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If I Stay Sequel (My Version)
Heyya! I'm Hailey :) I enjoyed writing this short story so much!!!!.
They say life is like a story. We move along page by page, chapter by chapter, book after book. However, my life in the past year has been more like Ludwig van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Filled with highs and lows. Fierce enough to cause a break in my strings. Yet, soft enough to lull one asleep. If you would’ve asked me a year ago if I blamed God for my hurt I would’ve said yes. Now I look back and just see his works in progress. Losing my family in the car accident hit me like a train. My brother Teddy would never advance to faspitch, or ask a girl to prom. He would never get into trouble for the stupid things teenage boys do. Meanwhile, my parents? Well they would never be able to scold him for those things either. It stung knowing that my mom and dad would never see their children graduate highschool, or college. I ask myself everyday, what if I hadn’t stalled that day? What if school hadn’t been canceled that day? What if I had done something and this was punishment for it? You could go over every “what if” there is but you still would never know.
Juilliard had been my childhood dream. When I received the letter that I had received an audition spot I was thrilled. “It’s only an audition Adam. Most people don’t even get one, let alone accepted” I remember saying to him. Adam was my first crush, my first kiss, and my first love. Music normally drew people together, but in our case it drew us apart. I remember the sound of the van door slamming as he drove away with his band. Everything was falling into place for him, but when one note hit right in my life I was “messing up our plans”. Or so he said.
Adam and I met when I was a freshman and he was a senior. Kim, my best friend, told me he had been watching me playing my cello in the band room. About a week later he had asked me out to a symphony performance he “just had” tickets too. He seemed a bit phony to me at first but I eventually adjusted to his kind of “weird”. During our relationship I felt like an outcast. I wasn’t like the rest of his group. I wasn’t into rock or hard metal like them. I was the shy, soft, and observant girl who sat and played her cello for hours on end by herself. I loved him, and he said he loved me. We just had different views on what we wanted in life.
When I woke up in the hospital Adam was by my side. Then he was gone. The rest of my time spent there was a blur of nurses and doctors rushing around. Millions of questions being asked, all when the only thing I wanted to do was breathe. I knew my family was gone. Some of them at least. I still had Gramps, and Gran. Kim and a few of my other friends as well. I spent almost three weeks in the hospital. I had made a full recovery but during those three weeks Adam did not come see me once. I saw in the newspaper that his band Willamette Stone had played a concert in LA about a week after I had awoken, but still no visit.
Eventually I stopped hoping he would show up. I moved in with my parents’ friends Willow and Harry. I have known them since I could remember but for the time I stayed there, it never compared to home. After I graduated High School, I moved to New York. I’ve lived here and attended Julliard. This is my last year. Four years have already gone by and I’m still playing my cello for a greater purpose.
I snap back into reality as the bell rings, signaling that class has ended. I pack up my belongings and head back to my dorm. I have shared this room with two other girls for the past four years. Trisha, (or “Thrish” as we call her) and Emerson (Em). Trish being the full out metal head kid my parents would’ve payed to have instead of me, and Em being more like me, quiet and relaxed. Even though Trish is more of a rock girl, she still has a soft spot for classical music. I was surprised to learn she was playing the cello like me as well. Em spends most of her time around the grounds minding her own business. Em plays the guitar. Sometimes at night when we are sitting around she pulls it out and plays us a tune or two. I enjoy listening to that.
When I reach my dorm I pull out my key. Having carried my cello around all day my back is sore, and all I want to do is go to sleep. I unlock the door and set my bag down by the table. There is a stack of papers left scattered across it. “Probably Trish’s mess” I mutter to myself, smiling. One day she has OCD, the next she’s messier than the Tasmanian devil. I lay my phone down on top of the mess and retreat to the refrigerator in an attempt to find something cold to drink. I open the fridge and stare inside. “Time for another grocery trip” I mutter to myself. I take a glass from the cupboard and fill it with water from the sink.
Across the room I hear my phone vibrate. I set my glass down and walk over. It’s a text from Trish.
Concert tonight!!! No questions, be ready at 6 ;) cya soon!
