I turned to Khloe as we walked into the kitchen and she pulled her arm from my grip to wipe her eyes, sniffing at the same time.
Why did girls always cry? I wondered, watching her take a few tissues from the tissue box on the bench. Sure, the news was big and sudden but it’s honestly not the end of the world.
“We’ll see her again,” I told her, moving my arms across my chest as she nodded.
We have to.
She wouldn’t just leave us-them forever.
“Plus, she’ll be eighteen soon.”
“Not until December, you know that,” she protested and I dropped my arms, moved and jumped up to sit on the bench beside her as she leaned back against it. “And that’s crazy long away,” she said, swallowing and jumping up next to me.
“It doesn’t even matter. We’ll see her again soon enough. Plus, there’s something called a phone call. Face time. Are you familiar?” I asked and she rolled her eyes at me but I raised a brow at the small smile she had played.
“You said we. We’ll see her again.”
“Yes… shouldn’t I have said that?” I questioned and she shrugged a little, looking down.
“You included yourself in that. That means a lot since you usually, completely, rid yourself from her. Now, you want her to come back and see you, not just us. That’s why you said we.”
“Does this really matter?”
“Yes, it does,” she replied, her tone demanding as she looked at me wildly. “Because you like her, we all know it apart from her. She doesn’t believe us because… well, because she’s stupid like that,” she blinked and I snorted a laugh, agreeing with her with it all but especially the part where Sarah was stupid at seeing things that were clearly in front of her.
“So, let’s keep it like that,” I said, getting off the bench as she made a noise.
“If you like her, why don’t you tell her?”
“You’re kidding, right?” I asked, looking back at her because it was as obvious as anything. She was fucking in love with Liam, my best friend. Why the hell would I try to take that from him? He’s never liked, let alone loved anyone as much as he loves her and as much as I hate it, I can’t change his feelings for her. I can’t do shit about it at all and that kills me most days but it is what it is.
“Oh, right,” she curled her lips together, got off the bench as well. “But if I was you, I’d be thinking every man for himself. Liam might not wake up before she goes. This could be your chance to, I don’t know, show her what love can be if you’re willing for that. She’s never had any guy but you and Liam. Liam as a second-third best friend slash boyfriend with awkward hugs and walks on beaches. And you, you’ve always been the hot mess she aches to have around because it’s all incredibly boring if you’re not around, you know? You light that spark in her, sure, she’s pissed but she loves it,” she smirked a little, leaned back against the bench as I just stared at her because that was the stupidest thing I’ve heard today. “Oh, plus, she dreamed of you!” She added and I blinked at her voice raise.
“Why are you trying so hard to get me with her?”
“Because,” she shrugged, smirking. “It’s kinda fun. And I’m a love expert,” she brushed off a shoulder, making me hum.
“Sure you are.”
“Oh, I so am,” she grumbled, rolling her eyes at me before she looked back softly, taking a breath. “But it’s true you know. Liam might wake up and she’s all the way in New York. Now could be your last chance to… explore.”
“You want me to fuck her too?”
“You’re choice,” she shrugged and I sighed, getting sick of his conversation. “She hasn’t before so you could be her first, or some other dick all the way in the big city-.”
“Okay, I get it,” I waved my hand up, disgusted yet appreciative for this. But I was done and I didn’t want to hear any more.
“Where’s your bathroom?” Khloe asked as she stepped back, making me look back at her, thankful that she’d had enough too.
“Second last door on the right,” I replied, watching her give me a thumbs up as she walked down the hallway. I sighed, ran my hand through my hair as my mind reheard a lot of that conversation on its own.
Sure, she’s pissed but she loves it? How the hell does that happen? I know for sure that when I’m pissed, I definitely do not love it.
My last chance with her, I thought, my breathing suddenly hardening the more I thought about it. I fell for her the first time I saw her. I fell for that beautiful, stupid smile and those beasty eyes that saw everything. How she sat back and she watched, she put the pieces of the puzzle together every time. She figured out your ways and your wills. She told herself a goal and had that kind of determination to complete it as soon as she could.
The first time I saw her, I thought, closing my eyes as I remembered it so clearly. It was first day of high school. Seventh grade, the year my life turned upside down. But that moment, Liam was talking to her.
She had two blue books hugged to her chest, black glasses on and her blonde hair up in a pony tail, long and wavy. It was fairer than it was now. She wore a black skirt and floral top that stopped at her stomach.
She knew she was hot from the start, that’s why she had so many boys after her. Of course, she rejected them all. Including me but I was the only one pissed off about it enough to get back at her. Then she got back at me so I got back at her again and the chain continued.
