||Beautiful With You Part Forty-Six
Audrey had so much fun during her summer in London. She was able to do what she loved doing for the entire summer and she was good at it. She was praised for being such an amazing intern and how she had potential as an artist. And when she wasn’t doing that, she was spending her free time with Tom. He took her everywhere. He took her to museums and he took her to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. This place was so beautiful and she hoped she wouldn’t have to leave in August. Even if it meant leaving her friends and family for awhile. But even with all the great work she’d been doing this summer, she was sure it wasn’t going to be good enough to continue studying here. This was her last weekend in London and she’d have to fly back home to California.
“No one has even mentioned allowing me to study here,” Audrey said to Tom, “What if all my hard work wasn’t good enough?”
“You have until Sunday Audrey,” he said soothingly, “Just relax. Even if you do have to go home, we can still always come back here later on our own time.”
“But I wanna stay here,” Audrey replied, “Now that I’ve spent all this time here, I don’t wanna leave.”
“Well let’s just wait and see what happens ok?” Tom said. Audrey nodded and they parted ways. Audrey headed back to her room but met her boss, Mrs. Bennett met her halfway, “Oh, Audrey I’m glad I caught you. Come with me. There’s something I want to talk to you about.”
Audrey followed Mrs. Bennett down the hall and went into her office. Mrs. Bennett pulled up a chair in front of her desk and pointed to it, “Take a seat Audrey.”
Audrey sat down and Mrs. Bennett sat down behind her desk, “You have done amazing this summer. You’re the best intern I’ve had in a long time. You take your work very seriously and you’re incredibly talented.”
“Thank you,” Audrey said.
“I’ve talked it over with some colleagues of mine and we’ve decided to offer you a full scholarship to the University of London,” Mrs. Bennett said. Audrey gasped and slapped her hand over her mouth, “Oh my god! Mrs. Bennett, this is…oh my god! Thank you so much for this!”
Mrs. Bennett stood up and extended her hand, “You deserve it Audrey. Congratulations.”
Audrey eagerly shook Mrs. Bennett’s hand and walked out of her office. As soon as the door shut behind her, she started squealing and jumping up and down. She took off running and didn’t stop until she reached Tom’s hotel a few minutes away. She had to run up a few flights of stairs but it was worth it once she got to Tom’s room. She pounded on the door until he threw it open, “Audrey! Are you ok? What are you doing?”
Not answering at first, Audrey jumped into Tom’s arms and he stumbled backwards but regained his balance before falling down completely. He bumped the door with his hip to shut it, “I assume this is good news?”
“This is great news!” Audrey jumped off of Tom and paused for a minute to catch her breath, “They’ve asked me to stay here and they gave me a full scholarship to the University of London. I get to stay here!”
Tom grinned and his eyes lit up as he lifted Audrey into the air, “I knew this would happen Audrey! I’m so proud of you.”
“But what are you gonna do now that I’m staying here?” Audrey asked, “Don’t you have to go back to school soon?”
“Audrey I’m not going back without you,” he said, “As long as you’re here, I’ll be here. This is perfect Audrey. We could live in a flat together. I could find a job here in London quite easily.”
“You wanna live together?” Audrey said.
“Well yeah,” Tom replied, “I like the idea of waking up with you every morning. Wouldn’t you rather live with me than live in a dorm?”
“Yeah!” Audrey threw her arms around Tom and kissed him, “That does sound perfect Tom. It really does.”
“I’ve had a wonderful summer here with you,” Maya told Richard. They were lying in bed together, her head rested on his chest. It was getting closer to ten o’clock but neither one of them wanted to get up, “I hate that we have to leave tomorrow afternoon.”
“We’ll be back soon,” Richard said, running his fingers through Maya’s hair, “My family really enjoyed meeting you. You made quite an impression on them.”
“Your family is really sweet Richard,” Maya replied, “I’m really fortunate that you brought me here to meet them.”
Richard hugged her tight and sat them up, “We should probably be getting up now. My mother is making breakfast. I can smell it. Come on.”
Richard got out of bed and held out his hand, helping Maya onto her feet. They came out into the living room and Richard let go of Maya’s hand, “I’ll be right back.”
