Three Little Words
By: Jamie Sommers
Synopsis: This is a story about
the moments after HSM2 ended. What happened with
Three Little Words
She had insisted upon sitting in the middle seat of his truck when they left the country club tonight. Luckily, he thought, these old things have seat belts in the middle. Once in the car she wrapped her arm through his, rested her head on his shoulder and curled her feat up on the seat next to her. She instantly held his hand, and he released hers only for the brief moment it took to put the car in gear.
He still couldn’t believe that she came back to Lava Springs and sang with him. The night he thought would be one of the worst in his life turned out being one of the best, but there was still something on his mind and he just didn’t know if he should bring it up with Gabriella or not. After the way things had been going this summer, he thought; better to get it all out in the open.
Had she not showed up at the talent show, he would’ve left immediately after his song, and begged for her forgiveness. But she saved him that humiliation, and just forgave him without him having to grovel. So why did he still feel so guilty?
“I just don’t belong here. I hope you understand. We might find our way in this world someday, but at least for now, I’ve got to go my own way.” He kept hearing her words over and over again, ringing in his ears, and it scared him. Being without her was the worst thing he could ever imagine, and he never wanted to feel that way again, yet the thoughts of that night caused those feelings to resurface instantly.
He begged her to stay, but she wouldn’t. No
“Plans change and people change,” he just kept hearing her breaking up with him, and it was killing him inside. “Blowing off your friends? Missing dates? If that’s you, it’s good to know.”
Once again he looked down at their hands, and he squeezed hers, and then brought it up to his lips to place a soft kiss upon her fingers.
Getting back together tonight was going to happen
one way or another,
With just a few more blocks to her house,
Gabriella’s eyes fluttered opened and her smile slowly lifted her lips. “Hi,” she said quietly.
“Hi.” He smiled back at her and then placed a gentle kiss on her lips.
“Mmmm,” she moaned softly into his kiss. “What was that for?” She teased him gently.
“No reason,” his blue eyes pierced her brown ones and his heart filled with joy.
She quickly snapped out of her stupor as she realized that she fell asleep on him and had no clue as to what time it was. Sitting upright, she put her feet on the floor of the truck and asked, “What time is it?”
“You’ve got five minutes.”
Once at her front door,
Gabriella’s fingers trailed across his eyebrow then down his
cheek, “Me either.” She lifted up onto the tips of her toes and placed a kiss
He responded with a gentle kiss upon her forehead, then leaned down and placed one on her lips.
Her mouth parted timidly as he tasted her sweetness. His fingers gripped her waist tightly, telling her he never wanted to let her go, as her hands pulled his head in closer.
As she pulled back she smiled into his eyes and said, “I really loved singing with you tonight.”
The curtains to Gabriella’s house moved as her mom peeked outside.
“I’ll see you tomorrow though.” She turned and walked the few steps to her front door then turned around and whispered, “Goodnight.”
“Wait,” he stopped her hand from turning the knob. “I just wanted
to tell you…” say it
“What is it?” Her eyes were filled with concern as she looked at the worried expression on his face.
“Nothing,” he stopped himself from telling her what had been on his mind for days. “Tomorrow…I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She nodded as they gave each other a brief kiss goodnight, then she disappeared into her house.
He got into his truck and sat there just thinking about everything he wanted to say to her, but didn’t. His fingers gripped the steering wheel and he laid his forehead against it. With his eyes closed he whispered hoarsely, “Gabriella. I’m sorry.” Yes they sang together tonight and they made up with one another, but he never actually told her that he was sorry. He turned the key and put the car in drive, then picked up his phone. He just needed to tell her and he couldn’t wait anymore. As he was just about to push the button to call her he noticed the time: . He shut the truck off and followed his instinct.
Gabriella walked into her house and said hello to her mom, then gave her a quick kiss goodnight.
“Did everything go alright tonight, Gabi?”
“Yeah mom. Everything was great, but can we talk about it tomorrow? I’m really tired.”
“Sure,” her mother kissed her forehead and said. “Get some rest. Goodnight.”
“Night mom.” Gabriella floated up the stairs;
When she entered her bedroom, she immediately changed out of the
clothes she had been wearing, into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Brushing her
hair in the mirror, she caught a glimpse of something on her balcony. “
Gabriella jumped up and opened the door, quickly saying, “What are you doing here?”
