I had an idea of where Lilly might’ve been but I wasn’t sure. I followed the signs in the hallways that lead me down the stairs and to the right and then left, which left me standing at the cafeteria doors. I walked in, looked over at the line, and spotted Lilly almost immediately.
‘I was wondering where you were.’ I informed her once I was standing behind her.
‘Huh? Oh, I was walking around.’ She told me turning around to look at me.
‘Why did “getting air” take so long?’ I asked her, sounding suspicious.
‘I was talking with Jeph. Ok?’ She said.
‘Are you ok?’ I was concerned as we moved forward in the line.
‘I’m fine. I’ve just been thinking a lot. About things I didn’t want to see…’ She explained.
‘Ohh.’ Was all I said as she paid for her plate of food and made her way to a table in the back, and I followed.
‘That’s it. I’m sorry Quinn, but I’m frustrated.’ She said taking a bite of some jello on her plate.
‘With…?’ I persisted, hoping it wasn’t me but getting the feeling that it was.
‘I just can’t get the image out of my head of you making out with that other chick like, what a week ago, at the bar. I don’t even know if that’s all you did. It’s frustrating me.’ She said in one breath.
‘You saw that. I don’t know what to say about that. It was a mistake. Plus, it was at the bar. How can you expect it to mean something if it happened at the bar?’ I hoped she would forgive me so we could move past this.
‘You’re doing it again Quinn. I can’t take it anymore. You say you love me and want to be with me, yet you go and make out with some other chick. It hurts.’ She sighed.
‘I’m sorry. I guess there’s no explanation that would satisfy you. I’ve messed up one too many times. I just hope you’ll forgive me so we can be happy together. I know everything will get better once we’re married.’ I promised her.
‘I can’t marry you if I don’t trust you. I can’t trust you when you go on tour or even at home. Did you sleep with her?’ She asked completely serious.
‘But how can I trust you with Jeph?’ He asked me, sure to change the subject.
‘Did you fucking sleep with her Quinn?’
‘I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. I messed up. And I know you won’t forgive me, because I’ve already had more chances than I should’ve had.’ I confessed.
‘You’re right, I won’t forgive you. I just want to…’ She started, but threw her water at me and stood up to leave the cafeteria. ‘Jeph’s a better man than you’ll ever be.’ I stood up and followed her.
‘Maybe you’re right. And I guess I’ve lost you for good. I have no cheesy lines to give you anymore. Just that I love you. And every other girl has been a mistake.’ I called after her as she was sure to keep a steady pace ahead of me.
‘You have lost me, and I will never give you another chance. I’m done with being heartbroken by you. I can’t, and won’t deal with it anymore. I love you, but you make me second guess that love.’ She turned around to tell me.
‘I guess I can accept that.’ I gave in, I knew I had lost her. ‘I don’t want to hurt you anymore. I love you and I guess that means letting Jeph have you. But I want you to know that you and Hayden will always mean the world to me. I’m not saying this to try winning you back, I’m saying it because I want you to know.’
‘Well, now I know. I just wish things could have been different. I wish you wouldn’t have went back on your word.’ She looked down at her feet. I felt like she didn’t want to really do this.
‘I wish I wasn’t such an asshole. If I could, I would ask for another chance, but I’ve had too many of those.’ I sighed, thinking. ‘But, can you honestly say you were going to marry me, happily?’
‘Part of me wanted to be happy.’ She said, ‘And, at first I was so happy, but now I feel like I just wanted to marry you for Hayden’s sake.’
‘Um, yeah..’ She actually got to me with that, I didn’t know what to say. It hurt.
‘Hurts, doesn’t it?’ She started walking away again.
‘Wait.’ I caught up with her. ‘Can we end this on good terms?’
‘How?’ She looked at me, and was actually crying.
‘You can’t possibly want to do this.’ My voice quavered, but I didn’t care.
‘Well, I’m doing it.’ She said looking away from me and back at her feet.
‘And I can’t stop you, no matter how much I want to. But, I just…wanted to give you a hug.’ I laughed slightly at myself. She turned and wrapped her arms around me to hug me. I hugged her back so tightly, and I didn’t ever want to let go. I didn’t know why she was crying either. It was her choice to leave. She looked up at me, and I looked down at her and before I thought about it, I was kissing her. We stood there kissing for at least five minutes before she pulled away to leave. Before she walked away, she stood there just staring at me.
