Disclaimer: I only own the plot
A/N: it's finally over everyone. I seriously didn't like writing this chapter, not that something bad happened, I just didn't like the way it came out. I found it hard to actually end it. Even if I didn't end it here, I would have still had a problem with ending this story. No sequel sorry.
It had been a year since Troy left and the gang hadn't been the same ever since, especially Gabriella. She had become withdrawn and anti-social. Whenever the gang went to hang out, she would claim that she had homework to finish and leave her friends to worry about her. They knew she had no homework to do. This was Gabriella they were talking about. No matter what was happening, she would always find time to do her homework.
Gabriella sat in her bedroom, staring at her reflection in her mirror. Her eyes were puffy and red from crying that morning. Today was her graduation and she wanted nothing more for him to be by her side, to graduate with her. He hadn't called, he hadn't wrote, he hadn't even emailed her. It was like she no longer existed in his life. She sighed and slowly brushed her hair.
"Gabriella it's time to go" her mother called from the hallway. Gabriella applied makeup around her eyes to hide the puffiness before standing up and heading downstairs. "Aren't you excited?" her mother asked as the made their way to the school. Gabriella didn't answer, she just stared out the window. Her mother sighed and the car ride continued in silence.
Gabriella stepped out of the car minutes later and spotted her friends over to the side. They looked like they were in a deep conversation but it was discontinued the second she walked over to them.
"Hey Gabi" Taylor said and she flinched. Every time someone called her Gabi, it reminded her of Troy. "Sorry" Taylor said realizing her mistake.
"It's okay" Gabriella said softly. "So what were you guys talking about?"
"We weren't talking about Troy. Who said we were talking about him?" Chad blurted out receiving punches from both Zeke and Jason. "Ow. Sorry." Chad said rubbing his arm.
"Might as well say it since the cat's out of the bag." Sharpay said with a sigh. "Gabi...I mean Gabriella...we were talking about Troy. We were talking about how he's doing in D.C."
"So you've talked to him?" Sharpay nodded. "All of you?" the others nodded and Gabriella felt more tears well up in her eyes. "Why hasn't he called me?"
"He said he's not ready to talk to you" Taylor said.
"He's still trying to get used to living his new life."
"Gabriella...he's coming...to graduation." Kelsi said and Gabriella felt faint.
"I'll see you guys inside." she walked away from her friends and into the building. She went to the first girls' bathroom she saw and locked herself inside one of the stalls. She couldn't believe they kept this from her. She couldn't believe that he didn't even try to make contact with her. After regaining control of her emotions, Gabriella walked out of the bathroom and went straight to the auditorium.
Half an hour later, the ceremony began. Each student walked down the aisles and to their respective seat. Gabriella tried not to look at the audience. She didn't want the possibility of seeing his blue eyes looking back at her. When she got to her seat, she stood and waited for everyone else to file in. She felt someone's eyes burning a hole into her but she refused to look for the source.
Through the entire ceremony, Gabriella kept her eyes straight. She didn't seek out her mother's comforting face, she didn't seek out the eyes of her friends. She just stared straight ahead. The only time she showed any emotion towards the ceremony was when Taylor made her Valedictorian speech and when it was time for her to go up and receive her diploma.
At the end of it all, Gabriella went straight to her mother. She didn't go look for her friends, knowing that he probably was with them.
"Congratulations Gabriella you're finally out of there." her mother said and Gabriella smiled softly.
"So are you ready to go?"
"I just have to do one more thing first." her mother nodded and Gabriella went off on her own.
She walked through the deserted school and found her feet walking the familiar staircase that she hadn't set foot on in a little over a year. She step onto the platform that held the rooftop garden, their secret place. She smiled as she ran her hand over the railing. It looked the same as it did a year ago. She walked over to where the garden met with the sky and the beautiful scenery of Albuquerque. She closed her eyes and breathed in the fresh air.
"Gabi?" her eyes quickly opened and she turned around, her brown eyes meeting with familiar blue ones.
"T-Troy?" he smiled and she adverted her eyes. She turned back around and his smile dropped. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to see my friends graduate."
"Well now you've seen it. You can leave now."
"Gabi what's wrong?"
"How could you?" she asked and turned to face him. "How could you just cut off all contact with me but still keep in touch with everyone else?"
"Because Gabriella talking to you would make me remember what happened. You were the only one that has actually seen what my father did to me. Talking to you would bring all that back."
"So why are you talking to me now?" he looked away from her and didn't answer. "Why do I even bother?" she said and went to walk pass him.
"Gabriella..." he said and went to grab her arm but she evaded him.
"No. You know what? You asked me not to give up on you and I didn't. I didn't give up on you even though you never called me once to tell me that you were okay. I'm tired of waiting for you to really love me back."
"Gabriella I do love you. You know that."
"No I don't. I thought that once all that stuff with your father was over, I would get the old Troy back but I guess I thought wrong." he grabbed her arm and pulled her to him.
"The old me is gone Gabriella. Even if my dad didn't do all the things he did to me, there was no way I would go back to who I used to be. The old me died with my mother." I softened in his embrace and found myself wrapping my arms around him.
"I just wish you would have called me or something, anything to let me know that you were okay."
"I'm sorry Gabi. I wanted to but I was afraid to. You don't know how many times I've wanted to see you again."
"Just promise me you won't leave me again."
"So where are you going for college?"
"Really so am I."
"I know. I applied there only because Taylor told me you were going there." Gabriella smiled and looked up at him. "You don't know how much you mean to me Gabi. You're my everything. If it wasn't for you, I don't think I would have survived the past year. I love you so much."
"I love you too Troy." he smiled and kissed her. All of a sudden it began to rain, the two looked out into the rain and Troy took her hand.
"Come on." he led her downstairs and out into the rain.
"Troy" she squealed and he laughed. She laughed along with him as they dance together in the rain. He pulled her closer to him and held her in his arms.
"Marry me?" he asked, practically yelling over the sound of the rain.
"Troy...I can't...at least not now." she answered.
"I understand. If I asked you in another two years, would you say 'yes'?" she smiled and nodded.
"If you asked me in another two years I would say yes infinity."
"Then I'll hold you to that." she shook her head before leaning up and closing the space between their lips.
This was a new beginning for both teenagers. With love leading their way, they knew that they would face the world together with whatever life threw their way.