For those who've never read this or any of my other stories (pretty much everyone here), throughout the story, unless otherwise indicated as thoughts of the characters, the italicized words are song lyrics, all of which I will give credit for after I post the final chapter to the story. Enjoy! Rated for language and situations.
Alex goes to college, and finds that her best friend and the boy she secretly loves, Cade, has also chosen to go to the same school. The two soon meet up with Alex's friends from her childhood (from before she met Cade). As the group begins to bond and grow close, the others try to get Alex and Cade together. As things progress, the group learns that there is a reason Cade and Alex were never together in the first place, and it has to do with a secret. A secret that has haunted Alex for a very long time. However, their plans of a still possible romance between Alex and Cade are soon put to a stop when Alex and the others recieve threatening emails. Things only worsen when one of the friends gets attacked and put in the hospital. What is the secret? Does it have to do with the emailer who is still on the loose? Will Cade and Alex ever be together? More importantly...will the group of friends ever stop this madman that is after them, or will the emailer get to them first?
Prologue "Ladies and gentlemen...Kennedy High School's Graduating Class of 2005!"
"Ladies and gentlemen...Kennedy High School's Graduating Class of 2005!"
The crowd cheered, and the graduates left the stage, running around and looking for their family and friends.
-And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives, where we're gonna be when we turn twenty-five-
One girl in particular, Alex, looked for her best friend, Cade. She stood amongst the other scrambling graduates, scanning the crowd for him.
"Cade!" she called out, trying to maker herself heard over all the laughter and music.
"Als!" a voice answered.
She turned. "Cade!" She ran up to the dark haired boy and hugged him, laughing and smiling as he wrapped his arms around her tightly.
-I keep, keep thinking things will never change, keep thinking that things will always be the same-
"Congrats to us, I guess, huh?" he chuckled as he let go of Alex.
"Yeah, I guess," she laughed, looking around, and then back at her best friend, He was staring into the crowd as well, his eyes searching for their other friends.
-But when we leave this year, we won't be comin' back, no more hangin' out 'cuz we're on a different track-
She looked around again. People everywhere, laughing, crying, talking, hugging. All promising to keep in touch, and almost all knowing that they would probably never see each other again. Some would become college freshmen come September. Some would pursue other dreams. And some would even continue to live with their parents in this little hick ass town they had all called home. Alex suppressed a giggle at the last thought.
-Sew this up with threads of reason and regret...so I will not forget...I will not forget-
So much was going to end now. High school romances, seemingly unbreakable friendships, the reassurance of having somewhere to go, some place to come home to...
-How this felt one year six months ago, I know...I cannot forget...I cannot forget-
"Where are you going in September?"
"Huh?" Alex looked back at Cade, coming back to reality.
"Which college you going to in fall? Or are you gonna blow all your scholarship money on other things?" he smirked.
"I dunno..." Alex answered thoughtfully, smiling. She had gotten so many scholarships because of all her visual, media, and performing arts classes. "Maybe Columbia College for the Arts or Julliard. You?"
"I dunno either, might go to one of those, but I wanna double check to make sure if I can afford them," he answered. "If not...maybe somewhere else." He looked at the crowd for a moment. "But first, as soon as this thing is over, I'm starting on that cross country trip I told you about."
"As soon as this is over?" Alex asked.
"Yeah," Cade said, looking at Alex. "As soon as this little end of graduation thing is over, I'm driving outta here like a bat outta hell."
Alex gave him that curious look that he always thought made her look so cute. "You mean as in...?"
"As in a few minutes, after I'm done saying my goodbyes to everyone here," he said, finishing her sentence for her.
-Girl, you know I've got to go...oh...and Lord, I wish it wasn't so-
"Oh..." Alex's face fell.
"Alex," Cade said. "You know I've gotta get outta here. I need more than this little hick ass town, and so do you. You're gonna find it in a nice art college dorm room. Me... I dunno where I'll find it, but that's what I'm looking for when I go."
"Yeah," Alex said, looking away. "I know."
-So lately...been wonderin'...who will be there to take my place? When I'm gone...you'll need love...to light the shadows on your face...If a great wave shall fall...and fall upon us all...Then between the sand and stone...could you make it on your own?-
"Don't worry, Als," Cade said, holding up her chin and looking into her deep brown eyes. "I promise we won't lose touch."
