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What If

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They were mostly silent on the way to the park. They had both missed the other so much, but were still unsure if their feelings were reciprocated.

The sun was tinted orange and red as it peaked through the fall leaves that towered over them as they walked.

“How are you liking your classes?” Keith asked, breaking the silence with a safe topic.

They discussed trivial things for a while before taking a seat on a park bench watching the other New Yorkers move around the park.

“Keith, what did you really want to talk about” Sophie asked, finally gaining the courage to ask what she’d been dying to the entire time.

“I don’t know” he said simply, breaking their eye contact to look down at his lap. “I just really wanted to see you again” he confessed, making Sophie’s heart feel like it would drop out of her chest.

‘Could he really feel that way after all this time?’ Sophie thought to herself, finally allowing a little bit of that hope creep back into consciousness.

“I feel horrible about leaving” Sophie said, referring to her sudden departure back to the UK.

“Don’t. Family is always a top priority, it trumps everything” Keith said honestly. He never held it against her for leaving to take care of her aunt. If anything, it made him love her even more.

“We never even got to say goodbye” Sophie said, tears coming to her eyes as she thought back to that day.

“Yeah, that was kind of horrible” Keith said, getting a pensive look in his eyes. “I knew what you would’ve said though. And I’ve been telling myself that you knew what I would’ve said too.”

“What would you have said?”

“If it was just the two of us?” Keith asked and Sophie nodded. Keith took a deep breath trying to summon some courage. ‘You’ve got nothing to lose’ he thought. “I would’ve told you that I was madly in love with you, and that I was going to miss you more than I thought possible. I would’ve told you that the months we spent together were some of the best of my life and that I would…I would wait for you for however long you needed” he said, looking up to meet her teary eyes, pouring his entire soul into his words and gaze, begging her to see his sincerity.

“Do you really mean it?” Sophie asked him, processing his words. ‘Does this mean he still loves me?’ she thought, her mind racing nearly as fast as her heart. Keith nodded. Sophie held his gaze and spoke again. “Well, I would’ve told you that you were the love of my life and that I would come back as soon as I could so that we could be together.”

‘I’m the love of her life’ he thought, tears of joy coming to his eyes as he realized that his feelings were not unreciprocated. “Do you still feel that way?” he asked nervously, his voice nearly catching in his throat.

Sophie didn’t answer him, but instead leaned forward calmly and gently pressed her lips to his.

‘God, this is what I’ve been waiting for’ he thought before his mind went blank at the overwhelming feeling of her lips finally meeting his after too long apart. Sophie was over the moon. His lips felt even better than she remembered. When he slipped his tongue out to meet her lips, she granted him access immediately and completely lost her train of thought.

The two of them kissed for an eternity, as though they were making up for over 2 years of missed opportunities. When they eventually broke apart, they found each other’s gaze and shared the widest pair of grins imaginable.

Keith moved his hand to find hers and give it a reassuring squeeze. “I’m so in love with you” he said smiling softly at her, and baring the entirety of his soul in his eyes.

“I’m so in love with you too” Sophie replied, and it was the easiest thing she had ever said.

“I have to do something before we do anything else though” Keith said, thinking of Addison.

Sophie followed his train of thought and nodded, agreeing with him. “No more hiding” she said.

“Never again” he said, giving her a tender kiss on her temple. “I’ll walk you back, and then I’ll go have a talk with Addison” he said, standing up from their park bench.

“Alright” Sophie said, following him up from the bench.

“Do you have plans tomorrow night?” he asked as they started their walk back to her dorm.

“Not after 5 o’clock” she said, grabbing his hand and threading their fingers together. She’d forgotten how well their hands fit together.

“Great, I’ll pick you up at 5” Keith said, giving her that cocky grin she loved so much as they walked into the fading light of the sun.