Remembrance's Point of View

Elegant disaster. That's the only way I can think to describe Jonah. The only two words that seem to give him justice: elegant disaster. There is so much beauty in how destructive he is; heartbreaking elegance in his vulnerability... It's been two months since my little meltdown in his dorm room and in that time I have realized how absolutely wrong I was to say the things I had said. To demand the things that I had at the time; only I would start pestering a guy for a relationship hours after he had a breakdown. Talk about horrible timing...

In those two months, he's virtually ignored me. Sure, he may acknowledge me in the hallways when he stops to talk to my brother, but other than that, he hasn't made eye contact with me. He hasn't gone out of his way to talk to me—he hasn't even made any flip comments about me. In the last two months, he's become somewhat of a loner at Oak Waters Academy. While the rest of our peers don't understand his sudden standoffish personality, I get it. He's not pretending anymore. He's cutting ties to people he doesn't care about and he's stopped acting like someone he's not.

Needless to say, this has upset most of the female population.

However, it's excited them as well—suddenly he's mysterious and dark, and everyone wants a piece of him. He, however, isn't paying any special attention to anybody...except maybe his teachers and elders. It amazed almost everyone to hear him speaking to them with respect. In the beginning of this year and years before it, he had always acted like the teachers were just minor annoyances in his life. He'd gone so far as to insult a few to their faces just to get a good laugh. That's all changed though, and no one is more surprised than the administrators.

They're also worried, I think. He doesn't spend time with anyone except Remington, he actually pays attention to their lectures in class, and he constantly has his head on his desk. But other than that, he's okay. For a few weeks in the beginning of these last two months, he had dark circles under his eyes and always looked a little paler than usual. Now, however, he looked the picture of health. Nothing seemed to be fazing him and yet everyone's worried about his sudden personality change.

Of course, they don't realize that it's actually him just reverting back to his old self.

I digress; the last two months have gone by without either of us truly speaking with each other. He turned eighteen and invited me to his birthday party, and I had thought he had done it so we could finally talk about what happened, but he left his own party soon after it had begun. We had been assigned as lab partner in our Biology class and once again I had thought that we could finally talk, but that too didn't happen. He just did his work silently and spent our hours together talking to the teacher about the project.

He was avoiding me, and it was about time I took notice. About time I gave up. It's been two months since he kissed me. Eight weeks since he had shown me any kind of affection. One thousand the hundred and forty-four hours since I had demanded that he play the traditional role of the lovesick man. Eighty-seven thousand eight hundred and forty minutes since I had completely destroyed any chance of us ever getting together.

Not that I've been counting every painstaking moment.

I just...miss him.

Him...

...The elegant disaster.

"You're getting that far off, depressed look in your eyes." Elliott said, drawing me from my thoughts and causing me to stare at her in confusion for a moment. When her words finally registered, I shrugged and turned my gaze across the dinning room, to the table that Jonah was occupying. Many people were sitting there, but I had the feeling that he still felt utterly alone. I watched as he carefully sketched in his sketchbook, his eyes never leaving the page, his face scrunched up in concentration. I watched as his hand sailed smoothly across his page and how comfortable he looked as he carefully shaded and added texture to his drawing.

He used his thumb to spread the graphite from his pencil around the page and when he lifted his hand back up, his every finger seemed to somehow be smeared with the gray dust. He used that hand to brush his hair out of his eyes, the action leaving a smear of gray across his forehead. Two months ago that would've bothered Jonah, but now...? Now he didn't even stop to think about it, he just continued with his picture.

I don't know how long I was watching him when his eyes flickered up and caught mine staring at him. I was about to divert my eyes and he sat up and flipped his sketchbook shut, his eyes still on mine. I frowned when I caught some of the phrases he had written on the front of his sketchbook:

"If you're gonna marry one of these women, sometimes it's gonna hurt like hell. And all you can do is admit that you're wrong and know that she's always right. "

"As you wish..."

