(adj) hating endings; of someone who tries to avoid or prolong the final moments of a story, relationship or some other journey
// eight years earlier ...
Once again I was hanging out at Ella's house. It was around 10PM, and I'd been there since we both got home from school. I usually did that, no longer being able to handle being at home any longer. Dad's drinking had gotten worse, and because of that he'd lost his job. Ella's place had become my safe haven during all of this. Wherever she was would always feel like home.
I knew it was time to go home, but there was something I still needed to do. Every time I'd tried to tell her that I was leaving, I'd felt like my throat was tying a knot on itself, making it almost impossible to breathe, but I had to get this over with. I just didn't knew how.
"Are you okay, Cal?" she asked, looking up at me with her big hazel eyes from her spot on the bedroom floor, while I was sitting on the edge of her bed.
"Erh, yeah", I answered and shrugged. I wasn't exactly fine, but I'd save that for later.
For a second she was just looking at me without saying anything, and I could tell that she knew something was up. She was always able to read me like no one else. But she didn't say anything, she just returned her attention to her phone which she was holding in both hands.
"You're acting weird", she stated, not looking away from the screen of her phone.
"Thanks", I answered, shrugging once again. I knew what she meant though, and she was right. I was acting weird, I felt weird too. And it was not like we'd never been weird around each other, but not this kind of weird. This was different. It was a sad kind of weird.
She was playing some game and I was spectating. She was wearing a pair of denim shorts and some kind of white statement tee. Her brown hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. While I was looking at her, I once again realized how much I was going to miss her. A lot.
For a while we just sat like that. She was off in her own world and I was off in mine. I really wanted to get out of here, but I needed her to come with me. It was like this secret of mine needed a lot of space, and her room just couldn't do it.
"El?" I asked, fiddling with the bottom edge of my shirt.
"Can we go outside?" I requested, my heart pounding in my chest.
Then she finally looked at me, one of her eyebrows raised.
"Cal, it's late", she chuckled, rolling her eyes at me. She definitely didn't take it seriously, but then again, she didn't know what was going on inside of my head. I had to give her a chance.
"Please", I begged, and she began to look worried. A frown fell upon her face, and she finally put her phone in her pocket, giving me her full attention.
"Okay, but my parents are seriously going to kill me if they find out."
So we went downstairs, put on our shoes, and snuck out. None of us said anything as we walked down the familiar street of the town we both lived in, but at some point I felt her take my hand, and I intertwined my fingers with hers. I really liked how she didn't ask any questions, she just went with it.
After about ten minutes of walking we made it to the football field behind the school. There was no specific reason behind the choice of location, but I was content with my decision.
"Are we even allowed to be here at this time?" I heard Ella ask as she was walking beside me, her hand still in mine. She seemed a bit unsure of it all, and I guess I couldn't really blame her for that.
"Of course we are, El", I answered, rolling my eyes. I didn't really know if we were allowed to be there, but I didn't care either, I just wanted to comfort her.
I finally stopped walking and let go of her hand, before laying down on the cold grass. After a second she joined me, and I could feel her skin brushing against mine as she laid down beside me. It was nice to have her close like that, knowing it wouldn't last much longer.
Somewhere along the way here, I'd thought this entire thing through. There was no easy way to tell her that I was moving, so it was better to just do it. Like pulling off a bandaid. There was no need to be a baby about it, because that would only make it all worse.
"So, what was it that you wanted to tell me?" she asked, breaking the silence once again. I couldn't find the words to answer though. Just pulling off the bandaid was going to be a lot harder than just doing it, wasn't it?
"Cal?" She kept trying to make me talk, and I knew I couldn't just ignore her in an attempt to postpone the necessary, so I finally looked at her. She was so pretty, even with that confused look on her face. See, I didn't know what it felt like to be in love, but that feeling I got whenever I looked at her must've been pretty close to the actual thing.
"Can't we just lay here for a bit without talking?" I requested, my voice slightly shaky, probably making me seem just as nervous as I felt. Luckily, she just kept quiet, making it possible for me to gather courage and the right words, and it felt like an eternity went by before I was finally able to open my mouth and speak. I wasn't quite ready to tell her yet, but I was never going to be completely ready.
"I'm moving", I mumbled, my voice barely audible. Silence followed.
"Where are you moving to?" she finally asked, her voice almost just as quiet as mine had been. I couldn't tell how she felt about it all, and I couldn't bring myself to look at her to find out, so I just stared at the sky above us.
"Somewhere far away", I answered, my voice still quiet. We were moving to this big city hours away from here. As my dad had lost his job, we didn't have enough money to live where we lived any longer. Someone he'd met somewhere had been able to get us a small apartment for almost no money, and my dad had had no choice but to accept the offer.
"Why?" she asked.
"I just have to", I answered. I'd never told her about my situation at home. My mom had died before I started elementary school, which was where I'd met Ella, so they'd never met, and I didn't like talking about her death. Other than that, I felt embarrassed that my dad was an alcoholic. So I'd never told her any of it even though she deserved to know.
I felt utterly drained of all emotions as we laid there in the grass. Holding in the news had been taking a lot of energy, and now that I'd finally told her, I didn't know what to feel. It felt like the weight of the world was crushing me because I had to leave her, but I had no choice.
"Why can't you stay?" she asked. More questions.
"I just can't." And that was the truth. I just couldn't. Sure, there was a lot more to the story, but I also felt like it was too late to tell her. That the information wouldn't matter once I was gone anyway.
I was still looking up at the stars, trying desperately to keep the tears from falling down my cheeks, even though they burned like hell in my eyes. Hopefully she wouldn't notice.
"I don't get it, Cal", she continued. I could tell a lot was going on inside of her head, and a lot was going on in mine too, but instead of being very vocal about it like she was, I'd just shut down completely.
"You don't have to", I sighed, followed by a shrug.
"Can't you just explain to me what is going on? I thought best friends told each other everything!" She'd raised her voice, and it was shaking as she was stumbling over her words. I felt bad for her, I truly did, but she'd be okay. She was the prettiest and smartest girl I knew, she was going to be just fine without me.
"There's no point in us being best friends if I'm leaving, is there?" I suddenly asked, not thinking before I spoke. I instantly regretted what I'd said, but there was no going back now, so I'd just have to roll with it.
"Wha- what?" She stuttered and I felt my heart drop. I'd hurt her. "But the promise.. We promised to- .."
I cut her off.
"Things have changed, El. There's nothing I can do."
See, I knew what we'd promised each other. To always be best friends, to always be there for each other. But somewhere along to path that lead up to this very moment, I'd realized that things didn't always turn out how they were planned.
"So that's it then? No more us? No more Ella and Calum?" she asked, and I finally turned my head and looked at her, instantly regretting it. She'd gotten up and she was crying, making it feel like my heart was breaking. I wanted to just hold her, make her feel better, but I couldn't. That would only make all of this harder.
"I guess", I mumbled and shrugged. At this point, I guess I just didn't knew what to do with myself, so I barely did anything.
Little did I know that that would be the last thing I'd say to her, because suddenly she just turned around and walked away, leaving me alone in the middle of the football field. I kept following her with my eyes until she was out of sight, and then I finally let the tears roll. And they streamed down my face. I sat up in the grass and buried my face in my hands, trying to quiet down the sobs that escaped my lips every once in a while.
Me and my dad left the next morning, and I barely ever stopped crying on the way to our new place. I already missed her so badl, and I thought that she probably hated me at this point. I hated me for leaving as well, even though I had no choice. I hated me so much.