If you haven't read Coach's Daughter, you'll be highly confused. Go back and read Coach's Daughter before diving into the sequel! Thank you! ENJOY!
Chapter 1 – Shock
Monday, April 6th, 2020
NCAA Men's Championship
Duke vs. Michigan
My eyes watched Troy stretch across the court with his hands open for the ball as Brady tossed him the ball. He was quick around the Michigan player before going in to score to pull Duke ahead. The Michigan coach called timeout as Troy yelled with victory as they came together for a timeout. Troy pulled his jersey up to wipe away the sweat from his face as he was beaming but his face grew serious as my dad was drawing up plays. My eyes were excited watching him as finally getting to the championship game his senior year.
Lauren stood on one side of me while Sam and Jessie on the other side of me. Audrey and Jake were both standing on down the row as we watched a person, we all loved, do what he loved. Lauren squeezed my hand as Grey and Troy took the court together after the time out with only thirty seconds left of the game. Duke was leading by two as Michigan had the ball. Troy and Grey pressed with defense together from the top as Michigan tried to pass the ball down the court but Duke put on a good defensive show.
My eyes watched the clock tick down to twenty seconds when Michigan threw the shot in the air. I gasped and held my breath as my eyes grew wide as everybody stood still as it bounced on the rim before bouncing out. Troy leaped into the air as he grabbed the ball for the board. He quickly pushed the ball down the court and away from Michigan as I felt it in my chest and excitement erupted throughout my entire body. The buzzer sounded, and I felt a scream of excitement leave my mouth as I watched the Duke basketball team mob the center of the court while blue confetti drained from the ceiling. Troy tilted his head back with a scream of enjoyment escaping his mouth. Chills ran over my body at how incredible he was and how much I wanted him.
We were quickly ushered to the court as I watched from the sidelines of Troy pulling on the championship shirt with a hat as he was hugging all of his teammates. I saw him hugging my dad and I couldn't stop my grin as my dad said something to him before Troy let out a laugh. I smiled watching him greet and hug everybody around him. His eyes finally started to roam the court and I grinned as our eyes met. He grinned from ear to ear as I quickly ran across the court before he wrapped his arms around me.
"Congrats baby, I am so proud of you," I whispered into his ear as I hugged him tightly while my legs wrapped around his waist. He laughed, and I pulled back as our lips locked in the middle of the court. "I'm just happy that you are here. I was scared you weren't going to make it." I titled my forehead to meet his as I shook my head, "Never baby, absolutely never." He smiled as he kissed me softly again before he set me back down on the ground.
He hugged his parents and his siblings as my dad pulled me into a hug. They started the trophy presentation and began to cut down the nets. The whole process took too long before the party began to end. The boys were all smiling and laughing. Everybody was happy and excited. They worked hard for this and I was proud of all of them. Troy and I took a picture together with the trophy and I repeated the process with my dad. We took a big group picture and then just one of Troy with the trophy.
Once the madness began to die down, I felt his hand creep around my body as he pulled me back against him. "Come here," he whispered into my ear as he dragged me around the corner and I laughed, "Where are we going?" he looked over his shoulder with a mischievous smile crossing his face. He pushed through an empty door before he had me pinned against it. I felt my lower body grow weak with his lips attacking mine. His warm mouth all over mine and I inhaled through my teeth with a gasp.
Yes, everything was right in this world. Absolutely everything.
Monday, November 2nd, 2020
I scrubbed my hand over my face as I loosened the tie around my neck while slid in the back door that only players knew about into Duke's basketball arena. I slipped through the back and up into the bleachers as my eyes roamed until I landed on Eli Montez who was sitting with his wife. Trevor and Vivian were right next with an almost three-year-old Wyatt. Vivian had a noticeable bump, but she wasn't very far along. Gabi was so excited when Trevor told her she was going to be an aunt again. I turned my head as I saw Coach Montez turn and scan the crowd. I avoided their section before ducking to my normal seat.
My eyes found her on the court as she was in her warm-ups still. Her shorts were the only thing on her that I noticed. The white with blue trim that I had worn myself last year. The blue devil in the corner. Her blue pullover was hiding her jersey with a pair of white Nike shoes and blue socks. Her calves were toned and tight from her constant working in the gym. The constant need to be the best and to make a name for herself in the basketball community. If she wasn't at the gym, she was studying or in class. Gabi pushed herself constantly and I knew it was just who she was but these past few months she pushed harder and harder than I was comfortable with.
She was successfully admitted into Duke's Medical School. She was happy to be taking all of her medical school classes along with being a basketball player, but it left her very little time with other things in life. Not that she was happy with me anyways. My hands rubbed on my slacks from a long day of work, but my eyes found her again. The messy bun on the top of her head with the white Nike band in her hair pushing back those curly strands. Her eyes did a scan of the crowd as she smiled at her parents but when her eyes flickered to this seat, she frowned. Sadness was constantly filled in her eyes and I didn't know why she was constantly pushing me away. Pushing me to the point that I was so close to just giving up with her. I was fighting so hard for her. So hard.
