Forever Young

"It was the first kiss and the first time I felt connected to anything."

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56. Chapter 56

Eve's POV:

Ashton and Grace come over the day we leave for the airport to help me pack, we don't have to leave until later tonight so we take our time.

 

"I can't believe you haven't packed yet." Grace complains as she folds my favorite pair of jeans. "I packed like, the second my parents said yes."

 

"Well for the longest time I didn't think I was going."

 

"Oh c'mon, you knew your dad would say yes eventually." She says.

 

"Actually no," I say. "No, I didn't."

 

Grace and I continue to pack, picking out what to wear and what to throw out.

 

"Eve, can I have these?" She asks, referring to my combat boots.

 

"What? No, I wear those all of the time!"

 

"Well if you give them to me, then I can wear them all of the time." She jokes and I throw the shirt I was folding at her.

 

"Um, ladies…" I hear a subtle, low voice come from the door. It's Ashton. "I can see you guys are getting a lot of packing done…" He jokes.

 

"Hey! We are. More than I can say for you." Grace teases, Ashton walks in with us and shuts the door.

 

"I am working," He says. "I'm working on getting the big guy out there to like me."

 

"Mr. Router?" Grace asks. "He's so easy to talk to, though."

 

"Maybe to you," He grabs a t-shirt and helps us fold. "But he literally hates me. He was watching the game when I was helping Ms. Jane cook and said, "Football; now that's a career. Nothing silly like, playing in a band or something.""

 

"Oh, Ash, he's just playing with you." I try to ease up on him a little. "And that means he likes you, he just has a funny way of showing it."

 

"He hates me."

 

Okay, well, he's not listening to me…

 

We finish with my closet and Grace and I go through accessories. We all finish by 5:00pm and decide to eat the mouth watering dinner Jane cooked for all of us.

 

"This is delicious, Jane!" Michelle exclaims.

 

"It is really good," Grace agrees.

 

"Aw, well thank you you guys. But you should thank Ashton too, he helped with most of it."

 

I look over at shy Ashton and smile.

 

Man, my boyfriend's great.

 

Jane serves everyone, like a real mother, and pulls out the chair next to me. She kisses my head before she sits in the most casual way.

 

I'm really going to miss her, I mean, I'm going to miss everyone but… I wish we would've spent more time together. 

 

But at least I don't have to worry about the family fighting all of the time when I'm not around, I know she'll take care of them. All of them.

 

Hell, at this rate maybe she'll talk Britt into getting a real job.

 

Well maybe, I wouldn't get my hopes up though.

 

"When do you guys have to leave?" Michelle asks me.

 

"Um… Two hours, I think. Maybe sooner."

 

"Oh," Michelle's head drops.

 

I'm going to miss her too.

 

Why is it now just occurring to me that I won't see them for ten months? I knew what I was doing when I said yes. And what am I really getting in return?

 

I look over at Ashton.

 

Damn, I love him so much.

 

I couldn't even think of being away from him for that long, I just simply wouldn't be able to function right. At least I know that my family will be visiting and calling all of the time, I could show them the cities we'd be visiting, I'd Skype with them. It'll be okay. It'll be fine.

 

"Hey, you okay?" Ashton asks, I lift my head and nod.

 

"Yea, I'm fine." I bring up a weak smile and he doesn't argue.

 

****

 

The car is packed. The sun is down, our planes leaves in an hour and we have to get going.

 

Britt hugs me first.

 

"No whiskey on the planes." She says and then lets me go. "And no guns." Britt grins, I smile back at her.

 

"Thanks Britt, love you too."

 

Jane walks up to me and squeezes me tight. "I'm gonna miss you, Eve. Have fun." She whispers.

 

"Thank you Jane, I will."

 

Michelle slowly walks towards me.

 

"C'mere." I pull her into my arms and hug her. "I love you," I whisper.

 

"I love you too." She says, I let her go and walk up to my dad while the rest of the girls tell Ashton bye.

 

"So…" I say and my dad, taking me by surprise, grabs me and wraps his long arms around me, squeezing me until I can't breathe. Dad's much taller than me, taller than Ashton, too, I believe. I hug my arms around his torso.

 

"Be safe." He says.

 

"I will."

 

"And don't do anything stupid."

 

"I won't."

 

"And Skype me." He says and I laugh, because we both know he does't know what that means.

 

"I love you, daddy."

 

"I love you, too, sweetie."

 

After a beat he lets me go and kisses me on the head, then walks over to Ashton. He says something to him and I don't know what, My dad's only a little bit taller than Ash but his confidence makes him look 10 feet tall.

 

I walk over to the two and say goodbye one more time, then me and Ashton get into the car. I wave to my family as we pull out.

 

"Are you alright?" Ashton asks when we pull out.

 

"Yea, yea I'm okay…" I say quietly. "It's just hard, that's all."

 

 

"It'll be okay, baby." He places his hand on my leg. "It'll be okay."

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