Love's a Strange Thing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
When leo's best friend, and crush, Keeley Trent, dies in an accident, he finds a old voicemail from her, and must figure out exactly what she meant to tell him before she passed.

Submitted: February 23, 2017

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Submitted: February 23, 2017




Love’s a Strange Thing


“They’re called crushes for a reason. It’s because the knowledge that they’ll never love you back and they never have brings forth so much pain that it just crushes you, and you realize that it’s not even worth it and it never has been. It never will.”




Leo sat in the old, familiar school desk that was located in his outdated classroom. He impatiently tapped his spindly fingers on the cool wood, looking around at the neatly aligned desks with his feet tap-tap-tapping away on the white tiled floor. He didn’t really understand how his best friend, and crush, since fourth grade would get into that circumstance. He wouldn’t believe it. Not for a minute. It simply didn’t seem like it was possible.

He turned his head up, watching as more students dressed in the same black and blue uniform neatly filed into the classroom. He kept his eyes on the door, waiting for the tall, blonde girl who went by Keeley to come sprinting in with a wave of laughter, brightening up the whole classroom.

He frowned when his professor came in, signaling the start of the class. His eyes followed the old man up to the mahogany podium in the front of the room, a glistening whiteboard hanging behind him. The professor cleared his throat, adjusting his silver striped tie. He set his wrinkly hands on either side of the stand up desk, then began talking in a loud, crisp voice, “Good morning students. I hope your weekend went well.”

Leo looked around the room, searching for another boy. When his eyes rested on him, he found that his other best friend, Aaron, a very tall and athletic boy who always took care of himself, had large bags under his eyes, and a face that told Leo he had been up all night.


Aaron was Keeley’s boyfriend, just as he had been for three years. But Leo liked the guy, so he didn’t ever try to compete with him. Although, every time he saw them together it never felt right to him. Aaron was a jock, Keeley was an A plus student who only focused on her grades. He hadn’t really seen how they seemed to click, as Aaron had pushed Keeley away from her school work, causing her marks to drop. He didn’t dare question it though, because all he really wanted was for Keeley to be happy.

Leo raised an eyebrow at him, but the red-haired boy just shook his head, looking down. That was strange… Hadn’t Aaron been with Keeley all night? Leo turned back around in his seat, letting out a long exhale.

“I have some news for all of you.” The professor continued. “Our friend and colleague, Keeley Trent, has unfortunately been the victim of a deadly car accident… and is no longer with us.”  He went on after that, but Leo didn’t hear any of it. His hands slipped down off the desk, his breathing picking up. Colors and shapes swirled in front of his eyes, and Leo sat there, helpless. The sound around him faded to nothing, and then, the world became a dull monochrome, letting no light nor noise through. Leo felt himself falling, falling into a spiraling hole. He felt himself open his mouth to scream, but he didn’t hear it.

He snapped back to reality with the feeling of tears on his cheeks. He pushed himself out of his chair, sniffing and slinging his backpack over his shoulder as he sprinted out of the room as fast as he could, throwing shut the door behind him.

He emerged out into the hallway, then turned and ran towards the stairwell, descending three at a time until he was in the large gymnasium. He strode across the squeaky floors, shoving open the heavy door to the vacant boys locker room. He slammed his backpack against a metal locker with a roar of anger, then forcefully sat down on a nearby bench, his head in his hands. He began crying, unable to bring himself to wipe away the tears. He sat there just like that for the rest of the school day, not making any contact with the outside world.


When Leo felt he could no longer cry, he slowly made his way home, but when he pushed open the door to his fairly modern house, which had just been painted a nice light blue, he found his parents sitting on the white fabric couch, holding each other's hands with puffy red eyes. Good. He wasn’t the only one mourning.

“Hey Mom.. Hey Dad...” He sighed, placing his backpack down on the tan staircase about twenty feet from the kitchen, then calmly walked upstairs, saying no more. On a normal day, he would be downstairs at every hour, helping his parents out until he had to rest. This felt weird to him, not socializing with his family. He shook it off, turning down the gray carpeted hallway towards his bedroom. He sighed, looking through the doorway of the bathroom into the large mirror that hung on the wall.

Geez. He didn’t look very good. He walked in, shakily putting his hands on the faucet tap and switching it from off to on. Leo looked up into the mirror, staring at his fringed auburn hair that covered one of his eyes. He was quite a tall fellow, standing at six foot one. He had a nice build, a few bits of muscle mass here and there. Leo had a fairly nice jawline, a perfect nose, and lips that always seemed to be in a mischievous smirk. His eyes, however, were his one imperfection. His right eye was a shockingly bright blue, piercing enough to scare someone off if he were to glare at them. His left eye, on the other hand, was a blood red crimson. The iris was the color of a deep red rose, the pupil giving a striking contrast against the shade. Maybe this was why Keeley had only ever saw him as a friend… he was different.

