Survivors ➳ Irwin

"we are survivors of the wild." in which Meghan falls in love with her best friend while putting the pieces of her broken heart back together

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3. Acceptance Is Key


not edited.

I had just gotten off the phone with my mum about dinner when Zach came in with the mail. One of the envelopes containing my future. Okay it doesn't literally, but it is a big factor with what I do with it. "We'll look on 3. Or should it be 10. Yeah, 10 sounds better right?" I rambled. I was too nervous to even think about what the results were going to be. I was even considering not looking, and pretending this never happened.

"For God's sake, Meghan! Just open the damn thing already!" Cassie yelled at me, obviously frustrated at my stalling.

"Okay." I sigh. You can do this. Just take a slow, deep breath. In and out. I think to myself before I rip open the letter that will tell me if I got into the one school I've wanted to go to since I was a little girl. "Dear Miss Harwood, Congratulations on joining the highly promising, talented group of students who wish to pursue a career in criminal law."  My happiness was seeping through the words as I read them aloud. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could've actually gotten in. I thought my essays were terrible. I never have been good at writing about distinct topics. I do much better writing to my own desire.

"Meghan, you got in! You're going to fucking Columbia! That's where the really smart people go." Cassie squealed into my ear while bringing me into a bear hug. "Oh my God, my best friend is leaving me to go to another continent. Thirteen years of friendship and you're leaving me here to fend for myself."

"I am not leaving you behind! And you're smart too, it's not just me." I laugh. "Besides, I've applied to other colleges, so I'm not sure that's where I'll be going. " I say trying to lighten her mood a bit. 

Cassie gives me a skeptical look, "What other law school would you possibly want to go to more?" She asks, probably knowing my answer already.

 "Cas, are you forgetting that you applied to NYU as well? That's like, 30 minutes away from Columbia. You should be getting your letter any day now. We could even get a flat together our sophomore year!" I say hoping she won't bring up the 'leaving her behind' topic anymore. Now that I know I got in, I have to come to terms with the fact that I'll be leaving my family for a long time. And that's going to be hard enough.

"That would be a great idea Meghan, if  I get accepted. But I don't think that I'm going to because I don't exactly have the best track record when it comes to behavior."

"Don't talk yourself down like that, Cassandra. You are my best friend and you are the most talented director I know. Sure, you may have had a few weeks of detention here and there, but NYU would be lucky to have you in their film program." I tell her, my motherly side rearing its ugly head. Cassie has no idea how gifted she truly is, and it hurts me to know that she doesn't feel like she's ever going to be good enough. "Alright let's bring my mother some food before she kills us both." 

  ∞∞ 

I had just pulled out of the hospital's parking lot when Cassie asked me if had had told the guys about my acceptance letter yet. "No, actually, I haven't. It's been a few weeks since I've seen them."

"Even Ashton? I thought you two said you'd still hang out like normal." Cassie said with a furrowed brow. 

Obviously I had told Cassie what Ashton had said and our agreement when he left that next morning. She isn't my best friend for nothing. But naturally, she squealed in excitement and said she 'knew we would get together eventually.'

I pursed my lips in annoyance, "Oh no, we did. He just hasn't been returning any of my texts or phone calls."

"How long has this been going on?"

"We talked for the first few days, but he just stopped responding. After a week of nothing, I just gave up on trying." Cassie gave me a scolding look. "Don't look at me like that! Apparently he didn't care as much as he said he did if he can't even answer a simple text message. I don't even want-"

"Okay I'm going to stop you right there. Ashton does care about you. It's clear to see that every time he looks at you." Cassie interrupts. "That boy has been infatuated with you since we were 10."

"Yeah well, if he would answer my calls, he would know I feel the same way too." I say running a hand through my hair.

Cassie looked like I had just told her I robbed a bank. "Are you serious? Why haven't you told him?"

"I literally just said he wouldn't answer my calls." I deadpanned. 

"No, I meant why haven't you gone to his house and told him that you love him too, you idiot?" She all but screeched.

I shake my head vigorously, "It's been nearly a month since I've actually seen him, Cassie." I say after parking my car in Cassie's driveway. "I can't just show up after hearing nothing from him and confess my love for him." 

