Slowly

Emelia Rose moves in with her grandfather after her parents are killed in a car accident. There, she meets the boy who takes care of her grandfather's farm. At first, she detests him. He's way too flirty, confident, and good looking. (John Green: The Fault In Our Stars Competition)

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1. One;

I flinch as I pull my toes out of the cold water. I put them back in a second time and allow them to get used to the temperature. I take a seat on the bridge and dangle my feet right above the crick, allowing my heels to touch the water. I pull out my book, The Last Song, and start to read. I've taken an extreme interest in reading since I moved in with my grandfather this past summer. Actually, reading isn't too bad, I guess. It takes your mind off of everything in your life. Things such as my parents tragic death three months ago. Sorrow fills me thinking about them and all of the fun times I had with them. Biking, vacationing, hiking, playing catch. I won't get any of these things back.

 I try to read but keep getting distracted by the beautiful scenery. The bridge is tiny and old, yes. But, the flowers are almost too bright, making them very addictive.

 

After three hours of not reading, I make my way back down the tiny dirt road that leads towards my grandfather's house. I walk slowly and lazily, not paying attention to where I'm going because of how distracted I am by the flowers. I almost fall into a little stream but, catch myself and try to stay focused on the walk. As usual, I fail at staying focused and fall into the stream, soaking my dress and hair in dirty water.

I groan to myself as I step out of the stream and ring out my dress. It's basically see through, now. Tears start to form in my eyes but, I quickly wipe them away. I start to comb through my short hair with my fingers, again failing to pay attention. I guess it comes natural to me- not paying attention.

I make a turn onto my grandfather's driveway and lazily walk up it. I don't feel like being fast today, I guess. After all, I am having a pretty rough day so far. I walk into the house and hear chatter in the kitchen. I cautiously walk to the door way and hear a kid's voice. Well, he sounds more like a teenager.

I walk into the kitchen, pretending to not notice the teenager sitting with my grandpa.

"Oh, Emelia!" my grandfather calls out.

Slowly, I turn around to face the two of them, "Hi, Pappy."

The boy has to be one of the most gorgeous I have ever seen. His brown hair sweeping across his eye-brows and his eyes a dark brown. Almost too dark. "Hi, I'm Avery."

His smile is flirtatious and his eyes grow even darker when he talks to me. He outstretches his hand.

"Hi, Avery."  I say, taking his hand, "I'm Emelia Rose."

I stare into his eyes and they lighten up, back to their normal color. He's staring into mine as well. They're the exact opposite color of his, bright blue. My hair the same color as his.

My grandfather, thankfully, pulls my attention away from his eyes by saying: "Avery works here every summer. He helps out on the farm."

"So I guess I'll be seeing a lot of you then, yeah?" he asks with a wink.

I roll my eyes at this. I hate flirting. It's not one of my best traits and it just seems tacky, in my opinion. Like, who actually winks? It's kind of creepy.

"Yeah. I live here now." I explain as I pour myself a cup of water.

I look around and notice that my grandfather is no longer in the kitchen. Great.

"Get me one." he demands, that same smile dancing on his lips.

Who demands someone they just met to get them water?  Already, he's ten times less attractive than when I met him.

"Why should I?" I snap back at him.

His smile grows, "Cause I'm extremely attractive and awesome?" he suggests, obviously joking and trying to break the ice.

"Not to mention arrogant." I mumble under my breath.

I feel his breath on my neck then and instantly turn around, spilling my water on his chest. I start to laugh as he panics about being wet.

"You're wet." I say, trying to hold back my laughter.

"Really?" he asks, sarcastically, "I hadn't noticed." His eyes flicker as he gets an idea, obviously a good one in his mind. "Guess I'll just have to take off my shirt." He watches for my expression. He wants to make me nervous, to put me under his charming spell. Well, it won't work.

"Go ahead." I shrug, as if I wouldn't care. After all, I probably shouldn't.

As he's pulling his shirt over his head, I walk up the stairs in the corner of the room toward my bedroom. Immediately, I pull off my dress and underclothes. I change into shorts and a tee, much comfier now that I plan to stay at home. 
Thankfully, I see no more of Avery that night.

 

 

"Wake up, Emelia." I hear a husky voice say as I'm shaken into consciousness.

