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The courtyard ended being nicer than Ashley had made it out to be. There were a number of floral arrangements and a bunch of shrubs and trees surrounding a couple benches and chairs. From the area, you could see a vast expanse of fields and forests.
“So this is Ohio, huh?” Ashley said.
“Yup. I grew up about 40 minutes from here.”
“Really? Tell me it was closer to the city…”
“Nope, further,” I laughed.
“Gross. So you were, like, a real redneck then?”
“No! Just because it’s not near a city doesn’t mean its hillbilly country. Besides, this is Ohio, not Alabama.”
“What’s the difference?” she teased.
“I’d rather be crazy than be a redneck.” I laughed and led her over to a bench. She took a seat and before I could sit next to her, she pulled me down onto her lap. She wrapped her arms around me from behind and I leaned back into the embrace, thoroughly comfortable. “So does your decision to move to L.A. have anything to do with your near-death experience the other day?”
“Yeah,” I admitted.
“Not in a bad way though, Ash. I really do want to get back to L.A. There’s nothing for me in New York anymore… and there’s everything in L.A. The flight just kind of helped me put things into perspective more.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Well, when I was flying over here, I couldn’t stop thinking about how… I might never get the chance to see you again… you know?”
“Yeah,” I nodded.
“And I told myself that if you were okay, things would have to change between us. Not in a bad way or anything… just… in a different way. I was actually thinking of just moving to New York or something.”
“Yeah… I mean, it wouldn’t be my first choice, but I’d do it if I had to,” she told me. I gave her a smile at that. She’d never lived anywhere but L.A. Leaving it would be like leaving her life behind, and I would never ask her to do that.
“You’d leave L.A. for me?”
“Well, yeah,” she said, matter-of-factly. “But please don’t make me?” I laughed and kissed her lightly.