B a c k – T o – D e c e m b e r

O n e – S h o t – b y – C h a s e T h e S u n s e t – ( 2 0 1 2 – 1 – 1 )

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"I go back to December, turn around and make it alright, I go back to December turn around and change my own mind, I go back to December all the time" –Taylor Swift

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The night was cold and dark; my breaths came out in short puffs of clouds. I stood there waiting. Where was he? I looked around, only to find the dew dropped grass unmoving, frozen like ice.

Was it so important that I had to walk out of my house at 11:45pm right before the start of New Year? It was unbelievable. And here I was, standing under the endless night sky. The stars were brightly shining... You know that song? Hah, and here I was amusing myself, a smile hinted on my lips.

I could've been at home celebrating with the Smiths, I still had time to go home, and I could probably run there in 2 minutes since it was just around the corner of the little playground.

A shiver ran up my spine, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was chilly these days. I shuffled stiffly towards the swings, my arms closed around me. Carefully, I placed myself onto it. My hands clutched on the icy metal chains, making my fingers freeze.

"That's right Holly, swing. Kick the ground, lift your legs, and pull back once you're up: swing!" I could hear his voice say in my head, dragging me back to a childhood memory, where the sun burned and my hands were sticky with ice cream. "Swing, Holly. Swing swing swing!"

I laughed to myself at the thought of it, little me being taught how to swing by a douche bag.

"What you laughing at?" A voice asked behind me. Surprised, I jumped on the seat.

"Nothing!" I snapped, narrowing my eyes at the figure that was lazily leaning against the slide. I knew who the voice belonged to, and I wasn't planning to be nice to whoever said it.

"Aw, Lyly. That's not a nice way to greet your friend. Why so down? It's nearly New Year!" he exclaimed. I couldn't see him, but I could feel him grinning. It annoyed me.

"Why did you bring me here, Nathan?" I asked.

"Ahh... So you used my full name. That means you're angry" he laughed. "Why did you come here?" He asked back.

"Stop being smart, just tell me what we're doing here at-"I quickly glanced down at my watch. "11:50! I could be at home celebrating with the Smiths, counting down to 2012, but no. I sacrificed my time for you, to see what you wanted. And so far, it's nothing." I grumbled miserably.

"Why can't you just call them your family? They are, aren't they?" he questioned.

"Yes, but if you don't remember, I'm frickin' adopted. Plus, I've only been with them for a while now." I spitefully replied while glaring at the floor.

He sighed, walking towards the swing. I briefly looked up at him, only to catch him wearing the red hooded jumper I brought him on his 16th birthday. His unruly brown hair tucked into the hood, his piercing blue eyes gleaming in the dark. My eyes cast downwards, not wanting to see his face.

"You remember that horse?" He asked. "We used to ride on Boris for hours!" He smirked at his dirty joke.

"Not funny." I deadpanned.

"Okay, fine. I'll try to be more serious, oh hey, that's a good new year's resolution. Be more serious, like Holly. I like it!" He beamed. "Anyway, back to the point. We used to fight over the horse like it was a... life source!" He chuckled to himself.

I stared at the horse, the spring planted it to the ground, its bright yellow and red colour; it stood out like an odd thumb in the dark. The colours reminded me of the summer...

-x

"It's my go; you've been on it for hours!" I groaned, irritated.

"I don't care, I like the horse, his names Boris and he's cool, not like you. You... girl!" The boy with the brown wild curly hair shot back.

"That's not fair!" I wailed.

He stopped rocking the horse and looked up, as if he was thinking. "Fine, if you want to go on the horse, I want your lollipop." he compromised.

"Bu- but I've already licked it. It has my germs." I said, trying to keep hold of my lollipop. I wanted the horse as much as I loved lollipops.

"Do you want Boris or not?" he asked.

"I want the horse-"

"Boris."

"As much as I want my lollipop." I said.

