p class="MsoNormal"10 years ago – Summer 2011/p
p class="MsoNormal"It was the last day of the best summer he had either had. He had spent the majority of it hanging out with Callum, going to the cinema, trips to the beach getting drunk with their friends. It was one last summer blowout before the inevitable happened and they had both spent all summer ignoring the fact that they were both going separate ways once September came. Callum was set to join the army he had already delayed it for long enough and his father had been pushing him all summer and the past year to be ready to go and honour his style="mso-spacerun: yes;" /spanBen was staying in London and attending Walford College to study to be a mechanic so he can alongside his dad and brother in the arches./p
p class="MsoNormal"They had spent all day in town, Callum making sure he had everything he needed for his army list his brother had written for him. Ben and invited jay and Lola along as a distraction from his sadness of Callum leaving and also as this would be the last time they would all be able to hang out together./p
p class="MsoNormal"After they had finished and Callum had packed his stuff up he went to meet his friends at the park for one last night all together. He and Ben had been best friends for years now as long as he can remember and they had started dating at the beginning of the school year before he even thought about joining army. He was out and proud to his friends and the carters as they also had a gay son a few years younger than Callum but his family was different. He knew Stuart had suspicions and had seen him and Ben being a bit too cosy together for just mates but had never asked and had never mentioned it to his dad. His dad was or seemed to be completely clueless, he and his friends were extremely homophobic and so Callum could never tell who he really was out of fear hence running away to the army/p
p class="MsoNormal"Once he arrived at the park expecting loud music and a bunch of his drunken friends he was instead met with soft music, a candlelit dinner and Ben sat with s shy smile on his face. He looked nervous, his big blue ocean eyes shone in the moonlight and in that moment he wishes they could live in this moment forever./p
p class="MsoNormal""Are you just going to stand there gawking or are going to sit with your extremely handsome boyfriend and enjoy the food is spent all afternoon cooking for you?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Just taking it all in, I really didn't expect this Ben you didn't have to, I don't deserve it"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Well it's our last night and I wanted it to be special, and you do you deserve it all"/p
p class="MsoNormal"span style="mso-spacerun: yes;" /span"It doesn't matter what we do as long as I'm with you it will be special"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Soft, now come sit the others will be here in an hour"/p
p class="MsoNormal"They spent the next hour talking and laughing about the past year. It was bittersweet talking about all the good times they'd had knowing there wasn't going to be any more for a while now. Ben was going to miss Callum terribly he had tried all summer to convince him to stay he had even suggested they both run away together but even he had to admit that running away wasn't the best thing to do with no money to help them. Ben's family knew he was gay, his mum sister and step mum and brother all took it well, however his dad was very stuck in his ways and had taken a while to come around but after a few months he had accepted it and their relationship had returned to normal. When Ben had first introduced Callum to his dad he was worried about his reaction but they got on well. He shouldn't have been worried as Callum just radiated positivity and his smile lit up any room. Louise and Denny probably liked Callum more than they liked Ben but Ben didn't care he was just thankful that Callum was able to be himself around his family unlike his own and the same was felt by Ben when he met the carters./p
p class="MsoNormal"The hour passed by too fast and the rest of Callums friends arrived to party away his last night. Jay and Lola lead the crowd with two crates of corona followed closely by Whitney, Lee, Nancy and Johnny and lastly was peter, Lucy, Lauren and Abi. The group had been friends for years and all grew up on the square together. Callum spent the night talking and saying his goodbyes to everyone individually. He genuinely loved them all and although he and peter often clashed he was bens nephew and so he put effort into keeping a good relationship with him. He was going to miss everyone terribly, he often thought about how it was going to be once he had gone that they would just carry on without him. Ben had reassured him that it wasn't going to the same without Callum, they would miss his positive energy and captivating smile and the way he made everyone feel special and worthy./p
p class="MsoNormal"Once it hit midnight the party began dying down the first to leave being Lucy, Lee Lauren and Peter much to Whitney's annoyance who left shortly afterwards followed by Johnny, Abi and Nancy. Leaving four of them sitting on the park bench Lola leaning against Jay's side desperately trying to stay awake./p
p class="MsoNormal""I best take her home before she completely passes out, see you guys, good luck with everything cal!" jay said before he lead Lola home./p