"...Then you wouldn't be able to hide behind your books, or your frickin' telescope, or your faith. No, no, you know the real reason why you're scared? It's cause you wanna be with me too."

"So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day. Will you do something for me, please? Just picture your life for me? Thirty years from now, forty years from now? What's it look like? If it's with him, go. Go! I lost you once, I think I can do it again. If I thought that's what you really wanted. But don't you take the easy way out..."

"...You hold on and I don't know how. And I wish I did. Maybe you were born committed... I can't get negative enough. I can't get angry enough. And I can't get positive enough..."

I wracked my brain, trying to figure out why all the phrases sounded so familiar and watched him shove his book into his messenger bag, sling that across his shoulder, and walk purposely out of the cafeteria. I could practically feel myself deflate when I realized that he had left just because he had seen me watching him.

I closed my eyes and tuned my attention back to Elliott, who was rambling a mile a minute about how great my twin was. Personally, I loved that the two of them were together and I loved that they loved each other, but I was beginning to tire when hearing about them. I know it's wrong, but hearing about my brother and best friend's wonderful love life makes me feel horrible. Because the guy that I think I love doesn't even want to look at me.

It's hard to be miserable when everyone around me is so happy. I feel like I'm somehow going to damper their mood or sabotage something. And I don't want anything bad to happen to Remington and Elliott's relationship. Personally, I would love her to become a part of the family (I always wanted a sister), but I'm guessing that it's a little too early in their relationship to be mentioning anything like that. Again, I wouldn't want to sabotage anything.

"...And you're not even listening to me, are you?"

Without opening my eyes, I rubbed the back of my neck and repeated the last few sentences she had said and cracked open my eyes, "Glad to hear you're excited about applying to Harvard."

She grinned, "You don't think it's stalker-ish, do you? Or in anyway pathetic?"

"To follow your boyfriend and best friend into college? No way is that stalker-ish or pathetic." I smiled, "Now, desperate..."

She laughed and smacked my shoulder and then cleared her throat, "He's not doing that well, you know." She whispered.

"Remington? What's the matter?" I asked, immediately worried—ever since he had begun dating her, he had started to forget whether or not he had told me something or her, so I regularly found myself on the receiving end of news about him that he hadn't told me. However, that didn't get me down too much, seeing as the same thing was happening to Elliott too. It seemed my brother was having a hard time adjusting to two girls in his life.

She shook her head, "No, Jonah. He's not doing too hot, Alicia said that he won't even talk to her lately. Chris is pretty concerned, but he's trying not to say anything."

I nodded slowly and then turned my attention to my Ceaser salad, "Whatever...I'm not really all that concerned."

"Sure you aren't."

I felt my eyes start to sting, but tried to ignore it—I didn't want my mascara to run. People are beginning to think that I actually apply black tears down my cheeks. I'm trying to get that idea out of their heads, to tell the truth. That's another thing that has happened in the last two months, I've perfected the look that my mother gave me (I think it honestly suits me) and I've been crying a lot more lately. Apparently breaking your heart can make you into the ultimate girl. Though I must admit, the crying jags are starting to freak me out a little. It won't be too long before someone decides that I need to be on antidepressants. Then again, maybe I should be on them...

"Elle, please..." I whispered, "Please."

She nodded her head, "Right...sorry."

"It's okay."

"You really love him, don't you?"

I glanced up at her and slowly wet my lips. She just stared at me, her blue eyes warm and kind, so kind I feared that I'd start bawling like a baby at any moment. My eyes filled with tears, already preparing for that, and I slowly nodded my head. "Yeah, I really do."

Yet another thing that had happened in the last two months; I finally identified what my feelings were for Jonah. All this time, underneath all the hatred, there has been a part of me that has always wanted to be around him. Maybe that's why I blocked out what I did to him, because a part of me knew already that hurting him was killing me. That's what love does to you, it makes you feel the pain of the one you love and you hurt all that much because you know they're in pain. I kind of wish I could've gone without this feeling, life would've been a lot less painful if I could've just gone through it without having to feel this kind of love.

