A/N: this is my new Troyella story. It's a bit of an emotional ride, just to let you know. Hope you guys like it. There is also a trailer for it on my youtube channel so check that out if you have a chance.
Zac Efron: Troy Bolton
Vanessa Hudgens: Gabriella Montez
Kay Panabaker: Lacey Thomas age 12-15
Bethany Joy Galeotti: Lacey Thomas age 16-17
Jolting out of his sleep, Troy Bolton shot into an upright position and darted his eyes around the room. Seeing nothing but the decorum of his bedroom, he sighed heavily and ran a hand over his face. It had only been a dream. No, that wasn't a dream, that was a nightmare; a horrible nightmare that made him relive a time in his life that he wanted to forget. He hated when that memory crept back into his subconscious. Rising from his bed, he crossed over to his window and stared out into the night.
He knew he should have just gone back to sleep, or at least tried to, but the images of his nightmare were weighing too much on his mind. He closed his eyes and focused on blocking out the horrible memories. Never in his life did he want to forget a day in his life more than the one that changed it forever. His mind eventually drifted to a further time and day—a happier day than the one that haunted his dreams—and he smiled softly.
Five Years Ago
What had he gotten himself into?
Waves crashed against the shore, bringing a calming feeling over the anxiety he was currently suffering from. It had been a week since his parents dropped him off at his grandparents house on their way to Hawaii for their third honeymoon and he wished he had opted for the other option his parents gave him: going to sleep-a-way camp. At least at sleep-a-way camp, he would be having fun right about now. His grandparents—Victor and Sally Bolton—weren't much fun to be around. Sure, they lived in California and had a house right on the beach, but that was about it. They mostly kept to themselves, watching television for most of the day unless Mama Bolton decided to go to the store.
Pushing away from the railing, the twelve year old headed back inside and went to the room that was dubbed 'his' for the time being. He walked over to the calendar that he pinned to the wall and looked at the days he had left before his parents came back. Three more weeks. He groaned inwardly and wished the time could go by faster. Wanting to get out of the house, he slipped on his Vans and went into the living room to inform his grandparents.
"I'm going for a walk," he said as he headed for the sliding glass door leading to the back exit.
"Alright, sweetheart, just be careful," his grandmother said as she continued to crochet something, her eyes glancing at the television every five seconds.
He walked out, closing the door behind him, and made his way down to the sand. If it weren't for the beach, he would have went crazy a long time ago. He headed straight for the water, allowing the waves to wash over his clothed feet. He didn't really care if he got his sneakers wet; he had others. As he stood there, staring out across the water, he could hear the sound of a dog barking from not far away, but he really didn't pay any attention to it.
He turned his head, but had little time to react when a golden retriever pounced on him, pinning him to the ground. He tried with all his might to push the dog off of him, but it was too strong.
The large dog was pulled off of him and replaced by the sight of a brunette girl about his age standing over him, her eyes filled with concern. The brown hues swept over his body to make sure that there were no scratches and that nothing was bleeding.
"Are you okay?" she asked, her eyes finally returning to his.
He nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine."
"I am so sorry about her. Here," she held out her hand, "let me help you up."
He took her hand and she pulled him to his feet to the best of her ability. Standing up straight, he began to dust the sand off of his clothes. She moved behind him and began getting what was on his back, knowing he wouldn't be able to reach it.
She nodded and smiled. "It's the least I can do since Maisy is the reason you were on the ground in the first place." Her smile slipped. "I really am sorry about her."
He shook his head. "It's alright."
"She's a bit....hyperactive."
He chuckled. "Is that what you call it?"
"That's all I can think of calling it."
He laughed and shook his head. "I'm Troy," he said, holding out his hand.
"Lacey." She grasped his hand firmly. "I've never seen you around here before. Did you just move here?"
"Not exactly. My grandparents live right there." He pointed to the house behind them.
"Oh. Visiting them for the summer?"
He scratched the back of his neck out of habit and smiled sheepishly. "You could say that." She cocked her head to one side, confused. "My parents are on their third honeymoon and decided 'hey, since the grandparents are on the way, why don't we just drop you off'."
"And they didn't give you any other option?"
"They did. It was either this or summer camp and now that I think about it, I would have rather went to summer camp."
"They're not much fun are they?"
"Nope, not at all…and I can't believe I just told you that."
She giggled. "It's okay, I won't tell."
