Chapter 2


Eleven years ago...

“Excuse me, Ms. Morris,” Mr. Ward interrupted our literature class. “I need Ms. Gibson at the main entrance.”

I checked the clock. There were only thirty minutes left before the period ended. Did I do something wrong? Or did Michael come home? But my brother said he wouldn’t be home until Thanksgiving.

I excused myself to my literature teacher and followed Mr. Ward to the main entrance.

No one was there.

“Mr. Ward?”

“These kids.” He shook his head. “Well, look at that.”

I wasn’t sure what he was referring to while looking at the wall until I pictured a drawing of a huge pink heart. It had my name scribbled unsightly in the center.

I love you, Savannah Gibson.

My mouth dropped. What the hell?

“Who do you think did this?” my teacher asked.

I shook my head. “I have nothing to do with this.”

“Yes, but this is your name. If you can’t point out anyone, you might as well take responsibility.”

“But, sir—”

“No buts, Ms. Gibson.” Mr. Ward scowled at the ugly scribblings one more time and left.

How was I supposed to clean this? Thankfully, it was just chalk.

Sofia, one of my best friends, burst out a laugh when I showed her the vandal. I’d known her since middle school, just like Wesley and Riley. She was the only person I knew who could eat so many sweets in one sitting. I noticed she gained extra pounds again, but I always thought Sofia was one of the prettiest in school.

“These guys have no shame,” she complained, but she helped me clean up anyway.

This wasn’t the first time I got humiliated in front of the school body because of a stupid love confession. The last time was when Jack broadcasted his big crush on me on the school radio, hoping I’d date him.

“I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you.”

“Or you could just ask Mrs. Ridge to help us,” Sofia said, referring to the custodian.

“I don’t want to bother her for this. Mr. Ward said to take responsibility.”

“You’re just kind.” She soaked the rag in the bubbles and then squeezed the water out. “Why don’t you just date one of your suitors so the others stop?”

“No.” I halted. “You know who I really like.”

“Oh, come on. Edward Reed? He’s like everyone’s first love, you know.”

“Well, not you, at least. But you support me, right? He’ll be the best guy to go to prom with.”

“Y-yeah, but in case you’ve forgotten, he needs to ask you.”

I pouted. “You’re kinda mean.”

“It’s the truth. Hey, why aren’t you cleaning?”

I picked up from where I left off. “I really like him, though.”

“What you need is a boyfriend and move on.”

“She’s right,” another voice joined in and was actually Edward himself. My first love.

I thought my heart just skipped a beat.


“Sorry about that.” He walked closer and snatched the rags from my hand. “It’s my friends. They did this, so this is on me.”

I gaped at him and glanced at Sofia. Did I hear him right?

Sofia rolled her eyes. “How virtuous of you!”

Edward only smiled at my friend. “I actually came to apologize. They did this because of what I told them.”

“You told them to write this?” I asked. Did he perhaps... No, no. That couldn’t be happening.

“I didn’t ask them to write this, but I told them about you. I’m sorry,” he explained.

Was that a confession? “What?”

“He’s basically saying he likes you,” Sofia inserted, annoyed.

“Pretty much that,” Edward confirmed. “Thanks, Sofia.”

I touched my chest, breathless. “I don’t know what to say.”

“But I’m here now to ask you.” Edward massaged the back of his head, chuckling. “So, Savannah, can you hear me out?”

Of course! I was waiting for this. I didn’t think he’d actually talk to me.

My heartbeat sped up the longer I stared at his handsome face. Edward was above six feet. He had two dimples, dark brown hair, and mesmerizing gray eyes. And damn, that leather jacket and motorbike behind him. It made him look hotter. I wondered why I still hadn’t fainted.

I chortled nervously. “Y-yes, what is it?”

“I’m not sure if someone already asked you, but will you be my date to prom?”

I grinned. “Absolutely!”

This was the day I knew Edward Reed was my destiny.

Was he?


Michael Gibson, my brother, lived alone in our Clinton Hill house after I got married and moved out. He was the one who raised me after our father died when I was in fifth grade. He had just turned thirty-six and had a girlfriend whom I expected him to marry, but they broke up last month.

