A few weeks ago, I published THE TROUBLE WITH DATING SUE. Back then, I just couldn’t write an epilogue for it, and I appologize for that.
But last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I got up at two o’clock in the morning, started my computer, and wrote that missing scene. No, it’s not something you already know from Susan’s book, but I dare say you’ll love it anyway. 🙂
I uploaded the revised book this morning so all new copies will be updated with the epilogue, but so many people have bought the book already and I don’t want to withhold anything from anyone. So I decided to also put the epilogue up here for a while for everyone to see.
You’re welcome! Enjoy the read!
One day before college started…
SUE SAT ON my bed, silently watching me packing the rest of my stuff. I hated when she looked at me like that. Moving to L.A. was hard enough, I couldn’t handle her tears on top of my own aching heart. But of course, they had to be dealt with. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I zipped my last duffle bag closed, turned around, and leaned against the wall, pressing my lips together.
She sniffed. “Are you ready to go?”
Was I? Most of my things were already in the car my dad had given me for graduation. Ethan and I had a room on campus of UCLA, which he moved into yesterday, and Brady was waiting for me to pick him up at his house in thirty minutes. Yes. I was ready to leave.
But I didn’t want to.
Not yet. Susan and I had the most amazing summer together. It was hard to stomach that our time together came to an end today. Of course it was only for a year, because after her final year in high school, Sue would come to L.A., too. And I’d be home every single weekend until then. But still… Seeing her in my t-shirt, that she’d put on after we got out of bed this morning, her lips trembling and her eyes sad, I wanted nothing more than toss my college plans and stay with her. Forever.
Wherever she was, I wanted to be, too.
I still owed her an answer, so after some hard seconds of locking gazes with her, I finally nodded. Another tear trailed down her cheek. I opened my arms, and she shuffled over to hug me. Her arms wrapped around me so tight, I couldn’t get air into my lungs anymore. Or maybe that was because of my own sadness overwhelming me.
She sobbed and wiped her eyes on my shoulder then lifted her face with that pleading look of hers that always came with a cute pout. “Can I keep your t-shirt?”
“What?” I laughed softly, surprised.
“I want something that smells of you, so I can sniff it when I’m lonely and pretend that you’re still here.”
Oh. Cuddling her tight against my chest, I brushed my fingers through her soft hair. “Of course, you can, sweetness.” Her hair tickled my nose as I planted a soft kiss on top of her head. “We’ll make it. And you’ll be fine. It’s only a few days, and then I’ll be back again for your mom’s birthday.”
“That’s not enough,” she whined.
“I know. But I’ll come home the weekend afterward, and the weekend after that, and on every weekend until Winter break, I promise.”
A deep sigh, then her arms lowered and she stepped back with a brave nod. “Okay. And you call me every day, right?”
“In the morning and in the evening, and if you like, between classes, too.”
The sweet pout appeared again on her face. “I like.” Then she trudged out of my room to put on her shoes in the hallway. Ready to follow her, I grabbed my duffle bag, but on the way out, my gaze got caught on a lime green piece of fabric on my bed. Sue’s top. I eyed the tee for a moment and then, without another thought, I swiped it. After all, she had mine, so it was only fair to take hers with me. At nights when I missed her, I would need a whiff of her beautiful sent to remind me of our sweet times together.
With the decision made, I stuffed the shirt into my duffle and zipped it close again. Then I went to find her in the hallway and laced our fingers, walking her out to my car.
I’d said goodbye to my mother already in the morning, just before she’d had to leave and meet a client, so at least I didn’t have to deal with her tears, too, right now.
The way to Sue’s house was short and neither of us spoke a single word. But handling the stick shift was a bit complicated with our hands still intertwined. We got out together in front of her house, and I walked around the car to hug her one last time. From the tight lines in her face, I could see how hard she tried not to cry, but her lips were wet and tasted salty when we kissed.
“I’ll call you when I get there,” I whispered, then I detached myself from my girlfriend and got back into the car. I knew it was a mistake to look into the rearview mirror, as I drove off, but heck, I couldn’t stop myself.
Susan stood on the sidewalk, her arms hanging lifelessly at her sides, her heart-wrenching gaze following me down the road. Why did she have to make this so hard? I squeezed my eyes shut for a second, trying to abandon all memories of us at this very moment, so the goodbye wouldn’t be so tough. But I might as well have tried to make this damn car fly to L.A. and would have had as much luck with that.
Ah, what the hell— I slammed on the brakes, reversed, and raced back to Susan’s house with squealing tires. Her face when I got out of the car again and swept her into another tight embrace was priceless.
“What in the world are you doing?” She laughed near my ear, her arms tight around my neck. “Brady’s waiting for a ride. You should be on your way to him.”
I couldn’t give two fucks about that right now. “Brady can wait another hour or two. And classes don’t start before tomorrow.” I swung her around and put her back on her feet, pushing her against the side of my car. “You’re the only thing that matters at the moment, and I really don’t want to go away. I’m not ready to leave you.”
Her eyes grew big with wonder and delight. “So what do you want to do then?”
“Kiss you.” I touched my brow against hers. “For all eternity.”
Her tears drying, a small smile sneaked to her lips. “Oh, I think I’m fine with that.”
And that was when we stopped talking and melted into each other with the longest goodbye kiss of all times…