Book cover of “Everything Romantic. Book 2“ by Zephyr

Everything Romantic. Book 2

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Zephyr
Bill, Kate, and the gang are back in another romantic cliché situation. After losing her dad seven years ago, Kate never got the opportunity to tell Bill how she felt about him. Now fresh out of the university, she gets a job at a company owned by none other than Bill himself. After seven years of waiting, Bill has almost given up on finding ... 

Chapter 1

Trope One: And They All Lived Happily Ever After

Bill’s POV

Okay, so the story didn’t end the way you thought it would, so Dennis and I thought we should maybe tell you what happened afterward.

If you stick around, you will get to find out how Helen’s confession went.

Helen’s story is kind of sweet, you know.

***

Helen’s POV

“You do know you can’t win this, right? You’re going to get your lovestruck heartbroken, and you’ll come crying to dear Hilda,” Hilda said as we stretched by the tracks getting ready for the race happening soon.

I’d been working earnestly for this, and it was going to pay off. It had to. There wasn’t any reason for it not to, the thought of being unable to confess how I felt because I lost a race wouldn’t sit well at all.

“Are you even listening to me at all? Helen!” Hilda said, hitting me and interrupting my stretches as she did so.

“I have no idea why you’re so intent on annoying me today. Lord knows how you find out about everything happening with everyone in this school, but with me, can you not be this annoying? Sheesh… I’m trying to prep and avoid thinking about it, and you’re here running your mouth,” I said, annoyed, as I turned to face her.

I must’ve been too harsh replying to her because the other girls getting ready for the race turned to see why my voice was raised, Gabrielle naturally being part of them.

“I’m sorry, I was just trying to cheer you up. It’s calm, though; I’ll leave you be,” Hilda said before picking up her things and walking away.

“Dang…” I muttered under my breath as the stares got more intense.

I picked up my stuff and walked away hurriedly to another side of the court. I could hear the slight whispering about what had just gone down, but I ignored them, walking away faster.

“Why did I have to be so loud? She probably thinks I’m some mean person now. What am I going to do now?” I said, soliloquizing as I sat on the grass, drinking an energy drink after finishing my workout routines for the coming race.

“You know, for a sister, you can be a handful most times,” Hilda said as she plopped on the grass in front of me with a familiar face, one I was avoiding this whole time.

“You seemed to have been really annoyed at this creature here earlier,” Gabrielle said to me while pointing at Hilda. “Are you calm now?”

“Uhm… Yeah, she-” I was saying before Hilda interrupted.

“She what? Gabrielle, she’s just worked up because of your bet with her. She knows there’s no way she can beat you, and it’s getting to her. That’s why she’s been training her butt off this entire time,” Hilda said, scoffing.

“Do you ever shut up?” I replied, irritated.

“I’m guessing what she said is true? I knew I was top at a short distance, but to scare you this much, I’m probably stronger than I imagined,” Gabrielle replied, laughing.

“It’s not like I’m scared or anything…” I said.

“Yes, you are,” Hilda interjected softly

“Like I was saying, if no one has anything else to add,” I said, glaring at Hilda. “I’m not scared. I just know how strong you are, and it would be insulting if I didn’t take appropriate measures considering what’s on the line.”

“What’s at stake?” Gabriella said, confused.

My mood sank instantaneously as the thoughts suddenly flashed across my mind. What if she had forgotten? What if all this was in my mind? What if?…

“Man, it takes the slightest things to trigger you. Why would I forget about our bet? I’m looking forward to also telling you something after the race, so don’t miss it. I got to bounce now,” Gabrielle said as she turned to leave, waving me goodbye.

My face beamed as my motivation suddenly returned. There was no way I was turning back now, no way.

“You do know I’m right here, right?” Hilda complained as Gabrielle headed off. “Is there no motivational speech for me as well?!”

“She’s your problem now, Helen,” Gabrielle said before the distance grew between herself and me.

“Tell me ‘thank you’ right now, and I’ll consider forgiving you,” Hilda said with pride.

“Why would I do something so dumb?” I said, glaring at Hilda.

