hungry too if you had played."

"I did play. I sprained my ankle because of it. Did you expect me to keep playing after that?"

He shrugs. "I sprained my wrist in high school during a game. I played the rest of it."

"That's different. You don't have to walk on your wrist."

"No, but I have to throw a ball with it."

"You sprained your left wrist! You throw with your right hand. Stop making it sound like you were making such a huge sacrifice!"

He rolls his eyes and takes another bite of turkey. "So, when are you going to see him again?"

"A few days after Christmas."

"That long?" Sarah butts into the conversation. "You haven't seen him in a month, and you've still got to wait another one?"

"We talk everyday, though. And we video chatted this morning."

"It's still not the same. That's a long time."

"You don't think I know that? I'm trying to get myself not to think of it that way, so thank you very much."

"Sorry."

"It's fine," you sigh. "It's just hard sometimes."

"I know."

---

"Where are you? Your voice sounds strange," Tom asks.

"I'm in the closet. Katie's sleeping and I don't want to wake her up," you whisper into the phone.

"Oh, well we can talk some other time, I c-"

"No! Don't go. I'm fine."

"Ehehehe. Okay, love. How was your day?"

"It was fun. I sprained my ankle playing football though."

"What? Are you all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine!" you laugh. "It'll be better in a week or two."

"Good," he sighs, sounding relieved. "Does it hurt?"

"Not too bad. This isn't the first time I've sprained something, so I'm used to it."

"You've had a lot of injuries then?"

"Well, when you grow up with three brothers, it's not hard to do."

"I wish I was there with you," he breaths into the phone.

"I wish you were here, too."

"I'd give anything to kiss you tonight. To feel your warm body against mine. To smell your perfume."

"Tom. Stop."

"Why?"

"Because it hurts not seeing you. This isn't helping. You're making it worse."

"I'm sorry. I just miss you."

"I know."

You're both silent for a moment.

"Bea?" he sounds hesitant.

"Hm?"

"I love you," he says for the first time. You're silent for a second. You hadn't expected him to say that.

"I love you, too," you whisper.

You hear him sigh, like he's relieved by your response.

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