Chapter Thirty Seven - He comes in the black of night
I exited my morning math lesson alongside Bec. I spent the lesson consumed in my thoughts rather than educating myself on volume and capacity. In contrast to the focused and organized class, I was a mess, enveloped in the never ending spiral of my thoughts which was on the current topic of the prospect of enjoying my life if I were to move to the outskirts of Melbourne.
To some people, like Tara, this decision would have been quick and easy. Some people. Not me, I was engulfed in the pressures and possibilities of what the future holds. There was always the fact that I could visit my mother and Tara, but that would be every weekend so there really was not a point. There was the pressure of my father, who would be there with him in the house if I was to desire to stay with my mother and he were to endure the consequence of having to live in the big house alone.
There was the risk of leaving before the last week of school and then detaching myself from my baby project, I couldn't just abandon incomplete assignments. There was the possibility that I could have a good time and enjoy my summer holidays unlike staying the boring city of Melbourne.
There was also the chance that we were only away temporarily so then that if I were to leave with my mum, it would just be a holiday. But then if it wasn't temporary, there was the underlining truth that has been gnawing at my brain that is summed up in two words. Luke Brooks.
He is the reason that is holding me back at the moment. I've asked my dad about the current situation. I asked him what I should do. He seemed quite calm before he began slipping into old habits. He said that I shouldn't stay because of some boy and high school relationships never last. That was a downer. When I pestered him for further answers, he simply turned the television on and zoned me out.
I was left with the thought that maybe my father didn't want me to stay at all. This morning I asked for his opinion again but I was left speaking to the same emotionless brick wall. As I progressed to exit my house this morning I thought I came to the conclusion which was that I was to move, now I'm left undecided all over again.
I was halted in the middle of the corridor, flooded with teenagers determined to get to their next destination. A body stood in front of me and clicked in my face, desperate to grasp any strand of my attention.
"Ok Alex, I tried ignoring it but I can't. I didn't want to push it but seriously, what the hell is going on?" Bec asked with an alarmed look on her face.
"Alex, please, tell me." She pressed as conern laced upon each lingering word.
I sent her a half-hearted smile as I pulled her towards the wall. We were confined in a small space between the end of the lockers and a class room door which was wide open. So it was that I allowed every single concern and worry of this current situation slip off my tongue, while Bec stood and took it all in.
Her eyes remained widened as she sighed, "Wow."
I nodded in agreement. She wore a face as though she was just hit by a ton of bricks, a feeling mimicked when I also found out the current situation. Bec inhaled, composed herself before voicing her opinion. She explained why I should stay: to maintain our friendship. She also said that it was a great opportunity to get out and start fresh, even if it was only temporary.
I didn't want someone else making the choice for me but I did want other peoples input. "In the end Alex, it's your choice. I'll still love you no matter what," she said sincerely which brought a smile to my face.
By now the majority of the traffic in the corridor had vanished, only the slackers or latecomers were wondering aimlessly around the halls. Bec and I had English class in the same direction so we spoke and walked to the other side of the school. "What does Luke think?" She asked quickly.
"Brooks doesn't want me to go which is understandable, his points are valid and I'm not saying I want to leave him but I also don't want to not go because of him. If that makes any sense at all." I replied.
"You love him but you don't want him to hold you back on the possibilities of what could be. Think about it, you could get an internship out there, really establish your name, maybe work at the Museum and perform lectures." Bec gushed and my eyes glistened as I allowed her words of pure imagination soak in.
"Exactly, but then there is also the possibility that nothing happens. I spend the time out there with my mum, enjoying some quality girl time. Nurture my relationship with her because my dad has gone silent again." I shook my head at my wild ideas. "But I can't leave Brooks."
We were drawing closer to our english rooms. Bec offered me a sympathetic smile, she rubbed my arm and gave me a hug. She whispered, "For Luke's sake, If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were." With that she walked to her classroom and sat in her seat.
With an overwhelming mind, I did the same. I advanced into my classroom, excused myself for my tardiness, took my allocated seat and stared aimlessly at the blackboard. The single word poems was written in blue chalk across the black board and soon my teacher began the lesson.