-Let's delay our misery...Save tonight...fight the break of dawn, come tomorrow...Tomorrow, I'll be gone-
Alex scoffed. "Oh yeah? What makes you think I wanna keep in touch with you?" she laughed, trying not to let her eyes water.
"Ha ha, you're funny," Cade joked along.
"Seriously though..." Alex said. "I'm scared that we will lose touch. I don't want to lose you, Cade."
"Well, call me in September when you get settled down at Columbia or Adams or whatever fancy schmancy school you go to," Cade laughed. "And I promise you that no matter where the hell I'm at, I'll get to you as soon as I can and we'll meet up somewhere."
Alex laughed as well. "Yeah, but after that, we lose touch anyways. And plus," she looked down at the floor, "what if we lose touch before September? Or something else happens?"
Cade looked at Alex, then down at the floor. Then he looked up again. "I know!" He reached both arms behind his neck and removed his necklace.
-Saying goodbye, this time...The same old story-
It was a thin, silver chain made up of small pewter links and had a dragon pendant hanging from it. The dragon had its tiny wings spread open, one arm reaching out in front of it, and had its legs and tail wrapped around a clear, pointed crystal that shined with multiple colors.
Cade looked at the necklace, then at Alex. He smiled in that mischievous way that Alex always loved and held the necklace out to her.
"Take it," he said.
Alex stared at the tiny dragon and the chain in Cade's hand. She couldn't take that! It was his favorite necklace! Alex had never even seen him take it off since he received it!
"Take it," he repeated.
"What?" Alex exclaimed. "Cade, I can't take that! Your grandfather gave that to you when he died in our sophomore year! You've never even taken it off!"
"Yeah, I know," Cade said. "But now I have and I'm giving it to you to hold."
"Alex," Cade stopped her. He took her hand in his other one and held it. "You know how much I love this thing, and you're the only one I'd trust it with. I'll be back for it," he said, carefully placing the chain into her hand and enclosing her fingers around it. "This way you know we'll see each other again."
"But--" Alex started again, but Cade cute her off again.
"I'll be back for it," he repeated. Cade held her enclosed hand in his and softly cupped her face with the other. "I promise we'll see each other again soon. And if by some event that we don't, you can always remember me by it."
Alex laughed. "Now why would I wanna remember you?" She reached up and mess with his hair.
He laughed too and backed away from her hand. "Hey!"
Alex looked at the person that stood in front of her. The guy she had called her best friend, but had loved as so much more. Him and his sexy ocean blue eyes, his playful smile, his handsome face...
-Crushed, by the sweetest lips I've never kissed, how you bring the tips, and the warmest touch I've always missed, crushed, by the sweetest hands I've never held, probably never tell, you're the strongest love that I've ever felt-
She could not believe that this may be one of the last times she would see him for a long time. She did not want this to end. Not before she could tell him how she felt. How she loved him as more than a friend should...
-I've got this feeling, you're not gonna stay...It's burning within me...The fear of losing, of slipping away...It keeps getting closer-
But she could not. She promised herself that she would not fall in love again...Not yet anyway...
-I didn't know much of love but it came too soon-
Not after the incident back in April...but she could not help it. She had felt this way for so long...even before what happened in April had occurred.
-I've tried to hide it so that no one knows, but I guess it shows...when you look into my eyes-
Cade Richardson had her heart since the moment they met, and he did not even know it. If only she could just say the words...
-I know, I should tell you how I feel, I wish everyone would disappear...Everytime you call me, I'm too scared to be me, and I'm too shy to say...Ooh, I got a crush...on you...I hope you feel...the way that I do...I get a rush...when I'm with you...Ooh, I've got a crush on you, a crush on you-
'But what if he laughs?' she thought. 'What if he never speaks to me again? What if he says that he doesn't feel the same way?' Her eyes began to water. She could not bear to live without him...her best friend, her love...
-It's not that I can't live without you...It's just that I don't even wanna try-
"Hey, you okay?" Cade asked. He wiped the tears that had begun to fall. It hurt him to see her cry, but when she did, her eyes shined and she looked as beautiful as ever.
-If I could, then I would...I'll go wherever you will go...Way up high, or down low...I'll go wherever you will go-
"Yeah, I'm fine," she lied. "It's just...I'm gonna miss you so much.." She hugged him again and Cade instinctively wrapped his arms around her as well.
-My place was always beside you...And I...wish that I didn't need you so bad...Your face...just won't go away-
He looked down at her as she closed her eyes for a moment.
