The Reflection Of Love

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3

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When lunch finally came rolling around, I walked with Emma and Khloe to our spot outside next to the oval, in the shade under a bushy and small tree. We sat here almost every lunch if we weren’t just walking around and talking. It was shady and an escape from the burning sun.

Living in Queensland, Australia, we always had hot weather and the sun could be scorching when it wanted to be.

“I’m starving,” Khloe whined, sitting down first to rip open her bag and search through it while Emma and I sat down on the soft green grass beside her.

“So would I if I skipped breakfast,” Emma muttered and Khloe groaned, gave me a look. I frowned back and glanced from her to Emma as Emma rolled her eyes.

What happened now? I wondered, watching them both.

“I was running late.”

“But you were here ten minutes early,” Emma protested and I widened my eyes and returned the look Khloe was giving me. Wow. “And that’s what? Three days this week?”

“Why does it matter?” Khloe laughed and bit her salad wrap while I kept quiet about this because it was obviously something they started. I wasn’t going to jump in and get on anyone’s bad side about something so little like this.

“Because it’s unhealthy.”

“You’re such a health freak,” she shook her head gently while Emma looked up at her, looked pretty mad. I glanced from one to the other and gently opened my container with my fruit salad in it.

“Sarah,” Emma looked to me just as I forked some mango and blueberries and put them in my mouth. I looked up, chewing. “Tell her she shouldn’t be skipping breakfast. Now,” she ordered and I took a moment to chew and swallow as Khloe just rolled her eyes and continued with her lunch.

“Em, if she was running late-.”

“She wasn’t because she got here early.”

“Emma!” Khloe laughed, leaned forward slightly as I just started laughing too. “Stop, okay? It’s not going to kill me. I’ll have breakfast tomorrow and every other day.”

“You promise?” She replied and I just shook my head at my friends, smirking a little because Emma knew how to crack us up without even trying.

“I promise,” Khloe nodded. “Now, shut up and eat your fried rice before I do,” she gave a hungry look at Emma’s lunch, making her give off a squeak and start eating. I laughed softly at them and continued with my food before the rest of the gang were suddenly sitting by us, some of the boys going on about their soccer and basketball games on the weekend.

“Do you eat anything but fruit or what?” Liam asked, sitting but then lounging back half behind me, leaning on his elbow. I smirked a little and shrugged. I always had fruit because it was all in season now and always so good.

“She’ll eat so much, she’ll become round and squishy too someday,” Emma put in and I looked back at her sternly but she just smiled and turned back to talk with some of the other girls and guys.

“Where’s Oliver?” I asked, turning to look at Liam but he just shrugged, giving me a look. “What? What did I do?” I asked, wiping my mouth in case it was a mess from the juice.

“Nothing,” he murmured and pointed off. “There’s Oli,” he said and I followed his gaze to see Oliver making his way over. “Why you wanna know?”

“’Cause,” I answered, turning to lay down and back against his chest just to piss the devil’s son off a little bit. “If you could do anything right now, what would it be?” I asked randomly but curiously, looking at Liam again.

“Just this, right now,” he answered without hesitation. “You?”

“C’mon, that’s poor,” I complained and he sighed, his eyes going up to Oliver as he walked through the group.

“It’s beautiful weather. I’m comfy. You and Oliver are in the one place and yet no words have popped out. I’m happy here-.”

“Pop.”

“Here we go,” Liam sighed as I gave Oliver a look for interrupting us. He sat next to Liam, leaning back on his hands and crossing his leg over the other just as he put his feet on my legs.

“Piss off,” I growled, tucking them up as I whacked him away. “You didn’t have to do that, you know?”

“I know very well, thank you.”

“You didn’t have to say ‘pop’. Or come sit with us. You have other friends… oh wait, maybe not because no one even likes you.”

“I have other friends. I just prefer Liam than the other cunts.”

“You’re so sweet. Calling your friends cunts. The only cunt here is you,” I bit back and cursed him when he kicked my container up and out of my hands. “Oliver!”

“Yes?” He questioned as I sat up to wipe off the fruit and juice from my skirt and legs. I glared back at him as he simply smiled back and Liam just sighed, shook his head and fell onto his back.

“That was my lunch.”

“Do you think I care? You’re a rich girl, go get something from the canteen.”

“I don’t eat from the canteen, jackass. It’s disgusting. Like you.”

