Final chapter is up... HUGE thank you to all those who stayed at my side throughout this wonderful story. Is close to my heart and I'm very very proud of it.
Enjoy the story and the final chapter, remember to read and write that final review!
(and yes, to all those out there... thy kingdom come will be updated)
These silly little wounds will never mend
I feel so far from where I've been.
So I go, and I will not be back here again.
I'm gone as the day is fading on white houses
The window, strangely left open through the night, offered sunlight and a steady breeze within the late morning hour, both which circled within the small, strange room like a steady song. Small birds chirped outside as they fluttered about, the sweet scent of pine and a lightness I could not place encasing my senses. And although I hadn't expected it, I was not alone. Feeling somewhat tight in the small bed, I moved towards the edge for some extra room, still remaining close to the man beside me, and pulled the think blanket up to cover my nakedness.
Jeff had still been sleeping lightly, seemingly unaware of my actions as I stroked his cheek, laid soft kisses upon his neck and face. But he awoke shortly after, turning to me and stealing a kiss before I could plant it on his cheek. Smiling at me, he rubbed my back, pulling me close.
"Hi." He whispered.
"Hey you," I whispered back, my hands tucked beneath my cheek as I smiled lazily, my mind off in a perfect world of bliss. "You sleep okay? I don't remember coming up here,"
He nodded, smiling at the memory I seemingly didn't hold. "You fell asleep late last night, I carried you up into my room so they wouldn't come home to us sleeping naked in the living room,"
I made a face, then laughed long with him, our lips once again only inches away as we spoke breaths upon eachother's. The air was cool, yet held a cosy warmth, the lightness and song from outside the window making our surroundings seem dream-like and peaceful. It was perfect, and it was beautiful, and for a reason I was praying would never come, it caused tears to form in my eyes. I smiled weakly.
It took Jeff a minute to notice, but once he did so, he propped himself up on one elbow and shushed me faintly, his hand running down my arm. "Ames? ..honey, whats wrong?"
I shook my head, my eyes falling shut as I placed my hand over my mouth, shielding myself from him and trying so desperately to keep these emotions away. "I'm okay, really..." Removing my hand, I stroked his scruffy cheek, those gorgeous green eyes breaking my heart. "It's just..." He studied me expantly, seemingly worried, and I continued faintly. "..I'll miss you, sweetheart."
I could feel Jeff's nerves freeze against me, his lips parting slightly as he looked away, realizing, too, that the summer was nearing goodbye, and we would have to part. "Don't say that," He smiled, speaking as if he was convincing his own self, "..don't ever say that. No one knows whats going to happen in the future, we could see eachother again..."
I cut him off when I shook my head, my palm against his chest now. "Baby you know chances are that this is it... I'm going far away to college and you're going to be busy with wrestling millions of miles away.. just because fate caused us to find eachother doesn't mean it planned for us to be this way forever."
Once again, he looked away, stunned by the comment. Frowning, he released a long sigh, then turned back towards me. "Yeah... you're right.. I just wish it had." He licked his lips to rid the dryness the moment had caused, taking my hand within his own as he toyed with my fingers. "I'll miss you too, Ames."
And with that, we locked eyes and met in the middle with a searing kiss. We made love again, hungrily, passionately, as if the moment that hung in the air was the last one we'd ever be able to spend together. Time past by slowly as we made equal efforts to please the other as much as we craved ourselves, our hands memorizing every inch of eachother possible. The touch of his skin against mine was electric, and it was one thing I prayed would linger within me if anything. The session ended over time, and after we were through, Jeff cradled me against him, and I sobbed uncontrolably.
"Sweetie, can I tell you something?" He suddenly spoke between soothing whispers, his lips pressed against my forehead. I simply nodded, waiting for him to continue, which he took a long breath before doing so. "..I know I'm young, but in my life... I've only loved one woman as much as I love you."
Before he could continue, I lifted my head in confusion and a slowly rising jealousy, hoping I had missunderstood. "You've been in love before?"
He only chuckled, stroking my hair as he laid my head back into the crook of his shoulder. "Shh, baby, just listen.. you'll understand." Once again, he paused before continuing. "It wasn't too long ago, around 3 years when I'd just turned 17. I'd been with Maria for only 2 years, but I felt as if I'd been in love with her forever. She was smart, planning on attending one of the best colleges around, and absolutely gorgeous. We met my freshman year in high school, and I fell in love with her the moment I saw her... "
I shifted uncomfortably, feeling awkward and jealous throughout his dreamlike reverie, and yet, he continued softly. I held him tighter, just to remind him that I was the one he was holding onto now.. I was the one he loved. Not a distant woman from his past.
