Chasing the Clouds

She just needed to look a little harder to see the best thing in her hard life was standing right before her eyes.

Short story for One Direction Story Of My Life competition.

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1. Chasing the Clouds

This isn't the story of a life, but rather the lesson of one. No matter how hard things are at the moment, you're never truly alone. Sometimes you just need to open your eyes a little more.

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She ran down the sidewalk, throwing her book bag on the front porch of her house and trudging through the snow to get into the backyard. She pulled the hood of her coat close to her face, letting herself drop onto her back and sink into the fluffy snow. She smiled as the thick snowflakes began to cover her glasses, squinting past them to watch the thick snow clouds.

"It's beautiful isn't it?" Lewis towered over her.

"It is."

"Why do you insist on doing this?" He raised a curious eyebrow. Every winter day when he walked by she would be staring at the sky.

She shrugged against the snow, "I just like it."

He shook his head with a small smirk, "No one just likes lying in this cold stuff." He kicked the snow with his boot, sending little bits flying over her.

She laughed. "Go away Lew!"

He stuffed his hands into the pockets of his coat, "Not until you tell me the truth."

"And why should I do that?" Her gaze was still focused on the thick flakes.

"Because we've been friends forever. You can tell me." He pressed, getting more anxious by the second.

"I wish I was a snowflake."

He chuckled, "Now why would you wish that?"

She showed no signs of amusement. "Then I'd be free."

"Free from what?" He shook his head, not understanding.

"Everything," she said thoughtfully.

"Don't get all suicidal on me," he joked lightly. He knew something had been wrong, he just thought she would have spoken to him by now.

"What is there in my life to live for?" Faint tears formed and she blinked them away, but not before he could notice.

"What do you have not to live for?" He countered. "You have your family, your friends, your future. And most importantly you have me!" He tried to lighten the mood, falling down next to her and embracing her into a hug.

"My family is falling apart. My friends...we aren't that close anymore..." She trailed off.

"You're just going through a...rough patch. Give it time." He insisted, he knew the toll the loss of her father was bringing the family. It was two weeks until Christmas and he had been killed in a car accident only days ago. "You're pushing your friends away, because of what's happened. They are still there for you."

She began to shake, "You're all I truly have Lew."

He shook his head, smiling at her. "No, I'm not. I'm just the only one you can't bring yourself to push away."

She gave him a puzzled look, her mitted hands still wrapped around his shoulders. She could feel how formed they were even through the puffy jacket.

"Face it," he smirked. "You're in love with me."

Her jaw went slack, "Lewis!" Her shocked squeal turned into a laughing one when he tackled her down into the snow again.

"Don't Lewis me! You're in denial!" He laughed loudly, enjoying the heat that rose in her cheeks.

She buried her face into his coat, trying to prevent him from seeing how much worse it was getting. He knew he was right.

"It's not working, love."

"Yes it is." She mumble into his coat.

He chuckled, kissing her forehead. "Whatever you say."

She took a deep breath, finally letting herself look up at him. He just starred back into her eyes, watching the wheels in her head turn as she pieced it together herself. All the moments they spent laughing together with insane conversations, followed by the more serious ones. The moments when one of them would cry and the other would be right at their side. She always thought they were nothing more than best friends, she was just afraid to look past that. When she felt her life was falling a part, she didn't want to scare him away to. But now she knew, he couldn't be scarred away.

She reached up quickly, kissing him.

He grinned, kissing her back quickly. He had always known there was something more, he just needed her to confirm it for him.

"So I'm right." He stated with a confident smile.

She rolled her eyes but couldn't stop the grin that tugged at the corners of her mouth nor could she hide the happy spark that lite up in her eyes. Her life may be hard, most of the times, but he was her anchor. Her best friend Lewis was more than she ever thought him to be.

"I love you." He whispered, almost afraid of how she'd react.

She studied him carefully, "I love you too."

He let out cheer, causing her to roll her eyes again. "Aw come on love!" He laughed, pulling her into a tight hug and dragging her up onto her feet.

She clung to him, and he instinctively knew to hold her close for a bit longer. Her body began to shake, not from the cold but the tears that now streamed heavily down her cheeks. Tears of happiness for Lewis and pain for her father.

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