The Long Way Back

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Chapter 7

It was 12.30 and I was currently waiting on my bed nervous for the night to come.

I was too excited for whatever Colby had planned that I hadn't even been bothered to try to get any sleep.

Time seemed to pass slower and slower just because I wanted it to do the opposite. I was staring up at my clock lying upside down on my bed.

*tick tock tick tock*

I waited, and waited and waited until the clock finally said 12.50. I dashed out my open window, already dressed in jeans and a jumper into the dark streets awaiting below.

I took the same route I had taken the night before and it already seemed like it was becoming familiar. Within no time I was walking into the park, an awaiting Colby already in sight.

I pulled out my phone on the walk over to him and checked the time. 01.00 on the dot. I think this was actually the first time I'd been on time for anything.

"Hey" I said, sitting down on the swings. "Hey daisy." Colby replied smirking because he knew that wasn't my name but still chose to use it to wind me up.

We started to swing back and forth, our swings surprisingly in sync.

"Right on time, aren't we?" He said a cocky expression working its way on his face.

"Yeah well I couldn't sleep again, so I needed to get out of the house anyway."

There was no way I was letting him know that I'd been waiting to leave for 3 hours.

"Well don't worry Daisy i’d gladly be your distraction any day." Colby said smiling boyishly.

"Ha ha, well what is it you wanted to show me then?” I asked.

"Right, follow me."

He stood and just like yesterday placed his hand out for me. "M'lady" he said, accentuating his already English accent.

That caused us both to burst out into a fit of laughter. "Why thank you kind sir." I replied copying his accent the best I could as I took his hand.

This sent him back into hysterics. "Your" "accent" he said between breaths. "That's the worst English accent I've ever heard."

I playfully shoved his shoulder. "Hey! It's not that bad." I said, my voice rising letting him know I'm lying.

My accent was definitely that bad.

I'd moved around so much though what did he expect? I didn't really have an accent to be honest, mum was English and dad was french, I hadn't really picked up either of theirs. I was sorta just a neutral voice, I thought at least. Maybe a tad American, since we'd spent so much time travelling around there.

"Yeah right, sure." "Come on we better get going."

He took my hand in his and led me out of the park.

Several minutes later we were still heading to wherever his destination was and my hand was still in his. I didn't know whether he even realized he was still holding it or not, but honestly I didn't mind. I didn't mind at all.

But do I keep it there or not?

Choosing to believe that removing it would just make everything even more awkward than it needed to be, I left it. I mean who wouldn’t?.

Eventually we arrived at where I had already guessed we were going. The beach.

////////

"It's really beautiful." I said a little awestruck.

Colby turned to look right at me, an unknown emotion plastering his face, "it really is isn’t it."

The beach was exactly the same one I remembered from when I was little. Red sand and tall cliffs surrounding it. We had to walk down this narrow winding path to reach the beach, but the walk was worth the sight.

Although it was the middle of the night, the ocean still glistened with the moonlight upon it, bright enough to light up the whole beach. The stars dotted the sky like paint speckled on a canvas.

As if that weren't enough there was a little beach hut, I assumed for lifeguards. Surrounded in fairy lights that were still lit up, giving the beach an almost magical, fairytale feel.

We walked as far along the beach we could, talking as we went, this was the most peaceful I'd felt in a long time.

"So, would you rather live underwater in the ocean, or in the clouds in the sky? If you could, like hypothetically." I asked as we made out way up a cluster of rocks, attempting to reach the top. We were playing would you rather, as Colby claimed it was one of his favourite games.

That fact shocked me greatly.

"Umm... underwater. I've always loved the ocean, and plus I'm scared of heights. That'd be like my absolute worst nightmare living in the sky." Colby shuddered.

"WHAT! It was like my absolute dream to be able to fly when I was younger." I said shocked at his terrible answer. "Why on earth would you want to fly when its perfectly fine right here on the ground, no I'd much rather swim."

I laughed.

"I think you're absolutely delusional." I said dramatically.

"Ha ha...um no I'm absolutely right little miss reckless." Colby said. "Little miss reckless?" I gaped.

"Yeah, you would want to spend every day up in the sky where you could fall thousands of feet down and kill yourself."

"Wow, that's a bit dramatic don't you think." I said laughing at his apparent deathly fear of heights. He soon joined and we were both now laughing.\

"I'll have you know I take ‘would you rather’ very seriously. It's mine and my brother's favourite game." Colby said. "He's the reckless one like you though so I always have to be the reasonable one and correct him." He said with a smile.