Leo groaned, splashing his face with the cool water. He turned off the tap once more, then slumped over to his bedroom, softly closing the door behind him. He turned so his back was against the door, then stripped off his heavy sweater vest, chucking it to the side and rolling up the sleeves of the white dress shirt he wore under it. He slouched against the black door, looking at the whole of his room.

It was a typical teenage room, one with dark walls, many band posters, knickknacks here and there, and in the corner sat a blue Gibson electric. Leo used to play all the time for Keeley. He looked at it, anger washing over him. He absolutely loved the guitar… it was his pride and joy. But now, with Keeley gone, it only brought him despair.

Leo stood, stomping over and picking up the guitar. He let out a holler, ripping the guitar off of its wires then slamming the window open and chucking it as far out of his sight as he could. He let his tears come again. Dang it his mind said, I thought I was done with this nonsense.

He flopped onto his bed, staring at his ceiling as a cool breeze ran around through the room. He closed his eyes, imagining Keeley’s face. It was nice seeing her again. It hadn’t even been twenty four hours… he knew it hadn’t been because he talked to her precisely seventeen hours ago, but it felt like eternity since he last laid eyes on her face. She was beautiful; long, platinum blonde hair that went down to her waist, gentle eyes as light as the sky, an amazing personality that nobody else dare try and achieve. He thought of that day out in the hallway of the school where she announced that Aaron was her boyfriend. He secretly wished that is was him holding hands with Keeley, or giving quick little kisses when she needed them. He respected the two of them, but he still didn’t trust their relationship. He didn’t want her hurt.

Leo let out a long sigh, rolling over and putting his head on his dark blue pillow. Only then did he realize how exhausted he was from crying. He blinked a few times, taking deep breaths in, then let himself be taken by sleep.


When he awoke again, it was already dark outside. Leo groaned, rolling off his bed and stumbling over to his dresser where he had set his phone. He powered it on, then swiped it open. A little red notification showed that he had gotten a few messages. He tapped the app, then looked over the words.  He nearly dropped his phone from what he saw next. He looked at the screen again with shaking hands, pressing the button that said ‘Missed voice call from: Keeley Trent.’ It said it was left about fifteen hours ago. He held the phone to his ear, a hand covering his gaping mouth.

“Hey Leestaz.” Keeley’s sweet, angelic voice started. “I wanted to show you something earlier when you came over… But then Aaron visited and I couldn’t. Anyways.. I think he knows about this, but there is a crumpled piece of paper in the body of my old harp. Go check it out.. Follow the directions. I-I’m pretty sure Aaron already knows about it, but if he’s there when you are.. Just act like you don’t know anything, alright? Oh! I got to go to piano practice. Thanks for listening.” She blew one of her signature raspberries, then laughed and the voice message ended.

That was odd.. Her laugh didn’t seem bright and radiating like it usually was…He dropped his hand to his side as the call ended with her bright laugh, then made a nervous gulp. He shook out his light brown hair, then took a deep breath in. He walked over to his dresser, then began changing into more comfortable clothing. By the time he was done, he was wearing a pair of ripped black jeans, a black T-shirt, and a black leather jacket with different band pins spotted along the shoulders.

He didn’t take a moment's hesitation as he finished pulling on his combat boots; he busted through his door with his phone in hand, tumbled down the stairs, waved to his parents before they could question anything, and slammed out the front door, sprinting down the street towards Keeley’s former house.


When he finally reached her house, Aaron was just coming up the end of the street. So he did notice the note when he came over. Okay. Act normal. He thought.

Leo gave a small smile at him, then winked, signaling that he would race him to the front door. He laughed half the way, until he tripped over his own shoelace and fell face first into the wet grass. Aaron pointed at him, a wide grin on his face. “Dude! That wipeout though!” He continued with his little outburst of laughter, up until when Leo stood up and tackled him to the ground.

“Ha! I win!” Leo yelled, a mischievous smile on his face. He stood, brushing himself off before he hoisted Aaron to his feet. “Right.” Leo continued, turning towards the door. “This can go two ways when we walk in. We either get kicked out by her Mum and Dad , or we get pulled in and we never return to our parents.”

