Nobody Knows (Razes Hell 1) - Page 75
I did that to him. And I planned to fix the mess with a reminder of everything I ruined?
I turned to Mack, holding up my hand for him to stop playing. Silence fell over the room. Not a single whisper broke through the quiet. I clung to the microphone, breathing deeply and trying not to pass out from the two hundred pairs of eyes watching me.
I blinked to clear my vision and found her again. She’d pushed her way to the front of the crowd, and looked up at me with a supportive smile. “Talk to him,” she mouthed.
Maybe it was always that simple. Maybe all I ever needed to do was talk to him without all… this. It never felt like enough, though.
“Okay,” I began, taking a deep breath. “I guess you’re all wondering what’s going on. The truth is there are only five people in this room who knew what is supposed to be happening right now. The sixth person, I’m sure, figured it out when he heard the opening to his song.”
I still didn’t have the strength to look at anyone other than Lucy, though. If I focused on my sister, I could forget about everyone else.
My legs were weak, ready to collapse at any second. They weren’t strong enough to carry me off the stage, so I dug my heels into the floor, hoping they’d last until I’d finished… whatever I was going to say.
“The song that didn’t get played is something special. Something so special, I don’t think I have any right to attempt it. But the person who wrote the song… the person who writes every single Razes Hell song that gives you goose bumps, he’s pretty special, too.”
Closing my eyes, I breathed deeply again. Stopping the tears was impossible, so I hoped to hell nobody attempted to photograph me with make-up streaked down my face. I had to see this through to the end, whatever the consequences.
“I never thought I’d do anything like this. I never thought I’d stand in front of people and talk about private things. I’m not a celebrity. I’m Ellie. I do normal things like everyone else. I paint pictures, and hang around my flat wearing old baggy shirts and eating junk food. Sometimes I stay in my pyjamas all day, and cook weird crap from leftovers because I can’t be bothered to go to the supermarket. The other very normal thing I do is fall in love.” Pause. Breathe. “I fell in love with Drew Brooks. I didn’t see it happening until I was so far gone it hurt to not be with him.”
My whole body quivered, my vision blurring again as I thought about the nights I still clung to Drew’s shirt, though it didn’t smell like him anymore.
I wiped my eyes, and continued.
“I thought… before he knew how I loved him, I thought that was the most painful thing in the world. Loving him, and being too afraid to tell him. But you know what hurts more? Knowing he’s right behind me, right now, and the only reason I’m not standing b
eside him is because I made a stupid, horrible mistake. But even if… if this doesn’t go the way I want tonight, I just… I think he deserves to know there’s someone who loves him enough to… to learn a song for him and-”
There was more. So much more I wanted to say, but familiar hands touched my waist, making the rest of my words stick in my throat. My already weak legs quivered as the hands I knew so well turned me around, turning my back to the audience.
I closed my eyes. Drew cupped my face in his hands, brushing away my tears with his thumbs.
“Eleanor Jane,” he said, his voice husky. “What am I going to do with you?”
My heart hammered so fast I could hardly breathe. Instead of speaking, I let myself get lost in the gentle movements of his fingers over my cheeks, drying each droplet of moisture that fell.
“Look at me.”
I shook my head. Still not ready.
Drew’s lips planted soft kisses on my eyelids, causing flutters in my stomach. “Look. At. Me.”
“I can’t,” I whispered.
“No?” His stubble lightly brushed my cheek, making my heart beat harder. “I think the girl who told a room full of people how much she loves someone can do anything she wants to.”
I didn’t feel anywhere near as brave as he made me sound, but it was easier to fake when he held me.
Everything was easier with him.
Slowly, I lifted my eyelids, and he smiled though his own eyes were glistening. “There’s my girl.”
Without any warning, he swept me off the ground, and the crowd – who I’d completely forgotten about – gave a loud cheer as Drew walked off the stage with me in his arms.