-Your eyes...As we said our goodbyes...Can't get them outta my mind-
To him, the girl in his arms was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and the kindest he had ever known. She had the perfect personality, beautiful brown eyes, long flowing dark brown hair with golden blonde highlights she got just a few months ago, full red lips, and many other perfect features. But he saw beyond that. He saw all the goodness in her heart and the good intentions she had behind her fiery spirit, and that was what made him fall in love with her.
-And there was me and you and then we got real blue...stay at home talkin' on the telephone-
But he could not have her. He knew she did not want to get hurt again, but he also knew that he would never hurt her...He'd take away all her pain if it was in his power to do so. But he could not, because he knew that she would not risk it, and especially not with him...He shook the last thought from his mind.
-Guess I'm wishin' my life away...With these things I'll never say-
"So, um.." he started, taking his eyes off her and scratching the back of his head as he let go of Alex. "Where are your parents at?"
"Over there," she pointed.
"Oh, I see them," Cade said, waving at them. The couple smiled and waved back.
-Spare me just...three last words, "I love you" is all she heard...I'll wait for you, but I can't wait forever-
"Yeah...Where are yours?" Alex asked, scanning the crowd.
"Oh, they had to leave a few minutes ago 'cause they were needed at the office," Cade said. "They stayed 'til the end and told me to tell you congrats and apologize for not being able to do it in person."
"Oh, okay," Alex replied. "No problem. Tell them thanks."
-We'd get so excited and we'd get so scared, laughin' at ourselves thinking life's not fair-
Alex turned away. They were silent for a few moments.
-It's how we do it one time, blowin' my mind, please don't you decline, ain't lyin', baby be mine-
"Well I guess this is goodbye for now, huh?" Cade asked, breaking the silence between them.
-I can't believe this family must die...I can't believe this is...Goodbye-
"Yeah..." Alex said sadly. "For now." She hugged him again.
-So I go...and I will not be back here again...I'm gone as the day is fading...on...white houses-
"Good luck, Als," he said, holding Alex tightly, afraid to let go. He was afraid to because he knew that if and when he did, he might lose her forever.
-See, you got the key to my heart...girl...Unlock me and take all my feelings apart-
"See ya soon, I hope.." he said.
-And maybe...I'll find out...A way to make it back someday...To watch you...to guide you...through the darkest of your days...If a great wave shall fall...and fall upon us all...Well then I hope there's someone out there who...can bring me back to you-
"Yeah, you too, Cade.." Alex nodded, choking back tears and finally letting go of him.
-Crushed, that I haven't ever let you know, how it always goes, 'cuz I lose my nerve whenever you get close-
Cade smiled at her one last time, then turned around and walked away. Alex watched him get into his car as he reached the student parking lot, not moving from the place where they had both stood just seconds before.
-You left me with goodbye and open arms...A cut so deep, I don't deserve...You were always invincible in my eyes...and... the only thing against us now is time-
"Don't go.." Alex quietly whispered, tears slowly falling from her dark brown eyes. "Stay with me.."
-Could it be...any harder...to say goodbye, without you? Could it be...any harder...to watch you go...to face what's true? If I only had one more day-
-Find, one song, one last refrain...Glory...from the pretty boy front man...who wasted opportunity...Find, one song, a song about love...Glory...from the soul of a young man-
Cade closed the door to his sea green '98 Chrysler Le Baron convertible. He put his hand on the steering when and took one more look at Alex's unmistakable form, still standing near the podium. His eyes began to water, but he blinked away the tears.
-'Cuz when you said you had to leave...had to go away...you closed the door on me...You threw away the key-
"Goodbye, Als.." he said quietly to himself.
-One song, he had the world at his feet...Glory...in the eyes of a young girl...a young girl...find, Glory, beyond the cheap colored lights-
He stuck the key in the ignition and started the car, pulling out of the parking space. Then he took one final look at the girl he had called his best friend for so long.
-And if you got something that you need to say...you better say it right now, 'cuz you don't have another day-
"I love you, Alex," he whispered, one tear threatening to fall from his eye. He blinked it away again.
-Why does distance make us wise? You were the song all along...and before the song dies...I should tell you, I should tell you...I have always loved you...you can see it in my eyes-
And with that, he pulled out of the student parking lot and drove off, leaving behind a small town, a life he knew, and a girl he loved.
-And so I'm left, short of breath, with that heavy feeling in my chest, baby, I'm so crushed-