Knowing her it wasn’t going to be one of those soft ballet concerts. I look at the clock on the wall which reads five thirty seven. I headed to my closet and chose a dark maroon hipster dress with black platform boots. I mess my hair up a bit and put it into a messy updo. Honestly since the accident I haven’t put much thought into my appearance.
I heard a car honk from outside the building. I look at the clock. Six o'five it reads this time. I grab my phone and wallet and head outside to the car. Trish is waiting there excited.
“It’s about time” she rolled her eyes and put the car into drive. I hadn’t been to a concert with her in awhile, because exams had me tied up.
“C’mon five minutes” I playfully begged her to accept my apology.
“Alright just this time.” she rolled her eyes sarcastically “ But girl be READY TO DANCE” Trish hooted.
We pull up to the concert around seven thirty. As we step out of the vehicle I can hear the music blaring. Trish grabs my hand and pulls me along. We flash our I.D’s to the security guard and proceed into the building. It all seemed like yesterday I was doing this with my parents. The crowd is jumping and pumping their fists in the air, forgetting all their problems. I try to fit in at these concerts, but somehow I always end up feeling like an outcast.
Trish normally doesn’t have a plan. She hears there is a concert, and BOOM! She’s there. I ask her who is playing tonight and she replies with a shrug and shouts over the music “I have no clue, just enjoy it!” Honestly I didn’t mind these surprises. It was all normal to me. I didn’t mind until HE walked out onto stage.
My heart sunk deep in my chest. “Adam” I whispered as I brought my hand up to my mouth. I just wanted to go home. Home, where was that anymore? I used to think home was in Adam’s arms. Home was where I got lost in Adam’s eyes. Home was where Mom, Dad, and Teddy were. Then I remember there is no place to call home anymore.
I manage to look up at him again. This time trying to get into the music. I just couldn’t. Everytime I looked at him, another memory of us hit me like a brick. From the time we met, to those last few minutes in the hospital. I was so lost in thought that I didn’t realize the band had stopped playing. When I come back to reality I hear the crowd roaring with applause. I join in, clapping for them. For Adam.
As soon as the band hops off stage a line forms filled with all the crazed girls wanting an autograph from one of the members. I join that line. My head is telling me to go but my heart is holding me back. The line gets shorter, and shorter, and shorter. I pull out a paper from my wallet as there is only one person before me. I keep my head down, looking at the ground. Finally it’s my turn.
“Can I get your autograph?” I push out of my mouth, handing him my paper.
“Yeah of course” Adam replies as I bring my head up looking at him. He stops writing and drops his pen. “Mia” he says, his expression turning unreadable.
“Hey, Adam! You guys were really great tonight.” I had to force a smile. Something I’m not used to. Why was it so hard talking to him?
“Thanks,” he shrugs “We’ve done better”
“Yeah-” I stop before I let something stupid escape my lips.
“Look Mia I’m s-” he starts but I interrupt him before he finishes.
“Adam” I started “You walked away from me twice. You were following your dreams,now I’m following mine. Nobody’s making me feel like dirt for doing so.” I can tell I hit a nerve in him. He nods and replies in a softer tone.
“I’m sorry” Adam replies as he looks into my eyes. The same eyes I used to find comfort in. “Can I at least call you sometime?” he asks. I can hear the plea in his voice.
“I guess, Yeah” I say, and I turn and walk away from him without looking back. The same way he walked away from me.
This was it. I stare down at my blank sheet of music. I just had to write a tune of my own. It should have come easily after all this time practicing, and studying, but I was distracted. I turned my phone off last night and haven’t turned it on since. The fact that Adam walks in and out of my life whenever he feels like it has me hurt, confused, and furious altogether.
I pick up my pencil and begin to draw several new notes on my paper. I can hear the music as I create it. The highs, the lows, the short notes, and the long ones too. I begin to write faster, the music coming to me from unknown places. Soon the final bell of my college years goes off. Tomorrow is Saturday. Graduation day. I’m more afraid than anything. I have no family to be there for me, and I’m starting to miss my family more than ever.
I run back to my dormitory and throw my bag down on the ground and shut myself in my bedroom. I turn on my phone and lay it on my bedside table. To be twenty three with no family, and the only happiness in your life, a piece of paper with writing on it is sad. I have tried to make the best out of my situation, but today my feelings take over me.
