What’s stronger? True love, or soulmates?
Strings
CHAPTER
17
Loving Wounds the Heart
I take a deep. That was weird, I haven’t had an anxiety attack in awhile. I know what freaked my out though, the noise. Just before my parents split they fought like crazy, the yelling, the freaking out, the fighting, the noise. It scared me so much that I would make forts under my bed and hide. Leo would help sometimes, it was like our own little spot in the universe.
I make my way back towards the stairs and spot Ruby and Liam.
“Hey,” I say, smiling, which makes me feel better.
“Hey, freak.” Ruby grins.
“Why must you call me freak.” I sigh, but I’m smiling.
“Because sarcasm falls out of my mouth like stupid falls out of yours.” Ruby grins.
Liam chokes on the sip of punch he was taking and I laugh.
“Where’s Leo?” I ask.
“You mean your true love?” She teases.
“He’s not though.” I say.
“Just because he’s not your soul mate doesn’t mean you don’t love him. Soul mates and true love are two different things.” Ruby points out.
“I’m confused.” Liam remarks.
Ruby and I share a look.
“Oops...” Ruby says.
“Ruby!” I say.
“You gave away stuff too!” She protests.
“You started it!” I say.
“What are you five?” She asks.
“No, I’m sixteen, thank you very much.” I say, but I’m smiling.
“Do you want to tell him?” She asks.
“You tell him, I’m going to go find Leo. And try to be quiet about it, nobody else can know.” I say.
“I am so confused.” Liam sighs.
“I’ll explain.” Ruby sighs, and I laugh.
I push my way into the crowd searching for Leo. He’s not exactly hard to spot, he’s tall with dark hair and eyes so bright they’d put the Caribbean to shame. But pushing through the crowd I’m suddenly struck by just how many tall guys with dark hair there are.
“Char!” A voice calls.
I turn, “Leo, I was just looking for you.”
“Can we talk?” He asks me.
“Of course, why?” I ask.
But without answering he takes my hand and we start pushing through the crowd. Leo and I walk outside and around the house, away from the newly arriving people, and a little quieter.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, because I know him, something’s wrong. Could it all be falling apart? Now. It’s barely been a week, can things really only last that long? Can happy be destroyed so easily?
“I uh, I heard a rumor and I just want you to tell me that it’s not true.” He says, scratching his head and stumbling slightly over his words.
“What-“ I start.
“Cadence Thompson just told me she saw you and August exit a closet. I don’t know if maybe she’s mad at me because I went to the dance with her and then started dating you. or if it’s true. or if it’s something else, I just need to know.”
I sigh. “It’s true-“ I start, but he cuts me off.
“Charlotte...” He doesn’t sound angry, just disappointed. And in a way, that’s worse, even though nothing happened.
“Nothing happened!” I say, quickly. “I had an anxiety attack, or well, it was probably a panic attack, it was all the noise.”
Leo lets out a sigh of relief.
“Oh thank God.” He half sighs, half laughs. “I didn’t think you would but I just had to be sure, oh thank God. Wait... A panic attack, why didn’t you say something sooner, what happened, are you okay?” He asks, turning quickly from relieved to worried.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I say. “I just freaked out and August figured out it was the noise.” I say. But I don’t tell him something important. Nothing happened between August and I. But he’s my soul mate. It matters, I know it does even if I don’t like him like that. But it matters. And I keep my mouth shut about it.
“Did you play the game?” He asks, smiling.
“Yup, red.” I say, smiling. I don’t tell him it was green, because when I was counting the green things I counted August’s eyes. And I don’t want him to know that, even if it means nothing. Even if he probably wouldn’t even ask what I counted.
“Are you really alright?” Leo asks.
I nod, “of course I am, you know me, I’m awesome.” I grin.
“And modest.” Leo grins back, wrapping me up in a hug.
“I uh...” Leo starts. “I’m sorry I accused you-“
“Oh no, don’t apologize.” I say.
“It’s just... I had a reason.” He says.
“What?” I ask.
“I saw August kiss you at the dance.” He says.
“Leo-“ I start but once again he cuts me off.
“You don’t have to say anything.”
“Yes, I do.” I say. “I actually ran away after that and told Ruby about the strings because I was freaking out.” I don’t tell him why I was freaking out. Not the real reason. Not that it’s because August is my soul mate and he kissed me and I kissed him back. I just don’t. I just can’t...
“Anyways he apologized for kissing me and asked if we could be friends, so we’re friends now.” I say.
“He apologized for kissing you?” He asks, almost laughing.
I nod.
“That... Wow... That must’ve been awkward.” He laughs.
I nod again. “It kinda was. But we’re friends now.”
“I’m sorry for freaking out.” Leo says.
“And I’m sorry for... Yeah, I got nothing.” I say, smiling.
“You’re sorry for being so awesome and making August Clancy like you when you liked me and should’ve told me sooner which would’ve ended a lot of heart break and misery?” Leo asks, and I laugh.

Keep Reading

Chapter 18

Everything I’ve Ever Known

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