Thank you so much for your reviews, it's really nice. Once again I'm truly sorry for all my errors; I hope it's not too horrible.
Previously: "What do you mean?" Hardy asked, amazed.
"I mean I come back to Rosewood" I told him
"Ezra, no, wait!" Hardy yelled, grabbing my arm. "You can't do this, you have a job here and it's too dangerous for you, you could go to jail!" He told me. But it was too late I had already taken my decision.
"Hardy, I took my decision, there is nothing you can do! Let me go," I told him.
"Okay, fine, if it's what you want! Go! Go messing up your life for a high school student who has probably already forgotten you!" Hardy yelled.
I couldn't believe he had said that. He didn't even know Aria, how did he dare to say that? At this moment I was so angry that I could have punched him in the face but I just left him without saying a word.
During the way up to my apartment, I thought of what I was going to do. I needed to give the college my resignation but I couldn't leave in the middle of the week, I had to wait until the weekend. Or maybe I could call the college and tell them I was sick, I couldn't wait to come back. For the first time since I had left Rosewood, I felt relieved. Of course I had no idea what I was going to do with Aria's parents; they were going to be very angry. But I knew it was the right decision, and the only thing that mattered was that I was going to see Aria soon.
When I came back to my apartment, I took my suitcase and put some clothes inside. One hour later, I was still packing when someone knocked on the door. I glanced at my watch: 00:20. It was a little too late to disturb people; I opened the door, surprised to find Hardy in front of me.
"If you come to try to make me change my mind, you can leave because I have already taken my decision and nothing can stop me," I told him. I was still so angry with him after what he had said about Aria.
"No, I come to give you this," Hardy said before taking something in his jacket. Then he gave me a plane ticket.
"Your flight is at nine o'clock tomorrow morning, be on time. If you don't have time to tidy everything, don't worry, I will do it," Hardy told me. I was so amazed; I couldn't believe he had done this for me.
"Hardy, thank you so much, I don't know what to say," I told him.
"It's alright! Ezra, I'm truly sorry for what I did tonight and for what I said about Aria. I just don't want you to get hurt. But I still think that coming back to Rosewood it's not such a good idea, you can get a lot of troubles, you can lose everything," Hardy told me.
I was astonished. If he thought that returning to Rosewood was a bad idea so why did he buy me a place ticket?
"So why did you buy me a ticket?" I asked him.
"Because you're my best friend and I want you to be happy! And apparently, Aria seems to be the only one who can make you happy, I know you really love her!" He told me.
"Yes, I really do," I replied.
"I know, it's why I did it," he said.
"Thank you, Hardy; it means a lot to me," I said by hugging him.
For the first time since a long time I felt happy, my best friend had done an amazing thing for me and I was going to see the girl I loved in a few hours.
It has been a month since Ezra had left the town and I still couldn't realize that I was never going to see him again.
I tried to keep myself busy all the time to prevent myself from thinking about him. Now that he had gone my parents, especially my father, were relieved and I was allowed to go wherever I wanted without a chaperon. They didn't have to worry about me sneaking around to see him anymore. So, I spent a lot of time with the girls, studying for school and trying to find out who A was, of course without any success, this bitch kept harassing us all the time. But no matter what I could do, I couldn't stop thinking of him and every night I couldn't help but cry.
When Ezra had told me that he was going to accept the job in New Orleans, I had been angry and disappointed, it was as if he was giving up on us, but I knew it was the best option for him. It was a huge opportunity for his career and I didn't want him to get hurt because of me, I loved him too much for that. And I knew that my father would have done everything possible to ruin his life if he hadn't leave. So, I had told him to take the job, and he had left Rosewood. I didn't regret my choice but I've missed him so much. And I couldn't help being angry. Angry with my parents, especially with my father who had never even tried to understand my relationship with Ezra and who had taken him away from me and angry with the life and the social conventions which turned this relationship into something wrong but we hadn't done anything wrong, except falling in love. Since the beginning the all world seemed to be against us. My parents, Jackie, A, everybody.
"Hey, so for tonight, can you come to my place at 6 o'clock? It would be nice if we dress up together with the girls, don't you think?" Hanna asked me when I saw her in school, at lunch time.
"Dress up for what?" I asked her. I had no idea what she was talking about.
"The Masquerade, of course! Aria, please, don't tell me that you forgot," she told me, pissed.