My eyes widen at the sight of Avery. He chuckles, "You're supposed to help out on the farm?" he confirms.

I nod slowly as I yawn. How attractive.

He laughs, "Be at the chicken coop in twenty then."

After he leaves my room, I run into the bathroom and shower as quickly as possible. I dress, brush my hair, and put on make-up. Surprisingly, all in under twenty minutes. I grab a water bottle and walk outside. The heat instantly hits me. It's eight o'clock, how is it ninety degrees already? I walk toward the chicken coop and see Avery there.

"Hey," he says, looking me up and down, "Your outfits much different than yesterday's."

I look down at my denim shorts, t-shirt, and hiking boots. I shrug, "Working clothes," I mumble.

He laughs, "Well, have you worked out here before?"

I nod, "Anytime you couldn't be here, I was."

He smiles, "I like a working girl."

I roll my eyes. He's too flirty.

"Look, I'm sorry. I always flirt. I feel as though I was a bit arrogant when we met."

I nod, "Yeah, a bit."

He chuckles, "So let's just start over. Be friends." He stretches out his hand and I take it.

"Friends."

------------------------------------

 

 

"Are you okay?" Avery asks me.

I pull my gaze from the mini fish in the creek and place it on his face. "What?" I ask, before I realize his question, "Oh, yeah. I'm fine." I nod.

"You've just been a bit distant lately." he comments.

The truth is, I have been. It's been three months since Avery and I decided to become friends. Immediately, we started hanging out. We see each other as best friends, now. We tell each other everything, basically. Well, I've told him everything except for this feeling that has been tormenting me for two and a half months, now. I feel empty. Like I don't care for anything or anyone. But, I know that isn't true. I've never had such a great friend. I stopped grieving a few months ago. I'll admit, at first I blamed this feeling on the death of my parents. But, I stopped grieving not long after this sort of depression hit me.

I shrug, "I'm sorry."

We sit and look out over the creek. The same place I was that morning that we met.

"I know how you'll feel better." he says with his signature smile on his face.

I smile as well, "Well, how's that?"

"Ice-cream!" he says as if it's the most obvious thing in the world.

I laugh, mainly at the adorable way he says 'ice-cream.' "I could use some ice-cream." I say after a few more minutes of silence.

We walk down the dirt road. The same dirt road we have walked down many times before. I can feel his brown eyes staring at me. I've felt this a lot recently. He likes to look at me.
I look around at the flowers, they aren't as bright as they were when I first discovered this dirt road. Instead of bright yellow, I see more of a buttercup color. Instead of clear ocean blue, I see dirty ocean blue. The colors have faded just like me.

I see everything in a negative light now. I have no idea why. It's like this negative gene is overriding my normal positivity. I feel awful. All I want to do is lay in bed and cry. I always cry. It makes no sense to me.

 

 

We arrive at 'Tiny's Ice-Cream', the absolute best ice-cream parlor I've ever been to.

"Hey, Jack!" Avery waves as we walk in, the bell dinging that signals another customer. Another scoop of ice-cream. Another story that is walking into the shop.

"The usual?" Jack asks, pushing his blond curls out of his face.

I nod. Avery mimics my moves.

"Alright. I'll bring it out."

I smile at Jack's nice personality. If there is only one good to the core person in the world, it'd be Jack.

Avery ushers me toward the table by pulling my wrist. We sit for a few silent minutes before Jack brings our ice-cream. For me, two scoops of chocolate-chip cookie dough. For Avery, three scoops of plain vanilla. I never understood how someone could only eat vanilla. I never could.

I pick at my ice-cream as Avery eats his insanely quick. I see his smile fall into a frown, "Emmy. You're not okay." he states.

I nod, "I know. I just don't know what's wrong." I say as I drop my gaze on his big brown eyes.

He puts his hand under my chin, lifting my head up to meet his eyes. "I don't like seeing you so sad." 

As I stare into his eyes for the millionth time in the past three months, I realize that my world is sitting in front of me. He's the reason I feel like this. He's the reason I was able to get over the death of my parents. He's the reason I don't look at any other guy. Avery Wallace.

He suddenly drops his gaze as well as his hand. "Emelia?" he sort of questions.

"Yeah?"

"I-I love you." he stutters, looking back into my eyes.

All I have to see is his brown eyes and it takes nothing for me to say, "I love you, too."

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