Tania invited all her friends over for a group study session the same day, not like it was a problem to me as my friends won’t be here till eight. Though I knew her friends would be here until Kate at night as finals were coming up, as was graduation - for all senoirs that is. I’m only a junior, but even I had finals, but we still hadn’t gotten around to studying, but that’s because there is another two months of school left.
Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning Tanias friends being over because I noticed, Cameron wasn’t there with them - Tania and he was in the same class, besides Leo was here so course Cameron should’ve been here. This was made prominent to me because of Leo.
I had picked up Dustin from the park down the road - he had gone with our neighbours kid, so it was safe - and just gotten home. Dustin ran off upstairs to change out of his dirty clothes, when Leo had approached me - they had been taking a break from studying.
“Hey Sydney!” He called cheerfully, waving his hand in the air. Laughing I called back a greeting and started towards the kitchen, I didn’t expect he’d follow me. Filling my glass full of cool water, I raised my eyebrow up at him, wondering why he was looking at me so puzzledly.
“Is something wrong?” I asked, cocking my headas I waited for him to elaborate.
“No, no. Nothings wrong... I’m just wondering where Cam got to” he murmured, looking thoughtful.
I frowned, why was he asking me this? It’s not like I’m that good friends with Cameron, besides, he was his best friend, shouldn’t he be the one who knows such things? He must’ve seen my confused look as he frowned and asked, “Didn’t you come home with him?”
I shook my head, remembering that he had indeed asked to give me a ride home. But I had told him no, so...
“No!? How did you get home then?” Leo asked sounding a bit baffled.
“I walked.” I replied dryly, then shook my head and asked, “I already told him I was walking home, didn’t he tell you?”
This made his frown deepen. “That’s strange,” he murmured. “He was waiting for you to show up in the parking lot when we all left, kept muttering something about you would show up. He even told to Tania that he’ll join us when he comes over to drop you. Are you sure you told him that you won’t be needing a ride?”
I nodded my head, now feeling a bit worried about Cameron. “I’m positive. I told him that I’d walk to my moms flower shop with Carly, right before last period.” I told him, thinking back. I know I told him that I won’t be coming home with him. “Leo, you don’t suppose something happened you him do you?” I asked worriedly, unconsciously leaving my glass on the table and clutching Leo’s hand in panic.
Leo looked at me equally worriedly. “Of course, nothing could’ve happened to him. Wait, I call and check where he is.” He said, gently easing his hand out of my tight grip, and pulling his phone out of his jeans pocket.
“Hey, Leo, is everything alright? You’ve been gone for quite sometime.” A sweet voice asked as Daisy walked into the kitchen. Her eyes widened seeing me and Leo standing so close, not to mention I was still clutching one of his hands really tightly. We quickly jumped apart, but too late, she had already seen us.
“Dai, this isn’t what it looks like” Leo said slowly holding his hands up in a I-surrender gesture.
Tears gathered in her eyes, but she held them back, so none spilled. “Really, then what is it like?” She asked in a hard voice. She didn’t give him a chance to explain as she went on. “I can’t believe I trusted you. I actually believed that I was special to you- ” she ranted.
“You are special-” Leo tried to say but she went on, not hearing him.
“-That, The Leo Carter had finally found someone who he’s not just playing with. I guess I was an idiot to believe than huh? I should’ve seen it when all you and Cam could talk about was Sydney” my eyes widened as I looked up at Leo, startled. He returned my gaze. “But I thought that it was Cam who liked her. Guess you don’t really valour his friendship if you are going behind his back to-”
“But that’s exactly it!” I exclaimed, cutting her in half. “Look Daisy, nothing happened between me and Leo-” I started to say, but she cut me off with a glare.
“You shut up, Miss. Everybody-loves-me-Blake. I’m not talking to you, so stay out of this you relationship wreaking witch” she screached, going red in the face with anger. Only she didn’t exactly call meal witch, but something that rhymed with it.
“Daisy!” Leo exclaimed looking wide eyed. He looked dumbstruck that she called me such a thing. Funnily enough I couldn’t even be angry with her for calling me that. I could see where she was coming from, things were spiralling down at an alarming rate. “Daisy, I know your mad, but please hear me out...” Leo started to say, his voice going more softer.
“You know what Carter. Damn you, damn you and your little girl to the depths of hell” she cursed in a hiss and stormed off, out of the kitchen.
“Daisy! Daisy wait - ” Leo called, running after her, leaving me alone in the kitchen. I heard the front door slam shut, and a moment later open and close again as Leo ran after Daisy.
I sighed, slumping against the island, covering my face with my hands.
