Shadow

Louisa Fletcher is not your average 21 year old university student. She has secrets, a complicated past that has made her build a strong outer shell, not letting anyone close enough to properly get to know the depths of her. Tyler Mitchell however, has had a troubled childhood and is struggling to find his way in his life. But, he has a secret, one so big it could cause serious turmoil if it were to ever come out. He's determined to keep it hidden, but will the untold truths between these two mysterious souls drive them apart, or will they manage to let one another see who they really are? Find out by reading Shadow.

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23. Chapter Twenty-Three.

Louisa

 

I didn't like graveyards. I never had. There was a certain dull, grey cloud constantly upon them, no matter if it was sunny or not. It was always eerily quiet here, only the soft wind on tree branches crackling causing sound in the rigid air. I sighed, feeling my palms began to sweat as I made my way into the graveyard.

There wasn't anyone else there, Annapolis wasn't the biggest town and people rarely came to visit the dead. Some more often than others, some avoiding the place because of the pain it brought.

I walked slowly, I didn't know if I purposely didn't want to make it to the grave I'd come here for because I was too scared to face it again. But I finally made it and swallowed the burning tears in my throat, my eyes glued to the name written on the grave.

JACOB CURTIS FLETCHER 1990-2010

FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS

I winced just looking at it, the pain in my heart making it hard to breathe. I sat down next to my brother's grave, and placed the bouquet of flowers I'd bought neatly against the sign. It angered me that the only thing I could do to show remembrance of my brother was to buy him flowers to put on his grave, it seemed like such a small gesture for someone as amazing as he'd been.

I lay down on the grave, wanting to just be with him and not think about anyone or anything else, no matter how hard it was. I felt the dirt and a few rocks tug into my skin, but I could care less. I closed my eyes and let the tears drop, finally, after years of burying my grief down, I let myself go and I sobbed. I sobbed because I didn't save him, because it was my fault he was gone.

I sobbed like a child, my body shaking and my head beginning to hurt, but I felt relief. Relief that I'd finally let myself grieve him. He didn't deserve to be shoved away and the memory of him never touched again, he deserved to be remembered every day. 

''Hey, are you okay?''a sudden voice said from behind me, and I jumped up, wiping my tears away and brushing the dirt off of my clothes.

When I saw who was standing in front of me, I was baffled. It was Lewis Johnson, a guy I used to talk to back in high school, and there were rumors he had had a crush on me. He had changed from the last time I'd seen him, more masculinity seen in his face, a short stubble on his jaw, his eyes still the piercing blue I remembered them as. His brown hair was messy, it always had been, he'd never made much effort with it.

''Yeah, I'm fine, thank you Lewis,''I gained my composure, but I know I looked rough.

''It's been a long time, Lou,''he called me by a nickname and I wasn't so sure I felt that comfortable with him using it. We'd never been really close friends.

''It has,''I said simply, crossing my arms over my chest.

''Horrible tragedy what happened to your brother,''he said quietly, and I nodded, beginning to walk away, not wanting to talk about the accident again. 

But he followed me, which made me just a bit irritated.

''How've you been?''he inquired, as we walked towards the exit. 

''Good,''I replied shortly, not really in the mood for small talk. I was a bit annoyed he'd ruined my moment with my brother and attempted to make conversation now.

After another few steps we made it to my car. ''Was nice seeing you again,''he smiled, but there was something off with how he was smiling at me.

I shrugged it off and replied, ''You too.''

I drove off back to my parents house and couldn't help but notice him staring at my car from the sidewalk, arms crossed over his chest and something in his eyes even I could see from the rearview mirror.

 

Tyler

 

I held a woman's waist I didn't know the name of, she was leading me towards a dark alleyway, giggles escaping her mouth every now and then. She stopped and pulled me to a dark corner, I couldn't see where it lead, but she pushed me against a cold brick wall, and I groaned from the pain.

Her breath was hot on my neck and her hands were roaming my body, but I didn't feel anything. I stared at a dark space ahead of me, wishing it would somehow magically make Louisa appear instead of this woman. I squeezed my eyes, and I guess the girl thought that was a sign that I was enjoying what she was doing, when it was quite the opposite. 

