Road Trip - Chapter Fifteen

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[Thank you guys for being patient through my writer's block. Here's a new chapter I hope you guys enjoy. Show me your love by voting and commenting as you read! The more love the less blocks I get!]

[Leo's Point Of View]

My lips trembled seeing Derek like this. He was leaning against the wall of the dark closet we were in, his face hidden from my eyes and his quiet sobs sending chills down my body. I just stood not knowing what to do. I wiped my eyes too many times but that was all we seemed to be doing.

There were so many thoughts going through my head but the main one was whether I should say something or let him calm down first without trying to silence him. But still, even though I felt like letting him let go of everything he was feeling, I had a voice in my mind telling me to comfort him and I wasn't sure what was the right thing to do.

He seemed so vulnerable. Even the way his body twitched with every draw of breath showed how uncomfortable he was. He was hugging himself. Most of his face was resting against the wall where the light of the bulb didn't hit because of the tall shelves, hiding half of him in the shadow.

I couldn't wait another second of this madness.

I reached forward with my left hand and placed it gently on his back. He turned around, pressing his back against the wall, his face twisting in pain. His eyes were crystal clear blue in that moment, like there was a sun directly over his head.

He looked at me and didn't look away even as he showed me how much pain he was in just by the changing expressions of his face. His arms were still crossed over his stomach like he was trying to avoid spilling his emotions.

"You–you're the only one I've ever . . . loved," Derek said, choking over his words and taking big breaths after every line he spoke. "I lived for years t-thinking you were the one. I had to make sure you were involved in every decision I made big or small. My future with you was set in stone. And then . . ."

"And then I cheated," I whispered.

"That's not what I'm talking about," he said, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he fought tears back. "This . . . this isn't your fault, it's mine."

There was no proper response or reaction I could give to that. I have never heard him say something like this. It was always either my fault we fought or he'd remain quiet when he knew it was his.

"Our relationship is both of our responsibility and we made it toxic. It's not your fault, it's ours," I stated strongly.

He shook his head and didn't stop as more tears came and silenced him. I wasn't used to Derek behaving like this. I was used to him either being quiet for days or angry. He never broke down to the point where he couldn't breathe or speak.

"Y-you're perfect," he said.

"I'm not," I replied instantly.

"You have great friends and a family who loves and supports you endlessly. I-I have nothing."

"You have friends and a family, too," I said, almost tearing up with him but in this moment I was the stronger one with control. "You have a beautiful sister that loves you and looks up to you tremendously. You have your best friend, Nicole. You have Jesse and Priscilla. And as much as you want to deny it, you have your dad, too."

"No. No. Stop saying that. I don't have anyone."

"No. YOU stop saying that." I crouched down in front of him to meet him at eye level as he slowly had dropped down to the floor. "Why do you want to so badly believe that you are alone and nobody wants you? You realize this is a big part of the problem? You let yourself believe these dark things that aren't true and only you believe. Even if you have proof that you're wrong about them you still force yourself to continue thinking this way. Derek . . . you are loved."

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