Gabriella Montez had moved many times in her short seventeen years. She moved three weeks after she was born because her parent's apartment wasn't big enough for the new addition in the family. She moved again when she was four so that her father could be close to his sick sister. When she was eight, she moved to a town with a hospital and research center so developed, that they had to have a cure for her father's illness. When she was eleven, her mother and her moved to her mother's hometown to grieve her father's death with her grandparents. Since then, she had moved eleven times following her mother's job.
Troy Bolton, on the other hand, had moved once. He spent his first few days at Albuquerque Medical Center in a room with twelve other premature babies, and then he moved into the house and into the room that he still lives in after eighteen years. Until now.
"This fucking sucks," Troy said for what seemed like the millionth time. He held up a blue Frisbee from his dentist's office to show his girlfriend of almost two years.
"I know. Throw it away," she said, observing the broken toy in her boyfriend's hand.
"I may need it one day," he argued.
"You won't. Throw it away."
"This was a gift."
"Yeah, from your dentist. Throw the damn thing away."
"Throw it away," she insisted, and watches as he tosses the toy away.
"How the heck did you do this so many times?"
"I don't know. Eventually it just became regular. Kind of cleansing actually. Throw it away," she added as she watched Troy contemplate a froggie keychain. He threw the keychain into the garbage bag that was slowly but surely growing and sat down next to his girlfriend. He grabbed her hand and rested his head on her shoulder. She kissed the top of his head softly.
"Troy, I know this is really hard for you, but I promise, it will get easier."
"I don't want to go."
"I know, Wildcat. But you have to. And it's not like you're moving far away, you're just moving to a newer house up the street."
"But why?" He asked, almost whining.
"Because your roof leaks. And your bedroom doors don't lock. And your garage won't open."
"But we've lived that way for years."
"You've complained about it for years, too. I mean how many times has your mom walked in on us? And you tell her it never would have happened if you had a lock on your door," she giggled, blushing slightly.
"Too many times."
"And how many times have you had to run in from across the street when it's raining?"
"Too many times," he said again.
"Do you see why you're moving now?"
"Yes," he sighed, sitting up straight. "It still sucks though," he added, kissing her hand.
"I know, Wildcat." The young couple locked eyes and began to lean in to each other. They heard a faint sound of knocking and the door began to open just as their lips touched.
"Locks on the doors. Best part of the new house," Mrs. Bolton laughed uncomfortably. There were some things you just never get used to, and walking in on your son and his girlfriend, no matter how innocent the act, is just awkward.
"Agreed," Troy smiled back, pulling away from Gabriella.
"Looks like you're almost done," Mrs. Bolton stated, observing the number of boxes that were taped shut.
"Yup," Troy sighed. "My entire childhood rests in these boxes, Mama."
"I know this is hard for you, Sweetie, but I promise you'll love the new house."
"Sure I will."
"All right, well finish up. The movers are going to be here first thing in the morning.
"Do you need a ride home, Gabriella?"
"I can take her, Ma," Troy smiled knowingly.
"Thank you, Mrs. Bolton," Gabriella smiled. Mrs. Bolton smiled back and left the two alone, leaving the bedroom door ajar.
"You ready to go?" Troy asked his girlfriend, nuzzling into her cheek.
"Are you sure you can finish without me?" She giggled, leaning back into him.
It had been exactly four weeks since Troy's parents came home to announce that they had, on an impulse, put an offer on the new house down the street. It had been exactly three weeks since Troy was told to start packing. Now, the day had finally come. Movers were in and out of his old house bringing things to his new one. He had been overlooking the move at the new house for almost four hours before a beautiful girl with brown curls came up behind him.
"Hey, Wildcat. How's the move going?" She winced as one of the movers almost dropped a box marked 'FRAGILE'.
"Hey. It's going all right I guess," he smiled as he turned to face her. "I wasn't sure if you were coming around today."
"Of course I'd be here," she giggled, leaning her forehead against his.
"Thanks," he said, almost whispering and closing his eyes. She could feel the pain he was feeling as he held her hands and rubbed their noses together.
"I love you," she said softly, trying to comfort him.
"I love you, too," he said, continuing his previous motions. It didn't matter how many times those words were exchanged; they still made life seem just a little bit easier. Unfortunately, their moment was cut short when one of the movers cleared his throat loudly only a few feet away. Troy reluctantly turned to face him, keeping one of his hands holding Gabriella's.
"Uh, sorry to interrupt," the mover said in a strong Boston accent, "but where do you want this?" The man was holding a bed frame that had just, hours before, resided in Troy's childhood bedroom.
"Down the hall, last door on the right," Troy directed him.
"Thanks," the mover nodded as him and three other men brought pieces of Troy's bed frame to its new place of residence.
"How's your new room?"
"The walls are white."
"We can paint them."
"No, I think I'll just leave them like that for now," Troy sighed, gripping Gabriella's hand tightly and pulling her closer to him.