“Good job little sis, he finally found himself a proper girlfriend and you wreack there whole relationship in the time span of two miniutes.” I heard my sister say venemously, glaring daggers at me. Dalia and some other girls were behind her.
I was already feeling like crap as it was, I didn’t need this from my sister or anyone else. She didn’t even know what happened, they didn’t know what happened, they assumed what happened just by listening to Daisy shout.
“Yes Sydney, stay away from Leo and Cam and stick with those geeky little friends of yours. Next thing we know, Cam and Leo wouild be fighting over who gets the girl. You already wreaked Leo’s and Daisy’s relationship, try not to wreak Leo’s and Cam’s friendship too” Dalia hissed with enough venemo to poison someone. She glared at me in a way that promised she’d make my whole high school life miserable if I didn’t listen to her.
“Go to hell” I spat back at them, not letting them to walk over me. I pushed past them and ran upstairs, banging my room door shut behind me. Locking the door, I stepped into the bathroom. Stripping off my clothes I took a nice long shower - I had gotten home at around 5:30 p.m. and gone to pick you Dustin almost immediately. I hadn’t had a chance to get a shower since the morning and I really needed it. I’m not really sure whether I cried in the shower or not, but when I stepped out and looked in the mirror, my eyes were unusually red and puffy.
Drying my hair, I changed into a wool t-shirt, thighs and boots. Pulling on my gloves, scarf and wool cap over my head I raced down the stairs - ignoring the glares I was getting from everyone in my living room - and out of the front door, almost slamming into Carly at the doorstep.
“Woah! Where are you running off to?” She questioned teasingly, not realising why I was in such a hurry. Of course she didn’t know where I was running off to, she just got here.
“Carly!” I said , breathless. “I’m so sorry, but I really need to go, go on in and let the others in when they get here. I’ll explain when I get home...” I started to hurry away, then realised that I should probably warm her not to listen to anything Tania or her friends were going to stay. “Oh! And anything you do, don’t let anyone out of my room and try not to huff me by what Delia and all are going to say, please.” I begged her and this time really running off, leaving her in my doorstep.
I know it wasn’t very friendly of me to do that, but I had to make sure that Cameron was still not in the parking lot waiting for me. I knew he didn’t feel for me that much to actually do something lovely like this, but I was feeling guilty enough that I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t do anything this stupid. It didn’t even dawn in me that Carly was half an hour early, surely she had wanted to talk to me before the others got there.
It was snowing lightly by the time I had ran out of the house. I didn’t even realise this when I had run outside. Of course by the time I realise this, and that I didn’t have a coat on me, I had already ran down the length of our road and I didn’t want t go back home to put on a coat, so I continued running in the cold.
Guilt wasn’t the only reason I was running to school to find for Cameron. I was also worried. Very, very worried that something had happened to him. All kinds of gruesome scenaries were running through my head, each one worser than the last.
I didn’t pause until I got to the gates of the school and by then I was soaked through in snow and was shivering so much my teeth were clattering. If I had been thinking straight, I’d I have been surprised that I had run for half an hour straight, all the way to school, without pausing or stopping to catch my breath.
I stopped in front of the school gate, I had been running on pure adrenaline - I still am - so I bent over catching my very ragged breath. I was wheezing as I took in deep breaths, bent over double and my legs quivering, both for the cold and the jelly-ish feeling from running for so long.
Catching my breath, I stumbled into the parking lot. My eyes roaming around the parking lot, scanning for a very familliar silver convertible - if the car was here, the boy was sure to be here. He wouldn’t have left his car and left, boys loved their cars more than they’d love any girl. My eyes were instantly drawn to the one single car in the parking lot, and though I saw no sign of a certain green eyed boy I’d come looking for, I still ran over to the car.
He was sitting inside the car, his hands were resting on either side of the steering wheel and head, buried between his hands, leaning on the wheel. I was sure that he was asleep inside the car, because he had been here for two whole hours by now.
Sighing, and shivering against the cold, I knocked lightly on the window. He stiffen but didn’t wake up, so I rapped harder. He instantly sat up, groogily rubbing his eyes and looked out of the window. His eyes widened when he saw me and he said something - I could only see his mouth move, not hear what he said. He continued to stare at me wide eyed, so I gave him a timid smile. He scrambled to get out of the car, almost tripping over the snow as he stepped out. He shivered against the cold, but unlike me he had on a coat, also unlike me, he didn’t have a scarf or gloves.
“Sydney, what are you doing here?” He asked sounding a bit confused, looking around the parking lot like he was wondering how he ended up here. Then he noticed me shivering and let out a string of curses. “How long have you been standing in the snow?” He asked.... not exactly like that, there was a lot of cuss words that are unprintable so I’m omitting them.
