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The high school is buzzing with excitement. Graduation is tonight. We sit in alphabetical order at graduation, you know what that means? Glen Carlin next to Spencer Carlin then Spencer Carlin sits next to me then Kyla Davies next to me. It's an awkward arrangement.

I've completely given up trying to talk to her and Kyla has warned me to leave her alone. It's gotten to the point where she's only looking at me with sad, broken eyes. The anger seems to have disappeared.

"Ash, you there?"

My attention turns to Jillian's searching gaze. I don't blame her for what has happened, its all on me. She'll always be my best friend. In fact her and Lauren are starting to get pretty serious.

She's standing there in her orange cap and gown with a brilliant smile on her face. This was a moment we had talked about for a while. We were graduating tonight. Mom and Dad are so thrilled with me they bought me a new TV.

"Yeah its just I figured Spencer would be here too. It doesn't seem right without her."

I sigh as I collapse onto my bed and regret it instantly when I catch another whiff of Spencer's perfume. I groan and bury my head in my pillow. I feel so empty without her.

"Ash, I know you're hurting and kicking yourself but she's doing ok. You need to leave her be and try to keep living."

"Right, easier said then done. Anyway, is Lauren coming to graduation tonight?"

At the mere mention of the girl Jillian starts blushing and grinning like a fool. I imagine that's what I used to look like when I talked about Spence.

"Yeah she's coming! I'm so nervous though and I don't know why…I guess I can't believe everything that has happened this year. I can't believe it's all over."

Another twenty minutes or so of listening to Jill gush about graduation and then we're off to the high school. The entire ride there (which is about 10 minutes, max) my heart races and I feel like I'm going to throw up.

Kyla greets me as soon as I walk in the door. I rarely see her these days. She spends all her time with Glen at his house. I always try my best not to ask her about Spencer when I do see her.

"Ash, wow you look gorgeous. How do you feel?"

She gives me a wide smile but it fades quickly to concern. My sister grabs my arm and pulls me into an isolated corner.

"I'm fine Ky."

"No, you're not fine. I've watched you be miserable for weeks. She used to ask about you but then it became less frequent and now she doesn't even mention you. Ashley, she gave me back all your stuff and she even went on a date the other night. Please let go."

Hot tears sting behind my eyes and I can hear my breathing hitch. Do you know how hard it is for me to hear this? My stomach churns violently and I try to manage a smile for Kyla.

"Listen Ky, I'm really ok. Let's just go graduate ok?"

Truth is I'm not even close to ok or fine. I'm three steps past miserable. Kyla grins and laces our hands together.

As we approach our fellow graduates I see her. Spencer's beautiful golden hair hangs in curls around her smiling face. She's standing with Madison and Glen's arm is wrapped protectively around his sister.

Her laughter makes my chest ache and she smiles in a way I haven't seen in weeks. Maybe she really has moved on, maybe she never really loved me. A girl like her is too good for someone like me anyways.

Our eyes meet from across the hall and I feel a jolt through my body. The smile quickly fades from her face and it breaks my heart. Knowing that I am the reason she becomes so unhappy is killing me.

"You ready?"

Kyla's gaze darts to Spencer before meeting mine and I know she's worried about me being around Spencer. I manage a nod before taking my place in line behind my ex-girlfriend. Being around her makes memories, painful and pleasant, come flooding back.

All I have to do is get through this ceremony and then I can go back to sulking and wasting my empty life away. I can tell Spencer knows I'm behind her by the way her back stiffens suddenly.

I sigh heavily as the principle approaches.

"Everyone in line please! We start in five people. Jenkins knock it off, JENKINS!"

The principle takes off after the red haired boy and a wave of laughter follows. It even manages to make me smile, seeing the scrawny boy run with his grad gown on. Spencer turns to watch the scene and her blue eyes lock on my brown ones.

For a split second her face softens and I think she might still love me but she turns back around in a flash.

The first note of Pomp and Circumstance blasts through the air as we file into the auditorium. I do my best not to trip over my heels and I muster up a half smile of enthusiasm for my parents. They're crying, so embarrassing.

