30 - Lost You

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I don't know how long I sat on May's living room couch, biting at my bottom lip and watching the clock tick away. My parents had taken turns in trying to call Peter, the police, anyone really who might be able to get in contact with him. May had kept herself busy by baking unnecessary cakes and brownies. Mary Jane, Gwen and Harry had stayed behind too, trying their best to make excuses of why Peter wasn't back yet. With the long hours of waiting and worrying, it became more likely that something had happened when we had lost him in the chaos at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I let the day run out in my head, trying to pinpoint where I had lost him, where he had let go of my hand and disappeared into the crowds. There was sick feeling in my stomach as tears threatened to fall.

"Here, try drinking this." Mary Jane was hovering in front of me, concern in her pretty eyes. She handed over a mug of hot tea, mixed with enough sugar and milk. I sipped at the tea, knowing it wasn't going to help my racing mind but it might calm my nervous stomach.

Harry was seated at the table with my parents but I could see him watching and listening. "Thanks." I muttered, letting the warmth radiate through my palms. 

Gwen was seated on my other side, her arms wrapped around her knees. It seemed everyone in the tiny apartment was beyond worried. "He's alright." It had been hours since I had heard Gwen's voice, it seemed tinier than ever. 

"We don't know that." I said quietly, staring down at my tea. I knew I shouldn't have been speaking so negatively, not with his aunt in the room. Not when everyone was worried sick about him but the words slipped from my mouth and I couldn't take them back now. 

My mother got up from her seat at the table and joined me in the lounge room. She looked older now, like the weight of worry had aged her within a matter of hours. "Florence, I know you're worried and clearly upset--"

"Mum, please, I don't need a little speech about how I should remain optimistic right now." I knew I was stooping to a new low being bitchy with the woman who had raised me. But right now, my emotions were in overdrive and everyone in this room knew I wasn't good at keeping my emotions in check. "We don't even know where Peter is, he could be hurt or worse, he could be de--"

 Harry butt in, getting to his feet. "Don't say it, Flo." 

I knew a line had been crossed. I glanced over at May, seeing her face pinched with worry and hurt. The last thing she needed was me opening my mouth and saying her worst fears aloud. That sick feeling in my stomach was growing and taunting me. I got to my feet, putting down my tea and trying to stay calm. "I'm sorry." I addressed the room quietly, feeling like a total bitch. "I just need some air or something..."

I started towards the door, leaving my phone behind so they couldn't reach me but then the door swung open. There stood Peter standing in the doorway, a key nested in his hand. He looked completely normal, like nothing had happened in the last few hours. He gave brief awkward wave. "Uh, hi."

"Where have you been, Peter?" May pushed back her chair, the sound of metal scrapping along the floorboards echoed through the small apartment. I stood only a few feet away from him, stunned in my spot. "We've been worried sick."

Peter let the door swing closed behind him, trapping us all in. He looked generally shocked to find us all piled in his apartment. "Um, I just was walking around and--" Before he could get another mumbled word out though, his aunt came around the couch and pulled him in for a long hug. I caught his gaze over her shoulder as I felt my jaw click with a fresh wave of emotion. 

He was utterly fine. He was standing there, his backpack swinging from his shoulder with his hands wrapped around his aunt. He didn't have any clue that for hours we had waited and worried about him, to find out he was just walking around

"We thought something might have happened at the parade," Aunt May went on, placing her hand on his cheek as she pulled back to see his face. "I'm just glad you're home safe. Do you want something to eat? Maybe tea? I've made some cake..." 

Peter gave a little smile. "Cake is good."

As May went to fetch the cake she had been working on all day Gwen, Mary Jane and Harry moved to greet him as I stayed put. "You gave us a real scare." Harry was saying, pulling Peter in for another hug. 

My parents stepped up beside me, my mother touching my arm in comfort. "You're more than welcome to stay, dear. But your father and I really do have to get back to the labs."

I gave her a smile, tucking some hair behind my ears. "No, I'll come with you both."

"Are you sure?" My mother's eyes swept over to Peter who I could feel watching me. I wanted to throw my arms around his shoulders and never let go but also shove him away because he had left me terrified that something bad had happened to him. 

With a final nod of my head, I was reaching for my bag. "Yeah, I'm sure."

As my parents said their goodbyes to May, Peter's light touch pulled me aside. "Can we talk, please? I can see something is wrong."

I gave my mother a quick look, one she understood and let Peter guide me down the short hallway and into his bedroom. As soon as the door was firmly closed, I shrugged off his grip and crossed my arms over my chest. "Just walking around, Parker?" I hissed over at him. 

"Florence," He started, stepping in my direction. I backed up and he paused, his eyes dropping to his shoes. "Okay, look..."

Emotions were building, my voice cracking slightly as I glared across at him. "I was worried sick, Peter. At the parade you just disappeared and I thought...I thought something had happened."

"Nothing happened." Peter explained. 

I pushed some hair from my eyes, letting my shoulders rise and fall with a deep breath. "That's exactly it, isn't it?" I asked turning back to him. "Nothing happened and I thought you were gone...I thought I had lost you and I couldn't think straight--"

Peter pulled me into his arms, holding me tightly as tears dribbled down my cheeks. A hand cupped the back of my head, running through my hair in a comforting manner. I felt my body shutter against him. The anger, the worry, the fear falling away with his soft touch. 

"You didn't lose me," He said into my hairline. "You could never lose me." 

Like that he calmed down my blurred mind and my aching heart. It was then I realised that I had become too attached to a boy that I could lose, even with his promise. That was a knife to my heart as Peter planted a kiss on my temple. 

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