One Moment With You
One Moment With You
Author: Stella Farfalla
Chapter 1: GRADUATION BALL

It’s their Graduation Ball. Everyone is having fun. This is the only time were all of the senior students of every department in their university can gather. Jewel was looking for Cherrie everywhere but no luck, she decided to go back in their assigned table. Shes walking slowly trying to alleviate the pain of the blisters on her heels, she accidentally bump on one of the student trying to walk pass through the dance floor, her sight turned in the east pathway and there she saw Cherrie. She apologizes before looking back in the east pathway. Now Cherrie is not alone, she's with her boyfriend Larry. From a distant Jewel knows they are arguing and she had an idea what is it all about. Earlier before she lost sight of Cherrie she saw her dancing with Frank Mason and based on her best friend stories Larry is very jealous with Frank. She sighed and return to her sit. After a while Cherrie is now heading in her direction.

“Jewel I'm heading home first. I'm not feeling well."

“Are you sure?" she asked and Cherrie answered by nodding. “Alright, I'll go back with you."

They were friends and neighbors since childhood so they usually go home together after school especially if they don't have any other commitments.

She is about to get up from her sit and put her drinks down when Cherrie wave her hands, a signal for her to stay seated. She looks at her as if asking "why?"

Stay here and enjoy the party."

"Cherrie you said you’re not feeling well, I'll worry if you head

home

alone."

Cherrie caught on her concern. They are friends since they were 9 yrs. Old. She's always worried when it comes to Cherrie’s health.

Cherrie slowly sits next to Jewel.

“I’m just upset with Larry,

I know I won't be able

to

enjoy

this

night

so I

want to go home." Cherrie held her hands.

So don't mind me, enjoy the last night of our college days. Don't spoil the night because of my childish fight with my boyfriend."

Cherrie kissed her on the chick and stand up.

"I'll see you tomorrow." Without waiting for her reply Cherrie starts walking.

Jewel did not insist, she knows already that her best friend wants to be alone; suddenly she remembered she has the key of the car. They drove together at the university complex using Cherrie's car. She thought of letting her drive her car home, she will get drunk later and couldn't drive anyway.

She got up, excuses herself from the table and ran after Cherrie. She looked left and right in the cross wing but no sign of her. Jewel went out and looks in the parking area.

"Wow, she was fast! She can't help but shrugged her shoulder before turning back.

She was about to enter the complex entrance when she notice a silhouette inside a nearby car, without thinking she walked near it to ask if the person know and saw Cherrie passed by. She wasn't able to go nearer, on her surprise that’s Cherrie kissing a man inside. When the heated kisses stop she was able to recognize the man. He's Frank Mason a Law major in their university.

She can't believe it, her best friend as pure as snow is cheating. She bit her lower lip while thinking about Larry, her eyes showed emotions that were kept deep inside her heart for a long time. The two people inside the car don’t seem to notice her presence. When she was about to let them know she's here she heard Cherrie.

"Let's go, where are you taking me?" 

"It's a surprise, you'll love it."

Cherrie straightens her crumpled clothes, on impulse Jewel hide behind the nearby pillar. She moaned after realizing she wants them to see her so she could talk to Cherrie about Larry. She gets back from her daze after she heard the sound of the moving car speeding away.

She was completely dumbfounded by her best friend behavior. How can she cheat on Larry, they have been together for about two years. She still remember the love struck face when Cherrie mention about her first boyfriend. She was happy for her and the looked as if her best friend is on cloud nine it makes her excited to meet this so called boyfriend. Jewel has previous relationship compared to Cherrie so she genuinely wants to support her. Thinking back she also remembered the pain and dismay that flooded her entire being after knowing that the person she loves secretly was also the same person that makes her best friend blush. 

Staring blankly still looking at where Frank's car passed by, she murmured "What should I do?"  

She feels sad towards Larry but at the same time her heart is also hoping that she still have a chance. Jewel walk back inside the university complex where the ball is being held. She can still hear the music. She can't help but look for Larry, she went to the East pathway where she last saw him with Cherrie, no sign of him. She checked the buffet lounge still no Larry in sight. She went back to her sit without finding the man she longed for. 

