Vito admired the view of the commercial district of Newcrest for a moment. The golden sunset glow made this evening on the rooftop terrace particularly pleasant. Perfect, he thought. Seems everything was working in his favour.
“You taking a photo of the scenery in your head?” Louis chuckled as he came over with can of juice.
“Yeah,” Vito smiled. He kept reminding himself that he needed to get more into landscape photography one of these days. He’d always felt working with models was his real strength, but he did like a challenge. “You know me too well.”
“You’re not hard to read. And we’ve known each other for what, over ten years now?” Louis shrugged. “You’ve got a point though, this is a pretty good spot for watching the sunset.”
“Sure is,” Vito nodded distractedly. “Over ten years, huh? That’s a lot of sunsets…”
“Not that we’ve watched all of them together,” Louis pointed out pragmatically.
“Well, no, true,” Vito uttered. Not quite where he wanted to steer the conversation tonight.
“We have been through a lot together though,” he recovered. “But I can still remember our first kiss like it was yesterday. I knew it was something special right then and there. That you were special.”
Louis looked amused. “No you didn’t. You were a hormonal teenager that was high on life after having his first kiss.” He laughed.
“Such a romantic,” Vito rolled his eyes. “Come on, I know you thought it was something big too.”
“Can’t deny that,” Louis’ expression softened for a split second. “But we were kids back then. Didn’t know much about life. Or love.”
“True,” Vito acknowledged. “But we’re not kids anymore, Louis. I know for a fact that I’ve learned a thing or two in that department…”
He stood up, not taking his eyes off Louis.
“…and that I know a good thing when I see it…”
Louis looked at him, perplexed. “You going somewhere?” He jumped up to his feet.
“Oh, you could have kept sitting,” Vito told him. “But I have something to say, and I want to do it before the sun escapes…”
“Hang on…” Louis looked petrified. “What are you doing?”
He watched Vito kneel in front of him, almost as if in slow motion.
“Louis, I look at you and I don’t want to spend a day without you. I want you by my side, today and every day after that. I see you with my son, and I can’t picture it any other way. I can’t imagine a future without you. And I don’t want to. You’re the one. So… will you marry me?”
Louis struggled to form a coherent sentence at first.
Vito looked at him hopefully.
“No.” He managed finally.
Vito’s entire body grew tense. He stood up stiffly.
“Well, that’s ok.” He forced himself to say. “I’m sorry. You weren’t ready. I rushed you into this. Let’s forget I said anything.”
He couldn’t quite read Louis’ expression.
“But we can’t really forget you said it, can we?” Louis asked quietly. “You went to spend your life with me?”
“Yes, I know what I want for my future. For our future.” Vito nodded.
“I don’t exactly feel that way,” Louis started slowly.
“You’re not there yet. I get it. And it’s fine.” Vito nodded. “We can just keep taking it slow. We’ve got our whole lives, after all. I’ll wait for you. Take as long as you need.”
“No. You don’t understand.” Louis said quietly. He looked very pale all of the sudden.
What he said next would echo in Vito’s head.
“I just don’t really see myself ever wanting to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Vito covered his mouth in shock, but he wasn’t aware of the motion. He felt as if he’d lost control of his own body. He just stood there, frozen in time. And in heartbreak.
“Never?” He whispered finally.
“I’m so sorry.” Louis looked at him sadly.
“But… but… if you don’t ever see a future for us, then what are we doing?”
As soon as he asked, Vito knew he didn’t want to hear the response.
“I guess we’re just holding on to the past.” Louis muttered.
“So it’s like what you said way back in Windenburg, isn’t it?” Vito said bitterly. “That you hope that someday, you’ll wake up and you’ll not love me anymore. Did you get your wish now?”
“Vito, don’t do this.” Louis said. “I didn’t want this to happen. I didn’t mean to string you along. I’ve not really been thinking about our future, until you brought it up. But now I’ve realised. We’re not in the same place, and we’ll never be. Not anymore. And I am so sorry. I didn’t want it to end like this. I did use to think you were the one too.”
