Disclaimer: I do not own Degrassi.
Author's note: Well, this is the last chapter. Thank you so much for giving this story a chance, thank you for reading although I know that it was angsty and sad. Thank you for reviewing and for contacting me on Twitter. Thank you. I wrote this story for those who have struggled with depression or anger. I wrote it to tell you that you're not alone, that there's always hope, that there is always a solution. Hang in there, and smile, smile, smile.
This chapter is dedicated to my real-life and online best friends: Victoria, Pete, Miranda, Dominique, Deanna, Devin, Tyler and Betty. Because so many times you have saved me from myself, and without you, I would be completely lost. I love you.
"You are the dark ocean bottom and I am the fast sinking anchor, should I fall for you?
You are the scar on my tissue that I show all of my new friends, should I show you me?
All we need is a little bit of momentum, break down these walls that we've built around ourselves, all we need is a little bit of inertia, break down and tell…That you are the rain on the fire, deep in the trees when no one was looking, should I speak of this? You are a mirage in the distance that defies the heat of the desert, should I believe in you?"- Momentum, The Hush Sound
"It has been a pleasure working with all of you this year," said Miss Dawes, handing back their final assignments. Clare couldn't wait to see her grade; she had poured her soul out on their last project, a poem.
Miss Dawes handed Clare her assignment and Clare's eyes fixed on the red A+ at the top of the paper and tried hard not to squeal in delight. She turned around on her seat instead to face Eli, who had already placed his assignment face down on his desk, ignoring it.
"Look," said Clare cheerfully, waving the piece of paper in front of him. Eli smiled and took the poem from Clare's hand, smiling smugly.
"Well, it's an amazing poem, my dear Clare," smirked Eli. "You were bound to get a perfect grade. The way you described your parents' struggle with their marriage, their divorce, and your feelings was just superb."
"Thanks for helping me with it," said Clare, reaching for Eli's hand and holding it tenderly.
"I was just passing paper tissues," smiled Eli, clutching Clare's hand. "That's all."
"You never showed me your poem," said Clare, glancing at Eli's paper, and he merely smirked and said nothing.
"Class, although all of your poems were good, there was a poem that caught my attention," continued Miss Dawes, and Clare turned around to face their teacher rather reluctantly. "I would love for the author of that poem to come up front and read it in front of the class, if that's okay. Mr. Goldsworthy?"
Clare could feel Eli's hesitation even if she couldn't see his face; he knew that he wasn't fond of public speaking. But she was curious about the content of the poem, he had refused to show her any lines, and she wondered if it had something to do with their brief split.
Eli walked past her, clutching his poem nervously in his hands and he stood next to Miss Dawes, facing the class. Clare smiled at him, and remembered the first day their eyes met. It had been in the same classroom, and she had been standing in front of everyone, terrified of addressing the class. Full circle, thought Clare.
"Whenever you're ready," said Miss Dawes to Eli, and Eli bit his lip nervously, focusing on his poem.
"Glass," said Eli, and gulped. "Sorry, I'll start all over."
I was broken, shattered glass when you found me.
Pieces abandoned in the sand.
I broke myself so no one would be able to fix me.
But you picked up the sharp pieces.
You held on to them with infinite patience.
But my nature didn't change.
I was still broken glass.
I dug into your skin and almost ripped you apart.
You still have the scars.
You had to let go when the pain became too much.
You left me on a shelf and walked away for an eternity.
I collected dust and sorrow but I waited.
You came back with a frame in your hand and put me back together.
You came back when we were both healed and ready.
You framed the broken pieces of glass.
And now I am complete."
Clare was aware of the tears running down her cheeks and how students were staring at her, but she didn't care. She wanted to walk over to Eli and kiss him, kiss him until their lips went sore, but she knew that Miss Dawes wouldn't approve of their public display of affection.
"Thank you, Mr. Goldsworthy," said Miss Dawes, beckoning Eli to sit down. Eli nodded and walked back to his seat, smiling timidly to Clare as he did. Clare pretended to pay attention to Miss Dawes' last words for the class before they left for summer break, but she could only think of Eli.
The bell rang and the students scrambled out of the classroom, wanting the day to be over already. Miss Dawes walked by Eli and Clare and smiled at them knowingly before leaving, and soon it was only the two of them in the classroom.
Both of them got out of their seats and Clare quickly wrapped her arms around Eli, and he hugged her back. "Whoa, what was the hug for?" chuckled Eli, holding her tight.
"I'm sorry for taking more than a month to get back together," said Clare miserably.
"Clare, I've told you a thousand times that it's okay," said Eli. "We needed that time apart, everything was so intense back then."
