As people were leaving the tent to head inside Shad Hall for the luncheon, I stayed behind, scanning the Yard for Tyler. Luckily, the rain had died down or else I would've been soaked.
I spotted him standing by the gate, looking extremely dashing in a dark gray suit.
God, what was wrong with me? This was the same guy that had lied, cheated, and slapped me. How could I even dare to think about how good-looking he was?
Tyler turned his head around to look at me when he heard my approaching footsteps. I stood right in front of him, and at that moment, mixed emotions began to flood my mind.
Seeing Tyler again after all these years was definitely hard for me, to say the least. A sharp pain hit my chest as I remembered everything that had led to our huge fight, and ultimately, break-up.
We just stood there, not having a clue what to say. I didn't dare to look up at Tyler's face in case I got the urge to slap him for all the hurt he had caused me.
"I see you brought flowers. Are they for your new Harvard girlfriend?", I finally asked in a bitter tone.
"They're for you," Tyler replied, handing me the bouquet of pink tulips.
Oh, how I missed his voice...
He had an unreadable expression on his face as I stared at him, completely speechless. His deep brown eyes were just as I remembered them. And those plump lips...
My, Tyler had become even more handsome and sexier than before.
I observed his sharp facial features, including his strong, chiseled jaw and defined cheekbones. He certainly had gotten a bit older over the past few years, but nonetheless was beyond attractive.
"Why did you come here?", I asked, quickly dismissing those thoughts as I crossed my arms in front of my chest.
"I couldn't possibly miss your graduation. We both know how important this day was to you," Tyler said with a smile.
For a moment, I almost wanted to just throw my arms around him. Already, I could feel my knees weakening and insides melt.
Screw him for making me behave this way.
Taking a deep breath, I regained my composure. We were both grown adults now, capable of having a civilized conversation without letting the past get in our way.
"Thank you, it means a lot," I said, returning his smile.
"Anytime. And Christine, there's something I need to tell you."
"What is it?"
Tyler suddenly directed his attention to my left hand that was holding the flowers. He looked stunned for a moment, but then pure resentment crossed his face.
"Wait a minute, you're engaged?", Tyler asked urgently.
"Yes. Isn't it beautiful?", I replied, showing him the ring that Damon had gotten for me.
"Who's the lucky guy?"
Tyler's face grew livid with anger and jealousy as he awaited my response, his eyes narrowed and lips drawn together in a tight line. Boy, he looked as if he could murder somebody right now.
"Damon Parker. We went to college together," I told him.
"I see. So you've moved on, huh?"
"Of course I did! What, were you expecting me to spend the rest of my life waiting to get back together with you or something?"
"Do you even love this Damon guy?", Tyler demanded hotly.
What the hell?! Who did he think he was, acting all possessive like this? I could feel my blood begin to boil as I glared at him, my cheeks flushing.
"You're such a bastard, you know that? And if you thought that coming here would make me take you back, then you're wrong."
"Christine, just listen to me. I love you. I don't care if you never want to see my face again after this, but I can't keep it to myself any longer. I have to tell you. That's the main reason why I came here in the first place," Tyler confessed, grabbing onto my shoulders.
...He loved me?
God, how could everything turn into a huge mess in just one day? Tyler had made it obvious that he wanted me back. So many conflicted feelings stirred inside of me as I thought about what to say.
"Tyler, you should've told me that three years ago. It's too late now," I finally spoke, avoiding his gaze as I removed his hands from my shoulders.
"You should go."
And with that, I turned around and left, leaving Tyler standing there looking utterly defeated.
Shortly after, I began to replay the conversation we had in my head, and that's when I realized...
I never even told Tyler that I loved Damon when he had asked me.
But I did love Damon...right? What was wrong with me, of course I loved him! If not, we wouldn't have gotten engaged in the first place.
As I made my way towards the Hall, I couldn't stop thinking about Tyler. I feared that something like this would happen if he ever showed up again in my life.
In all honesty, if I wasn't already engaged to Damon, then I probably would've gotten back with Tyler the minute he had confessed his love for me.
When he and I broke up, I'd tried so hard to bury the feelings I had for him deep down inside of my heart. But now, I could feel them resurfacing after just a brief encounter.
Seeing Tyler's face again after all these years ignited everything I had ever felt for him back when we used to date. It'd sure take me a while to get over what happened this morning.
I couldn't help but feel like a jerk for dismissing Tyler just like that. He'd done way worse things to me, but still, it wasn't like we were living in the past. If I ever saw him again, I'd definitely apologize.
By the time I finally walked into Shad Hall, everyone else had already started eating. I found Damon talking to some of the graduates that he used to play football with.
"Christine, there you are," he called, heading over to me.
"Hey. Where are my parents?", I asked, giving him a peck on the cheek.
"They're getting food. Where have you been? You must be starving. Oh, and before I forget, here's your present."
Damon handed me a silver bag, with white tissue paper to conceal what lay inside.
"Aww thanks. I'll open it later," I said.
"No problem. Looks like I wasn't the only one to give you a gift either," Damon remarked, motioning at the bouquet of tulips I had in my hand.
"Oh, these? Aren't they lovely?"
"Very. Who's it from?", he asked with a hint of curiosity.
"Tyler," I replied casually, even though I knew that Damon would probably get outraged. And indeed he did as his body instantly became stiff.
"That son of a bitch came to your graduation?! Well, I'd sure love to have a friendly word with him. Is he still here?", he demanded furiously.
"No...he left already," I replied quietly, directing my gaze at the ground. Damon immediately softened up as he gave me a concerned look.
"Hey, what's wrong? Did Tyler do something to you?"
"No. We just talked for a bit," I replied, leaving out all of the details.
"About what?", Damon prompted.
"Nothing much, really. I'm gonna go get something to eat, ok?"
I set my gifts down at a nearby table then went to grab a plate, joining my family at the sandwich bar.
The last thing I needed was for Damon to find out what Tyler had actually said to me. Because if he did, I couldn't even imagine what would happen. Damon had said so himself that if he ever saw Tyler again, he'd kill him.
I told myself that he wouldn't do such a thing, but still, you never knew what people were capable of doing out of hatred and jealousy.
After the luncheon, we all headed outside for the diploma ceremony held at Baker Lawn. The sun was shining brightly and a cool breeze ruffled the trees.
All of the graduates assembled themselves beneath the stage as we waited for our names to be called. I was beyond ecstatic when I finally received my diploma, feeling nothing but pride and joy.
At the end, we all threw our hats into the air, creating a sea of black that covered the lawn as cheers and applause erupted throughout the crowd.
My brother's dream had come true when his team won the Superbowl. And now, years later, mine did.
That night, I lay in bed next to Damon, who was sound asleep. Now that graduation was over, I had to start getting all of my stuff packed up tomorrow.
Since his company was planning an important project, Damon had to fly back to New York in the morning. I, on the other hand, would stay behind until I was done with all of my packing.
Then, I'd take my car and drive down to New York since Damon and I were going to move in together. I was excited about it, but sad at the same time.
Boston had been my home ever since I moved here and the thought of leaving it made my heart ache. So much had happened these past years in this very city.
For the second time today, my thoughts drifted to Tyler. After all, he was the one that had made me feel welcomed here in the first place. And the rest of the Bruins as well. I missed those guys so much.
I sure hoped that today wouldn't be the last time I'd see Tyler. It'd suck to leave and not even be able to say bye to him. But why did I care? It wasn't like we were still dating or anything.
I hated to admit it, but meeting Tyler again this morning had made me realize that...
I still loved him.