Especially since it's an unrequited love...and the guy I love hates me.

I wonder if I'll hurt like this forever.

Ellie let out a squeal and I looked up to find that my brother had pulled her to her feet and was dancing with her around our lunch table. I wasn't the only person who'd noticed, but that didn't seem to bother either of them. Remington was grinning from ear to ear and I couldn't help but smile—there was something so great about him being so happy. I love it, I loved that the both of them found so much fun and warmth in each other. I loved that they made each other smile like idiots when they were around each other, and when they were just talking about each other. I love that they were floating high on cloud nine and that nothing was about to bring them down.

I loved watching love in action.

Remmy dipped Elliott and then brought her back up and handed her one of the envelopes that he had brought to our lunch table. She looked at it oddly for a moment and then started jumping up and down. "I got in!" She screeched, showing me the large envelope bearing Harvard's crest in the corner. "I got in!"

I grinned and took one of the envelopes that Remmy handed me, "Me too." I murmured, glancing up from my letter of admission to see Remmy's own letter. He laughed and kissed Elliott.

"We're all going to be together next year."

Not quite...

I glanced back at the doors that Jonah had walked through and sighed. He was going to Oxford, just like Chris was—we weren't all going to be together next year. We were missing Jonah and the friend that Jonah had introduced to us all (well...actually he just introduced him to Remmy, but Chris has a way of getting around to being friends with just about anyone he meets).

Too bad that this isn't like a sitcom, were everyone ends up going to the same college and taking a lot of the same classes. I wish it were like that, I honestly do. That would mean that I'd get another chance with Jonah, but as it is, I've missed my chances. That's the end of it all, perhaps I'll find love at Harvard. Who knows? I'm doubtful, but then again, what do I know about the future?

Absolutely nothing.

I watched as my twin and my best friend acted like lovesick puppies and decided that I needed to take a little break from being the spectator. I loved them dearly and applauded their love and relationship, but it feels a little bit like I'm being stabbed over and over again when I watch them and the thing that I'll never have.

Climbing to my feet, I told them that I needed to go paint, ignored their concerned expressions, and headed out of the academy's cafeteria. I slowly made my way to the art hall and walked to my studio, after carefully shutting my door behind me, I turned on the lights and stared at my paintings. I stared at them without really seeing them, none of them seemed right anymore. None of them captured what I was feeling...

None of them were him.

God, I want this love to go away.

I want to stop thinking about him every moment and agonizing over the words I've said. I just...I want things to go back to the way they were, back in the days where I didn't have to think about my love for Jonah because I was too busy hating him. Those days were the best, the absolute best...sure, I was hurting back then, but it was nothing compared to this. I was lonely, not in love and lonely is a lot easier to deal with then love.

I leaned my back against one the wall beside the door to my studio and put the earphones of my mp3 player in my ears. Cranking up the volume, I began to listen to all the songs I had put into it. Every single song was a sad one, The Scientist by Coldplay had become a favorite, as well as Pieces by Sum 41, Wonderwall by Ryan Adams, Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley, and Modern Romance by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had practically become my anthem.

Closing my eyes, I curled up into a ball and decided to blow off the rest of my day in favor of taking a nap. A long nap. Maybe I wouldn't wake up until it was time to graduate and leave. Yeah, maybe I'd just hibernate through the spring and wake up for the beginning of the summer. I could live with that, it would be excellent. I drifted off to sleep with those thoughts on my mind and dreamed about nothing.

Blissfully nothing.


When I woke, I felt groggy and disoriented. My back cracked when I sat up and when I stretched my arms my elbows popped. I moaned in the sudden release of tension and rubbed my eyes tiredly. After yawning, I glanced down at my watch and my eyes widened in surprise. It was eleven at night. I had managed to sleep five hours straight. That can't be a good sign, I think it's one of those things that they tell you to worry about. A sign of depression or something like that. Taking long naps could just be the beginning of sleeping all day.