The Masquerade, of course. It was tonight! Our school organized a masquerade on Wednesday night, but with Ezra always in my mind and the problems with A, I had totally forgotten. I really didn't want to go there but I had promised the girls so I couldn't cancel.
"No, no, of course, I didn't forget, I was just distracted, sorry," I lied to my friend. "But it's okay; I will be at your place around 6 o'clock, "I told Hanna, smiling.
When I came back home, I went straight to my closet to try to find a dress for the ball. After fifteen minute I finally found what I was looking for and took a red and black dress out of the closet. It would be perfect with a mask. I put the dress in my bag, and I went downstairs.
"Hey, where are you going?" My mom asked me.
"I'm going to Hanna's house; we're going to dress up together for tonight," I replied.
"Okay, so I'll see you there," she told me.
As a teacher my mom would be at the masquerade too, as a chaperon.
"Okay, mom. Bye," I said before leaving the house.
"You're gorgeous, Aria!" The girls told me when I got out from Hanna's bathroom, ready for the ball. I looked at me in the mirror. They weren't lying, I looked pretty good. The dress was beautiful especially with my long curly hairs down on my shoulders.
"Thanks guys, you're amazing too," I said, and I wasn't lying either. The three of them were perfect ,especially Hanna with her long white dress.
"I think it's time to leave. I told Caleb I will meet him around seven," Hanna said with a smile like everytime she mentioned her boyfriend's name.
"Okay, so let's go!" Spencer said, taking her purse and her keys.
We took Spencer's car and ten minutes later we were in front of Rosewood High, where the masquerade was.
"Girls, don't forget your masks!" Hanna told us before getting out of the car. I put my black mask on my face like Spencer and Emily and we followed Hanna.
There were already a lot of people inside. It was odd to see everybody with a mask, it was almost impossible to recognize them, I wondered if A was here. But I was pretty sure he/she was, as usual.
"Do you think A is here?" Emily asked, as if she was reading my mind.
"A is everywhere," I replied.
"I just hope he/she is not going to screw up your evening this time," Hanna said.
I knew she was talking about the Charity Dance, a few months ago. It had been a disaster. A had forced Hanna to dance with Lucas so Sean had broken up with her. Emily had gotten really drunk and by the end she had accused Ian of being Alison's murderer, in front of everyone. I hadn't had a better time either. I was too focused on Simone, my former babysitter that my mother had tried to push into Ezra's arms. I had been really jealous and pissed all the evening and it could have been worse if Spencer hadn't prevented me from making a big mistake. But it was also during this evening that Ezra had told me for the first time that he was in love with me.
I smiled as I remembered this memory and then the pain came like every times I realized that it was over, that I would never see him again.
"Caleb's here," Hanna said, interrupting my thoughts and running toward him. I watched her and smiled as she joined Caleb and wrapped her arm around his neck. It was good to see her happy especially after all she had been through these past few months.
"Look who is here too," Spencer told me in a low voice. I looked around and saw Jenna and Noel. They didn't have their masks yet so it was easy to recognize them.
"Look at Noel's smile, he creeps me out," Emily said, disgusted. But she wasn't the only one. I was afraid of him, especially since the night at school when he'd tried to attack me. He had said that he wasn't attacking me but I knew he had lied and I even thought he could be A. But even if he wasn't, he was a jerk anyway. He had tried to blackmail Ezra a few months ago and he had almost ruined our relationship.
"Yes, me too," Spencer added. "We should keep an eye on them tonight. Plus, it's not like we have something else to do," she told us.
Of course, she was right, contrary to Hanna, we didn't have someone to dance with.
"Aria, is it you?" I heard my mom's voice behind me.
"Yes, mom it's me," I said, giggling.
"I wasn't sure with this mask, you're very beautiful, sweetie!" My mom told me.
"Thanks mom. Where is daddy? I thought he was with you," I asked my mom as I noticed that she was alone.
"Oh, yes, but he didn't feel good so he stayed at home with Mike," she replied.
"Okay, I hope he will feel better soon," I said.
"So do I. I'm sorry, I've to go; I need to help Mrs. Welch , she is waiting for me. Have a great evening, girls." My mom told my friends and me, before leaving.
The two next hours were pretty boring, Spencer, Emily and I tried to keep an eye on Jenna and Noel while Hanna was dancing with Caleb but nothing happened. A few guys asked me to dance but I refused every time.
"Oh my god! Aria!" Spencer said as we were still watching Noel and Jenna while Emily was in the bathroom.