Those brown eyes connected with mine and my pleading blue eyes went back to her. It wasn't that I was desperate for her to come back to my life in a regular fashion. I just wanted her to claim me again. She hadn't stopped showing up at night and ending up in my bed. She hadn't stopped texting me when she had a bad day. She still acted as if we were in a relationship but when we were in public and during the daylight hours: she kept her front tight of being really mad at me. Yet, the moment the moon came out she was lonely and wanted some sort of attention. I had to wait until almost one in the morning until she would come around, but she always did.
Gabi only shook her head before taking the ball and making the next four shots in a row without flinching. I sighed leaning back in the chair when the seat next to me plopped out. "You look like you've had a day," I grunted at Grey's assessment of the situation. "Coach's practices were easier than today." I mumbled as I pulled at the ends of my hair as Grey sighed. "Is she still mad at you?" I nodded as the anger had been there since we graduated last May. It hadn't really set in until August of this year, but her anger was relentless.
"Yup," my lips popped around the P as I laughed in my seat, "Is she still showing up at night?" I rolled my lips together as I nodded, "Once or twice a week. If she doesn't show up, she'll send me a text. I think at night she realizes that I'm still here. That I still want her. Yet, during the day she can't let go of her anger." Grey looked at Gabi as she had stripped her warm-up shirt and was only wearing her jersey. Damn, she was so fucking sexy. So beautiful. She was still mine.
"I just think you're going to have to ride the wave," Grey said patting my back and I rolled my own eyes at his saying. "How was work though? Still loving it?" I nodded my head as I looked over at him. Grey hadn't aged too much in the last two and a half years, but he was older. He grew out his facial hair more often and his hair was more of a clean-cut. "Is Lauren making it tonight?" I asked, and Grey grunted himself as they had been a bit rocky themselves.
"I think so. She's trying to get out of work on time to be here by the second quarter but…" Lauren had chosen to become a high school teacher at a local school that she did her student teaching. Yet, she was constantly working late to make sure everything was properly set up, lesson plans were made, and that the next day would go smoothly. She worked late frequently, which is what caused a tiff between the two lovers not that long ago.
Damn, what I would give to have that tiff with Gabi.
"How was your job today?" I asked, and he shrugged as he brushed his fingers through his hair. The whistles blew, and my attention was full of Gabi as she was a starter. She stood back from the center paint as she had become a force to be reckoned with on the court. She was full of ESPN most times after games and was the constant talk. She led them to a final four last year in March Madness, but we took it all. I was just glad she was able to be at our championship game.
Before everything turned to shit.
"Job…the job was okay. I need to get into grad school so that I can become an athletic trainer. I am sick of shadowing and constantly not getting paid." I bit on my lip as I looked over at him, "I enrolled for my master's program in the spring." I said stretching my legs out and he swung his eyes towards me a little surprised. "I ended up doing the Syracuse online program. I'll start in January and should be done with it next January. I hope if I tell her that I am doing that then she'll fucking relax and just let us happen."
Grey sighed as he leaned back while we both just watched Gabi on the court. Her movement was effortless, and I could only think about how much I love her. She has been a constant person in my life for the past three years. In my eyes, we were still together. In her eyes, we weren't together. The facts were fuzzy, and people were angry, she was angry. Biting down on my lip Gabi stumbled for the ball but she recovered easily but I still couldn't breathe.
"How was the Durham Bulls today?" I sighed as I leaned back, "Off season is really boring." I said with a roll of my eyes and he laughed, "No scandals to take care of yet?" I laughed shaking my head, "No. Nothing of that nature yet." I picked at my pants as I had taken a job with a minor league baseball team with their public relation department. I was an assistant for now with the head director, but I was doing a lot of hands on things and working hard. We were working on next season promotions and how to spread awareness of the team. During next season, I would help with game day operations and coordinating interviews.
It was a great starting out the job and I was making decent money for doing it. It may have not been my first choice, but it was the job closest to Gabi. I was hired on in May right after graduation and I fucking loved season. I traveled with the team, I helped make press releases and got to know the players. It was a lot of fun. Gabi had yet to miss a shot tonight and I felt a pair of eyes on me. I couldn't help but look and Trevor glanced over at me.
He stood up whispering something to Viv and I sighed before pushing out of my seat, "I'll be right back." Grey turned to see Trevor and he nodded as I went back a few rows where Trevor met me. "Hey," he said, and I nodded as I rubbed my hands together. "You know I'm team Troy, right?" I laughed and nodded, "Yea, I just…fuck, I don't know man. I just wish she would let me make my life choices." Trevor watched his sister and he sighed.
"I think she just doesn't want to hold you back."
"She's not," I said with gritted teeth, "I wish she would understand that." The frustration laced through my voice. Trevor patted my back, "Just keep trying. You look exhausted." I grumbled, "She calls me at one in the morning. She comes over to my apartment." Trevor held his hands out and I shook my head, "No, it's okay, I get it. She still wants to be with you." I nodded my head as I scrubbed my five o'clock shadow on my face with my hands. "Yes, and I am not denying that. I love those late nights with her because she is a normal Gabi. She isn't mad at me. We just don't talk about it. Something about the daylight that brings it all out."
He patted my back, "She'll understand eventually, obviously, you aren't giving up." I shook my head, "She's mine," I mumbled, "She's always been mine." Trevor nodded his head and we both watched her play. The score being run up with the early season game. I was excited to be able to watch an entire season of hers. I was so excited. We barely ever got to watch each other when we were both playing, and the times were so fucking hard to be with each other, but we did it.