Her smile lit up the night sky as he pulled her in for a hug. “I just needed to see you…to talk to you.”
“Yeah, I kinda do.”
Gabriella stepped further out onto the balcony and pulled the doors to her bedroom closed. “Then tell me.”
Gabriella was quickly concerned about his comment and said, “Like kindergarten, remember?” She had been referring to a comment she made about being with him and how it was so easy to talk to him. It was like meeting someone in kindergarten and becoming instant best friends.
“Like kindergarten,” he agreed.
“Why did you come tonight Gabriella?”
She walked to the railing of her balcony and looked into her yard. “Kelsi called me and told me what you said to Sharpay, and…I don’t know…. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
“She’s a good singer,” Gabriella said teasingly.
“She’s not you.”
“It’s no big deal
“I know that, but…” he paused for what seemed like an eternity.
When I heard her singing “You Are The Music In Me, I wanted to be sick. That was our song, yours and mine, not Sharpay’s. The weird thing was, that ever single time I opened my mouth to sing with her, I felt like I was betraying you. Like I was cheating on you, in a sort of way.
“I know, but it felt like it.” They wrapped their arms around one
“Your?” she encouraged.
“I’m so sorry Gabriella. So sorry for everything I put you through this summer. I should’ve never…”
“I have to say this Gabriella. Please, just let me tell you.”
He stepped away from her and looked over the railing, “I’ve had something on my mind all night tonight and I need to get it out because I’m not sure where we stand or where we will be standing after all of this. I know you came to the club tonight to sing with me, but that doesn’t make everything better. That doesn’t excuse the jerk I’ve been to you.”
“No it doesn’t, but we worked through it
“Is it?” He turned and faced her, “What about the next time Gabriella? What if something like this happens again and you leav…” he cleared his tightening throat. “You leave again. I don’t know what I’d do.”
“Well, I’m hoping there won’t be a next time,” she said with a hint of a smile.
“Yeah me too, but what if I screw up again?”
“It’s simple. Don’t.”
They both chuckled
Gabriella continued, “Look Troy, everyone makes mistakes, that’s a given in life, but it’s up to you whether you learn from them or not. So the question is did you learn anything from this mistake?”
He toed the ground then looked up at her and said, “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do something stupid in the future. I am a guy after all.” He tried to play it off, but he was truly concerned that he’d mess something up in the future with her again.
Gabriella ran her hands down his arms as he turned to face her, “I
guess I can’t blame you for worrying. I don’t make it very easy on you when you
do stupid guy things.” She looked down and then said softly, “I’m sorry
He had a look of shock on his face as he said, “For what??”
“I left. I just gave up on you, and I shouldn’t have done that.”
“No. No, this was not your fault at all,” he pulled her into a hug and kissed the top of her head. “I was the one that ruined our summer, not you.”
“Okay,” she pulled back and looked up into his eyes. “You didn’t ruin our whole summer. You just messed up a small portion of it, but its better now, right?”
“And I do owe you an apology.” She cupped his cheek in her hand
and said, “If I had trusted you…believed in you, I wouldn’t have left. I
would’ve stayed at the club and worked it out, but I didn’t. And that was wrong
“Gabriella, you did what you had to do, and I’m glad you did because it brought me to my senses.” He clasped her hand in his and held it to his heart. “Losing you, even for just a little while, was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, and it pulled me out of the clouds and back down to the ground where I belong.”
She smiled up at him with a hint of sorrow in her eyes. “I’m happy I could be of service, but I wish it didn’t have to be like that.”
“I guess we both have regrets,” he pulled her into a hug and then looked down into her eyes. “All I know is that right here…right now…this is the way I want it to be forever.”
“Forever’s a long time
“With you Gabriella,” he whispered hoarsely, “forever isn’t long enough.”
She sighed as she confessed, “I know how you feel,” she said softly. “I can’t imagine ever being without you again.” Tears filled her eyes as she said, “I missed you.”
“I missed you too.”
Their lips met in a gentle kiss that slowly turned into one of declaration.
Your mine, he thought.
I’ll never let you go without a fight again, she said to herself.
Her hands squeezed his neck, and then ran down his arms, clasping his fingers; she pulled his hands around her waist and leaned in closer to him.
“I’m sorry Gabriella,” he whispered into her mouth as their kiss continued.
“Me too Wildcat.” She could feel his smile as they continued to kiss one another’s lips.
