Chapter 33 | Poster Girl

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Chapter 33 | Poster Girl

I took a deep breath in and thought about the words I was going to say next. Ray looked at me intently, awaiting my answer.

I knew how I felt about him and now I knew how he felt about me too, I just didn't know what the problem was. Something inside me was holding back from all of this. Maybe it was the pain or just the mental block with loving him again.

"Tell me what's on your mind. Walk me through it," he said, intertwining our fingers.

I stared down at our hands.

"I'm afraid," I muttered softly.

He scrunched his eyebrows slightly. "Afraid of what?"

I sighed. "Of getting hurt again."

Ray shook his head and squeezed my hand tighter. "Jade, you know I'm not going to hurt you again. I'm sorry it ever happened in the first place."

"I know you're sorry and I'm sorry I hurt you too, but it's just that getting hurt is inevitable to me. It's like every time I get close to someone, they always end up hurting me."

"Well, I'm going to try my hardest not to be that 'someone'," he assured.

I nodded my head and leaned my head on his chest. He ran his fingers through my hair and rested his chin on the top of my head.

"I'm willing to try again," I whispered, looking up into his eyes.

He closed his eyes for a few seconds taking in what I just said. It was like all the broken pieces in him had just come back together with my simple words.

"I missed you," he admitted.

"I missed you too."

He sighed. "When I thought you were with James-"

I shook my head and cut him off. "My feelings for you never changed despite everything we've been through. I still love you, Ray. I always will."

He smiled and kissed my forehead. "I'm always going to love you too, tutor girl."

I looked back up on his mantle and stared at the picture of him and I. I thought it was the cutest thing ever. Next to all his awards and other boy things was a picture of us.

"I can't believe you have a picture of us framed on your mantle. I thought only girls do that," I chuckled.

He shook his head. "Up there are the things I value the most. The things that have the most meaning to me," he admitted.

Those words brought tears to my eyes. I looked back up at him and gave him a kiss. "You never took it down when we broke up?" I questioned.

"I did once. Everything up there is something I worked hard for; it wasn't just given to me. It's also the things I'm proud of, that I accomplished. One day, when I glanced over at our picture, I wasn't proud of what I did to you, so I took it down."

"Why'd you put it back up?"

"Those awards, I didn't earn them because I gave up, I tried my best for them. I put it back up to be motivated to re-earn your love. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but when have the best things in life ever come easy?"

I smiled at his words.

"You really are something else, Ray Pierce."

He chuckled. "So, I wanted to ask you this for a long time and I was starting to think I might not ever have the chance to, but will you wear my jersey on senior night?"

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