I remembered how I approached and Liam swung his arm over my shoulder, that damn smile taking her lips. He introduced me, Oli, his best friend. She’d confessed she’d already heard of me. Said a lot of the girls around had their eyes open, meaning they thought I was hot.
Khloe had suddenly appeared, pulled her away to meet other people in their class while I told Liam exactly what my head was thinking. He’d hit my head more than once and said I had no shot. He bet on it even and, well, look where we ended up.
If I was ever going to have a shot with her, I had to be more like Liam.
Liam’s her type, he’s always been her type and I don’t think she’s ever wanted anyone but him.
Even though she told him no too, she always stuck around and allowed him to get closer. They went on cute little dates he would always tell me about and he’d always ask if it was time yet, time for them to be together but she would say no.
Of course until she didn’t say no.
On the beach, the day of the accident. All because I fucking ruined their time together for them. I ruined their moment, I ruined their kiss.
“Talking to yourself,” I heard, making me turn my head slightly to see Sarah in her wheelchair in the doorway. “You do that when you’re thinking too much.”
“And how would you know that?” I frowned, turning to lean against the bench, folding my arms over my chest. She shrugged, pushing herself closer. I looked over her, watched as she struggled with her hand in plaster but she managed.
“I basically know you as well as Liam does. He spills all the secrets and lies you have,” she smirked a little, her head bobbing to the side for a moment and I swallowed, clenched my jaw because I didn’t want to think about Liam right now.
He was in a coma because of me and I was planning on taking his girl. I definitely felt the guilt but what the fuck, maybe he won’t find out.
“All the things I’ve found out today,” I dropped my arms, taking a breath and then rolling my eyes. “One, you’re actually with Liam now. Two, you can fucking work that thing on your own,” she laughed softly as I shook my head, taking her hands to pull her up to her feet just as I heard the others put on music in the loungeroom. “Three, you’re moving to New York.”
“As much as I hate,” she muttered back and I stared into her forest green eyes, saw the sadness spread through them as she glanced down.
“It’s not like they can force you-.”
“There’s something we have in common,” she whispered, smiled sadly for a moment as she looked back. “We do what we’re told because we know our place because it’s who we are.”
“And who am I?” I asked, moving my arms around her to hold her better, using a hand to indicate for her to put her hands to my shoulders.
“You are Oliver Frost,” she said and I chuckled lowly in my throat. “Stubborn, arrogant and stupidly brave enough to do just about anything. But you’re honourable to your family and friends, when they ask for something, you do it because you want to do it for them.”
I didn’t know if she was right and I didn’t know if I should believe her because I didn’t know that about myself. The stubborn and brave part I knew well but being honourable to my family and friends. Was I?
“You’re wrong,” I whispered but she shook her head lightly.
“I don’t think I am.”
I know you are.
I glanced down the hall when the music played through the house, a slow song that I could hear the others singing too. I scrunched my face up at how awful it was, hearing as Sarah laughed a little in front of me.
“Stand on my feet,” I whispered and she looked up at me before she glanced down. I felt her step onto my feet, light enough for me to move with. “Mum would dance with me like this.”
“A long time ago, I’m guessing,” she put in and I nodded.
“Obviously,” I replied and she smirked, moving her hands from my shoulders to cup around my neck as she looked back down. “I have a confession,” I whispered and she nodded, looked back at me.
“Really?” I breathed in a little, staring into her eyes as she nodded again. I felt my heart rate fasten as I waited to see if she’d say anything. “I don’t think you do.”
“I do. I know you like me,” she whispered, putting her head down on my shoulder as I looked ahead and at nothing. She knew. I swallowed, telling myself to not lose it and to just stay calm and cool. “And you know I like you too.”
“Yeah,” I breathed, my mind blowing up.
Um, what? No, I did not fucking know that.
“Wait, really?” I asked, looking back at her, pushing her back from whatever we were doing. I cursed, catching her again as she stumbled a few steps back, losing balance.
“Sorry,” I replied to her growl, helping her up right again, hooking my arms under her thighs to pick her up and sit her down on the bench. “You’re being serious right now?”
“Can you stop freaking out?” She whispered, her eyes going wide as she glanced down the hall for a moment.
“Sarah, listen to yourself.”
“The heck? You listen to yourself,” she bit back, hitting my shoulder before she laughed softly and I just put my head down on her knee because I didn’t know what to do now. “Oliver, my gosh. Are you crying?”
“No,” I answered, felt her run her hand through my short hair. Shivers ran down my spine, the feeling new. “I’m just shocked,” I said, standing up again and looking at her with wild eyes. “Because you like me. Like me. How the fuck did that happen?!” I asked, feeling myself overwhelm in sudden excitement as she just laughed at my reaction, gripping my shirt to pull me back to her.
