3112 Words
Elliot's just finished proofreading a paper when he sees a text message pop up on his phone. It's still early in the morning, he hasn't kicked the habit of being an early riser, he expects a message from Charlie asking him to meet up for breakfast but to his mild surprise, it's a text from Patrick, his designated best friend and neighbor. Sipping on his brewed coffee, he opens it and sees that he's asking him what his plans are for today and if they can facetime later. He doesn't answer him yet. Elliot's a bit reluctant to have any contact from people back home lately. With graduation coming up, he's in denial of how things are about to change again. He has to go back home to spend some time with his dad before leaving again to start another chapter in his life. He hasn't even talked to Charlie about their detailed plans after college. All he knows is that he wants to keep the girl in his life for as long as possible. And as for work, Elliot has a few internships he has applied to. He knows he has to ask Charlie soon about hers but knowing that she's also one of the top students, Charlie most probably has multiple options near Elliot's work if not the same city. She has heard Charlie hinting on some things though. Like Elliot finally meeting her parents in person and not just via skype, and also wanting to travel a bit with her before being "a slave for Corporate America." But they do have to talk about their future first before anything else. They're about to have their first year anniversary in a couple of weeks. Is it too soon to discuss these things? Elliot is guessing it's not if they are serious with each other. He just hasn't had the time to really sit Charlie down for a serious talk. It's their last term of college and they're all finishing up or finalizing one thing or another before graduation. He decides to go grab Charlie a donut in a nearby campus cafe and surprise her with her favorite coffee drink before class. What? Elliot's romantic like that and Charlie is addicted to food. The girl is legitimately obsessed with munching or drinking something. It really is a wonder where she puts it all with her figure. He patiently waits in line when his eyes shift to that damn painting again. 'Who put that there this week? Are they trying to personally attack me with memories of Astra?' He miserably thinks. It's ridiculous how such a simple thing can pull up emotions from Elliot. How is this even possible when I haven't even seen her in four years? It's these damn memories. It's like when a song they used to play on repeat during those times they hung out at the lake. Whenever he hears it now, it's just like a sucker punch straight to his gut. He was watching an episode of Criminal Minds with Charlie when one of the FBI agents said something about a song from your teenage years being really special to you because the brain forms neural connections because of hightened emotions linked to a song which then creates a memory trace that remains in your brain forever. FOREVER. Sort of like a musical nostalgia which really really sucks when you're trying to get over someone. Nostalgia is bittersweet, Elliot decides. His thoughts get interrupted when it's his turn to order though. He reigns in his thoughts and redirects them back to the girl he wants to buy food for. "Aww thanks babe! You the best! Best I ever had, best I ever had!" Charlie tries to sing/ hum between bites of her donut when Elliot presents her with breakfast. Elliot just kisses her cheek (the one not chewing the donut) and lets her lips stay there for a bit. Just breathing her in, enjoying Charlie's warmth and scent. She smells like something very sweet and comforting. Maybe it's the donuts, Elliot muses. Eventually she says "C'mon we're gonna be late for class. Move your butt, you beautiful dork." Elliot thinks he's ready for that talk of their future now. They walk together to their respective buildings. Elliot watches, amused, how Charlie still turns heads everywhere she goes even if almost everyone knows they're together. He wants to be offended but it's almost a year of practice of patience that he has finally accepted the fact that he can't do anything about it. He can't go around smacking and punching everyone who looks at his girlfriend that way because that would mean constant fights with more than half the school. Early in their relationship, Elliot had some insecurities about this. About Charlie being so flawlessly gorgeous that she might as well be balancing a halo atop her head. About Charlie being so smart she sometimes leaves Elliot speechless. About how he, Elliot the genius Asian kid, feels inferior to Charlie's effortless charm and wit. Cause she's not just booksmart, Charlie's street smart. If Elliot lacked the interpersonal skills, it was Charlie who stepped up and made him feel comfortable in his own skin. Comfortable enough to shed more of his layers and show some literal skin. If he wore baggy shirts and jeans he bought from the thrift store in highschool then yes, a v-neck T-shirt now is considered skin to Elliot. He almost envies Charlie for the seemingly perfect childhood she had. Just the fact that she had both parents alive (his dad is never getting over her mom passing away) is good enough for Elliot but they also had a very loving and healthy relationship, as far as Charlie's stories go. Like wow, maybe her family is the reason Charlie's so perfect too. Whatever it is, Elliot accepts it as part of being with her. You snag the campus hearthrob? You deal with the envious looks and whispers. It wasn't easy at first, having to adjust to having a girlfriend who is both gorgeous and smart but also is filthy rich. The difference in wealth in class was glaring at first. Sometimes he just gets insecure with what he can afford to give her. Where he takes her for dates was an issue they had to resolve but thank goodness it was established early on that Charlie is lowkey and grounded and just overall awesome since she loves just hanging out in the dorms and detests fancy ass restaurants. (She just wants to wolf down food in peace and not with all eyes on her okay? So what if she's a messy eater?) Charlie often tells him that it really doesn't matter where they are or whatever it is they're doing just as long as they're together. 