Do you ever just see a beautiful stranger? Not just a stranger that looks nice, but a really beautiful stranger who just captures you with the way they look and the way they act and makes you think about them at 2 am. A beautiful stranger that leaves you wonder struck and makes you somehow want to see them again and be with them forever yet at the same time, make you want to stay away from them so they remain this mysterious beautiful person that's in the world that would never hurt you.
I should have gone with the latter.


14. 14

Rose's point of view

"Rose?" Rain whispers, waking me up. 

I groan, turning over to check my phone for the time. I see that Ethan has sent me a message. 

Rosy Posy, I had a wonderful time with you. I just wanted to tell you I'll give you a lift to school tomorrow, just come to mine at 7:30 x

I smile to myself but Rain tugs my arm urgently again. I frown at him. 

"What do you want?" I whisper.

"Mum and Dad are shouting at each other." he whispers back. 

He has to be dreaming. Our parents never fight. They barely disagree but when they do, they agree to disagree. I can't even imagine them fighting about anything but when I stop thinking so hard, I hear them. They aren't shouting but I can hear them hissing and getting very stressed at each other and I'm scared. This may be normal in some households, but not here. Something has to have gone wrong.

"Stay in here and watch Noah,  I'll go check on it baby." I kiss his forehead and quietly step along the hallway until I reach their room, listening to them hiss at each other. 

"No, Louise, it's not okay!" my dad says in a low voice. A very low, angry voice. 

"Mark, she is fifteen years old, she is meant to be doing these things!" my mum hisses back.

Dread fills me. This is because of me and I know exactly who else.

"Yes, with other fifteen year olds!" his voice escalates. "Not people like him!"

She laughs bitterly. "People like him?! He seems like a perfectly lovely young man, just because he's older doesn't mean it's any different to her being with somebody her own age!"

"Of course it's different! She's so young, he's going to manipulate her so easily! And it's not just that, it's that she brought him here into our house without our permission. That is not okay."

"Oh for god's sake Mark, she probably thought nothing of it!" my mum shouts back. 

"Then why isn't she telling us about him?" he yells. "As soon as she wakes up in the morning, I'm having a talk with her. She's unbelievable."

"Mark, no-"

"Yes, Louise. Enough."

I start to shake. I'm the one thing that made my parents argue. I'm in so much trouble. My mum was right, I really didn't think anything of him coming over. I knew my dad would hate it if he knew that Ethan was eighteen so the plan was to keep it from him but I didn't mean for anything horrible to happen. How do they even know? I think back to Ethan leaving my house, trying to kiss me and then kissing my hand. I knew my neighbours would see and say something.

I rush back into my own room and Rain looks at me with those big eyes. I stop sniveling and smile. I'm glad that in the darkness, he can't see how watery that smile is. 

"It's all okay." I whisper. "It's fine, they were just pretending."

He grins. "Really?" 

I nod. "Yeah. Go back to bed."

"Love you Rose." he whispers.

"Love you too." I say. It's already 6am, I realise, later than I realised. I can't bear the thought of going downstairs and facing what Dad has to say to me. I quickly scribble a note as if I'm not avoiding them (Mum, dad, had to go to school early with Nicole to finish a project. See you later x). I know they'll see through that right away but I don't care. I quickly get dressed, don't bother with anything else and rush out of the front door. 

I'm meaning to run right to Ethan's house, but I realise I don't know where he lives. I go in the general direction and to the right street and I look up at a window of a house and luckily see him at the window, opening his curtains. He spots me straight away and frowns. I shrug, desperately, hoping he lets me in. He puts a finger up telling me to wait a second and then I see the front door open. 

"Rosy?" he's still frowning, confused. "What's up? I told you not to come until 7:30."

"I know, I'm sorry." I say, walking over to him. He takes my hands, looking at me. "Can I come in anyway please?" 

He nods. "Of course. Of course, come on."

We go up to his room. He has a bed and an armchair and I go to sit on the armchair but he shakes his head and leads me over to the bed, pulling me into his side.

"What's the matter?" he asks, quietly. 

"My parents know about us."

"Oh." he frowns. "Well that's not all that bad is it?" 

"My mum's fine but my dad isn't. They never argue and they were arguing over it this morning. That's why I'm here, I couldn't stay there."

"You can come here whenever you like." he promises. "But is that it then? We can't see each other anymore? Because I don't want to stop seeing you, even if we're just friends."

"I don't know what to do." I say honestly.

"Want my advice?" he asks.

I want to say 'Always' but even though it's happening, I still can't really believe in our feelings for each other. It does kind of feel like it could be a phase but it also feels so real which means if it ends, it's going to hurt more than anything. So I just nod. 

"Just tell them the truth."

I frown. "That'll never work. That works in movies, not real life. Why don't I just tell them that I won't see you again and we do the whole sneaking around thing?" 

"I don't want to sneak around with you." he whispers. "I've done that with girls before and it always ended and I kept doing it with every girl but I'm not risking it with you."

"It's that or nothing." I whisper back. "I'm sorry. You can walk away right now."

He shakes his head. "No, not that."

"Okay then. Just please, don't go near my parents or my house."

He nods. "Of course."

I kiss his cheek. "Thank you."

He nods, still not seeming too happy about it. This whole thing came out of nowhere. I don't even know how it happened or where it is now. One minute he was just a boy at a castle and all of a sudden, in the space of a few weeks, we are this. I know it shouldn't be this way, we don't know everything about each other, but somehow we love each other a lot.

"Hey." I whisper. "We'll be okay."

He nods and then kisses me. It's not exactly the same as yesterday, but it's almost the same. It's like a sad version. He holds onto my face, still kissing me and I slide over into his lap at the same time he pulls me over. I rest my forehead on his. 

"We'll be okay." I say again just in case he didn't believe me the first time. Or just in case I didn't believe myself.


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