More Than This

A short tale about two young people finding the courage to get back together after a harsh break-up and a hard year. Can Brad convince Ash to give him a second chance? Is Ash willing to risk letting Brad shatter her heart again?
(This story was written for a competition and won! Competition made by Selinah <3)


3. Ash - The letter and The Shadow in The Dark

     I massage the shampoo into my scalp hard as I recall what I have done, or rather, haven't done: I didn't do it. I opened the letter but my eyes stayed closed. I was afraid of what it'd say. In the seconds that I opened the letter but refused to open my eyes, a thousand thoughts rang through my mind. What does it say? Is it really his handwriting? Why do I feel disappointed at the thought of it being from someone else? It might be a bomb. Or a listening device. Maybe it's a stupid prank Kipp dared him to do. Is it a love letter begging me back? Or a rude list of bullet points listing what he doesn't like about me? I didn't want to know. I was afraid. I felt like for some reason this letter held important words, I just didn't know if they would be good or bad. So I didn't read it. Not yet, anyway. I closed the letter and placed it in my desk's drawer.

     I step out of the shower and wrap a towel around my body. I look at myself in my wall mirror. My dark chesnut hair looks almost black from the water and my light blue eyes are wide and vulnerable as I shiver in the cool air. My skinny arms clutching the towel tightly against my wet body. Plump rosy lips open slightly, taking slow shallow breaths. I quickly look away, down to my feet. I am a coward, I scold myself. I should've read the letter. This constant bickering has to end one day. I dry myself and slip on my pink silk bathrobe adorned with cute little elephants. I put slippers on and blow dry my hair. I blow dry my hair for a long time, trying to prolong the inevitable. When I finally decide to stop drying and brushing my hair in fear of drying it too much, not that that is even possible, my hair ends up looking like they do on the models in TV, advertising hair products. Huh, well at least that mystery is solved. I sigh, go to my drawer, take the letter out and read before I can chicken out again.


My Ash,

I should've written this letter a long time ago, but I was afraid. I thought that if you read it, and this letter failed to deliver my message properly, then I blew my last chance. Ash, I don't want to blow my last chance. And I know I won't get anymore. I am not even sure I have this one chance, but I am hoping I still do.

I am sorry Ash. I should've apologized right away, I shouldn't have been a coward and hid behind a jerk's facade. I should've been real to you, you deserve someone true. I also should have told you why I really ended it between us. But I don't want this letter to be about what I should've done, but rather what I will do, and what I am doing now. Before I do though, I want you to know that I never cheated on you, and I did love you. I never lied about that. Hell, I still do. I love you Ash, I am in love with you. I have always been and always will. I hope you can forgive me. I don't deserve a second chance, but Simon didn't deserve you either, and yet still got you so that means something. And about Simon, sorry for being so blunt about it but, dump the guy on his ass. You need someone better.

I have to make some things clear: I never told you why I broke up with you, and I know you deserve to know. I didn't want to break up. Not in a million years. I never wanted that, but my father gave me an ultimatum. My future or my girl. I chose my future. I am sorry. I know I chose the wrong choice. I knew it the second I made it, but it was too late. He told me he would only pay for my college tuition if I left you. He said that you are keeping me from studying and you weren't worth not being accepted. That's not true. You are worth more than college. I was blind to not see it before but I was a helpless fool who thought the only way to make it in life was by getting it prepaid by daddy. Clearly, I was wrong.

I finally got the courage to ask for a second chance because I sorted some things out, and I am sure that I am ready to be with you now. I was not ready before, I was still a child. I am now. Please forgive me. I love you Ash,



     I hold the piece of paper in my hands limply, staring off to an abiss of nothing. I....don't know what to do, what to say. The letter was definitely not what I thought it would be. Though knowing the real reason of our break up is a relief, I have one question nagging me. If he sorted everything out, is ready to be with me, and has put a truce to our fighting, then why did he send me a letter? Why didn't he tell me in person? I don't understand. And until I don't, I don't know what to make of it, what to think. What does he expect me to do? Run to his house and declare my love to him, accept his apology and throw myself into his arms?

     A noise by my window interrupts my thoughts, bringing me back to reality. I gulp, unsure of what the noise is. I end up running to the wall where the light switch is and turn it off, and with some major James Bond-like moves, I lower my body to crawl across the floor just in case they have super night-vision or something. I mean, just because I've never seen a werewolf in the forest right by my house before, didn't mean that they weren't there. Just saying. I flatten myself against the wall and shimmy right next to the window sill. I cautiously peer through the window only to almost receive a heart attack as another shower of pebbles are thrown at the window, right where my face is. I can't see anything outside; it's way too dark. I can almost detect a dark, large form under my bedroom window with the help of the full moon's light. I decide that I can't be a pussy and with a speed only brooding vampires in my cheesy romance novels can pull off, I twist the knob and whirl the window open. A burst of cool, summer night air greets me. Not to mention another douse of pebbles, this time actually hitting my face. ''Ow!'' I yell, ''What the hell?'' Probably not my finest moment but whatever.

     ''Ash? Shit, I'm sorry, you okay?'' I hear an eerily familiar voice say somewhat guiltily. I can almost hear him cringe when he says that. I angrily stalk to the far side of my room and flip the lights on. I go back to the window, and with my bedroom lights pouring outside, I can see who my night stalker is.

     Leaning out the window I whisper-shout, ''Brad? What in god's name are you doing here? Go away before my parents come home and see you or we'll be in big trouble!'' His lips start moving, as if he is speaking but I can't hear him. I am not quite sure what his response is, but I don't really care either. All I can focus on is his light brown tousled hair and well-defined muscles that can clearly be appreciated from under his fitted tee. His biceps bulge as his hands move. I should probably be listening but today he just looks too hot. It is quite distracting. Looking at him now, I can totally recall why I failed my last quiz in Math. Why does his seat have to be diagonally before me in class? I am totally lost in his form, the perfect way he moves, so confidently, so layed-back. What I wouldn't give to move like that. Then his shirt rides up revealing...Oh. My. God. Where am I again? I don't know. What's my name? Can't remember. Oh gosh, I am so screwed.

     Bizarrely, the quiet is what makes me drop back to the real world again. The silence is que for me to speak, but I don't know what he just said so I just blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind. Bad idea. ''I read your letter.'' This is where the announcement voice would appear and inform the viewers not to attempt this at home.


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