Kyla holds my hand as we listen to the never ending amount of guest speakers and before I realize it we are up and walking out of the auditorium.

My parents take thousands of pictures of Kyla and I in our graduation gowns after the ceremony.

"I'm going to go take some pictures with Glen. Do you want to come with and see Paula? I think she misses you."

Kyla asking me to join her takes me by surprise and when I nod in agreement it surprises me even more. Why am I going over there? It will just suck being around Spencer.

But the moment we cross the twenty feet to where the Carlins are I am grateful Ky invited me.

"Ashley my dear!"

Clearly Spencer didn't tell Paula I cheated on her. She was the best thing to ever happen to me and I blew it.

"Paula, hey I've missed you."

She hugs me tight and the love this woman is showing me makes my eyes tear up. I don't deserve her affection.

"Honey, I heard you and Spence are taking a break. I'm sorry to hear that sweetie. I thought you made each other very happy."

She looks genuinely upset about our break up and it makes me feel even more like shit.

"Yeah I'm sorry too."

God, I'm sorry in more ways then you can know Paula. I talk to the mother Carlin for a few more minutes before I feel a soft grip on my arm and I know who it is before I see her.

"Spence."

Her name escapes my mouth as a husky whisper. She flinches at the use of her nickname. I guess I don't have any right to use the affectionate title anymore.

"Can I talk to you, in private?"

She keeps her voice low so as no one can hear her. She must not want anyone to know she's talking to me. Madison is staring at us and her eyes narrow with disdain at me. Now she has good reason to hate me.

I nod and follow her out to the parking lot hoping, praying this is going to be a positive talk.

We walk up the hill on the south side of the school until we reach the softball field and once we stop she still doesn't face me. I have no idea what she wants to talk about. My whole body is practically shaking with nerves.

"Spencer, what is going on?"

"I'm going to NYU but I figured you already knew that. I just wanted you to hear it from me."

There's no emotion in her voice and I still can't see her face. All I want is to see those baby blues.

"Yeah I guessed you would. I'm sure you'll love it."

"You never even apologized to me."

She suddenly spins around and there are silent tears in her eyes. Her eyes shine, her make up is running down her face, and her perfectly curled hair has become unruly. Even with all of these so called "flaws" she's still beautiful.

"Spencer, come on I didn't think you wanted to hear it. You told me to leave you alone, so did Kyla. I'm trying to respect your wishes."

"Bullshit Ashley. It got hard and you didn't want to deal with it any more. You gave up."

Her words sting but I know I deserve them.

"Well what do you want me to do? Want me to fight for us or leave you alone? I can't do both!"

I drag my hands angrily through my hair and she's scowling fiercely at me.

"It doesn't matter anymore because it's just over. Things have gotten too far away to fix. Come on we're 18 anyway we don't even really know what love is."

Whoa, I deserve a lot of things, her anger and tears and hurtful words, but I do not deserve that.

"Spencer what are you saying? That you didn't love me?"

"I'm just saying we don't know what love really means. I mean, how can we when we've barely lived?"

I can see something in her deep blue eyes. She's begging me for something but I can't read what it is. I steel myself against her gaze and the flood of emotions I'm feeling.

"Fine, believe what you want but I know I loved you. And yeah at the end there I did a shitty job of loving you. Yes I broke what we had but I didn't ever stop caring about you. Not for one freaking second!"

I finish my rant almost out of breath and standing right in front of Spencer. The only sound I can hear is my own labored breathing and my racing heart. Screw this.

I crush my lips over hers and wrap my arms around her. She barely kisses back and I can taste tears. This is a goodbye kiss and she's letting me have one final goodbye.

It hurts so much to stop touching her but I pull myself away and take a step back. Spencer just stands there perfectly broken and gives me a sad smile before heading back down the hill.

"Goodbye Spence."

The darkness is the only audience to my whispered farewell. It offers no reply.

This is the end of the story. Clearly there will be a sequel and since I already have the basic plot nailed down the first chapter should be up soon.

Forgive me for the cliffhanger

Thank you all for everything. I wouldn't do this if I didn't get such amazing responses.