Then don’t do this, Vito wanted to say. But his voice betrayed him. He couldn’t get a single word out.
“But things have changed. We’ve changed.” Louis concluded.
They stood in silence for a moment.
“I guess this is goodbye,” Louis said awkwardly.
Vito nodded, feeling powerless.
Louis kept giving him guilty looks on his way out.
And then he was gone.
“Bye.” Vito’s voice croaked.
Louis deserved to feel guilty, didn’t he? Vito wanted to be angry. He wanted to hate him.
But he couldn’t.
After all, it was nobody’s fault but his own that they fell apart.
He couldn’t bear staying in the studio, but he didn’t want to go home either. He paced along the evening streets of Newcrest until he reached the condos. But he didn’t head towards his.
He knocked on the door in an odd state of limbo.
“Vito?” Sera opened the door, gobsmacked. “What are you doing here?”
In spite of living next to each other, Vito had never even been inside of Sera’s studio. What was he doing, he thought. She’d just laugh at him, surely…
“Are you ok?” His sister asked, looking concerned.
Vito shook his head. “We broke up. Louis and I broke up.”
It felt surreal to say it. Especially to her.
But she didn’t laugh at him, or remind him that this was all his doing in the first place. She seemed genuinely shocked.
“I’m so sorry, Vito.” Funny, Louis said that as well, Vito thought. “Are you… sure it’s over?”
“I’m pretty sure.” Vito nodded. Louis may not have been certain about his plans for the future, but he did seem certain they would not involve him…
“That’s horrible,” Sera said sincerely. “I… is there anything I can do? Do you want to come in or… something?”
“No, that’s ok. But thank you.”
“Vito… I don’t mean this in a bad way, but… why did you come to me? We barely talk. And when we do… well, you know.” Sera looked away. “Why didn’t you go to Carly? Or Hallie?”
Vito had been asking himself the same question. But somehow, he already knew the answer.
“Because they wouldn’t understand. Hallie doesn’t know what it’s like to want to be with someone that way. And Carly? She’s never lost love. Even when Ralph and her split up for a while, he was always there, just waiting for her to take him back. What does she know about heartbreak?”
“I wanted to apologise, Sera.” He continued. “For the way I’ve treated you, especially when we were younger. I’ve been such a plumhead. I never knew how you felt. With all those guys. I’m sorry. I wish I’d been a better brother.”
“I don’t know what to say.” Seraphina looked at him uncertainly.
“You don’t owe me anything Vito,” she told him. “We’ve not had the best relationship, but you don’t have to apologise. And I really am sorry that things didn’t work out between you and Louis. I thought you guys were the real deal.”
“Yeah. So did I.” Vito said.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in? I’ve got nectar…”
“No. I need to be alone. Thanks though. I mean it.”
And with that, Vito dragged himself to his place.
Leaving behind a rather baffled and worried sister.
Getting home didn’t particularly bring Vito much solace. It felt like Louis was following him, staring at him from pictures in every room.
A reminder of what could have been. Should have been.
And what was now never to be.
He’d have to take all the photos down, Vito thought.
But not tonight. He stared at the smiling Louis on the wall. He still couldn’t believe he was gone from his life. They were enjoying the sunset just an hour ago.
And now he was alone. Without the one he’d thought was his other half.
He slid the walk in closet open, crawling inside. Sliding the door shut behind him, he let his body fall to the floor.
And he cried like a baby.
Aww poor Vito…Hang in there. I love how Sera has matured. She might be the next, Aunt Yenn.
Quite possibly! Someone did mention that teen Sera reminded them of teen Yenn, actually. I can definitely see some similarities there.
No no no! Vito do not deserve all this. It feels as if he has been weirder than Sera in the past and that not true. He do not deserve this.
It’s not really a question of what Vito does or doesn’t deserve. They tried to recreate the relationship they once had as teens, but it just wasn’t there anymore, unfortunately. They’ve both changed and too much between them has been broken for them to ever fully be bale to fix it. Thta doesn’t mean either Louis or Vito are bad people. Just that they don’t belong together anymore.