Groaning, I climbed to my feet and combed my hair with my fingers. I then straightened my red plaid skirt, that I had changed into after school, and then tugged on my white dress shirt. The shirt was a few sizes too small, or a perfect fit, it mattered how you wanted to look at it. Staring at the red plaid, I decided that I needed to install an iron and ironing board in my studio—it would be very beneficial to me when I began my hibernation in the studio...

Yeah, I was being serious about that.

Sighing when I realized that there was nothing I could do about the wrinkles, I turned off the lights to my studio and opened my door, then froze when I saw that someone was sitting across the hall from my door. Their back was to the wall, they're legs were bent at the knee and stretched out in front of them, and there hands were resting against their knees. I took a step into the hallway and saw that it was a he, and that his head was propped up against the wall. When I shut the door to my studio behind me, his head jerk forward and he climbed to his feet. Standing in the light from someone else's studio, I saw his red hair, darkened from the night, and swallowed hard. "Jonah?" I whispered.

He stepped closer into the dim light from the studio down the hall and opened his mouth to say something, then faltered. He took a deep breath and then dropped his head to stare down at his feet, "You weren't in your dorm room." He whispered to his dark Vans.

I shook my head and then cleared my throat, "Um, no...I took a nap."

He nodded, "Yeah, I saw."

I frowned, "Why are you...?" I trailed off and turned my eyes towards his shoes as well. "Um...okay then..." Jeez, two months since I've truly spoken to him and the only thing I can think to say is um...okay then...? I should be shot.

"I..." He began and then looked up at me, "I should probably go."

I nodded my head and then frowned, "You were worried?" I asked his back as he slowly walked away. He stopped and turned to look at me, his face cast in the shadows.

"You weren't in your dorm..." He trailed off and sighed, then turned away from me, "Yeah...no...I-I wanted to talk to you. And I may have been a little worried."

"Why?" I asked quietly.

"Because I worry about you." He answered just as quietly, his voice strained yet full of tenderness. My heart skipped a beat, and he turned around and walked towards me. "You've been so unhappy lately..." He trailed off and then ran a hand roughly through his hair. "And...and...and I think that's because of me."

I smiled, my eyes starting to feel like they were on fire, and shrugged my shoulders, "Why would you think something like that, Mills?" I asked lightly, my voice catching on his last name.

His shadowed eyes looked pained as he slowly reached out for me, but then let his hand fall back against his side. "I don't know..." He whispered, "Maybe I'm being narcissistic and I'm reading you wrong."

I shook my head quickly, causing a few tears to slip down my face, "No, you're not being that." I wiped at my tears and smiled sadly, "You're not really narcissistic in the first place. You're just a really good actor."

He nodded and took a deep breath, "I should let you go." He took a step back and scratched the back of his neck, "You probably want to go."

"Go where?"

"I don't know..." He trailed off and stopped walking backwards, "I don't know... I guess you aren't tired." I shook my head and he chuckled for a moment, before taking a deep breath and once again growing silent. We both stared at each other in that silence, neither of us knowing what to say to break it...or in my case, if I wanted to. I was afraid to make a sound for fear that it would cause him to decide to walk away. Walk away like he'd been doing since the last time he kissed me, since our last fight. I don't want him to go. Even if he will never speak to me, I want him to be around. I want to know that a little part of him cares about me, even if he only cares because of my brother or because he is a good guy, I just want him to care. Care, because I care so much about him.

"I'm doing it again." He said so softly that I thought he was talking to himself.

"Doing what?"

He shook his head and took a deep breath, "I...I've been working on something. Something that I want you to see."

"O-okay." I murmured, raising an eyebrow as he ran a hand through his hair nervously and started to crack his knuckles. For a moment my gaze was curious and suspicious, but then I found myself just appraising him. He was wearing a dark tee shirt over a white one and overtop of that he was wearing something that looked a bit like a bowler shirt, it was unbuttoned and splattered with paint. He wore a pair of jeans the fit him just right and the front of his shirt had caught on the buckle of his belt, so that it was tucked behind it.