"Wy has been asking for you," I smiled and looked over at the family that had adopted me. "Yea, I miss that little dude." Trevor rubbed my shoulder, "She'll come around. Just keeping talking to her." I nodded as he got up to leave and I sighed as the buzzer winded down to half time. I hung my head and rubbed my face with both hands just trying to understand what I was supposed to do next. I moved back down and sat next to Grey. "We'll get through to her," Grey said as I just nodded looking up at the half time show.
"Yea," I finally whispered because I wasn't sure what I could believe anymore.
I leaned back against the wall as I waited for her locker room door to open and for her to come out. The girls who recognized me smiled and nodded and when the door opened again, and my hair rose on my arms and I smelled her body scent that I know so fucking well, I pushed off the wall. My eyes peered up at her in a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. Her hair wet and laying down her back. I inhaled with uncertainty and her lips turned upside down. I was so distracted by her smell that I couldn't form words. Our eyes locked together, and she shook her head trying to move past me.
"B, please," I whispered, and she winced at my nickname for her and she crossed her arms. Her body language is so stiff. I don't remember when things changed this badly between us but I hated it. I didn't want this anymore. "What are you doing here?" she asked, I fucking laughed and I ran my hand through my hair. My hands running down my face as I looked at her. She was biting her lower lip and she shook her head back and forth at my reaction. "What am I doing here," I muttered her phrase a few different times while I closed my eyes tightly. "As if my love for you just disappears." I snap my fingers and she shifted uncomfortably. "I have never been able to just come to watch a game without having to sacrifice a thousand other things. It was always the plan to just watch you this season. To enjoy you. Then you are asking what the fuck I am doing here." I couldn't stop my laugh again and I just rubbed my face. "I know it doesn't, I know." She breathed, and I just shook my head. "Do you?" the question fell dead between us as our eyes were locked on each other.
"Why won't you just let us happen again?" I asked stubbornly, and she huffed with her eyes turning away from me. "I don't want to be with somebody who doesn't chase what he should be chasing." I rolled my eyes at her comment and tugged on my hair. "Jesus, Gabi, you act as if I turned down a dream job and took a shitty job just to be near you and you know damn well that isn't the case." Gabi rolled her lips together and she shook her head, "I don't have time for this tonight." She mumbled and tried to walk away. I pulled on her arm and she looked at me, her eyes moving down to my hand on her skin. The burn between our bodies was still so strong that I struggled to not just press her back against the wall.
"Please, Troy," I hesitated at her words as I had so many words myself to say but, I let her go and she walked away from me. I let my head fall back and I shook it back and forth with frustration. I pulled out my car keys and went to my car. I got inside, and I slammed my hand down several times into the steering wheel. Tears rushing my eyes and my chest welling with pressure. I was so fucking angry. I just wanted her in my life, every single day. She wasn't living in dorms anymore or student apartments. She was supposed to want to live with me.
Taking another step in our relationship.
Instead, she freaked out.
I continued to watch the lights as I passed through them and drove my car around Durham, North Carolina. Gabi and I worked hard to keep our relationship steady with her class load plus basketball. I had basketball plus work it had caused not a lot of time for the two of us. Yet, it worked. We made time for each other. I would help her study, or she would come to sit at Rents. We would go to as many basketball games of each other as possible. If we were home and they were home and if neither of us had something else conflicting: we supported each other. Always.
The more I dove into public relations with sports the more I was interested. I constantly was working with Duke's PR guy and it made me happy. I loved learning and using social media to our advantage. I loved constantly getting to work with the press and being a communicator with the team. It was something I really enjoyed. Gabi knew I enjoyed it too, which is what caused our greatest down fall. She was constantly thinking that I turned down a job in Seattle with a triple-a baseball team. Gabi thought it was perfect for me because I would be close to family and it was a really good stepping stone to the major leagues public relations.
I also received a job offer in Chicago and Georgia for different minor sports teams to get a footing before being promoted. They were decent jobs and they did catch my attention, but she wasn't going to be there. She would never be there. Gabi was stuck in Durham until at least 2024 and then she would match for her residency somewhere in the world. Why would I want a job that would chain me somewhere else? I would get a really good experience here and then move onto another job.
Gabi never understood it and we fought endlessly all summer long. She refused to be a part of something that I would regret later and tried to break up with me in August. She was struggling with it all summer and we had fought and fought with it. When I moved into my apartment, the very first night after she tried to break up with me. She had sent me a text from the bar and asked for my address. She wanted to come over and see me.
Thus, started the hot and cold game we had been playing. At night, she was all mine. She loved me. Wanted me. Yet, she was always gone in the morning and if I tried to contact her, she would freak out. It was causing me whiplash from her constant tugging of needing me and hating me. I wasn't even sure if she hated me. She just was disappointed with the choice that I made. My palm rubbed my chin as I continued to drive around the city, constantly going in circles.
