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Our Never Ending Story
She sees now that nothing had ever been fake. From the glances that had started their relationship to the kisses that had consumed it in the later portion. Everything had gone awry not shortly after. Whether she wanted to remember or not, she could still feel his lips on her skin, hear the sound of him whispering in her ear, still smell him on the cardigan she had borrowed and never gave back.
The feeling of longing makes its course in her body each time she sees him. From seeing him in the courtyard each morning, to catching a glimpse of him running to class, the feeling of longing just burst open and tears her heart out along with it. Half the time, she wants to go after him, once she almost did. She wants to run up to him, grab him and tell him how much she wants him, how much she needs him, how nothing has changed her feelings for him. But she can't. Because she cares about him. Because his future doesn't need a flighty mischievous girlfriend.
Each day he wonders, 'Does she still care?' But he never knows. He doesn't want to admit to himself, but he misses her. He misses her laugh, her smile, her eyes. He misses waking up in the morning, and finding her fast asleep and clutching her teddy bear beside him. He misses everything. Not that he would admit it or anything, he couldn't. He had buried the part of him that had included her, deep into his heart. And it would cause him too much heartbreak to dig it back up again.
He sees her often. He feels her eyes trained on him whilst he sits in the courtyard, tapping his notebook with a pen, trying to think of something to write. He hears the whispers and the rumors that swirl around, almost dangerously. But he doesn't listen. Not even when he hears the words, “Carly likes Canning again? Ew.” Because there is no possible way that she would love him again, he was sure of it.
She talks in her sleep. She knows because he's told her everytime she woke up beside him. So when her mom goes up to her and tells her that she's been mumbling in her sleep about elevators, she's not surprised. Ever since that day, she's wanted nothing more than to go back and hold the elevator doors open to ask him, “Why are you giving up on us? Fight for me.” Unfortunately, she doesn't have that power, she will never have that power. All she can do is hope that he notices her staring at him each and every day.
Nightmares. He's never been a big fan of them, but he always has them. From the disastrous T-Ball event, to breaking up with the love of his life. He has them, but no one knows. And its always the same one. The blackout that occurred in the elevator keeps replaying and replaying in his dreams, stealing his breath and making him wish for a time machine.
According to a very well known scientist, time is relative. He's never actually experienced that until the day she accidentally slams into him, causing their books to fly. Dropping down to pick them up, he tries to use the moment in time to his advantage. He wants time to slow, so they can talk. But when he looks up, she's gone. Time is relative. And that sucks.
She had his notebook. From the day she had slammed into him. She must have accidentally scooped it up with her own. Staring at the cover of the small leather notebook, she gets an image of him writing in it. It was the night on the beach, the night of the White Party. He was writing about her. She didn't need to read it to tell. His eyes would tell her. They spoke to her in ways no one would ever understand.
With shaking fingers, she opened the notebook, the pages crinkling as she did so. She traced the outline of his name written at the top. Owen Canning. Abandoning everything else, she sat down and began to read. Stories burst out at her, feeding her imagination. The stories had one constant. Herself. Each time she read them, hot tears flowed gently and quietly down her cheeks. He loved her. But it was too late now.
“I miss her.” Its the first time he's said it aloud. But no one's around to hear it. So he decides to transform it into writing. Searching his bag over and over again, he can't find his notebook. Giving up, he resorts to his laptop. With his luck, someone probably found it and tossed it. But a part of him can't help but wonder what if someone had shown it to her. Wouldn't she then see that he still loved her? That he wanted nothing more than to get back together with her? Shaking the thoughts from his head, he starts to write.
The more she reads, the more she doubts. Her mind is clouded with the thought that she might just be some writing material and everything he wrote was worthless. She won't know unless she asks him and there is no way she's doing that. Instead she hugs the notebook to her chest, pretending its him and re-reading it every night so that her tears can lull her to sleep.
After two weeks of keeping it, something in her mind tells her to return it to him. She doesn't want to, of course, but she can't let go of him without giving it back. So she sneaks to the loft one early Sunday morning when he usually sleeps in. She greets Rufus with sad eyes. One glance at the notebook and cardigan in her hands, and he knows what she's here to do.
She snuck into his room and placed his notebook and cardigan on his desk. She hopes he finds the note she hid in the small leather notebook. Turning to leave, she catches sight of him. He's sleeping contentedly, rolled over on his side and slightly snoring. She creeps closer to him. She hasn't been this close to him in months, not including the day they ran into each other.
Leaning down, she puts a hand on his cheek, kissing him on the forehead. I love you. She whispers before turning and leaving, tears dripping down her face. She runs out, hair flying behind her. “I miss you.” She whispers as the elevator makes its slow descent down. She wishes he was there, arms wrapped tightly around her, kissing her.
She had been here, in his room. Returning his notebook and cardigan. He could smell the familiar scent that she wore everyday and he had heard her before she left. He wasn't sure if what he had heard was an illusion though. They were over, weren't they? But if they were, why was she here personally? It boggled his mind, her very presence did that to him anyway. If she loved him, wouldn't she have stayed?
He continues pondering until noon when he finally decides to pick up the notebook and write for the first time in two weeks. Flipping to an empty page, a note fell out and into his lap. Picking it up with unsteady fingers, he opens it. I miss you. I love you. I'm sorry. It reads in her messy handwriting.
He walks towards her the next day, wondering where he got the courage to do this. He silently hands her the note, his face impassive. A million thoughts run through his mind as he does so.
Rejection washes through her face as he stands there, waiting. “Open it.” He says. Biting her lip, she shakes her head. “No.” She watches as his brow furrowed, lips cast downward in a frown. Please. It's not much of a plea but one look at his warm brown eyes does it for her. She opens the paper, her hands barely past shaking.
The crinkling sound of it opening makes him lower his head from her eyes to the paper. She slowly lifts the paper up and reads what she had wrote yesterday. Hurt oozes from her every pore. Why are you mocking me? Her eyes seem to say.
He shakes his head again. Keep reading. He says, tapping the paper softly and taking a step closer to her. Her green eyes focus on him briefly before turning back to the paper. He watches her every movement as she reads the paper. Her eyes scan the words he had written last night, before looking up at him and darting back to the paper. She mouths the words, and without prompt, he says the same words out loud. “I'm still in love with you. I'm sorry that I took so long. Please forgive me.”
She moves in towards him. “Do you mean it?” She asks, her eyes cautious and hesitant. He nods slowly. “Every single word. Do you?” She nods and suddenly finds herself pressed against him, wrapped in a big warm hug. “I've missed you.” He whispers in her ear. “I've missed you too. For the longest time.” She whispers back. And that was all he needed to press his lips to hers, sealing their future together.