"Gray... Where are you going?" Claire mumbled, tugging the edge of his shirt.
"Anywhere, but here..." Gray shrugged her off and started to walk away.
She sank down on her knees and grabbed a handful of her hair. What did I do wrong this time? She struggled to fight the tears that were threatening to spill, but lost. Her tears streamed down her face and she let out a sob. Was it because of what happened with Jack? He doesn't mean anything to me... She continued to fight with herself, wondering why Gray had looked so hurt and angry. How many more times must I cry these tears of sadness and hurt?
Before she could come up with an explanation she was yanked up by her wrists. She yelped and opened her eyes. Standing in front of her was Gray's best friend Ann, her face red as if she had just ran a marathon.
"Why are you just sitting there! What are you doing!" she screamed. "You have to do something before Gray does something that you'll both regret!"
Claire yanked her wrist away and rubbed it. "How would you know!" she yelled back "You're nothing! You don't know anything!"
Their eyes met for a second and Claire could see anger in Ann's eyes, but Ann looked away trying to control her anger. She then reached into her pocket and took out a folded piece of paper. She held it in front of Claire and murmured "Read this..."
Claire took the paper and unfolded it, realizing that it was a letter. Claire instantly recognized Gray's handwriting and started to read the letter. As she read the letter her hands started to tremble. No... It can't be... By the time she had finished reading the letter, her hands were trembling so much that she had dropped the letter.
Claire glanced up to look at Ann. "T-this is some kind of joke, right?"
Ann stared at Claire sadly and shook her head. "He's been acting weird these past few days... When he came back to the inn a few minutes ago, he marched into his room and slammed the door wordlessly. He stayed in there for a minute or two and then left. I thought it was strange, so I went up to his room after he left and found this letter."
"No... No, no, no, NO!" Claire screamed. "You're lying to me, Ann! Gray isn't the type of person who would do this!" Claire ran. She ran across her farmland towards the southern exit. She heard Ann yelling after her to stop, she knew that she was following her because of the sound of her footsteps, but they were soon faint. Claire knew that Ann was not a very good runner so she paid no mind of it. She kept running, she ran in the direction of the Mother's Hill Summit. She just had a feeling in her gut that Gray might be there and that she could save him.
As she ran, she started to recall parts of the letter, but there was one part of the letter in particular that was etched into her mind: 'I can't do this anymore... I'm sorry, Ann. You're my best friend so I hope that you'll understand one day. If I can't have Claire then there is no purpose for me in this world. I can't live without her...'
She shook her head, trying to clear her mind of the letter and focused on running. She pushed herself, trying to run even faster. Her lungs burned from the lack of oxygen. Even though she was running the fastest she had even ran in her life, with every step, she felt as though there was weight dragging her down.
Distracted from the thoughts in her mind, she tripped over a rock that she hadn't seen and fell forward, scrapping her palms. She bit her lip and got back up, trying not to cry from the new additional pain.
When she finally reached the entrance of the summit, she could faintly see the outline of Gray's body in the distance, still a few feet away from the cliff. Claire pushed herself even more and when she was in earshot, she yelled out to Gray, calling his name.
Gray turned around to see Claire running towards him, and his eyes widened. "Claire...?" She slowed down once she was close enough and stopped right in front of him, panting and gasping for breath. They looked into each other's eyes for what seemed like eternity until Claire stepped forward and embraced him.
"Don't scare me like that..." she mumbled into his shirt. She hugged him tighter, but he didn't return the action.
He put his hands on her shoulder and held her away at arm's length. "What are you doing here?" His words were harsh, but there was a flash of relief in his eyes. Although Claire did not see this.
Instead of answering his question, she mumbled those three words for the first time, "I... I love you..." and cried once again, hugging Gray.
Gray's heart clenched up, it was the first time that he had heard those words from Claire. He had said those three simple words to Claire many times before, but she never returned the favor. The wall that he had built up, when his mind was set on suicide, crumbled. He told himself that he would go through with it even if Claire did show up to stop him, but he couldn't bring himself to do it, now that he had heard those three words that he'd always wanted to hear from her.
"I said that I loved you, you jerk!" Claire wailed. "So don't you dare, even think of leaving me!"
He loved her. He loved her so much that it hurt his heart. She brought him misery and joy. She brought him so much happiness, yet she always hurted him somehow.
He sighed I love her too much... I can't lose her now. He wrapped an arm around her waist and another around her shoulders. But to make us work, I need to know what happened back there... The full story.
Gray started to stroke her hair and sighed again. "I don't know why I keep coming back to you..." He rested his chin on the top of her head. "and every time I do, you always manage to hurt me in someway."
Claire pulled away, looking into his blue eyes. "I-I'm sorry...!" She was slightly desperate now, she didn't want him to leave, she had to make him stay. "What you saw earlier, was a misunderstanding!"
Hurt flashed across his eyes. "A misunderstanding! You think that's a misunderstanding? I saw what you two did!"
"But it is! Just let me explain!"
Gray looked away, and Claire took that as a yes to explain.
Claire swallowed before she started, "His name is Jack-"
"I don't give a damn about what his name is..." Gray interrupted.
Claire gave him a look that said 'shut-up-and-let-me-explain'. Gray grunted and motioned for her to continue.
"I haven't seen him for two years since he left for the army. He didn't tell me that he was leaving, he just left and I found out that he left to the army through his cousin. I was a mess for weeks, until I decided that I needed to move on. He chose to go his way, so I decided to go my way..." Claire paused, and started to fiddle with her sleeve. "Today, he just randomly showed up and p-proposed to me..." Her face started to heat up as she remembered this, "B-but! Of course, I denied! A-and then he asked if we could just be friends instead... That's when he started to kiss me... I tried to push him away! But he's strong." She was now tugging her hair, "From where you were standing I guess it might have looked like I was kissing him back, but I wasn't!"
Gray, who had remained quiet throughout her explanation, sighed, "I don't know if I can believe you."
Claire had been hopeful that he would understand, felt like her world was turning upside down, "B-but it's the truth! What should I do? What do you want me to do, to prove that this is the truth-"
Claire, who had been rambling on and on, stoped as Gray put two fingers under her chin. He tilted her face upwards as he leaned down. His lips brushed hers for a moment before he kissed her fully on the mouth. He didn't go any further than that because he had a very important question to ask her.
Claire was dissapointed when he cut off the kiss so quickly, but she felt elated when Gray hugged her and said, "Claire... I love you so much. I believe you because I can see it in your beautiful ocean-blue eyes."
Claire blushed, it wasn't very often when Gray was extremely cheesy like this. She hugged him back and whispered in his ear, "I love you too, Gray"
Gray felt a warm feeling burst in his chest and he knew that it was time. He let go of Claire and got down on one knee. He pulled out a blue feather from his pocket and looked her in the eye. "Claire, I love you so much, and I don't think that I could live without you..." He paused "Will you marry me?"
Claire felt as though time had stopped, as she looked at Gray's handsome face to the blue feather. Gray was starting to get worried because Claire wasn't giving him an answer, but to his relief, Claire grinned. She launched herself towards Gray and they both fell backwards, with Claire on top. "Of course, I will!" He smiled in relief and kissed her nose.
Gray sat up, with Claire on his lap. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her. Claire kissed him back instantly, her hands going to his head knocking his hat off, running her fingers through his hair.
As they kissed, Claire started to cry again, but this time... They were tears of happiness.