I continued to drive around aimlessly before I found my way to my apartment. It wasn't too far from campus so that I was still close to Gabi during school hours and basketball games. It was a nice place with one bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen with a large open living room. My balcony had two chairs and a small table. It had become my bachelor pad, but I would fucking love for Gabi to just make it a home for the both of us. Grey had an apartment in this building as well, but Lauren lived with him. Their apartment had character. I turned my car off and I sat there for a minute as my eyes flickered to the clock to see it was almost midnight. My phone buzzed in the cupholder and I knew exactly what this text read before I picked my phone up.
Gabi: Can I come over? I miss you.
I wanted to say no. Badly, I so badly just wanted to tell her to fuck off, but I physically and mentally couldn't ever tell her that. I couldn't in my life tell her that because I always wanted her coming to me. I exhaled as I just sent back and okay before I moved inside my apartment. I dropped my backpack with my day's work and reached for the glasses and the Crown Royal sitting on my counter. I filled my glass fuller than it should be as I took off my tie.
I slung it on the chair as I settled on the stool sipping my drink. There was a soft knock on the door and then she slipped in. She was in a pair of leggings with a t-shirt, her hair braided back. The girl I fell in love with, but she wasn't there. She was a ghost of herself. The smile couldn't reach her eyes, and something happened. I didn't know what happened, but I just wish she would talk to me. I wasn't sure if her anger anymore had something to do with my job but something that caused this shift of mood towards me. Her eyes were focused on the floor as she kicked off her shoes and dropped her bag onto the ground. The sound it made was louder than most sounds in this apartment because of her large books that her face was constantly stuck in.
"Hey," she said, and I didn't say anything. Her eyes quickly looked up at me and I swallowed on the alcohol. Praying it hit my system faster. "Troy," she said my name causing goosebumps to travel down my back and I gripped my glass tighter. "Gabi, I can't fucking play this game anymore." I looked up at her and she seemed surprised, she shook her head, "No. This isn't the deal. I come over here, we go in there, I leave before you wake up." I sucked in a dry laugh and I shook my head. "No. I'm over it. I love fucking having you in my bed, but I can't do it anymore. I love you, Gabi. I love you so fucking hard and you are pushing me away because of what? I took a job that I thought was the best fit for me? I don't want to be in Seattle. I don't want to be in Chicago. I don't want to be in Atlanta. I want to be right fucking here in Durham where the love of my fucking life is."
Gabi's brown eyes were wide, and I finished off my whiskey before I poured another glass. "I love my job. I love this city. I love you." My eyes pierced hers and she sucked in on her bottom lip. I only wanted that lip in my mouth. So badly. I wanted her pinned in my bed. I wanted her in every single capacity. "I love that you still want to come to me even though you broke up with me, but I can't do this anymore. You are fucking with my head every single time you walk through that door."
Gabi released a really heavy sigh and she walked to my cabinet and found herself a glass. She stole the Crown Royal in front of me and poured some into her own glass. She took a long drink. "I love you," she finally mustered, and my chest relaxed, and I closed my eyes at her words. She has said them to me a few different times but never before we had sex and called it a night. "I love you so much Troy, I hate that you wouldn't branch out because of me though. I blame myself. I…" I shook my head as I walked away. My hands sitting on the top of my head. "Why the fuck are you blaming yourself?" I turned to look at her and she bit her lip.
Those brown eyes filling with tears, "I made this choice." I said loudly as I tapped my chest with my flat palm. "I made it. I looked at all of these places and let me fucking tell you. I would have made less money in Seattle. In Chicago, I would have been an intern and at the bottom of the food chain. In Atlanta, it was the same exact fucking job I have right fucking now." My voice rose with every single syllable. "But I have told you all of this Gabi, a thousand times. I have constantly told you over and over again that out of all of these job offers. Durham was the best one for me. It was the job I was looking for and guess what Gabi?"
She didn't say anything and only gave me a deer in the headlights look. I never rose my voice before when we had these conversations. I never lost my cool. I just had explained it a thousand times to her why I had made my decision. We stopped talking about it in August though. When she finally tried to pull away and started just talking to me at night was when we just used each other. I ran my hands through my hair and my palms down my face as I laughed. I was so tired of having this fight with her. "You're in Durham, Gabi. You. You are not in Chicago. You are not in Atlanta. You are not in Seattle. You are not at any of those fucking places so tell me why I would choose them?"
Gabi bit down hard on her lip as she looked down at her feet, her hands ringing each other terrified of something. "You were basically promised a job in the majors with the Seattle job, which is near your family!" she said finally meeting my eye and I shook my head. "I would still be almost four hours away from my family. They actually told me to take the Durham position. They told me that it was a better fit for who I was. I am actually saving money here. I would be scraping for pennies in Seattle. Oh, and guess what Gabi? My family thought I would be stupid to not take this position because of you!"
Gabi rubbed her face with her hands before she went and collapsed in my couch. Her body language was defeated and exhausted. She looked, how I felt. Completely defeated with the situation. "I just don't know where I will be in three years, Troy." I went over, and I collapsed down next to her myself as I let my elbows rest on my knees. "You don't think I don't know that Gabi?" her eyes moved to mine and she gripped her glass tighter. "I would happily move to another location. I am getting experience and I am getting to learn how it works and during your residency maybe I go for a bigger job? I don't know. It'll depend on where we land. It doesn't matter to me though, Gabi because I will still be doing the same job just with a different team. I love it. I love that I will get to change and try something new." I paused as I exhaled draining the rest of my second glass.
