Hello again! Welcome to Part 3....hope you enjoy it!! Reading everyone's comments is really the best part about making these stories, it makes my day :) All of you are very kind. Read on...
"Come on, don't take me for a fool. There is obviously something wrong," Nick said, looking into her tear filled eyes. "What's happened?"
Adriana sighed. "Really, I'm just being silly. May I borrow your bathroom for just a minute? I'll clean myself up and be out in a second."
"Ok," Nick agreed, deciding to leave the topic alone...for now. "The bathroom is straight ahead through that door. I'll just be in the kitchen." Walking through to the kitchen, Nick wondered what could have happened to Adriana to make her so upset. He didn't want to push her though, he would probe gently. The smell of the lasagna was wafting through the kitchen by now, making his stomach growl. He had forgotten how hungry he was.
Pulling the oven door down, heat poured out, causing his cheeks to flush. He lifted the dish out and seeing how great it looked, smiled at his accomplishment. His mother would be proud! "Mmm...smells fantastic!"
Nick hadn't heard Adriana come into the room. "Oh, thanks! Well, it's served."
"Great, I'm starving." She smiled.
Although Nick had only met his twin sister once before tonight, hadn't even known he was a twin until she told him, he felt happier around her than he'd ever felt before. He felt complete. While eating their meal, they talked about things like they had known each other all their life.
Nick swallowed a mouthful of lasagna. "I've never told anyone this before, but I've had trouble sleeping for years. Ever since I was told I was adopted. Every time I fell asleep, I had a dream. It was always the same...I was in a huge field searching for something, yet I never found it. I didn't know what it was I was looking for, and I was always alone. When I woke up, there was such a feeling of sadness and emptiness that I would cry and cry. After the age of 12, my body stopped sleeping. It was better off that way." He met Adriana's gaze. "I've slept through the whole night the past four nights. No dreams...or nightmares for that matter." She sat watching him for several minutes before she spoke. "I had the same dream, the same feeling." Her voice was just a whisper. "Though I still managed to sleep a little. You know, we've led two different lives but I feel as though in some sense we've always been together."
"Yes, I feel that now," said Nick. "I never felt I belonged anywhere until now. It feels so good. I'm so glad you found me."
"Me too." Adriana smiled. After finishing dinner and finding out more about each other (they discovered an incredible amount of similarities between them), Nick suggested they sit outside for some fresh air. The night sky was clear with only a scattering of twinkling stars and a bright, full moon staring down at them. A warm summer breeze was drifting past as they reclined in the outside seating.
"This really is beautiful out here," Adriana admired.
"I know. It's the sanctuary I've always dreamt of," Nick replied, followed by a moments silence. "Look, I really need to know. It would make me feel a lot better if you told me what made you so upset before you got here. Maybe I can help." Adriana sighed. "You can't help, Nick, but I appreciate your concern. There's a guy I've been seeing for two years now, Jake. We've been going through a rough patch in the past few months. Tonight, when he was dropping me off here, we had a huge fight. It wasn't anything unusual, as I said, we've had problems lately, but I really wanted his support tonight."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Nick said, unsure of what else to say.
"Why are you sorry? It's not your fault," she replied, looking at him. "I think it's just time that Jake and I thought about parting ways." "Do you live with him?" Nick asked.
"No, thank god," Adriana replied, gazing at the smooth surface of the water in the pool. "We had talked about it a few times, but now I'm grateful we didn't get around to it. It would have made this situation that much harder."
"Yes, that's true," Nick agreed, giving her a smile. "Whatever happens, I'm sure it was meant to be."
"Yes," she said, returning his smile.
"I can't believe we're sitting here together after all these years." Nick looked up at the stars. "I wouldn't have even believed all of this if it wasn't for the feeling I felt when you first knocked on my door. I felt like a complete person."
"Me too. It's incredible, isn't it?" A couple of hours later, Adriana let out a long yawn. "Looks like I'd better be heading home."
"I'm feeling a bit the same myself," Nick replied.
"Well, thank you so much for dinner. It was lovely," she said. "Sometime soon I'd like to introduce you to a good friend of mine. His name is Zak, and I think you two would get on brilliantly. He's great. What do you say?"
"Sure, why not? Oh, that reminds me," Nick said, remembering what he wanted to ask her. "I would like to introduce you to my family as well. I know you've met mum briefly, but I'd also like you to meet my dad and my sister, Miranda. She's their biological daughter."
"I'd love to, it sounds great. We'll talk soon then, and arrange something."
They said their goodbyes and Nick walked his sister out. It didn't take long for Monday to roll around. Nick had risen early, somewhat excited about his new position in the company he worked for. He had been promoted to Field Agent. Having worked hard at his job, he felt he deserved this promotion, felt proud.
Standing in front of the mirror in his new suit, Nick felt important...finally. Things were improving in his life, he didn't feel so lost, so empty. There was still an issue he had to deal with though, a personal issue. He hoped it would reveal its true meaning in time, reveal when, and if, he would act further on these feelings. He would know when the time was right. Nearing the end of the week, as Nick was doing his daily exercise, he heard the phone ringing. Answering the phone on the second ring, he was surprised to hear Miranda's voice.
"Hey, Nick! How are you going?" she asked.
"Hi Miranda! I'm great, really great," Nick responded. "And you?"