“Wow… Just wow!” Hilda said. “You’re really fired up for this.”

I got up and headed to the starting line for the race after I finished doing some stretches.

I arrived at the starting line and took my position after being briefed on everything I needed to know.

“Dear folks, young and old, the race is about to begin. Please clear the area and head to the bleachers!” The announcement resounded, and the race was about to start.

I turned my head to see Gabrielle a couple of rows away from me, took a deep breath, and looked forward. A couple of minutes passed, and it was finally time.

“On your marks… Set… Boom!” The starting gun went off, and I took off. All the energy in my body pushed me forward as I dashed through the wind, headed for the finish line. I didn’t turn or flinch from seeing who was behind or near me; all I wanted to do was reach that line and talk to Gabrielle.

I was in the lead.

Love turned out to be an amazing fuel for me, but it wasn’t enough. My expression turned pale when I saw Gabrielle cross the line before me. It was over, everything ended immediately after she crossed the line. I had to find a new way to tell her how I felt, and I didn’t know how.

I crossed the line in third place, heaving heavily before catching my breath as I walked toward the locker room where Helen had placed my kit for me.

I was hurt; I had worked so hard just to get ready and beat her. If anything, I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I got my stuff and sat there, and sighed before heading out.

“I told you, you wouldn’t win, but you didn’t listen. There’s only one way to get to know her, and that’s by talking to her, not walking away like you’re about to do now,” Hilda said as she approached me and hugged me. It wasn’t the most amazing speech, but it was one I could work with.

“Do you know where I can find her?” I said as I broke out of the hug.

“Well, if you must know, she asked if I saw you, I should tell you to meet up with her in the gym,” Hilda said, chuckling.

“Thanks a lot, Hilda,” I said before dashing off.

“At least now you’re appreciative!” Hilda screamed as I zoomed off to the gym.

I soon arrived and saw Gabrielle sitting idly by one of the benches with her phone in hand. Before she turned to see me entering.

“I knew you’d show up. You couldn’t be a sore loser when I’d said I wanted to speak to you afterward,” Gabrielle said, chuckling as I approached her and sat beside her. Maybe it was how much she’d been moving around, but her rustled appearance made her look sexier than she normally was.

She smiled as she noticed me staring and flicked my head.

“I know what you wanted to tell me, Helen, and before you ask… No, Hilda didn’t tell me. I love you, Helen, and I’ve felt this way for a long time, but I didn’t want a relationship. I’ve had the worst experience with them, and reliving that isn’t something I’d like to experience, but… I’m willing to try,” Gabrielle said calmly.

“I heard what happened, it’s kinda why I didn’t want to tell you how I felt. Asides from being scared you’d turn me down. I’m supposed to be all flustered right now,” I said. “You know, the usual ‘oh my God, my crush found out I like her, and we’re talking about it,’ lol.”

Wait, did I actually just say ‘lol’?

What is wrong with me?

“Anyway, I just want you to know I love you. I have felt this way or openly expressed this in a long while, so it’s something I should be picky saying, but… I love you,” I said.

Gabrielle chuckled before leaning closer to me and whispered, “I know. I just hope this works out.”

She kissed me.

***

Bill’s POV

What do you think?

Innocent and cute, right?

Although Helen didn’t win against Gabrielle, she did have her heart won.

All was well.

Dennis has a date with Rosa at the diner. I wanted to hang out with Kate, but she was preparing to go on a trip with her family, so I ended up spending the day alone.

Actually, I wasn’t alone.

I was at the arcade and decided to play Pac-Man. It was boring, so I decided to switch games.

There was this game called Road Fighter (not the actual name, though, but you should know what I’m referencing).

I used to play it back when I stayed in the city.

There was a high score there occupied by someone with the username: HILL.

This Hill person occupied the top three positions.

It was a pretty, low-level score, but maybe the local boys weren’t that into it.

With nothing better to do, I decided to start beating whatever score was left behind by Mr. Hill.

I hadn’t played in a while, so I was a little rusty, but after a few rounds, I got the hang of it again.

I was ready to slay the records.

After an hour or so, I was at the top of the game.

I inserted my name BILL into the game.