Not giving me a chance to reply, he hustled me into the passenger seat and closer the door, before getting in behind the wheel. As soon as he got back in, he turned the heated into high. All the while I was staring at him and he seemed to have finally understood than.
“What?” He asked sounding a bit self-conscious - for Cameron, that is a lot.
He had grabbed my hand and removed the gloves, heating them by rubbing them together. I ripped my hands out of his - he looked startled by my behaviour, I’m not a very agressive person. “You idiot! You idiot, you idiot,you idiot” I screamed slamming my fist into his arm, chest - any where I could reach - with each time I called him an idiot. Tears filled my eyes and I still wasn’t sure whether I was glad to have found him or pissed beyond beliefe at his stupid little stunt, he had the nerve to pull.
“Woah, Sydney, what happened?” he asked, holding his hands up to protect himself from my blows.
I ignored him as I went on screaming - and hitting him. “Do you have any idea how worried I was? Pull something like this again and I swear to god that never ever ever talk to you again. I’ll be really pissed off and I’d... I’d... URGH! How could you Cameron? Why on Earth would you do something like this. Now Daisy is angry with Leo, all because of me and you are anything with me and...” I’m not sure during which part of my rang that I ended up hugging Cameron, but by the time I broke of crying, I was already eveloped in his arms and he was rubbing my back soothingly.
“Hey, Hey! It’s alright, it’s alright. I’m fine, see” he told softly, so maybe he didn’t understand half of which I told him, because he didn’t really sound all that troubled about Leo and Daisy.
“EVERYTHING IS NOT ALRIGHT!!!” I screamed roughly pulling away from his warm embrace. So why did I almost feel disappointed when he let me go? “Everything is not alright” I whispered in abroken voice, bending over and burying my face in my hands, unable to hold my tears in. “If Daisy breaks up with Leo it’ll all be my fault and I don’t know what to do. It was only a misunderstanding. I didn’t mean to grab his hand, it just happened and Daisy saw and, now she think’s something else happened and I don’t know, what do I do? I have to do something, he was so happy with her and he loved her like nothing....”
He rubbed my back as I went on ranting. At one point, he pulled me up and hugged me to, his chest, running a hand through my hair and his other hand continueing to run up and down my back. Unbestknown to him, doing the absolutely right thing to calm me down, running his hand through my hair and soon enough I had calmed down, but I continued to stay in his arms, my eyes closing on their own accord, till he let me go.
“Now, tell me what happened, from the beggining.” He pleaded, looking slightly worried - though not only for me. I could tell by looking into his green eyes, that what I had been ranting about had, indeed, been registered into his head, for he looked worried about his friend as much as he was worried about me, if not more. And I really, really liked him for this.
So I told him, everything that happened in the kitchen since Leo followed me in their - I could almost see how that looked to Daisy, too. I told him everything, without missing a single detail, the same way I told everything to Nick.
“So you came here, looking for me -in this very cold wheather - as soon as they left?” He questioned me after I was done telling him what happened, as if to make sure. Yeah, I hadn’t told him about my encounter with my sister and her friends in the kitchen after they left.
“Well... I took a bath and changed and ran her, but yes, you got the idea” I told nodding my head. I had calmed down enough, to gather my wits about myself.
He nodded his head, starting up the car. He didn’t tell anything to me, I could tell he was worried about his friend.
“Do you have any idea where he’d be?” I asked Cameron in a whisper. I don’t know why I felt the need to whisper as we were the only two in the car, but I felt a little scared, for Leo.
Cameron sighed, easing the car out of the school gates, which for some reason was still unlocked. “I don’t know Sydney, but I’m going to look for him... right after I drop you home.” He added the last part glancing at me.
“C-can I come with you?” I asked looking up at him pleadingly, wringing my hand in my lap.
He reached over and caught my hands with his, slowky rubbing cirles on the back of my palm with his thumb. “I know you’re worried about him Sydney, but I think you’ve frozen enough for today. I promise I’ll let you know as soon as I find him, yeah?” He said, looking at me questioningly, before looking back at the road.
Chewing on my bottom lip, I nodded my head, knowing he could see me from his peripheral vision.
It was silent in the car for the next ten miniutes, both of us lost in our own thoughts.
We had to stopped in front of a stop light, it was still only 9:40 and there were cars in the road, people heading home from work or whatever, hence the traffic.
“So... say Sydney, why did you come looking for me?” He asked, looking at me in the I tense way he does, did earlier this day by my locker - reminding me the reason I didn’t want to get a ride from him in the first place. I could tell that he was remembering that too, from the tone of his voice.