This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I just had to stare at him one last time before leaving him. I could feel my knees going weak just looking at him. I didn’t want to leave him, but I had to. I just don’t want to go through him cheating on me all the time. I couldn’t deal with that, I don’t want to get hurt over and over again. I did love him so much though. I had a feeling if he did try to stop me, or do something to make me stay, I would. Even though I told Jeph that I wouldn’t, I just know I would. I can’t help it, I love him so much that I want to be with him, even now.
‘Quinn…’ I whispered.
‘Hmm?’ He looked at me with questioning eyes.
‘Oh, um, nothing…’ I mumbled and began walking away.
‘Lilly.’ Quinn pulled me back, causing me to turn around. ‘What were you going to say?’
‘I wasn’t going to say anything. I was just thinking about things, and I said your name without thinking.’ I confessed.
‘Are you serious right now?’ He asked me. ‘Is this really happening? I can’t believe you’re doing this.’
‘Yeah…’ I couldn’t believe I was doing this either. Part of me wished he would just grab me and kiss me again, and just tell me things will work out. Another part of me knows what will happen if we end up together again.
‘Well, if you’re set on this then I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I can do to change your mind, right?’ He wanted to know. I wanted to tell him what he could do, but he needed to figure it out himself. It just seemed like he didn’t want to try anymore.
‘…Yeah…’ I whispered.
‘I love you.’ He told me sincerely while ruffling his hair a bit so it was out of his face. ‘Always have.’ This time, he started to walk away.
‘I love you! So much…’ I called after him. He stopped walking, but didn’t turn around. He stood there for a moment before saying anything.
‘Would you like to go for a walk with me?’ He asked suddenly, turning around to face me. I nodded my head and followed after him. We walked outside and were greeted by a warm breeze. I yawned thinking about the little amount of sleep I’ve had. He started walking before me, so I followed quickly to catch up.
‘So I bet Jeph is ecstatic, right?’ Quinn started talking.
‘I don’t know.’ I sighed.
‘Well he should be, he can’t really ask for anyone better than you. I know I couldn’t.’ He told me as we left the parking lot.
‘No, I’m horrible. I’m not really all that great or very different.’ I told him.
‘You’re more than great to me, and I feel like, by saying that it’s like I’m trying to win you back, but I’m just saying what I feel. So you know.’ He laughed.
‘Are you trying at all to win me back?’ I asked him unable to look at him.
‘Of course, I would do anything. But I’m not going to make you do anything you don’t want to. So, if you don’t want me back, then I’m going to let it be.’ He answered as his phone rang. He quickly pulled out his cell phone and answered it.
‘I heard what’s going on, and you better fucking make things work out!’ I heard someone yelling at Quinn, but I really couldn’t hear what the person was saying.
‘Livvy?’ He asked the person.
‘Jeph told me that you cheated on Lilly, and she’s leaving you. Are you just letting her go?’
‘I’m trying not to.’ He told her.
‘Well, you know what! I can see you from my window. Put your arm around her.’
‘Not while I’m on the phone with you!’ He whined.
‘Have you thought about what this is going to do to Hayden? Is Lilly crying?’
‘I’ve thought about everything. I want to be with her not only for Hayden, but because I love her. I guess that’s the only way I can put it. I don’t really need to explain myself, do I? No, not anymore.’
‘Stop fucking cheating or I’ll cut your dick off.’ I saw him hang up the phone, and wondered what she said to make him hang up on her.
‘Look…’ He stopped walking and faced me. ‘I know I’m not the greatest but--’ Before he could finish what he was saying, I pulled him close to me, and kissed him. ‘…I would love for you to do that again.’ He smiled at me when I pulled away.
‘I love you.’ Was all I could think to say. I felt as though I couldn’t control myself anymore, and I kissed him again.
‘Are you doing this because this is how you really feel? Or are you doing this for Hayden?’ He asked me.
‘Honestly, I don’t know.’ I replied knowing that wasn’t true.
