Chapter 16

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Noel's Point Of View

Luke and I swung our arms back and forth, while walking to my house from the pond. I never knew how much fun I can have with one person. It feels great not to be alone, while everyone around is having a good time.

"Do you want to come inside?" I asked Luke.

He nodded. I laughed quietly and lead him inside the house. I smiled and I turned on the living room light, but quickly frowned.

Aunt Cathy is sitting on the couch, crying her eyes out. What could have possibly happened?

"Aunt Cathy, what's wrong?" I asked, a worried tone in my voice.

"I'm so sorry," She said. "Your parents called. They told me they've both a plane ticket."

My heart stopped beating. "Ticket for what?"

"Noel," She said. "I tried so hard to change their minds, nothing worked. You're finally happy here and that's all that matters. You've found someone. Noel, you're going home back to Arizona."

What? I can't go back home to Arizona. I want to live here with Aunt Cathy. There's so much here that I don't see in Arizona and it makes me upset that after being here for almost a year, I have to go back home. I finally met someone and now I have to leave them.

"This can't happen!" I screamed, falling onto the ground. "Why does every time something that's good happens and then, all the sudden, something bad happens and ruins it?!"

I stood up quickly and ran outside, ignoring Luke's and Aunt Cathy's calls. I quickly ran down the street, only to be stopped by someone crying and someone else laughing. I turned a corner on the sidewalk and stopped.

Lauren is surrounded by four or five other girls. One of them kept telling her she's worthless and that maybe she should just kill herself. One of them pushed her roughly on the ground. Another one yanked her by her hair and forced her on her feet. I make my way over to them and shoved one of them on the ground. The other girls backed away, but never ran.

"How the fuck can you pick on someone who's half your fucking size?! Huh?!" I yelled, shoving the girl, who I find out her name is Tammy. "Do you think this is funny? This girl comes to me, begging for help and I'm sick and fucking tired of seeing her get hurt by a bunch of fucking assholes!"

One of the girls opened their mouth, ready to protest, but I harshly glare at them, making them close their mouth.

"I'm going to count to three," I said. "And if I find any of you right here in front of me by the time I get to three, I'll hurt you. And if I see you picking on Lauren again, you're dead. Got it? One."

The girls scurry away. I heard them shout profanities at one another. Lauren leaped towards me and wrapped her arms tightly around my waist. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes.

"Thank you so much, Noel," She said, giving me another hug. "No one has ever done that for me. Not even my own family, well, they never knew this was even happening." She looked up into my eyes.

I looked around to see if any of the girls were anywhere near us, only to find no one. I looked back at Lauren, only to see her smiling, but soon that's going to change after what I'm about to tell her.

"Lauren, there's something I need to tell you," I said, frowning. "I didn't have the choice. My aunt didn't either. I'm leaving Australia to go back home to Arizona."

I felt Lauren tense. Then, I felt water on my shirt. I realize that Lauren is crying and I'm the reason why her tears are streaming down her face. She looked up at me with puffy eyes.

She sniffed. "You can't be leaving, Noel. You have to stay."

"I can't," I said, feeling my eyes watering. "If I had the choice, I would stay."

After a teary goodbye with Lauren, I walked home at a small pace. I thought about Lauren on the way home. I shouldn't be calling it home after I leave this place. I enter through the door and stopped once I saw Luke sitting on the couch. Aunt Cathy was no where to be seen.

"Hey," I softly said.

He stood up. "Hey."

"Don't be mad at me," I said. "I never knew anything about this."

"I ain't mad," He said. "I'm just upset that you have to leave."

"Me, too," I said. "If I had the choice, I would stay. To be with you." I felt tears streaming down my face. Luke pulled me into a hug and I bury my face into his shoulder. He tightens his grip and I swear I heard him sniffle.

I felt a hand on my back. I lifted my head and realized it was Aunt Cathy who touched me. I leaped into her arms and cried harder. I don't want to leave either of them. Without either of them, I would still be the person I was before. They changed me. They made me a better person and I can't thank them enough. I wish I can stay here.

"It's time for you to pack," She said. "You're leaving tomorrow morning."

I slowly nodded my head and walked past Aunt Cathy with Luke trailing behind me.

It ended so fast. When I first got here, I hated it. I hated everyone. But, I wish I can stay here. I can actually live here and have a life. I don't want to go back to Arizona, where it's filled with nothing, but memories. Memories of him. I moved here for a reason and that's to find a new start. I found a new start and now I have to go back.

"Are you okay?" Luke whispered, shutting the door.

I sniffled and took a seat in the bed. I shook my head. "No."

"It'll be okay," He said. "We'll meet again in the future."

I started crying again and I laid my head on his shoulder. I closed my eyes and dreamed of what's going to happen when I get home.


I sniffled as I held into Luke. It's around six in the morning and we're currently waiting in the airport for my flight to be called.

Five months.

It took me five months to heal. And now I'm back to the way I am before his death. But, I'm slowly breaking again now that I have to left Luke go.

"Flight 246 to Scottsdale, Arizona," The woman on the intercom loudly said.

I tried so hard not to cry. I tightened my grip on Luke. Aunt Cathy joined us. Sadly, Lauren couldn't make it. Aunt Cathy lets go and it's just me and Luke.

"I'll miss you," He said.

"I'll miss you, too," I said.

I detached myself and gathered my luggage. I smiled softly at them. "I'll see you later."

He grinned. I waved a little bit. I turned towards the man who collects tickets. I handed him my ticket. I looked back at them. They were smiling.

I walked towards the terminal and made my through.



- Meep

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