"Good. I do not need them thinking I don't love them, cause I do, they're just…boring."
"Well, since it was my dog that knocked you to the ground, I think maybe it would right if I showed you around town and let you get to know the place you going to be spending the next…"
"Three weeks in."
"That would be nice."
She smiled before Maisy barked, bringing the attention of the preteens to her. Lacey scratched her head and turned back to Troy. "I should be getting home. She's probably hungry."
"Okay. Will I see you tomorrow?"
"Most likely," she said with a grin. "I know where you live so don't think for one second that I won't come knocking at your door."
Smirking, he chuckled. "I'll make sure to keep an eye out for you."
"Good. I'll see you around."
She grabbed Maisy's leash and began leading the big dog down the beach, glancing back at Troy who waved at her. She waved back before turning around and continuing her journey home. He watched her until he could no longer see her and went back to his grandparents house.
"How was your walk?" his grandmother asked, though she sounded like she knew something else.
"Uh-huh." She turned her head and looked at her grandson who still stood in the entrance way. "So who is she?"
"Who is who, grandma?"
"That girl you were talking to."
"Oh," he said with a blush, embarrassed that his grandmother had seen him talking to a girl. "That was Lacey."
"Grandma," he whined.
"What? It's true."
He shook his head and walked to his room, closing the door behind him. He couldn't help but grin at his grandmother's words. It may have been embarrassing, but she was right. Lacey was cute and Troy had no problem admitting to it. Lying face up on his bed, he stared at the ceiling and imagined what the next three weeks would bring now that he had something—or rather someone—to take his mind off the time.
His eyes opened slowly and he stared at his reflection in the glass. He could clearly see the lack of emotion in his azure eyes. They had been that way for over a year now and he doubted they would ever get life back in them. Sighing, he pushed away from the window and went back to his bed. He had a long day ahead of him.
Slipping under the covers, he laid his head on the pillow and stared at the far wall. For a solitary moment, he could see Lacey's face flash in front of him and his heart clenched in anguish. He missed her so much and it was killing him not having her near. Closing his eyes, he blocked out all thoughts of her and what she meant to him. As he slipped into a deep sleep, her imagery found its way back into his subconscious, putting a soft smile on his face.
"I'm leaving!" Troy called as he walked towards the front door. He knew his father wouldn't see him off, but his mother would.
Troy and his father, Jack Bolton, had grown apart in the past year, probably because Troy's depression pushed him into keeping to himself. His father had always been his mentor growing up, but after the day his life changed, he drifted further and further away from him. Troy hoped that one day he would be able to fix their broken relationship.
A smile reached his face when his mother appeared. She refused to be pushed away and he didn't fight to do so. His father allowed him to draw a distance between them, but his mother was the complete opposite.
"When are you guys coming back?" she asked when she reached him.
"After New Years."
She nodded. "Well, have fun then."
"I will." He opened the door just as his best friend honked the horn of his red Ford Focus. "I'm coming! Hold your horses, will ya!" he yelled as he started down the path.
"Troy." He stopped and turned to his mother. She sighed and walked up to him, placing her hand on his cheek. "I want you to do me a favor."
"Sure, what is it?" he asked, curiosity in his eyes.
"Promise me you won't think about her."
He looked away. "Mom…"
She brought his eyes back to hers, the green hues shining with determination. He had always loved his mother's eyes and sometimes wished he had inherited them instead of his father's light blue coloring.
"Promise me. I want you to have fun on this vacation. No brooding, no moping, none of that and I've already asked Chad to report back to me if you do. You haven't been yourself since it happened and I just want you to be happy for once."
He sighed. "Ma…"
He smiled and nodded. "For you."
She returned the gesture and wrapped her arms around him. "Thank you."
Finally letting him go, she crossed her arms and watched him walk down the path to the awaiting car. Lucille Bolton always worried about her son. He had been slipping further and further away from her over the past year and she couldn't take it. She refused to imagine what would happen if she completely lost him to himself. When the red sedan pulled away, she sighed and walked back inside.
"So you ready for a week of fun?"
Troy turned towards the driver—his best friend since Pre-K, Chad Danforth—and nodded.
"Good. We are going to have some fun and you're gonna like it."
Troy chuckled before turning his attention to the dark skinned guy in the front seat.
"Hey," he answered. "How are you holding up?"
"No, no. No talking about it," Chad said. "He isn't allowed to sulk on this trip. His mother told me to make sure he has a good time and to do that, talk about it is forbidden. Got it?"
