Prologue

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I didn't know that when I first met you, you would shatter my heart into pieces

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I didn't know that when I first met you, you would shatter my heart into pieces.

I didn't know that when I first met you, you would shatter my heart into pieces

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"Um, so I've known Kelsey since we were in diapers. Hunter, too," I start. I've practiced my maid of honor speech one too many times in front of the mirror, but I can't seem to get rid of the light stutters. I go on to tell them what I've always thought about Kelsey, what I've always admired about Hunter, and how it was so easy to predict how it was going to be for both of them.

"I think everyone who knows both of them has always known-" I let out a small chuckle, "I think everyone can feel just how much they're meant to be together, even as kids. We were all just waiting for the day when they finally realized it themselves.

"It's weird to attend my own best friends' wedding at twenty. It's a little absurd-to think that... here they are, ready to embark on a brand new journey as legit adults. And then there you are with your five year-old cat in a small apartment, becoming new BFFs with the lady from the Chinese restaurant because you call for delivery three times a day. But I'm happy for them. I'm happy that they know for sure what they want in life, and that's to be alongside each other. I'm happy knowing that they found happiness in each other, that they never needed to look too far to find it."

Kelsey's glistening eyes find mine and she nods at me.

"Hunter, I think you've always understood Kelsey better than I do. So love her in a way you've always loved her. And Kelsey, never take his love for granted. You guys are each other's first loves, and you always told me how you want him to be your last. I can't wait to grow up in a house next to yours, meeting your newborn children and watching them grow up. Maybe setting up playdates with my own kids-if I ever decide to marry and have children, too." I laugh and everyone chuckles. "I wish the best for you two, and nothing less. I love you guys."

I was in love once, so long ago that I barely remember how it felt

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I was in love once, so long ago that I barely remember how it felt.

I remember that it made me feel good. I remember the happiness, vaguely, when I see the smile I wear in the pictures that I've kept in a box up in my closet. I just can't remember the love itself. I can't remember how to love, or what exactly it meant to be loved by somebody. It's like trying to imagine the smell of fresh, salty air back at the beach in my mother's hometown, the one I haven't visited since seven years ago. I remember how much I liked it, but I can't bring myself to imagine being there like I used to.

I don't think I can love again, and I think I'm okay with that. I've accepted the fact that maybe love just isn't for people like me, that maybe it's just not built for me. Still, I feel an unexplained ache as I watch the couple in the middle of the hall, wrapped in a tight embrace as the slow song plays in the background.

It's my best friends' wedding today. Kelsey marries the love of her life, Hunter, at the age of twenty. Hunter is our childhood friend who left town during our elementary school years and came back in junior year. They started dating not long after, and finally decided to marry each other.

I think there was always something between the two of them even before we all understood what love meant. There's always an undeniable attraction between them, like a force of a magnet so strong that they would only end up coming back to each other. They were the epitome of a fairytale romance, with the sparkling glitters and rainbows and colorful roses decorating their love story.

I can't lie and say that I don't envy what they have. I do, I always have. While they were planning their wedding, I was stuck in a mess they call a relationship and falling for the wrong guy. They've been together through and through while I was meeting the right person at the wrong time, or the wrong person at the right time, or just the wrong person at the wrong time.

Hunter twirls Kelsey gently one last time, and the crowd gives a loud applause. The ache is still there, dully thudding in-between my ribs. I smile anyway, because I'm genuinely happy for them. I just can't be happy for me anymore.

 I just can't be happy for me anymore

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I wish I did.

Author's note:

Hello and welcome to my newest story! I feel bad since I keep starting new stories but this is actually something that I've been working for years now--the idea has been around but I kept tweaking it.

I don't think I've clarified it before, but this story is actually a continuation of an old story of mine called "11 Reasons Why", in which it follows the story of the main character Grace in her romance (mis)adventures. I gotta be honest, this story I will hold very dear to my heart just like I did 11RW. Some of you who might have read that story will understand why "If You Leave Me Now" means a lot to me.

This is not a direct sequel--there's a missing chunk of plot points that should make this the third book as opposed to second, but it shouldn't affect how you understand the plot in this story since I've planned to make the story flow go back and forth, forward and backward anyway. You don't have to read "11 Reasons Why" to understand this book, and vice versa. You only need to understand that both stories are told in the same perspective: Grace's. This is her story, as was "11 Reasons Why".

Love,
Bree

If You Leave Me Now [ summer 2018 ]Read this story for FREE!