Twenty-Six // On The Flip

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Never have I ever been so nervous.
Never has my stomach ever been knotted up as much as it is at this current moment.
Never have I ever wanted to be somewhere else so badly.
But my hand is latched on to the door, and I can't let go, no matter how much I want to.
When the door flies open and hits me in the forehead, I'm really wanting to run.
Instead, I fall on my ass and clutch my head.
"Oh, God- Caroline."
I look up and see Ash standing above me.
I jump up, forgetting all about my head, and throw my arms around his neck.
He wraps his arm tightly around my waist and takes a deep breath.
"We thought you weren't coming. I'm glad you're here." He says into my hair.
"I'm not." I sigh.
Ashton pulls away, still clutching my arms.
"Why not?"
"I'm too nervous. I can't see him. He hates me, and I lied to him. How am I supposed to face him?"
"Not to mention that knot on your forehead." Ash nods.
I place my hand on my head.
"Fuck me."
Ash laughs and pulls me back in for a hug.
"You wanna come inside? It's kinda chilly out here."
I nod.
"Yeah, I guess. Is Cal in there?" I ask him
He shrugs and opens the door.
"Guess we'll find out."
I walk inside slowly, surprised at how dark the arena is.
"This is huge, Ash." I say.
He slips my arm through his and walks me up to the stage.
"I know. Biggest venue we've ever played. Come backstage." He tells me.
I walk with him through the stage door and see a long hall with dressing rooms.
"Casey should be in one of these." He says.
He wiggles a few knobs before finding an unlocked one.
We walk in and see Casey laying on the couch.
She shoots up when she sees us and lets out a little whimper.
"Oh, gosh!"
I throw my arms around her, and she lifts me up.
"I missed you, gorgeous. How've you been?" She asks.
I laugh a little and nod.
"I've been alright. Working a lot."
She smiles.
"That's good, Caroline. I'm really happy for you."
The door swings open, and I hear a squeal behind me.
Before I even turn around, I know it's Peggy.
She attacks me, and we almost fall down.
I missed my best friend.
I unlock my apartment and walk to the kitchen.
I pour myself a glass of wine and sit on the bed.
Outside I hear horns honking and people shouting.
I can see the flicker of light and hear the sirens of emergency vehicles.
I didn't wait around after the show.
Calum and I are over, and I decided I needed to accept that.
Talking to him would bring back too many memories, memories I didn't need.
I walk to the bathroom and take a shower, changing into my favorite pajamas afterward.
As I'm doing the dishes, I get a text from Peggy.
Peg: I want to come see u tomorrow b4 I go home. Address??
I send it to her and lay down in my bed, clicking on the television.
As I'm falling asleep, someone knocks on my door.
Peggy couldn't wait until tomorrow.
But when I open the door, it isn't Peggy.
It's Calum.
The boy I loved.
The boy I thought I knew.
The boy I wanted to be with forever.
The boy I want to know.
The boy I love.
"Caroline." His voice breaks.
I don't say anything.
My feet move themselves to him.
My arms throw themselves around his neck.
I feel at home.
I feel more at home than I ever have in my whole life.
Calum walks inside, still clutching me to him.
We don't say anything at all as we fall on to the bed.
He doesn't say a word as he wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me close to him.
I don't say a word when I flip over to face him.
I brush the hair from his face and feel his lashes on my cheek.
He kisses my forehead and closes his eyes.
And neither of us says a thing before we fall asleep.
I wake up and look around.
He left one last time.
There's no sign of him anywhere.
No evidence he was even here.
For all I know, it was a dream.
When I get up to make my breakfast, I see a coffee cup on the counter with a note next it.
'Caroline, I'm not sure what will happen when I return. But just know that whatever comes my way, I'll always be thinking of you. I hope to get to know you better in the future. I hope to have you in my future, always. Best wishes, my love. See you on the flip.'

A/N: Hi, everyone! Wow, it's finally over. What an adventure this story has been. There were many times when I felt like giving up and I didn't know if this story would even become something. But I'm glad I stuck through it. I'd like to thank you all for reading and I'd like to thank my friend, Dani, for inspiring Caroline. I'd like to dedicate not only this chapter, but the whole story to @JordanPhillippi for being my most active reader and voting for every chapter. It really means a lot. Keep this in your library for another week or two because I have a little bonus announcement. I love you all dearly, and I'll 'see you on the flip.'
Kick it,
- Em 🔮💗

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