Richard disappeared into the hallway and Maya wandered into the kitchen where Richard’s mother was cooking. She looked up when she heard Maya’s footsteps and she smiled warmly, “Good morning Maya. Did you sleep well?”
“I did, thanks,” Maya replied as she sat down at the kitchen table, “I’ve had such a good time this summer. I wish we didn’t have to leave tomorrow.”
“I wish you could stay too,” she said, “I’ve loved having you here Maya. You’re a sweet girl. I’m glad Richard found someone like you. My gosh, if you ever heard all the things Richard has said about you, it would bring a tear to your eye. You’re all he’s ever talked about since he met you. I was ecstatic when he told me he was bringing you here. And he was right about you.”
“What did he say about me?” Maya asked.
“Oh he had told me how beautiful you were and how smart you were,” she replied, “And he told me later after you had been together for awhile that he knew you’d be the girl he’d marry. I thought it was sweet. Richard loves you so much and I can see why. Everything he said about you is true.”
Maya smiled and walked out of the kitchen and met Richard in the living room. She grabbed onto him and pressed her lips. Richard’s laugh was muffled underneath her kiss and they broke apart, “What? Did you miss me? I wasn’t gone that long was I?”
“No. I just like you,” Maya giggled and Richard kissed her back, “I had a nice conversation with your mom while you were gone. Apparently you like me too.”
Jade was lying on her side in the middle of her bed, adjusting her computer screen so she could see Maya better, “So what did you wanna Skype with me about?”
“Didn’t Audrey tell you?” Maya said, “She’s staying in London. She got a full scholarship to the University of London. And Tom isn’t coming back either. They’re gonna live together while they’re in London. Isn’t that cool?”
“That’s great!” Jade exclaimed, “I mean, of course it won’t be the same without her but I’m glad she got what she wanted. She deserves it after all that mess.”
“Yeah she does,” Maya said. She looked around and sighed, “Well I’ve gotta go. I’ve got a lot of packing to do before we have to come back and it’s getting late.”
Jade looked around her hotel room and nodded, “Yeah, so do I. I’ll see you in a couple days Maya.”
They waved good-bye and Jade turned off her computer and rolled onto her back just as Norman was coming into his room, “So what did Maya have to say?”
“I guess Audrey is staying in London,” Jade said.
“Really? Good for her,” Norman folded a few of his shirts and dropped them into his suitcase, “So, I was thinking after we finished packing, we’d go out to dinner. We have to leave tomorrow afternoon. We should make tonight count.”
“Yeah. Because tomorrow I have to go back home and then I have to deal with David again,” Jade got up and sat at the edge of the bed, “The trial is in a few days. I wish I didn’t have to be a part of it.”
“It’s gonna be just fine,” Norman got down on his knees and grabbed her arms, “He can’t hurt you in that courtroom and he’s never gonna be able to hurt you again.”
Jade nodded but still didn’t seem assured. Norman helped her on her feet and held her hands, “Ya know what? We can finish packing in the morning. Let’s go to dinner now. Go change your clothes.”
After dinner, they decided to just walk back to their hotel so they could enjoy the sights a little longer. Jade grabbed onto Norman’s hand and swung their arms back and forth, “This city is so amazing. I wish we could just stay here forever.”
“We could come back here one day,” he said, “Maybe after you finish college, we could look into coming here and staying here.”
“You mean we could live here?” Jade looked around and smiled a little, “Seriously?”
“Well yeah,” he said, “Why not?”
A couple days after Jade, Norman, Maya, and Richard returned to California, they went to David’s trial. Jade hadn’t seen David since the end of February when he had tried to kill her. Seeing him made the scars on her stomach hurt a little. The trial itself lasted about a day and a half and David never said a word or reacted to anything that was said about him. After that, it took the jury only a few minutes to come up with a verdict. Jade was terrified of what the verdict was going to be especially since they had paused before they said guilty or not guilty. And then they finally said it. David was found guilty on all charges and would be put in prison for at least twenty years. And at that point, it didn’t bother Jade that he wouldn’t be in prison for life. By the time he would be released, she’d be in a completely different state and he would never find her. When people started getting up to leave the courthouse, she stayed for a minute, just to watch him be taken away, knowing he would never see a world outside of prison walls ever again.
