Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Heartbeat - By @bandgrad2008

By: @bandgrad2008
Fandom: iCarly

We lie in my bed, her on her back staring at the ceiling and her arm is around my waist, holding me to her. I can feel her heartbeat against my cheek, a constant slow pulse while she tells me about her day and all the fun she had running from some cranky old lady who chased her with her cane. I can only smile at her shenanigans and count how many times her heart beats. She traces circles on my hip, in the space between my t-shirt and pajama bottoms, and when she looks at me I get lost in her blue eyes. I know it's cliché, but I love her eyes.

Her free hand cups my cheek and she tilts my head back, her lips brushing against mine in a gentle kiss. I close my eyes and focus on her quickening heartbeat. A moment passes and she pulls away, smiling as her eyes return to the ceiling. We've had so many nights like this, just a simple kiss leaving us content in each other's arms as we fall asleep. I always wake up before her and kiss her smile, savoring every moment before I have to wake her up to get ready for school. There's nothing better than waking up next to her, our hearts in sync.

My alarm screeches and I slam my fist on the snooze button, turning away from my bedside table. I'm not ready to get up and face another day of school, but if I know if I'm not up in fifteen minutes Spencer will come upstairs and ask why I'm so glum even though he already knows. The alarm screams again and I sigh, turning it off before slipping out of bed and going into the bathroom. Brushing my teeth, I stare at my reflection in the mirror and frown. I'm paler than usual, from lack of eating and sleeping.

I dress in less than ten minutes, a new personal best, and drag myself downstairs to find Spencer and Freddie in the kitchen eating cereal. I don't feel like eating, but Spencer pours me a bowl of Fiber Nuts and practically forces me into my chair. Freddie watches me with empty eyes and continues his conversation about Galaxy Wars with Spencer. They both know not to speak of the unspeakable, which I'm thankful for. I would end up locking myself in my room and starve myself again. We finish eating and Spencer drives us to Ridgeway, the ride as silent as death. Hell, someone may as well have died, with the way I feel.

Freddie and I walk quietly to our lockers and grab our supplies for first period. He glances at me with an apologetic smile and hugs me loosely before disappearing up the stairs. I'm suddenly all alone and the center of attention, dozens of pairs of eyes watching me as I walk to class. I don't know why things have to be this way, why I'm suffering as much as I am. Eyes follow me as I sit in my desk and it takes Mrs. Briggs' insults to change the center of attention from me to her. I lay my head on my desk, ignoring the eyes and the whispers, closing my mind off from the world.

Her blue eyes are watching me as I pace back and forth a distance from her bed and I don't have to see them to know the worry behind them. She's concerned, like she always is when I pace, and I feel like this time will be the last. I hear her footsteps when she finally stands and walks over to me, her arms snaking around my waist. She rests her forehead against mine and I can do nothing but meet her deep blue eyes with my brown ones.

Her lips meet mine and I almost forget why I came over. I put my hands on her shoulders and gently push her away and the hurt in her eyes is enough to make me want to crawl under a rock. Her hands are on my hips now and the corners of her mouth are turned downward in a frown. She knows something is wrong as much as I do, and I don't want to be the one to do this. I never wanted to be the one.

I circle my fingers around her forearms and try to smile, but I can't. I'm hurting her without saying anything and as soon as the words come out of my mouth, the damage will be ten times worse. She pulls me in for another kiss and I let her because that's all I can do, one last time, before it's done. When I pull away this time, she lets me go completely. Her hands are loose at her sides and she's fighting back tears.


In just one word, she's managed to crush me entirely and I can't stop the tears the force their way out of my eyes. She isn't harsh or cruel. She's hurt worse than I am, the pain almost torture in her blue eyes when she finally looks away. I've killed her soul and everything we've become together. I've destroyed her hope and faith and all the memories that we were going to make together. Worst of all, I've broken the very thing I never thought either one of us could ever break, our friendship.

"I can't do this." My heart is breaking worse than cement under a jackhammer. "Everyone at school, my family, your family…I can't deal with their disappointment and their contempt toward us. It hurts, Sam. All of it is killing me inside, and I can't take it." I look away, the tears falling freely. "We can't do this. It isn't right." I force myself to look at her, to stare straight into the destruction that is my fault.