"Okay, make a choice quickly then. Boris or lollipop? 5... 4... 3..."

I looked from my horse to the lollipop, trying to make a fast decision.

"2... 1..."

"Okay, okay. I want the horse!"I muttered, handing over the swirly pink and white lollipop.

"You mean Boris. Well, okay." He said, taking the lollipop. "But before I eat your germs, I have to know your name. I don't eat things from strangers."

"Holly," I introduced myself, holding out my hand.

"Na-ah, you're not having the lolly back. Oh, and my names Nathan, but you can call me Nate 'cause that's my nickname." He said. "Only say Nathan when you're angry, like my mummy does." He whispered, eyeing the woman sitting on the bench reading a glossy magazine.

"Oh, okay." I giggled, climbing onto the horse.

"You should have a nickname too!" He grinned at his great idea. "Holl? Hols? Ly? La..." He snapped his fingers gleefully. "Got it, I should call you Lyly!"

"Okay, Nate." I grinned back at my new friend.

-x

A chilly wind swept through my hair, blowing strands of mud coloured hair into my face.

"We met there," he smiled at the memory, I smiled too.

"Yeah," I agreed. "But that doesn't change my feelings for you."

"And what feelings may this be?" He smirked.

"Anger, mostly," I answered. To my surprise, he nodded his head.

"Don't blame you." He kicked the ground to swing a little. "There." He pointed towards something I couldn't see very well. Confused, I gave him a questioning look.

"The monkey bars, dummy."

"Ah... yes. What about them?" I lifted my head to try and get a clearer view of the blistering wood of the monkey bars.

"Remember when you got blisters?" he laughed lightly, "You were such a wimp back then."

"I was not!" I argued, offended at his accusation.

"Was too!" he argued back.

I looked down at my hands to see if I could trace back any memories from the past.

"Oh, and you got the nasty cut, ugh, the blood was disgusting, it was so... bleh-" He said, recalling back some gruesome memories.

"Please don't remind me." I interrupted him while looking at the back of my hands. And there it was, the scar. It started from the base of my thumb, going diagonally towards the birthmark on my wrist. It twisted around my hand like around my arm like a snake, giving me a sick image of the deep wound where the wood that stuck out, cut. It made me feel wary.

-x

I stared up at the thick lines of wood neatly lined with a few spaces between them. It looked as if they were lying on the sky. It interested me. I wondered what they were for.

"Monkey bars." Nate said next to me, as if reading my mind. He too was looking up at the interesting pieces of wood that were resting on the sky.

Confused, I mumbled a little "Huh?"

"You climb them, using your hands like a monkey to keep you on." He explained, as if he were a professional in the playground."Do you want me to help you on it? My dad showed me how" he grinned. I nodded eager to have a turn on the monkey bars.

"Well, go on the last step," I obeyed his command, excitedly making my way up."Now I'm going to grab your legs and you're going to grab each bar with your hands, like a monkey!"

"Are you sure it's safe?" I stared down at him, worrying a little.

"Sure it is, my dad did this with me" he reassured me.

He grasped my legs, "Go on," he encouraged. "Get the first bar."

And that's what I did. I grabbed from bar to bar, Nate supported my weight with all the strength he could muster.

"Lyly, you're, ah... my arm-"

CRASH. I let out a bloodcurdling scream.

-x

"That was so your fault!" I blamed him.

"My fault!" He looked at me innocently. "You're the one who agreed to my plan."

"Oh, so that makes us both stupid!" I laughed, he joined with me.

"You remember the-"

"Stop." I cut him off. "Why are you bringing up all this?" I asked him, realising that he was only bringing back memories from the past. "I don't want you to bring up how we used to go down that slide together, or how we used to sit on that spinny thing and get your sister to push it around," I said, realising my voice getting louder every second. "Or how we used to have races to see who could get up to the top of the climbing frame quicker. Why are you bringing it up!" I yelled at him.