The dean announced the end of the ball. Feeling down she can't help but groaned, displeased that she can't find Larry. 

She's out in the parking lot now and noticed a group of people chatting and planning where to go next for the after party. She heard them agreed on going to the most popular bar in the West Country. Checking them out she smiled knowing this group of people are a bunch of rich kids. Surely after graduation all of them will be trained and work in their family business that reminds her of Cherrie and Larry that both came to a well-known and richest clan in West Country.

Cherrie's family owned chains of mall and hotel globally while Larry's family owned a global entertainment, advertising and marketing company. People might wonder how she became friends with Cherrie. Jewel is not from a wealthy family but she can say they are well off compared to regular household in West Country. Her dad work as the CEO’s assistant of Hall Industry, one of the biggest Construction and Real Estate Company. 

Looking back Cherrie become her best friend because of an incident, way back when they were 9 years old. She saves Cherrie from a pervert. The Miller family lives in the most expensive and luxurious neighborhood but that day someone was able to sneak in and passed through their tight security. 

As she recalled since her mom left them her dad usually takes her to have fun when his free of work especially week ends. One Saturday morning when they are about to go fishing and camping, the CEO called asking her dad to get some important papers in the office and drop by to send it in their home. The Halls live in the same neighborhood as Cherrie. She gasped when the car stop in front of the Hall residence. It's big and that time she thought it was a castle. Her dad instructed her to stay in the car and wait for him but as a child with a small patience in her body she gets out of the car. She was awestruck how beautiful the place then mindlessly walked and looked around. She ends up in the neighborhood park. Her eyes glistened seeing all the child amenities. She was about to go and try the swing when she heard a disgruntled voice. She looks around but no one, no other people or kids. She thought she's just hearing things when she heard another sound, a whimper coming behind the big slide. 

Curiously she walked like a cat. She peeked and there she saw a man covering a little girl's mouth. He's even trying to pull the girl shorts with one hand. It's a good thing the girl was actually wearing a belt. She was quick witted and understand what was happening she looked around, no one near to ask for help. She looked back at the scene and realized the man has no weapon. She's on a taekwondo class and got a little courage, nearby she saw a broomstick probably forgotten by the cleaners in the area. Slowly she picked it up and in pull strength without hesitations she hit the man on his head. In pain he let go of the girl. Knowing she will be over powered if the man fight back she didn't stop hitting him and the other girl watched her with wide eye. Fortunately her dad started looking for her with security guard and they were able to block the man when he recovers and tried to attack her. It was a dreadful day for the people of the neighborhood and she knows that a lot of security personnel lost their job because of the incident. What worse was they are not able to go fishing and camping. They were invited in the police station to provide statement. 

After that day the Millers invited them for dinner with the Halls. Cherrie's mom was so grateful she wants Jewel to become playmates with her daughter and they even asked her dad to transfer her in the same school as Cherrie. Since it was a very expensive school her dad politely declined the idea even if they offer to cover her tuition. Respecting her dad's decision and since her school is a semi private and has a good reputation as well they end up transferring Cherrie instead. They thought it will be a great experience for their daughter to be friends with common people. The Halls and the Millers have a business cooperation hence they were friends so they promised also to raise her dad's salary. From then on Cherrie becomes her best friend. Who knows that one day they will also fall in love with the same man? 

Someone called her attention that brought her back to the present. It was Simon Hall, the young master that her dad might serve in the future. Her dad has still many years working as the CEO assistant. 

"Hi Simon!" She startled after seeing Larry is among his crowd. 

"Hey, we're also going to continue the party. Want to join?" 

"Where?" She absentmindedly asked while still looking at Larry

"Almost everyone is going to Chateau Bar, it will be crowded so we will go to Berlin Bar next to Williams Building." 

She glances at Simon's friends, they seem harmless and most of them has a woman hooked in their arms, aside from that Larry is with them. She wants to be with him just this time until she could talk to Cherrie and clarify her feelings. 

“Okay, let me call my dad." 

After the short call, they hurriedly left after Simon introduced her to his friends. She drove using Cherries car. When they entered the bar, Larry seems still out of it and entirely oblivious to his surroundings. 

"What's wrong with him." she still asked Simon though she can guess it. 