He was beautiful and he wasn't trying. I think that's what made him so appealing, the fact that for once he wasn't trying to play up to his strengths. He didn't look like he spent an hour staring and styling his hair in the morning. He no longer looked like he went tanning, or whatever it was he did to get rid of his naturally pale complexion. In fact, his self-tanning or whatever had begun to fade awhile back, so now he practically glowed in the dark.

I'd never seen anything more appealing.

He no longer dressed for success, he didn't carefully choose his outfits to show off his body. He didn't buy shirts that fit so tight that one couldn't help but notice his lean build. He no longer unbuttoned his shirts so far down that you could see his navel... He didn't do any of those things, not anymore. Now he wore his school uniform or comfortable clothes. He wasn't trying to be the sex-god/ruler of our school anymore, he was just being a student. Someone like Chris, someone that was here and just trying to get through. Not trying to bring attention to himself, at least not anymore.

He was suddenly real, which bothered a lot of people.

Of course, not me.

It didn't bother me in the least bit.

"That's why I wanted to talk to you in the first place." Jonah whispered, drawing me from my thoughts, "Because I have something I want to give you."

"What is it?" I asked, wondering if my voice sounded as confused as I felt.

He licked his lips and raised one finger, then went running down the hall. He opened the door to a studio, flicked on the light, shuffled around in there for a moment, cut the light, and came back to me. I watched all of this in curiosity and bit back a smile when he jogged back to me. He took a deep breath and then glanced down at what was in his hands. It was his sketchbook.

"What did you want...?" I asked, trailing off.

He handed me the sketchbook and then took a deep breath, "I wanted to give this to you."

I frowned, staring down at the quotes that I had read before. "Why?"

He shuffled from foot to foot and then cleared his throat, causing me to glance up at him. "Because I drew for you." He whispered and then ran a hand through his hair again, "I'm going to go now." He stated and then took a step backwards, "I just wanted you to have that." He nodded his head and then turned around and walked down the hall. I watched him go, watched him open the doors to the art hall and glance back at me. He was only a shadow, so I had no idea what look he gave me, only that he looked back for a long moment and in that moment time seemed to stand still. And then he moved away, he turned away from me and walked through the door.

I stared at the door for a long moment and then walked back into my studio. I turned on my light and sat down at the stool that I kept in front of my easel. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I flipped open the cover of the sketchbook and frowned when I saw an inscription on the front cover. To Remembrance, may words not be the only thing that reaches you. My chest suddenly felt tighter—he had been thinking of me.

He had...

I smiled and glanced at the first picture, it was sketch from Guess Who. He had actually drawn Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac, and with a lot of care, for it almost looked like a photo graph. He was a very skilled artist, that was evident. The reason he sketched a picture of Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac sitting on a train bench, Bernie in a suit and Ashton in a stripped shirt and jeans, made no sense to me at all. Frowning, I glanced down at the bottom of the page and read what he had written there.

Percy: If you're gonna marry one of these women, sometimes it's gonna hurt like hell. And all you can do is admit that you're wrong and know that she's always right.

Simon: She's always right?

Percy: That's right.

Simon: Always?

Percy: Right.

Simon: Right.

Percy: That's right.

Simon: All right, okay, what about all that talk about my dignity?

Percy: Do you love her? Do you want her? Then she's always right.

"Simon." I whispered to myself, he had found out the Simon I had been speaking about when I had flipped out on him two months ago. I smiled and turned to the next sketch. Only to find a penciled drawing of myself. I was sitting in class, staring down at my desk, my hair falling around my face like a curtain. I looked so sad that I almost wept for me—he had captured what I'd been feeling perfectly.

He'd been looking...

