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27 Truths

By:M.J. Fields



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There is a moment that your breath is taken away. You feel a connection, one that you know is only made for two people. A moment you are so frightened of losing that words are lost. So, without reason, you allow that beautiful once in a lifetime moment to be felt, but you never put it into words.

A moment like that deserves words.

Moments like that deserve so much more than a memory you will relive in your mind forever as the time you fell in love with the person you know you were meant to spend eternity with.

I am sure I am not alone in this observation. But love isn’t only a feeling. So many things come into love’s equation.

The scent of love is distinct. It’s not covered in store-bought aromas that are flowery or musky. It is a scent that you never forget yet can’t describe. It is a smell that, when it wafts through the air and tickles your nose, you will instantly remember the first time you encountered it. Yet, instead of trying to understand it, you simply bask in it and pray for its return.

The look of love is not two dimensional; it’s not even three dimensions. There are endless sides, different depths, and it can change in the blink of an eye.

The truth about love is that the fall isn’t the most beautiful part. It’s the whole story: the beginning, the middle, and everything in-between. It doesn’t end.

The truth about love is that there aren’t just two people. People bring their pasts with them. They bring their pain, their joy, their wounds, their experiences, their knowledge, and their desire to make it work.

The truth about love isn’t easy to tell. It isn’t black and white.

You love someone, and they will surely love you. If you give of yourself selflessly enough, so will they.

In each chapter heading is a truth about love given to me by a friend, family member, or reader just like you. It does not necessarily introduce the chapter.

This book doesn’t end with a typical HEA, but it is about love’s truths and tragedies.

It is about the beautiful and the broken.



XOXO

MJ





PROLOGUE




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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.

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