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Love & Aliens, Book 1
The Extraordinary Extraterrestrial Love Lives of Doppelgangers book cover

The Extraordinary Extraterrestrial Love Lives of Doppelgangers

M.J. Padgett & Crystal Crawford

Grace

“Whoa, whoa, whoa… Back up one second. What are you saying? Are… are you breaking up with me?” I asked, dumbfounded as I stared at my boyfriend of four years. He stuttered and stammered his way through what I thought was the lamest breakup line on the planet. He’s bored? What does that even mean?

He sighed and dropped his hands to his sides in defeat. “Come on, Grace. You can’t say you didn’t see this coming,” he said. A lock of his dirty blonde hair, messy as ever, fell over his forehead. He brushed it away and settled his gaze back on me.

“We literally celebrated our fourth anniversary yesterday, Aaron, so no, I didn’t see it coming. What does that even mean? You’re bored? I don’t understand how you can just throw away what we have like… like… What are you talking about?”

“It means what it means. We’ve been together forever, Grace, and I want to see what else is out there for me. I don’t see it as throwing anything away but building a solid foundation for future relationships. We both know what we want now. It’s better this way, you’ll see. It’s not you, Grace. It’s—”

“If you finish that sentence, I will probably scream,” I threatened, but he knew I wouldn’t. I, Grace Gilmore, would never do such a thing. 

 

 

He smirked, confirming my suspicion. My lips parted, a protest on the tip of my tongue, but I thought better of it and kept my thought to myself. My face, however, must have given away my disappointment and frustration.

 

Aaron’s expression softened as he reached for me. He’d reached that way a million times, his hand palm up, asking me to join him wherever he was going. For four years, I did exactly that—I followed. For some ridiculous reason, I let him take my hand and lead me to a place to discuss the terms of our separation that was quieter than the center courtyard of the stupid university I chose to attend because he was there. What an idiot, I thought. When we were well away from nosy students, he pulled me onto a park bench beside him. For a second, I thought he’d changed his mind, perhaps realized he was making a mistake, but when Aaron opened his mouth again, he dashed all hope I had of saving our future.

 

“Look, Grace, I love you and all but…” he said hesitantly as if he had to make it up as he went. “Well… It’s just not the kind of love that keeps two people together forever. Does that make sense?”

 

I wasn’t sure that was the whole truth, but his expression was plain as day either way. He wanted off the hook with as little pain and suffering as possible. Reasonable, I suppose, but he knew me well enough to know I’d never fight with him. It was kind of a cheap shot all things considered.

 

I wanted to hate him. I really, truly wanted to look at him and seethe with anger, but if what he said was true, then I deserved better. Why would I settle for someone who wasn’t all in? I stared at the students passing through the courtyard, happy people who weren’t in the middle of a breakup.

 

“Grace?” Aaron whispered, his fingers gently brushing over mine. “I’m sorry.” I knew he was; I could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes, but those things didn’t make the pit in my stomach any easier to resolve.

 

“I wish you’d told me sooner. We could have avoided the hour-long awkward dinner last night,” I said, realizing maybe I did know something was wrong but refused to admit it to myself.

 

“What we have is comfortable, but I think we both deserve more than just comfortable, right?” he asked.

 

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