Clare looked up to him and smiled. "I know, but…"
"Clare, we're together now, we've been together for a while now," said Eli, kissing her on the forehead. "Let it go."
Eli searched for Clare's lips and they kissed slowly, with Eli's hand rubbing her back gently. "Hey, I have something to show you," breathed Eli against Clare's lips.
He let go of Clare and searched through his backpack, and Clare looked over at him curiously. Eli pulled out a journal with a burgundy cover, and Clare frowned.
"I have a new journal," explained Eli. "I put the other one away."
He handed the journal to Clare and she took it, smiling as she looked at it.
"You can open it, Clare," said Eli. Clare looked at him and Eli nodded, and she opened the journal to read the first page. It was the poem Eli had read in front of the class, and when she went through the rest of the pages, she noticed that every single one was blank.
"A new beginning," said Eli as Clare closed the journal and gave it back to him. "Dr. Porter suggested it, but I had been thinking about it for a while."
"Where's the old journal?" asked Clare. "You're not throwing it away, are you?"
"No," said Eli as they picked up their things and headed out. "I'm keeping it in one of my boxes. I'm not that person anymore, the one in the journal, but I can't just throw it away… and it has nothing to do with my hoarding."
"Oh, I know," smiled Clare as they held hands. "And you're getting so better at not keeping things... in every single way, I must add."
"Well, you've helped me out a lot," shrugged Eli. "And opening up to Dr. Porter actually helped- Don't say I told you so!"
"My lips are sealed," giggled Clare, and Eli suddenly kissed her on the lips in front of everyone. He was kissing her hungrily, deepening the kiss almost immediatly. Clare responded eagerly, forgetting for a moment that they were still in school and not somewhere more secluded.
"What was that for?" asked Clare breathlessly, her face very red.
"Just wanted to prove that your lips aren't always sealed," smirked Eli. "Clare Edwards, what are you doing after school?"
He loved holding her in his arms, both of them lying on the grass under the tree. Clare's head was resting on his chest and he smiled just thinking of the make-out session they had had inside of Morty right after school.
Eli wanted nothing more than to go back to his house and rip Clare's clothes off, but Clare had to go to her father's condo later that afternoon. He remembered the day Clare finally called him back after being apart for almost a month, and how passionate their reunion had been. Eli still had a scar on his back from when he hit the nightstand, not sure about how that happened.
"I'll be back home on Sunday," said Clare, sliding her hand under Eli's shirt and making him tense up slightly.
"Hey, I'm pretty good at waiting," mocked Eli as Clare's hand brushed against his bare skin.
"We both are," said Clare, and kissed a spot on Eli's jaw line. "So patient, aren't we?"
"Of course," said Eli sarcastically, and pulled her closer to him. "And we have all summer to spend together, so..." A question was lurking in the back of Eli's mind, had been lurking there for a while, and he needed to ask it.
"Clare… if you hadn't picked up my poem from the floor that day… do you think that we would be together?"
"Well…" said Clare finally. "Would you have talked to me if I didn't? I mean, you wanted it back…"
Eli knew that Clare had a point, and the thought of never talking to her was upsetting. "Probably not. I would have stayed away from you, I guess."
"Why?" asked Clare curiously.
"Because like I told you before, I fell for you the moment you spoke in front of the class that day," said Eli. "And you know… I had been avoiding happiness for a while… I don't know. I guess we have to be grateful to Adam, if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have dropped my poem that day."
"Eternally grateful to Adam Torres," giggled Clare.
"I'm still amazed at the fact that you forgave me..." started Eli.
"Eli, there was nothing to forgive," said Clare, snuggling closer to him. "You changed. The Eli you were back then is not the Eli I'm with, and I know that. I love you, and that's all that should matter. Right?"
Eli moved so he could be facing Clare and he kissed her, enjoying the taste of her lips. She parted her lips trustingly and his tongue explored her mouth eagerly, and he pulled her closer to him. He loved her more than anything, and it felt good to know that Clare felt the same way.
Because when they met, anger and depression had collided in a spectacular way. The collision should have resulted in more pain and more damage, and for a while, it did. But the clash resulted in something more wonderful, more complicated, an emotion that both had been avoiding and neglecting.
Clare pulled away from him and caressed his cheek with her soft, warm hand, her eyes full of love and trust.
"You have that familiar look in your eyes… What are you thinking about?"
He kissed her again, taking his time as his hand slid under Clare's shirt, teasing her. He stopped kissing her on the lips and moved to Clare's neck, tasting her skin. He finally pulled away and he smiled back, giving her the same answer he always did. Because the answer would never change.