One Day You'll Be Mine(6)

By: Alana Hart & Lauren Lashley



Shaking my head, I confirmed that I didn’t. “I’ll be honest. It’s been very hectic for me this week. I didn’t get a chance to look at all the emails.”

“I heard. Your boyfriend went to war, or something. Right?” His tone was casual, but there was a small glimmer in his eyes I couldn’t place.

“Husband, actually.” I flashed my engagement ring. It was flashy enough to look like a real wedding took place. “We just got married before he left.”

Alejandro’s eyes popped at the ring. Their glimmer instantly died, yet was replaced by the sparkly reflection of my finger.

“Damn. Congratulations.” His voice was much quieter. “That’s a nice ring.”

“Thank you.” I smiled. “Who were you meeting up here?”

“Just some… Just a couple of friends. Nothing serious, you know?” He laughed nervously. We were thinking of a couple of drinks and food. Just to catch up on old times. It’s kind of hard to make formal plans when we’re all working. Adult life, you know?”

I nodded in understanding, telling him it definitely was hard to keep up with friends after college. We spoke for a few more minutes. Or rather, he talked, and I listened. As I did, I gave eye contact here and there. Whenever I looked into his eyes, that bashful demeanor intensified. I guess he wasn’t used to talking so much?

My phone began to ring; Natalia’s face popped up on the screen. I lifted a finger to Alejandro, who nodded his head in understanding and stepped away to give a small sense of privacy.



“Hello?”

“Hey! How’s it going over there?”

“It’s going good. Hold on for a sec.” With that, I told Alejandro, “I have to go. It’s my sister in law. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

He nodded, smiled. “Definitely. See you tomorrow.”

“Enjoy dinner with your friends,” I said, waving him off and returning to my walk.

“Who was that?” Natalia asked. Her voice brimmed with curiosity.

“Just some guy from my office.” Truly, that’s all he really was.

“You’re at the office at eight at night?”

“Lady, no! I was on my evening walk when he stopped me. Apparently he was having dinner in the area when he stopped to say hi. What’s with the inquisition, madam?”

“Oh nothing. Just making sure you’re not trying to flake out on your husband after just one day being gone.”

I gasped. “Two days, not one. And I wouldn’t ever do that. I love Ellis way too much.”

Natalia chuckled on the other end of the line. “I hear you. I was just teasing to begin with. But seriously. How are you? Do you need anything?”

Natalia was married to Ellis’ older brother, Hollis. As a couple, both Ellis and I were several years younger than Hollis and Natalia. Natalia was like an older sister to me in the sense that she married Hollis early into his military career. She married him when she turned 18, and he was 20, even though they’d been together since they were 14 and 16 years old. Needless to say, she’d known Ellis almost all of his life, and was very protective of him, as if he were her own little brother.

A couple walking down the street in my direction caught my eye. They were holding hands, fingers intertwined. He whispered something in her, and she giggled. I admired her clean makeup, accentuated with lash extensions, and the way storefront lights hit her skin. It was a picture perfect moment; beautiful, timeless if it would have only been captured in that moment with the perfect camera.

My heart snagged a beat as I looked at this couple. That could have been – no, really would have been – Ellis and I if he were here. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be us for at least six more months.

“I’m okay,” I dragged. My tone of voice wasn’t as convincing as I would have liked. “I’m just trying to get used to him not being around. It was tough having to wait to see him on the weekends when we’d fly or drive to see each other. Now I don’t even have that option. And I’m sitting here with my heart bleeding while I watch all these pretty girls and fly guys hold hands and kiss each other in the glow of Uptown nightlife.”

“Rose, you have such a flair for making everything poetic,” Natalia sighed with mock frustration.

“Hey, I am an editor.” I shrugged, as if that explained it all. “A beauty editor at that. My job is to make everything sound, look, and appear poetic.”

Natalia gave me advice. The first week would be the hardest. By week two or three, I’d be accustomed to him not being around. At the end of the first month, we’d establish a routine, and I’d probably get to speak to him on a semi-regular basis. It wouldn’t replace his physical presence (nothing ever could), but it would allow me to feel secure in a new rhythm.

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