A Thousand Memories

Separated by the evil that man possesses, Riley was happy Luke was no longer a role in her life. That is, until Graduation Day where some unfortunate fate and terribly planned seating brings them together once again. One encounter turns into many, and both remember the spark they felt before. No one said love was easy, and Riley and Luke will soon understand the truth in that statement. Some people are better off apart, with only a thousand memories to remind them of who they use to be.

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1. Chapter One

CHAPTER ONE

We were just kids in love."

   Sitting in the warm seat, my graduation cap hugging my head, I've never been more confused, nor angered. All four years of high school had flown by, and whenever I thought I knew what I wanted in my life, things changed. People changed.  I had fought so desperately to determine my own life, and here I was...confused. I guess my parents fall back plan was my only option now. A good college, which they had saved the funds for, and an internship at some place they knew about. It wasn't what I wanted to do with my life. It never was, and I can't imagine it ever being something I was happy to do. That would explain why I am confused; meanwhile, I still sat with anger consuming the other half of my emotions. Luke Hemmings sat next to me, and while I tried to think of life after today, he sat there being obnoxious as ever.

  "Could you please, for the love of God, shut the hell up?" I snapped, glaring at Luke as he turned to look at me. Instead of following my request, a smirk grew on his lips.

  "I don't think so babe, todays an amazing day. How can I possibly keep quiet?" Something in his tone told me not to answer, but yet I did.

  "And what's so amazing that you can't shut your mouth for a ceremony?" I questioned, crossing my arms as I waited for his answer which surely wouldn't suffice as a good, for lack of a better word, excuse.

  "Today is the beginning of a life where I don't have to see you everyday." He laughed, as I rolled my eyes. I cant believe such a revolting guy use to be my best friend. We met in Kindergarten and were inseparable up until just before Sophomore year. He let the influence of alcohol and violence consume him while I stuck to doing things that truly made me happy. I knew Luke better than anybody, he wasn't happy with the way he was. That's the thing about Luke Hemmings. He will never admit when he's made a mistake.

  "In that case, why am I not celebrating?" I retorted, my own smirk tugging at my lips.

  "You're to pretentious."

  "Am not! If anything, you're the pretentious one." I argued, before Luke hastily shushed me. I sat more angry than before, arms crossed as my foot tapped on the ground quickly. My diploma shook in my lap, as I waited impatiently for the ceremony to end. I needed to get away from this place, and Luke. After what felt like hours, it was finally over and I was the first one to get up.

  "Riley, honey! How are you? Listen, I have to run to the hospital to check on my cousin. Can you give Luke a ride home? Thank you." Liz ran up to me quickly, grasping my shoulders, and as soon as she arrived, she was gone. I was left without a choice, actually not quite. I could always leave Luke here and let him walk home but I actually liked Liz and I felt an obligation to listen to her. I sighed, and headed towards Luke where he was standing in a group with his stoner friends. I pinched his ear, dragging him to the car with me. He hissed, smacking at my arm but I held my grip until we stood in front of the passenger side door.

  "What the hell?" Luke yelled, rubbing his ear in pain.

  "Get in, I'm taking you home. No arguments, your mom is making me." I got in the car and unlocked the door for him to climb in. His awkwardly tall structure got into the car, slamming the door shut.

  "You know what my genius of a mother didn't think of? I don't have my keys to get into my damn house." Luke muttered upset, rolling his eyes.

  "Where'd you leave them, idiot?" I laughed, completely willing to drive and go get them so I wouldn't have to bring him back home with me.

  "Inside our house..." Luke said quietly as I slammed on the break. Thankfully we weren't on a busy road. Luke flew forward, but his seatbelt caught him which prohibited any injury.

  "In your house?" I shouted angrily, glaring at him.

  "Yeah...all the windows and doors are locked so I have nowhere to go. Just drop me off here, I'll find somewhere." He spat, unreadily unbuckling. I quickly placed my hand over his. I pulled away, looking away awkwardly.