"Today we will be doing an activity based on your creativity. Considering you are young people who have problems and worries circling your minds, I'd like to give you the opportunity to creativily write your story in the form of a poem. I want you to think of an idea, an experience that you have had and I want you to write a poem based on it. I want to feel your emotion as you present them when the class draws to an end." With those few instructions, we were expected to start immediantly.
"Psst." I heard from beside me as my pen wandered around my paper. I jerked my head up and saw Brooks softly staring at me.
"Why were you late?" He inquired calmly in a low voice.
"I walked slowly, I guess." Shrugging, I gazed back down to my blank sheet. Clicking my biro pen, I began to put pen to paper. My result was a flower on the corner beside the date.
"Have you been thinking about what you're going to do?" Brooks whispered from beside me.
"I've been thinking, but I have no conclusion yet." I admitted with an inaudible sigh.
"No speaking please. Allow the creative juices to flow freely without distraction." The teacher said, silencing the class room.
Still with a blank page, I admitted defeat with words not being my friend today. I sunk low in my chair and drew a spiral in the back of my book, allowing bordom to take it's toll. A small paper plane scooped onto my blank paper from the westerly direction. Grasping it in my hands, I impatiantly unfloded it. It reminded me of when I got into detention and received my first hand written note from Brooks.
I know what your answer will be. Just know, I will not be mad no matter your choices.
I sucked in a sharp breath, an ache in my heart erupted upon reading his words over and over again. Eighteen words, two sentences and suddenly a pang in my heart. Was this the beginning of many more aches?
With a shaky hand, directly beneath his writing, I responded: Thank you.
It took a long time before the next one came. I wasn't expecting a response because I didn't think there was a need for one. I managed to write three sentences within this time, but still, I carefully unvieled the message which I received in an almost identical paper plane. This message was evidently shorter but did the most damage.
I will miss you.
No nicknames, no jokes, no remarks. Just a simple statement which tore me a part. A tear slipped my eye as I imagined his voice in my head like he recited this note to me. Instead of replying, I closed my eyes, carefully folded the plane back up and I placed it in my pocket. I was planning to keep this note. The first note which showed signs of my heart breaking.
They didn't think we'd be the one's who would make it to the end,
They believed we were more opposites than Romeo and Juliet.
I was never one to deny my undying love,
You are my angel sent from above.
It is now that I believe that this love is harder than others,
Harder than one experienced between a son and their mother.
We have an obstacle that potentially separates us, although we may prolong,
But I believe we can persevere, stick together and prove others wrong.
If I had to choose my dying words to thee,
It would be I love you, no matter a degree.
I wasn't wanting to share this poem with anyone. Even if it didn't sound like any of shake spears works, it still had as much as emotion as I could put forward. When the teacher asked for volunteers to share their poem with the class, everyone stayed silent. All but one.
He stood in the front of the class. One hand in his iron pressed pocket, another on his sheet of paper. His eyes were soft as they looked before the class, meeting any gaze but mine. With a prompt from the teacher and words of encouragement, he parted his lips and then his eyes were set on mine.
Your smile is the only one I see in the crowd of smiling faces.
Your lips are the only ones I desire to be on mine.
Your words and actions are the only ones that I allow to effect me.
I'd be nothing without you, you complete me.
Now we are faced with a task at hand,
One that can separate me unplanned.
No matter your words or choices, I know there will always be hope for us.
Because I love you just as much as on the day I first met you, if not more.
If you were to go and I were to remain here,
I would only complain to you with a tear,
And although you may be away and not in my arms,
I will miss your warmth, your presence and your charms.
His eyes rose from the sheet, they darted to mine for a split second before they were planted on the back wall. The classroom echoed with applause as the teacher complimented Brooks profusely. I turned my head and noticed some girls were in tears, probably because they haven't seen the sensitive side to Brooks like I have until now. I sat dazed by his heavily words and wrapped up in every syllable that left his lips.
The familiar pain I felt in my heart was now amplified. My whole body was consumed by this unwanted ache only ever described in movies known as heart ache. Brooks walked away from the front of the class and he stood dead before my table. This a soft and warm hand to my chin, he lifted it up with his thumb and made me stare into his eyes. I saw a foreign expression screened across his face.