Well, I wasn’t worried that anyone from my school would find out. Dennis and I were practically the only ones who hung out here.

Wait… just thinking about it… didn’t I just raise a flag?

“Oh, New Kid,” a girl called out to me.

I recognized her as one of Kate’s friends… Hilda, if I’m not mistaken.

I wondered what she was doing here.

“I was just wandering around and decided to drop by here,” she explained herself without me actually asking.

“I see, so you just decided to come into an arcade where no one else in school actually comes to,” I said. “Well, you could look around.”

I turned my attention back to the game, “By the way, my name is Bill, not New Kid.”

I could hear her laughter from behind.

“Well, you’re as weird as the rumors say you were,” she walked over to me. “My name is Hilda.”

“Nice to meet you, Hilda,” I greeted and started trying to make new high scores.

She stood close to me, staring at the screen as I performed various combos to beat the boss.

“Wow, you’re really good, though,” she praised. “But you probably can’t beat the high score.”

The game was over, and she was shocked to see I now occupied the top.

“How did you beat my high score?” she sounded frustrated.

“Huh?” I was confused, but I looked at the username, and it made sense. “Oh, I get it now, Hill, as in Hilda of the Hill.”

“In the flesh,” she pushed out her chest with pride. “And I can’t sit by and watch you make my hard work look like crap.”

“You could always try to beat my own score,” I said while giving her access to the machine.

“Don’t come crying to me later,” she sighed. “Very well then, I’ll have to unleash my skills right here and now.”

“I’ll try my best not to lau- I mean cry,” I quickly corrected myself.

“Oi, I definitely heard you say ‘laugh’,” she pouted.

“A slip of the tongue, I assure you,” I smiled.

“If you say so,” she shrugged. “Now watch this.”

She got to work on the game and tried her best to beat my lowest high score but to no avail. It wasn’t like she was bad at the game; I mean, if you count button mashing as something, then it’s okay, I guess.

She couldn’t beat my score after so many trials.

“Well, it looks like I’m not in the mood to break your record today,” she said rather than accepting defeat.

“A sore loser, huh?” I asked.

“Hey, don’t make fun of losers,” she said. “A loser I know just found love.”

“Oh, congratulations to her then,” I said. “Come to think of it, I know another loser who found love.”

Yeah, you know whom I was talking about – Dennis Rodman.

“So, why aren’t you at the celebratory diner celebration?” I asked.

“Celebratory diner celebration? Why the tautology?” she laughed.

“I heard some of the track and field girls call it that,” I admitted. “I thought it was weird as well.”

“I bet someone thought about it as a name, and now it’s stuck to everyone’s mind,” she sighed.

“So?” I raised a brow.

“So?” She raised hers as well.

“Why didn’t you go?” I asked.

“Well, almost everyone was there with someone,” she said.

That reminds me, Dennis said something about him going with Rosa. He didn’t tell me to go with him, but I figured something like this would happen.

I was glad I didn’t go.

“Oh, come on, not everyone would be in a relationship, you know,” I said.

“Well, why didn’t you go?” she asked. “Dennis is your friend, right? He’s dating Rosa, so I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having you as a tag-along.”

“Yeah, I’m not that kind of guy,” I shrugged. “Besides, they just started dating. Let them have their alone time.”

“Kate was there, you know,” she crossed her arms.

“Nice try, but Kate is getting ready to leave for her trip tomorrow,” I smiled.

“Tch, you’re no fun,” she sighed. “Did she tell you anything?”

“No, not really. Why?” I asked.

“This might seem weird, but I think her parents are going through a tough marriage,” she said.

Strange… I doubt Kate would tell anyone.

“What makes you say that?” I asked.

She didn’t say anything at first but powered on the game and tried beating my high score again.

“It’s a hunch,” she said.

“I’m interested in the hunch,” I said. “I won’t tell anyone.”

“I don’t really care if you tell anyone,” she said. “But I know you won’t tell anyone. You care too much about her.”

Was Hilda always like this?