I tucked a strand of lose hair behind my ear and turned to the next page, to find a sketching of Cary Elwes and Robin Wright-Penn. It was of him kissing her, her long hair flowing behind her in the wind. I laughed softly and glanced down at what he had written beneath that picture. "As you wish." He had found the Westley that I had been speaking off.

When I turned the next page I found another picture of myself. This time I was staring at the chalkboard, a single tear falling from my eye. I could see the pain in my eyes and knew that he had been able to see everything. He had known all this time how I was feeling, sure he had mentioned knowing before, but the depth in the sketching made me know that he understood my pain on a deeper level. I took a deep breath and turned to the next page, to find a sketching of Shane West and Mandy Moore. He was staring at her in anger and she was looking back at him defiantly, even though tears filled her eyes.

Jaime: You don't know the first thing about being someone's friend.

Landon: I don't want to just be your friend.

Jaime: You don't know what you want.

Landon: Neither do you. Maybe you're just too scared that someone might actually want to be with you.

Jaime: And why would that scare me?

Landon: Because then you wouldn't be able to hide behind your books, or your frickin' telescope, or your faith. No, no you know the real reason why you're scared? It's cause you wanna be with me too.

"Landon." I whispered, "He found me my Landon."

The next sketching was one of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, he had a furry face and was standing in front of an old time car. He looked angry and Rachel McAdams looked equally upset. I smiled at one of my favorite scenes from the movie and glanced down to read the quote he had written in his somewhat elegant scrawl.

Noah: Would you just stay with me?

Allie: Stay with you? What for? Look at us, we're already fightin'

Noah: Well that's what we do, we fight... You tell me when I'm being an arrogant son of a bitch and I tell you when you are a pain in the ass. Which you are, ninety percent of the time. I'm not afraid to hurt your feelings. You have like a two second rebound rate, then you're back doing the next pain in the ass thing.

Allie: So what?

Noah: So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day. Will you do something for me, please? Just picture your life for me? Thirty years from now, forty years from now? What's it look like? If it's with him, go. Go! I lost you once, I think I can do it again. If I thought that's what you really wanted. But don't you take the easy way out.

Allie: What easy way? There is no easy way, no matter what I do, somebody gets hurt.

Noah: Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants? Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do you want? What do you want

Allie: It's not that simple.

Noah: What...do...you...want? Goddammit. Whaddaya want?

My eyes were wet by the time I finished reading the long quote from the movie. Taking a deep breath, I wiped my eyes and turned the page. "Noah." I whispered with a thick voice, "He actually quoted my favorite leading male character." I sniffled and glanced down at the page, I found a drawing of me. I was outside sitting in the middle of the academy's grassy field. I was stretched out on my back and staring up at the sky through the leaves of a tree, a relaxed smile on my face.

I smiled briefly for a moment and turned the page, there I found another drawing of me. Only this time it was of my back as I sat in front of my easel. My hair was piled up on top of my head with a series of hair clips and my shoulders were set in determination. He hadn't paid any attention to what I was drawing, instead Jonah had carefully drawn every curve of my body, focusing especially on the freckles on the back of my neck. I laughed, only moments away from tears and turned to the next page, and then gasped.

He had drawn a collage of Joes; he had everyone from Joe Black to Joe Morelli from the Stephanie Plum series (I could tell by the way that Joe was wearing a shirt that read: Trenton Police and looked devastatingly handsome/Italian...). He had written down so many quotes that I couldn't even place them all, but I knew they were all by one Joe or another to his leading lady. I began laughing then and I couldn't stop, I laughed until I started to cry. The feelings that were washing over me were so powerful that I didn't even know how to describe them, let alone express them, so I just went along with the flow. I let my feeling wash over me and only stopped to try to reign them in when I felt like I was about to start hyperventilating. By the time I had control of myself—and had wiped my face clean with a wet wipe in my bag—it was well after midnight. Running a hand through my hair, I turned to the next page and found a sketch of me staring out from behind my curtain of hair. I didn't need to see the Ceaser salad that sat before me to know that he had drawn this picture at lunch, probably right after he had given me the death look.

