Chapter 40

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I stared at the silhouette that stood on the other side of my bedroom window. With a huff, I slid off the colourful duvet and approached the window. I mentally cursed myself for not ignoring it when I saw Carl's blue eyes staring back at me. I slid open the window with a grunt and stared at the boy infront of me.

"What do you want." I snapped, afraid to look him straight in the eyes. Carl wasn't taken aback by my actions, instead he sighed softly.

"I want to talk." He stated and ran his hand through the mop of brown hair that was hidden by the darkness. I let out a heavy sigh and backed away from the window. Carl pulled himself inside and watched me with eyes full of sorrow and longing.

"Talk." I mumbeled and sat down on the soft bed, resting my tired head on the headboard. Carl nervously took a seat on the end of the bed, messing with his fingers.

"I'm worried about you, Lauren. You haven't been your usual self lately." He blurted, looking to me afraid I would snap at him again.

I chuckled darkly.
"I'm not the same person I was six months ago."

Carl's eyes softened and a look of pain crossed his perfect face. He looked as broken as me, unable to pick up the pieces of the life that was ripped away from him. We're the same crippled souls.
"I'm so sorry for everything I put you through."

I sighed and tucked my knees to my chest.
"No, it's my fault. I know that you didn't feel for Alyssa. You tried so hard to make it up to me and I wouldn't let you. I was just so broken and afraid of loosing you again, so I pushed you away. I've lost everything already, I didn't want to do it again."

Silent tears rolled down my cheeks and rested on the fabric of my grey tracksuit trousers. Carl watched me with sad eyes, extending a comforting hand towards me but re-thinking his actions.

"I still love you, Lauren. I never stopped and I'm never going to stop. It's you and me against the world." He chuckled sadly.

A pang of something shot through my heart and all I wanted was to be wrapped up in his strong arms.

He dosen't love you. He's lying. Can't you see that?

"How can you love someone like me? I'm not even a person anymore. I've killed mercilessly and pushed you away, Carl. You don't love me. You can't love me." I blurted, my voice cracking.

Carl didn't bother hold himself back, he shifted forward and grabbed my hands. I wanted to fight from his hold, but I couldn't bring myself to. I stared at our intertwined hands, reluctant to lift my gaze.

"Lauren, look at me." Carl whispered and I tore my gaze from my hands to meet his beautiful blue eyes. I missed them so much. I missed the way they watched me with love. I missed him.

"You are still the same girl," He continued. "The same girl that overthinks everything and watches her every move for fear she will do something wrong. I love you for it. I love the way you run your hands through your hair when your nervous or when you sing to yourself when you get really scared. I love everything about you, and no matter what you do or what you have done. I will still love you, until I die. I promise."

I cracked my mouth open to say something but the words died before they escaped my lips. Instead, I watched Carl, he wasn't lying to me. He watched me nervously, waiting for me to accept him.

"I need you more than anything. Don't ever leave me. Don't make me walk alone. I missed you so much. Don't leave my side. I can't live like this anymore." I breathed deeply and wrapped my arms around Carl's torso, longing for the feeling of him near me. My heart was thumping inside my chest, so loud I wondered how he couldn't hear it. Carl gently enveloped me in an embrace. Something so simple meant so much.

It meant that I forgave him and he forgave me. It meant that he still cared for me and that he still loved me. It meant that I still loved him. It was a promise, bound in our hearts that we would be there for eachother forever. I felt whole again, my shattered heart was glued back together, piece by piece.

Then I smiled, something I haden't done in months. A real, sincere smile. I felt an overwhelming urge to kiss him, feel his soft lips touch mine. Feel his hot breath on my lips before I gave in to his touch. But I couldn't. I wouldn't allow myself.

Tears rolled down my face, not all of sadness but of happiness too. Tears of emotion that was trapped inside me for too long. I cried for myself when I lost Carl, when I lost Chelsie, when I broke down, when everything weighed me down and for the simple moment that I realised I was still in love with Carl.

"Shh, it's okay." Carl soothed, rubbing gentle circles on my back, just like he used to do so long ago. I caved to his touch, letting my whole body relax and breathe in the musky scent I missed with all my heart.

Carl gently laid me down on the bed and cradled my sobbing body to his chest. When I finally calmed down he moved away. I cringed at the sudden loss of warmth. I grabbed his wrist and tugged him back to me.
"Please don't leave me."

My voice was timid and cracked. Carl smiled and kicked off his shoes before enveloping me in his warmth once more. The sound of his gentle heartbeat kept me calm even when I succumbed to the darkest depths of my shattered mind.

When I fell asleep, I was finally happy.

This time, it will last.

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep; Slowly, and then all at once."
- John Green
|The Fault In Our Stars|

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