She bit down on my neck, and I shoved her off of me, needing to get away from her. I didn't want her hands on my body, so I began to walk away.

''Where are you going?''she whimpered from behind me, her voice a bit like a lost puppy dog's would be if they could talk.

I turned around with an annoyed sigh and faced her.

''I don't want to do this,''I stated, staring at her blankly, wanting her to leave me alone.

''But..''she trailed off, and I walked off to my car, thankfully this time she didn't follow me.

I can't remember how long I drove for. It must've been for hours, once I finally stopped by a huge field, I could feel the desperation and hurt swallow my lungs and consume every muscle, bone, in my body until it came unbearable. 

I held on to the steering wheel and I sobbed, letting the hurt I'd held in for so long escape. I cried because Louisa never wanted to see me again, and because I'd never get the chance to hold her again. I cried because of my stupid, stupid mistakes I would do anything to be able and erase.

After getting myself back together, I decided to run by Louisa's place, just to see if she would maybe let me in this time. I wasn't going to let her slip through my fingers so easily, although I know she didn't want me coming to see her. 

Faith opened the door instead of Louisa, and I sighed, ready to persuade her to let me see Louisa once again.

''Tyler,''she greeted me with a brief nod, her body language saying she didn't want me here.

''Faith,''I greeted her back.

''Louisa isn't here,''she said, and my heart sank to my chest. Where could she possibly be at 11.30pm in the evening?

''Where is she?''

''She's gone to see her parents,''she gave me short answers, but I needed more.

''Do you know when she'll be back?''

''Nope. She didn't say,''Faith shook her head and I could almost see a sense of pity in her eyes. I hated pity.

''Right. Well thanks for telling me anyway.''

''Don't take this the wrong way Tyler, but I doubt she'll want to see you when she gets back,''Faith said truthfully, I couldn't make out if she was angry or just felt sorry for me. 

''I know. But I have to at least try, right?''I inquired hopefully, my voice almost giving out.

''Right,''Faith gave me a quick nod before closing the door and leaving me in the hallway, thinking of ways I could win this girl back.

 

Louisa

 

I stared up at my bedroom wall, the one I'd sticked colourful butterflies on when I was little. There were ones in every possible colour, they were a sort of 3D shape so their wings sticked out and created a flying effect, which could be mesmerising to watch. I lay there for a long time, oddly finding comfort and peace in those same butterflies I'd only seen as 'pretty' once.

I heard someone come in, but I didn't look, the butterflies taking too much of my attention. I felt someone sink into my mattress and knew from the perfume scent of banana leaf and mango that found its way into my nostrils, that my mom had positioned herself next to me, laying and looking up at the wall just the same.

''What did he do, Lou?''my mom said quietly, her gaze up on the ceiling.

I was taken aback by her sudden question, and looked at her puzzled.

''What do you mean?''

I felt her grab my hand and squeeze it.

''I know you, Lou. I know when a boy has messed with my little girl's heart,''she said with a calming, kind voice. 

I sighed and was silent for a while, not really wanting to talk about it, but knowing I had to. I told her the story of how I met Tyler, how I found out he was just using me for money, and how I don't think he ever loved me at all.

Somehow in the way of explaining it all to her, I'd started crying and my mother had comforted me, telling me there was someone just right for me out there. But I thought I'd already found the one, and I don't think the pieces of my heart could ever stick back together.

After we'd talked about Tyler and me for a while, there was a silence so deafening in the air, it almost suffocated me.

''I still miss him, you know,''I choked out, tears running down my cheeks once again. My mother sighed and gave my hand a big squeeze.

''I know. I do too, we all do.''

''I'm so sorry, mom,''my voice came out more of a whisper and I swallowed a lump in my throat.

''It's not your fault, Lou. You have to stop blaming yourself for it,''she spoke soothingly, one of her arms wrapped around my shoulders. 

''But..''I trailed off, not wanting to bring back that awful, awful night six years ago when I'd lost my brother.

''Blaming yourself won't make it any easier to handle. It wasn't your fault, you had no idea that was going to happen.''my mother's soft cooing voice could make anything easier, better, nicer to deal with. I don't know if I could forgive myself for my brother's death and not take the blame anymore just yet, but I might've been a step closer to doing so.

 

Hope you enjoyed! :)) 

 

 

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