Somewhere Above the Clouds

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Chapter 14 - Just peachy

River

I ran down the hallway and pushed the door open to my room, not even bothering to check and see if Jackson was still awake.

The light in my bedroom was off but the space was lit up, it was sparkling with stars.

I looked around in disbelief.

Beau had somehow transformed my room into the night sky.

I walked toward the far corner and found a small white box, a tiny projector. I lifted it up and saw his handwriting on a piece of paper underneath.

River,

No clouds in this sky, maybe your head could use a break.

Happy Birthday,

Beau

I smiled, even though I knew he was pushing me away.

My phone felt like it was burning a hole straight through my palm.

I wanted to call him and tell him how much I loved his gift.

All of his gifts.

But I couldn't.

Beau wasn't a good liar. Which in my eyes was a great quality. But it still made me question why he was lying to begin with.

I wasn't sure if his new work schedule would actually demand more time from him or not. But I was positive that he was pulling away from me.

Maybe it was my teenage mind but I couldn't help but wonder if it was because he was scared.

Because if he felt for me what I felt for him, then he should be scared.

I changed my clothes and fell backward onto my bed. I watched the sky that Beau created for me until I just couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. I fell asleep wondering when he would show his face again.

******************

Six months later

"Taylor is outside waiting, you'll be late if you don't leave now."

My brother was standing in the doorway of my bedroom, watching me throw clothes and college prep textbooks into a suitcase. I had forgotten to set my alarm last night which was something that never happened.

"Almost done."

I hesitated as my hand hovered over the leather-bound book that sat in its spot on my nightstand. It stayed there because I read it every single night without fail.

I grabbed it and threw it on top of my orange swimsuit before zipping up my suitcase. Jackson lifted it up and pulled it down the hallway while followed him out.

The front door opened and my breath caught in my throat.

Beau walked inside.

It was only the second time since my birthday.

"Where are you going?"

He asked me as my brother walked passed him, dragging my luggage down the steps to Taylor's car.

"The summer before senior year trip."

That wasn't the official name but it was good enough.

"You mean the Senior Year Strip?"

He narrowed his eyes at me.

That was the official name. No one was stripping, well I definitely wasn't. Everyone called it that because every year the incoming senior class rented rooms in one of the hotels that lined a certain strip of the road directly across from the beach.

"That's the one."

I tossed my bag over my shoulder and walked outside when Beau grabbed my wrist.

I stared down at his big hand covering my skin and wondered if every nerve ending in my body was actually tingling or if it was just my imagination.

"Be careful, please."

I pulled my hand out of his grip and smiled.

"Always am."

I ran out to Taylor's car and practically jumped inside.

Jackson was on the driver's side, chatting it up with Taylor.

I tapped him on his shoulder, he leaned over and kissed my cheek.

"Okay have fun but no more of that."

My brother groaned and Taylor laughed.

"It was just a friendly peck, don't worry."

Taylor said before rolling his window up.

I stared at Beau as he glared into the car from the front steps of the house.

He always picked the worst times to show up. I'd wanted to talk to him every day. I'd wanted to stop what I was doing and call him countless times. The only other occasion he had shown up for was the weekend after my birthday, I was getting ready to go out with Taylor like I promised that I would. Why these two days?

He had horrible timing, it was that simple.

"Are you okay?"

Taylor looked over at me before backing down the driveway. I was still looking at Beau, who looked like he wished he could shoot lasers straight from his eyes.

Why was he mad?

This was exactly what he wanted.

"Just peachy."

I smiled at Taylor. There was no need in ruining our weekend.

He tapped his cheek and grinned at me.

He wanted me to kiss him, he waited until we were down the driveway and halfway down the street. I leaned over and pressed my lips against his face.

"Were going to have fun this weekend, River."

"Oh yeah?"

I yawned.

"Why don't you take a nap?"

I stayed up too late reading when I knew I had to wake up early. Regular classes plus my college prep courses were kicking my butt but I still tortured myself by staying up too late reading for fun.

"I'll be okay."

A few minutes later we were stopped at a red light and Taylor propped his head back onto his headrest.

He tilted his head toward me and smirked.

"A friendly peck huh?"

I teased.

"I don't know if you've noticed but your brother is massive."

"Don't talk about my brother before you kiss me."

"Who said I was going to kiss you?"

He leaned across the console and I waited until his nose was touching mine to answer him.

"Me."

I whispered and he cupped the back of my neck, pulling me closer to him.

"You're funny, River."

He sank back into his seat and the light turned green at the same time that I rolled my eyes and sighed.

"Don't pout. I told you I wouldn't kiss you again unless you were my girlfriend."

That was true. The weekend after my birthday Taylor took me to dinner and we made out in his car. He asked me to be his girlfriend and almost everything inside of me screamed to tell him yes.

"And I told you that I don't want a boyfriend."

I gave him a fake smile.

"I'm aware. We're at an impasse."

We both started laughing because we knew we were better off as friends. We hadn't kissed on the lips since that night. Just friendly pecks on the cheek, just like he said.

Taylor went on plenty of dates and was not suffering in that department. He was my best friend and I knew he would no doubt make someone a great boyfriend and even husband one day.

But that someone wasn't me.

Because while Taylor was out on the weekends making out and doing God knows what else with every girl in a hundred-mile radius, I was at home in my room.

Wondering where someone else was and what he was doing.

Watching the stars twinkle in my room while trying to keep my head above the freaking clouds.

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