Left and Leaving – Chapter 7

When Camille arrived home from school that evening, she searched around the house for Nick. He was nowhere to be found. That figured, since she was now actually willing to talk with him about their relationship issues. After looking around for a few minutes, she looked out the back window.

There was Nick, sitting on the back porch, staring out longingly at the ocean. She had to wonder what sort of thought crept into his mind as he sat there. There had been many a night where she would often catch him sitting outside, alone. He never told her what he thought about, only that he simply enjoyed the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore and the wind blowing softly in his face.

Well, he didn’t quite use those words, but he did enjoy being out on the beach. Camille knew that much. Hell, anyone who had read a teen magazine in the late 90’s knew that much. However, it still did little to get her inside Nick’s head.

She slid open the glass doors and joined Nick out on the deck. Silently sitting down beside him, she placed her hand over his. He glanced at her, offering a small smile. It was moments such as this where Camille remembered just how much she loved him. Regardless of the fact that he’d been somewhat of an ass to her lately.

Nick continued to stare out at the scenery in front of him. He had to admit, that he really was going to miss living in Florida. Sure, California had its beaches, but the shoreline of Tampa would always be home to him. Still, that wasn’t enough reason for him to keep a house that he wasn’t going to set foot in for over a year.

Sitting wordlessly with Camille brought a calm feeling to Nick. It wasn’t like the silent tension they’d had over the last few days. More of a sad, loving silence. For once they were able to sit together and just be with each other, without worrying about whatever circumstances may be at the moment. It was those days that Nick longed to get back.

After quite a few minutes passed, Camille finally broke their much cherished peace. “I love you, Nick.” She whispered, not looking at him, but rather, looking at her feet instead.

Her words didn’t bother Nick. In fact, it was just what he’d needed to hear. They’d been fighting for weeks, and he was sick of it. By the tone of her voice, he could tell she was as well. She hadn’t come out there to start another argument. Instead, she’d sat with him as something of a peace offering. “I love you too.” He said, turning his head to look at her.

Feeling Nick’s eyes on her, Camille looked up and stared at him. She didn’t dare say anything else, for fear of breaking the moment. Nick inched his face towards hers, and before she knew it, he was kissing her.

And it wasn’t just any kiss either. It was the kind of kiss that told her he really did love her, even though he’d been acting like a jerk. The kind of kiss that you see in the movies, where people cheer from the back row right before the credits rolled. The kind of kiss that didn’t ask for anything in return.

When Camille pulled away from Nick, she swallowed a little. She knew she had to talk to him, and that they had to sort things out. It scared her, knowing that things could potentially go down a bad road again. That wasn’t what she wanted, she wanted to fix things. Just as Nick had intended to the day before.

But Nick surprised her. “I’m sorry. I’ve been a complete dick.” He said.

She studied him for a moment. Nick was rarely the first to apologize whenever they had a fight. In fact, the only time he had was when he was trying to get make up sex out of her. However, he looked pretty sincere. If he’d wanted sex out of her, he would have tried to go further when he’d kissed her earlier. But he didn’t. “Yeah, you have.” She said, unable to shake the small amount of bitterness in her voice.

Nick wasn’t fazed. “I should have told you sooner that I was moving. I just knew that you weren’t going to be happy about it.”

“I’m not happy.” Camille said, agreeing with him. There was no way Nick could have soften that blow for her. However, it would have been better if he’d at least discussed it with her, rather than telling her it was a done deal before she’d even had a chance to stomach the information.

“I really am going to miss you.” He said, pulling her into his arms.

“I’m going to miss you too.” She said quietly, burying her face in his chest. In all the stress that had surrounded Nick leaving, she’d begun to forget the fact that he was actually going to be gone. Ironic as it was.

Nick gently touched her face, searching for some sort of answer to what he was feeling. How had they managed to let things get so bad between the two of them? “Is there anything I can say to get you to come with me?”

Camille shook her head slowly. She couldn’t imagine living in LA. She didn’t know anyone there, and had no idea what Nick’s life would be like once he got there. For all she knew, he’d be busy all the time and not have much time left for her. Besides, as she’d decided before, she wasn’t just going to pick up and move her entire life just for him. Not without some sort of commitment from him.

Oh there was something he could say alright, but Camille highly doubted that telling him that would result in anything good.

Still, Nick was able to read her mind. After all, they’d had dozens of arguments about the subject. He knew damn well what would get her to change her mind. That still didn’t mean he was going to say it, or even consider it.

They’d never really talked about it though. Nick didn’t know her reasons for wanting to get married, and Camille didn’t really know his reasons for not wanting to. All talk on the subject had been harsh words and screaming matches. They’d never sat down and talked about it.

“I know what you’re thinking.” Nick said, finally. “You’re thinking, ‘If Nick said he would marry me I would go with him.’”

Camille avoided his eyes. Why was it that he always knew what she was thinking? She knew that she was supposed to tell him that, yes that was exactly what she wanted. Either he puts a ring on her finger, or she was going to leave him. But she didn’t want to do that. Not after they’d finally had a nice moment with one another. “Yes.”

Nick sighed. Part of him felt like giving in, just to make her happy. However he knew that would just make him miserable. “You know I can’t do that.”

“I know.” She said softly, still avoiding his gaze.

“But do you know why?” Nick said, gently tilting her head up to face him. “I just don’t believe in it. It doesn’t make sense to me, to have someone tell you that you’re forever tied to one person. Isn’t it better if I stay with you because I decide to? Not because the government tells me that I have to?”

Camille thought about what Nick said. For a moment, it seemed to make sense to her, and it almost seemed romantic. Then again, it really wasn’t what she’d wanted to hear. After all, nearly every girl dreams about their wedding day and Camille was no exception. To be told that it simply wasn’t going to happen upset her a great deal. “I guess that makes sense.” She replied, nodding her head. “But don’t you think there’s something to be said about a couple that believes in themselves enough to last forever? To stand up in front of everyone they know and declare their love for one another?”

Nick shrugged. He couldn’t really argue her point, but that didn’t mean he was going to change his mind. Either way, he still felt it was much too soon to even be talking about this. After all, they’d only been together for a year. And if the past little while had been any indication, they still had a lot of work to do on their relationship without even beginning to think about that sort of commitment. “Yeah… I don’t know, Cam. I’ve never seen myself as being married. I’m only 23…”

She shook her head. Admittedly, she’d gone a little crazy over the whole thing. They were still pretty young, as was their relationship. “I’m not asking you for a ring, Nick. I’m just saying, don’t rule out the possibility completely.”

Nick nodded slowly. That was fair enough, he didn’t know what was going to happen between them in the future. Perhaps it was unfair of him to use the word “never” when talking to her about marriage. “Okay. I won’t rule it out. But just know that it ever does happen, it won’t be for a long, long time.” He told her, noticing the grin start to creep up on her face.

Camille sighed happily, feeling as though she’d gotten through to him, just a little bit. She hugged him tightly, knowing that a major issue in their relationship had been solved. At least for the time being. “I love you.” She said.

“I love you too.” Nick replied, glad to have finally cleared the air with her.


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