•Two Years Ago•
Landon's hand gripped mine tightly as we walked down the beach, the sand tickling my toes. He squeezed my hand reassuringly me everything would be okay. Only, things weren't going to be okay. He was moving away from me. Far away; from Florida to North Dakota.
"Aleriah, you know that we can email video chat, call, and write letters to each other. Don't worry, everything will be okay, I promise," he whispered softly.
A small tear drizzled down my cheek, and Landon stopped to wipe it off with his thumb. I gave him a slight smile, taking in everything that was happening.
"I'll miss you," I spoke softly, "I really will."
He kissed the crown of my head, taking me in his embrace. I nuzzled my face on his shoulder, as he laid his chin on my head. We stayed like that, in complete silence, making the best of the last few moments we would have together.
"Why can't they just stay in Florida, but live in separate houses? Why can't they understand our love for each other? Why-"
He cut me off by kissing me hard on the lips. His tongue dancing with mine, our mouths moving to the beat of our hearts. I don't know how long we been kissing, but by the time we parted, we were gasping for air, gazing in each other's eyes. Then and there, he went behind me and placed a necklace around my neck, nuzzling my neck as he did so. I looked down to see a silver heart shaped locket, and inside, a picture of us on each side of the heart. I clutched it in my hand, still feeling the warmth from his hand. "It's to remind you that even if I'm not beside you, I'm always here for you."
I looked into his eyes. "Don't ever forget me."
"How can I? Every time I see you, my heart beats a little faster, my legs feel like jello, and I become wordless," he replies in a low, calm voice.
"Don't ever forget our memories."
"Every time I walk on a beach, I'll always be reminded of you."
"Don't ever forget our love we had for each other," my voice close to tears.
His black eyes seemed to melt into my dark brown eyes as he spoke, “I’ll never look at any girl the same way I look at you. I'll never give my whole heart to another girl, but you." He planted a light peck on my lips, making it tingle with the pleasure feeling. "I'll never love a girl the way I love you."
"Don't forget about us."
"I could never see myself with anyone else, but you. I can't imagine myself kissing anyone, but you. I will never hold anyone in my arms. Nobody, but you."
"I love you Landon."
"I love you too Aleriah. Always did, always will."
As the last words were spoken, we were in each other's arms for the last time in maybe never again. I might never see Landon again. "Do me a favor while you are at it. I don't want you to hold back and not date others because you miss me. I want you to date, so I know that you're happy. I can't stand to see you sad like this, I can barely stand this moment," he barely whispered in my ear, making me thing if it was the wind that said it, or hoping I imagined it.
"I got to get going." Then we departed hands, and went our separate ways.
I took one last look back, just as Landon was. A sad smile spread across his face, mine mirroring his.
I'll never forget the way he stood three inches over five feet, and his lean, athletic build that even his shorts and T-shirt couldn't conceal. The way his black tousled hair gave midnight a run for his money, with his marble eyes to match. His smile welcoming, yet daring. I'll never forget Landon.
• Present Day •
"Nick? Is that you?"
My 'current' boyfriend was looking up, startled that I'm standing right in front of him while he's cheating on me. I can't believe this...I can't believe him.
"Yep," I say barely in an audible whisper, “It really is you."
My initial reaction was shock. My second was betrayal, at how easily it seemed to him to cheat. A knot of anger swelled up in my throat.
"Aleriah, I can explain. I was-"
"No," I hissed, cutting him off, “I don't want your explanation. I saw what I saw. From the looks of it, looks like you were having quite some fun lip locking on.....On....Her!" I pointed a finger at the girl who was now isolated on the park bench, looking back from me to Nick. I wonder if she even knew about us.
Tears welled up in my eyes, so I turned away, not giving him the power to ruin my day.
At this point, I surely wished Landon was here to comfort me. To place his hands around my waist, and pull me in close to him to where I can smell the scent that lingers around him. Like the ocean. For him to kiss the top of my head and tell me everything will be okay. I wish Landon never left me. Grasping my locket, I remembered how Landon told me to move on, so I'd be happy, and not sad. He said he couldn't take seeing me in pain, if only he knew the pain it brought me.
