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She Loves Me
By Alex


Here I am, facing deportment, facing the end of everything I never dreamed would begin, and all I can think about is the words that just came out of her mouth.

She loves me.

Of course I knew. It was obvious with how deeply I hurt her that her feelings ran deeper than mere attraction. And the nights we shared proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that what we felt for each other was indeed love, as unfamiliar as I am with the concept.

I listen to her and her mother speak, sensing that this is a conversation that has happened many times before. I hear the history behind Bianca's words, and suddenly I want to know every detail, every story that has occurred in her life to lead her to this point. I want to hold her in my arms and listen to her speak for hours on end, and when she's done, I want her to return the favor. I want to tell her about my life, not to victimize myself, but to make her know me. I want her to know everything there is to know about me, even the things I'm not proud of, and the things even I myself have not realized.

I hear the pain in her voice, the desperation for acceptance, and still the one thing that rings in my head is those three words. She loves me. After everything I've done, everyone I've hurt, she loves me.

I ache for her, feeling her pain as her mother pulls away, leaving the three of us alone in the room. I want to hold her, I want to tell her everything will be alright, but I am reminded that my time here is brief. I have failed in my attempts to stay in the country, and because of the depth of her mother's love, I am unable to remain by her side. It's almost too much to bear. I remain at the staircase, gripping the railing to prevent myself from clutching her, from holding her to me in a feeble, childish attempt to keep her in my life.

The phone rings. My heart leaps in my chest as I move to answer it. I have never heard a sweeter voice than that of Greenlee Du Pres. I feel tears welling up in my eyes as she tells me that I have a job with her grandfather, that I can stay in Pine Valley and near Bianca. The phone call is over before I even realize it, and I turn back to face Bianca quickly, a smile on my face despite the fact that I am sure she will not want to take me back so easily.

"I can stay." Tears threaten to overrun my body as the reality sinks in. I have another chance. I have time. Time to prove to Bianca that my love for her is real, that it was never a lie. I see her chin quiver, and wonder if she is as happy as I am. She defended me earlier, it's true, but that is just the kind of person she is. I know better than to read too much into it. She loves me. That will have to be enough.

I am about to tell her this, to tell her that I will wait as long as she needs, when I am thrown off-balance by an unexpected armful of Bianca Montgomery. My arms immediately circle her waist, pulling her as close as she will let me. I feel warm wetness on my neck as she cries, and it is enough to make tears fall from my own eyes.

After a few moments, I break the embrace, realizing that I will not be able to take it if she pulls away again. I look down at her, my eyes filled with all of the questions I am afraid to voice. I see them reflected back in her own, and realize she has about as much idea of what to do as I have. She smiles softly through her tears, and I fight down my eager heart, trying not to jump to conclusions. I think she realizes what I am doing, feels my hesitance, because she reaches a hand up to stroke my face as she speaks.

"I love you." A sob escapes my lips as I hear those words directed at me. I can hear the sincerity and passion in each syllable, and my heart is filled with such joy. As she leans closer to me, I feel as though I may never breathe again, and I don't mind. The firmness of her lips on mine is all I'll ever need.

She loves me.

The End

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