Michael and I were not related by blood. He had been adopted before I was born, but he was the best brother I had ever known. He felt sorry for me when I was hurt and corrected me when I was wrong. I grew up surrounded by his virtues. He worked hard to provide for both of us and to provide a good life for me. I owe him a lot because he taught me everything. He even broke down in tears as he led me to the altar. This was why I felt compelled to tell him about Edward. He’d understand.

“Why didn’t you call? I could have made dinner.” Michael set out two cups of hot chocolate.

“Thank you, but I’ve already eaten. I couldn’t call because I lost my phone today.” I didn’t want to answer any phone calls anyway.

He took the seat at the head of the table. “What happened?”

My mouth trembled. I didn’t know where to begin. “Can I, uh—” I swallowed dryly, “—stay here? Only for a few days.”

“Why?” He smirked. “What’s the matter?”

“He, Edward...” I inhaled deeply. “He demanded a divorce. I can’t tell you the details because I don’t know what to say.”

He clenched his jaw and fist at the same time. “If I see his face, I’ll shove the divorce papers in his ass and make sure he won’t be able to walk his whole life. Do you want me to speak with him?”

I wiped my lips with a tissue. “It isn’t worth it. It’s already happening.”

“And you’re just going to give up?”

“He gave up first. So... right now, I just need a place to stay. I don’t want to see his face.”

“Well, this is your home.”

“Thank you.” I hugged him and relaxed in his arms, resting my head on his shoulder.

After that long and terrible agony, I went to my room.

Michael kept it the way it was before I left. He cleaned it once a week and changed the sheets just in case I came by. I didn’t have a large room, a big wardrobe, or a bathroom as I did in Manhattan, but this was always where I belonged.

My brother stood at my door. “Are you okay?”

I gave him a friendly smile. “Yes. I’ve slept in this room my whole life.”

“Hey, um. Has he mentioned this before?”

“The divorce?” I shook my head to keep myself from crying. “Doesn’t sound like it’s really over, does it?”

“Look, Savi.” He came in and sat down next to me. “You are strong and smart, so you know right from wrong. A faithful man will never abandon his wife.”

“Hey.” I held his hand. “I’m sorry to hear about you and Jane.” His girlfriend had also left him for someone else.

He put his arm around my shoulder and pecked me on the temple. “It will pass. Get some rest.”

“Thanks. Good night.”


I got up early the next day. My brother and I hadn’t had breakfast together in a few months.

“Do you have a 9 a.m.?” I asked as we ate. My brother was already dressed in an impeccable caramel suit. Michael was a literature professor and a historian.

“Mm.” He nodded and sipped his coffee. “The dean has asked me to meet the exchange students.”

“Of course he did,” I say. “You don’t just know five different languages. You have two doctorates.” Our father, Frederick Gibson, hired language tutors for us to learn Spanish, French, Italian, and a little Mandarin. It was boring as hell, but I was proud of myself.

He laughed. “Did you get enough sleep?”

“I’ve never felt better.” I took a small sip of coffee after sniffing it. “There is no place like home. By the way, I’m quitting my job.”

“You said you liked your job.”

“Yes! I enjoyed what I did there. The pay is reasonable, and I’ve learned a lot. But you said it, didn’t you? If Edward truly loved me, he would not leave.”

“Have you told him?”

“No. For what?” It didn’t feel right to me. At least not anymore. It still hurts because I had feelings for him. I wasn’t sure if I still loved him, but he had made up his mind. He could have simply told me what had gone wrong or that he was seeing someone else, but he insulted me. There was no reason for me to stay in his aunt’s company.

“Sure. You’re already overqualified for that position anyway. You graduated with honors.”

“That’s why I’m seeing Riley and Wes today. I’d like to ask Wes if the position he offered me is still available.” I wiggled my shoulders in delight. Sebastian Entertainment Group was one of the largest studio conglomerates in the United States, even bigger than New Star.

“If that’s what you want, I’m sure you’ll get it.” He nodded and went back to eating his breakfast.

Comments (4)
goodnovel comment avatar
Dorie Beltran
this is amazing
goodnovel comment avatar
Gwen Polk
first chapter was good but this one was kinda all over the place
goodnovel comment avatar
Debbie Parks
Amazing Chapter

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