  "Not because I care about what happens to you, but I don't want Liz to freak out if something does happen. You'll come back to my place but don't you dare mutter a word to me when we get there." I snapped, clenching my fists in anger. Luke remained silent, as I began driving again. Within a few minutes, I was pulling into my driveway. I turned the ignition off, unlocking the doors as Luke and I climbed out. My parents car wasn't home, they must have gone out on errands. We walked up to my door, as I pushed it open, allowing Luke in. I kicked my shoes off, Luke repeating my actions.

  "Not much has changed, huh? You still have that ugly ass stuffed animal in your closet? Shit, that thing gave me nightmares." Luke began walking towards the stairs. It's not like he hasn't been here a million times, it's just been a few years.

  "Yes I have Ellie the Elephant. She's not ugly, just chewed up." Luke knew the story. When I was younger, my parents gave me Ellie the Elephant and a few months later, my old dog chewed a couple of her legs off. I still kept Ellie, because that elephant meant a lot to me.

  Luke and I walked into my room, sitting on my bed. I looked over at him, raising an eyebrow.

  "I have to change, do you mind?" I got up and walked towards my closet.

  "It's not like I haven't seen you naked before." He winked, as I inhaled sharply. Luke and I became a thing the beginning of Freshman year. We lasted nearly one year, but when we ended is also when our friendship did. Considering my bathroom was being remodeled and tools laid everywhere, I had no choice but to quickly change. I pulled my graduation gown off, and stripped from my dress. I heard Luke whistle as I quickly pulled on my sweatpants and t-shirt. I pulled my hair into a bun, and put my glasses on.

  "I always loved when you dressed like that." Luke smiled, eyeing me up and down. I rolled my eyes at him, padding over to my dresser and opening my top drawer. If only I could find my journal, I planned everything within it's leather covers.

  "Do you still have that leather journal?" Luke asked, moving to stand beside me. I nodded before pulling the drawer out further to look in the back. I might have pulled it out a little to far. I felt the drawer and its contents fall onto my feet, and I yelped in pain. Pain isn't what mattered right now. What mattered were the hundreds of pictures that Luke and I had taken together during our friendship, scattered on the floor in front of us. Luke looked down with wide eyes, before looking at me.

   "You kept them all?" He asked in astonishment, bending down and sitting to look at them. I nodded, holding my throbbing foot as I sat next to him. If he's going to be stuck here, might as well try and be friendly. He gently picked up my favorite picture of us, examining it. I stood in a a pair of sweatpants and my swimming suit top, in a flower field we found by a pond. I was turned to the side, both of my hands on Luke's cheeks as we kissed, his hands around my waist. Our eyes were closed, and I remember savoring that moment. Wet hair dripping down my back, our warm lips intertwined. Luke flipped the picture over, reading what I had written on the back many years ago.

  Whatever happens, I'll never stop loving you.

  "Is that true? Through everything that happened, do you still love me?" Luke asked, his face close to mine. I breathed out steadily, blinking repeatedly. How do I answer that? Of course I never stopped loving you, I would have done anything for you. 

  "People change Luke, the memories don't. I don't love you anymore. How could I? Natalie..." My voice cracked as Luke's large, warm hands grasped mine. His eyes were full of what seemed to be concern. How could it be? He wasn't the one who has been hurting since the beginning of his Sophomore Year. He isn't the one who cried himself to sleep for months because he felt like his other half was gone.

  "I'm so sorry Riles..." Hearing him call me the nickname we made up brought tears to my eyes. What happened to hating him, and being tough? Had that all flown out the door? I needed to get how I felt off my chest.

  "Sorry? You should be more than sorry...two years, Luke. Two years later and I'm still hurting." I spoke, no apparent emotion in my voice, "I should be sorry, sorry to myself for ever trusting you." I spoke, before limping over to my bed, leaving everything scattered on the floor.

  Including my feelings.

 

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