“I’m not even trying to be disgusting but I can if you want,” he replied and I scowled, looked to the girls for help but they weren’t paying attention. I looked to Liam but he had his arm over his eyes and was probably just trying to block out our arguing.

“I just wanted to let you know that you can call me whatever. I won’t ever do that to you. You’re beautiful, Sare Bear,” Oliver said and I looked at him hard for a moment just as Liam made a noise and looked back at him too.

I took in his expression but he just shrugged softly and looked away so I couldn’t meet his eyes.

“You really mean that?” I asked but then met his eyes. As soon as I did, he knew he couldn’t play on any longer so he just smirked.

“Nope. You’re a piece of shit.”

“You’re a piece of shit!” Khloe snapped back, coming to sit with us and throw water at him while I looked towards Liam. Oliver laughed, wiping the wet patches on his shirt as Liam sat up, facing me.

“Careful, Mate. Could be toxic,” Oliver put in just as I dropped my head onto his shoulder.

Oliver always made me feel like shit but when Liam was around, I didn’t mind it because Liam was here for me to get over it easily.

Everyone in our group knew how we worked. Oliver and I were a no go but Liam and I were packed and solid. We were basically dating and would be if I wasn’t so stupid and scared about being hurt.

But it’s not just that I was scared. I wanted to wait until I was eighteen, which was in a few months. I wanted to be an adult, to find a love that I could have forever. Live with difficulties now and then but never heartbreak. When I want a guy, I want him to be my husband and the father of my children.

I wanted him to be my truelove, my soulmate.

“Just ignore him,” Liam whispered, his head dipping and pressing against mine.

“Don’t I ever?” I sighed, turning to look at him as I sat up and he stayed quiet but looked to Oliver, who was watching us with a dumb and bored expression.

“No, you never,” he answered me. I turned and glared at him as he returned a smug smirk and shifted to sit up cross legged. “Why do you always give me that look? I’m not doing anything.”

“You’re doing plenty. Talking. Sitting here. Looking at me,” I growled back, sitting back against Khloe as she leaned back on her hands. “Stop looking at me, it’s annoying.”

“You’re annoying,” he replied and I scowled and flashed him the middle finger.

“This conversation is annoying,” Liam put in, sighing as he laid down but up against his elbows. I kept my mouth shut as Oliver did because once Liam butted into an argument, he usually managed to end it.

I took a breath to calm down, looked down when Liam tapped his foot to my leg.

“Swimming?”

“Really?” I scrunched my nose up gently and sighed when he nodded. “Paddle.”

“To the neck.”

“Liam,” I complained, shifting forward to sit up just as Khloe slid back and turned to the other girls for their conversations and drama.

“What? Scared of the deep? Don’t want to get saltwater in your perfectly golden hair?” Oliver scoffed, throwing a scrunched up leaf at my face. I grunted and threw it away when it landed on my leg.

“My hair is perfect, thanks,” I replied and he rolled his eyes, looked back down as he picked grass and tore up leaves. Child, I muttered mentally and looked back to Liam as he waited for us to become silent again. “Sorry.”

“You’re forgiven,” he smirked slightly back and sat up again. “I know you don’t like it but it’s hot and we won’t go out too deep,” he said quietly since he was one of a few who knew one of my secrets. One small but embarrassing secret.

I can’t swim.

I could do so much as a doggie paddle but that’s hardly anything. I just never really liked deep waters so I never go in deep. And I don’t really need to know how too so I’m not bothered by it much.

I am bothered though when I get laughed at all because I never got taught by a parent who had time for that or time to go for swimming lessons.

My life’s crazy and busy. I train for basketball, I play basketball and when I’m not, I’m at school, I’m doing homework or I’m at work. I have a short snippet from school to work which is two hours. Today, I’m going to spend those two hours at the beach with Liam and Ted.

“I shouldn’t. I have work and you know how they are. I can’t go in with frizzy salty hair,” I murmured back to Liam, watched him narrow his eyes.

“Well you could,” he replied and I shook my head, smiling slightly. “How about this? I pick you up, ready and a bag packed for work. We go to the beach, you come back to mine and get ready. I’ll take you to work, pick you up and maybe we can go out for desert or something?” He whispered, slight pressure coming to my side by his hand, warm and big against my thin shirt.

