How We Say Goodbye

What happens when you fall in love with your best friend? More importantly, what happens when they fall in love with you? This captivating romance follows two childhood friends through their teens, watching old feelings bloom into something more. The only problem? There is something holding them back: fear. As Wyatt and Liz struggle to control their new emotions, they will find the fear of the unknown is their biggest obstacle, and possibly what drives them apart. Will their friendship endure? Or will the "butterflies in the stomach" lead them both into a much lonelier state?

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1. Forever, In Blood

   The crisp autumn air blew gently, rustling the golden, red, and orange leaves. The clear blue sky betrayed no hint of a stormy sky. In the heart of an abandoned orchard was a rickety play house. Constructed by little hands with scrap boards and bent nails, it was nestled under a large tree. The scent of apples filed the air, as the overgrown boughs were doubled over from their strain. Though forgotten and left many years ago, the trees still bore the sweet treasures, laden with gleaming fruit. The small shack sat alone and desolate, almost unrecognizable in the overgrown weeds. But it was better this way, camouflaging a secret world.

   The small play house was sometimes a castle, and other times a pirate ship. It had seen its share of days, had heard its share of whispered secrets, and had swallowed many sorrowful tears. It had also heard its share of joyous laughter, emanating from every crack within its splintered surface. Today it was neither castle nor pirate ship nor any other imaginative play thing. Today, it was a sanctuary. It was a covenant. It was a place of oaths.

   The young boy sat cross-legged, facing the young girl. His sandy hair was unkempt and messy, standing in awkward angles. He was tall and thin, and therefore very uncoordinated. He had dark blue eyes that gleamed with mischief  and a mischievous smile with a gap between his front two teeth that was excellent for whistling. On his chin was a thin white scar, ragged and ugly. It sat there like a memory, reminding them both of when he fell out of the tall oak in his back yard and split it open. He sat attentively, giving his undivided attention to the girl across from him. She was a year younger than him, at only eight years old. She had her auburn hair pulled back into a messy pony, with small strands pulling loose and dangling in her face  She had porcelain skin splashed with a sweet shower of freckles, and dazzling green eyes shining with excitement. Her rose colored lips pulled back from her dainty teeth, showing the hole where her most recent encounter with the tooth fairy had left her lacking a single tooth. 

   "You have to promise," she said sternly, staring Wyatt in the eye. "You have to promise me you will be my best friend, always." He sat for a moment, contemplating. He ground his teeth together, jutting out his jaw as he always did when in deep thought.

   "I promise. Forever," he added quickly, holding her gaze. "Forever, in blood." She gleamed, brandishing a dull and slightly rusted knife from her pocket. She flipped it open expertly, clutching it in her right hand.

   "Give me your left hand," ordered Liz curtly. Wyatt obliged, holding it out, palms up. Liz did the same, putting her palm next to his and positioning the knife above their two palms. "Alright," she whispered. "Best friends forever, in blood." Wyatt looked into her eyes and nodded, and she brought the knife down, slashing across her palm first, then his, in a fluid motion. She dropped the knife into the dirt floor beneath them and grabbed onto his hand tightly, grinning. Wyatt looked back to her, smiling widely.

   "Forever."

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