“Why,” she asked innocently.
“Because kissing you here, like this… I don’t want to stop and your mom’s in the house and…”
Gabriella placed soft kisses on his nose, chin…cheek and finally shut up his protests with one on the lips. “Did it ever occur to you that I don’t want you to stop kissing me?” She pulled his head down for another taste of heaven and he succumbed completely to her request.
Their bodies were pressed tightly against one another’s as he opened his mouth and ran his tongue gently around the edge of her lips.
Gabriella heard her mother’s knock at the door and
“Gabi,” Her mom said. “I’m going to bed. You get some sleep okay?”
“I will mom,” Gabriella assured her mother. “Sweet dreams.”
“You too sweetheart.” As Ms. Montez closed the bedroom door she called out, “Goodnight Troy.”
Both Gabriella and
Turning towards one another Gabriella wrinkled her nose and said, “I guess you can come out from behind the door now.”
“Yeah, I think so too.” He chuckled as he rubbed his hand over his stomach, “and all this time I thought I was being sneaky.”
“Well,” she walked through the glass doors onto the balcony and said, “just because she knows doesn’t mean you can come in my room Wildcat.” She touched the tip of his nose with her index finger, “You’re still forbidden to be in my room.”
“I like it when you call me that…Wildcat.”
“Well, that’s who you are. You’re my Wildcat,” she watched as his cheeks got rosier and giggled at his coyness.
He walked toward her, with his hands held out, waiting for her touch against his skin. She didn’t disappoint. He thrilled with excitement as her fingers slid over the palms of his hands then clasped his tightly. As he leaned down to kiss her a loud rumbling noise echoed through the night.
Gabriella’s eyes darted around, “was that….” The rumbling noise happened again, and Gabriella began to laugh. “Hungry?”
“Well let’s see what we can do about that.” Gabriella turned and walked back towards her room. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” She bounced out of her room and down the stairs to the kitchen. She grabbed a tray and began loading it up when she heard her mother walking up behind her.
“Gabriella? Are you hungry?” Her mother asked with a raised brow.
“Is everything alright with you two?” Her mom had known about their break up, and watched her daughter wallow for days over it, so she wasn’t about to ruin this night for them.
“Everything’s great mom,” Gabriella beamed at her mother as she sliced the sandwich in two.
“Well let me help you out.” She walked towards the cupboard and grabbed a couple of glasses, “drinks?”
“Mmmm,” Gabriella was munching on a grape. “Milk please.”
Her mother poured two tall glasses of milk then turned towards the
bread box sitting on the counter. Opening it up she pulled out a giant brownie
wrapped in plastic wrap. “Here.” She turned and gave it to her daughter. “I
saved this for
Gabriella smiled at her mom, then ran over and gave her a big squeeze. “Mom you have no idea how happy this’ll make him. I think he was a little upset about missing these the other night.” She unwrapped the brownie and put it on a plate.
“Gabriella…” Her mother hesitated before continuing. “
“Don’t worry mom. I never let him into my room when he visits, and he’s never tried anything with me before. He’s been a complete gentleman.” Gabriella reassured her mother the best she could. “Besides…you can trust me mommy.”
Ms. Montez looked at her daughter and saw a young woman standing before her that she barely recognized. “What happened to the little girl that would sit up in her room and read for days?”
“She started writing her own story,” Gabriella said with pride.
Her mother couldn’t speak with the lump forming in her throat so she just nodded and gave her daughter a kiss on the forehead. Walking out of the kitchen she gave Gabriella one last look, and then turned to make her way back to bed.
“Yeah,” a groggy, deep voice said. “Hello.”
“Hey dad. Sorry to wake you.”
“Yeah, I just wanted to let you know that I’m gonna be late tonight. I didn’t want you and mom to worry about me so…”
“Uh…I’m not sure.”
“Where are you?” His father’s voice began clearing out of the fog
it was in when
“Oh yeah, I’m great dad.”
Before his father’s mind could start churning
“Outside? Where?” His father wasn’t upset, but he was wondering exactly where his son was.
“On Gabriella’s balcony.”
“Is Gabriella’s mother at home?” His father asked.
“Uh yeah, and she knows I’m here too so it’s cool.”
“Okay,” His father thought for a second then said, “I don’t want you getting Gabriella in trouble.”