She takes a deep breath, trying to hold herself together and I know she's going to lose herself at any moment. Her eyes finally meet mine and she lets out the breath she's been holding, and I know her heart is pounding in her chest. She had never been broken like this, but the closest thing to it was a few years ago and I still remember the feeling of her heartbeat against mine. It was always in sync to mine. "Do you love me?"

And I fall apart.

Freddie sits down next to me at lunch and eats silently. We haven't had a solid conversation in a year, usually only asking how the other is doing. I rarely answer because he already knows what happened. He knows I'm barely here anymore so he doesn't try to get my attention. He doesn't try to talk to me. I'm not ready for talking and I think he knows that. Today's different, though. It's been too long since I've spoken and sometimes I'm afraid I don't have a voice anymore. But I do. I do have a voice and I refuse to use it.

Eyes watch my every move and I want to hide within myself because I can't take it. Because of them, I've managed to destroy the one person who mattered the most to me, and I can't fucking take it anymore. I'm sick of everything. Freddie reaches over and covers my hand with his. He's a long way past his "love" for me and I'm glad that through all of this someone is still on my side. "Are you going to be okay?" he asks. I can only nod because I don't want to use my voice. His eyes are full of worry and concern and I can't help that I'm hurting him too.

I close my eyes and all I see is blue, those blue eyes that I remember so well, blue eyes that I fell in love with. Every time I close my eyes I see hers, and it hurts ten times worse, to know that I broke someone who was supposed to be tough. Without her, I've fallen into a void that's devoured my soul and became this shell that barely lives. I'm not even here anymore, and Freddie and Spencer know that. I try to pretend I'm okay for them, but they know. They know that I'm still this walking corpse that breathes only to stay alive and nothing more.

Days pass and I'm finally facing exactly three years on graduation day from high school. Exactly three years without Sam have passed and I'm barely alive. I don't even know how I managed to get this far in school, let alone in life, but I don't question it. If I do, the memories only become nightmares and I've learned to let them go. Spencer and Mrs. Benson are sitting in the bleachers of the stadium and Freddie is sitting at the beginning of the list. He slipped in school, mostly because of me, and I couldn't help but regret everything that's happened to him. I've ruined everything.

I still haven't spoken. Spencer and Freddie started trying, but when I didn't respond, they just gave up. Two weeks after graduation, Freddie finally convinced me to see a movie with him, to celebrate graduation and to hang out. I couldn't hurt him anymore, so I finally agreed, which caught him by surprise. Eyes still watched me at the mall, but Freddie wouldn't allow it. He was fed up with everything that belittled me and he wasn't afraid to beat some sense into anyone who made me fall into myself.

We stop by the coffee shop in the mall and he kisses my forehead before going to the counter to order our coffees while I grab a table. The coffee shop is empty aside from us and an elderly man toward the entrance, who seems interested in the sports section of the newspaper. Freddie sits across the table from me, passing me my latte and a small piece of cheesecake. I smile weakly and he takes a sip of his coffee, looking around the coffee shop, his fingers drumming quietly on the table.

I finish the slice of cheesecake and stand up to throw the plate away in the trash. When I turn to return to the table, I freeze. Freddie's drumming fingers are silenced but I can't look at him. My attention is at the door of the coffee shop, the owner of the familiar blue eyes cemented in place upon sight of me. Time stands still, a ringing in my ears from lack of sound, but I don't care. After what seems like forever, she steps toward me hesitantly.

I close the distance between us, but we don't touch. "Carly," she whispers, her blue eyes burning into mine, and the pain is still there as we both remember what happened between us. We're so close that one heart can feel the other and it's like we're on the same wavelength as we wrap our arms around each other in a tight embrace. In a mutual movement, our lips meet and every molecule of pain and torment is forced out of the kiss when we both realize that neither one of us is going to stop this.

We break the kiss eventually, her forehead resting against mine and her blue eyes meet my brown ones in confusion. "I never told you what I meant to say," I whisper, my first words in three years. I kiss her briefly and smile against her lips. The world is gone around us and I could care less what we have to go through from this moment on. All that matters in my life now is her. Everything I've ever been afraid of, I don't care anymore if it means she'll stay in my life.

"I love you, Sam."


OMG this was awesome. good luck.


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