Without a word, he placed the sheet of paper in my hand, he kissed my head before he sat down. Bewildered by his actions, I stared down at the sheet in my hands. It was cleanly printed, computer generated. This only meant one thing -it was previously prepared. Furthermore my heart pounded from within my chest as I knew, he was waiting to hand this to me. This confirmed thesis only made me fall a part more so.
I sincerely believe that if I was to leave that we would make it through it. we would be as strong as our love and make the distance situation work. it has now dawned on me that maybe Brooks doesn't have and doesn't feel the same intensity of our love to persevere through this. I was silent for the rest of the lesson and Brooks hesitated to grasp my attention until the end of class.
"What was your poem about?" He walked swiftly beside me as he watched me attentively.
"You," I wasn't prepared to lie so I plainly stated the truth.
"Can I read it?" He asked cautiously and some what nervously. We were walking to where our group usually are lunch, down at the wooden benches beside the ancient willow tree.
I shook my head, "No, you cannot."
"Why?" He asked in a worried tone. He gave off the impression that he was paranoid which struck me as odd.
"Just not yet." I replied in a softer voice. Although he wasn't content with my response he still nodded and continued to act as though he was unaffected. I hated what I was doing to him.
"Why do I keep doing this?" I whispered soft enough so only he could hear.
"Doing what?" He inquired with an innocent face. His handsome features were close up to mine.
"Shutting yourself out. We are talking but not saying what should be said. It's the silence that is screaming at me. I'm bringing you down, tampering with your life. Brooks, I've changed you." I said with a heavy heart which has almost taken its toll.
He stood before me, dropping his bag and placing his hands on my shoulders. He made sure that I was looking in his eyes as he spoke. "You changed me for the better Al. I've stopped sleeping with girls and breaking their hearts, I've stopped smoking which now allows me to breathe cleaner air, far out Al, I now actually care about my grades. I need you." His intense words lingered in the cool summer air.
"I need you too." That was the only thing I've been able to decide for myself.
"Al, I don't want to be the reason that you stay here in Glenroy. Your relationship with your mum is almost non existent. As much as I want you to stay I know you need to be with her. Just try it out for a week or two and if it's as much hell for you as it will be for me and then say the word and I'll drive three hours to come and pick you up, I will promise you that." His pure brown eyes bored into mine as he spoke to me with utter honesty.
"What shall the word be? The one that you respond to so you come to get me?" I asked with a crooked smile.
"How about a sentence, like I wasn't going to wait for the rain?" He suggested. The sentence was odd but I found myself nodding in agreement.
"Sounds good." I replied as he wrapped his arms around my shoulder.
"So I'm doing this?" I asked as the process of making a decision was drawing to an end.
"We're doing this." He agreed with a small smile. I propped up on my tippy toes and kissed his cheek.
Upon hanging up to inform mum about my choices in the decision made I began she share my mothers excitement. I was already two days behind as it had taken me that long to decide, so I had to fasten the pace in packing my stuff. Considering it was only a temporary move, I decided to only pack the essentials. Things that I use everyday were piled into a big black suitcase and my clothes were packed into another one, congruent to the previously used one.
This activity generated my afternoon. I'd like to point out that in the two days that my father returned home, both boys were asked politely to leave. In reward for their efforts they received one hundred dollars each and Tara and I received fifty. I was so grateful to have my room back, content with the little mess made by Colt, whom is still in the dark about the reason as to why Tara is angry at him.
After completing this task, I continued with my duties in feeding baby Annabelle. I thought of the burden I'd be placing on Brooks to look after Annabelle. We were due to depart in two days, so that meant I had two days to fill up my tank in my car for full petrol, I had two days left to complete any assignments but more importantly, two more days to say goodbye to everyone.
Before I was called down to dinner I unfolded the sheet of paper that was in my pocket. I read over Brooks' poem before I noticed that it wasn't a poem but a song. It had another verse and what I assume to be a bridge. This song was titled My love for Alexandra by Luke Brooks. I closed my eye and allowed the threatened tear to roll down my cheek.
