Chapter Twenty Seven: I'll Stand By You
When Natalia had finally been allowed to leave the hospital, Dallas had made sure she returned to a decorated room.
He and Derek had spent the night before decorating it for her. They had put up streamers, balloons, and even hung a banner saying 'Welcome Home' across her door.
For the most part, Natalia had seemed happy, but Dallas knew better. She was still brooding over not being accepted by Western.
Derek had tried to cheer her up; her parents had told her that it was okay. Her father had even shown her the amount of times he had been turned down by Western and other schools before finally being accepted. Yet still Natalia wasn't taking rejection very well. She may have acted happy on the outside, but she was still hurt.
Dallas had come home after practice. Natalia was going to be back in school after the weekend. At least he had her around for a few more days.
Dallas walked up the stairs and opened the door to Natalia's room.
“Shouldn't you be up by now?” Dallas asked, as he flicked on the light. He saw Natalia flinch. “I am up.” She told him, but she made no movement of getting out of bed.
Dallas went over and sat beside her. “Come on, Lia. You need to get dressed and go downstairs to eat.” He told her. Instead Natalia turned on her side, facing away from him. She pulled her blanket over her head. “I don't feel hungry.” She mumbled.
Dallas sighed. She had only gotten home yesterday and already she was getting into her old habits, the same ones that landed her in the hospital in the first place.
“Natalia, please stop moping.” Dallas said, trying to be patient. “I'm not.” This time she pulled the blanket down. “I'm not moping.” She told him.
“Then come down and eat.” He told her. “Not hungry.” She reiterated.
“Okay, then let me find some way to motivate you.” Dallas got up, and went into her closet. He pulled out a dress, and some pants, which he laid out for her on the bed.
“That's not motivating me.” She told him, snidely. “I'm not done yet.” He told her.
Dallas had sat back on the bed. He leaned over her, his hands on either side of her, and kissed her gently. “That should motivate you.” He said with a grin.
“That's not fair.” Natalia complained, but she was smiling. “Yea, well nothing's fair in love and war.” Dallas retorted.
He pulled her up out of the bed, and handed her the clothes. Dallas marched Natalia to the bathroom and closed the door on her before she could say anything else.
He waited for her, sitting on the stairs leading to the main floor.
Natalia grumbled as she changed into the clothes Dallas had given her. He had picked out a forest green sweater dress with long sleeves, and black tight pants to go with it. She combed her hair, brushed her teeth. She put on eyeliner, but she didn't outline all of her eye. Instead she put it half way on the bottom of her eyelid and the top. It made her eyelashes look thicker, and she didn't look like she had make up on.
Natalia could live without makeup. She didn't bother with it. It was just that she had a certain weakness for eyeliner.
Natalia pulled her hair into a ponytail and left the bathroom.
Once outside, she noticed Dallas waiting for her on the stairs.
“You could have waited downstairs.” Natalia told him, pointedly. “I just wanted to make sure that you would get dressed, instead of running back to bed once I had left.” He told her with a grin. “Funny...” Natalia muttered.
“After we eat, I'll take you out.” Dallas told her. “Where?” Natalia asked. “You'll see. Hopefully it'll get you to lighten up.” Dallas's response left her curious.
“I'm not moping.” Natalia said a little forcefully. “Right, so that's not a storm cloud I see thundering over your head.” Dallas retorted. “Alright...maybe I'm moping a little bit.” Natalia admitted.
“A little? Natalia, it's been two days since you read that letter and everyone is telling you that it's okay. Yet you still are acting like someone died.” Dallas stopped and faced her.
“Yea, because my dream died. My life feels like it ended” She confessed. Natalia could see that she was hurting Dallas. He looked upset. “I'm sorry...” She said quietly, and the tears started to build up again.
She looked up at the ceiling, trying to make them go away. Soon she lost that battle. Dallas led her to the couch, the tears fell onto her face.
“I'm sorry...” She told him again. “Why are you sorry?” Dallas asked. “Becuase, I'm making everyone miserable...because I let everyone down...becuase I don't know where I will be going...and it feels like everything is falling apart. I don't know what to do.” She couldn't keep her thoughts inside anymore, they were let out in a rush.
“Natalia, you're not making anyone else miserable except yourself. No one is disappointed in you. It doesn't matter which university you go to, what matters is what you learn there. Why would you think anyone would be dissapointed in you?” Dallas asked her.
“Becuase I didn't get into the university my dad went to.” Natalia told him.
“Lia, they don't care if you don't go to Western. What if you had never wanted to go there in the first place? It wouldn't matter to them then, just like it doesn't matter now. You're going to be fine. You just need to forget about Western for a little while.” He said to her, wiping the tears off of her face.
Dallas lifted Natalia's chin, she was looking at him. Natalia looked away, the intensity of his eyes was too much for her.
“And if you feel like you're falling apart, then let me help you. I'm right here. I'll keep you together. I'll keep us both from falling apart.” He told her.
Natalia looked up at him. “Why?” She asked him. “Becuase, I love you.” That was all she needed to hear. “I love you, too.” She kissed him.
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