Love and stoplights can be cruel.

-Sesame Street


"Damon, I don't understand how you of all people could be nervous." I sat on my best friends, Damon Salvatore's bed as I went through a magazine and he went around the room getting ready for his big date with Katherine Pierce. He has been in love with this girl since I can remember and she was finally giving him the time of day. It made me sick to my stomach how much control she had over him. He couldn't even find the right shade of black to wear. I was the girl and it was all the same to me. My jealous side was kicking in as she was taking up all his time. It wasn't like I had a claim to him, but to me she was tearing him out of my grip. And for some reason I feel like he isn't the same guy that I've known all my life.

"You don't get it Elena." He said while rolling his eyes.

"Damon, not even I have been this nervous and neurotic about a date. I never thought I would see the day where you would be."

"Why don't you just read your little magazine and tell me yay or nay." He said while holding up a dark blue shirt and a gray one.

"Blue. It brings out your eyes." I said unconsciously and he just gave me an odd look and went about his frantic wardrobe searching. "Your date is in thirty minutes Damon, you should probably take a shower now."

"You're right." He said while throwing off his shirt and I immediately cast my eyes downward back to my magazine. I didn't need to boost his ego by ogling him. "Don't think about me naked too much." Was the last thing he said before I heard him run off to his bathroom. Damn, that boy did not know what he did to me.

"You are thinking of him naked, aren't you?" I suddenly jumped as Stefan Salvatore disrupted my day dream. Stefan was Damon's little brother who was also my age. The Salvatore brothers have been living in the Boarding house just the two of them since Damon was old enough to look after Stefan. Their father was some huge business man who lived and worked in New York while they lived here in the house they grew up in. Or what I should probably say, their mansion they grew up in. Their mother died when Stefan and I were in middle school and Damon in high school, so it has just been them two around Mystic Falls for a long time. Stefan and I have been friends since birth practically but Damon was always a different story. He wasn't just only my best friend but he was my everything. We were inseparable and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

"Yea, totally." I said sarcastically, doing my best to blow it off.

"Oh please you are so obvious." He walked over to the bed and flopped down next to me.

"I don't know what you are talking about." After a long pause I couldn't help myself and gave in. "I'm not that obvious am I?" I asked hoping to God that Damon didn't have a clue about the existence of feelings I've been hiding for years now.

"To the outside world you couldn't be more transparent but Damon is oblivious."

"Good." I mumbled as I flipped the page of my magazine.

"So when are you going to make a move on him?"

"Shh!" I said as I heard the water turn off. The last thing I wanted was for Damon to hear a word of this conversation.

"Sorry." He whispered. "So what are your birthday plans?"

"Absolutely nothing!" The words came out more abrasive than I had wanted them to. Everyone knew what tomorrow was and it was not a day for celebrating. Tomorrow would be a year from the day my parents car had driven off the bridge that had killed them. It was my seventeenth birthday when it happened and there was no way that tomorrow wouldn't be filled with emotional breakdowns and tears. I hated birthdays now.

"Elena, you can't let what happened last year-"

"Stefan please don't. It's really not that big of a deal." I gave a small smile, trying to lighten the mood a little. "Besides, it is only a number." Ever since my parents died I felt like I grew up and I never thought my age fit appropriate with my situation. I always felt like I had bigger issues and more serious things on my plate than your average teenager. So turning eighteen to me was long over due. But of course Stefan saw it as being a milestone in my life. He wanted to celebrate and I wanted to pretend that birthdays didn't apply to me.

"I can't believe you wont let me throw you a party." Stefan wasn't a party guy so I was a little taken back by that statement. "What?" He said as he noticed the shocked expression on my face.

"Whatever you wouldn't throw me a party. You are just saying that. We all know how you hate crowds and avoid them at all cost."

"That is not true!" He said as he paused for a moment. "Okay, maybe it is true." He sighed and turned back to me. "But for you..." He suddenly got serious and gave me the expression I've been used to ever since freshman year when I was sure he had a thing for me. "I'd do it for you." He said with a small smile and I almost felt guilty for turning away his affection so much. I loved Stefan, I really did. But I just couldn't picture myself with him. There was always something in the way. Or someone else in the way.