I cleared my throat, shifting in my seat uncomfortably. “Um- well... you see, ur- Leo left before he could find out if you’re okay and, I was, um- worried about you, so...” I trailed off, looking out the window, any where but at him.
“See, you do care. You care so much.” He stated like it wasn’t the most obvious thing in the world. Almost like he was proving a point - to me or to him, I couldn’t say.
“I never told you I didn’t Cameron, I never told you I didn’t care about you. You’re my friend, of course I care about you.” I murmured, looking down at my lap.
“Of course, you only care about me as a friend. Of course you don’t love me.” He muttered , likeit physically hurt him to say such a thing. He sounded frustrated, his hand clenching the wheel, painfully tight. I guess I’m the first girl who had ever said no to him, but this didn’t make me happy. This was hurting him, course it didn’t make me happy.
“Cameron,” I said softly, laying my hand on his arm, we were still stuck on traffic. “Cameron, you cant-” I broke off, I couldn’t tell him whom to love and whom not to. “I can’t love you Cameron. You deserve someone more worthwhile to love you. I’m still hung up over Mark. Mark broke my heart into tiny pieces and there is not enough left for me to give you. Please, understand that. You deserve a girl who’d love with her whole heart and that girl is not me. I don’t even have a whole heart to give you in the first place.”
As soon as the light turned green he peeled away from the road and parked outside a wal-mart parking lot.
“So let me find that other half of your heart, let me help you to collect the pieces he shattered and put them back together, I love you Sydney, I fell in love with you know what you are, who you are and I love every peice of you. I don’t even care if your still hung up over Mark. I know you want to forget about him, so let me to take his place, I’ll make you forget him.” He said turning to me and holding my hand, a pleading look in his eyes. “I’m not Mark, I’m not playing your feelings like him. I really do love you.”
“How - how can you be so sure that you love me so much!?” I demanded near him, not raising my voice, but looking at him sharply. This was the wrong thing to do, as the look of hurt that appeared in his eyes at my demand, it hurt me too. It made my heart clench and for my throat to clog up all over again.
“Because I’ve liked you for such a long time Sydney. Hell, as cliche and cheesy as it sounds, I liked you from the very moment I met you.” He told in a soft voice, taking my hand and unconsciously drawing patterns on the back of my hand.
“You have?” I asked, blinking at him in shock, for the very first time I met him was on the very day I had moved in with my parents, the very first day I came to Morgantown. At that time I hadn’t known him - like duh! - I mean, that it was him, but I had first met him when Nick took me to Carly’s grannys pet shop to buy Saber, when we got lost in the road and Bruce had shown us the way.
“Yes, I liked how you introduced yourself to me and Bruce. I’m Sydney, this idiots little sister.” He paused to laughed. “Do you have any idea how crazy and cool that sounded. I had pinned you as the cheerleader typed, preppy girl who’d get along with my crowd of people, but then when you show up at school, you started hanging out with my bratty little sister and it was your sister who tried out for cheerleading. I shrugged it off, thinking that maybe we wouldn’t get along after all. So I got to know Tania better, thinking that she’d be like you, preppy but sweet, talkative but childish so I got to know her better.
Of course, things weren’t like that, she was nothing like the girl I met that day, with Nicolas on the road, looking for a pet shop, but by then I had forgotten what I had like so much about you. I thought maybe it was one of those passing by crushes and let it go, enjoying my time with your sister.” Again he paused to let out a harsh laugh, unlike the first time, which he laughed in a ‘you-were-so-adourable-and-I-really-liked-it’ way.
“One year, exactly an year later, you waltz back into my life, like nobodies business. You fell at my feet and had me hooked by the very first sentence you spoke. You were sarcastic but not offending, I found it really sweet, ‘I’m trying to fall asleep’, that was serious enchanting. Then I pull the girl up and find myself looking into your dark brown, almost black eyes and then with a shock I realised why I had like you so much. At first I really thought you were just this cool girl whom I loved to tease, who gets mad at me but never angry. I loved how you’d never flirt back with me, no matter how much I tried to flirt with you. It’d go straight over your head.
Then things changed, I found myself thinking of you every moment, all I could ever talk with my friends was about you. I asked to be your friend so that I had a reason to want to hang out with you. I found myself making excuses to want to hang out with you and still all my flirting would go over your head. Even if you do flirt back, it’ll be playful and I knew you never meant anything with it. Then we go to Cali, I realise why you never date anyone and I realise that you were still in love with Mark and it’d take a lot to change your mind and heart. I was ready to let it go, let you go, thinking I’d be fine as long as you stayed my friend. When you were ready to date again that I’d be here for you, that’s when we shared than brief, almost meaning-nothing kiss in the airport and I realised, you were not just a crush to me... I loved you. I am in love with you and that I couldn’t let you just walk out of my life without a fight, that I couldn’t sit back and wait till someone else ecomes and sweep you off your feet and ride into the sunset.
