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I avoided everyone the best I could, but the thing about being in a fictional world was that there were very little places created. I'd read Ashton's story over and over again, trying to man up and not cry every time I reached the end. But my face crumpled, and I hid it in my hands.

Kylie saw me, which meant Ashton wasn't far away, so I ran as far away as I could. But everything faded and recreated itself, right back to the first setting I'd been in – the street of the house I supposedly lived in.

"Calum?" of course Ashton was waiting for me. I quickly backed away, running the other way, but he caught up and crash-tackled me. I pushed him off, still wincing a little because he was not as light as he looked. "You've been ignoring me all day." He said, clearly aggravated.

I looked down at the cracks in the pavement, not wanting to look at him. "Yeah."


"I don't want to talk to you."

"You just found out that I – the only real person in this shithole – is going through the same thing, and you decide to ignore me?"

I sighed, nodding, because I didn't have anything else to say. He knew I was ignoring him, and there was nothing else to it. My eyes found their way to my shoes and I put my forehead in my folded knees. He wrapped his arms around my shins and back, hugging all of me awkwardly.

"I'm scared, too, Cal," For once, I was thankful that my head was hidden, because my face was bright red. He was touching me. He was talking to me. He called me 'Cal'.

"Are you really real?"

"Yeah," he promised, chuckling. "How do I prove it? Give you a stupid habit that Real Ashton Irwin does?"

I took my head out of my knees, smiling at him. As a true 5 Seconds Of Summer fan, I wanted to know everything about my favourite. So, I nodded. He grimaced, rolling his eyes as if knowing a habit about him was horrible.

"When I'm nervous, I scratch at the skin around my nails." He showed me his nails that had little bits of skin missing under the white of the nail. "It's a bad habit." He laughed nervously, and I took his hand, looking at his massively long fingers. The fact that he had flaws basically made it evident that he was real.

I looked up at his eyes. The eyes I'd seen in pictures that always had a little sparkle to them, I'd examined how they'd squinted, how they'd stared, how'd they'd loved, but I'd never examined them looking at me.

His eyes were so cute. A mixture of yellow and brown, almost caramel. His eyes were the epitome of sunshine and happiness. They were constantly light, bright and beautiful. I never wanted to see them dull. If it were possible, I would kiss them.

If it were possible, I would kiss him.

"I'm gonna miss you, Ash."

"You say it like we're not both stuck out here together."

We're not.


chapter 24 ;; cashtonWhere stories live. Discover now