NOTE: READ DIMILY
To avoid any confusion, the prologue is set a month after the epilogue of DIMILY. DIMILY is set in summer 2011 (the epilogue being May 2012), and so the prologue for the sequel is set in June 2012. The sequel itself is set in summer 2013 :)
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
Did I Mention I Need You?
I borrowed Tyler's gaze, the sunlight from the
window bouncing off his emerald eyes as his lips curved into a
It was June. June eighteen, to be exact. And I'd been dreading this day for the past month. It was moving-out day. Not for me. But for Tyler.
I crossed my legs on his bed and shrugged as he held up a jacket. "That's ugly," I lied, my voice carrying with it the same monotonous tone as it had done for the past two hours.
Tyler rolled his eyes, slipping the dark leather jacket on. "Stop being sour."
Tyler was leaving today. He wasn't just leaving for a day and coming back tomorrow. He was leaving for New York. And not just for some two-week vacation, either.
"I don't want you to go," I admitted, my eyes drifting around the room as the bare walls and emptiness of the room screamed at me, reminding me once more that Tyler really was leaving.
Tyler zipped up his third and final suitcase, pulling it off the bed and setting it on its wheels. "Hey, it's only for a year."
"Exactly, Tyler," I said quietly, meeting his eyes. "A year. How am I supposed to go that long without seeing you?"
He stepped forward, placing his palms on the bed and staring at me. "Eden, come on. You're making it sound so depressing. I'll call you every day. You won't even know I'm gone."
I frowned. "Yeah, I will."
"No, you won't. Come on, after the summer it's your senior year. You'll be so busy with your exams and dances and prom and graduation that the year'll just fly by." He smiled reassuringly. "I know I'll miss your graduation, but your Dad'll record it for me."
My eyes welled up. "I'm so proud of you. Really, Tyler, I am. Look at how far you've came since last summer. You graduated three days ago and now you're about to travel all over the country for a year to share your life with complete strangers."
Tyler's eyes glistened. "I couldn't have done it without you. If it wasn't for you, I don't know where I'd be. Probably dead."
"Don't say that."
"It's true, though." Licking his lips, he grinned. "Hey, the next time I see you you're gonna be eighteen."
"And you'll be nineteen." My heart fell. "That's scary."
He stood upright, stretching before he turned for his suitcases and threw his backpack over one shoulder. "Come on, we better go downstairs."
"What time's your flight again?" I asked quietly, sliding myself off the bed and shuffling to his side.
I fell back into a state of silence. Tyler wasn't only my step-brother, but he was my best friend. If I had it my way, he'd be more. Of course I was devastated that he was moving to New York temporarily.
He'd been offered the opportunity to be a part of a Child Abuse Awareness organization. This consisted of traveling the country for a year, visiting high schools and raising awareness of child abuse. Tyler was going to be one of the guest speakers for the 2012 - 2013 tour, alongside a handful of other teenagers with similar stories to share. Unfortunately, the organization was stationed in New York.
Pressing my lips into a firm line, I reached for the handle of one of his suitcases as he pulled the other two out onto the landing. "I hope your plane gets seriously delayed. Like, delayed for two weeks."
Tyler laughed. "I'm gonna miss you."
"And I'm gonna miss you too, just in case you couldn't tell."
"Oh, trust me, I can tell."
I smiled. I really was going to miss him.
He released his grip on the handles of his two suitcases and outstretched his arms, pulling me into him. I embraced the warmth of his body, wrapping my arms around his back and pressing my face against his chest. I listened to his heartbeat. I never wanted to let go of him. Ever.
"I'll call you as soon as I land," he whispered, resting his chin on my shoulder. "And we can Skype all the time. I'll remember the time difference."
I inhaled his scent, sniffing. "But I need you here."
"And you don't think I need you?" He stepped back, placing his hands on my shoulders and locking his eyes on mine. "I need you, Eden. But I'm just going to have to get by without you for a little while."
"Tyler, the cab's here!" Ella called from the front door, her voice light.
"Just coming!" he yelled back, shrugging the strap of his backpack further up his shoulder.
Turning, he yanked out the handles of his suitcases and dragged two of them down the staircase. I followed behind him, tugging the third. His car had already been transported to New York.
It was the perfect day for the start of the summer. The sun was beating down on us as we stepped outside onto the front lawn. Everyone had lingered out here while Tyler had gone inside to gather the remainder of his belongings. I'd just so kindly offered to help him.
Ella was talking to my mom, Jorja's wide eyes peering over her shoulder, taking in everything. My dad was talking to Stuart. It was weird seeing both my parents get along with one another's new partners. But who was complaining?
Jamie had a few of his friends over, and they were all messing around in the pool. Jamie had loosened up a lot since last summer. Yes, he was on the honor roll alongside me, but he was hanging out with his friends a lot more too. Hell, he'd even been going to parties.