"Yes, sir," the two boys said mockingly.
Chad glared in the rear view mirror before glaring at the boy next to him. "Ha, ha, very funny. But seriously, Troy, you haven't been the same since it happen and I'm tired of seeing you so down."
His smile flipped upside down at his friend's confession. He knew his friends were worried about him, it was a given by the way they always asked 'are you alright?' 'how are you holding up?' It was the same questions every day.
"You know…I gotta agree with him, Troy," Zeke said. "You really haven't been the same."
"What do you expect? I had my heart ripped out of my chest."
"But you can't keep shutting us out like that."
"Can we stop talking about it? I thought I wasn't allowed to sulk."
"You're not…" Chad answered.
"Then stop making me want to."
The conversation ended and Troy sat back in his seat, his eyes focused on the passing scenery. His thoughts were slowly filled with the horrible memories and soon, he couldn't help but slip back into his depression. Staring into the distance, the day that made the change in his life all the more real played in his head.
A Year Ago
What had he done?
"The Lord is my shepherd," the priest bellowed over the sound of the crashing rain, "I shall not want. He makes me lie in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the path of righteousness for his name's sake."
Sobs could silently be heard echoing over the downpour. None of the people that stood surrounding the Birchwood coffin cared about the rain. They only cared that someone close to them was no longer a part of the living.
"Even though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death," the priest continued, "I will not fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."
How could this have happened?
He stood off to the side, watching from a far as the ceremony continued. His heart ached as it grieved for its other half. The rain soaked him through to the bone, but he didn't notice. His heart was numb as was his body. Nothing around him caught his attention except for the coffin straight ahead of him; the coffin that held his beloved.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." The priest walked to the coffin and placed his hand on it. "Father, Lord Almighty, please send your army of angels to make sure your daughter makes it safely to your heavenly gates to be received into your open arms where she will stay for all eternity."
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
His blue eyes watched from underneath his wet chestnut hair as members of the immediate family moved to place roses on the coffin. A bouquet of white roses was placed in the center by the matriarch of the family; her shoulders shaking with heavy sobs. He could feel his heart breaking all over again. The woman turned, her dark brown eyes connecting with his soft blue ones. They both understood each other; both grieving the loss of someone they loved the most.
She was the first to break the gaze; her face burying into her husband's chest as she cried. He had never felt so alone in his life than he did at this moment in time. Everyone else had someone to lean on, but he had no one. The only one he was willing to let comfort him was lying, lifeless, inside that cloth-lined wooden box.
She wasn't supposed to die.
As everyone began to disperse, the brown eyed woman turned back to him. She was silently questioning whether he was going to follow them. He stared at her, his hollow eyes showing nothing. Without giving her a straight, silent answer, he turned and walked away. He wasn't interested in being around everyone else as they shared stories of days past. He wanted to be alone. He didn't want to be reminded any further of the one he lost. He wanted this all to be a dream. He wanted to wake up the next morning and call her, like he did every morning, just to hear her voice and confirm that this was all just one bad dream. Something in his heart, however, told him that this was no dream and that there was no waking up from it.
She was gone…and he was alone.
He stopped walking when he came to a mausoleum. He stared at the elegant structure and wondered who was buried inside. Was it a single person? Was it two people? Maybe two people that had lived all their lives together and wanted to be buried side by side so that they would never have to be without the other even in death. Leaning against the wall of the small building, he looked up to the sky and let the rain wash over him. He slid into a sitting position on the ground and brought his knees to his chest, wrapping his arms around them.
Why did God hate him so much?
From afar, you couldn't tell if he was crying or if it were just the rain, but if one looked up close, you could see his bloodshot eyes that made the hues of blue stand out more than usual. Tears mixed in with rain slid down his face as he stared into the distance.
She had been his everything. She was his earth, his sky, his ocean…his world. His entire life had been built around her, and now he was unsure of it all. The future that they planned, the life that they wanted had become obsolete. There was no future for them. She left him with no possibility of returning. Death wasn't something you could return from.
A violent chill came over him and he knew if he stayed out here any longer, he would catch his death. But maybe that's what he wanted. Maybe he wanted to die. At least that way he could be with her forever. At least if he died, he wouldn't have to spend his life without her. He shook his head, no. She wouldn't want him to end his life this way. She wouldn't want him to deliberately make himself sick. If it was meant to be, then he would die from this cold he knew he was slowly coming down with. If not, then he would live his life up until the time that fate thought it was his turn.