"What have you two kids been fighting about?" Speaking of the devil, Damon came out of the bathroom in only a towel and I felt the air getting sucked out of my lungs. I tried to push down the butterflies and fits of nervousness in my stomach at what I was seeing. It's not like I haven't seen it before but every time he shows off his body like that I get a little uneasy. "Seriously, I could hear you all the way in the bathroom."

"We have been discussing why me turning eighteen tomorrow isn't a big deal, or at least why I don't think it is."

"Oh my god... Elena I'm so sorry, I totally forgot." He said with wide eyes.

"It's fine." I said emotionless as I tried to brush off the fact that I thought he was just being nice this whole time and not bringing it up because of the accident. Apparently I was wrong.

"You are mad at me." He stated and I heard Stefan sigh next to me.

"No I'm not."

"Okay I'm not listening to you guys get into a lovers quarrel right now." Stefan said while interrupting us. Damon and I both rolled our eyes at that comment. He was always saying stuff like that to make us uncomfortable. It was almost like he was just teasing me while Damon stood there oblivious to it all.

"For the last time Stefan, our relationship is not like that." Damon said while walking over to his closest. "And just so you know, I have a date tonight."

"Whatever. Okay back to our previous conversation." Stefan said while turning towards me. "There are a lot of perks of being eighteen, Elena. You get to hook up with old men like Damon now. That's a plus." Stefan smirked at me and I felt my heart flutter at the thought as I quickly looked away from them both to hide my blush. "Wait, Damon you have a date?" He said looking confused. "Shouldn't you have a problem with that?" He said to me and I shook my head.

"For the last time Stefan. There is nothing between Damon and I." I shot him a warning look as his mouth opened to argue.

"Yet." Stefan added which only caused me to sigh. It was like talking to a brick wall.

"And by the way." Damon's head popped out of the closest with a scowl. "I'm not that old."

"Damon, how many times do I have to tell you that the blue shirt looks the best on you? Katherine will like blue." I said frustrated as he was looking through his shirts again. "Is this what you have to deal with every time he goes on a date?" I asked Stefan as we laughed at Damon. I got off the bed and walked up to him while grabbing the shirt and demanding he put it on

"Fine." He sighed while sliding on the shirt as I started to button it up. "Tomorrow you should come over. Get your mind off things."

"Yea, I'm going to need you. It's going to be rough. It's already rough." I said while focusing my trembling hands on succeeding to button the last few buttons.

"Hey, it will be okay." He said while grabbing my hands to stop me from my task. "You got me."

"I know." I smiled slightly. "That's probably the only thing that will get me through."

"I'm late." He suddenly let go of my hands and started to back away as he looked around for his phone and wallet. I grabbed them from the dresser and stopped his frantic searching as I shoved them his way. "What would I do without you?" He said while kissing my forehead. "I'll see you tomorrow." He rushed out of the room, leaving Stefan and I behind. I looked towards Stefan who was watching me carefully.

"Don't worry, Elena. One day he will be rushing off to you."

"I doubt that."

I couldn't get any sleep that night as it was filled with tossing and turning. My thoughts were going a hundred miles a hour and I couldn't stay calm. I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin. The feeling never stopped as today was my birthday and I felt like dying. I was on edge and nothing was helping me. The only thing I could count on was spending the day with Damon. He would be the only person who could tame whatever was happening inside me.

"I take it you didn't get any sleep either." I jumped a little when I heard my brother come up from behind and sit down on the couch besides me.

"Nope." I sighed and turned towards him to see dark rings under his eyes. "Jeez, Jeremy you need some rest."

"You shouldn't even talk." He laughed a little as he looked at me. "You look like hell too."

"Thanks." I said sarcastically.

"So have you told Jenna about UCLA yet?" I groaned at the thought. Our aunt Jenna moved in with us after our parents death and she has been nothing but wonderful. I didn't know how to tell her about going to college on the other side of the country. Hell, I couldn't even tell Damon or Stefan yet. Jeremy was the only one who knew and he has sworn not to tell anyone.

"Elena! You are leaving in a week!"

"I know, I know. I plan on telling her tomorrow. I'm just still trying to process it all myself."

