( ( Stay ) )

-One Shot-

No. No, you can't. Stop. Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave, if you leave, I just, I remember things better with you. I do, look. It's there; I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And—and, I look at you and I'm home. Please… I don't want that to go away. I don't want to forget.

-"Finding Nemo"

The first time I saw him, I didn't think much of him.

I thought he was gorgeous and that he was quiet, maybe a little bit shy, but that was it. We had only caught each other's eye and he had only smiled and I had only nodded. He had a nice smile that sliced through girls' hearts like knife on butter.

The second time I saw him; he shook my hand and told me to call him Colton. I told him my name was Scarlet and that I hated being called Scar. He laughed, his chuckle low and husky, and told me that I was weird. I don't remember if I was smiling or not, but I remember glancing down at the hand that was holding mine, pondering as to why his hand felt so warm against my own.

He dropped my hand and said he was sorry.

At the time, I thought he said he was sorry for dropping my hand, but now I know that he said he was sorry because he had clutched my hand for a second too long.

I don't know if I cared that he was holding my hand for too long or not. I don't think I did.

The third time we met, he told me that he had had a bad day and that he was tired. I joked and said that he could sleep on me. He smiled and I laughed nervously when he plopped down on the seat next to mine and rested his head on my shoulder. He smelled good, kind of like strawberry, and I blushed because his arm brushed against mine.

We met again, for a fourth time, and he gave me a hug, said that he missed bumping into me at the most inconvenient times. I grinned and explained to him that he didn't smell like strawberries anymore. He stuffed his hands in his jean pockets and told me that he had ran out of strawberry shampoo, said he was now using Pantene Pro-V. I laughed and jokingly jabbed my fist at his arm. I think he was smiling because I remember that I was smiling, too.

And from there, our relationship spurred—we become the best of friends.

I learned that he was a rising star, that he didn't talk much, and that he didn't laugh much either. He hated ice cream and liked to smile as much as he loved singing and dancing.

I told him that I was still 15 years old and still in high school and that he was lucky that even though he was only 16, he was already, not really, but kind of well known. He said that he was still going to high school, too, though, and that he was doing pretty well.

I stared at him, trapped in a place of awe. He was a star and a student, gorgeous and imperfect. He tapped my chin and told me that I should take a deep breath and smile. I did as he had said.

That was a year ago when I first met him.

People used to say that we were inseparable, that even though he would travel across the ocean, he was always with me, always by my side. They said that even if I were to die and leave him behind, I would still be right there, right next to him, glued to his side. People said that if we ever grew to love each other in that kind of way, the world would become a little bit brighter.

He had laughed and told them that being best friends with me was more than a blessing. I don't remember if I agreed or not, but I remember biting my lip and trying to smile.

That was only two months ago.

Colton became just a little bit more famous and I become just a little bit more focused on school. He was never home anymore and he never came to visit either. I was stuck in my room, always studying, always reading.

Maybe it was just that I was trying to always have something to do. I think I missed him a little bit too much and covered it up with school work. I remember waking up in the morning with only two hours of sleep, dark circles decorating the skin around my eyes, not being able to function correctly at school.

I took up track a few weeks later and he traveled farther and farther away from home. I ran and studied and he sang and danced. I missed him so badly and he didn't even have time to think about me.

Two days ago, he had climbed in through my window.

I wasn't asleep yet, just laying on my bed in the dark, imagining patterns on my ceiling.

He had always climbed through my window—those times when he was just a tiny bit famous and we used to share a bowl of ice cream even though he hated it.

I nearly jumped when I heard his shoes hitting against my bedroom floor, but I only glanced over at his slumped shadow and figured that he was sad about something and needed a place to sleep.

Colton climbed into the right side of my bed, dirty Vans shoes and all. It irked me because I didn't like doing laundry. My bed sheets would be unclean in no time if he didn't take off his shoes. I questioned myself whether he remembered how much I hated him sleeping with his shoes on.

He smelled like strawberry and I wondered when he had started to use strawberry shampoo again. He turned his back to me and I knew he wasn't going to fall asleep until I said something.

"Colton," I started, my voice shaky for some odd reason I didn't know. I knew he wasn't going to answer, but I knew he would always be listening so I continued. "I took your advice and got into track."

The silence only answered me.

"And I'm trying hard in school to try to get into a good college. Remember, Colton…? When you told me that I deserved to get accepted into only the best colleges…?"

I sighed.

"But I guess that's not the point." I took a hard swallow and kept my gaze on the ceiling. "You know, since you left, Colton, life's been getting weird. I don't have anyone to talk to anymore. It's just like before I met you—I never belonged. I don't think I ever will. Everyone has their own star shining for them and I have nothing." I knew I was rambling, but I knew he was listening, as always. "Colton, do you ever get that feeling that you can't breathe because it hurts too much…?

"When you left two months ago, it hurt. It fucking hurt. You were always there to make me feel like I was safe even if I couldn't find where the hell I belonged, but when you left, that feeling of security left with you, too. And all of a sudden, everything began to fall on top of me and I had no clue, absolutely no clue where I was supposed to run to."

I had closed my eyes for a split second and then it hit me—hard.

Heart thumping, I realized that I had fallen so hard for the most perfectly imperfect guy I had ever met and it scared me. Oh gosh, it scared me half to death. I was paralyzed by this intense feeling of fear that I would lose him—that I would not be able to grasp him if he were to slip through my fingers.

I turned away from the ceiling and with my back to him, took a deep breath.

"I guess what I'm trying to say, Colton, is that I… I really, really miss you and I don't ever want you to leave me alone like that ever again."

Holding my breath, I prayed for a sign—prayed for something—anything to tell me that he had missed me, too and that he would never leave me behind.

There was an overwhelming stillness and a moment later, he sat up quietly and took off his shoes, setting them beside the bed ever so softly before settling back into the bed. I smiled because he remembered.

And I knew he had missed me as much as I missed him and that he would always keep me near his heart—even if I was only a friend.

I don't remember if I was happy or not.

I think I was, though, I think I was.

Author's Note: This has been begging to be written for the past two days. A remake of a SUPER-DUPER OLD one-shot that I deleted.