"Hmm?" I replied, lazily letting my body drop onto the grass, the blades tickling my bare arms. The sun fanned itself against my back, seeping soft fingers of warmth through my shirt.

"What would you do if… if I had to move somewhere?"

Prying open an eyelid, I scowled at him. "Then I'd kill you."

His smile was strained. "Oh."


He turned so his back faced me, blotting out a portion of the sunlight. The outline of his body was framed in light, so he appeared almost angelic. All he needed now was wings.

His left shoulder shrugged slightly, and I rolled over onto my stomach, propping myself up on my elbows. "You're kidding, right?"

When he turned to face me, his smile was strained. "I hope so. Mom told me yesterday Dad might be transferred. To England."

My eyes squeezed shut, and I sat up, drawing my knees up with stiff movements. "Oh, God."

A sigh snaked from his lips, and he reached over to fiddle with my shoelace. "I'm sorry, Jas. But… nothing is certain. It might not happen."

I sucked in air through my teeth. "This sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks."

He pulled a bit too hard on my shoelace, causing my foot to slip toward him a couple inches. The smile that adorned his face was crooked. "I know."

I fidgeted, not able to stay still. "But… you're the only one alive around here. Everyone else closes themselves off." I fumbled for something to say. "You're the only one left."

Eric's smile was bitter. "If you would call it that."

And, for the first time, we slipped into an uncomfortable silence.

"Pass the chicken," my father said, his left hand clutching his fork and his right hand outstretched. I glanced up at him, annoyed at his demand. Still, I shoved the platter towards him, and he grabbed it.

Not a word. It had been over a month, and he was still as emotional as a stone.

I rested my head against my palm, toying with the piece of pizza on my plate. Where was Eric? What was he doing? I felt my throat constrict as an image came to my mind of him packing his things, and I choked back on a sob.

Dad looked up sharply. "Dinner is supposed to be silent."

My life seemed to be falling apart now, like a puzzle with too many pieces. Eric was the only one who knew how to put me back together. I wordlessly got up from the chair, the plastic legs scratching against my skin while screeching across the cheap tile floor.

After depositing my untouched plate in the sink, I trudged up the stairs to my bathroom. Once inside, I shut the door behind me and leaned back against it, closing my eyes for a moment to collect myself.

"So, I guess this is goodbye?"

"Yeah, I guess it is."

Lassitude laced both of our voices. He had called last weekend to inform me that his dad had been transferred. He went on to say that they were moving in a week… today.

After a moment of hesitation, Eric stepped forward and embraced me, dropping the barriers we had erected around ourselves. "Why so distant?" he murmured in my ear. His breath smelled faintly of peanut butter. Probably his unhealthy addiction to Reeses.

I shrugged, feeling myself relax in his embrace. He was the closest thing to a brother or a best friend I had ever had. That I would ever have. I breathed in his scent, committing it to memory, before I stepped back once again, letting my arms hang limply at my sides. "Goodbye," I whispered.

But, to me, he was already gone.

AN: And this would be the prologue. The other chapters won't be this short. (:

It's for a challenge for the ficathon. (Check out the link on my profile!)

Challenge #8:

Genre: Mainly romance with some angst.

Rating: PG-13/R

Likes: Some angst, a happy ending as long as it's not overly sappy.

Dislikes: Mary-Sues, excessive description/dialogue (a balance between the two would be nice).

Words/phrases to use: "He does care about you, you know. He just doesn't show it very well."; "That's just the way he is: passive-aggressive."; "If you're smart, you're going to go after her and apologize, or else you will, without a doubt, lose the best thing that's ever happened to you."