“You asked why I think her family is going through a tough time, right?” she asked. “Well, I’m a very keen observer. She avoids going home even when we end practice early. She seems excited whenever her father plans a family outing. And no matter what happens, she never references her home, even in group conversations.”

I don’t know how she concluded Kate’s situation with just these little bits of information.

“Have you asked her about it?” I asked. “You already know this much, so I bet she’ll be receiving your help.”

She chuckled, “I don’t think she’d need mine or anyone’s help for that matter. But you… You’re different.”

“Different? How so?” I asked.

“Well, you are like the only guy she talks to for an extensive period of time,” she said. “Also, you have her best interests at heart. Plus, she’s interested in you as well.”

“I see,” I replied.

“Well, this is the part where you ask me, one of her closest friends, what I meant by she’s interested in you,” she stated.

“Oh, I’m not that kind of guy,” I shrugged. “Just knowing she’s interested in me is enough.”

“Soooo… you don’t want to know if anything’s changed in her attitude toward you? You don’t want to know the kind of things she likes? What tickles her fancy? Does she prefer her right hand or left hand?” She laid out the options available to me.

“What use in having fun playing a game with all the cheats activated?” I asked. “Sure, it would seem fun at first, but you’d get bored. The same thing goes for girls; I’m not trying to objectify women or anything, but a girl is also like a game. It’s only fun if you learn how she works yourself rather than button-mashing your way to victory.”

“I don’t get you at all, but I can see why she’s so interested in you now,” she laughed. “And not just her, Rosa as well. Heck, now I’m interested in you as well.”

“Why thank you, it warms my heart to hear that as well,” I said. “So, how do you plan on helping Kate out?”

“I don’t know how to help people who haven’t asked for help,” she sighed.

“But she’s your friend… don’t you think she needs your help even without her asking?” I asked.

“Well, I am interested in helping her for the sole reason that she is my friend. Sometimes you learn that even as friends, there are times when the people you care about can be helped by you doing nothing,” she explained. “In Kate’s case, however, I don’t plan to help… at least not directly.”

“Oh, I see what you mean now,” I nodded.

So, basically, what she was trying to say was that she was going to help Kate by telling me her findings and also steering Kate toward me.

“So that’s basically it,” she sighed. “However, the thing is, I feel like you already knew about Kate’s problem.”

“Well, you caught me, I guess,” I chuckled nervously. “I didn’t know how much you knew. Or rather, how did you know I already knew?”

“You didn’t seem surprised,” she said.

“Dang it, I knew I should have worked on that,” I sighed.

“Take good care of her, though,” she said. “That’s the only Goddess of the Track we have. And our friend.”

“I’ll do my best,” I said.

“By the way, when are you planning to ask her out?” she asked.

“I don’t really know, honestly,” I replied. “I just want to go with the flow.”

“The flow,” she repeated. “Well, you have to wait for her return then.”

“Yep, once she gets back, we’ll be moving into the final stages of my plans,” I said as I rubbed my hands together like some sort of mad scientist.

“You really are a weirdo,” she laughed. “Alright, now, could you teach me how to actually play this game? I’ve been button mashing.”

So, that was how the weekend went… and it was also the last time I heard from Kate. It was the last time anyone did.

***

Kate’s POV

I woke up with a start and stared around me.

I remembered I was in the car when…

“Mom? Dad?” I couldn’t open my mouth to speak or yell their names.

I looked around the room, and I noticed that it was a hospital room. They were stuff injected into my body. I also felt groggy, but it wasn’t important.

“Mom, dad?” I called.

My throat hurt.

My body was heavy.

I needed to get out of here.

I needed to find my parents.

I started to remove everything connected to my body.

I forced myself to sit upright.

I took one more look around the room, and there were flowers on the table. Wasn’t the accident a few minutes ago?

I got up, and immediately my feet touched the ground, I felt serious pain. I noticed the cast on my left leg.

I got up and forced myself to stand, but it hurt… it hurt very much.

Tears started to fall from my eyes.

Walking was difficult, but I forced myself to move, and I decided to crawl on my knees.

I left the room and started crawling to who knows where.

I didn’t know anyone, I just wanted to get out of there and find my parents.

