CHAPTER 5: SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR AWAY
It was New Years Day. Lance's house was silent as everyone was sprawled out over his living room floor. As the clock struck 10, JC was the first one to wake up.
"Dude, wake up!" JC said groggily as he looked up from the floor and pushed Lance who was laying up above him on the couch.
"What? Why?" Lance said still half asleep.
"Shouldnt we clean up before your parents get home?"
"Yeah, I guess." Lance said as he yawned.
JC looked around for a second and then yelled over to Chris who was sprawled out on a chair.
"Chris! Wake up!"
"What?" Chris said looking over.
"I just noticed that Gina and Shara arent here."
"What?!" Chris said again now awake and looking around the room. "I gotta go find her!"
"I gotta find Gina, too!" JC said as he stood up.
"Hey! I thought you were gonna help me clean up?" Lance questioned.
"Sorry, man! I have to go make sure Gina's alright!"
JC and Chris ran out the house and soon everyone woke up and went out the other door. Lance just sat there on the couch, knowing no one was going to help him.
"What about you guys?" Lance said to Justin and Joey.
"Um...uh, I forgot that I had to go with my parents somewhere today!" Justin mumbled as he ran out the front door.
By the time Lance turned around from watching Justin run out the front door, Joey sneaked into the hallway and went out the kitchen door.
"Thanks everyone for helping me!" Lance yelled to himself.
"I'll help you."
Lance turned around and saw Nicole coming from the kitchen hallway.
"Hey, I wasn't sure if I would see you today!"
"Yeah, well I wanted to come by before I leave."
"Before you leave? You are leaving already? You just got here!" Lance said in disbelief.
"Yeah, I know, but I caused so much trouble here already. I lived here all my life, but now I feel like an outsider. I feel like I dont belong here anymore."
"But, you do Nicole! This is your home in your heart. The love in your heart is here, too." Lance said as he moved closer to her.
"Let's just clean up! We can talk about this later." Nicole said as she walked around him.
"Okay then." Lance said as they started cleaning up.
It was almost sunset when Lance walked down to the boardwalk and leaned against the wall as he watched Nicole sitting down in the sand as the waves crashed onto her feet.
"Yo, wuz up?" Justin said as he walked up to him.
"Did you have fun with your parents?" Lance exaggerated.
"Ha! Ha! Sorry bout that, man! I didnt mean to be a jerk."
"Yeah well, no problem. Ive got bigger things to worry about!"
"Nicole, huh? Yeah, I guess that is a problem!" Justin said as he noticed her down on the beach.
"I messed everything up. I should have told Nicole about Megan but I got selfish. I wanted and went after Nicole without thinking about what would happen to Megan."
"Yeah, but its not hard to want someone that you love when they are right there in your face either."
"I guess. Did JC and Chris find Gina and Shara?"
"Yep, they stayed over at Megan's."
"Oh, Im sure everyone is mad at me now." Lance said as he looked over at Justin.
"Nah, the guys consider it your business and no one else's, but Gina and Shara, well, thats another story."
"I dont blame them for being mad at me though."
"I heard Gina telling JC that Megan doesnt want you back."
"Yeah well, maybe its for the best."
"Hey, I see everyone at the cafe. Do you wanna come with me?"
"I'll pass. I see Shara, Gina, and Megan over there plus I have to talk to Nicole anyway."
"Ugh, bad situation. I understand. I'll talk to ya later!"
"Ok, cya!" Lance said as he walked down to Nicole.
"Hey." Lance said as he stood behind her.
"Hi." she replied as she stood up.
"Look, we are here alone as the sun is setting just like we were when you told me you were leaving."
"Well, then history repeats itself because Im gonna have to tell you that I am leaving tomorrow morning." Nicole said as she looked in his eyes.
"Dont leave so soon. I havent seen you in a long time and we have so much to catch up on."
"I did more bad than good. Everyone hates me now. I might as well go home."
"No one hates you! They are all mad at me!"
In the meantime, everyone is talking up at the cafe.
"I cant believe Lance did this to me!" Megan said as she watched Lance and Nicole.
"Dont worry about it! He was a jerk from the start!" Shara replied.
"Yeah, anyway!" Gina added in.
"Come on ya'll, it wasnt only his fault!" Justin said trying to be fair.
"Yeah, it was that blonde bitch down there with him!" Megan yelled while staring a hole right through Nicole.
"Hey now!" Justin jumped in. "dont go that far!"
"Why not? She deserves it and I think everyone agrees with me except you, right?" Megan questioned the rest of the guys, but they just sat around the table pretending not to be paying attention.
"Were arent really choosing sides," Justin spoke for the guys. "this is between you three, not us."
"Whatever. Im going down there and getting this settled!" Megan said as she walked away.
"Uh oh! I smell a fight brewin!" Joey added.
"Will you please stay? Just for a little while longer?" Lance pleaded.
"I dont know."
"Please? I want to be with you again. I want it to be the way it was!" Lance said as he turned Nicole his way.