"I would never have settled for this job if I didn't think it was a good fit for me. I was looking at places about two to three hours from here as well. This was just the one that was right for me. The one I thought would best fit all of my needs. Yes, of course, you were a factor. You will always be a factor in my decision." I whispered towards her as she rubbed her face as the tears were only falling faster. "How can you not hate me?" she whispered, "I just keep pushing you away because I know you have dreams, Troy."
I let out a laugh and shook my head as I gently reached over to place my hand on her knee. My eyes locked in on it as I let my thumb trace over and over again. "I could never hate you. I am just so fucking sick of having this conversation with you. I am sick of trying to prove to you that you are what matters to me. The same job in a different city doesn't even put a blimp on where you are in my life. It was supposed to be our apartment. It was supposed to be my year of just getting to watch you, ball out on that court."
My hands gently pulled her closer to me and my nose pressed into her neck. "I have dreams, yes, of course, but I'm 22. I have so much time for my dreams and you're chasing your dreams still. I want to watch you chase them and do them. I told you and have told you over and over and over again that I am in your corner. That I am and always will be in your corner. You are my girl. The love of my life. The one I need but I can't let you keep pushing me away. My heart can't handle watching you get up in the morning and leave without even a word. If I text you, you yell at me."
"I'm sorry, I just…"
I quickly moved away, and I shook my head, "No. I just…if that is how this conversation is going to go then just leave. I don't want to listen to you tell me over and over again that you are afraid I'll hate you later. I don't want to listen to you tell me that I am making a big mistake. Unless there is something else going on that you just will not tell me then please just leave because I am so over all of this. I am so over us arguing because I want my memories of you good ones. You are the best spot in my life and if you are just done with it. Stop texting me. Stop coming over. Stop telling me you love me." My breathing was rapid and my chest rising heavily. The pain rapidly filling my chest of her leaving me. A sob broke free from her mouth and my chest cracked. I looked at her and all I saw was a girl who was broken. I never thought in a million years that me staying behind and being with her was going to cause this. I never wanted to cause this heartbroken girl across from me.
She stood up, but she didn't move for the door, she only moved towards me. Her hands rested on my chest and she tilted her head back. Those brown eyes were sad and if I was at Rents I would order her a caramel latte that would help soothe her restlessness in those eyes. The trapped sadness. "If I tell you something, you're going to finally hate me. I was hoping that if I just made you hate me another way then you would leave. That I could forget you, but you have dug your heels into the ground and you refuse to hate me. You refuse to just leave and do what is best for you and that isn't me. I am not good enough for you. You deserve so much better and the fact that you took a job in Durham from me. It broke my heart because I don't deserve you." She said, and I grabbed her hand and held it close to me. I hated how this conversation was going but I kept my mouth shut. Her brown eyes were so fucking sad, and they had been for quite some time. "You are going to hear nothing I have to say after I say what I need to say but I am so sorry, Troy. I never wanted to tell you. I never wanted this to happen." She choked back another sob and she closed her eyes painfully. A cracked sob echoed from her mouth, "I need you to understand that I love you and that I hate how I've treated you these past several months," my mind was racing with the worst of news as I stared at her desperately looking for answers.
"Just tell me," I begged her, and she inhaled sharply as she looked up at me. My heart was racing because I didn't know what was happening. I don't know when this happened or why it happened. I was terrified. Did she cheat on me? Did something happen? My eyes were frantically searching every single inch of her face trying to find all of my answers. Her eyes were on mine and she closed them briefly before nodding her head once. "I had an abortion in May, right before we graduated." She whispered, and I felt my hands let go of her hands and I took three steps away from her. My eyes going wide as I stumbled into the wall and she let out a loud sob in my direction, but she turned, picked up her bag, and left. My jaw was hanging open and my eyes watching her retreat. The words repeating over and over again in my head.
I never blinked. Not once until the door slammed shut and I knew I should chase her. Find her but I was shocked to the floor. My feet wouldn't move, and my eyes couldn't leave the door as one word rang in my head over and over again.
Friday, May 1st, 2020
Troy tugged me closer to him and his nose pressed into my temple, "I cannot wait for our time together," he whispered, and I felt my stomach twist at his words. My mind racing with everything in my trash can at my apartment. "Yea," I finally squeaked out as Troy kissed my lips, then my jaw, before moving to my collarbone. "How many finals do you have next week?" Troy asked, and I tried to find an answer, but I was distracted. I was too distracted.
"Gabi?" I looked up at him and his blue eyes were concerned as I swallowed on the sand paper in my throat. "Uh…I think three." I said, but I didn't have a single clue how many finals I had. I just knew that I had them. That I had to take them. I couldn't study until I did this until I was able to breathe again. "My parents and siblings are coming into town on Wednesday. They want to do a whole big thing. They are so excited I am graduating with people offering me jobs."
Troy was chatty, and I just didn't have it in me today. I rolled away from him and he gave me a confused look, "I have to go study," I said with a false smile and he narrowed his eyes towards me. "We said that tonight was our night." He clarified something that we had planned for a while. Before I threw myself into my studies, we would have a night together. We were really good at making sure we had time for each other. I will forever be proud of us for doing that.
