It’s been 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, and 525,600 minutes.
It happened exactly five years ago in this very spot, I’m standing upon.
A life changing moment that altered our lives forever.
It was at that moment our friendship morphed into something else.
Something we never knew existed. Something completely new…
Something that lasted a second and then took everything away, including our friendship.
Five Years Ago…
“Hey, Keith! I’m over here you dumbass!!” I teased.
“Who you calling dumbass, dumbass?” He winked.
“Hey at least my ass looks nicer than yours.”
“Says the guy who’s checking mine out, right now.” I nodded my head over to a tall, lanky guy leaning by the wall, near the fruit punch bowl. Believe me when I say his eyes were going to pop out at any time. I swear some boys needed to know how to control their hormones.
“Hey buddy! Keep your eyes in your socket, and your tiny wiener in your pants!” I rolled my eyes at the sarcastic anger in his voice. He draped his arm protectively around my shoulder, as if to shield me from guys like these, also known as “jackasses”.
This happened every time, yes EVERYTIME, Keith Stone caught some pervert looking at me. He was like the big brother I never had. Hell, he was technically my brother-in-law since he and my older sister got married and never actually got a divorce.
Okay, so they got married when they were six. But a marriage is still a marriage nonetheless.
“Andy! Earth to ANDY!!!” Damn him for yelling into my ears when he still had his body wrapped around mine. He knew I had sensitive ears.
My anger boiled at his inconsiderate action. “I CAN HEAR YOU!!! I’M NOT DEAF! AND GET THE FREAK AWAY FROM ME IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON STAYING A MAN!!!!” I threatened. He should have known better than to get me angry.
He smirked at my clear annoyance and wrapped his arm tighter around me. I elbowed him in the chest, causing him to release me and strode over to get myself a drink.
I looked around the mansion. It was Tania’s annual New Year’s Eve Party. It was the “it” party every one wanted to go to every year. I guess I was lucky to be Tania’s best friend, giving me automatic rights to go to the party. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not friends with Tanya because she has the best parties. Nope, I’m best friends with her because she is a ditzy girly girl, who’s got the IQ of a two year old, and is the richest kid in town. Yet still manages to have the heart of a Saint and always knows how to calm me down when I’m all riled up, which happens frequently…as you can see.
This spiked fruit punch was doing me no good. It was just getting my blood flowing even faster.
As I watched people “dirty dancing” around the room to an old Black Eye Pea’s song “My Humps”, I glanced to the side of the room and spotted a six-foot muscular body grinding against a blonde bimbo; the one person I’ve wanted to kill since kindergarten, when she took a cookie from the teacher and then successfully blamed it on me. Who might this blonde bimbo be? Well she just might be Tasha Wicks, the Wicked Witch of the West. Queen Bee of Kilton High, known for her slutty outfits, and gossip filled mind. Now shall we take a guess who that guy was? It, my friend, was none other than my player of a best friend, Keith the Geek.
Okay so Keith was far from a geek, even with a GPA of 4.5. I mean whoever heard of a quarterback geek? Yes I said quarterback; Keith Stone was the good-looking quarterback of Kilton High, giving him automatic rights to being the most popular guy in school, especially with the “ladies”. However he still managed to be Debate Team Captain and the Student Body President. Yeah. Keith Stone was that perfect.
Good God! What the hell does that witch of a bitch think she’s doing?
Oh my lord… Is that even legal?
Okay that is absolutely Rated X! Thank God there aren’t little kids around…
Breathe Andy. Breathe. It doesn’t matter what bimbo and Keith are doing. It doesn’t matter. Just breathe….1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – SCREW THIS!
I needed fresh air. I mean I really, really, really needed some fresh air, before I ripped that witch’s face off with my bare hands. Trust me, I could do it easily.
“Hey what are you doing out here on the balcony?”
I turned my head away from that voice, that voice I knew oh-too-well. I focused my attention on the view. I’d been out here on the balcony for most of the party, avoiding everyone as much as possible.
It was a beautiful night. The moon was full with a couple puffy white clouds surround it. The air was crisp and cool, just the right temperature. It was the perfect way for Mother Nature to end this disastrous year of mine.
“Hey, what's wrong?” he murmured. I turned my head and found his face only inches from mine. I could feel his warm breath on my nose. I was tempted to reach up just a little, just a bit to close off the space between him and me.
Where did that idea come from???
However I guess he was thinking the same thing, because at the moment Keith’s fingers were at my chin, lifting it ever so gently towards his face.
“You look beautiful.”
It was at that moment, the moment before the sudden yet promised kiss, I realized the truth. It had been staring back at me for my whole entire life without my knowledge, until now.
I suddenly saw all the reasons why he always had a trail of girls following him. I suddenly felt the feelings that those hundreds of girl felt for him, for Keith Stone, the heartthrob of Kilton High. It was then I realized that I was no different from the lines of girls that had swoon to his feet when he smiled. It was then I realized that I too had fallen in love with Keith Stone. The boy who I’ve known since day one, literally.
As his lips finally pressed gently against mine, sparks were in the air. I couldn’t even hear the loud cheering, the horns blowing or the fireworks exploding, thankful that a new year had come. After all, who notices these things when you’ve got the love of your life kissing you for the very first time?
I, Andrea Livingston, was in a major lip-lock session with resident hottie, best friend and next-door neighbor, Keith Stone. The love of my life.
That itself deserves to be front page news.
As our lips separated, my eyes still closed, I whispered the words I’ll regret for the rest of my life. The simple and complicated three words that ruined the possibility of “us”, our nineteen years of friendship, and the bright future we had planned.