‘I guess that’s what I deserve. I don’t know what you see in an asshole like me, but I think I’m pretty lucky.’ He didn’t show any sign of being upset at what I just said. It was like he was just happy that I was still here.
‘I guess you are lucky if that’s what you think. I still don’t want to go through any of that shit anymore.’ I said.
‘You don’t deserve that I know. I think this really made me realize what I can lose. You have no idea what you mean to me.’ He told me.
‘I really don’t. You haven’t really showed me how much I mean to you…’ I said.
‘What happened to get Hayden here, huh?’ Quinn smirked at me and took a seat on the grass.
‘Um, I think you fucked me without a condom. That’s what happened.’ I sat down next to him.
‘Well, I had to have whispered a few sweet things in your ear beforehand.’ He laughed.
‘I’m sure you did. Why didn’t you just bring up something else, like us in the rain or something like that?’
‘I don’t know. Alright, do you remember everything I said to you then?’ He asked me.
‘Nope.’ I smirked, ‘Do you?’
‘Some. You just want me to repeat it.’
‘I said a lot of nice stuff, didn’t I? I know I did one of these numbers.’ He placed my hand in his. ‘And then I told you how much I loved you and how I could never love anyone else like I love you. I’m sorry Hun, but I think the rain made it romantic, not me.’
‘I think it did too. I couldn’t walk away from you that night.’ I mentioned.
‘I looked too good. I remember that I told you when I’m with you I feel like the luckiest man alive, true story.’ He reminisced.
‘I wouldn’t mind going back to that night and doing it all again. I just can’t believe I bet you I could resist you. I knew all along I wouldn’t be able to.’ I chuckled thinking about it.
‘All I had to do was stand in the rain and tell you how perfect you are.’ He grinned.
‘Uh-huh.’ I laughed at his cheesy grin. I knew I couldn’t leave him. I felt like shit that I told Jeph I could do it. I just can’t, he’s the one I want, and I realize that now. ‘Whatever, the rain does nothing at all.’ I pushed him down so he was laying instead of sitting.
‘You have to admit, it does add a good effect.’ He told me matter-of-factly as he pulled me down on top of him.
‘I’ll admit to that.’ I laughed looking at him. He laid there for a minute, just looking at me, before tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
‘Have I ever told you that you’re beautiful?’
‘I don’t believe you have.’ I said trying to hide the huge smile I was getting.
‘Well you are.’ He told me, smiling.
‘I don’t know what to say, really.’ I laid my head on his chest.
‘Oh Quinn you’re a sexy beast.’ Quinn said in a girly voice.
‘You are sexy.’ I laughed at him.
‘I thought so, but I wasn’t sure.’ He wrapped his arms around me.
‘Shut up, you have such a big ego that you already knew you were sexy before anything with us started.’ I said poking him in his chest.
‘How do you know that? Were you a crazed Quinn fan once?’ He asked me almost laughing.
‘Hell yeah bitch, I was your stalker.’ I laughed along with him.
‘Damn. I-I gotta go.’ He acted like he was going to get up then changed his mind. ‘Actually, that’s kinda sexy.’
‘Uh-huh, like being your stalker is sexy.’ I told him. ‘We should get back.’
‘Well, you’re sexy, so you must making stalking ten times sexier.’ He informed me as we stood up and started walking in the direction of the hospital.
‘Thanks?’ I questioned whether that was a compliment or not. Out of nowhere, I just stopped.
‘Yes?’ Quinn turned around to face me.
‘Uh,’ I looked up at him and just started kissing him again, ‘I guess that.’ I said after pulling away.
‘So you stopped walking, just to kiss me?’ He asked me as we began walking again.
‘Yes.’ I smiled. We were to the hospital doors now. Before I could open the door myself, Quinn was there holding it open for me.
‘That’s cute.’ He smirked. I walked inside and headed for Livvy’s room. Right before we got there, I gave Quinn a quick kiss on the cheek. I saw that Livvy was awake when we walked in. She was holding her baby and Bert was lying next to her. Everyone else was either talking to each other or watching the baby. I walked up to Livvy and looked at Max.
‘That’s so disappointing, he looks like Bert.’ I smirked.