p class="MsoNormal""Well seems like everyone had a good night well apart from Whitney she didn't look impressed with Lucy and lee!" Callum said/p
p class="MsoNormal""Yes, I'm sure she'll be okay it's not like there together and were all young don't need to be settled to anyone yet", Ben responded/p
p class="MsoNormal""Suppose so", Callum responded quietly, "maybe we should head home too it's late"./p
p class="MsoNormal""We don't have to yet just a few more minutes"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Okay, god I'm going to miss you so much Ben! Promise me, whatever happens we will always have this summer that you won't forget ever! "/p
p class="MsoNormal""Hey I promise, how could I ever forget you and I'll be there tomorrow to wave you off okay, whatever happens me and you this summer well always have that"./p
p class="MsoNormal"They spent the next two hours laid on the ground watching the stars and stealing loving glances at each other. Once it hit 3pm they began to walk home, Callum walking Ben home they stood outside the front door kissing slowly neither of them wanting to let go until Louise spotted them from her window and shouted to get a room. With that Ben retreated to his house and Callum walked home purposely taking the long route to prolong the night and thinking about how he wished he didn't have to go, he saw the look in bens eyes when he had to walk away, he could see the tears forming and it shattered his heart./p
p class="MsoNormal"Once home he went straight to his room knowing his father wasn't even here to say goodbye he had gone up north on his friends stag do because apparently that was more important than seeing his soon off to the army. Callum had questioned if he had made the right choice in going if his father didn't seem to acknowledge his leaving but he knew he had to do this to honour his granddad and make is brother proud. He'd promised Stuart that he would get away from their abusive father and this was the best way in doing that. It didn't take long for sleep to hit him and his dreams were filled of him and Ben together in years from now finally happy and he hoped that they could get there./p
p class="MsoNormal"The morning came to fast for both their likings; Ben woke at 7 am having only got 3 hours sleep. He quickly dressed and attempted his breakfast but he felt sick with the first bite, he knew why what he had to do what he meant to do last night but the moment he looked into Callums baby blue eyes he couldn't bring himself to say the harsh words. With his breakfast abandoned Ben grabbed his jacket and with a pained smile towards his sister who knew just how upset Ben had been last night after finding him in the kitchen scrolling through all the photos he and Callum had taken together over the summer. He arrived at the train station early he knew Callum would be here by 8 and so waited in the local cafe to pluck up the courage he would need for their last conservation./p
p class="MsoNormal"Callum spent all morning double checking his bag he didn't want to turn up at the base without something and look like a complete idiot. He took some time to call his dad who answered in a drunken state and shouted down the phone at Callum for waking him up too early for no good reason. The phone call ended quickly and made his way to the train station arriving just at 8 giving him fifteen minutes before his train arrives./p
p class="MsoNormal"He spotted Ben walking over to him he smiled but Ben only returned a weak smile. This worried Callum he felt his stomach drop as he reached out to Ben who backed away and a hardened expression came over his face as he stated " hey thought you were going to be late was about to send a search party for you"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Hey you know me just had to check I had everything ready to go"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Well, don't stand here too long, just wanted to make sure someone was here to see you off, good luck cal, you'll be great everyone's going to love you"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Why are you acting like this is goodbye forever, we can write to each other and I'll be back in 6 months. Here this is the address and you have my email", Callum said his voice shaking as he handed Ben the folded paper from his pocket./p
p class="MsoNormal"Ben looked at him hard eyed," this is goodbye, I can't do it Callum I can't wait for you I'm sorry, I can't pretend that I'm okay with you leaving because I'm not"./p
p class="MsoNormal""So what, this is you breaking up with me. I thought you understood why I was doing this, you promised me you said you wouldn't make me choose between you and the army"./p
p class="MsoNormal""Yes, I'm keeping my promise Callum I made the choice were done"./p
p class="MsoNormal"Callum felt tears falling down his cheeks he wiped them away before stepping closer to Ben to capture his lips in a kiss hoping it would change his mind. But Ben pulled away hastily looking at him with pained eyes/p
p class="MsoNormal""Callum, if we start I won't be able to stop and you need to go, you need to let me go"./p
p class="MsoNormal""Fine, okay goodbye Ben have a nice life", Callum responded quickly as he walked away towards the train that had just arrived. Ben watched on as he boarded the train tears in his eyes and with one last look he walked home with his heart broke in two./p