Falling

Jess is just starting her second semester of being a Junior in high school. To start the semester off, she volunteers to show the new kid around the school. Mainly because she gets to skip gym class, but also because she is intrigued by the idea of meeting someone new. Over the first month of school, Jess becomes really close friend with the new student, but who wouldn't become best friends with Louis Tomlinson. He's funny, entertaining, and not to mention cute, but Jess would never admit to thinking that. Louis is always there for Jess, especially when she gets heart shattering news that changes everything.

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33. Part 2: College

Late November, two weeks before classes end for Thanksgiving Break.

 

After being in college for three months, being away from my family for three months, and not seeing Louis for three months, I was really beginning to feel at home. My room didn’t feel so isolating anymore, I was able to sleep a full night without waking up and missing my home. My classes didn’t feel so terrifying, I was growing more comfortable with large lecture halls and was keeping up with the workload. The people on my floor weren’t as intimidating anymore, I had my group of people that helped me feel more comfortable at my home away from home. I was able to maintain grades, a social life, and my relationship with Louis. 

It was easier than I expected it to be, adjusting to the crazy, overwhelming new sense of independence. I liked be able to control my day; it was up to me to decide when I eat lunch, what I eat for dinner, when I go to bed, how often I study. There’s no one around to decide things for me, it’s al up to me. Which was really terrifying at first, but I’ve grown into the responsibility. I’m still learning to control myself in certain situations, mostly in the money and junk food and Netflix binging department, but college is honestly all it’s cracked up to be.

Though it would be a lot more fun if Louis was here to go through it all with me.

Louis is living an extraordinary life at Juilliard. He’s putting himself out there to achieve his dreams, and I’m extremely proud of him. I feel so special to be able to follow him as he works for his future, there’s no one else I’d rather be in a relationship than him. He’s truly amazing. 

There isn’t a day that we don’t talk to each other, whether it be through text, FaceTime, Snapchat, or phone call. I tell him everything about my day, even the most boring details of it, and he tells me all about his life in New York. We are living such separate lives, but we have found a way to bring them together in the simplest ways. Even if our conversations consist of only emojis, or just facial expressions through Snapchat, I feel close to him. And there are those days where we hardly say more than a few words to him, but I know it’s because we are both trying to find ourselves at our new homes.

Sometimes it gets hard to not be able to spend as much time with him as I want, even if that time is through technology. There’s a lull in the semester, since it’s slowly dragging through the middle, and it occasionally feels like our relationship is going through the same thing. There are moments where it feels like he’s wasting his time when he’s talking to me; he’s always rushing off to do something new and exciting, while I’m stuck sitting in my dorm room craving more time with him. 

But I still feel grateful to have him in my life at all. Of course this long distance relationship will have it’s moments, it’s just something that happens. 

On Tuesdays, we have a weekly FaceTime call to catch up on everything out our lives that we haven’t had a chance to talk about. The calls are something that I always look forward to. They’ve made Tuesdays my favorite day of the week. 

“Hey, are you getting ready to call your man?” My roommate, Alissa said as she was getting ready for her night class.

“Yeah, just waiting for him to call,” I smiled. “We haven’t texted much this past week, and I’m excited to hear his voice.”

“That’s cute. Have a nice chat with your lover boy,” she smiled back.

“Have fun in class,” I waved to her as she left the room.

I turned back to my laptop and played around for a few minutes, waiting for the ring of the FaceTime app to sound. Louis was always the one to initiate the calls, for no reason in particular but purely because it grew into a habit. He was always right in front of the camera when I answered, smiling the contagious smile of his that always brightened my day.

He was always on time.

I took the notion this time and sent him the FaceTime request. 

He answered after several rings.

“Jess,” he smiled. “What are you up to?”

“Well, I was waiting for you to call me…” I said, half smiling at the boy on the computer screen.

“Oh, crap,” his face fell. “Jess, I totally forgot.”

“I realized that,” I bit my lip.

He ran his fingers through his hair. “I can’t talk now, though. I’m about to go out and see this new play that some of my friends are in.”

“Oh.”

“I wouldn’t go if it wasn’t important.”

“Yeah, just call me tomorrow,” I hung up.

I rested my head in my hands and rubbed my forehead. I was overreacting. This was the first time that this has ever happened.

But a tradition is still a tradition. 

My phone vibrated on my desk. Louis was calling me.

“I thought you were too busy to talk,” I answered, standing up.

“Jess, is everything okay?” He asked.

“Why wouldn’t it be? It’s Tuesday, and we’re having our weekly FaceTime call. Oh, wait. No we aren’t.”

