Chapter Five

Two months after Nick and Callie broke up, Callie and her family moved to Orlando. Nick and Elizabeth became closer like they were before he dated Callie. Elizabeth and Brian were still very close.

Elizabeth walked to her front door and pulled her keys out of her pocket. She had just returned from Brian’s house and was trying to get in before curfew, which was in a few minutes. She had just put the key in the door when someone tapped her on the shoulder. She let out a small scream and spun around.

“Shh! It’s just me,” a male voice said.

It took Elizabeth a couple of minutes to realize that Nick was standing in front of her. “Jesus, Nick. You scared the shit outta me,” she said.

“Sorry…Listen, I need to talk to you.”

“Okay. Come on inside with me.”

“I’d rather talk out here.”

“Well, let me go tell my parents I’m home and then we’ll talk.” He nodded and she went inside. Two minutes later, she came back out and sat down on the steps beside Nick. “So, what’s up?” Elizabeth asked.

“I don’t want you to date Brian anymore,” Nick blurted out.

“Nicky, not this again. I tho—“

“I want you to date me,” Nick said, cutting her off.

She looked at him, not sure she had heard him right. “What?”

“I love you, Lizzie. I want you to be with me, not Brian,” Nick said, looking at her.

Elizabeth shook her head hard. “No. You are not gonna do this to me. Not now, when everything’s finally perfect. Nick, you can’t love me.”

“I do. Lizzie, I’ve loved you since before you got with Brian.”

“Then why didn’t you say something? Why did you say you loved Callie? Damnit, Nick, didn’t you have any idea that I was in love with you, too?” Elizabeth practically yelled.

“You were?” Nick asked, surprised.

“Yes, Nick, I was. ‘Was’ being the key word there. I got over you when I thought you would never love me back. I’ve moved on and I can’t go back there.”

“Yes, you can,” Nick said, his voice begging.

“I won’t go back there,” she said, firmly. She looked at him. “I love Brian and I’m not gonna give him up for you.”

“Do you love me?” he asked, quietly.

She hesitated before speaking. She looked at him. He eyes were filled with tears. “Yes, Nick. I love you…But I’m not in love with you. You’re too late for that. I’m sorry.”

“No. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything,” Nick said, shaking his head.

“Nicky, I don’t wanna lose our friendship. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” Elizabeth said as they stood up.

“Don’t worry about it,” Nick said as he started to walk away. She turned to go inside her house.

“Lizzie,” Nick called.

Elizabeth turned around to see Nick running toward her. He took her face in his hands and softly kissed her lips. It was different than the way Brian kissed her. It was urgent and rushed, not at all like Brian’s slow, passionate kisses. It was new to her and she liked it. She wanted to kiss him back, but she knew it was wrong. She pushed him away, confused. She was mad at herself and Nick for what just happened.

“Lizzie, I—“ Nick started.

“Don’t, Nick…Just don’t,” she said. Tears were now streaming down her face. She went inside and shut the door.

God, what have I done? I’ve ruined everything. She hates me now, he thought as he walked to his house.

~*~

“Brian…Nick just kissed me,” Elizabeth said into the phone.

“What?!” Brian exclaimed.

Elizabeth took a deep breath and told him everything. Everything except that she liked the kiss. She didn’t kiss Nick back, so she hadn’t done anything wrong. She felt so guilty for like the kiss, though. She felt like she was betraying Brian. Brian didn’t respond.

“Brian…are you mad at me?”

“No, baby. I’m not mad…Um, Lizzie…do you still have feelings for him?”

“No. I mean, I love him like family but nothing more. Brian, I could never love anyone as much as I love you.”

“Lizzie, I love you so much. I’m just so afraid I’m gonna lose you,” Brian said.

“Baby, I’m not going anywhere.”

“So the kiss didn’t mean anything to you?” he asked.

“I can’t lie to you, Brian. It meant something. I just don’t know what.”

“You gonna be okay?”

“Yeah…I gotta go now. See ya tomorrow,” Elizabeth said.

“Okay, I love you,” Brian said.

“I love you, too,” Elizabeth said. She hung up the phone and went to change into her pajamas. Then she climbed into bed and turned out the lights.

~*~

Two days later, Elizabeth was still avoiding Nick. She had decided the best way to deal with the problem was to not deal with it at all. Nick came by her house three times and each time she slammed the door in his face. He called several times, to the point where her parents were annoyed. She refused to talk to him.

The doorbell rang. Elizabeth ran to open it, expecting Brian. Instead, she found an envelope with her name on it lying on the doorstep. There was a white rose, too. She could tell by the handwriting on the envelope that it was from Nick. She picked up the envelope and rose and went back inside.

Elizabeth sat down on the couch and pulled out the note. She unfolded it and began to read.
Elizabeth,
I know you’re not talking to me right now. I don’t blame you. What I did was wrong. But I had to tell you—show you—how I feel. I am so sorry I hurt you. You know I would never do it on purpose. I love you, Lizzie. Even if you don’t love me. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I also hope that we can still be friends. I don’t want to lose you. You’re my best friend. I don’t think that I could live without you. Lizzie, please forgive me. I can’t stand you not talking to me. I miss you. Can we please try to work this out? I’ll be waiting for your answer.
I love you,
Nick
Elizabeth read the note several times. She didn’t know what to do. I want to forgive Nick. I miss him so much. But what if he tries to kiss me again? I don’t know if I can resist him again…But that’s a chance I’ll have to take. I want my best friend back. I better go now before I chicken out, she thought, standing up.

She walked to the door and stepped outside. She was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn’t notice Brian was standing in front of her until she ran into him. Elizabeth cried out as she began to fall. Brian grabbed her arms and steadied her.

“Sorry, Bri,” she apologized.

“Where you going in such a hurry?” Brian asked her.

“Over to Nick’s. I need to talk to him.”

“About what?”

Elizabeth handed Brian the note that Nick wrote. He read it and looked up at her. He was worried that she might choose Nick over him. Brian knew Elizabeth loved him, but he was always worried about losing her. It wasn’t because he didn’t trust her; he just had this fear of losing the people he loved for one reason or another.

“What are you gonna say to him?” Brian asked.

“I’m gonna tell him I forgive him and try to explain that I don’t love him the same way he loves me. I want my best friend back, Brian. I miss him.”

“Want me to go with you?” Brian asked.

“No…I’ve gotta do this on my own.”