"Oh, you know, the usual. Busy, but fine," she laughed. "Sorry I haven't been in contact sooner! Mum says you're loving your new place. And I've heard there's someone special I have to meet." "Yes," Nick said. "I guess you've heard about Adriana already. I can't believe I'm a twin. You'll love her, I'm sure of it. I was thinking maybe I could get everyone around next weekend?"
"Yea, sure. I'd love to meet her, I'm so happy for you." A cry came from nearby. "Oh, Jess is awake, I better go. Just text me the details and we'll be there ok?"
"Ok, no worries. Give Jess a cuddle for me," he said, before replacing the reciever back in it's cradle. On Saturday night, Nick settled into bed early with a new novel. He had been eager to start reading it, having had fantastic reviews, but had been so busy lately. His job proved very exhausting. After the third page, his eyelids started to droop, feeling as if they each weighed a tonne. After finally letting his body succumb to a decent night's sleep each night, it had only wanted more and more.
A loud bleep shocked his body out of its slumber. He reached for his mobile and read a text from Jonas. 'Out with the boys at the usual place. Come and join us!' it read. Nick chuckled to himself. They were determined, he had to give them that. He sent back a text declining the offer, preffering to stay in. As he laid back, he could only keep his eyes open for so long before he drifted off into a deep sleep, his book sprawled across his chest. "Sorry, did I wake you?" It was 10am the next morning when the loud ringing of the phone dragged Nick out of his bed.
"Oh, hey Adriana. No, no, you didn't wake me," Nick lied, his voice groggy with sleep.
Her laugh tinkled down the line. "I did, didn't I? You can't fool me. You're missing out on a beautiful morning."
"I see that," he replied, walking outside to look at the clear sky. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" "I was just wondering if you were busy this afternoon?" Adriana asked. "I thought you could join Zak and I for a meal in town later."
"Today? Yea, ok," Nick said, thinking this over. "Where and when?"
"About 3pm, at Monchello's. Do you know it?"
"Yea, I do. Alright, well, I'll see you then. Thanks for the offer," he replied.
With that, Nick went to make breakfast. He was in dire need of a coffee. Arriving at Monchello's just after 3 o'clock, Nick spotted Adriana at a booth, sitting across from a guy he assumed to be Zak. They seemed like they were having fun, laughing and chatting away. He started walking their way, feeling a little nervous though not sure why. Reaching their table, Adriana smiled. "Hey Nick! I'm glad you could come." She indicated to her company. "This is Zak, who I told you about. A very good friend of mine."
Nick shook Zak's hand. "Nice to meet you."
"You too," Zak replied. "I've heard a lot about you already. It's a bit like something out of a movie, isn't it? Long lost twins reunited...incredible. You both are so alike, look wise I mean."
"Sit down, Nick. We'll order soon," Adriana said, motioning for him to take a seat beside her. While waiting for their food, they discussed the whole situation of Nick and Adriana, and how great it had been for them. Zak's daughter, Candice, and Adriana's recent break up with Jake, also came up in the conversation. Both Zak and Nick were enjoying their new company, getting along great as Adriana had predicted.
"Zak and I come here a lot, they've got fantastic food. You should join us more often," Adriana suggested.
"Yea, that would be great," Nick replied. "I think I've only been here once before, it's pretty nice." After enjoying a delicious late lunch, the three of them walked outside, the suns rays warming them.
"Thank you for inviting me out today, it was great," Nick said, then gave Zak a smile. "And it was really nice to meet you. I'm sure I'll see you again soon."
"Yes, me too," Zak replied, returning his smile.
"Ok, well, I'll be in contact soon, Nick," Adriana said. "If not during the week, I'll definitely be at your place next Sunday to meet your family."
"Yea, sounds good. See you soon!"
As Nick walked to his car, Adriana and Zak walked the opposite way home. He'd had a great time with the both of them and was ready for a dip in the pool once he got home. The refreshing water felt good on his skin. It was a humid summer day and the heat he was feeling was reduced with the cool sensation. He needed that to clear his head, his thoughts. There was a feeling he had to focus on, a feeling that had caught him by surprise. He would give it more thought before he decided what to do about it. That night, Nick got a suprise visitor.
"Miranda! Hi, what a surprise." Nick gestured for her to come inside.
"Thanks, I thought I'd pop around before next weekend to have a proper visit," Miranda replied, following Nick through to the living room. "And Jess wanted to see you. Wow, this place is amazing."
"Yea, it's small, but perfect for me," Nick agreed. After making Miranda a coffee, they took a seat at the table while Jess played in the lounge room.
"How's Mitch going?" Nick asked. "I haven't seen him in awhile."
"He's so busy with work, but he's good otherwise," replied Miranda, taking a sip of her coffee. "I wish he could be home more, but you know how he is about his work!"
Nick chuckled. "Yes, I do. I see Jess is walking now, which is great!" They spent an hour catching up with each other and then Nick gave his sister a tour of his house. As they were leaving, he gave his little niece a big cuddle and kiss. "I love you, Jess."
"Love uncy," she managed to reply.
Nick and Miranda both looked at each other in astonishment, and burst out laughing. Waking up Monday morning, Nick came to realise the feelings he had been made aware of were not going to go away. It had been all he thought about since the day before when he'd met Adriana and Zak at Monchello's. Nick knew he hadn't known Zak very long but he couldn't deny that he'd developed feelings for him. Feelings that went beyond friendship.
**Keep an eye our for Part 4.....;)
Learning to Love - Part 3
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