I wake up to my cell buzzing on the table next to me. I wipe my nose and grab it. The screen lights up with Adam's name. I must’ve fallen asleep after crying. I try to make my voice cheerful but it comes out all groggily.
“Hello?” I ask into the phone while holding my head. I have a bit of a headache by now.
“Hey” he said softly “Why haven't you been answering my calls?”
“Sorry. I’ve had my phone off all day. Final Exams.” I explain “Graduation is tomorrow” There’s a long pause on the other end of the phone.
“I’m proud of you” Adam says after what feels like forever.
My heart does that floppy thing again. Proud of me? This was the same man who yelled at me for wanting to follow my dreams.
Instead I say “Thanks” and smile a real smile.
“Can I take you out tonight?” Adam asks me. I can hear the smile in his voice.
“I’d like that.” I replied with a huge grin. It was honestly the truth. I just wanted to talk to him. Talk about us. I had so many questions to ask him. Like why he gave up so easily, or why he never called.
“ Meet me in the courtyard around five” He instructed.
I respond with a simple “okay” and end the call. I feel like the little Mia again. I suddenly get a wave of deja vu. I’m struggling to find something to wear, and I’m in a complete panic, just like I was nine years ago. Where it was my first date. I didn’t know what to wear and I was nervous about whether or not Adam would like me. The only difference is I had a mom to guide me through it at that time.
I retreat to my closet and reach for my black knee length dress, the same dress I wore to my Juilliard audition. I grab my black dress boots from the far back of the closet and slide them on, lacing up the fronts of them. I felt so beautiful, but yet so small in this dress. I wish my mom could be here for this moment. Again.
My purse hung from the knob of my headboard. I grabbed it and put it over my shoulder, tucking my wallet and phone inside. Quickly I went to my mirror and brushed my hair out. My natural curls falling onto my shoulders in loose locks. I then close my eyes and breathe in. “Three, two, one” I count down. As soon as I reach one I open my eyes and my breathing stops. I almost don’t recognise myself anymore. The nervous, shy, messy hair girl is gone and has been replaced with a mature, strong, and sophisticated woman.
I make my way out of the dormitory and across the grounds. Soon my boots are atop the concrete of the courtyard and I look up and see Adam on the other side. He walks towards me as I walk towards him. Suddenly the world freezes around us and It’s just him and I.
I feel dizzy. He walks towards me and I stop. His hands in his pockets, and mine wrapped firmly around the strap of my purse. He stops a foot in front of me and opens his mouth.
“Wow Mia” he pauses and smiles “You look beautiful.” His compliment painted a blush across my cheeks. I have to admit he cleans up nice. Adam is wearing a deep blue button up shirt underneath his band’s “official” jacket with black pants.
“Thank you, You don’t look too bad yourself.” This time it was his turn to turn red.
We stood there not knowing what to say to each other. He looks around and finally speaks.
“I booked us a reservation at the Lincoln Ristorante. '' He held his arm out waiting for me to hook mine through.
I hook my arm through his and we walk in silence. It isn’t a very far walk but it’s far enough for us to have time to think about what we were going to say when we got there. It was a bit chilly tonight. As we reached downtown the scents of pretzels, and many other restaurants filled my nose. Many couples walked hand in hand, children stopping in front of store windows begging their parents for whatever it was that caught their eye. One little girl stopped in front of the instrument store window and was staring at the cello that was displayed. It wasn’t long ago that I was that little girl.
I was so lost in thought I didn’t realize that we had arrived at the restaurant. Adam held the door open for me as we walked inside. He checked in with the front and a few minutes later a man escorted us to a private room in the back. I could only imagine what this had cost Adam. I slid my purse off my shoulder and as I went to pull my chair out there was a soft “Ahem” behind me. Adam had a sly grin on his face and pulled my chair out for me. I sat and he pushed me into the table.
“Thank you” I say and sigh. I wait for him to sit down, then I ask “Why did you not come visit or call me after I woke up in the Hospital?”
“I ask myself that everyday.” He begins “I thought you wouldn’t want to see me. I was a wreck when I saw you laying in that bed. You were my home Mia. You were always there for me. I felt safe around you. When you told me you were applying to Julliard I freaked out. I thought I was going to lose you” I could hear the hurt in his voice. “I never stopped loving you.”