“Kate?” I heard a voice call me.

I looked up and saw a woman. I recognized her.

She was my dad’s younger sister.

Her eyes looked tired.

“Hey, Aunt Tiffany,” I greeted and tried to muster a smile. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“Kate, sweetie, you have to calm down,” she said calmly, like I was a bomb about to go off. “Let’s get back to your room, okay?”

She walked closer to me in slow steps.

“I want to look for my parents,” I said as I crawled back slowly, trying to look for a way to escape.

She was following my eyes everywhere, almost like she didn’t want me to escape.

I noticed her eyes kept looking at a particular room.

What was in that room?

I forced myself to stand up.

“Wait, Kate, your leg is bad; you shouldn’t be…” she warned and wanted to hold me, but I dodged and forced my body to run toward the room she had been looking at.

“Kate, no, don’t go in there!” she yelled.

I pushed the door open and fell in.

I looked up and saw my mother in bed. She was wearing an oxygen mask, but I couldn’t see her as I was on the floor.

I dragged myself to the side of the bed and lifted myself to look at her.

She had a bandage on her forehead, and her right hand was in a cast. She didn’t look so good.

“Oh, hello there,” there was someone else in the room.

I didn’t know him.

He didn’t look like one of the doctors.

In fact, I just noticed he had his hand on her right hand.

Who was he?

“Are you supposed to be here?” he asked.

“Who are you? Who is she to you?” I asked. “And stop touching her.”

I pushed against his hand, causing him to take his hand away.

“She’s an important person to me,” he said.

An important person?

So, she was actually cheating on dad. And he had the gall to finally show his face.

I noticed a syringe on the table nearby. I grabbed it and charged for him with the intent of stabbing him.

My aunt grabbed me from behind, restraining me, but I fought back against her and tried to free myself.

My fury was palpable as it was hot.

I wanted to kill him there and then.

“I need help here!” Aunt Tiffany called for help.

“Let me go, Tiffany!” I yelled while trying to free myself from her restraint. “Let me just have a moment to stab this homewrecker!”

The man looked confused but kept his distance.

Some nurses rushed in, and I threw my head back, hitting my aunt in the nose.

She let me go, and I rushed to the man again, but the nurses pushed me down.

“You’ll pay for this! You’ll pay for this!!!” I yelled continuously until I felt a prick on my neck.

My eyes started to close, and I could feel my body getting heavier.

“No… please… let me…” I slowly drifted into sleep.

When I opened my eyes, I noticed my aunt was in the room but dressed like a doctor.

Oh, so this was the hospital she worked at.

“You’re awake,” she said.

I remembered the man I saw in mom’s room and tried to get up again, but I noticed I was cuffed to the bed.

“I’m sorry about restraining you, but we need you to be absolutely calm,” she said.

I relaxed. Whoever he was, I’m sure I had scared him off.

“That’s better,” she said with relief. “How are you feeling? Physically first.”

“My leg hurts,” I noted. “Did it get broken?”

“No, surprisingly, and fortunately, you only dislocated it,” she said as she checked the clipboard in her hand. “You didn’t suffer serious injuries, unlike your parents.”

“My father… Where’s my dad?” I asked.

She didn’t answer but just focused on the clipboard. She bit her lower lip, and a tear dropped.

“No…” I said weakly before breaking down into tears.

She hugged me, and we both broke into tears.

“I’m sorry… I’m so sorry… I couldn’t save him… I tried so hard,” she kept apologizing over and over again.

A few minutes passed, and she explained to me what had happened.

The accident had happened the previous week; I’d been unconscious for 8 days. My mother had an injury on her forehand and had broken her right hand.

As for my dad….

From investigations, at the last moment of impact, he was punctured with the metal from the car.

My mom and I had lost consciousness, but he was still awake. He dialed the police and managed to stay awake until they arrived.

From what one of the officers said, the moment he saw my father, the only words that my dad said were, “Please save my family.”

He passed out and was rushed to the hospital. As luck would have it, aunt Tiffany was on duty, but she couldn’t save him.

He lost an awful amount of blood and died.

It was awful, it wasn’t fair.

