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The One That Got Away

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Nico DeVillers and Nina Adams are two collage friends that are sensible about how they feel about each other but neither are willing to come forward and propose a romantic relationship, thinking they are better off as friends. Will they eventually pursue one? Or will they remain referring to each other as The One That Got Away?

Chapter 1



The silent pain that injures the soul. It wasn't the first time experiencing it but I don't remember feeling my heart literally arching with each pump it made. It got harder with each breath it took to stay alive. I felt numb, but in pain. Mostly from the look he wore on his face as he sank down the couch in front of me, covering his face with his hand.

"What do you mean you don't think you can do this anymore?", he quavered, following a sharp breath. I averted my gaze from his eyes, the misery in them was insufferable.

"The wedding is next month, Nina"

"I k-know, but I j-just cant", I fidgeted with my fingers, fighting the urge to bite on my nails. I've never wished for the earth to open up and swallow me whole like I do right now. I just wanted to disappear and run so far away that no one finds me.

"Maybe you're just getting cold feet?", he chuckled nervously while raising to his feet again and towered above me.

"It's not", I whispered under my breath, I don't even think he heard me. I felt him hold the side of my face so that I looked at him only to see his dark brown eyes filling with tears as he pulled me in to hold me close.

"It's normal to feel like this, getting cold feet is a natural reaction-"

"I'm not getting cold feet", I interrupted, a little louder than last time and he paused, seeming frozen in place as his grip around me loosened a little. My hands lifted to hold his face in my hands instead,

"I love you, Mike", my voice sounded croaky as his rested his forehead against mine and stared deep into my eyes. "I just don't want to marry you anymore"

His eyes fluttered shut, and warm tears flowed down his cheeks before his shoulders started shaking following a silent sob. I felt horrible, and engulfed him in a hug as he dissolved into my arms.

"I don't understand", he pulled away. "We were okay yesterday, what changed? Did I do something wrong?"

"No, it's me", I said. "I realized that I agreed to marry you for all the wrong reasons. I could have said no the day you proposed to me, but the idea of being the first in my family to have a big two-day wedding clouded my judgment a little and I sorta went with it. I think we are nowhere near ready to even think about settling down like that, living and starting a family together. I was caught up in a delusion and ended up stringing you along"

"I see", he drew a breath, nodding hesitantly before lowering to his seat again and it fell quiet between us. I didn't know what to do with myself at that point. Do I give him space? Or stay here until one of us starts talking again? I should be the one doing the talking though, right? Considering I am the one who broke him first. Mike and I have been dating for about a year now and each minute spent with him felt like I was getting to know him for the first time, sometimes I felt like I don't even recognize him at all.

In the duration of our relationship, Mike has been an unpredictable character because there was really not knowing with him. I liked that in the beginning of our relationship, the thought of being kept on my toes was exciting weirdly enough. Until I grew out of it and realized there was nothing to be excited about in the first place, the was really no mystery there. Instead it was just nerve-wrecking in such a way that I sometimes would find myself walking on egg shells around him so that I don't tick him off the wrong way in case he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Him also being the type to act on the spot worried me sometimes.

I loved Mike, and I cared about him deeply but if I am being honest I was no longer in love with him. Even though our relationship wasn't picture perfect, he did make me happy. He was bold and sometimes fearless, he respected other people even though he didn't get the same treatment back. Despite his moody tantrums, he was a great guy, charismatic and oddly cheerful at times.

He just wasn't what I imagined to spend the rest of my life with, and we hadn't really discussed marriage when he rocked up with a ring and proposed. We weren't ready, it would take us some time to get there and eventually grow together.

"What's going to happen now?", he asked, interlocking his fingers together tightly and I was consoled that he was the one saying something. "Does calling the wedding off mean that we are over?"

"Yeah, I'm afraid so ", I sat besides him. "I'll cover all of the expenses, cancellations, everything so you don't have to worry about anything"

"No", his hand covered mine and locked over my fingers tightly. "I'll take care of it. I was going to give you your dream wedding, it doesn't make sense to make you pay for it even if it's no longer happening"


"Don't worry about it", he finally turned his face to look at me. "As long as you call your side of the family to tell them the wedding is no longer proceeding and I'll do the same then maybe we can take it from there"

I just sat there looking at him in disbelief mostly, I never really expected this level of maturity from him considering how I just shuttered his entire world a few minutes ago. He was a lot of things, but never violent no matter how far he was provoked. A characteristic of his I never took for granted, and I appreciated it.

"I think I better start on those calls then", he stood to his feet and I did too shortly after. There was so much I wanted to say, but I could find the right words. There's so much damage I could do in a day, I didn't want to say the wrong thing and hurt him even more.

"I am so, so sorry", a lump was growing in my throat, words were about to get difficult to articulate. "I wish I could take it all back. I'm really sorry, Mike"

"It might take me a while to actually wrap my head around what just transpired here between us, Nina but I'm not a jerk. Never been with you actually. I really wish you've been totally honest with me from the beginning, but better now than at the alter I guess. Despite how things are ending between us, I could never hate you and I want you to be happy, even if it's not with me"

A relieved sigh slipped from my lips, and I found myself wrapping my arms around him and embracing him yet again. I was appreciative of the manner he chose to approach my rejection, and I despised myself even more for being a coward. I should have just been honest with him from the get go.

He slowly pulled away from me, like he didn't want to let go but had to. I was longer his, and he seemed to respect that. In the past, I was labeled incapable to commit in my previous relationships and they didn't see any reason to continue being with me if we weren't on the same page in regards to where we see ourselves going. It was a valid reason though, but I don't think I've ever experienced a separation like this one before.

I took the round diamond ring I was swooning over months prior off my finger and placed it in the palm of his hand. His eyes were glued on it for a little while before closing his hand in a fist, held the side of my face with his other hand, and kissed my forehead softly. I watched as he grabbed his jacket and strode to the door, his hand turning on the knob.

"I'll be in touch regarding how things go, but until then take care of yourself yeah?"

"I will, you too", I smiled and waved a little, feeling the tears free flow from my eyes as he closed the door behind him. The sound of the echo reflected in the room and I sunk onto the floor, something inside me was beginning to hurt. That was it, the events leading to my heartbreak.

The night didn't get any easier when I started with the dreadful calls to my family, relatives and friends before switching off my phone and planned going on MIA when it was all over. The disappointment from Mike and the people on the other side of the call was enough to last me a lifetime . Normally, I would prefer being alone until I felt better to face the world again but the walls were closing on me and I was suffocating. This apartment was starting to get cold, and I knew I had to get out.

There was one person I hesitated telling over the phone that the wedding was off, the same way I hesitated telling him that I was getting married in the first place. Grabbing my car keys, purse and phone, I locked my apartment door behind me and made the drive to the only person I considered my safe place even after all these years.


Chapter 2


There was a knock on my front door, interrupting me from retreating to bed and calling it a day. It was one of those, whereby socializing was not something I looked forward to, especially having someone over. The few knocks that followed sounded more urgent and demanding. My pace hastened to the door, slightly annoyed at how frequent the knocks got. I don't like being summoned like this, especially in the comfort of my own home.

Pulling the door open, I did so with the intention of being the first to say something regarding the rude interruption but then I saw Nina standing opposite me with puffy, bloodshot eyes. My irritation subsided from the sight of her and my throat instantly went dry, mostly because I wasn't expecting to see her tonight.

She tried saying something before her lips started quivering and her eyes dropped to her feet. Asking no questions, I wrapped my arms around her and she started sobbing the second I held her. Afte


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