So yes Sydney, I’m positive, a 100℅ positive, that I’m head over heels, madly and deeply in love with you.”
I was totally breathless and speachless by the end of his long monologue. It wasn’t him, it was me who was gasping for breath.
“You have no idea what you do to me. Every time you laugh, or flash me a blinding smile or when you even disagree with me, every time we fight, you make me fall that much harder and faster into this bottomless pit and now I’ve fallen in too deep to claw my way out” he muttered, leaning closer so his breath fanned my face.
I was gasping for breath and didn’t realise that I was crying, until Cameron, looking alarmed, said, “woah! Sydney,I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please don’t cry.” Gently he eased my head into his shoulder, stroking my hair and patting my cheek.
“I- I, I don’t -” I strutted pushing away from him and wiping away my tears almost agressively.
“You don’t have to say anything right now Sydney, but promise me that you’ll think about it. I promise I’m not playing with your feelings” he said, a plea in his voice.
I nodded my head in answer to his first request. “I - I know you aren’t... playing with me.” I said between hicupping, fighting to stop my tears. He smiled at me tiredly, like he didnt know what to make out of it. “So you’ll think about what I said?” He asked me sounding hopeful.
I nodded my head so hard, I felt a headache coming on. “I will, but I can’t promise you that I will agree” I said, looking out of the window again.
“Sure, Sydney” he said, sounding cheerful again. He revved up the car and pulled out of the wal-mart parking, heading to my house, which didn’t take more than two miniutes to reach.
I would’ve fleed as soon as he pulled the car to a stop, but I didn’t want to seem ungrateful or to hurt him any further than I should, than I probably will in the near future. Looking at the floor, I muttered a ‘thankx,’ I wasn’t all that sure he heard.
“Anytime Sydney” he said making me look up at him.
“Why do you keep saying my name at the end or start of every sentence?” I asked, frowning I question.
He laughed, his all familiar, not-a-care-in-this-world laugh. “That’s because I like the feel and sound of your name rolling of my tongue, it makes me feel closer to you” he explained making my face to heat up. Seeing this he laughed once again, caressing my cheek with his knuckles. This made my face to resemble a tomato. “God! I wish I could kiss you right now” he muttered and I look at him wide eyed - still resembling a tomato.
He realised what he said a moment too late, but when he did he looked at me hopefully. I shook my head, really slowly, afraid of making him fed up with me and have him leave me.
I cleared my throat, breaking eye contact. “Erm- tell me when you find Leo would you?” I asked him, changing the topic.
He sighed but promised none-the-less. Telling him one last ‘Thankyou’, holding my tears in with difficulty, I got out of the car and headed inside the house. At least that was the plan, until I saw Leo standing in the porch steps, leading up to my house.
I stumbled to a stop, outside in the snow. “Leo!” I exclaimed, my eyes going wide. “What - how, why?” I questioned dumbstuck, blinking at him in shock.
“I came to leave Mina, she said that you were having a sleepover.” He answered before I could ask, raising his eyebrow in question.
“Of course,” I said , hurrying under the porch, Leo must’ve guessed something was wrong, because his brows furrowed in concern and he lay a hand on my shoulder. “Is everything alright Sydney?” He asked, looking and sounding worried. Bitting my lower lips I shook my head, if I open my mouth I’d start crying all over again.
“You should call Cameron and tell him you are okay, he’s worried about you -” I said instead, not wanting to talk about it, but he cut me off. “Sydney” he said, a warning in his tone. “What happened, where have you been? It’s pretty blizardous to be outside” he asked me wrapping his arm around my shoulder and pulling me to his side, warming me.
I burst out crying, remembering what happened and startling Leo. He wrapped his arms around me tightly and rubbed my back, saying words that I couldn’t hear through my sobs. He dragged me to the porch swing and made me sit and tried to calm me down, but I was feeling pretty hysteric and I was mumbling, who knows what sort of nonsense to him - thought I think I told him what happened in the parking lot.
I’m not sure how long we stayed there, but it can’t have been very long before Nick got home - after work. Seeing me he looked at Leo like it was all his fault, but I flew at him, throwing my arms around his torso and burying my head in his head. I vaguely heard Leo and Nick talking, before Leo left. Nick sat me back on the porch swing and soothed me down, not asking what happened, just holding me until I called down. Which I did... once I fell asleep on his shoulder.