chapter thirty

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The sky above is a dark wall of deep grey and black as far as I can see and the low warning rumbles of thunder practically vibrate through the truck as we speed down the empty highway

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The sky above is a dark wall of deep grey and black as far as I can see and the low warning rumbles of thunder practically vibrate through the truck as we speed down the empty highway. I settle back in the passenger seat and turn down the volume on the stereo to a low hum, but I catch the smirk on Tristan's face when I increase the volume back up slightly when a One Direction song starts to play. It just feels sac-religious to turn down the volume when You & I is playing.

I've been scrolling through the photos on the camera for the past twenty minutes, trying not to smile like an idiot as I look through the adorable family shots that I was able to take before we had to leave.

I had taken at least twenty different shots of them standing together in front of the fireplace when his grandma requested that I use the timer to get into a picture with them. I was about to object, because honestly it didn't seem right to barge in on their family photo, but as soon as she asked Mrs. Beck insisted, claiming that it would only be right to have a picture of us all together.

It only took me a few seconds to figure out how to configure the settings for the timer and then I was being corralled into the middle of the group, right between Mrs. Beck and Olivia. I ended up standing right infront of Tristan, who I looked up at to see smiling down at me as the first shutter of the camera sounded. I turned my attention back to the lense and I beamed at the camera to take a proper picture, but as I look back at the set of five pictures that the timer snapped, my heart is literally tumbling over itself because I can see the moment play out on the display of the camera in front of me.

The first picture shows me looking up at Tristan and him smiling down at me while everyone else smiles at the camera. The second shows me looking back down at the camera with my beaming smile, though Tristan' smile is a little different than the last-- it's not the smile that I see in all of the other pictures. It's a softer smile. A warmer one. And his eyes aren't looking up at the camera, instead they're still looking down at me.

His eyes stay on me through the third and fourth picture, and it's not until the fifth that his eyes are looking up at the camera again, though his warm smile remains on his face this time, and the sight sends a shiver down my spine.

Looking down at the camera I already know that I'm going to print the picture out and frame it, even if I have to keep it under my pillow or something. The fact that I have a picture of Tristan smiling down at me is enough for me to actually melt on the spot, and when I smile up at the boy next to me who's humming along to the song playing softly in the background, he just glances over to me with a lazy grin, as if this moment, us driving home right before the huge storm hits, is somehow the most peaceful thing in the world.

I place the camera into my bag and settle back into the seat when I see the sign for Pullman. We're only five minutes away from his house, and if we're lucky, we'll beat the storm before the downpour starts. It's nearly 7:30 PM and the sun should be setting, but the wall of black clouds doesn't allow for the fleeting sunlight to peak through.

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