Er Shi Jiu

(There's Nowhere to Go from Here)

He calls her three weeks later and asks Her if she can meet him at the café, (how cliché) except it's not, it's not the same, he's something akin to sane then there's determination there as well. She sounds happy – happy enough to meet him, he doesn't think into what other things she could be doing or how he wouldn't be wasting her time. He's better than that today, he's better.

The coffee shop comes into view and he's right around the corner, he stands there for a while, almost wishing he were religious enough to leave this up to someone else. He stands there for half a minute and whispers, twenty seconds of courage, and goes into the café, finding her in her favorite spot.

Oh, the memories.

She's as beautiful as ever- this time he allows himself to think that.

He sinks into his seat and she's all smiles, they strike up a conversation like old times, the feeling, the sinking feeling in his stomach is there- the dull ache, but he doesn't mind right now, he doesn't bother. He looks at how her natural hair color is slowly, but surely coming back and how her hair is at her shoulders now- she is no Shailene Woodley, she is more, and it's okay to think that.

She realizes he's staring and this is the time, he decides.

"I brought you a mix tape," he puts an old school tape on the table- it's written "Her" in simple black letters. She looks genuinely surprised and this earns him another one of her amazing smiles- he can't help but blush.

This will never be forever.

"Oh my gosh, this is so awesome, wow, thank you, can I hug you right now?" He's caught off-guard, but he recovers and smiles.

"Not, just yet, I have to tell you something," He closes his eyes and breathes in deeply, he opens them then he says, "So I have this whole speech in my head-what I want to say, well I don't want to forget, because I'll forget then all the best things I should have mentioned won't be included and that would be sad. To forget, of course. So I'm just going to start right now- I thought I was doing the right thing you know, I thought I would manage after you came back, I'm sure you know or even saw how I affected I was, I actually tried to delete you from my mind- talk about a one-sided Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," he laughs nervously here," Wow, I think I forgot how awesome it was or is to talk to you or even be around you, anyway, I'm sorry, my point is that, I had a very, very, very bad case of 'Likes' when it came to you, when it came to everything about you, first time it ever happened to me actually. You were a storm and I saw you a mile away, I was incredibly taken by you."

He stops to look at her and he sees pity, she thinks he's pouring his heart out for her- he almost stops.

"I didn't realize," he's stronger now, he goes on a better path, "that I was presenting myself with a problem and trying to ignore the problem, I didn't realize or I wanted to keep on thinking of you as a 'problem' not a human, I wanted to forget all the awesome times- albeit short- I had with you, and that wasn't right, it wasn't okay. But I was trying to be okay, even though I was falling apart by the seams, especially after meeting your boyfriend that day in Muse, I work there by the way,"

"No wonder he got...I couldn't believe he knew about me and Alex Turner!" She's shocked and he doesn't relish in the fact that he put that there.

"So I tried to forget again, tried to forget everything awesome about You, till my own version of Ron Weasley told me to man up."

He looks into her eyes right now. She looks beautiful and it's okay.

"I'm letting go, I'm okay now, I don't need to be," he stops, looks into the distance," I don't have to have your love, or your like, I now realize, I finally realize that it's okay. That this is okay, that life isn't about love for someone."

"Ordinary people are everywhere," they say in unison.

And in this moment, everything is okay, He's okay, she's okay, they're okay. They don't have to go anywhere from here- it doesn't have to be better. He has Clement, he has music, he has love- maybe not the kind he wants, maybe not the kind he's been longing for, sure he might wake up one day and it'll be one of those bad ones with his nausea and anxiety and everything-but everything will later be okay, because he still has Love.

"That's really all I wanted to tell, I guess I'll see you around then, thanks for coming out," and this time he's leaving he's not lying, he isn't bitter or spiteful or anything like that, he's leaving lighter, not heavier and he thinks of home and Clement and how it's the Smiths tonight. It's painful- the dull ache is there, he almost half feels like crying or laughing, but this was necessary, this had to be done- for him, for him to move on, to get on with life, to be happy.

He had to pretend he was okay

When he gets on the bus and relives seeing her knowing and understanding face- he gets it, he does. He just let go, he finally let go, albeit there are those almost tears stinging his eyes, because it really wasn't easy and his feelings are still there and hers nonexistent. And that probably hurts the most-

Pull yourself the fuck together.

And He doesn't cry.

A/N: 20 seconds of courage- We Bought a Zoo, I found that phrase very helpful in different aspects of my life.

"You were a storm and I saw you a mile away", is inspired by a verse in "Hurricane" by Gangs of Ballet (I heavily suggest that you listen to that song and stuff from the band )

"Life isn't about love for someone,

Ordinary people are everywhere"

This is from a song by Sufjan Stevens, "I Want to be Well"

Songs like Dilate by Ani Difranco and Do I Wanna Know by Arctic Monkeys are perfect for this part of the story

Azoth by Zeigeistic (Drarry Story) also helped me with my feels, but Some Kind of Beautiful by Nothingbutfic was one of the things that really made me feel into this story- though I read it months before I started writing this.

I'm sorry to all those who thought this would be a happy story- clearly as you can see, it is not. This originally started as a small chapter (paragraph) on any day I felt like I had the feels in my senior year of high school. Personal dilemmas, sad music, exams- the pressure of passing and failing, drinking, taking marijuana, depression, anxiety attacks, cutting all lead somewhere in the end- here, this little thing I wrote… so even if this story might not seem like something important or worth reading to some, it's okay, because I felt like I needed to write this and share this- I put a piece of my soul in this- my Horcrux. I had to write about Gino and Juniper and how you can try to not love someone so much to the point of losing yourself. I'm only seventeen, I haven't done much in life- I'm not an exceptional writer, but I feel like this just had to be written.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed, followed and favorited the story. :)

Love's Brother (movie) is where I got our protagonist's name from.

Gino probably feels like Winterheart by Niki & the Dove right now :"(

I'm thinking of writing a sequel- the story of April/Gino- the relationship that never was…