It was like olden times when Katherine calls me squealing on the phone with the words that would destroy me. “He proposed.”
I did not think it was possible, which is why I never worry about it. I pretend to be happy for her, but deep in my gut I could feel remorse. She insists that I help her to get ready for her marriage.
“I’m going to be coming to the city in a few days. Want to have dinner as soon as I get back?”
“Sure,” Hailey agrees and glances down at her trembling hand. “Congrats babe.”
High school ended a few months ago and that found people taking their leap of faith and trying different things. Alexis was travelling all over the world and discovering new things. Lauren had found herself a really good job which meant she could finally pay for an amazing house. Katherine’s engaged and she is happier than ever. This left Hailey all alone in an incredibly huge house and she had nothing to do. His name is Kevin and he was ridiculously sweet to Katherine. He got along with all her friends and always bought her chocolate instead of flowers. Hailey tried to hate him for a really long time, she was constantly rude to him and always had a frown on her face whenever he was around.
It was only when Katherine came to their condo that they shared and told Hailey that she thinks she’s falling in love with him. Hailey knew then that he was sticking around because he really made Katherine happy. Katherine moves in with a few months after and then a year later Hailey receives the news. Katherine’s 20 years old and was from Eastern Europe, while Hailey on the other hand was 21 and was brought up in Canada her whole life. Hailey wants so badly to be happy for her, she wants to be happy that she finally found a guy who treats her well. Hailey wants to be happy for her, it’s like she should have been happy for her. She had no reason to be upset at Katherine which is what upset her the most.
She got into bed and thought about how Katherine would come home with a ring on her finger. Katherine hugs her too tightly when she sees Hailey at the door. “I missed you,” Katherine says while she was muffled into Hailey’s shoulder. Hailey did not even ask, but Katherine shows her the ring. It was absolutely gorgeous and Katherine looks so happy: it was like Hailey had never seen her like this.
They had gone to dinner that night and something in Hailey told her that Katherine was slipping away. Hailey helps Katherine pick out everything for her wedding, almost acting like the groom. Katherine drags Hailey to help her pick out the cake because that day Kevin was getting fitted for his outfit. Hailey spent a lot of her time wiping Katherine’s face, and Katherine kept feeding the cake to her so she doesn’t look stupid at the actual wedding. When they finally choose a cake, the owner wishes them a happy marriage, and all Hailey could feel inside her was regret when Katherine laughs it off.
Later on Hailey also helps her pick out a dress, and when Katherine steps out of the dressing room looking absolutely gorgeous Hailey could not breathe. Hailey told her that she looks beautiful and Katherine was blooming and could not help but grab Hailey and start dancing with her. At this moment, Hailey was yearning for a time that had already passed. Katherine spends the night at Hailey’s house and Hailey wants to ask if it will be the last one but she stops herself.
“I still can’t believe this is happening,” Katherine whispers in the dark once they’re in Hailey’s bed. There’s a space between them that usually would be closed up with cuddles and Hailey doesn’t know what to say anymore.
“I’m glad you’re happy,” and she thinks she means it. Hailey throws her a bachelorette party a week before the wedding, which goes completely crazy. Lauren had finally let herself go and got absolutely wasted and ends up making out with Katherine’s friend. Alexis was in charge of making sure that whoever was drunk was taken care of. In the end too many people were wasted so Alexis just gave up. When everything had died down at the end at around 6am, Katherine slumps herself next to Hailey. Katherine was so close to Hailey that she thought she imagines it. The house is so dark and they were the only ones in the room when Katherine whispers, “I’m so scared of everything changing.”
Hailey could not tell her that she thought it already had. Katherine asks her if she could help her with the vows and as much as Hailey wants to decline she could not. Hailey had to turn away when she was reading them because she didn’t want Katherine to see the tears. The words that she used were so incredibly beautiful she wishes that she would have written them for her. Hailey almost says it, but certainly her intuition stops her. Katherine finally turns around to look at Hailey and get her feedback. It took her a while, but Hailey looks at Katherine and tells her, “He’s really lucky.”
Hailey stays up all night the day of the rehearsal dinner and she could not stop sobbing and downing a whole bottle of vodka. She realizes that Katherine is actually getting married and she was hoping that the two of them would it for each other. Hailey was always scared and Katherine practically threw herself at her. Nothing ever happened between them physically, but they both knew that feelings were there. It was always more than a friendship, but less than a relationship because they could not act on their feelings. Hailey knew that she should not say it, but this was her only chance. She knew it was selfish, but this was her last chance. She was driving Katherine home the night of the rehearsal dinner and when Katherine turns around to hug her goodbye and puts a hand on the door to leave, Hailey says it.
“Please don’t do it.” Katherine just stops her movements and does not even look at her. She is just waiting.
“Please don’t marry him,” Hailey whispers because right now her voice is hoarse.
Katherine waits for a while and says “Please don’t do this,” she begs.
“You can’t be doing this right now.” She looks at Hailey but she had to turn away because she couldn’t bear the sadness on Hailey’s face.
“I waited for you for so long,” Katherine whispers.
“I waited for you for a decade.” Hailey had tears dripping down her cheek.
“I didn’t know-”
“You knew.” Katherine accuses her while looking away.
“You’re not allowed anymore to do that anymore, so don’t.” And Hailey knew she was right, she had a decade to just grab Katherine and kiss her.
“I’m sorry,” Hailey says with her voice muffles by her tears. And right then Katherine just laughs, she wholeheartedly chuckles. “I thought you were it for me Hailey. I was in love with you, but you were always so scared.”
“So why?” Katherine questions.
“Because I don’t think we’re done yet,” Hailey explains.
“Well now we have to be,” Katherine says with determination. Katherine finally turns to look at her and she thinks that she’s never seen Hailey so absolutely desperate. Hailey folds her arms over the steering wheel and buries her face in there, and the sobs are almost painful to Katherine’s ears. Katherine saw the decade go by her, looking at the girl she loved for so long. Now she knew that all Hailey was feeling is regret.
“I’m never going to forgive you for this,” she says when Hailey finally looks up, tears streams down her face.
“I never will.” Katherine swallows a lump in her throat and she finally did what she has always wanted to do. She kisses her, and it’s devastating and sloppy when Hailey kisses back. She thinks she can taste her tears and she’s pretty sure Hailey can taste hers. She pulls herself back when she can’t help but let out a sob. Hailey ends up falling into her, burying her face in her neck.
“I love you,” Katherine finally claims.
“I love you so much. But it’s too late.” She ends up kissing Hailey on her head and finally pushes her away. Hailey is too shaken up to respond when Katherine gives her a sad look and leaves the car, but she knows she doesn’t have to. She knows she’s lost.