Chapter 55

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Avery's POV:

It feels so strange to walk out of this house knowing I'll never live here again. This town that I once hated has become home to so many memories and people I never thought I'd have to leave. A painful sigh escapes my lips as I swallow down the uncertainty I have for leaving my family and friends behind.

"Come on Honey, you're gonna miss your flight." My mom calls her voice full as if the life is slowly being drained from her soul. Jake takes my bag and sets it in the trunk his face blank and empty. It almost feels like this isn't even happening like this is some sad dream that we will all wake up from in the morning, but deep down I know this isn't a dream and this is the reality I'm living in. I close my eyes and say one last goodbye to the home I've grown so fond of and this street before we drive out of view the ghosts of memories dance across the lawns of the neighbors I grew to know and I can't help but watch until it fades into speckles through the back window.

We arrive at the airport and it's seems like all the oxygen has been taken away from me. The building looms like a storm cloud with the thunderous rumbles of planes taking off in the distance. Standing on the curb with her hands tucked away neatly in her pockets was Violet, tear stained, tense, and waiting for me.

My heart bursts and my eyes begin to sting as the endless stream of tears ceases to stop and I can't be strong anymore. I open the door of the car trying to contain my sobs as I race to hug my truest friend. This may be the most painful thing I've experienced.

"I couldn't let you go without saying goodbye." She whimpers into my ear and I feel her grip around me tighten as inhale her tropical perfume for maybe the last time and each aspect of this moment begins to carve itself into my memory.

My mom taps my shoulder and I reluctantly take a step back wiping the tears from my eyes that are instantly replaced with more tears.

"You gotta go Avery, call me when you land." She hugs me quickly trying to be tough and not cry. I know my mother and she is a strong woman but I can see this is tearing her up too.

"I'll miss you, you spoiled brat." Jake teases with a sorrowful grin hoping to make me smile.

"Come here looser." I wrap him up in a hug and to my surprise his arms wrap around my waist and he squeezes me tightly.

"You're really leaving aren't you?" Violet asks her voice full of the sudden realization that I had felt moments ago that this in fact was no sad dream but was actually happening. I think it hit her that I'm not going to be at school anymore and that I won't get to graduate with her and that this is our last memory before we end up on opposite sides of the country.

I nod slowly biting my lip as if that would keep me from falling apart.

"I love you" she chokes out her mascara mixing with her tears as they cascade down her cheeks. My heart is breaking looking at them standing there. This is the last time I'm ever going to see my best friend again and that kills me.

"I love you too Vi." I manage to say before my throat tightens and chest sinks and I feel as if my eyes will never stop crying.

I take my bag and breathe in this final moment before I turn towards the terminal.

I feels so much regret and remorse for leaving like this.

I turn on my heal and face Violet, "Tell Brett I'm sorry." I plea I don't wait for her response but walk into the terminal wishing that this wasn't real, that I didn't just abandon everyone I care about without even telling them.

I keep sniffling and I look like a mess I bet the other passengers think I'm insane.

I take a seat as I wait for the plane pulling my bag to my chest hoping to find comfort in the in the lonely embrace, pray that it keeps the tears at bay.

Brett's POV:

"Hey have you seen Avery? She's not responding to my texts."

Violets eyes shift away uncertain weather or not to look at me and her eyes are red and puffy and no matter how hard I try to look her in the eye she averts my gaze, I'm starting to worry.

"Brett she..." she begins but doesn't have the strength to continue as the tears begin to appear again. She takes my hand and pulls me weakly into an empty classroom and the worry within me slowly begins to rise with every silent second that passes.

"What the hell is going on where's Avery?" My heart is racing with such deep rooted concern and a million situations are darting though my head each one worse than the last.

"Brett she... she's gone." She's in tears again and my body tenses up each muscle contracts and freezes in place, for a moment my mind can't process it, she can't have said what I think she did, I cross my arms and keep my self from screaming at Vi "her plane is taking off any minute, I'm sorry. She wanted to tell you but said if she did you'd convince her to stay."

"She left?! Without even saying goodbye?!" Overcome with anger I rip off my backpack and see Violet's eyes follow it until it thuds loudly against the wall and fall to the floor, "What the fuck!!" I yell smashing my fists against a desk letting the pain radiate through me as the rage is replaced with overwhelming grief. My body collapses against the counter by the window my head buried in my hands.

How could she do that? I hear the distant sounds of jet engines and my eyes follow the sound up to the small windows lining the top of the classroom. I can't help but think that that is her plane jetting across the sky. I torture myself as I watch it continue on course countless miles overs head with me down here unable to do anything about it, knowing full well that every second that passes is hundreds of miles being stuffed between us.

My breathing quickens and I can't control the short jumpy breaths that fill and empty my lungs and instantly I loose all strength within my body my bones turn to jelly and I slump back onto a desk unable to even stand. I'm falling apart and I chastise myself I promised I was never going to be like this a sappy fool and yet here I am.

Her hand slowly rubs my shoulder and with that simple gesture Violet has thrown me off the deep end and tears begin to form in my eyes. I immediately blink them back and try to slow my breaths. Crazy to think it was just 8 and a half months ago I was sitting on her porch as she jammed her mouth full of salad and accused me of interrogation. A day that would no doubt change my life forever. I brush back the thoughts that kept pulling me deeper into self pity and sadness as I force myself to be okay.

I stand back up and pat down my shirt and run my hand through my hair hoping I don't look like as much of a mess as I'm feeling.

"Let's go to class." I say as confidently as possible I walk over and pick up my backpack and try to not let this get to me.

"Brett you don't have to pretend this doesn't hurt you." Violet calls after me as I open the door I turn to face her my jaw tightened.

"Not now Violet." I swallow the lump in my throat turning away from her tear stained face and walk to shop class.

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