“I love you.”
When my eyes slowly opened I found an expression of shock staring at me. Uncontrollable tears began to flow, and I ran. I ran for my life.
It’s been five years, since I’ve seen him or spoken to him. He went to collage at UCLA and I was off to New York University for a scholarship, all the way on the other side of the country. I guess it was just fate. We just weren’t meant to be.
Neither of us have been back home; back in Kilton, for five whole years. The memories are just too painful for both of us…well for me at least.
“Hey what are you doing out here on the balcony?” I turned to find Tania jogging lightly towards me. I leant over the railing and took a deep breath. It was the first time I was back home, and just as I had predicted, numerous of memories flew back to me. About that New Year’s Eve party, our moment on the balcony, and even our childhood together.
“What’s wrong, Andy?”
“Absolutely nothing and absolutely everything. That’s what’s wrong.” I sighed. I looked over the horizon and saw the sun setting behind the tall, luscious, green mountains. This was so peaceful compared to the busy city lights of Manhattan.
I could hear the crowds of people beginning to make their way to the party.
“Tania! Get your sweet piece of ass back in here!! People are coming and they need a hot hostess!!!” Kevin, Tania’s High School Sweetheart, screamed.
“You better go back in there before a riot starts…” She nodded and enveloped me in a great big Tania hug.
“It’s great to have you back here, Andy. Everything is going to be alright, Destiny’s got it all planned for you.” She winked at our inside joke.
Destiny was my pet dog, and when she passed away twelve years ago, Tania had promised that Destiny was watching over me, in her happier place. I had believed her completely.
I laughed a quiet little chuckle and watched as she walked back inside.
This was going to be a long night.
I closed my eyes and listened through the brick walls as a slow song was playing.
It was my all time favorite song. A duet called "Everything and Anything", by Shane Carter and Mandy Sullivan.
People say that you should live
The life you always dreamed of
But how am I suppose to live life
Without my everything
Without you by my side
And before I knew it, I was singing along with Mandy’s part.
It’s the way you showed me everything
Like living my life in a different way
It’s like back then when it was just me and you
That’s why I never what want anything new---
As I anticipated for Shane’s part, a different yet familiar voice sang Shane’s part. I opened my eyes to see the one and only, Keith Stone. He was wearing a denim jacket and matching jeans, with a black tight t-shirt beneath it. He had his hands stuffed deep inside his front pockets, as if he was nerves to see me.
In his perfect silky alto voice, I heard:
You were my everything
And I was your anything
And you turned my whole world upside down
Because you were my universe
Then the chorus came and our voiced blended together.
So why did you let go?
Why didn’t you hold on?
Why am I the one to blame?
So what happen to us?
Why are we apart?
Mandy: Can’t you see that I don’t want anything but you?
Shane: Can’t you see that you’re my everything in life?
The rest of the song continued to echo outside of the mansion and into the valley, but for me all I heard was silence. Silence between him and me.
“Hey.” He was taking small slow steps, trying to approach me as casual as possible. This was sad. We couldn’t even act normally around each other anymore; five years really does change a person.
I on the other hand was trying to make words come out of my very sandy and dry mouth. Speak Andrea! SPEAK!!!
“Hi?” I croaked.
“Hi? Is that all I get? No ‘How are you?’; no ‘What the hell are you doing here?’; no ‘Get out of my face!’. You have seriously lost your touch, Andy.”
I smiled slightly at his attempt to make our conversation flow.
“Well in that case, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE???” I laughed.
“I’m glad you asked Andrea. I’m back because a little someone told me you’d be at this New Year’s Eve party this year, after not attending for…oh five years or so?” He tried to be playful about it, tried to make me laugh, but I could hear a hint of seriousness in his tone.
So what if I didn’t visit? He couldn’t put the blame on me! It was a two-way error!!!
“Hey who are you to be talking? I haven’t seen or heard from you in five fucking years. Not a phone call, not an email, not anything, NADA comprende?! It’s been five fucking long years and you didn’t even tried to leave a fucking voice message!!! And you’re blaming me??? Honestly what was I suppose to do? You didn’t talk to me at ALL after our little ‘incident’. You didn’t try to tell me ‘Hey I don’t feel the same way about you. Let’s just stay friends.’ You just left me hanging, left me wondering what on Earth you were thinking about. I honestly thought-”
I was cut off by a pair of lips crashing down on mine, his lips desperately moving against mine. The feeling of his arms wrapped tightly around my waist, while my own were making their way around his neck was indescribable. It was everything I remembered and much more.
Eventually we slowed down and our lips parted, each of us trying to catch a breath.
“You really need to shut up sometimes,” he chuckled, “Yes I completely understand if you’re angry with me because I was a total douche-bag, but please, please, please give me a chance to prove that I do care about you. That I do…”
“That you what?”
He took a deep breath and replied, “That I do love you.”
And right at that very moment, that moment as he waited for my reply, we could hear crowds of people screaming “5- 4- 3- 2-”
“Yes, I’ll give us a chance.”
And as the fireworks exploded along with cheers of “Happy New Year”, I was contently kissing the love of my life, the guy who had taken five years for him to admit his feelings for me, my next-door neighbor, my best friend.
The one and only Keith Stone.
***Here is short story that just popped into my head last night! The song is written by me and does not actually exist. The artists also don't exist. I
actually combined the real names and character names of the actors in A Walk To Remember (My all time favorite movie!!)... Anyways I hoped you like it! Please comment and rate it if you liked
lots of love, ~luvbubbleso~
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