“Stop going crazy, okay? You didn’t let me finish,” she said softly and I swallowed hard, staring as her because there was going to be a ‘but’. “After the accident, you looked after me. You watched over me and without you, I don’t know where I’d be right now. Literally. I could be home or I could be in New York right now. I can’t thank you enough,” she said, bringing her hands together against my chest, her eyes dropping and the ‘but’ coming. “I’ve grown feelings I shouldn’t have, Oliver. I didn’t know you felt this much for me and I’m so sorry because we can’t. You know that and we have to think about Liam-.”
“He’s not going to wake up, Sarah,” I whispered and watched her expression fall, making me curse. “I mean, he won’t wake up before you go.”
“How do you know?”
“The doctors gave us an estimate. At least another month-.”
“It could be possible,” she cut me off, the fear and worry taking over before she had tears coming out of her eyes and I froze up, knowing I’d fucked up.
“There’s still phones and face time?”
“Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“Well, before tonight, I thought you were staying put,” I snapped back before I took a breath when she dropped her head onto my shoulder. I moved my arms around her, a hand moving to rub her head softly to calm her down.
“Okay, stop crying. You’re being a baby again,” I told her, pulling her back to sit up. I raised my hands to her cheeks and wiped her tears as she took deep breaths. “He’ll wake up and he’ll be okay. Maybe you can come down for a weekend?”
“Highly doubt it,” she swallowed.
“Well, good news is that the world’s not ending any time soon. I hope-.”
“You hope? Me too, Oliver,” she replied and I poked my tongue out at her, making her grumble. “You’re a child.”
“And you’re a baby, we’ve been through this,” I said, rolling my eyes and walking to the fridge for a drink. I grabbed out a can of coke and opened it, looked back when I heard her feet hit the ground. “Bad idea, Sarah,” I warned as she looked down while she stood herself but held the bench.
“How am I going to get better if I don’t at least try? Just, catch me if I fall.”
“Always,” I whispered, watching her let go of the bench as I put my can down. She stood herself, touching her hand to her side as she closed her eyes, obviously hurting. “Don’t push yourself passed limits.”
“Just shut up, okay?” She replied, taking a small step. I stepped in, touching my hand to her elbow just to help her out.
“Baby steps,” I said and she grumbled something along the lines of “I’m not a baby.”
“What do we do about this?” I asked out of curious. “Can we at least try to be more?”
“I’m with Liam, Oliver.”
“He’s passed out. Maybe we don’t tell him,” I said, watching her take a step in front of me to turn to me, looking at me hard.
“How could you even say that?”
“With words,” I answered and she growled a little, pulling her arm out of my grip and wobbling to the bench again as I closed my eyes and called myself an idiot.
“Look, when you’ve been where I am for as long as I have been, you’d get desperate too.”
“No girl wants a desperate guy, Oliver,” she replied, sitting down in the wheelchair, her breathing hard and fast.
“Liam’s desperate, isn’t he?”
“He doesn’t tend to show it or tell me he is,” she said, giving me a sour smile as I bent down to her level in front of her.
“How can I be better than him?” I asked, holding her hands as she looked back, leaned forward.
“He doesn’t just want me. He loves me and he waits for when I’m ready.”
“No, you’ve acted,” she replied, her tone sharp and making me clench my jaw. “All these years, you weren’t patient-.”
“Well, I’m not fucking Liam, am I? I’m me and I did what I did but that’s the past! Why can’t you just give me a chance? In this small time we have.”
“Because I love Liam!” She yelled back, tearing up again. I got up and turned away from her, closing my eyes tightly as I felt the rage wanting to control me. “You can’t be better than Liam and you shouldn’t want to be.”
“Well I do.”
“I’m sorry!” I shouted back, turning to her again as she glared back at me. “I’ve been trying so hard to be better! I’m sorry you haven’t seen that.”
“Of course I have, what do you think I was on about before?”
“You like me. I like you. Give us a chance, Sarah.”
“Oliver,” she yelled, touching her hand to her eyes. “No.”
“You’ll give in,” I whispered, clenching my fists as she looked back at me sadly.
“I won’t. I love him more than you can imagine, Oliver. I won’t betray him like you wish me to,” she said and I looked away from her and to Alex and Khloe as they slowly came into the room, looking from both of us and keeping their distance.
“Movie, people. Movie,” Khloe breathed, moving to Sarah and pushing her out as Alex came to me.
“That sounded insane,” he said and I scowled at him, moving passed and to the fridge, grabbing my pack of cigarettes from on top and walking out of the sliding door, slamming it closed behind me.