As for Chase, well, he was playing some sort of game with his best friend who just so happened to be our next door neighbor. He still loved his video games, though.
None of Tyler's family were here for the occasion. They were spread out a lot. Of course, his aunt lived in Scotland, but the rest were situated in Colorado, Washington and New Mexico.
Even Dean and Rachael had turned up to say goodbye. More of Tyler's friends would have came if Ella hadn't objected to it. At least he'd gotten the chance to say goodbye to everyone at his graduation after-party.
I made my way numbly towards Dean, leaning into him. Dean knew how close Tyler and I were, and he'd been trying to cheer me up for the past week now.
"Just don't cry, okay?" he whispered into my hair, putting an arm over my shoulder. When I glanced up, his lips pulled up into a sad little smile.
Rachael ran her hands through my hair, pushing it back. "Smile."
I attempted to, but it didn't exactly work.
Even though Tyler and Rachael were no longer dating, they were still good friends. Rachael didn't want to have to be in a long-distance relationship.
At least I still had her and Dean this summer. After the nine weeks were up, Rachael was going to college to study beauty and Dean was going to work for his dad, detailing cars.
I glanced over at Tyler. He was lifting his suitcases into the trunk of the cab, with the help of my dad. We all fell into silence. Even Chase, Jamie and their friends stopped what they were doing and made their way over to the semi-circle that was forming around the vehicle.
Ella's eyes teared up as she passed Jorja into my dad's arms. "You're going to do great, Tyler. I couldn't be any prouder." She threw her arms over his shoulders tightly, burying her face in his chest. "Behave yourself. You're going to be fine. I love you."
"I love you, too."
I kept my face down, my hair falling over my eyes as I stared at the ground. I didn't want Tyler to go. Peering up under my eyelashes, I watched him hug my dad and laugh at something he said.
My mom grinned. "Good luck, Tyler!"
"Thanks, Karen," he replied, nodding.
Tyler glanced down at Jamie and Chase, narrowing his eyes at them. Shaking his head, he laughed and pulled them into him. "You guys better be good, alright? Jamie, if I find out that you've been sneaking out to parties, then I'll kick your ass when I get home."
Jamie rolled his eyes and stepped back quickly, embarrassed as his friends laughed under their breaths. "Yeah, yeah."
"And you," Tyler said, turning his eyes back down to Chase, "you better stop staring at the TV all day or you're gonna go blind."
"I won't go blind!" Chase protested, his face dropping. "Mom, will I go blind?"
Ella shook her head and smiled sadly. "No, honey, Tyler's just messing with you."
Dean let go of his grip on me, stepping forward to embrace Tyler. "Man, remember when we were in middle school and said when we were older we'd be professional football players?"
Tyler laughed that quiet, sexy laugh of his. "I guess things don't always go to plan."
"I know. But hey, everything works out in the end." Dean punched Tyler's bicep gently. "Good luck, bro."
Rachael pushed Dean to the side, throwing herself into Tyler's arms. "I'm going to miss you so much!"
"Aw, Rach, I'm gonna miss you, too," Tyler mumbled, tightening his arms around her. Okay, so they weren't a couple anymore, but they seemed closer than just friends.
I kicked at the grass, my laces of my Converse escaping from where I'd safely tucked them. Raising my head, I kept my eyes on Tyler as he turned back around to my dad, gently and carefully taking Jorja from him.
Jorja giggled, her dark eyes lightening up. Tyler hugged her to his chest, swaying from side-to-side. "Hey, you." Holding her in front of him, he grinned. "You're going to be so big when I see you again, aren't you?"
My heart ached. Tyler was completely unaware of how big an impact he had on so many people. Especially me.
Kissing Jorja's forehead, Tyler smiled sadly and handed her back to Ella. Jorja sniffled a small cry, her smile fading as she outstretched her tiny hands towards him.
Tyler's sad eyes met mine, and I lost it.
Tears escaping from my eyes, I shook my head. "You can't go. You just can't. I want you here. Tyler. Please don't g-"
"Eden." His voice wasn't risen, but the quite force of my name was enough to silence me.
Collapsing into his arms, I clung to his torso as though I was fighting for my life. Tyler couldn't be leaving. This day had came around far too fast. My cries were muffled against his body, and his firm arms held me close to him.
He stepped back a few seconds later, a deep emptiness pooling over his eyes, as he whispered, "I'm sorry."
Without waiting any longer, he turned and reached for the car door of the cab. "I'll see you all in a year then?"
"You betcha!" my dad exclaimed, placing a comforting arm around Ella, who by now was in tears too.
Tyler smiled hopefully, sliding into the back seat of the cab and slamming the door shut. The engine purred to life, and as the vehicle slowly rolled into acceleration, Tyler raised a hand and waved.
"Bye!" everyone but me chorused, waving enthusiastically.
Within a matter of seconds, the cab was out of sight down the street.
Tyler was gone.