Sighing, he stood up and made his way back to her gravesite.
He stared at the coffin a few feet in front of him. They hadn't buried her yet; most likely waiting for the rain to stop. It took him two, long strides to reach the box that held his beloved inside and he rested his hand against it.
He took a deep breath. "I love you, Lacey."
Without another word, he walked away and headed towards the exit where his car waited patiently for him. His mind was filled with questions, questions as to what had he done to deserve this. But none made itself more prominent than the one that he had asked himself since the day it all happened.
Why couldn't he save her?
"Troy!" Snapping out of his reverie, he turned towards his best friend. "We're here."
He looked out the window and found that, sure enough, they were outside the Angel Fire Resort—the place they were to stay at for the next week. Had he really zoned out for the entire three hour ride it took to get from Albuquerque to Angel Fire? He didn't even realize it. Troy climbed out of the car and went to the back to fetch his bag. Being the last to exit the car, it was his duty to close the trunk.
Glancing around, he noted that there were a fair amount of people staying at the resort. He followed his friends inside the building and up to the front desk where Chad checked them in. He took in the sight of the lobby, admiring the beauty and simplicity of it. As he continued to look around, his eyes caught sight of a brunette sitting by herself, a book in hand. His head tilted slightly as the feeling of familiarity swept through him. He felt like he knew her from somewhere. He was certain that he had seen her before.
"Yo, Troy!" He turned back to his friends. "You coming?"
He nodded and followed behind them, glancing back every few seconds to see if he could jog his memory. When he couldn't place it, he gave up and continued to tailgate his friends to the elevator.
"So what are we doing first?" Zeke asked as they waited for the lift to reach their floor.
Chad shrugged. "I don't know about you, but I'm taking a nap. I'm exhausted."
Troy grinned. "You act like you've been driving for hours."
"I didn't see you doing any of the driving."
"Dude, it took three hours to get here."
"So? It was still all me."
"Fine, when we go home, Zeke and I will drive. Does that please you?"
"Yes, yes it does."
They all chuckled as the elevator doors opened onto their floor. Trudging down the hallway, they finally came to their shared hotel room and Chad opened the door, allowing his two friends in before himself. The second that the door was closed behind them, Chad went straight for the bedroom. Zeke and Troy shared a look and shook their heads. Troy went straight for the couch, turning on the television after taking a seat. He wasn't actually paying attention to it, though, his mind was too focused on the brunette he'd seen in the lobby.
Why did she look so familiar?
Troy swung his head around and looked at Zeke, who stood over him, worry written on his face.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I was just…thinking."
"About Lacey?" he asked as he sat next to him.
"Oh? Then who?"
"There was the girl that was in the lobby when we came in and…she looked sorta familiar."
"What did she look like?"
"Well, she was a brunette."
Zeke nodded. "And?"
"And that's all I could clearly see. She was too far away for me to really get a good look at her."
"Then how do you know she looked familiar to you?"
He shrugged and realized Zeke was right. How could say that she looked familiar when he hadn't even gotten a good look at her? He smiled and turned to his best friend.
"You're right. She couldn't possibly look like someone I know if I don't really know what she looks like. Thanks, Zeke."
"No problem. Well, I'm going to go downstairs and get something to eat."
"Bring me back a cheeseburger!" Chad yelled from the other room.
Troy shook his head while Zeke chuckled. Both had thought that their bushy-haired friend had succumbed to sleep. If he had, then he must have sensed that food was being talked about and woke up.
"Will do!" He turned to Troy. "You want anything?"
"Nah, I'm good."
He nodded and got up, grabbing a spare key card on his way out. Troy turned back to the television, though, once again, he found himself not actually watching it. His mind kept wandering back to the brunette. It was impossible for him to know that she looked familiar if he didn't really know what she looked like, so why couldn't he let it go? Sighing, he leaned his head against the back of the couch and closed his eyes, hoping to clear his mind of everything.
A/N: now if some of you reads runningequalslife's fanfictions, you'd know that this premise seems similiar to her newest story, Fourteen Minutes, believe me, I know. I was working on this when she first published it, but I assure you that they are different stories. I don't plagerize. Story ideas are regurgatated all the time and this is idea is one of them. Besides, my stories can never be as amazing as hers.