A hand settled itself on my shoulder. Nick's hand. I grudgedly yanked it off, and walked off, giving myself a mental pat on the back for being so confident.
Feeling warm tears glide down my cheeks, I tightly hug my elbows, and head to the one place I need to be. Taking one foot in front of the other, I head home.
I opened the door to my house, taking in the comfortable feeling it instantly brought me.
Home sweet home.
Running up the stairs as fast as I could manage, trying not to get seen with my eyes all puffy from crying, I trip and land on my knee. I scream a painful scream as the pain seeps throughout my whole leg.
"Aleriah! Are you okay? What happened," David yelled with shock in his voice.
"Yes David, I just fell going up the stairs like a complete clutz." He was already at the bottom of the stair case before I could even finish my sentence. "Knee hurts, that's all."
He started up the steps slowly. "Can you get up, because if you can't, I can carry you."
I smiled at the favor he'd do, but shook my head. "No thank you, I can get up. Thanks though, David."
He nodded. "Were you....Crying?"
Damnit, I should've looked away. "Yes."
His eyes seemed to soften as he skipped two steps at a time to make his way towards me. Sitting down with caution not to bump my injured knee, he wrapped an arm securely around me. "Care to tell me why you were crying?"
I let out a sign, no turning back now. "Nick was cheating on me. I caught him exchanging gum with another girl."
Beside me, I felt David tense up. "What a complete pathetic ass jerk."
"I agree. But don't do anything stupid, you hear? I don't want to contact you through a phone, and look at you through glass windows."
"Ugh, I won't."
"Promise," I asked, sticking out my pinky.
He linked his with mine,” Promise lil sis."
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to watching the football game."
I roll my eyes and give him a slight shove to show my annoyance. Brothers; can't live with them, can't live without them.
Ignoring the pain that still seeps in my knee, I get up and head to my bedroom. I walk casually to my computer, crossing my fingers that I have an email from Landon.
I sigh and lean back in my chair.
"Aleriah," David called up the stairs, “door is for you."
"I'll be down in a minute." Thinking it's my best friend, Kelly; I go into the bathroom and check my reflection. Straight brown hair that flows inches past my shoulders, caramel brown eyes that turn a goldish color in the sun, and soft pink lips. Grabbing a rag to wipe off the mascara that ran down my cheeks, I thought why Kelly didn't call before coming, because she always calls and lets me know ahead of time. After all the extra make up was off, I look down at my outfit; pink tank top, just a smidge darker than my lips, light blue denim jean shorts, a brown belt, gold necklace, matching gold earrings, and a pair of shiny gold sandals.
"Here I come," I say, running down the steps so greet Kelly in the door way, only, it wasn't her. It was a boy.
Could it be? Is it....Landon?
The boy that was now standing inside my house stood about nine inches over five feet, and had a lean, athletic build that even shorts and a T-shirt couldn't conceal. His tousled hair black as night, with coal black eyes to match. The smile he wore was welcoming, yet daring. It really was Landon.
"Are you going to stand there with your mouth open, or are you going to give me a hug? I mean, it's been over two years since we last saw each other."
I could feel a smile stretch across my face as I closed the gap between me and my love, Landon.
"I missed you so much, you don't even know," he whispered into my ear. It sent a shiver down my spine.
I smiled. "I missed you to."
"Should I be jealous that you have a boyfriend?"
I tense up at he mentions Nick.
"Never again. He cheated on her," David said in my rescue.
Landon raised his eyebrows, and then looked at me. I look down at my feet, until a hand lifted my chin up. Landon looked me in the eyes, and said, “I’m so sorry Aleriah. You deserve somebody so much better." He grabbed my shoulders and pulled me into his arms, and that familiar scent wafted through my nose.
"Let's do something," David said, breaking the silence that settled between us. "How about we go for a swim?"
"Fine with me, as long as Aleriah joins."
