I had given up hope of ever seeing him again. It was high school graduation, so much time had passed. Years ago, he had just stopped writing and calling. His dad and he had moved out, his dad needed a fresh start. I had given up hope of ever seeing him again, but I had never stopped loving him.
It is after the ceremony and I am rushing over to Ava and everyone else and I hear my name called. I turn around but no one seems to have called it. I spin one more time and I catch a glimpse of a familiar face leaned up against the bleachers. I stop and stare at him. He looks back at me and his blue eyes stare into mine. He was the same, but at the same time not at all. He was wearing a white tee that fit to his body and a pair of dark jeans. His hair was grown out, and his body was long and fit. Puberty had been good on him, I mean he was beautiful before, but now, now he was gorgeous. I give a small smile, and he smiles back and then he turns and disappears into the crowd.
I sigh and figure it's just a hallucination. Why on Earth would Cam come back now?
Everyone hugs me when I get there and I think Ava is about to cry but Johnny calms her and Ava gently places a hand over her stomach. She had been doing that lately since she was pregnant (she hardly shows but her hormones are already off the charts) and she had told me that that movement came naturally.
"So," Ava starts, "what do you wanna do? It's your big day. The cook out is in a couple hours, and you can do whatever you like until then. We can all do a family thing-
"Actually," Bradin interrupts, "I'm on duty in a few minutes." Bradin became a lifeguard a couple years ago. He's become head lifeguard now and he's debating on whether to take on a job as beach patrol. He sings at a local restaurant in town sometimes too, and plays guitar. He's a lot more down to Earth than he used to be. I watch as Bradin walks away.
"And I have to go meet up with the girls." Jay adds and he sends Ava a sad face but rushes off. He wasn't talking about girlfriends like he would have if it were six years ago. He was talking about Isabelle and Claire, his family. I was happy for Jay, he was a lot more mature, but I still missed him.
Ava looks disappointed. Susannah inches closer but carefully. "I have something to do with Scottie."
"I'm going over to Matt's to skateboard." Derrick informs.
Now Ava looks even more down and she turns to me. "Just you, me and Johnny can go do something then Nik." She puts a small smile on her face.
I send her a sad look, "I was actually thinking about just walking down the beach to think. I feel like I've been so crowded today. Sorry," I say and I start inching away. "You and Johnny go have fun." I say and I rush off towards home because I wasn't about to stay dressed up.
I slide on some old jeans (that I roll up) and a flowy tank top. I rush towards the beach (just in case Ava and Johnny were stopping by the house) and I walk in the direction that won't be crowded.
I walk a ways down the beach and I sit on top of a cliff. I let down my hair from my ponytail and I let my hair blow in my face.
After awhile I hear the rocks move behind me and I turn around quickly. There he is, Cameron Bale, he looks different, but he still has the same safe feeling. He flashes me a perfect smile and I notice his gap isn't there any longer. I smile back and I watch as he runs his fingers through the back of his hair nervously. I must be dreaming. He's not really here. I'm going to wake up and he's going to be gone.
"Nikki…" he practically whispers. He looks me up and down as if taking in my presence. I look down and then I turn back to the waves not wanting to have myself crushed anymore. I hear as he walks closer and he sits down beside me. "Nik," he whispers closely to me.
"Hey," I mutter, not wanting to let my guard down. I hear him sigh as if in relief and I turn to look at him. He has a goofy smile on his face but I can't seem to look away.
"I thought you weren't going to talk to me," he says and I turn back to the waves. I see him turn to the waves as well. "About the not writing and stuff…Nik… I'm sorry. It was just hard you know?"
I don't turn to him this time. "It was hard realizing that you weren't writing anymore, after all those days I waited for the mail and I waited for the phone to ring. It never happened Cam." I say and try to push away the feelings etching towards the surface, trying to be released and seen. The feelings that had me crying myself to sleep for nights until I could push them back. I couldn't let them go now.
"I know, Nikki. But my dad was trying to start new, I had a new life. I couldn't keep holding onto you Nikki. It wasn't fair to either one of us." He says and then pauses. "Guys would be rushing to be with you Nikki, I couldn't ask you to hold on to me."
I turn to him. "I would have held on to you forever Cameron."
He looks down and then meets my eyes. "I know that Nikki, that's why I had to do it. If I lost my best friend, it was okay because you could be happy. You could live and love without worrying about me, without thinking about me. I had to stop because I knew you would never." He says. "I honestly thought I would never come back, but at the end of the year my dad said he was moving back so I could go to UCLA. I couldn't come back without seeing you."
"You didn't do this for me Cameron Bale." I say. "You stopped for you, so you could live and love without worrying about me, without thinking about me." I stand up and look down to him. "Look at yourself Cam, you are every girl's dream, there's no doubt you've had girlfriends."
Cameron stands now. "You are trying to tell me that you haven't dated around?" He says and he looks me over. He was right; I had dated around but nothing serious. More guys talked to me after junior high, but none of them were anything to me.
"I've dated, but none of them were anything. Not that it is any of your business." I say and I start walking off. He grabs my arm and spins me towards him.
He pulls me close and his face is inches from mine. "None of mine meant anything either Nik."
I pull away. "Bullshit." I say. "You stopped for some reason and it wasn't just for my own good."
He looks down and runs his hands through his hair again. He doesn't seem like he's going to say anything so I turn begin walking away."It was too hard for me to be away from you Nik." He finally says and I stop but don't turn around. "To constantly be reminded of what I'm missing out on. I couldn't handle it. It's easier to push thoughts in the back of your mind, but when you are constantly reminded it's not so easy. So I stopped writing. But it was for your own good to. It was easier for you to hate me for not writing so you could love and live."
"Well it didn't work I say," walking closer to him. "I couldn't love and I couldn't live without you. I constantly thought about you. When I would start to laugh something in my head would say Cam would think this is funny. I thought about you every moment of every day."
Cameron grabs the back of my neck and pulls me against him. His lips crash onto mine and we share the sweetest, purest, loveliest kiss anyone has ever shared. We kiss for moments and then he moves his lips away but his forehead rests on mine. "I love you Nikki Westerly. I will always love you. I'm sorry. I'm so sor-" I crash my lips against his to shut him up.
I didn't want to hear he was sorry, I knew he was. I knew he was when he showed up. Part of me wanted to be mad, but all of me wanted him. I wanted his lips against mine forever. I pull my lips away after moments and I lean my forehead on his. "I love you Cameron Bale." I whisper and then our lips crash into each other and I knew right then our love would last through everything. It was always with us no matter how far apart we had been.
I would worry about the future and where it would take us some other day. Now, I just wanted his lips against mine and to be in his arms.