Catch part one first!
Adam’s smile deepened, bringing out the dimples Amanda had always adored. She hadn’t seen him in more years than she cared to admit, still wanting to believe she was young and beautiful instead of settling into the years where men preferred to look for a younger woman.
On habit she glanced down at Adam’s left hand, but it was too dark in the shadows of the parking lot to tell if there was a ring there.
“If it would make you feel better I could climb back in the car and finish the job,” Adam teased, humor lighting his eyes.
“Ha ha,” Amanda said dryly, “you might be able to make a few bucks if you sold tickets to that.”
“I still can’t believe I almost hit you. I am sorry, by the way. Not sure I said that yet.”
Amanda’s lip turned up in a half grin and she shook her head. “You blamed me for it actually. Asked if I saw you.”
The corner of his mouth drooped as Adam stepped closer. “I’m sorry. I think my day was about as bad as yours. I wasn’t paying enough attention. I truly am sorry.”
Amanda shrugged. “It’s just a testament to my life these days. More and more I’m becoming invisible.”
“Any man who doesn’t see you is a complete fucking idiot. Myself included.”
Amanda shrugged, tears stinging her eyes as the image of Becca and Brian cuddled together ripped through her heart yet again. When she looked up at Adam she saw compassion and, strangely, understanding in his gaze. Her mind flashed back to a time when both of them were much younger, a frozen moment that had always made her wonder if she’d made the right decision when she chose a college close to home instead of following Adam. He’d asked her to, even going so far as to check into the program she was interested in to make sure it was a good one. She thought about it, seriously considering going with Adam, until Becca convinced her to stay.
Becca, her sister, her best friend, told Amanda that she and Adam would never last. Amanda believed her and when she went to tell Adam she was going to stay close to home and go to college with Becca, she knew he was crushed.
It was that same look of understanding, the one that said he knew exactly what was in her head, even though Amanda herself didn’t quite know, that Adam was giving Amanda in that darkened parking lot.
“God, why didn’t I fight harder for you?” Adam mused as they stared at each other, lost in a sea of memories that were fighting to the surface.
“I wasn’t worth fighting for,” Amanda said solemnly. She broke their eye contact, dipping her chin, and turning away from Adam. “I’m still not. Have a good night, Adam. It was nice to see you again.”
“Amanda, wait,” Adam said quickly. “Can I take you out? It’s still early. Have you had dinner yet? Or maybe a drink? We can go back inside the restaurant.”
Amanda laughed a vicious laugh and shook her head. Adam was trying to be nice, and she understood that, but all she wanted to do was go home and drink a bottle of wine, soak in a hot bathtub, and forget about what she saw.
As if that was possible.
“It’s okay, Adam. You don’t have to be nice to me. If I had been paying attention better you’d be long gone by now. I’m sorry I stepped in front of your car. Maybe I’ll see you around again.”
Feeling dejected, and more depressed than when she’d caught Becca and Brian, Amanda continued her trek to her car. She could hear Adam’s mind spinning as she got further and further away. Once Amanda closed the door to her car, separating herself from Adam and the rest of the world, she breathed a deep sigh of relief.
Yes, she wanted him to come after her. But she knew he wouldn’t. She wasn’t the fun twin, the outgoing party girl, the sexy, sassy woman who had all the men chasing her. Amanda shouldn’t have been surprised that Brian had chosen Becca. The three of them had been hanging out for a while. It made sense he’d fallen for Becca. And if she were honest with herself, a part of her always liked Brian because she knew he was unattainable. If he were out of reach, she couldn’t get hurt. If he didn’t love her, she wouldn’t lose him.
The way she’d lost Adam. Adam was her real first love, her real only love. Being with him she was her own person. Someone that Becca didn’t control. It had been nine long years since she felt that independent, that free. Amanda was only 27, but she felt closer to 40. She was stifled in her own life, by her own twin, who was dating the man she told herself she loved.
And just when a flash of who she really was cam back, Amanda realized she couldn’t have him. Becca wouldn’t allow it. Besides that, if Adam saw Becca again he’d just fall for her like everyone else. If wasn’t worth it.
Not that he was fighting her to stay.
Amanda turned the key in the ignition and shifted into reverse. She got almost all the way out of her parking spot before she heard a thump on the back of her car.