Aaron nodded. “Got it. Let’s go. I want to go comfort her parents. They’re probably devastated… Well.. Who wouldn’t be?” He strode up to the entrance confidently after puffing out his chest, knocking a few times on the architrave. On the fourth loud knock, the door cracked open, revealing a very petite woman with sunken, bloodshot gray eyes and blonde hair pulled back into a messy bun at the back of her head. She had a cast over her arm. It only reminded Leo again that Keeley was the only one dead in the incident.

“Hello, Aaron...Leo.” She murmured, opening the door wider. “Please, do come in. It’s nice to see her friends.” She sniffed, shuffling aside so they could step in. They did so, looking around the place. It was almost an exact replica of Leo’s, just painted a light brown.

“Hello, Mrs. Trent.” Leo said at last, bowing his head respectfully. “I’m very sorry for your loss.” He looked back up at her, but she had now walked to the staircase, looking up at the hallway above.

“You may look around her room for photos you want to keep, if you feel. We’re going to keep everything, but if you want to take back something that she borrowed and never returned, then do so now.” She turned away, slumping off into the kitchen without another word.

Leo looked at Aaron empathetically, who was now nothing put a pile of tears and snot. He patted Aaron on the back, shoving him up the stairs. “Up, you go, big boy.”

Aaron shuffled along, getting there slowly. When they reached the top, he turned to the first room on the right, then pushed open the entryway. He stepped in, then closed his eyes, dropping to his knees.

Leo looked at him, pursing his lips. I will not cry, I will not cry. I WILL NOT CRY. He told himself, getting angry. He slid inconspicuously around Aaron, heading over to the golden harp in the corner of the room. He stared at it for a long while, then looked to the body of the instrument, where there was a small gap with a piece of white, crumpled paper shoved inside of it.

Aaron stumbled to his feet, striding over to Leo. “I guess this is the paper then? The one Keeley didn’t want be to know about?” He ripped it out of Leo’s hands,  reading it over. His eyes got wide, backing slowly out the door. “Leo. This is for me. Don’t you dare follow me. Get it?”

Before Leo could ask him what the heck he meant, he turned and ran out the door, dropping the paper in the process. Leo picked it up, scanning over the neat handwriting on the filler paper.


Hey. If you’re reading this, then I guess you know I wanted to tell you something. When Aaron came over I just couldn’t say it out loud. Sooooo, I left something for you in the old treehouse. Do you remember that place? You know, the one deep in the woods… Anyways, it’s in there.. Just DO NOT LET AARON GET IT. Okay? Wow, bit dramatic, yeah? Whatever. Just go.. You know the way.

Love you lots, Leestaz

~Keeley T.

Leo sighed, folding the paper neatly into his jacket pocket. He stretched out his arms, knowing that he could easily catch up to Aaron in a matter of seconds. He got in a sprinting position, an impish grin spread across his face.


“Oh, don’t worry Keeley.” He said aloud, looking up. “If you don’t want him to see it, I’ll run my heart out to get there. Just like I would to your side.” With those last words, he took off , jumping down the carpeted staircase and bulleting through the front door, out into the cold winter night.


In at least two minutes, he easily caught up to Aaron, who was breathing heavily. Aaron cursed under his breath, picking up his pace to try and outrun his friend. They could both see the beginning large trail the treehouse was about a mile from. Leo would not let Aaron go. He began putting all of his effort into moving his legs faster than his, rocketing off the road and down onto the trail. Along the trail was a vast forest, one with millions and millions of trees surrounding the road. There was a small brook to the right, trickling down the side, which eventually curved around into a much larger river in front of him. As he neared the creek, he could see the opening that he had to cross. There were only a few large rocks that he could jump across, but he knew with his long legs it wouldn’t be a problem. There were rushing rapids under him, threatening to pull him down into the cold water below. He leaped to the first one, slipping a bit on the moss but quickly regaining his balance. He jumped ot the second with no worries, then to the third one. He tripped on his shoelace, falling backwards and soaking his left leg to the bone. He curse, hauling himself out of the water and up onto the land.

Leo shook his leg out, then picked his pace back up, jumping over logs and diving under branches until he finally reached the treehouse. It was an old thing, one with a wooden exterior and roof. There was one door and three windows that wrapped around the structure, but with the lack of use, thick vines had curled in and grew just under the window frame.

He walked up to it, jumping on the balls of his feet before he quickly scaling the old rickety ladder, seeing Aaron come straight up behind him. He jumped up onto the platform, kicking open the door with so much force one of the hinges came clear off. He frantically looked around, then he saw it. It was a small leather journal, no bigger than an average sized book. A thin, twine binding kept it shut. It sat in the middle of the floor, right over an old red carpet Aaron had donated.

