Chapter 13 : Chapter 13: Bluebird
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I was packed and ready to leave, bags packed. I sat on the front porch, waiting for Henry. My hair was twisted back into a loose bun. The night before, I had asked my dad if I could stay with Lena until school. It was hard for me to think of coming back. At the moment when I thought that I didn’t want the summer to end, things shifted and it needed to end.
I didn’t think that I would be ready to let go, but I was. I wanted to say goodbye at the same time. I wanted him to know that I was leaving. I wanted to wish him my best. He had too much to deal with, and maybe when he was ready to open up to someone, he would be set free from the restraints that he had put on himself.
There was part of me that hated him for not opening up to me, and part of me that respected him for it. If he wasn’t ready to open up, to let me help him, that was his decision. It was his life, and not even his mistakes. I couldn’t do anything to fix them, and that’s all I wanted to do. Part of me understood why he snapped.
I caught a glimpse of him, with Cassie latched onto his hand, Cassie smiled and waved excitedly at me, while Henry looked down at the ground. I walked over and gave Cassie a hug on my knees. Henry let the silence press its way between us.
“Cas, can I talk to your big brother for a second?” I asked, pushing her hair out of her face. She nodded and ran into her backyard, but I could see her peering around the crooked planks in the fence.
Henry looked down, his eyes flickering over the cracks in the sidewalk. I just wanted him to look me in the eye. Yes, I was angry, but my stomach was churning over the guilt that I had caused him.
Things get broken, and sometimes don’t get fixed. I didn’t see this going any better than what I had thought.
“Don’t Rose, just don’t. Don’t look at me like I am a broken toy, that can be fixed, or can’t be fixed. I know that things have been really hard, but I am not going to let you, or anyone else, think that I am broken. I can fight through this,”
“Are you ever going to let me have a damn word in our conversations?”
For a moment, he looked up at me. I caught his eye and they became glued to the ground once more. I hated him for not apologizing, and it just made me regret coming to talk to him more.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, but I let it drop into the abyss of silence that lay between us.
The day was bright. I was shielding my eyes with my hand. I looked over Henry’s shoulder. The same view that I had seen so many times, standing in this exact spot but somehow it had changed, or maybe I had changed. I came into this summer expecting it to be boring, but now I felt somehow weighted down in the present instead of bounding forward to a future. I had done something that I had never thought I would have done. I fell in love. I don’t know if Henry had too but even though there was something pulling us apart, and there was an obvious crack that would never heal, there was something between us that we couldn’t loose either.
“I am sorry,” I said letting myself say the bitter words that I wasn’t sure that I would be able to say. I was sorry that I had sent him over the edge, but at the same time I wasn’t sorry that I had tried to get him to open up. I still thought that he needed to do it, and I think that it was also what sent him over the edge. It was a new ground, it wasn’t something he was used to sharing, and something didn’t sit right with him telling me. I didn’t completely understand, and I didn’t want to diagnose something that I didn’t know much about, but it seemed like something in him was broken. And there was a part of me that wanted to fix him. Just like he told me not to.
Even more than magic, this is what drove us apart. The fact that I wanted to fix things, and he wanted to let things be. It was something I never expected to drive us apart in the way it did.
“Rose,” he let out a small half chuckle, “you are sorry? All I have been thinking about for the last few days is how much I screwed up. How much I damaged. I hate myself for messing it up. You don’t need to apologize. I do. Rose, I cant say sorry enough. I know you were just trying to help,”
I crossed my arms and turned my head to the side. I forgave him whole heartedly and I didn’t know why. But there was a part of me not wanting to forgive and forget. We were moving apart, and forgiving him would only lengthen the process.
“I don’t want your apology,” I said bitterly, and I watched as the words hit him. I knew they hurt. Did he deserve it? I didn’t know.
He turned away, sulking. One of the things that bothered me most. He should have just faced what was upsetting him, gotten it out of his system.
“Henry, wait. I didn’t mean it like that. Well, I did. But I want you to hear me out. I want to thank you, you changed me this summer. I am leaving. I am leaving now. And I don’t know if we will ever see each other again, but I wouldn’t take a minute of it back. Not a minute,”
Something finally connected in his eyes, and he wrinkled his brow, and his lips were downturned. I wanted nothing more than to kiss him, to let myself melt with him. To be carefree again. But I guess that is the point of this, it can’t be carefree. Everything has consequences.
“Rose. I wouldn’t either. I know I snapped, I said things that shouldn’t have been said, did things that I shouldn’t have done, and I hurt you. But you changed me so much. I was alone in this before, and even if you are leaving, it helps me to know that you know. That there are people out there that can help. You helped me, Rose, even though I didn’t want to accept it at first,”
I smiled, but not fully. There was something about the whole scene that was painted with pain and loss. Something about it not letting me smile.
“Thanks,” I said, and I couldn’t think of anything to do but leave, and as I started to walk away he called me back. I wanted a clean break, and it was making it hard to go, but I needed something more permanent, more solid, not just a loose goodbye.
“You are the most stubborn person I have ever met, you know,”
I frowned. What was that supposed to say?
“Gee, thanks. Just the goodbye I wanted,”
“You are a smart ass too,”
“God, you sure know how to make someone feel good about themself,”
“But I wouldn’t change a thing about you. And don’t let anyone else change you, okay?” he was walking towards me now.
“Don’t let anything break you either,” I said, and at this point we were embracing in the street, the world spinning around us, all of my senses telling me it was time to go, but letting go was the hardest thing I had ever done.
When I let go I was dizzy, and a single tear ran down my face, and in that moment I knew that even though we weren’t supposed to be together for the long run, we were supposed to be together when we were.
Seeing her leave was the moment I felt the most broken I have ever felt, but also the strongest. I felt like I saw something that summer that would let me believe in something other than broken promises and unfulfilled wishes from and about my mother.
She had set me free in a way, she let me think about myself rather than my mum.
Even though nothing had changed with my mum, and I doubted I could ever “fix” things like I had hoped when I was younger, I was ready to take it on in a new light.
Our relationship had come and gone as quickly as the weather changes, but it wasn’t just a memory, or just a story to tell.
I came inside, and saw my mum cooking, and humming, something she always did. It made me smile seeing her like this, and I jumped in to help her right away. Rose taught me to embrace the good times while they were there.
I let myself forget the anger that was bottled up inside of me at my mother for a moment, to add spices to a sauce and to just pretend, for a moment, like it didn’t exist.
Even though it didn’t help in the long run, the stormy times were short, and there were a lot better things to focus on.
A/N: So there you go! That's the end of it. I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me through writing this, and everyone who read or reviewed. It was a big help, being my first fanfic! I love you all! I think I will be editing soon, but if you liked this story, it would be great to get some advice going into some of my other stories, so please review! :)
Also, if you want to check out some of my other stories that would be fabulous! I am working on a story now about Charlie Weasley, so that should be up soon! Sorry for the super long note, but I am just feeling sentimental!!