That’s kind of like a date, I thought but no matter what I thought, my heart already made my mind up.

“I’d like that,” I smiled, leaning in and kissing his cheek softly as I hugged my arms around his neck. His arms circled around me in response, his chin resting to my shoulder and for a second, I closed my eyes and felt perfect.

But after that second, a gag sounded.

“Oh my god. I’m so sorry,” Oliver burped silently, touched his fist to his mouth as he twisted and bent down. “I think I’m going to puke.”

“Get a life, jackass,” I snapped, scowling because he just had to ruin everything. He ruined my lunch and then he ruined my good mood and now this. He ruined our moment. Our.

Liam and me.

Not Oliver’s moment!

Ours.

“Sorry, do you see yours because I don’t,” he replied, sitting up again.

“Open your eyes then,” Liam said, looking to the ground as he slid his hand into mine to hold it. “It’s happening, Oli. Whether you like it or not-.”

“She’s a bitch, Liam,” he laughed out loudly, leaning forward slightly but getting everyone else’s attention. “And she definitely doesn’t deserve you.”

“She deserves more, I know,” he replied and looked back at me as I felt my heart start to race, my blood warming my cheeks. “And I’ll never be any less than the best I can be,” his eyes lightened while I felt myself tense and freeze up.

Is this what you really want? I asked myself, shifting forward to hug him lightly again, closing my eyes because I felt so good right now. Could it be time for us? I wondered, biting my bottom lip softly because I wanted nothing but to make this real.

But what if everything just fell? And we failed? I thought, felt my heart jump in my chest as my mind raced. Am I ready yet?

“And they lived happily ever after,” Oliver grumbled, getting to his feet and walking away. I opened my eyes, watching him leave before I looked away and sat back to look at Liam but he was watching Oliver.

Watching his best friend walk away because we all knew the truth.

Oliver Frost would never accept me.


***

“Sarah, Liam’s here!” The house maiden, Amber, called from the bottom of the stairs.

“Coming!” I yelled back as I zipped up my bag, packed with my work uniform, my makeup bag and shoes, other essentials I need. I pulled the strap over my shoulder and turned to grab my phone and wallet before I slipped on my flipflops and headed out of my small and messy room.

“So, you two are spending more time together,” I heard Amber say to Liam just as I saw them by the door. Liam nodded casually as he smiled at me. “And I’m guessing you don’t smile like that at everyone!” she shoved his shoulder giddily and smirked as she walked away, giving me wild and happy eyes.

“Shut up,” I rolled my eyes, chuckling lowly as I moved in and hugged Liam for a greeting. I squeaked when he picked me up suddenly, cackling lowly against my chest. “You’re going to do your back or something,” I said when he put me down again.

“Excuse me? I’m not that weak,” he replied, making me smile widely again. I shook my head slightly, walking out with him and closing the door, his hand in mine. “I owe you an apology. About Oli today-.”

“Don’t,” I warned, turning to him. “He does what he does. Do not apologise for him. I won’t take it,” I told him and watched as he nodded lightly, moved passed me to open the passenger front door of his navy blue Landcruiser.

Big truck for a big guy with a big heart, I thought, smirking as I leaned in and kissed his cheek before I got in. The door followed closed behind me while I pushed my bag to the open space at my feet, his car very neat and clean like always.

“Teddy,” I exclaimed, hearing the pup whine down on the ground on Liam’s side as he opened the door.

“He was asleep,” Liam put in, picking him up and getting in as I smirked, patting him gently by his fluffy brown ears. He was a three month old kelpie, very hyper and fun.

“Hey, big boy,” I called, taking him as he happily whined, nudging his nose to my neck and cheeks, kissing now and then too as I laughed softly and rubbed him where I knew he liked.

“He’s so big now,” I beamed, holding Ted down as he jumped on me, his sharp claws digging into my shoulders.

“He grows a bit every day they so say,” Liam replied, smirking as I laughed at that, “careful though, Darl. He’s into biting now.”

“Aww, that’s alright. I’m a tough girl,” I smirked back, rubbing my hands behind Ted’s ears and down his back as he settled down while Liam started driving down the road.

“Boy do I know,” he responded, playfully growling as he grabbed Ted’s mouth lightly. He dropped his hand down to my leg after a moment, to which I smiled at and watched as Ted dropped his head from my arm down to Liam’s hand and licked it a few times.

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