Chapter 18

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The kiss is short, quick and soft, yet fills all of the emotions in it at the same time.

I pull back and put a hand to my lips.

Cody notices what I'm doing. "Yeah, that just happened."

I sit back down on my bed. "So tell me more about this tour."

Cody sits down next to me. "Well, it's across America, and it's a pretty major tour," he says.

"And?" I beg him to go on, knowing that there's more.

"And it goes for three months. Beginning of November to the end of January."

I think I'm almost paralysed by that. My mouth gapes and I can't close it.

"You okay, Jess?" he asks me with concern.

"Three months?" I repeat, "I can't be away from my Mum for that long!"

"She'll be fine," Cody says, "She does have to let go of you at some point. You're not going to be sixteen forever, you know."

He has a point. But before I can retaliate, Cody runs out the door and down the stairs. I chase after him, but by the time I reach the kitchen, he's already talking to my Mum about it.

"So can Jess come with me?" Cody asks as I step beside him.

Mum puts down her glass of water. "I'm not sure, Cody. Jess does have school to finish up and I do need to give them some sort of notice."

Cody's eyes beg her, but I can see that my Mum's not falling for it.

"Cody, you're not all that your parents have left."

Cody and I stop and listen.

"Jess's father may have come back today, but that doesn't mean I really have anyone. He knows what he did just as much as I do, and he knows that he can't just walk back into my life.

"Jess is all I have left. She's my only daughter, my only child, the only one who's been here for the past sixteen years. I will not just let her go like that."

I look at Cody. "I told you she needs me."

Cody gives me a blank, sarcastic look. "But you're sixteen. The same age as me, if I may add."

"I don't care how old Jess is, Cody," Mum says, "She's not going."

Cody bows his head in defeat. "Well, thanks for considering it," he says before turning around and leaving the room. "I'm going to miss my love."

Mum looks from Cody to me, shocked at his last sentence. I nod, a sign that he's telling the truth. He loves me.

Mum looks back over at Cody, who's still slowly walking away, sulking.

"Okay," she says. Cody stops and turns around.

"You convinced me. Jess can go."

Cody's frown turns into a smile as he fists the air. "Yes!" he cries.

"But there's one condition," Mum says. Cody and I look at her, awaiting what she's going to say.

Mum walks over to Cody and smirks. "Keep my daughter safe, okay?"

Cody smiles even bigger. "Of course I will."

Mum takes a step back. "Then it's final. I'll talk to the school tomorrow."

I wrap Cody in my arms, embracing him. I think Mum almost starts to cry because she can see the love between us.

"I should probably get going," Cody says, letting go of me. "I'll see you again sometime soon."

I kiss his cheek. "Bye," I say, leading him to the door.

"Oh," Cody reaches into his pocket. "Before I forget, here's that song I wrote for you."

Cody hands me a sheet of folded paper. I look up at him.

"I love you," he says.

"I love you too," I say.

I lean in for a kiss and so does Cody. This time it last longer and has different emotions in it. Goodbye emotions.

We pull away from each other and I let Cody leave. I watch and wave as he walks off.

When Cody's out of sight, I close the door and turn around. Mum's standing there, arms crossed and smirk on her face.

"What?" I say, starting to walk off.

Mum makes some weird sound that I've never heard before, which causes me to stop walking and turn around to look at her.

"You love him?"

I blush. "Yes," I say shyly.

Mum smiles a really happy smile. "I'm proud of you, you know. I'm really going to miss you."

"I have to admit," I say, taking a couple of steps towards her. "I did try to get out of it at first."

Mum wraps her arms around me. "Don't you worry. You'll be fine."

I smile. "Thank you."

Mum smiles back at me. "I had to let you go at some point."

*****

Again, it is short, but the rest happens in the next few chapters. A few things you might want to know:

1) there will be no sequel.

2) there are about ten chapters left. I wouldn't know because I haven't written them yet.

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