The rest of the night I spent with my stomach in knots. The girls were too drunk to notice the worry written across my face. Louis never texted me back, which was irregular. Louis always texted me. With his texts full of smiley faces and hearts, we were the stereotypical giddy teenagers.
I couldn't shake these thoughts out of my brain. Tyler's texts worried me even more. I really had no idea what was going on, and it ruined the rest of the night.
When I arrived home the next morning I was tired. I spent the night tossing and turning, my thoughts occupying my brain and not letting me rest. Even when I got home and texted Louis letting him know I made it safe, he replied with a simple, K
I went on my way, knowing I could ask him soon. My parents took me to my ceremony, which was boring. With a graduating class of 300, we sat there forever as they called each person's name in alphabetical order, handing them their certificate and taking a photo of the student shaking the principal's hand. It was pure agony sitting for three hours listening to names being listed off.
When Louis was called up, I watched as he nervously bit his lip, shook the principle's hand, smiled for the photo and continued to walk nervously on his way. He was staring at his feet, not daring to make eye contact with the students patiently sitting and waiting for their turn, or turning to look at Tyler's parents, who I'm sure wanted a picture to send back to Lou's home.
And then I headed home, not seeing Louis at all at the ceremony. We never shared one word, not having the time to even see each other. When I got home, I changed out of my cap and gown and prepared for the dance.
I got into my baby blue ball gown, curled my hair, and gave myself a smoky eye. The knots formed in my stomach once again, as I knew Louis would be picking me up for the dance, as he was my date.
And when he arrived at my door, he was matching my dress, holding out a bouquet of daisies, my favorite flower. "Hi love. You look absolutely beautiful," he said, but his voice sounded different. And he wasn't in the slightest bit acting frisky with me.
"Thank you," I leaned in to kiss him, and he grabbed my face, prolonging the kiss, "you don't look so bad yourself, handsome." I winked as I playfully hit his chest.
He was acting different. He was rigid, stiff . . . he wasn't the carefree Louis I had adored. He wasn't the Louis that couldn't keep his hands off of me. In fact, he hadn't touched me since he arrived other than when he kissed me.
I ignored his actions, thinking it was just nerves. I mean, we were graduating today. Well, actually we already graduated. We were no longer in high school.
Instead, I went along with him, our fingers intertwined like they did so easily. We drove in his car to the school, ready for the dance. Our theme was simple; it really wasn't even a theme. The theme was simply our school colors. The gym was filled with the colors red and black. To be honest, it looked awfully a lot like a Halloween party, although it was clear that whomever had decorated didn't intend on that.
Louis was still quiet, his normal talkative self hidden somewhere under this sullen exterior, "baby, what's wrong?" I asked as I stroked his cheek with my hand. We were slow dancing in the middle of the room, Lady Antebellum's, Dancing Away with my Heart playing on the loud speakers. My hands were wrapped lightly around his neck, his delicately placed on the small of my back. He wasn't looking me in my eyes, and I'd wanted that sort of intimacy when we were slow dancing, otherwise it's slightly awkward.
"C'mon Lou. Please. I know something's wrong. You're all out of sorts. Please tell me," I pleaded with him, pulling his face to look at mine.
He sighed, "I don't want to ruin this moment. Can we talk about it later?"
"Babe, this moment means nothing if you're not happy," I looked up into his beautiful eyes, which were filled with sadness, and a hint of . . . fear?
"Please babe. Trust me. We need to sit down and talk about this somewhere else, like at your house later," he said, and now I was curious.
"What if we went and sat outside on one of the benches. There's plenty of benches. We could, it's private out there. Please baby. I don't want your night to be ruined because of whatever this is." I tried compromising.
"Trust me, it'll ruin your night too love. We can talk later."
"No," I grabbed his hand, pulling him behind me to outside of the school. Whatever was bugging him, he was going to tell me. I was tired of him being sad. This was grad, and we should be enjoying the night.
I pulled him outside, and I sat down on a bench around the corner of the school. It was quiet, no one was out there. It was also dark, with only one street light illuminating the area.
"Come here babe. Sit down," I said as I patted the empty bench beside me, "you can tell me anything, come here." I grabbed his hand, pulling him to sit beside me. I moved closer, intertwining his fingers with mine and staring into his eyes. "Okay, now talk babe." I nearly whispered.
"I really don't know how to tell you . . ." he trailed off, not being able to keep contact with my eyes.
"It's okay," I said as I squeezed his hand.
"Well, I got a call yesterday when you were at your friends . . ." He said, voice already trembling.
"Mhm, who from?" I asked, scooting closer towards him.
"Uh . . . my mum. Something's happened at home," it seemed like he was going to cry, although no tears fell from his eyes.
I simply nodded, telling him to continue.
"I . . . " He sighed loudly, "I have to go home earlier than I expected love." His eyes still never looked into mine.
"When?" I asked, stomach in knots.
And then I felt like fainting. My heart began to race, I felt sweat forming on my forehead. My palms filled with sweat, and my stomach jumped.
"Wh-what?" I whispered, not able to speak any louder.
"My plane leaves tomorrow at noon. I have to go back to London," he said as he moved closer to me, squeezing my hand.
"No. No. This isn't happening. You can't leave. I need you," I said, feeling the tears soaking my naked chest and neck.
He moved closer to me, "No. Don't touch me." I said, moving away from him, only to see his face twist with rejection and shock. "You're leaving me. Why didn't you tell me last night? You knew last night that's why you were so unresponsive in your texts. You never said anything." I felt hurt. I felt my heart breaking within my chest. My heart was racing even faster as I raised my voice, "are you fucking kidding me Louis? Did you know about this before? How long have you known? Did your mom really tell you last night, or have you known for weeks?"
His face was still twisted in shock, though he never raised his voice. He never raised his voice at me ever. He never made me feel scared, "I'm sorry Tarin. I love you. I don't want to leave you. When my mum called last night I yelled at her, pleaded with her. Love, I don't want to go anywhere." He continued moving towards me, clearly desperate for affection in a moment like this.
I continued moving away, "why?"
"What?" He asked, confused.
"Why are you leaving so much earlier?" I repeated.
"I-I don't know . . ." He trailed off.
"Oh, that's fucking bullshit Louis!" I yelled in his face.
He still never raised his voice, "I'm serious love."
"Don't fucking lie to me you asshole!" I yelled, fists balled up at my sides.
"I'm not lying! My mum called and told me I need to come home because something happened at home and she wants to tell me. I pleaded with her, continually asking why, but she refused to tell me. She said she would only tell me in person!" He still couldn't keep eye contact with me.
"Bull," I might have believed him, but I didn't care. I'd never see him again, and he broke my heart. I never wanted to talk to him again. "Well, I guess this is goodbye." I spat. I was so pissed off. Why'd he even ask me out, knowing he'd only be here for a few months? I fell hopelessly in love with this fool, and he was leaving me here, standing in my tear soaked grad dress. We never even had a proper slow dance as a couple.
"Well, I guess so," he said and he walked away from me, turning around before reaching the parking lot and waving at me.
And I sat on the grass, not caring if my dress got stained, crying into my hands. My heart ripped out of my chest and stomped on in the grass. I felt my face swell as the tears fell down my cheeks, my body rocking in sobs.
He left me. I'd never see Louis again. I'd never talk to Louis again.
Turns out our love did have an expiration date . . .