Young Love by x . betweenthelines

Summary: They met at the park fourteen years ago. She was the girl struggling to get onto the swing and he was the one who came to her rescue.

A/N- This is the first time I've written a challenge response. Please tell me if I've missed one of the requirements, thanks!

Challenge #27 - No Need to Say Goodbye

Inspired by the song "The Call" by Regina Spektor.

Description: Goodbyes are the hardest. Unfortunately for our protagonists, they will have to bid each other adieu and it is unlikely that they will ever see each other again.

Requirements:

1) An actual parting between the protagonists - whether they come back together or not is up to you. (Read the second stipulation under "Optional".)
2) A creative way of saying goodbye without actually saying it (read the second stipulation under "No" for details)
3) The reason for the parting has to be WILLING - this means that nothing is forcing one to leave the other. It must be out of the character's own volition.
4) Cell phones must make several appearances.
5) Setting must begin in the Fall/Autumn season.

Optional:

- Both are leaving for different things, instead of one leaving the other behind.
- They are reunited. If you choose to do this, however, they must be separated for at least a year. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder, anyone?)
- Cell phones are a key part of the story.

No:

- Airport/bus terminal goodbye scenes
- actual usage of the word "goodbye" or any of its variations in any languages (this includes "see you later", "'bye", "farewell", "arrivederci", "adios", "hasta la vista", "adieu", "aloha", "au revoir", "auf wiedersehen", "adeus", "paalam".. whatever else you think of) by either protagonist in dialogue
- text messaging or chatting online. As much as I love to do both, I hate seeing it in fiction.


Lorraine sat at the park bench waiting for him. Around her, the autumn leaves fluttered in the breeze. Next to her was a black handbag and by her feet was a small suitcase which only contained some t-shirts, a couple of skirts, her art portfolio and all her art supplies. Lorraine had called him down to the park because today was the day.

She looked down at the cell phone in her hand. Her wallpaper was a picture of them from two months ago on the night of her eighteenth birthday. In the photo they both wore large grins. The expression Lorraine had on today was the complete opposite of the one she had worn two months ago. The edges of her lips drooped downwards and her brown hazel eyes were not twinkling, but instead, dull.

Lorraine checked the time on her phone. He should have been there five minutes ago, but she had known him ever since he was four and hadn't expected anything different. Still, her eyes roamed around the park searching for him, but instead her wandering eyes landed on the playground.

The playground was still the same playground as it was fourteen years ago when she herself had played on it. Fourteen years on, it was getting old and rusty. She watched as a little girl climbed onto the swing and a little boy ran to push her on the swing. A faint smile glimmered on her face as she watched the kids and remembered meeting him there fourteen years ago…

She ran around the playground looking for something to play on. To the four year old mind, it was the best place on Earth. What was better than slides, see-saws and…was that an empty swing?

As Lorraine charged at the swing, she seemed to have forgotten that she had never been on it and there was no one to push her. She clambered on to the sing and tried to push herself forward.

*THUD* and her body made contact with the ground. Luckily she had been close to the ground, so there had been little impact from the fall.

"Are you okay?" a voice asked.

Lorraine looked up and she saw a boy in a Spiderman top holding out his hand for her to hold on to. She grabbed onto his hand and stood up.

"Thank you," she said remembering what her mum had always told her about manners.

"I'm Nick…do you want me to push you on the swings?" he asked.

She nodded excitedly as she got back on the swing. As Nick pushed her higher and higher she felt like she was flying.

Nick watched her as Lorraine stared into the distance. From the soft smile on her face, he could tell she was remember the first time they had met. He was no longer the four year old boy but instead he was now an eighteen year old man who was going to work as a chef in his family restaurant. Silently, he strolled over.

"Hey," he said softly.

"Hey," she murmured, barely louder than a whisper.

Together, they sat like that for what seemed like hours, in silence. Both of them remembering the day Lorraine received the letter.

'Dear Miss Lorraine Cooper,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Cherrywood College of Visual Arts…'

They had both been ecstatic and had spent the night celebrating, both preferring to ignore the fact that she would be moving to Cherrywood- 8 hours drive south.

Nick wanted her to go and pursue her lifelong dream. He knew that one day she'd be a famous artist with exhibits all over the world, but he loved her so much. The fact that after today he wouldn't see her for quite awhile him hurt too much.

Art was Lorraine's passion. She remembered hundreds of paintings of the park, thousands of sketches of Nick… Nick was the only reason why she didn't want to leave this place. Her mother had recently given birth to a baby boy with her third husband and had not uttered so much as a single word this year. Lorraine had friends, but none were close. Not as close as Nick. She would really miss him, but as much as she loved him, she had dedicated her whole life into getting into that art college.

They could have sat there all day silent, but it all stopped when Lorraine's phone started ringing.

She didn't bother checking her phone because she knew it was the alarm she had set on her phone.

Lorraine swallowed, "It's time."

Nick turned his head to look her in the eyes. Her eyes were shiny now and he knew the tears were about to fall. He closed his eyes and kissed her.

After a second, she pulled away and reached into her bag. Silently, Lorraine handed him a rolled up sheet of paper tied in a ribbon.

"It's for you."

Nick carefully untied the ribbon and unraveled the sheet of paper. He marveled at the sight. She had drawn a girl sitting on a swing with a boy pushing her forwards. Nick looked up to smile at her, but in his daze, he hadn't noticed the sound of her suitcase being rolled away.

Nick watched as she walked further and further away. When she became a dot in his vision, he felt the tears leak out of his eyes.


He had never been a fan of reading the paper.

At twenty two, Nick had moved out and owned his own apartment. The only reason why he was reading the newspaper today was because his mother had came by and dropped off the paper because there was a review about the family restaurant. Sighing, he quickly flipped through the pages to find the review.

"Let's see, President Obama…two die in car crash…workers demand raise…Lorraine Cooper…" he muttered as he flipped the page. Wait…Lorraine Cooper?

The article read in a bold font, 'Winterdale's very own Lorraine Cooper wins the 2009 Picasso Prize'. Nick stared at the photo accompanying the article. Four years might have passed, but Lorraine hadn't changed at all. She smiled at the camera in front of the award winning artwork. He squinted to look closer at the artwork and his face softened. It was a sketch almost identical to the one she had given to him at the park which was now framed and hung in his bedroom. According to the article, the artwork was titled 'Young Love'.

Smiling, Nick picked up his phone.


A/N - I thought I'd try a challenge for a change. Yay or nay? =)