What had been with that, anyways?

Shaking my head, I turned the page and found a colored sketching of the night sky. It was actually of the academy's field, the tree that I had sat beneath in previous sketch sat in the corner of the page. The wide, brilliantly white moon sat high in the dark sky, it's glow cast upon a person. A redheaded guy. He was stretched out on his back, his arms crossed beneath his head, and his face towards the sky. I stared at the picture in confusion for a moment and then raced out of my studio, stopping only to switch off the light, and tore off down the hall. I ran through the school building and pushed open the door to the academy. I jumped down the stairs and made my way to the tree, and then stopped, the only sound my heavy breathing. He laid stretched out beneath the tree, just like he had been in the picture. His face was tilted in the direction of the moon and his arms were crossed behind his head.

I swallowed hard and made my way to him, when I was beside him, I sat down on the ground next to him. He glanced over at me and a silence descended upon us, after what felt like an hour, he licked his lips and open his mouth. "You were right." He whispered.

"What?" I asked softly, afraid that if I spoke too loud, the spell would be broken and I'd wake up from this dream.

"They always knew the right things to say." He said and then pulled himself up into a sitting position. "I wish I had that skill." I stared at him for a moment, watching as he carefully took in every detail of the moon. After another silence he turned his face back towards me, "And you were wrong, too."

"About what?"

"You didn't forget." He shook his head and then looked back up at the sky, "I'm still not all that great with words."

I smiled and held up the sketchbook, "I think I know how you express yourself."

He smiled for a moment and then nodded his head, "Yeah." He took a deep breath and turned around to me. "What makes a person ready for a relationship?"

His question was so sudden that I found myself dumbfounded, "Uh, I don't know...?"

"Because I've been thinking about you constantly for the last two months. I've been thinking about the words that I said to you, and whether or not they mean as much as I think they do."

"What do you mean?"

He laughed and ran a hand through his hair, "I've been saying that I'm not ready for a relationship because I have all this..." He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, "Heavy stuff happening in my life, but you know what? In the last two months, I haven't really thought about that stuff. I haven't thought of my mother or my father, or how I'm going to be going back into a world where I'm never good enough. I haven't thought of these things, because I've been thinking of you. Only you."

I stared at him with wide eyes, "Me?"

He nodded, his eyes connecting with mine, "Yeah. I first thought about how crazy you were, how demanding, and how utterly annoying." He chuckled and turned away from me, "Then I thought about how angry I was at you for acting the way you did, for not giving me the space that I needed. Then I found myself thinking about you...you're fiery temperament, you're comebacks, the way you're eyes seem like jade ice when you're mad..." He reached over and lightly touched my face, "The gentle curve of your face, your graceful walk, the way your blush spreads across your face." He slowly dropped his hand and stared into my eyes. "Everything about you...and then I noticed how unhappy you were."

"Oh, I thought...you...I've just been a little down lately..."

"I hurt you." He declared, "I hurt you like you hurt me, and a part of me was pleased by that."

"What?"

He shrugged a shoulder, "I can be a little vindictive." He looked down at the grass, "It was then that I knew."

"Knew what?"

He brought his eyes up to look up at me, "Knew that I still...I never..." He cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck, "I knew that I cared about you, that I still do." My previous wonderment at his statement about being delighted that he hurt me drifted away, instead I was filled with an intense happiness. He seemed to notice this (probably because of the wide smile that spread across my face) and smiled himself. "I'm guessing the feeling is mutual?"

My initial response was to jump him and try to kiss him to death (due to suffocation), but I decided against that. And not just because the guy that I loved would end up dead with that act. Nope, that wasn't why I didn't jump him, but instead sat away from him.

"Jonah, I want to be there for you." I whispered, squaring my shoulders. "I want to be there when you're down, when you're out, and when you don't think that you're good enough. I want to be there every time you have a breakdown and cry—"

"—Could we not say cry? That makes me sound like an absolute baby." He interrupted in a dark tone.

