✧twenty✧

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✿e l e a n o r✿

Today's the day.

It's five in the morning, and because the beach where the wedding will be held is a three-hour drive from Queenstown, we've all arrange to leave at six so we'd arrive there by nine and have two more hours to prepare for the wedding.

Michael and Ashton are at my place, trying to catch a few more minutes of sleep as I try and wrap the last-minute gift I bought for Jake and Arden. I've wasted at least a roll of wrapping paper because I can't seem to get it right every time. The finished product either a crease or it's unsymmetrical. Because I wasn't able to attend the bridal shower because I'd rather spend that day with Luke, this is the least I could do.

Michael, who's sprawled out on the floor, turns around and looks at me. "You've been trying to wrap that thing since like four o'clock."

"Yeah, it's because I don't really know how. If it were easy, it would've been done right now. Just go back to sleep, I almost got it," I reply.

"If 'I almost got it' means 'I don't know what the hell I'm doing but I sure hope it works,' then sure, yeah," Michael muses.

I roll my eyes and remove the wrapping paper for the hundredth time. "How was the bachelor party?"

Michael lets out a breath and shakes his head. "It was legendary. There weren't any strippers, but it was still legendary."

I look at him sideways and smile. "What happened?"

"Basically we were all on this roof and it was a pretty high building. I think it's the highest building in Queenstown. Anyway, we were there, and Jake has buddies who are in a band. The guitarist couldn't come, so they let me play. I was adlibbing all the way through, and I'm lucky that I know all the songs. If they played some indie pop shit, I wouldn't have survived," Michael narrates, a grin on his face. "The feeling of playing for people is indescribably, Elle. It's like... just wow."

I giggle at how happy he looks. "That's amazing, Michael. I'm happy for you, really."

"I felt like I finally belonged somewhere, you know? Where I didn't have to make a fool out of myself to try and keep everyone pleased with me," Michael says softly.

My smile fades as I realize that what he's revealing isn't something to be smiling about. I put the gift down on the table and usher Michael to come with me outside to talk. Once outside the comfort of my apartment, we both proceed to the balcony this floor has.

"Shit it's cold," Michael says as he rubs his hands up and down his arms.

"What do you mean by what you said?" I asked, genuinely caring for him.

Michael smirks. "That it's cold."

I roll my eyes playfully. "You know what I mean."

Michael looks down for a second, a sarcastic smile on his face. He lets out a humourless laugh. "Vi used me to get back at her ex. She told me she loved me, she kissed me, she hugged me, but then I realized she only did that whenever Peter was around. Fucking amazing, I know."

A smirk makes it way on my face. I'm not surprised; Vi uses people a lot, like a lot a lot. "Believe me, you're not the only one she used."

Michael looks at me, confused. "What?"

"Vi was my best friend in high school, besides Ashton and Isabelle. Back then, she was Violet. But now she thinks Vi is more hipster and cool. So, before, I always noticed Violet acting different around Ashton. Whenever Ashton would talk to me, Violet would do anything just to squeeze herself in the conversation. Turns out, she only became my friend because Ashton and I were best friends. She wanted Ashton so bad, it's pathetic. They lost their virginity to each other when they got drunk at Danny Simmon's party. After that, they started dating. Ashton and I fought for three months, and that's the longest time we didn't talk to each other. Then Violet cheated on Ashton with Peter, but he wasn't affected by it because turns out, he didn't even love Violet in the first place. He just forced it so he wouldn't hurt her feelings. Ashton is stupid, but he can care a lot about someone. But he's still stupid," I explain the best that I could.

"That explains why you no longer trust anyone else besides our little group," Michael says softly. "Are you scared to love?"

I purse my lips in deep thought. "Not love, actually. I'm scared of rejection. I'm scared of falling without having anyone catch me."

Michael nods. "It's just weird how love is starting to become scarier by the second and how the concept of it is becoming more complex to the point where we don't even understand it."

"Woah," I say, "where did that come from?"

Michael shrugs. "I just have a lot of feelings."

"You know, before, I didn't consider you as a friend. I considered you as the guy who likes to come out of nowhere all of a sudden. But then, I got to know you. Then I realized maybe trusting more people isn't that bad as it was before. And trust me, Michael, you don't need to act stupid just to make us like you. We already do, you idiot," I tell Michael with a smile on my face.

"Wow," he breathes out as he looks down at the city. He stays silent for a while. "What you and Luke have is amazing. You're both investing so much effort into your relationship, and it's amazing to see you guys working for each other. That shows how much you love each other."

"He's not ready for a relationship, Michael. I don't want to love him if he can't love himself first," I blurt out.

Michael glances at me and puts and arm around my shoulder. "Eleanor, he needs you. You may be the reason he actually knows something about love. If you spend more time with him and make him feel so infinite, he'll learn more and possibly learn to love himself in the process."

"You know, under all those bad puns and your carefree facade, I know you just want to break down at times and be able to have conversations like this more. You can talk to me about anything, Michael. Don't ever feel that you're alone and that no one understands you. I can never fully understand you, but if you let me, I will. And I'll try my best."

Michael's smile widens before he kisses my temple the way Ashton does. "I can see why Luke loves you, Elle."

"Mrs. Hemmings said the same thing to me yesterday," I reply.

"Everyone is saying the same thing. You both mould each other into someone better. Someone pure. And that's the best kind of love there is," Michael says.


a/n:

fINALLY AN UPDATE WOO. I've actually written twenty six chapters on word but sometimes i can't post bc im so busy af and i'm sorrryyyy :---(

anyway, i'll be posting regularly starting today. idk when, but i promise you that it won't take 384584569789 for a freaking update okay bye

and ily all for your comments and votes and even if i don't reply to them, i want you to know that i love every single one of yooouuuuuu c:

lub u -angelika

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