Chapter Thirty-Nine

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It was our last night in the city I'd grown to consider home. Our friends planned one final outing to commemorate the last day of our old lives, and we decided to have dinner at a fancy restaurant, basking in each others' company.

After rummaging through Ariel's closet for hours, we finally settled on two of her last remaining dresses. The one I chose was in midnight blue, and it hugged me at the waist but then fell loosely past my hips. I curled my hair and let it drop in loose waves past my shoulders, and finished the look with perfect winged-liners.

As Ariel was putting on her nude high-heels - which matched her light pink fitted dress - the sound of our doorbell echoed in the house. I stalked towards the front door, my own heels clicking against the tiled floors, and I pulled open the door to greet Elliot.

He bore a wide smile as he spoke. "You girls ready?"

I nodded, calling over my shoulder for Ariel that Elliot's here; he was our ride for the night. I grabbed my light coat and pushed my hands through the sleeves, and then seconds later Ariel appeared in the hallway, walking towards us with both our clutches in hand. She handed me mine and then we turned to leave through the door.

In the car, Bella awaited us with an excited grin, her own hair styled into a loose bun, and wearing a gorgeous golden dress that looked to fall a little past her knees. My nerves were running on overdrive throughout the car ride, with a constant voice nagging in the back of my mind about how terrifying breaking this routine will be - how fearful leaving this life I'd grown so accustomed to behind will be.

By the time we arrived at the restaurant, I hadn't spoken a single word in the car as everyone conversed joyfully about so many differing topics. But I was relieved that none of them had noticed my unusual quietness.

As soon as we began to settle at our table inside the elegant, but dark-themed restaurant, Noah started approaching us. A small lump began to grow in my throat as I remembered everything that had happened between us in the past few days. Our relationship had gone from playful and loving to utterly awkward and confusing - and I hated thinking that's how easily our five-year relationship was going to end.

He greeted everyone with a general "hey" before taking his own seat perpendicular to mine. For a brief second, our eyes met, and I gave him a tight smile.

"I'm starving so let's get to it," Ariel spoke as she opened up her menu and began scanning the options written down, her words halting the waiter in his tracks. He gave a nod with a polite smile as he pulled out his small notepad and a pen, jotting down everyone's orders.

"I think I'll go with the usual - Mushroom Alfredo," I announced as I began to shut the menu.

"Can't ever give up the pasta, can you?" Noah commented as he glanced at me from the corner of his eyes. When our gazes met, he gave a nervous chuckle.

I forced on a smile. "Guess not."

Reaching out for my glass of water, I took a little sip, my gaze moving around the table as I felt Ariel's eyes on me. She raised her brows in curious amusement, but I just gave a slight shrug.

After a short waiting period, our dishes began to arrive. We wasted no time as we began to dig into the delicious courses, all the while discussing how different yet exciting this move will be. Ariel had her phone out and was scrolling past pictures, showing her inspo's to Bella and Elliot who hummed and nodded in response.

I was surprised to find that Elliot was genuinely interested in the topic, encouraging Ariel to show more pictures of how she imagined our kitchen and living-room to be.

I chuckled at their excitement. It was amusing how excited they were even though we were the ones moving away.

I suddenly felt someone's gaze on me. When I looked up, I saw Noah staring at me with a ghost of a smile.

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