"It wouldnt be right, it wouldnt look right! All of a sudden I come back, break you and Megan up, and then we get back together? That wouldnt work and besides, Lance, dont you remember? I dont live here, I have to go back home. We can never be us again."
"Then what was that kiss about last night? You seemed so excited!" Lance said as he looked her in the eye.
"Thats right, I was excited! Excited to see you. And, yes, then maybe I wanted something to happen between us, but I didnt know you had a girlfriend, and then I broke you two up! I feel so bad and withdrawn right now that I just want to go home!" Nicole said as she turned away from him.
"You dont have to go home so soon." Megan said, now more understanding and rational as she walked up behind them. "I heard what you said and I realized that you never knew he was with me and now you feel bad about it. I can hear in your voice how much you love him."
"Megan, I never ment to break you two up! I am sorry!" Nicole said as tears started to fill her eyes.
"Dont be! Im sure Lance can agree, we were bound to break up sooner or later anyway. We just didnt click. It happens. You two belong with each other."
"But, I cant stay! I dont live here anymore!"
"Just move back. You only live a couple hours away." Megan informed.
"I have nowhere to stay!"
"You can stay at my house." Lance finally butted in.
"I dont know. I have to think about all of this!" Nicole said and then walked back up to the boardwalk.
Lance and Megan stood on the beach as they watched her leave and then they both walked back up to the guys.
CHAPTER 6: RIGHT HERE WAITING
"No! She cant stay here! What even gave you a stupid idea like that?" Lance's mom said to him.
"Mom, please! She has nowhere else to go if she stays here!" Lance pleaded.
"Tell her to stay in a hotel or get an apartment."
"Mom! This is important! I cant lose her again! Please! I need her! I love her!" Lance said as he looked in her eyes with his most serious face.
"I have to talk to your father first." she said as she walked upstairs.
"Ok, good!" Lance replied now a little more releaved as he walked over to the phone because it started ringing.
"Hello?" Lance questioned.
"Hey, its Nicole. Can we talk?"
"Sure, where?" Lance asked excitedly.
"Meet me here at my hotel."
"Okay, Ill be right there!"
Lance quickly hung up the phone and went to the hotel.
"That was fast!" Nicole said as she let Lance in.
"I had inspiration." Lance said. "so whats up?"
"I thought about staying and then I talked it over with my mom and dad and I guess if it is alright with everyone, I will move back here with you."
"Oh my gosh!" Lance said as he picked her up and swung her around. "We are finally going to be together!"
"It is okay with everyone, isnt it?" Nicole said as she brought Lance's natural high to come crashing down.
"Um...my mom has to talk to my dad about it first."
"Lance! You made me want this again and now I might just get my heart broken again!" Nicole said as she turned away from him.
"We will be together! Whatever it takes!" Lance said turning her around.
"Its so weird how we were so right together and there were no boundries before I moved away. Now there are so many obstacles and limitations. How can something so right, go so wrong?"
"Everything will work out, you'll see!" Lance said giving Nicole a little more confidence.
"I hope so." Nicole sighed.
"Can I use the phone to see if my mom talked to my dad yet?" Lance asked.
Lance called and soon hung up. Nicole looked at him. He had a weird expression on his face.
"You are allowed to stay!" Lance said still shocked.
"Oh my gosh! Are you serious?" Nicole said excitedly.
"I think so!" Lance said as Nicole jumped on him. They looked at each other as Lance held her up as she was wrapped around him. They kissed for a long time.
"I have to go home to get the rest of my things." Nicole said as they broke apart.
"Okay." Lance said putting her down.
"I will be back as soon as possible." Nicole said as they stood in the lobby of the airport.
"I know. I will be right here waiting, too."
"I remembered that you said that when I left last summer. You always came through for me even when I didnt for you." Nicole said with a tear in her eye.
"Hey now. Lets not make this anymore sadder than it has to be. You will go and get the rest of your things and before you know it, you will be right back here in my arms."
"Yea, I know. Hey look, here comes everyone!" Nicole said as everyone walked up behind them.
"You better get back here soon!" Justin said to her. "I dont want to put up with Lance's crying again!"
"Haha!" Lance replied as everyone laughed.
"Ill be back in a couple days." Nicole said as her plane was called for boarding.
"I guess you better get going." Lance said to her.
"Yea, I should."
"Now, remember..." Lance said but was cut off.
"Yes, I know. You will be here waiting." Nicole said and then kissed him.
"Bye love." Lance finished.
"Bye." Nicole said as she walked away.
A week went by and he received a collect call from Nicole, telling him that she would be there the next day. He couldnt wait. He missed her already. She was finally going to be there for good.
The next day came quickly and he woke up bright and early. Everyone else came with him just so he wouldnt have to wait for her alone. But, then it was time. Her plane arrived at the airport and he quickly went to the gate. Everyone stayed behind as his eyes scanned the crowds of people that came through. It seemed like forever until she came into the airport but there she was standing in front of him. She dropped her things and ran up to him and jumped on him once again. She kissed him deeply.
"I love you!" Nicole said to him after she kissed him.
"I love you too! Always and forever!" Lance said and then kissed her again.
She was finally home.
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