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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4. The Spark

   Gently taking the plastic cup from her hand and setting it down, he tenderly grabbed her wrist and pulled her away from the soft glow of the fire and into the shadows near the stream. A tall cottonwood stood towering above them, slowly shedding the last of its cotton in a late summer snow. The soft, white fuzz drifted around, floating on the air currents softly blowing through the fragrant air. The music was softer here, less obnoxious. It was muffled by the gurgling stream and rustling leaves, while a symphony of Bullfrogs and crickets added their own tune to the country music blaring from the trucks. He led her under the tree, to a soft patch of grass where she could slip off her shoes and still be comfortable. 

   "These are horrendously uncomfortable," she slurred, and Wyatt smiled. He had known this already, having seen how slightly off her normally elegant gait was. She would have never taken them off or complained though, not for anyone but Wyatt. He looked down at her, still overwhelmed by her beauty. Her freckles were dappled across her pale skin, and her green eyes shown especially bright in the moonlight. A small wisp of her hair had escaped the loose curls, and was blowing in her face softly. She looked beautiful, but Wyatt couldn't help but notice that he preferred her without make-up. 

   "Shall we?" he asked, carefully removing the small strand of hair from her face. He then trailed his fingers down her cheek ever so softly, so light that surely she couldn't notice it in her intoxicated state. But he did, and it was all he could do not to cradle her face in his calloused hands and beg her to be his. 

   "We shall," she chortled, wrapping her arms around his neck. He gently placed his hands on her hips, then began to sway with her to the beat of the music. It was awkward at first, but soon she relaxed and molded against him. She leaned her head against his strong chest, listening to his heart and breathing in the sweet, salty smell that perfumed him; a mix of sawdust and apples from helping in his father's orchard. 

   Now that Liz was cradled so close to him, he slipped his arms around her, holding her in an embrace. His broad shoulders and strong arms encircled her, promising her safety, even if for only a moment. He rested his chin on her silky hair, breathing in that honey-and-roses smell he had always associated with her. In that moment, everything was perfect.

   Nestled against him as she was, Liz felt the liquor hit her hard. Unable to keep balanced, she stumbled. Wyatt's strong embrace kept her from tumbling, but they both side-stepped and ended ankle deep in the cool creek. Dozens of startled fire-flies took to the air, glowing brightly and dancing around the two teenagers, embracing in the stream. 

   Alarmed, Liz looked up at Wyatt, slowly working over the contours of his face. She saw the scar on his chin, just slightly lighter than the rest of his tan body. She moved upwards to his full lips, and momentarily wondered what it would feel like to have him nuzzle her neck, before glancing at his perfect nose. Lastly, she met his eyes. Deep blue, and full with an emotion Liz had never seen in them before. 

   "Wyatt, I-" but she hesitated, and in that brief pause, everything changed. Wyatt looked down at her, so perfect, and he knew.  Gone were the days of childish crushes. This beautiful girl, his best friend for as long as he could remember, was no longer the girl he simply "liked". This was deeper, more intense. He felt it through every fiber of his existence, more certain of this than of anything else he had ever known. He loved her, and had for quite some time.

   As Liz hesitated, she looked into Wyatt's eyes and saw something change. That strange emotion, the one he had been wearing in his face for the whole night, shifted. It intensified, morphing from a dull glow to a bright flame. And with it, she felt herself change to. She grew hot and tingly, a warmth she had never felt expanding through her body. Everything she had ever felt towards Wyatt changed. He was no longer a friend or a brother, but a companion and a partner. And somewhere among the butterflies in her stomach, she felt something else. It was the stirrings of love, something she had ever felt before. 

   Wyatt wanted nothing more than to sweep her into his arms and never let her go. Only the hesitation in her eyes kept him from doing so. But slowly, he saw the hesitation change into acceptance, and he had no doubt she felt for him as well. Slowly, he tilted his face towards her, leaning towards the girl he loved with all his heart. She stood on her toes, the liquor removing all her reservations...

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