Chapter Twenty Five - Leaving On A Jetplane

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I pulled my case out of the bedroom. I eyed Jackson's door and contemplated not knocking. Leaving him behind was the hardest thing about making the decision to go back. I lifted my hand and knocked, but I heard nothing, no movement, no grumble.

It was early, but he knew I was leaving. He had avoided me like the plague since he had caught me packing a few days beforehand. It was like we had taken ten steps backwards and I was stuck in an abyss once more.

He didn't answer and I had to leave. A lone tear rolled down the apple of my cheeks, and under my breath, so quiet that only I could hear I whispered. "I love you Jackson."

I met Scarlett downstairs, she took my suitcase while she hurried the twins out the door. I looked in the kitchen at Xavier who was pouring a cup of coffee.

"Can you tell Jackson I said bye? I knocked, but he must still be asleep." I said as clear and together as I could. I knew Xavier could tell I was hurting though because he placed his cup down and walked out to the foyer and wrapped me in a hug.

"I'll tell him." He replied. "You take care now okay. We'll see you soon." He released me and then smiled.

"Thank you." I smiled back. I walked out the door and once I was down on the path I looked back at the house. Then for the second time in my life, I walked away from it and all the memories in contained within.

The drive to the airport felt long, with every passing second I contemplated asking to go back. I wasn't sure leaving for good was the right thing to do, I just knew it was the sanest option available right now. When we walked into the lobby with my ticket and suitcase though, I knew there was no turning back. My whirlwind few months of love, loss, clarity and recovery had taught me more than I had learned in a lifetime, and surprisingly, regardless of the outcome I had no regrets.

I checked in, then together the four of us made our way to my gate. My plane would begin boarding anytime, and I just wanted to get on so that I could tear the final threads keeping me here, clean from my mind.

"Thank you for having me." I smiled as I stepped forward to hug Scarlett. She tightened her grip on me and let out a sigh.

"I meant what I said, you can come back. We'd all love it if you did. School isn't over for a few months, and when you start at college you'll be back in New York."

I smiled and shrugged. Staying in New York would be the surprisingly easy option, I knew the minute I put distance between me and him. My heart could start to heal. "We'll see." I replied, full well knowing that odds were against me returning.

I looked down at the twins. I hadn't really seen them much, but now I was leaving even they looked kind of sad.

"Bye." I smiled at them "You can always visit. I'll take you to a broadway show".

They grinned at me, while attempting to shrug like nonchalant preteens. I pulled them both into a hug.

"Bye Amber." Lucy said. "I hope you visit us too."

"I'll try." I replied.

I released them both from the hug, then looked around, I hadn't lost all hope it seemed of a last minute dash for the gate. Jackson had been asleep when I knocked. I hadn't even been able to say goodbye. It was like he didn't care. I couldn't see through the sea of people so I picked up my carry on bag and began to walk towards the boarding gate. I was about to turned my ticket over to the steward when I tight breathless, distressed voice cut through. My heart pounded as my fingers clutched the ticket back. I turned and looked back at Scarlett and the twins. Daniel. I hadn't said goodbye to him either, not properly anyway. I'd text.

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