Silence filled the air, I could feel the tension.

"Because you haven't moved on from it yet," He quietly answered. "You haven't forgotten me, you haven't moved on and it's affecting you." He said. "You can do so much-"

"No I can't!" I screamed. The silence around us was deafening. "You're not there with me, you left. How can I?" I barely whispered. My lips quivered, I pressed them together and squeezed my eyes shut to stop the tears coming through. I breathed in deeply.

"It wasn't my fault that I had to go, and I'm sorry that I did. Do you think I could've suddenly come back to-"

"IT WAS YOUR FAULT!" I shouted. "You could've stayed away and let me be the one to take the hit but you didn't! You decided to be superman and come to my rescue, but all you did was made things worse."

"Are you blaming me for this?" He asked, quietly.

I shook my head and rubbed my eyes with my palms. "No." I whispered. "It wasn't entirely your fault. But you had everything, I didn't. Why did you do it? Why did you step in front of me when that car came? Why did it have to be you, not me? You had a family that loved you, a bright future ahead of you, a whole bunch of friends, you were rich..." I counted it all with my fingers.

"I did it because I love you." He said. I looked up to meet his pale blue eyes. "I don't regret what I did, be glad that I did it. Now you can be happy and-"

I shook my head, my vision blurring as I directed my gaze downward.

"Holly, look at me." I obeyed, or rather, I had no choice because he tilted my chin up to look at him. "I want you to be happy this year. I want you to forget about all the bad things in the past, look forward to the future. You can't look at the future and still be dragging your past with you. Forget about it, forget about me and what happened. I want you to smile, and live every day like it's your last." He murmured. "Live for me."

He pulled me closer and gently planted a kiss on my wet cheek.

"It's a new year. New beginnings, new hopes, new dreams, it's all out for you." He smiled sadly.

"But not for you," I choked out.

"No, not anymore." He whispered.

Suddenly, my phone beeped in my pocket. Where are you? The text read, it was 11:58pm.

"It's almost 2012," I told Nathan as I stood up to leave the playground. "D'you want to come along with me?" I offered him.

He sighed, "No, I'll stay here." He looked up at me, reassuring that it was okay for me to leave. "With the rest of our childhood memories," He scarcely whispered.

I nodded understandingly. "Goodbye Nathan," I breathed, taking one last look at him as he stood up to wrap his arms around me.

"Goodbye Holly." He smiled.

I turned to leave the playground, taking one last look at him. His hair was windswept and his eyes looked after me longingly.

"I love you, Nathan." I muttered under my breath and turned to run home.

I ran as fast as my legs could take me, hopefully I'd be in time for the countdown. I ran past the empty town shops, past the lake, past other people's houses. I slowed down when I reached the graveyard, knowing that I was nearly home. I stopped at the stone. It read:

"In loving memory of

Nathan Alexander

26 Feburary1994 – 3 December 2011

Forever loved, and never forgotten, died in an act of heroism. May he rest in peace."

I smiled, "Thank you." I whispered. I ran home, just in time for the countdown with The Smiths, or should I say, my family. I could hear them shouting, waiting until the year ended, the TV was on.

"10... 9... 8..."

"Honey, where were you?" Mrs Smith asked, "We were worried sick."

"7...6..."

"I was just sorting things out," I told her.

"5... 4... 3..."

She nodded her head, and began joining in with the others.

"2... 1..."

I smiled, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" I screamed at the top of my lungs with the rest of them.

"New beginnings, new hopes, new dreams, make the most out of it." Ashley said as she hugged me, she was my age, technically my sister. I nodded my head in agreement.

New Beginnings.

New Hopes.

New Dreams.

Hello 2012.

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A/N: Happy new year guys! So I ended up doing a one-shot for New Year, and I finished it just today, so it's kind of late, but you know what they say, it's never too late :D. Hope you liked it.

~ ChaseTheSunset.