"Girls, dinner." Two words spoken by my dad drew me off my bed, leaving the paper behind and hauled downstairs for dinner. The elephant in the room was the silence shared amongst the table. We were having tacos which we pleasing but I couldn't help but think that maybe the spot across from dad may be filled again.
It would be the second last time that I would be eating dinner with my father, hopefully before my mother returns so I decided to savor the moment.
Today was an emotional day. It all started in the afternoon. Bec, Lilly, Brooks, Willow and Jai all gathered to our home for a small going away party. It was nice as the majority of the time we spent at the park that we grew up in. I convinced Tara that our move would only be temporary but she said that she was contemplating coming back at all. She was certain that Glenroy had nothing to offer her anymore which made me quite sad.
It felt as though I was on the motorcycle again for the first time. My stomach dipped and clenched as we drove along the streets. I was experiencing the similar feeling of my stomach dipping and clenching as Bec pulled me into a hug and said, "I'll miss hanging out with you."
I held her tighter and told her that she could always come down on a fortnight or I'll drive up and we can hang out but she decided to paraphrase which made my gut drop. "I. Will. Miss. Hanging. Out. With. You. Everyday."
Lilly had the same effect as she hugged me. Lilly was never one to hug at all, ever so the experience was further overwhelming. "Don't make any new best friends out there because there is seriously no room for me to move over in your heart." As much as it made me smile, it made me sad.
What I did notice was that Brooks was cracking jokes constantly. Many would say he was just trying to lighten the already thick air but when I looked into his eyes I knew what he was doing. He was trying to lighten the mood for not everyone else's benefit but for his but he was falling a part at the seams. Brooks has always been one good at masking his feelings but to watch him like this was making my heart ache.
"Bring me back down a girl will you?" Jai teased, as he too pulled me into an embrace. To me, Jai has become a brother. Although we have not become as close as I would have liked, we were close enough to have trust in each other and I valued that.
Willow was off with Tara near the swings, where as we were by the pond. We were surrounded by seagulls as we always are and the pond was a moss green colour. No matter the distasteful colour, it was still peaceful out here.
"Don't you go finding another boyfriend out there, and if you do just try not to be the cliche couple. You know, the typical good girl and the bad boy." Brooks joked as he walked slowly towards me. He seemed as though he didn't care, that was the impression he was trying to imprint but I saw past his bad boy act.
With my arms wrapping around his waist, he took another step closer. "Looks like you stripped me of that title." I told him as I tilted my head up.
A smile played on his lips as he looked down on me. "Yes I have," he said in a superior and victorious tone. After I spent what was most likely minutes but felt like seconds, admiring his eyes I felt his body shake. He was chuckling as a smirk etched across his face.
"I'm going to miss the way you look at me," he stated as though he already missed it. Was it that obvious that I looked at him like he was my whole world, my whole universe and everything in between. Could he tell that I looked at him with such love and admiration.
"I'm going to miss this." I admitted as I tested my head on his shoulder and we just held each other.
"I'm going to miss being able to kiss you when ever I feel like it," he openly admitted which caused me to blush.
"Better live it up while I'm still here." I said half seriously and he did not make one move of hesitation. Removing an arm from my lower back, he moved it up towards the left side of my face. Cupping my jaw, with his thumb he stroked my skin softly. Moving his free hand, he placed his fingers at the top of my parting line of my hair. His fingers brushed across my skin and trailed down the side of my face until they stopped mid way. His hand then slipped into my hair and slowly, he leaned down.
A new kiss with Brooks is always different. Each and every time it's as though I'm only every tasting him for the first time. His smell is intoxicating so I was pretty much in heaven. We moved in utter sync as though this kiss was the last, so new passion and emotion was experienced. For a whole perfect minute I forgot about how early I had to wake up the next morning. I forgot about the incomplete homework task I had left for Mr Howard and I forgot about time itself, because in that minute I didn't care about anything except for Brooks.
When we pulled a part, we took some time to catch our breaths but we didn't part. We were just looking at each other with goofy smiles, admitting to ourselves that we had just experienced the best kiss of our lives. I genuinely felt as though I was floating on cloud nine and nothing could break the non drug effected high that I was on. I continued for the remainder of the day, walking around with a cheeky grin on my face.
