The Long Way Back

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Chapter 18

Colby’s POV.

As I was laying in the uncomfortable, creaky bunk bed that I barely fit into, my mind was wirling and my stomach was like a butterfly garden.

I couldn't figure out how to ask Melanie that one question that had plagued my mind for weeks now. From pretty much the first time I met her I had wanted to ask.

Be Mine. “Will you be my girlfriend?”

Me and Mel recently had been acting like a couple and whether she noticed it or not I certainly did. Every time she lay her head on my shoulder or placed her delicate, perfect little hands in mine my heart sped up and I swear I felt fireworks. Not just sparks anymore.

She was the first girl I had ever felt like this about. This overwhelming desire to be with her every second of every day.

And maybe it was, no it definitely was far too early but I had this unexplainable feeling that she would be the last. I wouldn’t ever feel like this about anyone else again, and I was gonna make sure I seized my one chance at true happiness.

No matter how much I had been made to believe I didn't deserve it.

The only reason I was even here this week was because I knew Theo was spending the week at our aunts and wouldn’t be alone with our shitty sperm donor of a father.
I forged his signature on the reply forms and pulled some money from my hidden university fund I had hidden from Dad's greedy grasp. All just to spend a few days ‘alone’ with Mellie.


And hell if I was gonna make them worth it.
I would ask her tomorrow, I would ask her to give me a chance, a chance to prove myself the best boyfriend on the planet. Something I’d strive to do if she just said yes.

I had it all planned out, on the hike tomorrow I’d take her off route for a bit and pop the question under the canopy of the trees by the lake. It seemed like the perfect spot, like one of our first ‘dates’ (if you could even call them that) by the lake.

When I was certain everyone was asleep I snuck out of the main room to the downstairs living room to FaceTime Theo as I promised I would. I already told him he could stay up only one night so we could talk and he was so excited I simply couldn’t even think of forgetting.

Sitting on the sofa I called him and not even two rings later he picked up.

“Hey bud.” I smiled. “Coco!” He practically shouted. “I mwiss you.” He pouted.


“Awk bud, I miss you too bud I'll be back in a few days remember? So you have nothing to worry about.”

“Otay.”

“Well how's auntie Sophie’s?” I asked him and he perked up a bit, my mums sister was a big fan of Theo and he her, that being the reason I allowed him to stay over so often. I knew I could trust her.

“So so good, guess wa we did today?” He bounces up and down. “What did you do bud?” I chuckled.


“We made COOKIES! And then I ate ice keem and waffles.” He said.

“Well that's great bud, but make sure auntie Soph doesn’t give you too many sweeties you could get sick.” I reprimanded slightly.

“Otay Coco... I be good boy.” He pouted a little.

“Hey No, you’re always an amazing boy Tee, I just don't want you getting sick while I’m away.” I reassured him.

“Oh.” He jumped up. “D-did choo ask Mewwie to be ur girlfwiend yet?” He giggled hysterically.


Yes, I’d told Theo already, I’d been stressing before we left and I talked to Theo about it so as not to get him worried about me.

And gain the perspective of the most adorable kid ever with the biggest imagination on how to ask her.

In true gentleman Theo manner he just told me to be polite and say please and that I better be the best boyfriend to Mellie or he’d beat me up because she was apparently his new best friend.

His words not mine.

“No, not yet bud.” I chuckled. “But I’m gonna ask her tomorrow.”

“Good.” He nodded his head pleased.

“Well buddy I can’t really talk for long I’m not supposed to be out of my room.” I whispered. “Huh! Bad coco u breakin du rules.” Theo shouted at me playfully.

“Yeah, I’m a troublemaker Tee.” I winked.

“And anyway you’re not supposed to be up this late so you have to get back to bed now.”

“Okay.” He grumbled.

“Hey don't look too excited.” I teased. “Well tell Sophie I said hi and remember if you need anything Tee just call and i'll answer, even if I’m breaking the rules.” I winked.

“I will.” He giggled. “Ni night Col.” he said, yawning.

“Good night Buddy, sweet dreams.” I said before we both ended the call.

Sneaking back upstairs I lay in bed sleeplessly awaiting the daunting day to come.


——————————————————


“Hurry up slow coach.” Mellie teased the moment I fell behind a little.

“Oh i'll show you fast.” I smirked, bolting up the hill right to Mel and swept her clean off her feet (literally) spinning her around in a circle.

She let out a surprised yelp before bursting into that familiar laughter I’d grown to love.

We were a bit behind the group on the hike we were currently taking up the mountain. It was something I’d purposely ensured to allow us to slip off unnoticed when the time came. That time we had to slip off however was dwindling as I kept putting it off again and again because of my inextinguishable nerves. We’d been walking for hours now.

We were walking further and further into the forest and I knew that soon, if not now already I wouldn’t be able to find my way back.

“Hey Daisy c’mon I wanna show you somewhere.” I said working up the nerves to just do it. After all, how much damage could one question really do?

“Um okay.” She said putting her hand in mine. “But we need to join back up with everybody after okay?”

“Don't worry I’m sure we’ll be fine for a bit.” I smiled.

We headed off into the forest in a different direction than the one we came from in search of the lake I planned to ask my big question at.

Quite some time later we finally came in sight of the ever awaited lake.
It looked a great deal different than what I remembered it to be but I pushed the thought to the back of my mind for the time being.