"I know," I said as my face dropped, "I just can't give you the attention I want to give you right now. I have too. I don't want our time to be like this. My mind just isn't here." I said honestly, and Troy only nodded his head. He knew that I had been busy. He tugged on my hand gently though and my brown eyes found his blue eyes. "I love you," he told me, and I smiled as I leaned in closer to him. I pressed a soft kiss to his forehead. "I love you too."
Getting dressed, I quickly left his apartment as I walked down the stairs to my own apartment. Chewing on my lip, I opened the door as I unlocked my bedroom door and I pushed open the bedroom door. Sitting on the counter was the pregnancy test that I bought earlier today, two towns over. I couldn't be spotted buying this or it would start rumors. I inhaled as the only thing I could think of was the night they won the national championship.
Chewing down on my lip until it was raw, I peed on it and then I paced back and forth. I couldn't possibly be pregnant. Troy and I were smart. I went back to birth control after my IUD was taken out six months ago. I was religious with it. Troy and I mostly used condoms as well. We did have a few nights that it didn't happen but for the most part, we always used condoms and relied on my birth control. There was no chance.
My phone dinged with the allotted five minutes and I felt the panic rise in my chest. I flipped the test over and my whole body was frozen.
A sob released from my throat as I sank to the floor. I was starting Medical School. I had one more year of eligibility. My brain began to slowly count the months in my head as I counted down to eight because the last time Troy went without a condom was that night. I still took my birth control that night though. I wouldn't have this baby until January. I couldn't. The sobs shook my chest as I rested my hand on my belly terrified. I knew I truly only had one choice but that wasn't fair to this baby or Troy.
I couldn't tell him. He would never let me abort our baby. I grimaced at the thought alone. He would be such a great father, but he hadn't even picked a job yet. He had a few different offers, but he was keeping his options open. He was still doing interviews every so often. I was proud of him and I didn't want to drag him down with this choice. This wasn't fair to him. I had to do it. I wouldn't tell him. I wouldn't tell anybody. I tilted my head forward as I felt the guilt eat at my stomach.
If I was at a different spot in my life, I would be welcoming this. I would be happy. This just wasn't the right time for me and I had to put me first. I never put myself first. I wanted to go to medical school. I wanted to play my last year of basketball. Basketball was already ripped away from me once, I wasn't allowing it to happen again. I stood up as I wiped my tears, I threw away my pregnancy tests and I googled the closest location and what I needed to do for this to be over and done with.
The moment I stepped outside of his apartment I doubled over in pain. I never wanted to tell him what I did all those months ago. I never wanted to see the hurt on his face. It was just supposed to be easy in and out procedure, that I asked some freshman girl to take me to on the team. I paid her to keep her trap shut and it had worked. Yet, the moment I saw Troy Bolton after that I felt guilt. Deep and imbedded guilt in my bones. He didn't deserve what I did to him.
It just so happened the first time I saw him after I had the abortion is when he told me about the job in Durham that appeared out of nowhere and he took it. So, I pushed all of my anger towards that. We fought all summer about it. I finally tried my best move to push him away with his swift push trying to break-up with him, but he wouldn't budge. The man was stuck in a puddle of cement. No matter how many times I went to him at night and no matter how many times I ignored him during the day. He still let me come.
Every single time.
So, tonight, when he said he had enough of this hot and cold game. I felt my final straw burst and I told him. The moment his hands left my body was when the rushing cold air enveloped me and the second, he took steps backward caused everything in me to crack and shatter. He hated me. Now, I didn't want him to hate me though. Now I just wanted him to comfort me because I didn't have to hide my secret anymore. I didn't have to have guilt eating at me.
He knew. I could fucking breath again.
Yet, he didn't come after me. The sobs tore through my chest and I just sat in the stairwell sobbing. It wasn't like it was an easy decision, but it was the right decision for me. I was getting ready to start Med school. I still had another year of eligibility for basketball. He was just starting out in his career making pennies. I wasn't ready for a baby and neither was he. I just didn't ask him about it. I wasn't going to let my senior season go for basketball to have a baby. I want kids, don't get me wrong, and it eats at me all the time that I had an abortion. I wasn't proud, but I knew that it was the right choice for me.
"Gabi?" I tilted my head back to see Grey looking at me with concern. I only sobbed harder and Grey sat down on the other side of me. "G, baby, what's wrong?" he hugged me close to his body and I couldn't stop crying long enough to tell him. "I love him so much," I whispered and Grey just hugged me tighter. "I have a feeling you just broke his heart." He whispered, and I only nodded my head up and down. Grey sighed heavily and we both sat there while he let me cry. "You know that man loves you so much, right Gabi? I don't know why you are so upset that he stayed here."
I shook my head, "You'll have to go talk to Troy, I bet he needs somebody." I whispered as I tried to gain composure, so I could go back to my apartment. Grey's face was blank, and he was trying to search my face for answers. I bit down on my lip and I began to stand up, "Why don't you go talk to Lauren?" he asked as he tugged on my arm. I shook my head back and forth, "No. I have to leave. I can't be here right now." I told him trying to pull away, but Grey's face was only distraught.