My lips continued to tingle even as my destination was to bed. Some how, Brooks had convinced my father to allow him to stay the night. With my permission Brooks asked to purely hold me on the last night as of course, I had no objections. "I didn't think guys were into the whole cuddling thing." I admitted as I crawled under my sheets.
Brooks joined me, slipping in adjacent me. He placed a hand on my waist and turned me around so my back was pressed up against his chest. I closed my eyes, inhaled his godly smell and listened to the sound of his heart beat. I felt a warm kiss on the top of my head and then Brooks wished me a good night, similar to ones I received previously.
"Good night Brooks." I whispered back to him and I imagined him smiling as he closed his eyes and slept the night away.
It has been five hours, thirty six minutes and nine seconds since I last saw Brooks in the flesh. Each time I think of him I remember his ragged and sexy morning hair at 6:21. I dragged him out of the bed as I frantically rushed to get dressed and ready for last suitcase checks. By 7:04 we were all ready and the car was piled. My father was in his plain blue pajamas and Brooks was in a batman t-shirt and his boxes, waving us goodbye from the driveway.
That was the moment I first watched Luke Brooks cry. It was the hardest thing for me to do as I peeled out of the driveway. I had only made it three minutes out of the suburb before I pulled over because I was balling my eyes out. I watched more than one tear slip his eye and he didn't have the courage to wipe them away. As I hugged him for the final time before my departure he smiled and said, "Remember the code sentence so I can drag your ass back here."
"I wasn't going to wait for the rain." I recited to him with a satisfactory smileI probably sound way too dramatic but when you watch your cocky, overly confident boyfriend cry because of you, looking so innocent and vulnerable then see if you can call me dramatic.
It has been forty five hours, eighteen minutes and twelve seconds since I last saw Brooks. Spending my first night away from him, my friends and my family was hard. Mum has tried to make it as comfortable as possible which is great. I remembered back to the time where I requested for my life to be like a movie and I deeply regret it. You see, currently we are at the scene where the two characters are a part and it's extremely difficult.
Let me tell you, the feeling of missing someone sucks. The pain in your chest never vanishes, there is a constant reminder that he isnt there and life isnt as glorious as it was when you're with him. And the girl in the movie is desperately waiting to be saved from the challenges by her knight in shining armor. Brooks has attempted to send me random funny text but I end up just replying that I miss him and yet those three words don't do it justice.
He told me to give this place a week or two but I walked around today and I don't see myself fitting into this lifestyle. Back home, we are carefree, sure we fit into stereotypes but at least we are ourselves. Here, it's just filled with business people. Hating their life as they have succumb to a daily ritual. All the houses look the same, all the trees look the same, all the grass is the same colour, all the business suits are the same. Nothing is abnormal or quirky.
I will try my best going for another few days until the weeks draws to an end. I think that when I said I needed Brooks I didn't realise how honest I was being. I just grew accustom to always seeing him, him always being there. But now, I look over my shoulder and no one has my back. I turn to look at someone when someone else says something completely ridiculous but he isn't there to laugh with me.
I didn't realise how weak I was for him. I didn't realise how much I crave for him. My body recognizes his in an instant and misses his warmth just as much as I miss his presence. As I settled into the peach bed, I laid my head on a pillow and heard a rustling noise outside the window. I opened my eyes and stared into complete darkness so I shut my eyes again.
My heart began to race as I heard a knock at the window. Throwing the sheets over my head, I crawled into a ball and did not dare as much to draw a breath. But that was when I heard his voice, his soft easily missed voice. "Al, it's me."
Leaping from my bed, I quickly made my way to the window after switching the light on. I drew open the blinds and stared at him with a big smile on my face. My insides were squealing with relief and my body sighed with relief that it wasn't some random serial killer of Napetown. I unlatched the locks on the windows and made it fly open.
His one hand was pressed on the glass, so on the opposite side I pressed my own hand. He smiled at me, a smile I believed and returned. "Sorry Al," he apologized excused as I helped him through the window, "I wasn't going to wait for the rain."
Here was my knight in shining armor, coming to rescue me from my reality which became hell.