Kat sighed as No Doubt blasted through her headphones. *That was me and Tommy.* She thought as she watched the clouds sail past. She loved flying. It was always like a whole different land up in the clouds. The clouds formed the land and the wide expanse of blue sky formed the water. She smiled. She had changed so much since she'd left California. Kat wondered if they would even recognize her. It had been a whole year since she'd left Angel Grove. Since she had left Tommy.
*Tommy...* She sighed his name in her mind. *What am I going to do about him?*
Tommy shifted from foot to foot as he waited for Kat's plane. He had so much to tell her. He knew that when they were going out in High School, he hadn't been fair to her. He'd still been hung up on Kim, and God knows he tried, but it wasn't until just after graduation, when Kat was getting on that plane for London, that he realized how much he loved his blond girlfriend. *You have to know, Kat. I love you. It's different than what I felt for Kim, but I still love you. This is stronger, more stable. I can be myself around you, not the knight in shining armor all the time.*
He knew he hurt her. He wished he could undo the past, give her his heart as easily as she had given hers to him. *I wish I could take back every time I thought about Kim instead of you. God, how could I have been so stupid?* He cursed to himself.
Kat stepped off the plane and found Tommy waiting for her, a huge smile on his face. She smiled one of her own wishing it was as bright as his. When she got within arms reach of him, he reached out and pulled her into a huge bear hug. *What in the world has gotten into him?* She thought. Kat returned his hug, and when he kissed her, she wondered briefly if he'd been drinking before he picked her up. Never had he ever been this affectionate in public. It only made it worse what she felt she had to do. *He doesn't love you. It took you over a year to figure that out. Even if he is a bit more affectionate than before...it has been a year since he's seen you.*
Tommy wondered what was wrong, as he helped Kat get her luggage. She was quiet and when he'd hugged her had she stiffened in his embrace? His mind was racing as they put her bags into the back of his truck. "Kat? Is something wrong?" He asked.
Kat turned to him and smiled slightly. *Just tell him and get it over with. Stop prolonging the agony.* "Tommy...is there somewhere we can talk?" She finally asked.
Tommy froze for a split second. He knew what was coming, and he couldn't blame her. After all he'd put her through he couldn't blame her for doing it.
"Uh...sure. How about the park? Or Luigi's?" He asked, naming a restaurant that they had frequented once they had actually started going out.
"The park is fine." Kat said. If she was going to do it, she'd rather give him a place where he could have some privacy. *Not, that he would need it.* She thought.
The detour took about five minutes and then they were walking to a secluded part of the park. The couple sat down and Kat twisted her hands in her lap. *God! Now, I know why Kim sent the letter. This is going to be so hard.*
She took a deep breath. "Tommy I want to break up. You don't love me. I know that. You love Kim, you always have and you always will."
Tommy sat back on his heels. *Lord! Why didn't I tell her how I felt? How could she think I still loved Kim? Especially since Kim is with Jason now?* "Kat...that's not true. You're right, I did love Kim, but I don't anymore. I love you, and I didn't realize how much until you went on that plane to London. Even before that I knew I did, but I was scared."
He reached out and gently brushed her golden hair away from her face. "I hurt you. I know that. I wish I could undo every single time I ripped your heart out and tore it into little pieces. I'm amazed that you stuck with me as long as you did." He leaned in to kiss her, only to have Kat turn her head away.
"Don't." She said, her voice choked with tears. She had waited to hear those very words for so long. She couldn't believe them, wouldn't believe them. He was trying to make her feel better, that was all. He was just saying what she wanted to hear. "Don't say it when you don't mean it. Don't play games with me anymore, Tommy."
Tommy stared at her. "Kat...Katherine, I'd never do that. I'd never play games with you."
Katherine turned her tear bright blue eyes on him. "And in High School, when we were dating, and I was just a substitute for Kim? What about then?" She demanded. It had taken her a full year away from his addictive presence and a good friend to help her realize that Tommy never loved her as anything more than a Kimberly substitute.
Tommy dropped his eyes. He couldn't lie to her. He had used her and it left him sick to his stomach. He had been so lonely for Kim that he'd latched onto her. He knew that she had feelings for him, but it wasn't until he saw Kim the last time that he realized that he returned Kat's feelings. He hadn't wanted to lead Katherine on, or make her feel obligated to stay in Angel Grove, so he hadn't said anything.
They had written and kept in touch, but not once in those letters had he told her how he felt about her. *How could I be so stupid? I'm going to lose the one thing in my life that I want the most, simply because I was too stupid to tell her how I felt.*
Katherine watched her boyfriend. *EX-boyfriend* She reminded herself sharply. He seemed to be truly upset at the whole thing. She wanted more than anything to bolt, but she owed it to Tommy to sit and wait it out. She wished she could take it all back, but then she remembered Jo's advice.
*Kat, you told me yourself that he doesn't love you. Why are you hanging on to him? I know what that's like. It sucks. You're supposed to be happy when you're in a relationship, not miserable. Break it off and let yourself move on.* Her friend's words had made a lot of sense and after a lot of soul searching she'd finally come to the conclusion that it would be better for both of them if they broke up. She had assumed that Tommy would be grateful, now she wasn't so sure.
Tommy sighed and finally looked up at her. "Kat...you have to believe me when I say that I never meant to hurt you. I'm sorry I led you on, but this isn't a game, Kat. I love you, but I can't reasonably expect you to accept that. I've hurt you too much for you to fall into my arms." He gave her a small smile. "I'd like to make it up to you...wait...that's not what I want to say. I want to get to know you. I want to learn about you, and vice versa. I want you to trust me again, and the only way for me to do that is if you give me a chance. That's all I'm asking for Kat, just one chance. If we hit it off, great. If we don't, then we don't, but at least we tried. Will you give me a chance, Kat? Give me a chance to be the boyfriend you deserve?"
Katherine felt her will cave. *He's not asking me to fall for him, only to give him a chance. What's the harm in that? He can't break my heart anymore than it already is.* Shakily she nodded her head. "I'd like to try and start over. I...I don't know if it'll work..." She trailed off and Tommy smiled at her.
"It's okay, Kat. I understand. As long as you're willing to try, you've just made me the happiest man in the world." He reached over and brushed the tears from her eyes. He hugged her to him, as she continued to cry out the hurt he'd caused her over the 18 months they'd been "dating".
"I'm sorry, Kat. I wish I had saved you some of that heartbreak. I didn't mean to hurt you. I never wanted that."
Katherine just cried. Her sobs finally quieted and she looked away as Tommy grinned at her. "I'm sorry." Kat said, feeling a blush creep up her cheeks.
"Don't be. I understand. Would you like to go out to dinner with me, tonight?" He asked, his brown eyes sparkling.
Kat gave him a tentative smile of her own. "I-I think I'd like that." She told him.