“I made a mistake, you can’t blame me for forgetting. It’s the middle of the semester, and a lot is going on here.”

“Louis, you can’t just forget something that we’ve done every week since the middle of August.”

“I don’t know what you want from me.”

“An apology would be nice,” I bit my lips, feeling tears rising in my eyes.

“I did apologize.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Well, I’m sorry. I really am.”

“You should have said that sooner.”

“You never gave me a chance.”

“You had your chance to talk to me, but you forgot!”

“People make mistakes!”

There was a silence.

“I really need to go.”

“Of course you do. Bye, Louis.” I shook my head and tossed my phone on my bed.

I could hear my phone vibrating, but I ignored it.

It’s so unlike him to act like this. He’s usually excited to talk to me, he’s usually willing to drop his plans to have a conversation with me. He’s usually a better boyfriend.

——

The next day, I skipped my classes. I slept through them, unable to find the strength to get out of bed. I knew that I would need to call Louis at some point; he left me several voicemails and text messages, and it would be horrible of me to ignore them for any longer. 

I didn’t want to have that conversation with him. I didn’t want to have to have this fight with him. I wanted everything to be okay between us, but I could feel myself distancing from him ever since our phone call ended last night. It wasn’t like us to have disagreements. We weren’t the type of people to have fights over everything and make up hours later. Our only fight was due to the loss of my brother, and, even then, I still felt a strong pull to him. But, now, I didn’t want to have a single thing to do with him.

“Jess, what happened last night?” Louis said as he answered his phone.

I rolled onto my back. “You forgot about our FaceTime and rushed to end our conversation even though we’ve barely talked for a week.”

“And obviously there’s no blame on your part because there never is.”

“Are you saying that this is my fault? I called you. I tried to get you to talk to me. I made an effort because I missed hearing your voice and wanted to know how you’ve been doing.”

“Can you stop blaming me for everything that’s been going wrong with us? Think about it for a second, Jess. A relationship is a two-way street.”

I was shocked into silence. “Louis, what happened last night had nothing to do with me. You forgot, that’s not my fault.”

He sighed loudly.

“Louis,” I snapped. “Grow up!”

“Are you going to hang up on me again?”

“Can you just accept that maybe you’re to blame here?”

“No because it was just a mistake! I don’t know why you’re overreacting so much.”

“I am not overreacting!” I sat up.

“I’m not talking about this anymore,” he hung up.

——

Late November, the day before classes end for Thanksgiving Break.

 

“Jess, are you feeling any better?” Alissa asked me.

“No,” I said, putting down my pencil to look at her.

“Have you talked to Louis at all in the last two weeks?”

“No,” I frowned. “We’ve never gone this long without talking.”

“Do you think you should try calling him?”

“I feel like that’s only going to end with us fighting. I can’t find it in myself to make an effort here. Something just seems so different about this.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the last time we fought, I craved him every second of it. I still wanted to be his girlfriend, despite how mad I was. And, this time, I don’t want to talk to him. I feel so distant from him, it’s really affecting me.”

“At least you get to go home for break tomorrow. Are you going to see him then?”

“Probably. Last time I talked to my parents, they were still planning on having his family over to our house for Thanksgiving dinner.”

“Do they know that you and Louis got into a fight?”

“No. I don’t want to ruin their plans for my sake.”

She nodded. “I’m sorry, Jess.”

I tried to smile. “Thanks.”

“This will all work out, I know it. I’ve never met Louis, but clearly you guys have a strong connection.”

I nodded. She stood up and patted my back, leaving me alone in the room.

If Louis and I have a good connection, then why do I feel like everything is falling apart between us? It’s been so weird not talking to him. The best part of my day has been taken from me, and, now, all I do is go back to my dorm after class and sit in there alone. There aren’t little texts throughout the day, there aren’t funny Snapchats in my inbox after class, there aren’t cute voicemails to listen to at the end of the day. There’s nothing but silence.

“Jess.”

I looked up at Alissa standing in the doorway. “Yeah?”

She smiled and opened the door, and there stood Louis, hands in his pockets, a small smile on his face.

I stood up as he stepped into my room, the door closing behind him. As he stood there, I felt the tears come to my eyes and slide down my cheeks. Louis looked at me and took a step forward, then took the same step back.

“What are you doing here?” I wiped my cheeks.

“Are you okay?” He stepped closer, reaching out to touch my arm. 

I moved back. “What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to talk to you, but you weren’t answering any of my attempts to contact you.”