"You mean you're the one to destroy his dreams?" I corrected.

“Pfft no. I simply tell him the reasonable perspective, anyway he always comes up with a better answer and outdoes me anyway." He said with a chuckle.

By now we'd both reached the top of the rocks and with a hand up from Colby we were sitting on the biggest boulder we could find facing the ocean.

"So how olds your brother?" I asked, he hadn't mentioned him before.

"Oh, he's only 8. His name’s Theo. Half the time he's the cutest wee boy you'd ever meet and the next he's a little devil. Honestly you never know what you're gonna get." He smiled, he obviously cared a lot for his little brother. Devil or not.

"I'd love a younger brother. I mean I have Blake I suppose, but he's older. I know he's not really but he's always treated me like his little sister, and I've always felt like the younger naive little sibling. It'd be nice to have someone younger to look out for."

"Yeah, I guess in some ways it is. I know I'd do anything to protect Tee." Colby said, his features suddenly morphing to stone. He hesitated before continuing

"But sometimes you sort of want someone to look out for you too. You're lucky."

"Yeah, I guess I am, but don't tell Blake I said that." I said smiling. "Don’t worry your secret's safe with me Daisy." Colby pretended to zip up his lips.

We sat admiring the view for a while before I randomly said out of the blue. "You know i’ve actually been here before" "I came when I was like 7 maybe 8. Mum's from here and wanted to show us what her home was like once upon a time. I don't really even remember getting here, but I know I wandered off and found this beach. I only remember it because it's different from any other i've been to. It's almost completely red." I scoffed.

"I met this little boy down by himself and we went exploring in the caves. Mum found me hours later though still sitting on the beach. I was in so much trouble." I laughed.

" But honestly I didn't really care, I had so much fun that day. Looking back it was probably my first ever adventure on my own, not even Blake was with me."

Looking over to Colby he seemed lost deep in his own thoughts, I didn't even know if he'd heard.

As if realising I was waiting for him to say something back he said, "Damn, and I thought I was the first one to bring you to my secret spot.”

"There's another beach down the road a little, it's a lot bigger but it's like any other beach. I always liked this one, it's unique. And plus it's hard to get to so I don't even think many people know about it."

"Yea, I love it here, it's really peaceful." I agreed.

Sitting on the rocks with Colby, the fact that it was a freezing autumn night completely slipped my mind, that was until a breeze picked up and I shivered. It was freezing out here, but I really didn't want to leave yet so I just tried to ignore it.

Colby didn't though, he must have seen me shiver as he immediately offered me his jacket.

"No, I can't." I said, quickly dismissing him. "Then you'd just be freezing."

"Oh how gentlemanly of you, but I'm a big boy Mellie, trust me I can handle the cold. What I can't handle is you freezing beside me when I could do something to stop it." Colby said in a way that made it really hard to say no.

I decided to do so anyway.

"Nope I cant steal your jacket, you'd freeze. I'm fine t-tru-st me." I said my body betraying me with a shiver once again.

"You know most girls would just say thanks and take the damn jacket." Colby said. "Guess I'm not most girls then am i?" I said stubbornly, but still smiling.

"No daisy, that you're not." Colby said wrapping his jacket around me before I could do anything to stop him. "But you're still taking the jacket." He added smirking.

"Oh you're so stubborn ." I said feigning annoyance.

"Me? Stubborn" he scoffed. "Look in the mirror Daisy, I'm definitely not the stubborn one."

Our playful bickering went on for a while longer before we finally decided to head home. We'd been out here for several hours already, and if I didn't get to sleep soon there was no blooming way I was getting up tomorrow.

We walked home still talking as we went, we eventually stopped when we were outside both our houses and a crash could be heard from Colby's house.

He looked panicked all of a sudden. "Shit sorry I gotta go, that was fun Daisy, we should do it again." He winked at me and then came up and hugged me. Like, properly hugged me, surprising us both I think, if the expression on his face said anything. He then turned in a rush not waiting for me to reply and bolted into his own house leaving me standing there dazed.

Damn, I thought. The things this boy did to me weren't good. I'd only known him a few days and the simplest things he did already got me flustered and nervous.

I headed back in the house with ease, of course through the window once again. Only to be met with an angry Blake sitting on the edge of my bed.

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