A/N - For those of you who are still reading my other story Always Been You, I just want to say I haven't abandoned it, but needed a break from it. As you read this story, some of you might remember it from way back, but I've I decided to revise it and make it even better before after hearing the song Home by Chris Daughtry. I just hope you like this one and review if you can.
Summary: April James has been gone for five years, living across the other side of the world to escape from her feelings. Now she's finally back to be with her family and friends. She even wants to try to start up her friendship again with her best friend, Jake Hansen, the one who was part of the reason she left. Will she be able to handle being near him again? And the other question is: Will Jake finally confess the truth he has been hiding from her this whole time?
I'm going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I'm not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don't regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old,
So I'm going home.
Well I'm going home.
- Chris Daughtry (I don't own these lyrics. I just borrowed them for the purpose of my story).
"Although our days here are over, we never stop the learning process, for we are always learning more about ourselves and the world around us.Thanks to our friends and those believed in us. Without them, we would have never gotten this far. Although our days here are over, we never stop the learning process, for we are always learning more about ourselves and the world around us. May the knowledge you have attained within these walls help you excel in your future endeavors! Congratulations everyone and best of luck to you always!"
A girl, with shoulder length dark brown hair, olive skin and pale green eyes, was leaning against a window, letting out a sigh as she gazed out at the gloomy weather. It was wet and windy, the sky dreary, the clouds dark gray, and huge raindrops fell like buckets onto the ground. In a way this day perfectly reflected how she was feeling at the moment as she remembered the closing end of her graduation speech.
Friends were going around hugging one another, making promises that they would always keep in touch and never lose contact. But unfortunately for her, it was something that was hard for her to do.
It's been about five years since April had last seen her friends from high school, especially her best friend whom she cared for so much. The last time was when they were sitting together in their favorite spot, a place in the park that overlooks the city. They would always come to talk about their problems and it always seemed to help, but on this one particular day, they had parted in a way that she really didn't intend…and it couldn't be helped.
"What do you mean you are leaving?" Jake sadly asked.
April looked at her best friend, his dark brown hair ruffling in the wind as his hazel eyes glistened with unshed tears.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, "but I have to go."
April clasped her hands together, putting them in between her knees, as she solemnly gazed down at the rippling water, dangling her feet against the seawall. "Because it something I have to do," she sighed.
"Did I do something wrong?"
"It's not you," she said reassuringly as she placed a comforting hand on his arm. "It's me."
Jake looked at her, his eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"I don't know how to gently put this, but I guess I should tell you," she sighed, turning to look at the city lights. "It all started with this crush I had on you since the 8th grade. I thought it was just a kind of puppy love infatuation, but over the years when I finally got to know the real you, that crush slowly changed into love."
"Please Jake," she interrupted. "I need to get this out of my system. You see, all through the years, I was happy that we became friends and cherish everything we've been through, but I can't keep hiding my feelings from you. At the beginning I wanted to tell you how I felt, but Rebecca told me one day she had overheard you tell George that you only liked me as a friend. It hurt to hear her say that to me, but I accepted and tried to move on. At first I thought I could handle it by just ignoring how I truly felt, hiding it from you. But the more I got to know you, the more I fell deeper in love. I tried giving you subtle hints as to not embarrass myself, but from how you had responded to them, I knew that what she said was true. You did only feel for me as a friend. But none of this is your fault Jake. I don't want you to go and blame yourself for any of this. I just need to get away, take a break from everything, and sort my feelings out."
A tear then slowly started to fall from her face.
"I wish I wasn't leaving, but this is something I really need to do. I just hope you could understand why I have to do this. I don't know when, or if, I will be coming back, but I am going to miss you so much. You have become one of my best friends and I will always be grateful."
Her tears continued to flow as she saw the regret spread across her best friend's face.
"Please Jake," she whispered. "This is already hard for me that I have to say goodbye to you, but please, I need you to understand. I can't continue to live a lie, thinking that one day you will feel the same as I do towards you. Just being here with you is already hard enough for me. I'm really sorry that I just sprung this on you, but the last couple of weeks I've been lying in my bed, trying to find the best way to let you know."
"Where are you going?" he asked as he grabbed onto her hand and held on tight..
"When are you leaving?" he whispers.
"Oh." He lets go of her hand and hangs his head, sadly in disappointment.
As they arrived at her house and sat silently in his car, in the back of her mind, April hoped maybe Jake might tell her that he loves her back, and pleads for her to stay. But unfortunately, he doesn't say one word and she lets out a deep sigh, slumping her shoulders in defeat.
"Jake?" she whispers. "I would appreciate it if you came to the airport tomorrow, but if you don't, I understand. I know hearing something like this is a bit of an emotional blow, huh?"
She turned to look at him and he just weakly smiled.
"Well, I guess I should get going then. Bye Jake."
Continuing to gaze out the window, her thoughts then shifted to that day at the airport.
As she said her goodbyes to her closest friends and family, she was scanning the crowd hoping he would show up…but he didn't. She thought he wasn't going to show when all of a sudden, as she was about to board the plane, she heard her name being called out. She quickly turned around and saw Jake rushing towards her, waving his arms for her to stop.
He then proceeded to plead for her to not leave and wanted her to stay. But when she asked him the reason why, the only thing he could tell her was that he didn't want his best friend to move across the country. Knowing that reason wasn't good enough since he still hadn't told her he loved her back, she then quickly pulled him into an embrace, quietly bade him goodbye before getting on the plane to her new life in London.
Shaking her head out of those memories, she continued to pack.
Finally finishing with her schooling a couple of weeks ago, April couldn't wait to get home. She missed everyone desperately and knew she had been away long enough from her friends and family. Although she met new friends in London, none of them could compare to the ones back home. The only one who came close was Mandy Abbott, her roommate and best friend on this side of the world. Mandy understood why April needed to go back. She knew that even though April told her she had gotten over her feelings for Jake, she never really gave up on him.
Taping up the last of her boxes, April gave one more glance around the room, holding her suitcase closer to her as she silently whispered, "I'm finally going home."