I knew how much he wanted the family to work.

I remember he asked if I wanted to go on this vacation.

I should have said no.

If I said no… he would have still been alive.

Nine days…

What about my friends…

Bill…

I didn’t get to tell Bill… I was in love with him, after all. Even right there in the hospital, I wanted to call him.

Love?

I remembered the man I saw in my mom’s room.

“Who was he?” I asked.

“Oh, he was an old friend of hers,” my aunt said.

“An old… boyfriend?” I asked.

She sighed and nodded, “Apparently, he saw her being rushed in. It was a coincidence.”

“How many times has he been visiting her?” I asked.

“Every day,” she replied.

I groaned. Yeah, he definitely wasn’t an old boyfriend.

“You’ll have to start living with me now,” she said.

“Right now?” I asked.

“No, when you’re all healed up,” she said. “Should be in a month’s time.”

“I see,” my shoulders dropped.

From the look of things, I wouldn’t be able to see my friends anymore.

My mother was still in a coma.

I was finally ready to start my rehabilitation.

It was a grueling month.

That guy kept visiting, and I tried avoiding him as much as I could. I didn’t tell him who I was to my mom, and he also didn’t seem that interested in talking to me either. I figured he wouldn’t want anything to do with me, I also wouldn’t want to have anything to do with a stranger who tried to stab me the moment we met.

My mother woke up.

“You’ve really healed up,” my aunt remarked as I ran into place.

“For one thing, I’m glad that I can run again,” I sighed. “It would really suck if I couldn’t.”

“Well, I remember you were fond of running, so all’s good, I guess,” she said.

I started doing some stretches when I noticed she was staring at me.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Your mother… she’s awake,” she said.

“Oh,” I continued, stretching. “That’s good news.’

“Don’t you want to see her?” she asked.

“I don’t,” I replied harshly.

“I know you’re upset, but she’s all you have left,” she said.

“Not true; I have you,” I said.

“That’s sweet, but you really need to talk to her,” she insisted.

“I don’t have anything to say to her,” I replied stubbornly.

“Please?” she pleaded. “For me at least?”

I didn’t want to speak with her, but it would have been unfair to her if I had just shunned her completely.

“Fine, because of you,” I finally gave in.

“Thank you so much,” she said. “Do you want me to come with you?”

“No, I think I’ll be fine,” I sighed.

I made my way to her hospital room.

I could hear her talking to someone, and I decided to eavesdrop.

“I heard you kept visiting every day, thank you,” she said.

“It’s no problem, we haven’t seen each other in a while, so I thought it would be better to check until you woke up,” he said.

It was that man again.

What was he doing there?

Anyway, this might be a good time to have an idea or an understanding of what was going on between the two of them.

“I don’t want you around me anymore,” mom said.

“What?” I asked aloud, he also asked at the same time, so I’m sure they didn’t hear me.

“Whatever we had was in the past, and I sure as hell don’t want anything to do with you now,” she explained.

“But I wanted to apologize. I really am sorry for abandoning you,” he pleaded.

“Your apology won’t do anything,” she said. “I’ve already messed up everything. It cost Damian his life.”

I could hear her voice break.

“I didn’t even love Damian, I thought I did, but all I was doing was relying too much on him because he helped me solve my problems,” she said.

Wait, what?

“I mistook admiration for love, and now, I made his last moments together hell for him and our daughter,” she sniffled. “Kate probably hates me now.”

“I’m really sorry,” he continued to apologize.

“Just get out, Jared,” she said weakly.

I heard his footsteps, and I took a step back from the door.

He walked out and saw me. He nodded to me and left.

I took a deep breath and walked into the room.

“I meant it when I said leave!” My mom turned to me. Her eyes widened as she saw me.

“Hey, mom,” I smiled.

“Kate? Kate, I’m sorry… I’ve been a very terrible person,” she started apologizing.

“It’s okay, mom. I kind of overheard,” I said as I hugged her. “It’s okay; I forgive you.”

She kept apologizing even in her embrace, and I continued to soothe her.

With this, I learned something new.

Maybe…

I wasn’t in love with Bill after all.

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