The Pinky Promise
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Five years ago, Chloe Sawyer and her high School best friend, Austin, made a pinky promise to marry each other if they were still single by the time they graduated college. But shortly after high school ended, they lost touch and now that college is done, what will happen? Chloe returns to her hometown, Savannah, Georgia for at least the summer and she & Austin have the chance to reconnect. And while things start out amazing, secrets come out and everything begins to not seem to be as perfect as they were. Will they hold onto their pinky promise or will the bumps in the road destroy their relationship?
"So what happens if we're both in our 30s and are unmarried & childless," I asked. Austin set his phone down and sat up on the bed. He had a puzzled expression plastered on his face, but he seemed to be amused.
"Wanna make a pact?"
"Yeah, if we're both single at the time we graduate college, let's try to make us work."
"Make us work? As in date?"
"Yeah. Actually forget about it, that was stupid."
I was shocked. Austin had been one of my closest friends since middle school, now we were high school seniors about to head off the college. I didn't even know what I want to major in college, or let alone what I should wear tomorrow.
But none the less, I was intrigued, "No, let's do it."
"Really," I stuck my pinky finger out and he linked his around it.
"I, Austin Taylor, pinky promise you."
"And I, Chloe Sawyer, pinky promise you."
5 years later-
"I can't believe we graduate next week," I told my roommate, Skylar. I was beginning to pack some of my things, in an attempt to gain some extra space in our dorm.
"I know! It's crazy isn't it?! I feel like it was just yesterday were moving into the freshman dorms, with absolutely no idea of what was about to hit us."
"You've got that totally right," I laughed, "Jeez, what will I ever do without you here to make sure I'm awake on time?"
She groaned and rolled her eyes, "Hey, whatever happened to that guy you told me about? The one you made the pact with?"
Austin? Honestly, I hadn't thought about him in a couple years. The last time I had seen him was right after he dropped out of college and enlisted in the Army. But the pact was something I hadn't really thought about since I told Skylar.
"Oh, um, I'm not really sure. I know he joined the Army halfway through freshman year but thats about it."
"You should text him! Even if he does have a girlfriend!"
"I don't know, it was kind of silly."
"But he's hot!"
That was true, very true. Way more true than I'd like to admit, but he felt like a stranger now. But I couldn't help wondering what he was doing at this exact moment. Maybe I should text him, and yet, at the same time, I was terrified of doing so.
"I'll be back in a few hours, I've got to go pick up my dress from alterations," I grabbed my car keys and purse, knowingly avoiding Skylar's last remark.
"Okie dokie! Love youuuu!"
"Love you moreeeee!"
I pulled the door shut and let out a sigh of relief. Marriage was a scary topic for me. I watched my parents get divorced when I was 8, and then my dad again 3 years ago. More than anything, the thought of marriage, Austin, and my name in the same sentence was even scarrier.
As I got in my car, I looked around me taking in my last few days on campus. It was so surreal, five years ago felt like two weeks ago, yet here I was.
"Chloe Sawyer, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology."
I began to walk up the stages steps, grabbed my fake diploma, and headed towards the center of the stage. I shook hands and thanked my professors & college admin, waved at the crowd and walked off. The largest smile was plastered across my face. This was it, the moment I had been working towards for years. I could hear my family yelling through the auditorium and blushed. Leave it to them to embarrass me, but today I could care less, I was proud of myself.
After the ceremony, I wandered around taking photos with friends while I looked for my family. My sister, Emma, found me first.
"CHLOE," she screamed. I looked around frantically, trying to figure out where she was coming from, just in time for her to jump on me.
"Ems! Gorgeous, as always!"
"Oh, stop it! You're only saying that because I look just like you!"
It was true, Emma did look just like me despite being five years younger.
"Well, regardless, it's true. I'm so happy to see you. This last semester has been a whirlwind of projects and working and stupid boys."
"Boys? As in plural? Last I checked, you had given up on college guys."
"Who said they were in college?"
She laughed as the rest of our family joined us. My parents, stepdad, grandparents and brother had also come to congratulate me. I quickly got through all their hugs and then pulled them towards Skylar & her family. We spent the next hour taking more photos, saying goodbyes, and did my best to keep mom from crying.
When we finally broke away, we went to get dinner and then back to their Airbnb. I had moved all of my belongings out of my dorm two days prior and had been staying at the rental by myself. Just the two days there had felt so off, with nothing to do and the idea that my life was getting ready to take a huge turn, I felt alone & anxious not knowing what my future would actually hold. I had always expected to leave college in a relationship, but yet, here I was. Twenty-two years old with a brand new college degree and no idea of what would happen next.
I pushed how I was feeling aside and immersed myself into catching up with family. Later that night, as I crawled into bed, my phone dinged. I picked it up expecting a text from Skylar complaining about her parents, but to my absolute shock, it was Austin.
"Hey, Chlo. I know its been awhile but I saw your moms facebook post and had to congratulate you! I cant believe how long its been since we talked last. Anyways, hope you're doing well & congrats, at least one of us did it. Btw, do you remember that pinky promise?"
The next morning, I pulled myself out of bed and tried to push the thought of Austin's message to the back of my mind. I had no intentions of actually trying to make things work with him, but at the same time, my mind raced with the possibilities. But I still had no idea as to if he actually was single, but nonetheless, he's in the Army and trying to make a relationship work between the two of us would be so difficult. But at the same time, I had no plans on when I would be getting my own place or where I would be working yet. Yet here I am, mind racing with different ideas of what our future could look like and I hadn't even responded to him yet. How would I respond? What would I say to not make myself look desperate? Skylar. Skylar always knows what to do or say, so I picked up my phone and sent her a quick text.
'Hey, so call me. Something weird happened and I have no idea what to do'
Within 2 minutes, my phone was ringing.
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