Although she saw Cherrie left with Frank she still doesn’t like jumping to conclusions. Simon looked at Larry before he whispered to her. 

"He fought with Cherrie. You don't know? He's jealous. Very jealous I should say." 

Simon lowered his voice even more and looked at Larry for the last time. "I think its Frank Mason." 

She's still contemplating what to say when one of Simon's friends called out for them to sit. Simon sat next to his friend and the only sit left is next to Larry. When she sits next to him, he turned and their eyes met. She gave him a nod and smile. He's now out of trance, he seems to recognize her, and he smiled back. 

She was so absorbed drinking and listening to Simon's friend comical storytelling when Larry leaned and spoke next to her ears. She was stunned for a moment and almost drops her glass of wine. She can sense he's serious tone.

"Do you know where Cherrie went?" 

The bar is so noisy so she understands why he needs to talked near her earlobe. She can feel his warm breath. She had to answer the same way, she leaned closer. 

"She's not feeling well and returned home early." 

Lying left a bad after taste in her mouth but what can she do. She doesn't want to pour gas into the flame. She's determined to talk with Cherrie tomorrow. She needs to know what she really feels about Larry and if she no longer loves him. She will now have a chance and she will confess to him. 

The night is long; beer and wine keep on coming nonstop. From time to time Larry will talk to her; he looks a lot better when he smiles. He's already playing along with his friends. He still has this cold and enigmatic aura around him. She noticed a lot of girls in their table keep stealing glances at him. 

When it's time to end the party, everyone is drunk. She looked at Simon, he's already asleep since he is her dad young master and as her childhood friend she can't just ignore him. The others started to go. She tried to wake up Simon and called he's residence to get someone to pick him up. Only few people are left and those are just waiting for their drivers. 

Larry tapped her shoulder and asked. 

"Why aren't you leaving?" On her perspective Larry is also dead drunk but it's so nice of him to concern himself about her. 

"I'm just waiting for Simon's driver to get him." 

"You two seem close. Are you going with them?"  She glances at him when he sat next to her. 

"We're childhood friends, my dad work as his father's assistant." Her phone rang before she can say more. She stood up and gestured to take the call. 

"Dad, Yes I'm still with Simon, I called Mrs. Hall and she's sending the driver." When she looked back at Larry, he's sitting on the chair next to Simon. He dozed off as well, she grinned, and he looks adorable. "Why these big guys are so light weight." She was able to hold her liquor well. 

The Hall's driver arrived. She helps him to get Simon up his shoulder. 

She took her purse and tapped Larry's shoulder to wake him up but he didn't budge. She put his arms on her shoulder and wrapped hers on his waist. She sighed looking at him sideways he's really good looking she can't understand why Cherrie chose to be with Frank today. She knows he lives in the next building so she walked and steadies him on her arms.

She's sweating a lot and out of breath when she reach the lobby of Williams Building. The receptionist recognized Larry and asked one of the guards to help her. They rode the especial elevator that only leads in the owner’s apartment. 

She was stupefied, when they got out of the elevator the entrance door is just a few walks away. The Guard has his own access card to open the door. She was relieved after the guard laid Larry down in the sofa. He courteously said goodbye to her.

She looked around and said "sorry for intruding." She went to the kitchen and took out a bottle of water from the fridge. She's went back to Larry, she urged him to drink some water. After a few minutes she received a message from her dad. 

        "Congratulations again on your graduation. Dad is sorry we can't celebrate today. I'm heading to the    airport with the CEO let's do that once I'm back. I already asked for a leave after this. Take care. I love you." 

The CEO of Hall Industry has an urgent business trip and as an assistant her father needs to go with him. When she was young she used to be sad but now she understands. Her dad is an orphan they don't have any relatives and when her mother left them her dad did everything he can for them to get through and since her Dad has a good relationship with the Halls every time his with the boss for a business trip they will allow her to stay in their guess room. No one needs to look after her since she's a self-sufficient child.

She replied right away. 

       "That's okay dad, you be careful too. I love you. Don't forget my gift when you get back." 

She's feeling tired and a little tipsy now. Since her dad is not home she doesn’t really need to drive home. She decided to stay on a nearby hotel in the area. 

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