“There’s a reason for that. And that doesn’t mean you should have gotten on a plane and come all the way here. You’re insane.”

“I know. And I’m also stupid and forgot about something super important to us.”

I sat down on my bed, wiping more tears. Louis stood in front of me.

“Please say something.”

“I don't know what to say.”

He nodded slowly. “We’ve never gone this long without talking.”

“I know,” I bit into my lip again. “I just don’t know what to say to you.”

“Can I sit down?” 

“There’s a chair there,” I pointed to my desk chair.

He turned and pulled it out, placing it in front of my bed, and he sat down. “Why are you so mad at me?”

I crossed my arms. “I feel like we’ve been so distant lately.”

“I know what you mean, and I think I have played a decent part in that. I haven’t been the boyfriend that I should be.”

“We talk every Tuesday.”

“I know.”

“Every Tuesday.” More tears fell my eyes as my head fell into my hands.

Louis was at my side in a second, his arms pulling me against him. 

“Why did you forget?”

“It was such an honest mistake. I was so caught up in what my friends were doing that I didn’t even think about the fact that it was Tuesday. And I know that that is a horrible thing to say, but it’s what happened. I can’t take it back no matter how much I want to.”

I looked at him. 

“Why are you here? Don’t you have class?”

“I’m only missing two days. I needed to make sure that we would be okay,” he looked at me. “Are we okay?”

“I’m not sure.”

He nodded.

“You flew all the way here…” I whispered.

He nodded again.

“I can’t believe you,” I smiled shyly. “I thought that I was the grand gesture one in this relationship.”

“I hate to show you up, babe, but I think I beat you at that role.” 

My heart fluttered at the pet name.

“I love you.”

Relief filled his face. “I missed you so much.” 

“I missed you, too,” I pulled him closer to me.

“I promise to never forget another call.”

“Promises can get hard to keep, Lou.”

“But I mean this one.”

——

For the rest of that evening, I showed Louis around my campus. I took him to my favorite study spots, to eat at my favorite restaurant, and to meet my friends. We fell into our old patterns quickly, the small kisses, the faint touches, the cute jokes that only the two of us understand. It was lovely to feel his hand in mine again, his arms around me again, his kiss on my skin again. I fell in love with him again.

That night, I fell asleep next to him, feeling the recent distance between us close by miles. We fell asleep talking, small things that we had missed out on hearing the past few days and other nonsensical things that came to our minds. His touch explored my skin, my fingers played with his hair. It was a beautiful feeling to have him this close to me again. He warmed my heart.

And, when we woke up the next morning, the feeling was still there. It was easy to forget about our recent disagreement because the love in my heart replaced the harshness of the day before. Being with him made me feel selfish for ever feeling like he didn’t care about me enough. Because of course he does. He’s Louis. He could never stop caring about me.

It was an easy wake up to have the first thing I saw be him. He was smiling at me, fingers tracing up and down my arm. I felt spoiled to be in his presence a day earlier than originally planned.

“Hi,” he smiled warmly.

“Good morning,” I kissed his cheek.

“Did you sleep well?” 

“Better than ever,” I smiled. “Did you?

“Of course.”

“I want to wake up next to you every morning,” I said to him.

“I don’t,” he joked. “You produce a lot of body heat when you sleep.”

“I do not.”

“You really do. And you hog all the covers.”

“It’s not my fault that this tiny twin bed doesn’t have huge covers. And at least my breath doesn’t smell like dog poop when I wake up,” I raised my eyebrows.

I giggled as Louis wrapped his arms around my body and rolled me closer to his side. 

“You know I’m joking right?” He asked. 

I nodded, resting my cheek on his chest. 

“Good,” he smiled. “Because I would absolutely love to wake up next to you everyday.”

“What’s got you acting so lovey-dovey?”

“I’m just in a good mood, I guess.”

“I like it when you’re in a good mood.”

“I like you. Scratch that, I love you.”

“You’re cute,” I leaned forward to place a small kiss on his lips.

“I know I am.”

I laughed. “You’re kind of cocky, aren’t you?”

“Maybe a little. But you like it.”

“That I do.”

Louis sat up, and we sat facing each other.

“We still have the room to ourselves.”

“Yep.”

“Hmm.”

“What?”

“I was just thinking about what we could do.”

I leaned closer to him. “And what can we do?”

“Play Monopoly?” 

I laughed and stood up. “That’s exactly what I was thinking!”

The room was filled with a peaceful feeling that left me feeling content from the inside out. A feeling that can only be created by being in the presence of my love, my Louis.

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