Book cover of “Always Been You“ by sairentogaaru

Always Been You

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: sairentogaaru
"Stop right there, Evan! You can't fool me." Grace stretched out her hands to the right and left, preventing her best friend from leaving. "I know you're hiding something." Evan crossed his arms over his chest. "Don't be so confident. And please, know your place. I have the power to replace you with anyone else." He leaned toward her and whispered... 

Chapter 1

[2007, April]

“Hey, hey. Are you there?”

This question continued to sound vague in Grace's ears. But her eyes were too heavy to open, her head too dizzy to be fully awake. “Please, save my Mom,” she said softly.

It was raining heavily that afternoon. The sky looked so gloomy. The cars that were barely moving and filling the one-way street, were then completely motionless due to a traffic collision involving three motorcycle riders. While Grace and her mom helplessly lay down on the street, the guy who caused this fateful incident escaped.

Having been in the same shoes once, Evan could care less about his expensive clothes being wet and dirty. He just wanted to help the casualties. As he was helped by a total stranger in the past and could get a second chance at life, he also wanted to pass that kindness on to others.

“Help! Call an ambulance!” Evan shouted at everyone around him. He took off his backpack and put it under the girl's head as a pillow. “Please wait here.”

Afterward, he left Grace and headed for the middle-aged woman on the side of the road. She didn't look good. There was blood coming out of the back of her head. Evan believed that this woman needed help as soon as possible.

“Doctor! Is there a doctor out here? If there is, please come! This woman needs immediate help,” Evan shouted repeatedly.

Somehow the message traveled from the scene to somewhere a distance away. A woman in her thirties came running over.

"Is it that bad?" The woman rhetorically asked as she crouched down next to Evan. She immediately caught the bad situation that happened.

"I don't know. There is quite a lot of blood obviously," said Evan who knew nothing about medical matters. "What should I help you with?"

The woman looked around her and then at Evan. "Please find any clean cloth that is not wet. If possible, find alcohol. And also an umbrella," she said.

Evan quickly stood up from his place. No matter how hard it was to get them, he started shouting around the cars there. He ran to and fro, past people who didn't care enough to help.

An umbrella and a clean t-shirt were easy to get, but not alcohol. Learning that the two items in his hands were indispensable, Evan ran back to the scene. He handed her the clean t-shirt while covering the young doctor and the woman.

Luckily someone came, offering some help. Evan immediately asked him to hold the umbrella. He knew the girl who was still lying near her motorbike couldn't be left alone either.

Evan hurriedly carried Grace's body into the shade of a tree. He let her lie in his arms. Then he took a jacket from his backpack to use as an umbrella for the helpless girl.

"Oh God, please save them." Evan lifted his prayer in a faint voice.

Although almost unconscious, apparently the guy's words were able to put a smile on Grace's face.

***

[2011, December]

Grace was holding two large plastic bags of spicy meatball satay and cilok (ball-shaped dumplings). She took them in a bit of a hurry as she wanted to see the fireworks from the roof of her house.

This New Year’s Eve tradition had been carried out for almost five years with her best friend.

"Evan! Help!”

Evan immediately turned around and came closer. "What a habit! You bought too much," he said. He looked into the plastics.

"Well, we're normally here until dawn. So we need plenty of supplies," Grace said cheerfully, moreover when the first big fireworks had been fired. "Oh, it's starting!" Instead of giving him only one of the plastics, she gave them all away and then ran to the edge of the roof.

Evan shook his head in surprise at the girl's behavior. He put their two favorite types of food on the table there. Then he stood next to Grace.

Grace's childlike exclamations didn't stop for some time. She really liked to scream as loud as possible when the sound of fireworks exploding was so loud. It was as if she wanted to have a voice competition.

Evan undoubtedly never missed such an opportunity. He recorded his friend's funny behavior with his handy cam. Somehow he enjoyed this sight without getting bored. More correctly, never bored.

Grace turned to see what Evan was doing. She smiled and laughed too, posing like an inexperienced model. "Here, here. Your turn," she said then took the handy cam from his best friend.

However, Evan aimed the camera so that not only himself but also Grace was in the monitor frame. "So, Miss Grace Melody, please answer my question," he said.

Chuckling, Grace replied, “Okay. Please."

“Are you ready for 2012?” Evan clenched his fist like carrying a microphone and thrust it at the interviewee.

Grace nodded in certainty and replied, “Of course. Whatever happens, I'm ready for it! Furthermore, there is a friend like you by my side, Mr. Evan Williams."

Evan sighed, replying to Grace's words. "But though I'm not around, keep on living your life, Miss Grace!" he shouted right when the biggest fireworks exploded. His voice was barely audible.

Upon hearing this, Grace's expression changed. Her hand holding the handy cam immediately dropped without turning it off. She turned to Evan with a serious look. "What do you mean? Why did you say that?" asked she.

Evan slowly turned to his best friend. "I… have to go to England, Grace," he told her with a weak voice.

“When?”

“The day after tomorrow.”

Grace gasped in disbelief. "Why did you say it just now, Evan?" she exclaimed, disappointed. “And didn't you once say you'd decided to stay in Bali, study, and pursue our careers here together?"

Evan nodded. "Yes. Indeed. That's what I want. But… it's complicated, Grace. I've got no option. I’ve got to go. My dad is sick and I have to live there in England as long as he is undergoing treatment," he said.

Disappointment, sadness, and anger were mixed together in Grace's chest. She could not accept this fact. But she couldn't stop her friend from leaving. It was a serious problem. If she had been in Evan's position, she would have had no other choice either. No matter how close they were as friends, family members were certainly far more important.

“But please promise me, Evan. Don't ever cut off our communication, okay?" Grace asked, starting to sob. Both hands gripped Evan's right and left sleeves. Her head also rested on the guy's chest.

Feeling heartbroken, Evan pulled Grace into his arms. He did not want to leave her either, but fate said otherwise. "I promise, Grace. I promise."

On this New Year's Eve, most people were happy to start anew. But Grace and Evan were drowning in sadness. The two of them were like strong chains that had to be forcibly separated. Both of them secretly hoped they didn't have to separate. However, it was impossible.

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