I hurry to finish my lunch and head towards my art class. The fight I had with my mom still fresh in my head. I feel terrible for yelling at her. She is getting sicker and I don't know how to help her. I see Ashton leaning against a set of lockers and try to sneak past him. I like hanging out with Ashton but I just don't feel like talking to anyone. Though as I made my way past him he saw me.
"Whats wrong" He asks concern covering his face.
"Just family stuff" I say not wanting to go to deep into it.
"I can understand that. I'm here if you ever want to talk about it" He says giving me that gorgeous smile that could make me melt. I let out a shaky breath and smiled at him.
"I'll be sure to do that" I say and he reaches out his hand.
He stops for a moment reaching for my phone and handing me his. We put eachothers numbers in and start walking toward class again.
I smile at him shyly and take his hand. Loving the warmth and the slightly tingles that come from him gripping my hand. He pulls me with him through the crowd and everyone stares at us whispering to each other. For the first time I didn't care what they had to say I knew Ashton would keep me safe. When we get to the art room we head to my usual table.
"Okay class today I want you to paint me a picture of a place that made you the happiest growing up" says Mrs. Amondez.
Ashton goes to get us some paint and I grab us both a canvas. I think about the lake that my father would take me to when we both just needed to get away from it all. We would take a row boat out into the water and just talk watching the sunset around us the light drifting into the water. I use to stick my fingers into the surface. Watching little waves travel through the water. It was our safe place when the world seemed to much. I haven't been back since he died. It doesn't feel right to go without him.
I smile gratefully at Ashton and look through the paint he brought finding the colors I needed to paint the lake. I started with the sunset. I smile at the orange and pinkish purple as they glide together on my paint brush. I then painted the dock and the boat before painting the waves and the clouds. By the end of the period I put the finishing touches as I painted the sunsets reflection into the water.
"Wow that's amazing Hazel. Is that a place around here?" ashton asks glancing over my shoulder.
"It's about an hour drive from here but it's worth it" I say thinking back to he first time we had gone there.
I had been six years old and I complained the whole way because I wanted to be there faster.
"Dad are we almost there yet?" I had whined for the billionth time. He just chuckled glancing at me as he drove.
"Not yet Hazel. We are close and it will be worth it when we get there" My father had said reaching over and placing a kiss to the side of my forehead at a stop light.
He was right. It was worth it. The first time I laid my eyes on the lake, the sun setting in the background, I knew it would be our place. I had turned gripping my fathers hand and smiled up at him. He smiled back picking me up and pulling me into a hug before walking us to the dock and onto the row boat rowing us out into the water.
The bell rings pulling me back from my thoughts and everyone starts to pile out. I place the painting onto the rack heaving a sigh as i did.
"How long has it been since you last went?" Ashton asks as I grab my bag slinging it over my shoulder.
"A couple years. I use to go with my dad almost every weekend" I say glancing out the window.
"How come you guy's don't go anymore?" Ashton asks and I fight back the tears that are building up in my eyes.
"Because he died" I say as I walk out of the classroom leaving Ashton standing there with a shocked look on his face. I followed the other people exiting the school just wanting to get home.