30 Days Of Summer

One year. Twelve months. 365 days to find myself and live on the wild side in Australia. It seemed like a long time at the start. I made friends, learned how to surf, got a nice tan. The usual. Then I met five crazy Australians who changed my life. It wasn’t just the fun, the laughs, the risks, the love. They showed me a part of myself I didn’t even know existed. And suddenly, one year didn’t seem so long anymore. {http://www.wattpad.com/story/11732664-30-days-of-summer}


16. Chapter 16

{ A/N - The big part we've all been waiting for. Most of the credit goes to @missxmartha again. Vote, comment and enjoy. }

♥ ♥ ♥

Darkness fell over Glenroy like a heavy blanket, reaching out to every corner to smother it in gloom. Stars were beginning to come out, twinkling like tiny beacons of laughter and hope. The moon peered from behind an invisible cloud, full and pregnant with promise.

The sand shifted unevenly beneath my silver pumps. I shivered, despite the warmth in the air. The tranquil ocean dissolved into the horizon, barely illuminated by the dappled moonlight. The sea was unnaturally calm that night, and I didn’t know whether to interpret it as a good sign or a bad one.

I scanned the stretch of sand in front of me, squinting through the darkness. He wasn’t here. I slipped off my shoes, the velvety sand tickling my bare skin, and broke into a run. My gaze bounced nervously across the beach, a burning sensation crawling through my chest as I picked up speed, my hair wild as the evening breeze enveloped me in its embrace.

An unexpected wave crashed onto the shore just metres away from me, disturbing the serene set of the sea. I rushed to a half, my heart pounding in my ears. My chest felt tight. Tears burned threateningly behind my eyes and I felt a wave of anxiety wash over me, like the sea as it reached the shore. I knew I needed to find Luke; needed to speak the words that had been fighting their way out of me for so long. It was as if I were a volcano, shaking with pressure and force. I needed to rid myself of the confession I had been too afraid to reveal.

I shivered at the thought of Luke, his eyes hard and unforgiving as he stared at me from across the room, separated by the roaring crowd. I blinked, pushing the image from my mind, and glancing once again at my surroundings. I couldn't see him. He wasn't here.

I had a sudden impulse to sink to the floor, bury myself in the sand and stay there until someone found me. I wanted to separate myself from the rest of the world and the drama I’d entangled myself in. But I resisted the urge, marching forward instead, my gaze scanning the beach desperately.

But something caught my eye, a faded shadow rippling on the dunes of sand. I stepped forward. My breath caught in my throat.

And there he was.

Suddenly all the anticipation and fear seemed to drain away; and in its place was the reality that I would have to face the damage that had inevitably already been caused. I knew what needed to be done. I knew what I had to say.

I just couldn’t find the right words to say it.

With each step closer to Luke my heart pounded, my pulse roaring in my ears. Over the weeks, I’d prepared myself for this moment, but had put it off. Now, I felt more vulnerable and unprepared than ever. I could put it off no longer.

“I came here to...confess,” I started, my voice quiet and achingly uncertain. “But...I guess by now you already know what I was going to say.”

Luke didn't turn, didn't even flinch as I approached him. He stared straight ahead, looking out at the waves as they washed over the shore, more consistent now than they had been just minutes ago. Silence seeped through the gaps between us, so thick it could suffocate me. I wanted to escape away from it all, but I didn't have the strength to run.

“Two weeks,” his voice said in a low, predatory growl after what felt like years. Anger forced each word from between his lips. “You're leaving in two weeks and you didn't even think to tell me?”

His every syllable hit me, knocking me down with such a blow that I could hardly find the energy to get back up and fight.

“Of course I thought about it,” I answered, nausea rising in my stomach as I formed each sentence in my mind. “I just didn't have the courage to confess.”

He turned to me then, his eyes dark with anger. There was something else, too. Something worse. Disappointment.

“You didn't have the courage,” he repeated, capturing my gaze and throwing me a hard stare, “But you still managed to tell everyone else? What, did you think I wouldn't care? Is that it? Were you just saving me until last?”

I shook my head. “Luke, there's a reason why I found it so hard to confess to you.”

He tilted his head ever so slightly to the side, his jaw set, shadows dancing across his face. The look in his eyes was challenging, daring me to compose a valid excuse. “Oh yeah?”

I bit my lip, my gaze glued to the ground. There was a sand castle by my feet, already half-disintegrated. I nudged a clump of gravelly sand with my toe, watching the grains crumble to pieces.

This time, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I knew how to say it. I knew that this was what I wanted, the ultimate confession that I had bottled up inside me for so long. At first I had denied it; dismissed it as soon as the thought appeared. But I knew now that I was right. 

“Maybe I felt like I couldn't tell you because...you meant the most to me,”' I said softly. The words sounded foreign on my lips, but relief was channelling through my blood as I spoke. “Maybe I didn't say anything because I thought that, if I didn't confess, I wouldn't have to leave knowing that I've hurt the one person that is most important to me.”

Luke shifted uncomfortably, staring down at the ground. “But it hurts,” he said simply. “It does. It hurts knowing that I won't see you anymore. It hurts knowing that you'll be so far away and there's nothing I can do about it.  And it hurts knowing that you've got to leave...” He glanced at me earnestly, something indefinable flickering over his hazel irises. “Because you mean the most to me, too.”

Luke turned to me once again, and this time the austerity of his gaze was gone. Tears pricked at my eyes and I blinked them back harshly, emotion choking the words I wanted to utter. But no more had to be said.

He leaned forward so that his face was just inches from mine; his warm hand cradling my cheek and his breath fanning across my lips, warm and slightly minty, as if he had been preparing for this moment.

But then he closed the distance between us and all coherent thoughts were pushed from my mind. The only thing I was aware of was Luke’s lips, gentle and soft yet insistent on my own in the most innocent way.

I was vaguely aware of the waves crashing against the shore, the balmy breeze ruffling my hair and my stomach writhing with a nervous excitement, but I knew nothing besides the tight embrace we were caught in. Everything else seemed to fall away.

When we broke apart, his arms snaked around my waist and he pulled me closer, my body pressing against his. I rested my forehead against his.

“I’m sorry. I really am,” I whispered. And I meant it, more than he would realize.

His breath tickled my skin as he replied with a small smile. “I thought I told you to stop apologizing.”

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