"What?" I asked.
"You… you should look here!" She said strangely. She seemed really astonished. I looked in the direction she was pointing to but I didn't see anything.
"What? Spence, I don't see anyth…" Suddenly I stopped in the middle of my sentence. And I felt my heart jump. No, it couldn't be true. Next to the door was Ezra, in the middle of everybody. He was wearing a suit and he also had a mask in his hands.
"What is he doing here? I thought he was in New Orleans!" Spencer said as amazed as me.
"So did I!" I told her without looking at her, my eyes still on Ezra. Suddenly, he looked exactly in my direction and began to walk toward me. I didn't walk to join him; I was so shocked that I couldn't even move.
"Ezra, what… what are you doing here?" I asked him when we were only at one inch from each other.
He tenderly smiled before asking me, "Dance with me!" He said without answering my question.
"What? But…" I began to say, amazed.
"Please, Aria, dance with me!" He asked me again by taking my hand. So, I followed him on the dance floor; he put his mask on his face and we began to dance. I shivered when he wrapped his hands around my waist.
"So, Ezra, I don't understand, what are you doing here?" I asked him.
"I missed you too much," he said.
"I missed you too, so much. But your job, we are in the middle of the week, I…"
"I gave my resignation," he said, interrupting me. I was shocked. I didn't understand what this meant. Was he going to stay?
"You mean… you're going to stay in Rosewood? I hesitantly asked.
"Yes! It doesn't matter how hard I try I can't stay away from you. I love you, Aria," he whispered in my ear. I didn't remember having been more happy than I was at this moment, I even wondered if it was a dream.
"I love you too, so much." I said as the tears began to fill my eyes.
Suddenly, he began to pull my mask off while a Lady Antebellum song, Just Kiss, started.
"Ezra, what are you doing?" I said amazed. He couldn't do it. The entire school was here and especially my mom was here.
"It's our first dance, I want to see you," he said, smiling and then he pulled my mask off totally.
We looked at each other intensely and he caressed gently my cheek before kissing me. I trembled when his lips met mine. It was the most magical kiss we had ever shared. And god knows we had shared a lot! I wrapped my arms around his neck and he pulled me closer to him. I had missed him so much. It was so good to feel the taste of his lips. I didn't know how long our kiss lasted, at this moment it was as if we were alone in the world, nothing mattered except us and I didn't want it to stop.
We finally broke apart when the song stopped. After a few seconds I finally glanced around me. Everybody was staring at us. I saw the other couples, who were dancing, whispered about us; of course it was surely weird for them to see their former English teacher kissing a student in the middle of the dance floor. Spencer, Emily, Hanna and Caleb were looking at us too, pretty amazed but Hanna was smiling and the girls did the same when they met my look, trying to support me.
Then I saw my mother. She was next to Mrs. Welch who seemed astonished and was looking at us weirdly, a hand on her mouth. My mom seemed even more surprised, her mouth was almost open and she looked like someone who was on the point to have a heart attack. I had never seen this look on her face, not even the day when Ezra and I had told her about our relationship. Contrary to my father, my mom had tried to understand my relationship with Ezra but it didn't mean she was okay with it and I could bet that she wasn't happy to see her former colleague kissing her daughter in front of everyone.
I could have been worried about what people thought but at this moment I didn't care, the only thing it mattered was that Ezra was back and that he was going to stay. So I looked at him and I smiled to make him understand I didn't regret this kiss. I was relieved when he did the same and smiled to me too.
"I think I should go now, before someone begins to throw me tomatoes," he whispered in my ear as a new song began. "But, come over to my apartment tonight, if you can, whatever the hour," he added.
"Okay, I will find a way," I told him. He gave me a quick peck on the cheek before walking toward the exit followed by people's looks. When he passed next to my mom she didn't even try to stop him, she seemed still shocked and watched him pass without saying a word.
As soon as he left my friends joined me.
"WOW, that was epic!" Hanna said, smiling .
"Yes, I know, I can't believe he did that!" I said, blushing.
"So, why did he come back? Is he going to stay?" Emily asked me.
"Yes!" I said smiling widely.
"Aria! Come with me, I need to talk to you. Right now! "My mom said all of a sudden, interrupting us.
Please review to tell me what you think about this chapter. I wanted to include the masquerade because it was epic ^^, but I changed a few things of course. Don't be afraid to tell me about my errors. And A will be more important in the next chapters.