"I thought we were going to be together forever... I was planning on attending a wrestling school a short distance from her college and we even looked for apartments together. Granted, we were so young.. and everybody thought we were just crazy kids... but the love I felt was unmistakable, and I knew we were meant for eachother. It... it was so real, so right." He stopped, seemingly beside himself, and grabbed my hand for support. I could see tears forming in his eyes. "If I can let her go, baby... I'll eventually let you go, too."
"Hold on, Jeff." I shifted myself to get a better look at him, searching desperately for a sign in his beautiful features. "What happened? Why'd she leave you?"
"She had no choice," He whispered gently as he turned his head, whispering to someone other than me. Nestling himself further into our embrace, he blinked back tears. "Maria was in a bad car accident one night, after coming home from visiting her mom... she died three nights later in the hospital as I held her hand."
I was stunned, emotionless... unsure of what to say to the sobbing man in my arms. Staring into nothing, I shushed him, as he'd done to me, and ran my hand down his arm and chest. "Baby... I - I had no idea. I'm so sorry,"
Jeff shook his head, "No.. Ames, please don't think I told you that to make you think I'd never love you the way I loved her, because thats not true. ...if anything, know that I love you more than anything. If anything know that even though its going to be difficult to let you go, I eventually will. And you'll move on with your life and eventually find another man to love.. And - and someday, who knows, maybe fate will bring us together once again, but for now...just..know that I'll always love you, Ames.. always."
I was crying once again at his gentle, beautiful words... barley able to even look at him before I laid another kiss upon his lips. He shushed me a final time before we made love ever so slowly, and once we were finished, I clung to him desperately, and told him I'd always love him, too. And I hoped we'd meet again someday.
2 weeks later.
With our bags piled into the trunk of Candice's car, we each said our goodbyes and gave final hugs to our friends we knew we'd probably see only scarcely ever again. The night before had been spent with final campfires, final late night dips in the lake, final love sessions beneath the stars.. although the mornings hugs went by quicker than I'd hoped. But once I got to Jeff, I simply stared at him with a sad smile across my face, the reality of the situation yet to hit me. As tears welled up in my eyes, I jumped into his arms and held him tightly, memorizing his intoxicating scent, his warm embrace. Hooking a finger beneath my chin, he brought my lips to his own, and kissed me.
He pulled back shortly after, smiling down at my flushed face weakly. "Remember, sweetheart, I love you. You'll be alright."
I simply nodded, kissing him one last time, before getting into the car next to Candice. She drove down the long gravel driveway faster than I'd hoped, but it still gave me enough time to glance in the rear-view mirror at the man dissapearing from me. The expression on his face was beautiful, yet heartbreaking... he'd looked as if someone had just punched him in the stomach, his eyes were solemn, and something told me that was probably the way he looked as he sat next to his dieing love in her hospital bed. His image was fading quickly, dust forming behind us, causing his figure to seem as if it was just some sort of mirage... but it wasn't, it was all too real for me, and before I knew it, I could barley see him at all.
I let my fingers dance faintly across my lips as my arm rested against the door, my mind floating off in distance places. I was fighting the urge to jump from the car and run back to him, but I knew it would only make things worse. I would have to deal with the pain of leaving him for a second time, something I knew I could not handle.
I knew Jeff and I held nothing but a true, passionate love.. a rare sort of love that one would read about in fairy tales, yet few spend their lives expierencing. And although I couldn't help but wonder why we were only able to express this love for not even two months, I was grateful Jeff held my hand through my path of fears and love. Yes, I knew that one day, the heavy weight settling upon my heart would lift and I would be able to love Jeff and others freely.. yes, I knew I would recieve more heartbreak as my life grew forward... and yes, I was afraid.
But was that heartbreak I now knew how to handle, and although it would hurt, I'd be able to get by.. thanks to the help of a summer love, and a woman in the skies I barley knew. But I was thankful... ever so thankful. Watching the lush grasses and rolling beaches of North Carolina pass me by outside my window, I smiled, drifting away to his embrace.
Someday, I whispered to Jeff in my mind, someday we will meet again. And I will love you as much that day as I ever have before.
And you, maybe you'll remember me
What I gave is yours to keep
In white houses.