Reed's Reckoning(6)

By: Ahren Sanders

All my life, I thought that insta-love was bullshit, but now I know differently. With just one kiss, one taste of her, I’m pretty sure I just fell in love with Arianna Rose Williams.

Arianna Williams was it for me. I LOVED her. Why did she throw me away like a piece of fucking garbage? The trip down memory lane leaves me feeling empty.

I’ve tried to forget her. Every time I smell jasmine or strawberries, it takes a minute to catch my breath. She was my touchdown. She was my trophy. She was my everything. Even after she left me, I tried to find her. I didn’t want to believe it was over.

Then one day I saw them together. She looked like nothing was wrong in her life. Like she hadn’t ripped my heart out and pissed on the love I felt for her. I knew him as only her friend, but they were so much more. He held her close that day and I watched as he took care of her. Even if I wanted to approach her, I couldn’t. Seeing her hurt too much. Sure, I was being a coward but I saw all I needed when she leaned into him and he kissed her forehead. She looked at him with such tenderness, another piece of my heart crumbled. That was the last time I saw her on campus. After that day, I avoided her and anywhere she would be.

It almost destroyed me. That’s why I was such an ass the last time I saw her. It hurt like a son of a bitch, but I wanted her to feel like I did. She needed to think I had moved on like she had. It took a lot of nerve to show up at my apartment that night. The moment I saw her I knew I had to do something before I begged her to take me back. Lucky for me, there was a very willing blonde available for some fun. Too bad nothing stopped my pain.

Sitting in confusion for a while, memories consume me. When my head clears, I get out my phone. Wanting answers quick, I call the only person that can help me.

Chapter 2


Focus Ari! I tap the pencil against my head so hard I’m sure there’s a mark. I have a huge presentation tomorrow to the Bank President that could mean a promotion. But I can’t concentrate. It’s been two weeks since Davis ran into Reed on the beach. Luke knows Reed recognized him but thinks that he was able to get Davis away in time.

My mind races thinking about how it could have been me that ran into Reed chasing our son down the beach. The thought makes me physically ill. If you put the two of us next to each other, there’s no denying who Davis belongs to. I’ve always felt he was a spitting image of Reed, but he has my smile.

Looking at the clock for the tenth time since lunch, I close down my laptop and pack my things. If I’m going to be useless, might as well be useless at home. It’s too early to pick Davis up at daycare so I decide to go for a run. Living near the beach in Florida has many perks. But in a few weeks, it’ll be too hot to run in the afternoons so I need to enjoy it while I can. Also, it’ll help me clear my head and hopefully get my presentation straight when Davis goes to bed.

Pulling into my driveway, I notice a car across the street I don’t recognize. The driver is reading through something and doesn’t look my way. I make a note to myself of the model of the car so I can watch out for it.

I change into my running clothes and stop by my Grandma’s house to let her know what I’m doing. She’s in the back working on her garden.

Grandma Katy is more than my family; she’s also my best friend. She knows what happened at the beach and she’s been worried about my mental state and me. When I came home to Fernandina Beach after my junior year pregnant and single, she never once judged me. She was with me every step of the way during my pregnancy until she had a stroke a month before Davis was due. Luke practically moved in with us to help with both of our care. She met Reed a few times when we were dating and thought highly of him. Even though she didn’t agree with my decisions regarding Reed and Davis, she never interfered.

“I’m going for a run. Then once I pick up Davis, I thought I’d make us all dinner. You in?”

“Sure. Aren’t you home a little early?”

“Yeah, my mind is spinning over the presentation tomorrow and I needed to get out. I’ll go over my notes later tonight.”

“Have fun, I’ll walk over around six.”

“Great, before I go, did you notice a strange car across the street?”

“Yes, he’s a handsome man that works for the city. He came by to do a land survey.”

“Oh, okay, that makes me feel better.” I wave and take off my normal route.

When Davis finally falls asleep after reading him three books, I get my notes, a glass of wine, and go to my porch. This is my favorite place in my house. I’ve worked hard to make it my sanctuary. Flowerpots filled with seasonal blooms cover every space possible. A bistro set sits on one side while a swing takes up the other. I spread my stuff out and run through the presentation in my mind.

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