"You should probably tell Damon today. He's going to be crushed."

"Yea." I mumbled. "I'm sure Katherine will be there for a shoulder to cry on." I said bitterly and he snorted at me while shaking his head. "I should probably call him." I noticed it was going on noon and I said that I'd be over in the afternoon. I sat up from the couch and went to walk away when Jer stopped me.

"Elena." He said softly and I turned towards him. "Happy Birthday." He threw something at me and at last minute I was able to catch it.

"Jeremy what did I tell you about getting me something?"

"Just open it. I didn't technically buy you anything." I looked at him suspiciously as I tore the wrapping paper off the small box. My breath hitched when I saw what was in the box.

"But..." I could even form words. It was my mother's necklace that I've seen on her almost every day of my life. A little before the accident the chain broke and my mother stopped wearing it. But somehow Jeremy got it fixed. "Thank you." I whispered with tears sliding down my face as I hugged him for all I was worth. "This is perfect." I sighed while tracing the pendant.

"She would have wanted you to have it." He said while letting me go. "Now go call Damon."

I ran up to my room to find my cell phone and once I did, I immediately called Damon, excited to tell him about what Jeremy gave me. After a few rings I started to get worried and then he finally picked up.

"Hello." He said abruptly and I immediately knew something wasn't right.

"Hey Damon. What's wrong?"


"So you would not believe what Jeremy was able to-"

"Listen Elena." He said while interrupting me. "I'm really sorry but I can't do anything today. Last night I ended up getting sick. I must have the flu and I don't want to share it with you."

"Oh." I said shocked. "Are you going to be okay?" I asked with disappointment oozing from every word. It figures the one day I needed him most...

"Yea, I'll be fine. I just want to sleep all day. "

"Do you want me to bring over some soup or something?"

"No!" He said harshly and I was a little taken back.

"Okay, Okay. I wont."

"I'm going...back to sleep." He said and before I could even say goodbye the phone hung up. That was strange. I threw my phone onto my bed and sighed. I guess I would have to sulk in misery alone today.

For most of the day I sat on the the porch in silence as tears were occasional making an appearance. I tried to occupy myself with something. Anything.

"I thought you were going to be with Damon all day?" I heard a voice coming from the stairs leading up to the porch.

"Stefan, what are you doing here?" I asked surprised

"I thought if I left a gift on your porch you wouldn't protest so much." He said while gesturing to the gift in his hands. I rolled my eyes while laughing slightly. "So why aren't you with Damon?"

"He is sick." I said confused. Surely his brother who lives with him should know that. "Haven't you seen him today?"

"Yea, early in the morning I had a run in with him and Katherine who stumbled into the house ripping clothes off as I was innocently sitting on the couch. It was so awkward." I frowned but was trying to keep a laugh in at imagining Stefan's horror.

"Well he said he was getting sick early this morning. So maybe she left." I said convincing myself that nothing actually happened between them. Or at least hoping that hooking up with her caused him to be physically ill and he wont see her ever again.

"I didn't see her leave at all." Stefan said as I glared at him.

"Sometimes Stefan it is necessary to lie." He rolled his eyes at me then looked around.

"Is this what you have been doing all day?"

"Yep. I've been desperately trying to distract myself. Nothing has really worked yet."

"Lets do something." He said while grabbing onto my hand and pulling me up from the swing on my porch. "I'm taking you to the movies."

"Stefan..." I was about to protest but then I realized maybe that was what I needed. "Okay." I said while giving in.

I waited in line at theater as Stefan bought our tickets. Our movie was in the smallest theater that they had and I figured it wouldn't be as crowded because the movie has been out for a while. When we finally started looking for seats when I saw that there was only one more couple in the theater that was a few rows ahead of the row we picked. There faces were clued to each other and I didn't want to be seeing that the whole movie.

"It's cold." I heard Stefan mumble. I instantly thought of Damon. I decided to take out my phone and send him a text to make sure he was alright. When I was done I put my phone back in my pocket and went to turn to Stefan and ask something before the trailers started.

"Your phone is going off." I heard a women from above us. I guess they came up for air. "Who is it?"

"It's Elena." I felt my heart drop as I immediately turned around in my seat to see Damon sitting there. What the hell? So much for being sick!