‘That’s what I said.’ Livvy laughed. ‘But it’s ok, Bert’s cute.’
‘Hardly.’ I muttered. ‘He, Max, is cute though.’
‘Well if you don’t think Bert is cute, and you think Max is, that must mean I upped the cute factor.’ She informed me.
‘Guess so.’ I laughed. ‘His cuteness totally comes from you.’
‘It’s obvious too. I mean, Bert could not make a baby look that cute.’ I laughed. ‘No, I’m kidding. How was your guys’ walk?’
‘It was good.’ Lilly told me. ‘We talked some things through.’
‘That’s good.’ I looked over at Quinn expectantly.
‘I guess so. I want to believe him, you know…’ Lilly whispered.
‘Oh trust me, I think he’s done with his games. I think he’s finally realized how great you are.’ I whispered back. Lilly smiled instantly when I said that. I’m guessing it helped a lot hearing that from someone other than him. ‘Would you like to hold Max?’
‘Sure.’ She smiled as I handed him to her. He was surprisingly quiet, and had been for at least over an hour. Quinn was sitting on the edge of the chair next to Lilly, looking at Max.
‘So what is he gonna call me? And Branden?’ Quinn asked glancing up at Bert and I. I looked over at Bert and we both shrugged.
‘Uncle Quinn and Uncle Branden?’ I suggested and received a smile from both of them as approval. ‘That ok Jeph? Since you’re an actual uncle.’
‘Yeah, they pretty much are uncles.’ He laughed.
‘Aw! The baby is SO cute!’ Hayden exclaimed after she ran up in between Quinn and Lilly to get a good look at him.
‘Careful Hayden.’ Quinn told her.
‘You know, you were this small once.’ Lilly smiled.
‘Nu-uh!’ Hayden didn’t believe her.
‘Yes, you were. I remember like it was yesterday.’ Lilly looked over at Hayden and kissed her on the forehead. I knew that was going to be me one day, just not going through all the drama, hopefully. There was a knock at the door before a nurse appeared.
‘Well Mrs.’ She looked down at her chart. ‘I mean Ms. Howard, you seem to be doing better than expected. Your doctor has allowed you to leave early. You may leave when you’re ready, but as usual, the baby will have to stay for further monitoring.’
‘Alright. That’s ok.’ I smiled knowing I would be out of here, and soon enough bringing Max home. The nurse smiled before leaving and closed the door behind her. ‘So…’ I sat up, ready to go.
‘I think we’re going to head back.’ Lilly said looking at Hayden then at Quinn.
‘Alright, we’ll see you there.’ I smiled at them before they left. ‘Ready guys?’ I looked around at Bert, Branden, and Jeph.
‘I’m ready when you are.’ Bert said as a new nurse walked in. She had some papers for me to sign, and after I signed them, she took Max away. She told us we could visit him anytime during the week. And they would call when we can bring him home. Everyone stood up and left the room. We got out of the hospital quickly and got in the van, Bert in the drivers’ seat. He started it up and pulled out of the parking lot. For some reason, we got home before Quinn, Lilly, and Hayden did.
We were almost home, about five minutes away. Hayden had fallen asleep in the back and Quinn was busy talking to me.
‘Lilly!’ Quinn said loudly.
‘What?’ I asked.
‘I love you.’ He looked over at me, taking his eyes off the road.
‘Quinn, pay attention to the road.’ I warned him.
‘Aw we’re ok.’ He smiled at me then glanced back at the road. ‘I just wanted you to know, is that a crime?’ He laughed.
‘Of course not. I love you too.’ I laughed with him. We sat at a stop sign not too far from the house for a few minutes before Quinn went. It was a four way, so I didn’t understand why he sat there so long. We were almost to the other side of the road when I saw a truck speed through the stop sign on our right. ‘Quinn!’ I yelled loudly. He looked over at me and saw the truck. There was no time to stop, by the time Quinn had noticed, the truck was already colliding with us. Pain shot through my body, then blackness hit me. I was aware of my surroundings for what felt like a long time. I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear things. I heard the crash, Hayden’s cries turning into screams, and Quinn screaming things at me. I couldn’t do anything. The last thing I heard was Quinn telling me to stay with him, and that that’s the only thing he wants.