"Gabi, please, Lauren said you haven't talked to her in weeks. She is upset because she feels like she's losing you." I shook my head back and forth because it was true. I was pulling away from everybody because I couldn't handle the guilt of eating at my insides. I was fucking guilty and an awful human. How am I supposed to live with myself? I lied to my boyfriend. I lied to my friends. I even let somebody kill my baby. Pulling away from Grey I began to walk down the stairs. "Gabi, please, if you break his heart, he will never survive that."
My lips were dry, my body was hurt, and I was exhausted. I was already tired from the game but the conversation with Troy took more out of me than the entire game did. "It's already too late," I whispered as I finished going down the stairs. My body screaming for me to go back to check on Troy, to tell Grey the truth, and to just talk to my best friend again for the first time in a long time. I was ashamed, I was terrified, and I just wanted my boyfriend back.
I hated that I had the abortion the same time he found out about his Durham job. I would have been excited. I would have been happy. I am happy. I just found an outlet for my anger and I was just exhausted. Rolling my lips together I slid into my car as I just let my head lean against the steering wheel. My phone rang in my cup holder and I looked down to see Trevor calling me. A wave of nausea rose in my throat and I pushed it back down. My avoidance was with absolutely everybody. Especially, Vivian. I felt guilty.
I couldn't shake it either. I tried. I was just hoping that telling Troy would ease the guilt, but it was sitting on the top of my chest. Pressing down harder and harder with the need to break free. I wanted to scream it from the top of the world what had happened, but I would be shamed. I would bring bad press towards Duke and I didn't want that either. Closing my eyes, I turned my car over and I backed out of the parking lot. The drive was short and I pulled into my apartment.
Going inside and upstairs, I only crawled into my bed. I pulled the covers up over my head and I cried because I lost the love of my life, I got rid of my baby, and everything inside was completely voided.
The door opened and shut but I just tilted back the bottle of whiskey. It burned down my throat, but I was drunk by this point. There was no returning and it was exactly the state I wanted to be in. I should have gone after her. I should have told her that I didn't care about the baby. I should have been better, but I was frozen. I was stuck. I couldn't move. "Oh buddy," I looked over at Grey as he was in a pair of shorts with a long-sleeve shirt. His eyes were stuck on the Whiskey in my hand. The bottle that was almost empty.
"Troy, man, what the fuck happened?" Grey settled on the couch next to me and I fucking laughed. I laughed until the tears were running down my face. I was laughing and crying sitting on my couch drinking whiskey until I couldn't feel anymore. Yet, I couldn't stop feeling. I couldn't stop feeling her inside of my chest. The need to chase her. The need to go after her. To love her. I will never not love her. Grey could only give me a concerned look before he eased the bottle out of my head.
He took a whiff before he tilted the bottle back himself. "She had an abortion," I said quietly, and I could have sworn he broke his neck from turning to look my direction so quickly while forcing the liquid down his throat. "What the fuck?" Grey said, and I nodded as I let my hands hold my head. My fingers locked behind and I just laughed again shaking my head back and forth. "Apparently right before graduation. Sometime in there. I don't know. I never knew she was even pregnant. I don't fucking know." Grey didn't answer anything, he just took another long pull of the whiskey. "Jesus," he whispered. I only nodded my head.
"I don't know what to say. I should have gone after her. I should have told her that I didn't care but…I'm hurt she never told me. I'm pissed. I'm angry. I'm fucking stuck on what the fuck to do. She's the love of my damn life and she just lies to me?" I shook my head trying to stop the force of tears that were going to happen. I was drunk, vulnerable, and I fucking missed that girl like no other. Grey exhaled heavily because we both knew that I would have to talk to Gabi to get the full story. It wasn't like I wasn't going to talk to her again, I just need a moment.
"It's probably best if you waited until tomorrow anyway." Grey patted my back and he laid back on the couch as he stared up at the ceiling. "I would have never imagined that was what was bugging, Gabi." Grey said, "She was torn up in the hallway." I sat up quickly to look at him, but it caused rapid dizziness from me. Grey looked at me surprised, "Is she out there? Jesus, I knew I should have followed her." I quickly stood up, but all of the whiskey-fueled my body. I could feel the sway in my motion.
"She left. I made sure she calmed down before she left. She kept saying she broke your heart and that I had to come to talk to you. She wasn't going to tell me. I understand why now." I shook my head, "She didn't break my heart. She just…" I paused to think about what had happened in this apartment tonight. "She surprised the fuck out of me. I don't know how in the hell I was supposed to react. She was gone faster than I could actually react to the news she delivered."
Grey couldn't stop a smile from etching over his lips, "Imagine that, you can't even hate her for that." I shook my head as I ran my fingers through my hair, down my face, across my stubble. "Did Lauren know?" Grey shook his head back and forth, "No. She would have told me." I exhaled and felt my eyes trying to slip shut. "I should be mad at her…" Grey sighed, "I don't think you can be mad at her until you get the full story out of her." My eyes stared at the picture of Gabi and me on my end table. She was smiling up at me while my hand was on her face. My thumb stroking her cheek.