All she did was roll her eyes at my evasion of actually doing something about this situation. "Oh my God, Meghan. Just grow a pair and talk to him. I'm sure Ash will be thrilled to hear what you have to say." I let out an annoyed sigh, knowing she was right. "Let me know how it goes, okay? Love you." 

"Love you too!" I yell to her figure which was running to her front porch.

  ∞∞   

'Hey, this is Ashton. Sorry I didn't answer your call, but leave a message an-' 

"For fucks sake! You have got to be kidding me right now." I scream after hanging up the phone. This was the tenth time I had tried to call Ashton, each time going to voicemail. "The one time I really need to talk to you, you don't pick up. That's bloody great then."

"Whoa, Megs. What's got you so pissed off?" Michael's voice echoed through my room. I snapped my head to my bedroom door where only three of my best friends were standing. My disappointment must have been visible because Michael was quick to make an excuse for Ashton. "Ashton was going to come, but he got called into work last minute."

I let out a huff before replying, "Ashton is my problem if you must know. I've been trying to get up with him all day, but he keeps sending me to voicemail. And don't try and tell me he's working because we all know he isn't."

Calum chimed in, "What gave it away? The fact that he got fired three months ago or do you just have a talent for sensing bullshit?" We all laughed at Calum's attempt at a dig toward the curly-haired boy. 

"Funny, but I really needed to talk to him. Well, I need to talk to all of you, but I have to tell him something first."

By now, they boys had made themselves comfortable. Michael and Luke laid out across my bed and Calum spinning himself around in my desk chair. Dork. "What do you have to tell us? I mean, we're already here, so why not just tell us?" Calum asked. 

I guess he had a valid point. If Ashton won't answer my calls, then I highly doubt I could get him to come over right this moment to tell them all at once. "You know how Ashton and I are graduating in a few months right?" They all nodded in response. "Well, I applied to Columbia, and I got in. I'm supposed to be flying out next Thursday to meet my advisor and sign up for classes." I say, unsure of their immediate reaction.

All three of them shot up from their positions and pulled me in for a giant embrace, saying their 'congratulations' and 'I'm so proud of yous'. That was until Luke stepped out of the hug and said, "Wait a minute, Columbia is in New York. You're moving to a different country?!"

"Yeah, Luke, I am. I've been wanting to go to this school for so long and I don't want to miss this opportunity." I said softly, "I know it's going to be hard being so far away, but there's always texting and FaceTime. Hell, we could even call each other like they did back in the olden days."

Calum sniffled, "Will you come visit me when you're on holiday?"

"Yes Cal. I'll come visit you." I giggled when Luke and Mike asked if I would come see them too. "Of course I'll come see you two. I can't just see one of you and then leave." I say in a joking

"When do you leave us for good?" Michael asked, his lips resting in a pout.

"If I want to get a decent job before classes start, July 22nd." I mumble.

"What's happening July 22nd?" We all turned towards my doorway where Ashton was standing, a puzzled expression overtaking his features, my eyes widened from the shock of seeing him.

Now he decides to show up? Seriously? "Ash, why are you here? Michael said you were working." I say, playing along with his lie from earlier.

He looks at me perplexed, as if he was shocked I had even spoken to him. "I uh-I got your messages. You sounded pretty frantic and I thought something had happened, so I figured I'd come over." Did I really sound that desperate? And even if I had, you would have thought that Ashton would have been over here sooner. Unless Michael, Calum, or Luke told him he had to come over immediately. 

"Alright, which one of you told him to come over?" I turned to the three boys standing in their places, acting nonchalant.

Ashton speaks up before they can form a reply, "None of them told me to come. I had finally decided to listen to the 11 messages you left me and I got worried. That's all." He glanced between me and the other three, "Now is someone going to tell me what's happening on July 22nd or not?"

author's note: I am so sorry that I haven't updated in so long. School has been kicking my ass and I haven't had much time to write with constantly having homework and writer's block. I am going to try to write and updated as much as I can, but please don't let my time between updates keep you from continuing this book. Thank you so much for reading, love you! xx

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