Leo stepped towards it, his hand outstretched. Then, he felt himself being thrown to the side, slammed up against the wooden wall. Aaron loomed over him, an angered expression on his face.

“I said.” He breathed hotly, clenching his fists. “Don’t follow me.” Aaron picked up the book, caressing the front cover. He held it to his chest, closing his eyes.

Leo struggled to his feet, cracking his knuckles. “Aaron. Keeley wanted me to have that.”

Aaron gave him a malicious, cold glare. “Oh. Did Keeley also want you to be her friend? Or did you just wedge yourself in? Did she want you to be her boyfriend? No. She wanted me to... Leo, just go home. There’s nothing for you here.”

Leo felt anger boil up inside him, and he clenched his fists himself. “You pushed her away from the thing she loved most! It never felt right between you two. I never saw the connection. You’re just a guy who wanted to have a pretty girl on his arm, aren’t you?” He couldn’t believe he was finally speaking his mind about the two of them being together… It surprised even himself. “Yes, I had a crush on her, but that was only because I wanted what was best for her. And that obviously wasn’t you. When a girl says she doesn’t want someone to see something, she doesn’t want them to see something. Aaron! Open your eyes! You just did something your girlfriend didn’t want you to do! Keeley wouldn’t be happy.”

Aaron stepped forwards, towering over Leo. He got real close to his face, so close Leo could feel him breathing, then said. “No wonder she never loved you. You're just a little blabbermouth, yeah?”

Leo couldn’t take it. He let his emotions get the better of him. He swiftly stepped back, then threw a strong, powerful punch straight to Aaron’s jaw. Aaron stumbled backwards, dropping the diary. He grimaced, then stood straight and swung at Leo. He ducked, grabbing the book. Just as he was about to turn out the door, a rough hand grabbed at the back of his leather jacket, preventing him from going anywhere.

“Nah ah ah.” Aaron spat, pulling him back a bit. “Hand it over, Leo.”

Leo couldn’t help it. He began laughing, doubling over with an insane look in his eyes. “Yeah. No.” He stopped, standing straight to try and wriggle out of Aaron’s grasp.

Aaron raised an eyebrow at him. “Hmm? What was that?” He lifted his fist, lashing straight out across his cheek. Leo felt a trickle of blood run down his lip, but he just wiped it away. Aaron didn’t scare him. It wasn’t pain that scared him. Pfft. He scoffed at the idea. But it was, however, death that scared him. Sure, call him a wimp for that, but it was his one and only fear. He would rather suffer greatly then die. That’s why he grieved for Keeley so much. It scared him that she was gone.

Leo kicked back at the redhead, nailing him straight in the stomach. He fell back with a pained gasp, then sprung up again… but it was too late; Leo had jumped off of the platform of the treehouse, crashing down to the ground at least ten feet below. He bent his knees, trying to land on the balls of his feet. It worked for one leg, but he felt the other one cave in. He let out a whimper, then pushed himself up, beginning to jog slowly back up the trail. Aaron was close behind him, but Leo didn’t care. He knew he could easily overpower Aaron.  

Leo picked up his pace, ignoring the leg that was most likely sprained.. Maybe even broken. He stumbled back to the river, carefully, and painfully, collapsing onto the rocks and dragging himself across. Aaron was nowhere in sight when he turned around. He puffed out his breath, then slowed to a walk, breathing heavily. He made his way back to the main road, after many grunts and screams of pain, then kept pushing himself to get home. He knew he could do it. He knew it.

When he finally made it to his front door, his leg felt as if it had been crushed under a tractor.

Well there goes my adrenaline. He thought, wincing as he pushed open the heavy door, still clutching the diary close to him.  His parents were nowhere in sight. He imagined that they were probably sleeping upstairs. He snuck around to the carpeted staircase, hauling himself up with all of his left strength. He stumbled down the hallway, quite literally dragging himself into his own bedroom. He closed the door behind him, then leaned against the entrance.

His hands shook as he held the diary in his hands, tears beginning to make their way to his eyes again. He tightened his jaw, biting down, then untied the twine. He stopped halfway through, standing and putting the journal on his bedside table. He didn’t know if he was ready to see this so soon after Keeley had died. He then fell into bed, tiredness overwhelming him. He closed his eyes, letting the cool relief of slumber grab him and drag him under.


