What’s stronger? True love, or soulmates?
Strings
CHAPTER
30
The Truth Can Hurt
“Hey, you.” Leo says, walking up and smiling.
“Hey, stranger.” I smile back.
We fall into step, walking down the sidewalk together.
“Hows your mom?” He asks.
“Only six more days.” I say.
“And your dad?” He asks.
“Acting like we don’t even know each other, I don’t think he’s said a word to me in two days,” I sigh. “I did meet my to-be grandparents though.”
“Seriously?” Leo asks, eyes widening.
I nod, “yup, they’re . . . ,” I trail off. “They’re interesting.”
Leo laughs. “Good interesting or bad interesting?”
“Somewhere in between.” I say.
My phone buzzes and I pull it out of my pocket.
Liam and I are heading to the beach, you wanna come?
“It’s Ruby.,” I tell Le0. “She wants to know if we want to go to the beach with her and Liam.”
“You want to go?” He asks.
I shrug. “I was planning on walking around aimlessly, this is better.”
He smiles. “Okay, I’ll meet you at the beach then.” He says, kissing me on the cheek and turning around, walking in the direction of his house.
Twenty minutes later we’re all walking onto the sun heated sand. We lay out towels on the sand and start towards the ocean.
“I bet I can make it to where the waves break before you.” Ruby says.
“You’re on.” I laugh.
We both start into the ocean, cringing slightly as the cold waves was over us.
I’ve always loved swimming in the ocean, moving with the waves. I glance to my right and see that Ruby and I are pretty much tied, but we haven’t gone far yet. Then I look back for a moment and realize just how far way from shore we are.
That’s the thing about the ocean, you always feel like you’ve either gone no where, or really far, when the reality is the polar opposite.
Ruby gets there first and we both duck under the water as a wave starts crashing down. We both break the surface laughing.
“You win.” I say, grinning. “But I’ll beat you back.” I say, and without another word I start swimming back. I hear Ruby laugh and I know she’s just behind me.
The whole way back I don’t look back once but I know that I’m still ahead. Mostly because I don’t see Ruby beside me. I reach the shore and stumble out of the ocean before I can be knocked down by a small wave. But when I turn around I don’t see Ruby.
I look over at Leo and Liam. “Where is she?” I ask. Leo shrugs and Liam starts scanning the ocean.
“I don’t see her.” Liam says, his voice slowly filling with worry.
“Me neither.” I say, slowly.
“Should we go look for her?” Leo asks, and without a word Liam starts towards the ocean.
“I don’t even know how we would look for her, would it be easier in the ocean?” Liam asks.
“I don’t know.”
“Ruby?” Leo calls out. “Ruby you there?”
The beach isn’t exactly deserted. There are a bunch of people swimming, I can see some people way out but most people don’t swim too far from the shore. None of them look like Ruby.
“Ruby?” Liam shouts.
“Ruby?” I call out, I’m starting to worry. “Ruby?”
“Ruby?” Liam shouts again.
“Ruby, can you hear us? Ruby?” Leo shouts.
We spend five minutes looks around the ocean. We stay out of the water, walking so that the waves wash over out feet. Then we hear laughter.
“Got you!”
We all whirl around, and there stands Ruby. Her normally curly hair is handing limply down her back and she’s carrying a towel.
“What . . . “ I trail off.
“I got out, no one saw me, figured I’d prank you and it totally worked.” She laughs.
“That was scary.” Leo says, shaking his head in slight disbelief.
“No it was stupid.” Liam says. He takes a few steps towards Ruby. “I was actually scared. If it had been much longer I was going to call for help, what were you thinking?” He asks.
“It was just a prank.” Ruby says, “I didn’t mean to-“
“It wasn’t okay, Ruby.” Liam says. “I was scared, I thought you got eaten by a freaking shark or something.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for it to be scary, it was a joke.” Ruby says.
“Well it wasn’t funny.” Liam says, and with that he pushes past Ruby, grabs his towel, and starts back towards the road.
We all stand there for a few moments, shocked.
“Oh god, Char, I messed up.” Ruby says, looking at me.
“You did.” I confirm.
“Not helpful.” Ruby says.
“Want me to go talk to him or do you want to?” Leo asks, Ruby.
“You can do it if you want, I doubt you’ll get anywhere.” She says. Leo walks away and she looks back at me. “It was just a joke.” She whispers, looking sad.
“I know, I know.” I say.
“I didn’t mean to scare anyone.” She says, her dark eyes a little glassy.
“I know you didn’t.” I say, although I don’t think my words do much to comfort her.
“Was it scary?” She asks.
I nod, it’s no use lying to her, she’d see right through it. “A little.” I admit.
“I messed up, I messed up.” She says.
“It’s okay,” I say. “It’ll be alright, you and Liam are meant to be, literally.” I smile.
“Real comforting, coming from the girl determined not to fall for her soul mate.” Ruby says. Then she shakes her head, “sorry, that was mean.” She says.
I shrug. “It’s true.”
“Sometimes the truth can hurt.” Ruby says. And I can’t really argue with that.
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