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Landon & Shay Part Two (L&S Duet #2)
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Once upon a time, I fell in love with a boy.
People warned me against our love, but I didn’t listen.
In order to keep our hearts protected from the opinions of others, we became each other’s secret.
It was our twisted love story, and it worked for us up until our lives changed forever.
The boy I loved became Hollywood’s newest golden boy.
We moved into different realms where our pieces no longer fit together.
In the fairy tales, love conquered all.
I always knew Landon belonged in my story.
*Book Two of the Landon & Shay Duet.*
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Eighteen years old
I often wondered about the first person to ever fall in love.
Did they know what it was right away, or did it feel like extreme heartburn? Were they happy? Sad? Was the love a two-way street, or was it a solo affair? How long did it take to get there? How many days, months, and years did they travel before the love arrived?
Were they scared?
Did they speak the words first or wait for the other to do the talking?
Love was always a hard concept for me because I’d seen so many messed-up versions of it, but then I met Landon and fully understood how love could appear out of nowhere. Never in my life would I have thought I’d end up falling in love with my sworn enemy. I truly thought the only four-letter word I’d ever use for Landon would be hate. Then love creeped in without any care in the world for my brain’s opinion of Landon. Love only cared about how my heart secretly beat for him.
Love swept in at its own speed, not believing in time, space, or constraints.
It just came—sometimes welcomed, other times not—and it filled people up with warmth, with hope, with a feeling of acceptance, yet when the person you loved left without an exact return date? It left you waiting with bated breath.
It had been nine months since Landon went away, and in those months, everyone around me had begun to lose hope for what it was he and I shared.
But still, even with other people’s opinions, the love was still there.
“I think it’s okay if you start seeing other guys,” Tracey told me one afternoon after school. “It’s our senior year, and you’re missing out on dating because you’re waiting on someone who hasn’t shown any signs that he’s coming back. How long do you plan to wait?”
Oh, I don’t know, maybe the same amount of time it took you to realize Reggie was an asshole.
I didn’t say that to her, though. I smiled and allowed her to have her thoughts because I was strong enough in my belief of Landon not to let outside opinions get to me.
“Don’t listen to Tracey,” Raine commented after she walked away. “I think you waiting for Landon is very romantic, like you’re your own movie really. ‘When you find you, come back to me.’” She swooned, pressing her hand to her chest. “Gosh, you two are like The Notebook. He’s your Ryan Gosling, so ignore Tracey. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Sadly, Tracey wasn’t the only one who had those sorts of thoughts about my situation with Landon. My mother felt the same way, but I blamed it on her own recent heartbreak. She didn’t understand the strong connection he and I had formed when we were going through the darkest of days with one another. My cousin didn’t get it either. Eleanor was still convinced he’d actually cheated on me in the closet with that sophomore girl, and she hated him to his core.
Outside of Raine, the only person who truly approved of our love story was my grandmother. Mima asked about Landon all the time, wanting updates on his heart. She believed in our nontraditional love, even when the rest of the world didn’t seem to do so.
“Everybody has an option, Shannon Sofia,” Mima said, shaking her head. “You wear your hair long; they’ll tell you to cut it. You wear it short; they’ll tell you to grow it out. You lose weight; they’ll tell you you’re too skinny, yet if you gain weight, they’ll call you fat. Trust me when I say, there are no happily ever afters when you’re living your life based on others’ opinions. Also, double-check your friendships and make sure they’re coming from a genuine place. Someone can call you their friend yet wish evilness upon you in quiet. I’d be careful with that Tracey girl. I can tell she has jealous tendencies. The older you get, the more you’ll realize that just because a friendship has history, it doesn’t mean it has longevity.”
Words of wisdom from Mima.
I kept quiet about Landon and me to most people outside of Mima and Raine. I let our love be Landon’s and my secret. It wasn’t like we’d lost our connection, even though over two thousand miles separated us. There were times we promised to be there for one another, no matter what. For example, on Landon birthday, he’d either be in my arms, or we’d share a phone call to make sure his heart was still beating. I knew how hard his birthday was for him, and I refused to leave him alone with his thoughts.
It wasn’t a one-way street, either. Whenever I needed him, he was there for me.
Every so often, we’d talk on the phone, but Landon wasn’t a big fan of phone conversations, and neither was I, a quirk Tracey warned would be an issue with a long-distance relationship. Still, it wasn’t for us. I didn’t like holding a phone to my ear and yapping on and on, so we’d text one another, and we’d talk on instant messenger, but my favorite method of communication was our notebooks.