The EndMature

Chapter Twenty-Four

Luke's POV

Today was the last day.

The last day.

I felt...weird. I didn't know how I felt. A little lost, maybe. Chloe could tell. She told me I'd been acting weird all day. No dip, I'd wanted to shout at her. You ruined my life.

Chloe and I were going to be over. I couldn't believe I'd tried to hurt Sadie by dating her. I could've just forgiven Sadie (even though I still didn't know whether or not I neccesarily believed her story) and stayed with her, rather than getting with her older sister. Chloe was just a bitch who'd crashed my summer.

Why do I suddenly think this? Because I'd heard her talking on the phone to Dayton. I'd heard her murmur to him that he'd done good in going to win back Sadie. She'd heard me come in then, and quickly shut off her phone, but I heard her. I pretended like I hadn't just to avoid a fight, but still. I knew now.

All I knew is that today, I had to make things right with Sadie. I don't think we would get back together, and I don't know if I would want to. I just knew I needed to make things right.

I noticed her head upstairs at about a quarter to three, and I was a little mystified. Why would she be going upstairs? When I followed her, I saw that she had plugged her phone into a charger up there. She jumped, surprised, when I slipped into the room behind her, closing the door after me.

"Luke?" she said, baffled, and then seemed to remember herself. Her face smoothed over with a cool, composed expression. "What do you want?" she said emotionlessly.

"I..." I didn't know what to say. What could I say?

To my horror, her eyes suddenly began to glimmer. All at once, she was slowly sinking down onto the bed (we were in the guest bedroom), and her hands were trembling as she covered her face with them.

"Sadie..." I said softly, at a loss of what to say. I eased down beside her, pulled her into an embrace. I held her for a little while.

"Stop it," she seemed to whimper. "You're hurting me."

I looked down at her in confusion. How was I hurting her? My arms were light and gentle around her. "I'm hurting you?"

Sniffling, she quietly slid out of my embrace. "Yes." She stood before me, and I was almost fearfully impressed that the tears hadn't overflown yet. "I'm sorry, Luke, but I can't. I can't."

"Can't what?"

"Do this." She made a vague gesture toward me. "I can't handle it. I don't want to see you anymore. I'm sorry."

I stared as she grabbed her phone, slipped it into her back pocket of her jean shorts and began to walk toward the door. I took her wrist, stopping her. "Fine." I said, rising to my feet. Her face was guarded as she looked up at me. "But I want a goodbye." Slowly, softly, I bent my head, kissed her one last time. Regret warred with relief in my stomach. How was that even possible?

In the end, relief won.

I watched as Sadie went downstairs and was buffetted by hugs and goodbyes from all my relatives. Brice was crying. And then, I watched as Sadie Charlington walked out the front door, and out of my life.

The End

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