'It doesn't matter what we do, babe. As long as we're doing each other!' She would often joke around when Elliot feels bad about his financial status. She frequently finds ways to c***k him up especially in tense situations and he thinks that it's such a blessing. He looks at Charlie one more time before kissing her and dropping her off to her class. He can't really deny how lucky he is having the opportunity to be with her. So many people would love to be in his place right now. Charlie would often give her rebuttal to this. She would say that yeah, Elliot's lucky but Charlie is not a prize and that she's fortunate to have Elliot as well. Among the countless people vying for her attention, she picked Elliot because of qualities that are not to be easily found in guys their age. Never mind that he is 'certified smokin' as per his girlfriend's words, but he has the core values you would want in a guy to keep in a long-term relationship. His life story alone and his struggles made her gravitate towards him. When all the guys are all out playing football and partying, Elliot would be the guy that is doing his schoolwork or hustling with his work. That kind of mindset in university especially from a guy was not something Charlie saw in everyone and she really admires that. And apparently, a lot of other girls saw that as well. It's true that the ladies gravitate towards bad boys, but it's also a fact that mysterious guys are much more enticing. And Elliot with his black fitted shirts, eloquence and single mindedness was the very picture of allure to girls. It doesn't hurt that he picked up the bad habit of smoking which makes him look a bad boy. Basically, he's a buff nerd with a bad boy look but is actually a softie which Charlie says is a winning combination that the girls in campus frequent notice. If Elliot is quiet and patient with his jealousy, Charlie often deals with hers with humor. Going as far as calling it out sometimes. There has been one too many girls Charlie has stunned by letting them chat up Elliot right in front of her. It's like she's saying 'alright le'ts see what you got' with her eyes and her signature smirk. But don't get her wrong, Charlie is scary possessive, very possessive, in fact. She just doesn't let people see it. Cause right after a party or some girl wanting Elliot's attention, Charlie most of the time grabs hims and ravages him back at his dorm. It's like a control thing with her. It's like she's saying to the world you can look but you can't touch. Elliot is so very amused and flattered. -- Graduation comes and goes. They have their talk about their future and anniversary. Elliot thinks he's never been happier and he's gearing up to say the L word soon enough. He doesn't even think that he has to divulge his Astra story at this point because they are so busy and happy. He's so sure of his future with Charlie that it just seems irrelevant. He's affirmative that his feelings for Charlie is love. A year might be too early but they actually went slow to manage their relationship better so it's all good for him. They're still getting to know each other deeper but Elliot is sure. He's sure that this wonderful person can hold his heart and not break it. He's sure that he wants to make Charlie happy and that he wants to support her in everything she does. He's a fan of Charlie, he adores her. Whatever the future holds, he wants Charlie by his side. Unfortunately, they won't be in the same city for their internships but they're willing to make it work. That's all Elliot is asking for. Someone willing to put in the effort for him, for their relationship. "Are you sure this is all your stuff? It's one duffel bag of clothes and two boxes of donuts?" Elliot inquires from his dresser. He's packing his things so that they can catch the train back to Bozeman, Montana this afternoon, her home town. He wants Charlie to meet Patrick and his dad and spend some time with them. They didn't have much time during graduation since Elliot went to dinner with Charlie's family and Patrick and her dad had to go back home that same day. He doesn't know if it's a good idea to bring Charlie back home. No offense but his home town would be too boring for Charlie. He said as much to her as a warning but of course Charlie's stubbornness won and here they are. It's just this weekend and a few days, they're still going back to Stanford to pack up all their stuff, have a few farewell parties with friends and go their separate ways for their internships. Charlie's parents have grabbed most of her things so she has time to visit Elliot's home. She's a bit curious. "Yeah, I mean, it's a few days. And I can always steal your clothes! I love your shirts." Charlie gives him a toothy smile. "This one fits me well and your flannels are so comfy." She says while thumbing her cleavage in Elliot's white v-neck shirt. With her messed up hair, Elliot's shirt on her and just her panties on, she looks like a Victoria's secret model on a photo shoot perched on top of Elliot's bed. 