I shot him a glare and cleared my throat, "I want to be there for you, Jonah."

He stared at me silently and then bit his bottom lip, "Isn't that what I'm asking you to do?"

"I just want you to know that I'm not going to be so self-absorbed anymore." I declared and then frowned, "And you never did say that you were ready for a relationship."

"I think I might just be." He murmured, and then grinned, "And ditto on the self-absorption thing."

I laughed, "Do you think two spoiled rich kids can do it? Actually not be self-absorbed?"

He cupped my face with his hand and lowered his mouth towards mine, "I don't know, perhaps we'll be the first to try." He murmured, and then kissed me. The kiss was light and gentle at first, both of carefully trying to memorize the feel of each other and what the other wanted, but then it deepened. Before I knew, I was flat on my back and Jonah was balancing himself over top of me, his lips making me feel both whole and very warm.

Guess we figured out who the dominate one is.

When we broke apart, Jonah smiled down at me, his breath mingling with my own. "When I own the universe." He whispered and at my raised eyebrow, he smiled. "You said when I owned the universe I'd be able to get away with kissing you anytime, anywhere."

I rolled my eyes, "Guess you own the universe, huh?"

He laughed, "Guess so."

"And to think I told you that you never would."

"You were wrong there, weren't you?" He whispered happily and then leaned back down towards me, "Remembrance?"

"Yeah?"

"You're not alone anymore."

I smiled, "Nope, I'm not."

"Neither am I." He whispered, kissing me lightly on the mouth. I kissed him back, and felt tears of happiness begin to fall down my cheeks. We weren't alone anymore, in each other we had managed to find exactly what we needed. I had found that the one person that had once before made me feel empty, was the only one that could make me feel whole. Amazing, that...who would've known Remington would be the one to get us together?

I closed my eyes when Jonah began kissing me again and let myself drift off into the pleasure and joy that he brought out just by being near me. Instead I focused my attention into the kiss, so that I could bring forth the same feelings in him. Yet, I couldn't help but hear a whisper of a thought drift through my mind.

When you own the universe...

...Amazing how that had everything to do with kissing the girl...


A/N: Oh my Lord. It's done. I mean, there will be an epilogue up soon and everything (and I understand if a lot of you don't want to read that, so...yeah... I personally like the idea for an epilogue, because I've decided to give up on traditional ones. I tried that before and it ended up pretty bad...), but this is it. Well, okay, I'm kicking around the idea of writing a sequel, because after looking through this, I realized that none of their problems were really fixed. I mean, they're not alone anymore and they're finally together, but a lot of things haven't been addressed. Like Jonah's relationship with his father, his mother is still a lose end, his inability to deal with everything is still a problem, and he hasn't exactly told her that he loved her. He probably will in the next chapter, but neither of them have exactly spoken those words...

I don't know, I think I'm trying to talk myself into writing another story for them. Which means I might have to put off my story for Chris, unless... I guess I could start it off that way... Right. Do you guys think I should make a sequel? Maybe I shouldn't be thinking about this, maybe I should just relish in the feeling of having finished my second story ever. The pride, the accomplishment...the need to go cry and sit in a corner. My baby! It's all grown up! Sorry...I'll try to work on that reaction to finishing a story, honestly I will.

Right, thank you all for staying with me throughout the years of writing this story. Thank you for all your reviews, for reading me, for giving me your opinions, and for not giving up on me. It truly means a lot to have a lot of people like your work, especially when you're one day planning on making a career out of this. Thank you all so much, I don't even know the words to express my gratitude... I'd say I love you all, but that could get a little creepy, I'm betting. But that is kind of the feeling, I love you all for reading me and for your words. Thank you. Thank you so much. Wow, those words just don't manage to convey the feeling that I'm trying to express. I just...thanks. Thank you all for reading, and know that I'll never forget it.

-:Secretive:-