I look up to see both David and Landon giving me puppy dog eyes.
"Oh fine. I'll go with you babies," I joked.
"Nice thing I packed my trunks in my bag," Landon said, patting the bag he had around his shoulder.
"I already have mine on. It's just Leriah who needs to change."
Not wanting to hold them back to wait for me, I say, “Go in guys, I'll be down soon."
David shrugs and walks out the door, while Landon gives me a hug. "You still have the locket I gave to you when we where fourteen," he said.
"I never took it off."
He smile and followed my brother down the walk. Leaving me alone to calm down my heart that started racing from the hug I encountered with Landon.
"I'm going for a swim," Landon said, getting up from his towel.
I mumble an okay, and lay my face back down in my soft pink towel. I stay like that, letting the sun's rays hit against my back, legs, and shoulders.
Next thing I know, a rush of a million cold drops poured all over me. Shrieking, I roll on my back to see Landon and David snickering, while running away from me with a bucket in their hands.
"No, come back David. I want to give you a hug," I yelled, darting off toward David while Landon went a different direction. I'll make him pay later. I was so close to grabbing David when a pair of hands circled around my waist, swinging me around. “Now what. You can't get us, but we got you."
"Landon, put me down," I screeched, “or I'll make you pay."
"I'll pay for it later, but now, you're going for a little swim." He ran to the ocean with me in his arms kicking my feet, trying to escape his grasp. Although I'd love to stay there. Even how much I struggled, it was no use.
He threw me into the water, and started wrestling. Despite all the people who were at the beach, I only thought about Landon and I.
I don't know how long we been trying to dunk each other, but finally Landon gave up, out of breath. "I'm getting tired; I'm going to go lie down in the sun for a while."
"What, finally figured out that you couldn't take me down," I teased.
"Pssh, you wish."
I watched as he walked off, and then went to sit where the sand meets water. Sitting there, I let the little waves tickles my toes.
A pair of hands covered my eyes, blocking my vision.
I smiled, “Is it Landon, or is it David?" When I grabbed the hands off my eyes, and looked back to who was covering my eyes, my mood instantly dropped.
Going back on my feet, I shove Nick. "Back off you pathetic jerk!"
I take three steps before he reaches for my arm. Looking back, I remember all the times we had, freed my arm, and walked away with the dignity I had left.
It didn't last long until tears blurred my vision. Making my way past people, soft but firm hands grip my shoulders, and pull me into a hug. "Shhh, it's okay Aleriah. I'm here for you," Landon whispered in my ear. he kissed the crown of my head, the same feeling I got when he did it two years ago, and held me tighter.
• Three Months Later •
Landon and I were walking, the cool sand burying my feet with every step I made.
His hand grabbed mine, and stopped He looked into my eyes, his black eyes melting into mine.
"I can't stand this anymore, Aleriah," he said, running a hand down his face, “I love you, I still do. Every time you would tell me about Nick, I'd get really mad, and have to take time to calm down, then I make a hard time replying something nice. When I found out that you two broke up, a mixed emotion of relief and anger washed over me. Ever since I first met you, I loved you. I never stopped. Hugging you feels like electricity and kissing you makes me feel as if I'm on top of the world. Looking into your eyes, I enter a world where only I and you belong. I love you Aleriah." ?
It looked like a lot of weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
"I love you too, Landon. I always did," a tear gliding down my cheek as I repeat the words he told me before he left me,” and always will."
Landon leaned down and gave me a light peck on the lips, which turned to something more.
Right then, I wanted to be as close to him as I could. I didn't want him to go. I wanted, no, needed him in my life now, tomorrow, and the day after.
I slid my hands up his chest, grasping him behind the neck to pull him closer. He took the cue, and pulled me tighter, tracing his hands down the contour of my spine.
We stayed glued togther like that until we came up for breath.
"Don't ever forget about us," I said softly.
"I never did stop."
Landon took me by the shoulders and kissed me harder, all the time we had apart from each other finally paying off.
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