“No. No. It’s totally cool dad. Her mom knows we’re out here. I
“Well okay then, but try not to be too late.”
“I know. I trust you
“So I’ll see you in the morning okay?”
“Okay. See ya in the morning.”
“Who will you see in the morning?” She asked as she handed him the tray.
“My dad.” He watched her go into her room and pull a blanket out of the closet.
She placed the blanket down on the ground, and then took the tray
“No, but I didn’t want them to worry if I got home late. And I
definitely didn’t want them waiting up for me.”
“Thank you.” She smiled as she watched his eyes land on the brownie. “My mom saved you one and she wanted to make sure you got it.”
“Your mom’s still awake?”
“No. It’s fine. She knows you’re still here and if she were upset I don’t think she’d have helped me make up this tray of food for you.”
Gabriella laughed as
“Mmm hmmm,” She smiled and thought to herself, I know you so well.
Gabriella choked on her drink and said, “What?? Where is that coming from?”
“Well I saw you two together at the pool and…”
“You’re being silly
“So I don’t have to worry about him eating all of your mom’s
“Oh, now that I can’t promise. He really seemed to like those.” Gabriella laughed before adding, “Ryan Evans has nothing on you Wildcat.”
“Good, because I’d hate to have to beat him up.”
“Are you jealous?” She joked, and then realized how accurate her
joke was when
“I know,” he turned and looked at her. “We actually set up a
baseball game because
He wondered if she was going to say something about that. “Well…yeah.”
“It’s just that you’ve never called me that before.” She played with the breadcrumbs that had fallen on the blanket.
“Yeah I know and yes, you’re right. I just assumed that we were a couple too. It’s just nice to hear you call me that.”
“It’s nice to say too.”
Gabriella’s laughter floated through the night air and ended on a sigh. She began to think about her summers as a child and how she’d always wanted to be in one place for an entire season. “I keep thinking about how much I moved when I was a kid. I used to wish for friends…fun…stability.” She played around with the fruit in front of her then said, “This is better than anything I could’ve ever wished for.”
“Definitely!” Gabriella stated. “It is so wonderful not
being the new kid, or the math geek, or…”
“Okay,” she laughed. “Not being the FREAKY math geek.”
“Just being able to be me…a normal girl, with normal problems and
a normal life…” She sighed. “I can’t tell you how incredible it is
He looked at her and realized just how auspicious a moment this was for her. He had never lived anywhere else, his friends had been a constant his whole life, so he never quite understood how she felt, but he tried to share in her joy. “I wish I could’ve been there with you for every summer of your life.”
“No,” she chimed in. “Then I wouldn’t be here now.” With a deep breath she stated, “I wouldn’t change one thing about my life. It’s what brought me to you.” She looked into his eyes and said, “I’d live it all over again, with no questions, if I knew you would be here waiting for me.”
“I’ll always be here Gabriella,” he reached out for her as he made her another promise. “Always.” He clasped her hands in his then tugged her forward.
Gabriella leaned over the remnants of their snack and kissed
“Please do.” He held out his hand to her and scooted himself over to make more room for her.
As she sat down next to him, he pulled her into his arms. “Now this is how I imagined our summer would be.”
“Mmm hmmm,” she agreed.
The feelings that coursed through his veins took him by surprise. He always knew that Gabriella was someone special to him, but in that moment he realized just how much he loved her. I love her, he thought to himself. He pulled away from her and looked into her eyes and told her, “I…I….” he stuttered.
“You what?” she asked.
With as much emotion as he could muster up, he placed his forehead against hers and said, “I am so in love with you.”
Her breath caught in her chest as she pulled away from him and looked into his face, trying to decipher whether or not he was being sincere.
With a smile he confessed his soul to her, “I love you Gabriella Montez.”
She dropped her head down and smiled as though her every wish in
life had come true. Lifting up her eyes to meet his, she responded. “I love you
The kiss they shared was gentle…pure, soft lips, moist breath and racing hearts.
“Wow,” she said. “I can’t believe you said that.” Her broad smile lit up her entire face.
“Me either. After the way I treated you, are you sure you love me?” He asked coyly.
“I loved you even when we weren’t together
A feeling of complete relief washed over him. Any worries he’d had before climbing up to her balcony were gone with three little words.
They closed their eyes and just enjoyed being together when a soft muffled sound came from Gabriella. She had fallen asleep in his arms.