"Once all your things are inside it'll warm up. I promise," she told him, squeezing his hand. He turned towards her and began to lean in when they were again interrupted by one of the movers.
"Uh, 'scuse me. Sorry to interrupt, but where do you want this?" Two men holding a dark wooden bookshelf staggered through the front door.
"That goes in the study. Down the hall, second door on the left," Troy told them.
"Sounds like you know your way around."
"It's not like there are a lot of rooms to remember. My parents' room is on the other side of the house. The study, the laundry room and the kitchen are separating our rooms," he smiled slightly. She could tell it was forced, but she smiled back at his attempt at optimism.
"Can't I just unpack tomorrow?" Troy whined as Gabriella opened a box filled with jeans and t-shirts a few hours later.
"No. Troy, you'll feel so much better with all your things in place," she reminded him, motioning for him to join her. He sighed and sat down on the floor next to her, kissing her cheek softly.
"Gabi… I just… God. I love you so much," he whispered into her ear, leaning his forehead into the side of her hair. She ran her fingers through his hair and turned to lean her forehead against his.
"I love you too, Troy. Everything will be okay."
"Troy, this looks wonderful," Mrs. Bolton exclaimed, admiring the work of her son and his girlfriend. "Gabi, you really did an amazing job." It was ten o'clock at night, and the young couple had spent the whole afternoon finishing up his room. All of his clothes were in place, towels were hung, and posters were taped on his wall.
"Thanks Ma," Troy smiled sadly. He knew it looked great, but it just didn't feel like home.
"Okay. I'm going to bed. Don't stay up to late, you two," Mrs. Bolton smiled and left the two of them alone in Troy's new room. Troy sighed and lied down on his bed, closing his eyes. Gabriella lied down next to him and began to rub his chest in an attempt to comfort him.
"You know what the weirdest part is?" He exhaled. "I have to sleep here tonight. It's not like… like I did all this work and now I can go home and sleep. Because this is home now."
"The first night is always the hardest."
"And it's not like summer camp, where I'm only sleeping here for a few weeks," he said, not responding to Gabriella's comment. "It's like… this is it."
Gabriella woke up to the sound of knocking on her balcony door. She glanced at her clock that read 12:56 AM before rising to open her door to the offending knocker.
"Troy, it's almost one in the morning. What are you doing here?" She whispered, allowing him into her room.
"I know. I'm sorry for waking you. I just couldn't sleep."
"Troy," she said sadly, pulling him into her. She could have sworn she felt a tear on her face that wasn't her own. She slowly pulled back and used her thumbs to wipe away the two tears falling down his face.
"Can I stay here with you tonight?"
"Troy… you can stay here if you want. But I really think you should stay at your house."
"Will you come back and stay with me?" He asked. The words left his mouth sounding like a child begging his mother to stay with him until he fell asleep, in fear that the monster under his bed would come out and eat him otherwise.
"Yes," she nodded, kissing his chin. "I'm just gonna go tell my mom, okay?" He nodded in agreement and stood back, slightly composing himself. She heard a sniff as she walked down the hall to her mother's room.
It was 1:19 exactly when Troy and Gabriella quietly made their way into Troy's new bedroom. She took his hand and led him to the bed, forcing him to lie down. She turned off the lights before joining him. He wrapped his arms around her and the two laid silent. Gabriella willed herself to stay awake until she heard his breath become rhythmic, but so far as she could tell, he was still awake.
"Troy?" she whispered quietly, bringing her hand to his face and stroking his cheek.
"Hmm?" He said looking at her, eyes fighting to stay open.
"Why don't you let yourself sleep?"
"Because when I wake up I'll still be here," he told her, leaning into her touch.
"So will I," she assured him. "Close your eyes." After looking deep into her eyes he chose to trust her and slowly let his eyelids falls. He felt her hand gently rub his face and he fell deeper into her touch. Gabriella smiled as his chest began to rise and fall to a steady beat.
Gabriella woke up later that morning to the feeling of two blue eyes staring at her.
"Hey," she smiled softly, looking up at Troy.
"Hey," he kissed her lips lightly.
"Did you sleep at all?"
"I did for a little while. I had an epiphany."
"Oh yea? What's that?"
"It doesn't matter where my things are, or what house I live in. All that stuff… it's just details. I mean… this is a pretty kick ass room. I've got my own door to the backyard. Do you know how easy it was to sneak out and get you last night?"
"You know, I'm not going to sleep here every night," Gabriella giggled.
"I know," he chuckled. "You really are the best, though," he added, leaning in closer.
"I know," she grinned.
"You're modest, too." He was leaning in to kiss her when something familiar caught her eye. She leaned over slightly only to have her sight fall upon a blue Frisbee with a crack down the middle. She looked at her boyfriend who stared back and smiled sheepishly.
"I kept it."