'My god, it's one of my childhood fantasies', Elliot mentally high fives his high school self. Well, if he wants to be accurate, his high school fantasy includes a different girl.... 'Stop it, Elliot!' He berates himself. He must be thinking about Astra now because he's worrying if they might bump into her when they go to Bozeman. "Uhm babe, there's actually something I wanna tell you before we get to my hometown." Elliot attempts to keep his cool while finishing up his packing and moving to the bed where his girlfriend now chooses to give him another unconscious pose. The white shirt is now revealing part of her flat tummy and that delicious v line leading down to her..... Elliot quickly moves to cover her up by placing a thin sheet on her without Charlie noticing. "So you already know how Patrick is my best friend right? You've talked with him. And uhm... you know a bit about that girl we both liked in high school? I mentioned that we uhm.. we liked the same one, right?" Elliot starts speed talking. "Ell, babe, slow down. Yeah, Patrick. And yeah, you mentioned that same girl thing when we started dating but nothing too detailed. Is there a problem?" Charlie speaks slowly to make Elliot feel comfortable. "Yup. Okay so did I tell you that before leaving, I kinda kissed her? In the middle of the street? ...and I might have told her that we'd see each other again after a few years..?" He tries to not whisper this because he is a grown ass man. Elliot is wondering why he feels scared. There's nothing going on anymore between them, why does he feel guilty when divulging this to Charlie? It's his past. It's done, it's history. "Ohh...kaaay. And?" He can't guess what Charlie is thinking. "What do you mean 'and?' Like we kissed, and there's kinda a promise there somewhere...? But you and I are together, Charlie. Astra and I, we've never talked ever since I left." Elliot scratches his neck. He tries to explain it a bit more but can't find the right words to relay to Charlie how confusing but enlightening the whole thing was. How it was Astra who taught him that it's possible for him to have so much feelings for another person. It was Astra who opened up his world in many ways. Astra is his first love. "Elliot, what I mean is, like you said: we are together. Not you and her, am I right? If you wanted to be with her and she wanted to be with you, wouldn't either of you have done something about that for four years?" Charlie shifts to sit against the wall. She grabs Elliot's hand and starts to play with his fingers. "Do you want to do something about it? Do you still like her? Do you still have feelings for her?" She asks Elliot with hazel eyes blinking, Elliot knows she's fighting back tears. "Charlie, I.... I'm falling for you. Ever since we met, I've known you're going to be special to me. I want to be with you all the time. You make me so happy Charlie." Elliot touches her face and tries to convey the truth behind his words. He wants Charlie to know how important she is in his life. That he's falling for her harder everyday. Charlie kisses Elliot tenderly. Saying she loves her right back to his lips. She knows they have to talk about this some more. But right now, she's content with just being with Elliot like this. Finally telling her how she feels and taking the next step in their relationship. Elliot moves so that she can put both his hands on the wall either side of Charlie's face so that he's looking right into her eyes for a few seconds, letting Charlie see the raw emotions on Elliot's own face, see how much he loves her. Elliot's never seen hazel eyes like Charlie's before. It's a unique mix of light brown and green, he also catches it turning gold sometimes. Charlie says it's lighting and angles, Elliot swears it has something to do with Charlie's emotions. It's really fascinating. Looking into her liquid gold eyes now, not to wax poetic but he can just get lost in them. It's like looking into the ocean reflecting the sunset. Elliot's overcome with emotions. He slowly tilts Charlie's face with his right hand so that he can kiss her properly. Charlie moans at this. Shifting so that Elliot is on top of her. Touching her in the right places. He's trying not to break the tender moment between them. Charlie can't help but to take a snapshot of this moment. This is the guy she has wanted for so long. This guy she loves, who just told her he loves her back. Charlie is so overwhelmed with-- -- her thoughts stop when she sees Elliot's head going down, about to do that thing she loves almost as much as she loves the guy. Charlie's a sucker for this. If Charlie was thankful for his pianist fingers, she's even more grateful for his talented mouth. It's magical. 'He has s*x the way he writes; meticulous, precise and never sloppy', Charlie gives him all the As in her mind. She's aware that she at least owes Elliot a few orgasms because she sure as hell wasn't able to reciprocate after and especially that they have to get to the train on time. Elliot kind of seemed too determined to make her feel good. And by god, she was exhausted. That was awesome, Charlie couldn't keep her smile even as they scrambled out of the shower. They barely made it to the train, laughing and trying to catch their breaths. Charlie is definitely happy it's a long train ride, they have more time to make out. And eat her donuts. -- Later, back at Elliot's room in his house in Bozeman, Charlie will go back to their conversation and realize... Elliot didn't say if he wanted to do something about the Astra thing.. He didn't answer when asked if he still had feelings for Astra. A few days in the middle of their stay in Bozeman, she will finally understand why.

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