"Ugh. Doesn't it drive you insane how attached she is to you?" The girl huffed and my jaw dropped. She must be Katherine.

"Yea." He said after a long pause. "It's annoying." I felt my heart stop as I suddenly stood up as fiery overcame me.

"Well this annoying, attached girl was just making sure her sick best friend was doing okay!" I screamed at them. I watched Damon's eyes go wide as he stared at me. "I'm sorry for bothering you so much!" I screamed and started to walk down the isle and then down the steps doing my best to get out of there.

"Elena!" I heard Stefan and Damon yell at the same time and a remark from Katherine that I zoned out. I quickly ran out the door of the theater and as it became all too suffocating. I would never have thought Damon would do this to me.

"Wait! I know you're upset-"

"Upset?" I yelled as I turned around to see Damon just coming out of the theater door. "That's an understatement! I'm hurt. Of all days Damon! The one day I needed you. The one fucking day that I needed my best friend..."

"I'm sor-"

"Don't you dare say you are sorry! You're not! Don't you see what she is doing to you? You bailed on me! This whole day I have felt something dying inside me and you decided that Katherine was more important. You know what it is like Damon! You know how this feels! You know this pain! When your mom died I cried with you. I was there through everything and I am still there for you every day. But that was just too much to ask for in return, wasn't it?" I stopped to catch my breath and to see the guilt coming from him. "What happened to you? I don't even know you anymore. " I glared at him as he just stood there with a desperate look on his face. I couldn't even look at him I felt so betrayed. "You know what, you made your choice. Katherine is waiting for you." I turned around and started walking away from him.

"Please don't leave like this." He ran up and grabbed my arm forcing me to turn towards him.

"Let go of me!" I wiggled out of his grasp.

"I never wanted to hurt you!" Not even his pleading blue eyes could get him out of this one.

"Well it doesn't matter does it? You knew how bad today was going to be and you knew I was hurting. But you didn't care. I don't even matter to you anymore. We both know I can't compete with Katherine."

"You aren't competing with Katherine." He said as if it was the most ridiculous thought in the world. I wasn't crazy, he was just too wrapped up in her to see it.

"Yes I am!" I said exasperated "But it doesn't matter anymore. I'll leave you alone as long as you do the same. I wont be such a bother anymore." I choked out and this time he left me go as I turned away from him. I needed to get out of there. I needed a break. Maybe it was a good thing that I was finally leaving this town.

It had been a week since that awful day and I finally got the guts to tell Jenna about California. I had to leave soon and we decided that Jenna was going to drive with me. I couldn't thank her enough since the drive was so insane. I didn't want to fly out, to tell the truth I think I needed a few days of peace.

Jeremy was helping me shove some more things into the car before we left. Most of my high school friends I've already said goodbye to. Stefan however stayed around to send me off. He wanted to be there till the last second. I didn't mind but there was an aching in my chest that it was the wrong Salvatore.

I haven't talked to Damon since our fight and I didn't plan on it. He didn't even know I was leaving but I'm sure he will soon. Stefan had just found out but he promised to keep it a secret till I was gone.

"We should get going." Jenna said while looking at her watch. "Isn't Damon going to say goodbye?"

"We already did." I lied as I finished off packing and went to hug Jeremy "I'm going to miss you." I said while squeezing him tight. Call me everyday and come to visit."

"As long as you come home every once in a while."

"Sure." I said even though in the back of my head I already disliked the idea.

"And you!" I said while pointing to Stefan. "You behave." I gave him a hug as well and tried to wiggle out as he clutched on too tight.

"I'm going to miss you guys." I wiped away the tears that escaped as I waved to them and got into the car. I couldn't help the feeling that this was wrong. I was forgetting somebody. I just didn't have it in me to accept the fact that I was leaving Mystic Falls behind. And most importantly; who I was leaving behind.

AN: Thanks for reading. Tell me what you think and if you have any suggestions:) I named this story after the song you found me by the fray, which I'm sure all of you know the song. I kind of got the idea for this story from the it. I don't know if it will stay as the name but I couldn't really come up with anything else.

Also if you read my other story Between Love & Hate, I will be updating that soon.