After David’s trial, things returned to normal. Audrey was having the best time living with Tom and studying in London. And Jade and Maya had fun together being roommates. Now they could just be normal college students without all the extra baggage. And after four years of school, they were finally graduating. Jade and Maya were standing outside of campus, getting their cap and gown on.
“I can’t believe Audrey won’t graduate with us,” Jade said, “It’ll be so weird without her.”
“It really will,” Maya nodded in agreement, “Hopefully she’ll come back but I mean, I was in England too and I wouldn’t wanna come back here if I spent another three years there.”
“Well I’m glad you stayed here then because I would not wanna graduate alone,” Jade said.
After they talked for a little while longer, someone popped up behind Jade and poked her sides, “Surprise!”
“Audrey!” Jade screamed, jumping away from her, “What are you doing here?”
“I don’t graduate until next week!” Audrey said, “So I decided I’d fly down here to see my friends graduate. This is a huge moment for us. No way I’d miss it!”
“This is so great!” Maya exclaimed, “It’s awesome that you’re here!”
“Well get going,” Audrey started shoving Jade and Maya on their way, “I’ll be watching!”
Jade and Maya stood nervously behind the stage, waiting to hear their names. Jade started jumping a little and she took a deep breath, “s**t man. This is it. This will be the last time we have to do this, ya know, walk up on a stage, shake hands, and get a piece of paper that says we’re done.”
“I know,” Maya murmured, “It’s some heavy stuff.”
Maya could remember every second of it. She could clearly hear her name being called and she could remember walking up the stage as if she was doing it all over again. It was a crazy moment, something that means a little more than any other graduation she’d experienced in her life. But Jade couldn’t remember a damn thing. She was too nervous to even think about what was going on. She remembered standing behind the stage and then it just went blank until she was back in her seat. After the ceremony, Jade and Maya met up with Audrey, Norman, Richard and their families.
“I’m so proud of you Maya,” Richard said as he handed her a bouquet of flowers and kissed her cheek.
“I didn’t know you were here!” Maya exclaimed, “Shouldn’t you be attending your school’s ceremony?”
“They can live without me,” Richard replied with a shrug. After Richard hugged her and kissed her, she was surrounded by her family, being passed around to hug her parents and brothers and sisters. This whole event was an overwhelming experience.
Norman stood back while Jade’s parents and brother and grandparents hugged her and told her how proud they were of her. After Jade’s family dispersed, Norman approached her with a bouquet of his own, “I didn’t think you’d be here!”
“I would never miss something like this Jade,” Norman kissed her cheek and hugged her, “Now we don’t have to hide anymore and we can go to New York like we planned. It’ll be perfect.”
Jade, Maya, and Audrey split from the crowd for a little while so they had some time to talk before they’d all separate, “So you’re going back to London at the end of the week?”
“Yep,” Audrey said, “Then I get to do all of this too. I’m really gonna miss you guys.”
“Does this mean you’re gonna stay even after you graduate?” Maya mumbled. She and Jade exchanged sad looks and Audrey shrugged, “I don’t know. I might. I haven’t decided. I mean, Tom and I are already living together and he’s working and I might have a job lined up for me. Might. But, I’ve created a little life there ya know?”
“We get it,” Maya said, “I was thinking of going with Richard back to his hometown. To, to stay.”
“And I’m leaving for New York as soon as possible,” Jade added, “But it’s gonna really suck not seeing you every day. I’ve already had to get used to not seeing you, Audrey. But I mean, I’ve been Maya’s roommate for three years.”
“Jade it’ll be just fine,” Audrey said, “We managed for three years. We’ll be just fine.”
And they all stayed confident. Even when Jade and Norman flew off to New York and Richard took Maya back to his hometown and Audrey returned to London, they still stayed in touch. And sometimes it was hard. But with good friends, you’ll always come together again somehow.
Ahh, the final chapter! How does it taste? A little cheesy? I thought so too. But, there will be an epilogue so yay for epilogues! And maybe one day in the future, we'll make a sequel...HA no we won't! lol
· Mon Oct 21, 2013 @ 05:51am · 0 Comments