That word. Love. I loved him more than anything and he walked away from me. Love didn’t mean anything to me anymore. For three years I waited for him to reach out to me. To apologize, but he never did.
“I waited for you for three years. Three years Adam! I finally accepted the fact that you moved on. I was hurt and mad that you seemed to come and go out of my life as you pleased” I felt a hot tear stream down my face. “I never stopped loving you. I still love you Adam.” I pause catching my breath “I wouldn’t trade anything for those few years we spent together. However, You weren't there for me when I needed you most. You left me there in the hospital. You knew I needed you, but that didn’t stop you from leaving me alone did it?” I looked him dead in the eyes.
“I needed time to think. I know that’s no excuse for my absence all this time but I was afraid. I was afraid if I stayed in your life any longer I would have completely lost you.” He looked at the table, his hands folded in front of him.
“I forgive you” The words slipped out of my mouth. I reach across and place my hands on his. “I forgive you” I repeat. This time with a bold and strong voice, and I meant it.
The rest of the night was like a dream. We had dinner together, he walked me back to my dorm and then before I knew it those all too familiar lips were upon mine. We said goodnight and I closed the dormitory door smiling. Then just my luck, Trish and Em were sitting there their heads resting on their hands looking at me both with smirks. I rolled my eyes and went to my bedroom where I changed into pajamas and fell asleep.
My alarm went off at seven o’clock. Today was one of the biggest days of my life. The day I graduate college. I roll out of bed and take a shower. My mind goes over the events of the night before. The confessions, the apologies, the kiss. I really was just as in love with Adam today as I was when we were kids.
I put on my dress I had bought for today. It was a purple dress with sequins around the waist. I pull my hair up into a tight bun, leaving two small strands to shape my face. My gown is sitting on the end of my bed. I walk over to it slowly. My hands run across the fabric and I then realize this was really it. The start of my future. I slip the gown over my dress and pick up my cap. Juilliard’s blue color goes perfectly with my purple dress. I leave my cell behind and walk out into the main living space where I am met by my two friends. They both rush towards me with smiles on their faces and pull me into a group hug. These two have been so supportive of me over the last four years. We all walked to the auditorium together. Hand in hand. I can tell they are just as nervous as I. We sit in our seats waiting for the ceremony to start.
After an hour of waiting the graduation ceremony begins. The headmaster gives his annual graduation speech. Our valedictorian gives their speech next, then the salutatorian. Soon they are calling out our names and handing out our degrees. Trish’s name is called and she walks onto the stage. Em and I applaud her as she switches her tassel from the left to the right.
Fifteen minutes go by and my name is finally called. I walk onto the stage and accept my oen certificate of completion. I can’t help but smile. I can feel my parents and brother here today. I move my tassel to the right and walk off the stage. I had finally done it. The graduation ceremony ceases. I am surprised to see Gramps and Gran running towards me.
“You made it,” I say cheerfully.
“We wouldn’t miss it” Gran says as they both pull me into a hug.
Behind them a familiar face walks towards us. Adam. I can't help but smile as he nears closer, bouquet of flowers in hand. Adam smiles at my grandparents and I can see the excitement on their faces. Adam pulls me into a hug. A firm, warm, loving hug.
“I love you Mia” he whispers to me.
“I love you too Adam.” I meant these words. Gramps nods towards Adam and before I know it he is on one knee. I gasp. No this can’t be.
“Mia, I have never stopped loving you” he says while pulling out a small box and handing it to me. It had the same paper wrapping as the package he gave to me when we were kids. I feel my wrist before grabbing the box. I never stopped wearing that bracelet he gave me. I peel off the wrapping and open the box. Inside lies a small diamond ring.
“Mia Elanor Hall, will you marry me?” He asks me, taking my hand. “I’m not going anywhere. Your dreams are mine. I promise.” Those words hit me like a bullet. I look him in the eyes and wipe away the tears that have started to fall from my eyes.
“Yes” I say “Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, YES!” He stands up and after sliding the ring onto my finger, pulls me into a hug. I can see Em and Trish squealing in the background. Then Adam looks into my eyes and kisses me. This time more firmly. At this moment I know he isn’t going anywhere. The world drowns out again and I realize I have found home again.