Home > 27 Truths_ Ava's Story (The Truth About Love #1)

27 Truths_ Ava's Story (The Truth About Love #1)
Author: MJ Fields


 

PROLOGUE

 


* * *

 

 

You can’t run or hide from love. Love will always find you.


— H. Scully


SEVEN YEARS AGO


For as far back as I can remember, I have loved Luke Lane.

Luke’s father, Tommy, was my father’s best friend. Dad and Tommy went to school together, played football together—they did everything together. They planned to play football in college together, but Tommy Lane fell in love with Jade Ross, and Jade fell in love with Tommy.

From the stories I have been told, they were the happiest high school couple ever. They shared a love story for the ages.

One night during their senior year in high school, they went to Syracuse. Tommy was driving with Jade by his side. My father and Ryan, a friend of theirs, were in the back seat. A drunk city bus driver ran a red light, hit the vehicle on the driver’s side, and Tommy was killed. They were all rushed to the hospital where Jade found out she was pregnant.

My father did what he knew Tommy would do for him. He helped Jade in any way he could. And when Jade’s son was born, he was named after my father, and my father became his godfather.

My father is not particularly close to his own parents. The Ross family became his family, even after the breakup with his high school girlfriend, Tessa Ross. They still loved him and included him in nearly everything. By default, my brother Logan and I were part of that family, as well.

Even when Jade married Ryan, my father was still a huge part of their lives. He loved Luke Lane like he was his own. He loved Luke Lane because he was Tommy’s son.

I love him because I know that we are meant to be together.

Growing up next-door to him, we saw each other often. With our families being so close, I saw him even more often. Holidays, birthdays, cookouts, pool parties—we even vacationed together.

Luke Lane was taller than me, bigger than me, older than me, and there was always a part of him that was protective of me. He watched out for me, much like my father watched out for him.

When all the kids would choose teams for beach volleyball or kickball, I was always the last chosen. Luke once told me that I should stop wearing my tutu and my crown all the time, and then they might take me a little bit more seriously as an athlete. I told him, when he was captain, he should choose me, anyway, because that’s what people who love each other do. I was young, very young, and he was … Luke. He nodded and said, “Fine.”

From then on, I was always his second pick. I understood that he needed to make sure his team had a chance to win, and he understood that I was still going to wear my crown and tutu.

There are pictures of him and me in abundance: me on his shoulders in the pool, me tagging along behind him, me at his football games, him at some of my dance competitions, and hundreds of photos at get-togethers. There are more pictures of the two of us than me or him with anyone else.

Those things don’t just happen; they are signs. A sign that Luke Lane and Ava Links are meant to be together forever.

When I went through my “awkward phase”—you know the one: body changing, boobs growing, things like that—he no longer put me on his shoulders in the pool. He no longer picked me to be on his team when we played games. Instead, he distanced himself.

At first, it hurt.

At school, when I told my best friend Harper, his second cousin, that I had been reading magazine articles on how to make a guy fall in love with you, she laughed.

I didn’t think it was funny at all.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Ava. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. It’s just …” She stopped, and I waited.

Harper Abraham was that girl you wish you could be. She was the top of our class academically; any sports she played, she excelled at; and she was a friend to all, kindness pouring out of her. She did not do drama, and she smiled often. As a result, when she laughed at my teenage heartbreak, it pissed me off.

“Just what?” I asked, packing my book bag full of magazines and books.

“Ava, don’t be mad. He’s just … I don’t know, older and, like, family,” she finally said.

“You’re his family; I’m not.”

Harper and I went through a rough time after that. I left the library and never mentioned his name to her again. I hid my love for Luke for a while. When she brought it up, I shot it down. She didn’t get it. He was mine, I was his, and that was the way it was. Harper wasn’t the kind of girl who dreamed of her Prince Charming, though. She was too worried about spreading kindness and helping the less fortunate. (Seriously, she is that perfect.)

When Luke started dating, I accepted it. He didn’t love those girls. I mean, what was there to love? They didn’t know him, and he didn’t know them.

Harper was right. Our age difference was an issue, but someday, it wouldn’t be. Until then, I had to believe that true love would prevail.

And it would.

Luke joined the Army. The day I found out, my heart broke.

“Why?” I asked him when no one else was in earshot.

“Why, what?” he asked, also looking around to make sure no one could hear me, including his bimbo girlfriend.

“Why are you doing this? Leaving me?” I waved my hand around. “Leaving us?”

He looked at me and crossed his arms over his chest. “I’m a man, Ava. Until you grow up, you won’t understand this, but I need to make my own way.”

Tears immediately sprung to my eyes. My emotions were all over the place: hurt that he saw me as a child, sorrow because he was leaving, and anger because he just didn’t get it.

Then he hugged me.

“Someday, you’ll understand, okay? I’ll be back.”

You’ll be back for me, I thought. For me.

I prayed for Luke Lane every night. I prayed for his safety. I prayed for his return. I prayed for his love. God knew he was made for me, and so did I. That was all that mattered.

He came home on leave in time for graduation. His brother Jackson, Harper, his cousin Liam, and I all graduated that year. A few days after graduation, there was a party celebrating his safe return. And like every time he came home, there was a girl waiting. She was not me. She was physically my opposite: tall, big boobs, and red hair. I am short and dark-haired with less than average sized breasts and an ass that brings attention that I’m undetermined whether I like or not.

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