Chapter 17

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Noel's Point Of View

I felt someone tap my shoulder, telling me we've landed in Arizona. I'm about to pinch myself, hoping it's just a dream, realizing it's not and it's reality. I collected my carry-on bag and followed everyone out of the plane.

It's the same atmosphere. It feels like I never even left Arizona to go to Australia.

I looked around, hoping to see if my mom or dad is here, hoping they never forgot about me. I felt someone tap my toned shoulder. I slowly turned around, only to be pulled into the arms of my sobbing mother, who I couldn't understand a word she's saying due to the fact that she sounds like a dying whale while bawling. My father joined, followed by my sister. I tried to get a arm around them, but didn't succeed.

My mother sniffled. "You're not leaving again." My father nodded, agreeing with her, followed by my sister.

On the way home, my mother talked my ear off about what's been happening at home while I was gone. She knows I'm not listening, but still talks anyway. We arrived at the familiar house.

My father got my luggage while my mother and sister lead me inside the house. My mother shows me the new changes they've made for the house, like furniture. It doesn't look any different.

I look to see my parents and noticed they looked a little bit different. They looked alive, like they were happy that I left. I always wondered, but I never asked.

I told them that I was going upstairs to my room. They nodded without looking at me. I sighed and made my way upstairs to the familiar room that held memories that could never escape my mind even if I tried. I opened the door slowly and looked around.

It's still the same.

My bed was still unmade. My brown wooden desk was still covered in papers. My closer door is still open, filled with clothes, and my old volleyball equipment. I should get back into the game. I realized I missed it a lot. My room was exactly how I left it before I left.

My mother entered the room and looks around, than at me. "I missed you."

"I missed you, too," I said. My mother walks over at me and wraps her arms around me.

We spent about five minutes in each other's arms. I realized how much I love my mother. I tired her and my father out due to my problems and I didn't care one bit. My mother excused herself and walked out of the room.

I walked towards the window sill and opened it. I slid out and sat on the cushion I laid out here. I watched as cars drove by. A couple was walking their dog. The breeze felt very good through my chocolate brown hair. I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned around. It's my father. He stepped outside and sat right next to me, he wrapped his arm around my shoulder and brought me closer to his side.

"It wasn't the same without you," He whispered, looking towards the road. I heard a sniffle and looked towards him. He had tears streaming down his cheeks. "I'm so sorry that you had to go through what you went through. He was an amazing guy."

I nodded my head, agreeing with him. I didn't say anything, though. There isn't much to say at this point. They did what they had to do and was to send me away, thinking I'll come back a new and better person. A new me. But, the new me is slowly disappearing. I don't feel like I belong here. I want to go back.

My father kissed the side of my head and made his way inside the house. I sat there, still staring out into the streets.

"Noel?" Someone said. I looked down since I'm on the roof. It's a boy, who looked to be about my age or maybe older. "You're back."

I made my way inside the house. I walked outside and stopped once I seen the person's face. He didn't seem familiar. Maybe, I've seen him once or twice at school.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Levi," He said, smiling. "You don't remember me?"

I gasped. Levi is Landon's brother. I swear he looked like Landon from when I was on the roof. I walked slowly towards him and gave him a tight hug.

"I missed you," I said. "I'm sorry for cutting everything off from you and your family. I feel so guilty. I should have been there since Landon died. I feel like a horrible person."

He chuckled. "I understand, Noel. You had a reason."

I looked up. "And that is?"

"You're in love with him, aren't you?" He said.

"I was," I said, unwrapping my arms from his waist.

He raised in eyebrow. "Was? Who are you in love with?"

I thought of Luke and it made me smile. Levi had a confused expression on his face and I don't understand why. Will he be mad that I moved on? That I'm in love with someone else?

"His name is Luke," I said. "Don't be mad."

He smiled a little bit. "Why would I be mad? You finally moved on. You're happy. That's what he wants, doesn't he?"

I smiled and he opened his arms again, wanting another hug. I wrapped my arms around him and we stayed like that for awhile. We detached ourselves from another and I did something else.

I punched him.

"Ow, what the fuck?" He said, rubbing his arm.

I laughed. "Why didn't you text or call me when I left?"

"Well, excuse me for not having your number," He scoffed, but laughed. "I truly missed you, Noel."

I blushed. "You, too. What's been happening?"

"I finally came out," He said. "That's pretty much it, I guess."

I gasped. "No way! I have to meet him! Please!"

He laughed. "Okay, Jumpy."

I laughed again. We spent the rest of the day, him asking me about Australia. I smiled as I told him details. From arriving to leaving. He stayed quiet as I spoke. I felt so alive. I didn't have a moment with Levi ever since Landon died an I truly missed him. Levi is a big brother to me. Levi introduced Landon to me and I can't be thankful enough.

"This Luke dude," He said, laughing. "Tell me about him."

"At first," I start. "I thought it was Landon at first. Same height. Same colored hair. I almost screamed. I hated him at first, he reminded me so much of Landon. We started hanging out and all the sudden, I fell in love."

He grinned at me and chuckled. I did the same. He sighed. "I don't want this to end. But, I have to go. I'm so happy you're back. We need to hang out tomorrow."

He pulled me into a hug and we stayed like that for a few minutes. I didn't want to let go. He kissed my forehead and waved at me as he walked away.




- Meep

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