"I think Gabi probably had her reasons for everything. I'm not sure why she wouldn't just tell you but maybe she was scared of how you were going to react." I rubbed my fingers to my temples as I couldn't think straight anymore. "I need to go to bed. I'm drunk." Grey nodded, "Yea, we can talk more tomorrow morning." He helped me into the bedroom and I laid on my bed without taking any of my clothes off. "I love her man, so damn much, I had a ring," I mumbled, and Grey looked at me with a bit of surprise.
"I know buddy," I nodded my head as I looked at the ceiling fan, "Yup. I had it all picked out and I was going to wait a few more weeks before buying it. That's when everything turned to shit and I backed off. I don't know. I just…I would have been there for her." I mumbled in my drunken state. Chewing down onto my lip, Grey sighed, "Just talk to her tomorrow, okay? Get some sleep." He shut my lights off. He then shut my bedroom door, but he didn't leave my apartment. I heard the TV flicker on and I closed my eyes.
I was thankful for a friend like him.
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020
"Hadley, no, man, I just don't feel so hot. I don't want to spread my illness around the office. I'll be back tomorrow but I think a day away from the office will be good. If you need anything done email it to me and I'll see what I can get done from my apartment." Hadley spewed an answer through the phone line, but my head was throbbing so bad I couldn't focus on his words. The only thing I knew was that I couldn't go to work today. I was in no right mind to go into the office and act like I knew what I was doing.
All night the only thing I could dream about was Gabi saying the word abortion over and over again. Hadley finally shut up and my phone landed on my chest as my eyes closed again. My mind was stuck on the abortion but the thing that I was really caught up on was that Gabi was scared to tell me. She was scared that I wouldn't support what she wanted to do. I could only imagine how scared she was and how alone she felt through the entire thing.
I should have been there for her.
That was the only thing that made me angry. I just wanted to be there for her and she pushed me away. My head throbbed again as I stuffed my face into a pillow. My mouth was dry as a desert and my body just hurt. It was a fitful night of sleep that my drunk state couldn't even drag me under. I constantly was tossing and turning through the evening trying to find sleep, to just let go and rest, but my mind was spinning.
After a few more minutes I swung my feet out of bed and planted them on the ground. My elbows resting on my knees as I rubbed my eyes. "Hey man," I tilted my head back to see Grey and I just nodded as I went into the bathroom to grab my toothbrush. "I brewed some coffee. I tried to do it the way you like but I know…" he stopped as I looked at him and he shook his head. "You look like hell," I grunted as I spit out the spit collecting in my mouth from my toothbrush. I rinsed my face and I just shook my head.
"I can't believe she had an abortion without telling you. That is what I would be angry about." Grey finally said as if he thought about it all night long as well. I just nodded, "Basically why I am mad. I just…I have to talk to her, but I want to be in a clear head when I do it. I need to not be hungover and I think a few hours of sleep would be a good idea as well." I mentioned as I changed into shorts with a t-shirt. I went out to pour myself a cup of coffee as I leaned against the bar.
My lips rolling together as I couldn't stop thinking about everything. Shaking my head, I looked up at Grey, "How upset was she last night? I feel bad that I didn't go after her. I wanted to go after her. I was just stuck. I was surprised and shocked." I told him honestly, "I couldn't process anything other than the word abortion. I had to mentally connect the word abortion to pregnancy and that meant she was pregnant with a baby. My baby." Grey couldn't help but chuckle. "I can only imagine your face during that moment." I rolled my eyes as I sipped my coffee. "I was in shock and then I just drowned myself in whiskey because I figured she was long gone by that point and I was fucking shocked."
Grey sighed, "She was really upset. She couldn't calm down for the longest time and I about came to beat down your damn door to ask you what the fuck she did." I grimaced as Grey tilted his head to the side. "I think you two will be okay. She told me last night that she really loves you. That she hated breaking you and that she just wanted you to be happy." He rolled his hands together and he looked at me, "Now that she doesn't have to hide that anymore and the fact that you wanted to chase after her last night. I think it will just take time for the two of you to patch up this spot in your relationship."
My phone buzzed next to me as I realized it had been sitting out here all night. Grey glanced at it and he nodded, "It buzzed a few times last night." I picked it up and I scrolled through the different text messages.
1:24 am Gabi: I'm so sorry, Troy. So sorry.
1:51 am Gabi: I wish I could be there right now. I wish I didn't do this to you. I wish…I wish I would have been honest with you. I'm sorry.
2:30 am Gabi: I understand if you hate me. I would hate me too. I just…I have so much to say still. I want to talk to you but if you don't want to ever talk to me again. I understand. I'm sorry.
8:13 am Gabi: I miss you.
I exhaled as I read over the messages and I knew I needed to say something, so she understood that I just needed a moment to think. I just needed to wrap my head around this. I just…I needed a moment.
8:17 am Troy: I want to talk. I do. I just need a day or two to wrap my mind around this. Please, don't take this the wrong way. Just give my mind some time to catch up.
I then shut my phone off because I didn't know what else to say.
Uh…hi. So welcome back to these characters! I bet you didn't expect…this. It was the wild hair that caught my attention to this story and getting to re-fall in love with Gabi and Troy. OF course, there had to be conflict but…yea. I really hope all of you enjoyed. This was surprising, to say the least, and I can't wait to hear all of your reactions! Please please tell me what you think!
Thanks for coming back and joining me with another story of these characters!
Next Update: February 24th