Home > Love Me Like You Do

Love Me Like You Do
Author: Aimee Brown

1


Parker


This is not how today was supposed to turn out. How could he do this today, of all days? Why not tell me last night, or even before I put on the freaking dress? Never again. Never again will I allow myself to fall for another guy who’s—

‘Ooommmph.’ I let out a groan as I hit the ground unexpectedly. The sounds of screeching tires, honking horns, and yelling fill the air around me. Great. Now I’ve gone and traded in my need to escape my heart breaking in public to dying in public.

‘She ran in front of me!’ a woman yells from some distance away.

‘What the hell?’ a man yells back.

Death is a lot more chaotic than I expected it to be. I pinch my eyes closed, hoping not to see whatever horrific event has just taken place. Am I crushed? Mutilated? Headless? All of which is completely Becker’s fault. If only the worst crime of the day was him seeing the bride before the wedding, which is what I was mad about until he opened his mouth after he burst into the bridal suite urgently needing to speak with me. His cold feet have now turned this day into some kind of almost wedding and a funeral. Today is now the day that will be remembered as the day the bride ran from the words coming out of her groom’s mouth and died on the sidewalk across the street while everyone watched.

Damn it, Becker!

I will haunt him forever, you can guarantee that. And not in the friendly, sneaking around and leaving cutesy little memorabilia of myself kind of way. I’ll be the scary poltergeist throwing pens and pulling off his covers on cold nights. Or, better yet, a screaming banshee that sends even the most stable of people running in fear. I’ll wait until the middle of the night, just when he’s fallen asleep and then… SCREAM! Doing it all over again every time he reaches that deep sleep. That will be fun.

‘Are you hurt?’ a loud booming voice echoes in my head. His unexpected southern twang surprises me. I guess I’d never considered God being from the Deep South. ‘Hello?’ God shakes me, now yelling at close range, reminding me once again that death hurts.

Hesitantly I open one eye, seeing only the bright light of the afterlife that people go on about. If it’s true. I might be a nurse, someone around death all the time, but I’ve never personally heard anyone say this. It’s always on some ridiculously exaggerated story on those fabricated magazine covers near the check stand. So, I’m a little leery if the whole white light thing was true. I guess it is.

‘Ouch,’ I say, pulling my arm to my chest. ‘God?’ I ask, opening my eyes and staring into the bright white light still surrounding me.

‘Parker!’ Becker’s frantic voice pierces my now suddenly throbbing brain. I frown to myself. If he died too, I’ll just kill him. If he doesn’t want to marry me then I certainly don’t want to spend eternity in the afterlife with him.

‘You know her?’ God asks.

Slowly the light gets brighter as the draft I feel on my nether regions gets less. I must be leaving my body. I take a deep breath, preparing myself to come face-to-face with my creator. Something until right this second, I wasn’t sure I even believed in. But, the time is now.

Get ready, Parker. You’re about to find out all life’s secrets.

I close my eyes again as the light gets brighter, warming my face. His hand rests on my neck softly. I breathe him in. He smells of leather and mint, which in all honesty is not how I expected God to smell. But this is nice too.

‘She’s not dead,’ he says, gently touching my now-tingling hand, softly resting it on my chest. I pull it away suddenly with a gasp as the pain shoots from my wrist to my shoulder like a lightning strike. ‘But she is hurt.’

Wait a second.

Did he just say I’m not dead? My eyes snap open, immediately meeting the dark eyes of the stranger straddling me.

‘Who… who are you?’ I ask as he pats me down starting at my head.

‘Anything else hurt?’ he asks, his hands now at my waist as if we’re in a dark closet with the clock ticking down to our seven minutes being up and we still haven’t kissed.

I try to scoot away from him but the pain in my arm is preventing me from moving much. Well, that and the giant princess gown of a wedding dress that I couldn’t wait to get on today.

‘Can you please not?’ I half yell when his hands reach my outer thighs.

He nods, his cheeks flushing as he gets to his feet.

I sigh deeply glancing around at the faces watching the commotion. I’m not dead and now that I’ve finally opened my eyes to face the situation, I’m realizing that the white light I was seeing was just the tulle from my skirt still partially around my neck. I blow it away, pushing it away from my face as I prop myself up with the hand that isn’t in excruciating pain.

Sweet Lord almighty, I’ve been lying here trying to figure out why God has a southern accent while my entire skirt has been pretty much over my head the whole time I faced death eye to eye.

I guess that ridiculous line my mom was always giving me about always wearing clean underwear in case you’re in an accident has some truth to it. If only the underwear I’d chosen for my wedding day weren’t the skimpiest, laciest, see-through underwear I could find. I mean I wasn’t exactly planning for anyone besides Becker to see it.

The tall stranger kneels beside me, handing me the shoe he’s just retrieved from the crosswalk near a stopped car.

‘You lost this,’ the southern voice says.

‘Park, are you OK?’ Becker starts across the road, his hand in the air towards the still-stopped cars as if his job is to direct traffic and not announce what’s happening to a courtyard full of everyone we’ve ever known.

Five minutes ago, he was explaining how he’d only just realized that we didn’t want the same things out of life and that he felt too bad to ever bring it up until this morning. He’s concerned we’ve grown apart and marriage would only make that worse. Ugh. Please. Now he suddenly wants me to be OK after breaking my heart? I don’t think so.

‘NO!’ I yell his way, holding up my good hand for him to stop right where he is. ‘Don’t you have something to be doing?’ I snap. I try to get to my feet, but one-handed in a giant ball gown of a wedding dress makes it about as easy as if I was in a big costume you see at Disneyland.

The southern stranger notices my struggle and reaches down, taking my good hand in his and pulling me to my feet. I hold my throbbing arm to my chest, kicking off the one shoe I’m still wearing so I’m not completely lopsided as I attempt to make another run for it.

I try to gather the skirt of my gown with one hand when the man I once called God gently takes my arm.

‘What do you need? A getaway car? An ambulance?’

‘Um…’ I try to think as quickly as I can. I make the mistake of glancing over at Becker, still looking as handsome as ever in the tux we picked out together. That day was so much fun. He tried on the ugliest tuxes for the first half hour, trying to seriously convince me how great they would be in the wedding. It honestly seemed like he wanted to get married. How could he do this to me? My eyes fill with tears that I quickly wipe away before they completely surface as I look back to… I don’t even know this guy’s name. ‘I don’t know.’ I feel my lip tremble as I say it. Oh my God. I almost just died and I was left at the altar. Holy shit. That is a lot to process. And now, I’m hurt and getting ready to lose it in front of this random southern dude and basically the entire neighborhood that’s watching.

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