The next morning, he woke up to a pain in his leg. It was nowhere as bad as the day before, but it was still bothersome. He groaned, sitting up straight and rubbing his sleepy eyes. He looked over to his nightstand, where the diary still sat. He sucked in a breath, unsure whether or not he was ready to read it. He shook his head to clear any thoughts, then shakily put his hand to the warm leather, dropping the book onto his lap. He ran his hands through his messy bed  hair, pausing and taking a moment to calm himself down. He finally took the journal in his hands a few moments later, finishing unbinding the string. He flipped it open, then set it down.

Leo. You can do this. You can do this. His mind repeated. He gave a nod to nobody in particular, then began reading the only thing in the whole book:

Hey Leo!

So, if you’re reading this I guess you found my note! Ha. This is all probably super confusing, god I’m sorry. Let me explain a bit more…

Okay, I wanted to tell you something yesterday when you came over, but Aaron showed up. I mean, I probably should tell him at some point, because I feel awful that I did this to him...but Leo, he was desperate.

Now I bet you’re really confused, yeah? Let me back up a bit. Remember the day I said I would be dating Aaron? Yeah.. Leo.. Okay I’m going to say it like this… Sorry if I’m jumping everywhere.

I’ve only told one lie my entire life… Honest to god. Do you want to know what that lie was? I’ll tell you, but you have to promise to Aaron that you’ll explain. It’ll be hard for him, he’ll probably punch you. I don’t know why I ever decided to tell this one, but I did.. And it will forever be a burden.. I feel I’m an awful, awful person for doing it, too. But anyways, are you ready? Take a breath, here it is:

Keeley likes Aaron.


Yup. That was the lie. He was desperate… I felt bad for the guy. His grades were D’s and maybe C’s, and I wanted to help him.. He developed a crush on me, and I knew if I said no that his grades would go back down… So I agreed to going out with him. But truthfully, I liked you, Leo.

Never did I know that one little lie would change a person’s life forever.. It’s going to hurt him bad.  Leo.. Am I a bad person? I feel like one.. I know you have crush on me, Leestaz. But why? Why would you still love me after what I did?

Hmm. I wish I could keep writing, but I’m coming to the end of the page. Alright then, well… Leo I love you. Yeah, I know. I’m always going to say it now too. I love you, I love you, I love you. I hope that makes you happy. I’ll text you later after you find this…

Forever and always,

~Keeley Paige Trent


Leo stared at the book after he finished reading, a small smile folding across his mouth. So it’s true. He thought. It’s really true. He found himself laughing, putting forth a wave of guffaws. He knew it! It never seemed right to him! That’s why Keeley never willingly held his hand or gave him kisses. Plus, their energy just didn’t cope with each others. He would have to tell Aaron at some point. He had to.. It was just the right thing to do. As to how he would do that, he could think of that later. It didn’t matter right now. What mattered is that he knew the truth. Keeley had really loved him. He sighed, wiping his eyes after his little outburst. He sat back, a wide smile still splayed across his visage. His mind swirled with thoughts of Keeley. Although, this time they were not ones of grief. They were ones of happiness and joy. He pictured her, her blonde hair swirling in the wind as she ran to him with his arms wide open. He imagined walking down the street, holding her delicate hand in his. He let out another exhale, grateful that Keeley had been in his world. He didn’t want to mourn anymore. Keeley wouldn’t want that. He wanted to make her happy. He wanted to bring her spirit down to him and let her stay by his side forever.

After his memories had faded to the back of his mind, he laid down, looking up at the ceiling.  He started to tear up a bit, but wiped the droplets off his cheeks. He needed to say this. He absolutely had to. It was the one little message he knew he could say freely to end all of his grief. He cleared his throat, then began speaking his words with full passion, praying that every single one of his words reached his love.

“Keeley...Please let this reach you. Please.” He took in a deep breath, closing his eyes for a beat. “I’m grateful that you were in my life. I’m grateful that I had the chance to meet you. I’m grateful that you told me the truth, because I knew it didn’t feel right. I swear that I’ll carry out your request and tell Aaron. Oh, and Keeley. You’re not a bad person. Please Keeley, don’t you dare think that. You just made a mistake. That’s okay. You thought your choices would benefit someone, but it really didn’t… That doesn’t make you bad. It’s just a lesson we all need to learn. It’s okay. I promise. You know why? Because I love you too. I love you with all of my heart and I always will. Even though you’re gone, you’ll forever be with me in spirit. Because God Keeley, I will forever and always love you.”


© Copyright 2018 goner_with.a.pen_. All rights reserved.

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