Meanwhile, Belle sat in her room, trying to figure out what in the world had just happened, and what it meant. Did Jason love her the way she loved him, or was it just his innate niceness coming out? Did he feel sorry for her, or was it more? All she knew is that when she’d finally been in his arms again, the hollow ache that had been inside her since the disaster in the lobby had been filled... and now that she’d let go, she felt emptyagain.
She knew he cared about her... she knew there was a special connection between them, that there was tenderness and affection and a kind of love .. but was it the kind of love she was looking for? Did he love her so much that he’d give up anything forit... the way she had?
She felt... poetry-ish. Or, considering she wasn’t a poetry-ish person, like just lying down and listening to really depressing love songs and wondering what was going to become of her ...
She didn’t get the chance, though, because that second, there was a knock at the door.
She went to answer it and found Wing-Yee standing there shyly with a tall, twenty-something year-old guy with black hair and blue eyes, around six feet tall...
“So this must be the famous Mark,” Belle guessed. “Hi. I’m ...”
“Isabella,” the guy finished for her. “Wing-Yee’s talked incessantly about you. And don’t forget, I’ve watched you skate in at least fifteen of the shows.”
They laughed together, and Belle winked at Wing-Yee, mouthing, “He’s cute!”
“We’re leaving for the airport in a few minutes,” her friend said quietly. “Just came to say goodbye...”
“You guys ready?” Belle asked lightly, looking at her friend as she spoke.
“Yup, ready as we’ll ever be,” Mark said with a deep breath. “I’ll leave you guys alone for a minute,” he told Wing-Yee. “I’ll go get your stuff.”
“’Kay.” Wing-Yee leaned up to kiss him and both girls watched him leave.
“Wow,” Belle teased, the minute Mark was out of earshot. “You sure know how to pick ‘em.”
“Shut up, Belle,” Wing-Yee replied with a giggle.
Belle suddenly turned serious. “Scared?”
“Terrified,” Wing-Yee admitted. “But... I know I’m doing the right thing. No matter what.”
The right thing... Belle sighed.
“What happened with Colin?” her friend questioned gently.
“He’s gone,” Belle said in a barely audible voice. “He left. Went back to England without even saying anything.”
“Oh, Belle, I’m so sorry!” Wing-Yee said sincerely. “But it’ll be okay... there’s got to be a way...”
“I’m sure there is,” Belle agreed. “It’s just looking harder and harder to find right now...”
“Don’t lose heart,” her friend encouraged softly. “It’ll all turn out right in the end.”
“Wing-Yee, hon, we’ve got to get going!” they heard Mark call as he struggled to carry four bags at once.
“This is goodbye for now, then,” Belle said, trying to smile.
“Yup.” Wing-Yee leaned over to hug her. “Call me, will you?” She handed Belle a slip of paper with a phone number on it. “That’s Mark’s number... I should be there for awhile.” She blushed.
“You call me, too,” Belle responded. “As soon as anything happens, all right?”
“Yeah,” Wing-Yee agreed. “Hopefully good things...”
“On both our sides,” Belle finished. “Bye, Wing-Yee.”
“Bye, Belle,” her friend replied. “Good luck. He’d be crazy not to love you...”
They hugged again, and Wing-Yee followed Mark down the hall as Belle waved goodbye until they were out of sight. Her friend’s story looked like it would have a happy ending. What about her own?