We walked to the waterside and sat down side by side staring out upon it. It was beautiful, much like the girl sat beside me.

“So why’d you want to bring me here so much?” She laughed, but I could tell it was a nervous laugh.

“Well, It wasn’t so much the place as much as I wanted to make this moment special to ask you something i've wanted to ask for a while now.” I replied honestly.

She looked at me questioningly and I noticed she started fiddling with the fingers. Something I quickly noticed she did when she was anxious that I doubted she even knew she did.

“I really like you.” I blurted, then mentally face palmed for my idiotic bluntness. What a great way to ease into things.

“I mean… I really love spending time with you and you make me feel things i've never felt, like ever. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to even just talking with someone so much before, every conversation we have seems to span forever and makes me block out everyone else until you're the only person I ever see in a room.” I looked up and she was blushing like mad, it was so fucking adorable.

“What I’m trying and absolutely failing at asking is, will you give me a chance?” I asked nervously, “will you be my girlfriend?”

I looked into her eyes and all my nerves just melted. She was smiling like the Cheshire Cat and her eyes were brimming with unbridled happiness.

“Of course I will.” She practically sobbed running into my arms and honestly the feeling of relief when I had her encompassed in my arms was incomparable.

I felt complete. For the first time ever.
The angel in my arms was actually mine, I actually couldn't believe it, she was my girlfriend.

When we eventually pulled away from each other we were both in tears and when we saw each other’s matching expressions we burst out laughing.

“We look ridiculous.” Mellie laughed. “At least we look ridiculous together Daisy.” I smiled, that was so cheesy but I was practically high on happiness and i couldn't find it in myself too care, not one bit.

Mellie sitting in my lap turned around so her back was against my chest and layer ber head back on my shoulder.

“Boyfriend.” I heard her mumble in awe.
“Girlfriend.” I mumbled into her hair as I wrapped my arms around her shoulders from behind.

“I can’t believe that’s what you wanted to ask.” She said. “I mean- I’ve liked you like that for a while now but I thought you just thought of me as a friend. A very awkward and shy friend.”

“No.” I said, kissing her head affectionately, “Now you're my adorably shy girlfriend who I think is absolutely amazing.” I kissed her again, “ and beautiful.” Another kiss, “and whose awkwardness is extremely cute.”

“Anyway you’ll never need to be anxious around people again because i'll be right by your side every time and if someone so much as looks at you wrong I’ll kick their ass.”

Mellie just laughed, “thank you.” She replied. “I didn’t know you knew my anxiety around people was that bad.” She looked down shyly.

“Of course I did babe, every time we’re around too many people you gravitate into my side - not that I’m complaining. And you do that thing with your hands when your anxiety starts getting bad.’

“What thing?!” She demands adorably. I laughed, “the thing your hands are doing right now.”

She looked down to discover I was right. “Oh.” She blushed.

“And is babe a new nickname now?” She smirked.

“Just testing it out, what do ya think? Baby? Babygirl? Cupcake?” I rambled on…”no.” She giggled. “I think Daisy’s just fine.”

“Okay pumpkin.” I smiled. She turned around pouting and play shoved me on the shoulder. “Okay, okay Daisy it is.” I said raising my hands up in surrender.

“We should probably head back now.” I said realising the time, it was after an hour and a half since we left the group.

“Oh yeah, how on earth are we going to find our way back?” She said.

“Honestly, I have no idea.” I said, only now figuring out how bad an idea this might have been. The sun was starting to set and if we didn’t find our way back soon all we had with us was the stuff in our backpacks and a few blankets.

“Right let’s just go back the direction we came and try to find the others.” I said pulling Mellie up off the ground.

We headed back into the forest hand in hand set on finding the way back.

It was going to be fine…


——————————————

It was not fine. At all.

I was only keeping it together because I knew how scared Mellie was and I was trying to somewhat be the positive one.

Even though I knew there was absolutely nothing to be positive about, we were lost in the middle of a colossal forest with no people in sight and no clue of how to get back.

It was all my fault too, I dragged Mel here and I had gotten us lost.


“It’s no use.” Mellie sobbed, her shaking hands came up over her mouth and she sat down on the forest floor as though her knees just gave out below her.

“W-we, we’re l-lost.”she cried. “What are w-we g-gonna do?”

I quickly sat down beside her and pulled her into my lap, “Hey Daisy calm down, just Breeathee.” I demonstrated, trying to diffuse her panic. “Look it’s gonna be fine, we have each other and worst comes to worst we’re just gonna have a sleepover under the stars.” I smiled. “

It’ll be an adventure and then tomorrow we’ll find our way right back to the cabins.” I reassured her, stroking the back of her head as she openly sobbed on my chest trying to regain control of her emotions.

“It’s gonna be okay, I’m right here.”

“O-okay.” She said with a voice still hoarse from her tears, “just one night.” She said to reassure herself.

“Just one night.” I echoed.

That night we found a dry sheltered spot in the trees and settled down for the night. Mellie was cuddled up in my far too big hoodie that I insisted she wear and using both of the spare blankets we brought we cuddled together under the stars trying to convince ourselves we would be okay.

Truth is, I now knew this wasn’t the lake I had been to before, it was completely different. We were completely lost with no idea of even the general direction back.

‘It would only be one night, we were going to be fine’ was the mantra I chanted over and over in my head.


We didn't know how wrong we were.











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