The reason Vito apologised to Sera was because his own heartbreak made him realised he was dismissive of hers when they were younger. Again, that doesn’t mean that he was a “worse” person than she was. He simply never realised how dismisive of her feelings he’d been in the past, until now. That doesn’t make him a monster, on the contrary, it makes him someone capable of realising their mistakes 🙂
Actually, I’m relieved. Don’t get me wrong, I like Vito, and I think it’s awesome that he has matured and become a real man since learning about Aslan. But honestly? I think that Louis is too good for him. Where Vito can be so selfish, Louis is giving and would do anything for anybody. The balance in their relationship has never been equal. May they both find happiness somewhere else.
Remember a million chapters ago how I said that I really disliked Sera and that I wanted to like her? I’m finally there. 🙂 Now that she’s out of high school and is learning how to handle her emotions in a healthy way, she’s not the bitter, explosive person that she once was. She’s finally channeling her anger in a better way, and is maturing and becoming a better person. Well done!
I do think Louis always brought out a gentler and kinder side of Vito when they were teens. But it was very much all on Vito’s terms. Now, as YAs, it was actually the other way around, Vito did anything and everything to please Louis. So it was much more equal, if not slightly tilted in Louis’ favour. But the bottom line is they no longer worked as a couple. They’ve grown apart and too much had gone on between them to undo. So they have to move on.
Yay for liking Sera! I’ve always loved her, so I’m glad she’s grown on you as she matured as a person.
Ah. This is very sad. Well, we grow from heat break, and I was happy to see Vito and Sera realize their connection and feel empathy for each other . I may be one of your few readers who’s always loved Vito . .. he’s been a favorite of mine forever . It’s such a part of being a person to be selfish . Vito shows us that , and then we see him learn and grow beyond his nature . There’s so much more that’s good in life than just happiness , and Vito and his path show me this . ..
I love Vito too (well, I actually love all 4 heirs equally this generation – each one has been a favourite of mine at some point, and they keep shuffling and switching 🙂 ). I wasn’t keen on him as a teen since I couldn’t really relate to his cockiness, but as a YA I can definitely see a lot of myself in him. And you’re right, no human being is selfless. Vito and Sera’s journeys have both been really steep learning curves, and it’s been quite a ride for me too!
I’m so sad for Vito. I was hoping he’d win Louis back after how much they’d grown. But I guess some wounds never heal.
From a writing perspective, I love how Sera has been intertwined in their relationship all these years. Every time one of the three of them says something of lasting impact to one of them, it is inevitably repeated to the third person. There’s this odd cycling of words and feelings and behaviors with the three of them, and I love it so much. It’s teased out so much of of their characters just to see how each person reacts differently to either saying or hearing the same words.
Thank you! The good thing about me taking my time with the last generation is that I can intertwine their relationships and show parallels, and even have them influence the outcomes of the others’ relationships. There’s quite a bit of a crossover with Carly too, Carly would have probably never gotten with Ralph if it wasn’t for Sera in the beginning, and Vito (and his chasing after Louis) played a major part in why Carly and Ralph reconciled – and it was Carly who offered Louis the job in Newcrest. It makes the story all the richer if they don’t just exist like isolated units, but actually influence each other in all aspects of life.
You know, this might be odd, but Sera reminds me of Yenn in a way that I can’t quite articulate at the moment.
You’re not the first one to say that, and I definitely can see a certain similarity between a young Yenn and a young Sera, they goth needed to find themselves, and both grew a lot 🙂
*hugs Vito* I just want to comfort him and give him all the hugs. I understand why things turned out the way it did, but it will still hurt horribly. I’m glad he went to Sera.
Ah! My heart is sad for them…but also I feel like this frees Vito up to move forward in his life. He can do it…he can work on himself and finally step into the man he has always had inside of him. It’s sad…but sort of refreshing in a way 🙂
Hey Rosey! I hope you’re well ❤ That's a good way of looking at it, I'd be inclined to agree!