The morning after the party, Zoe was feeling great. Better than ever. She woke up at 9am, which she never does and got completely dressed. She was going out to the swimming pool with Jenn and she was more than excited. She had been working out a lot so she would be able to wear a bikini without feeling insecure about her body.
She had put her bikini underneath her jump suit so she could easily jump into the pool whenever she wanted. She grabbed her bag and put everything she needed in it. When she was done, she went downstairs and ate breakfast. All she needed was an apple and she was good to go.
When she arrived at Jenn's house, she rang the doorbell. Jenn's twin sister, Katelynn opened.
"Oh hi, Zoe! Come in! Jenn's in her room." She pointed at the stairs as Zoe stepped in.
"Okay, thanks Kate!" Zoe ran up the stairs and knocked on Jenn's bedroom door.
"Come in!"
Zoe opened the door. Jenn was putting some stuff in her bag. She looked fab! She wore jean shorts and just her bikini top.
"Hey Zo!" She shouted and hugged her friend.
"Are you ready for it?" Zoe wiggled her eyebrows.
They went swimming during summer often. Just the two of them. They could talk about everything and anything and it would stay between them. No one else would know about what they talked. No one would even know they'd go to the pool.
The pool was somewhere in the back of the park, but they loved to go there.
When Jenn was ready and threw on a tank top, they said goodbye to Kate and Jenn's parents and left the house.
"So how's your head? It seems pretty bad." She asked a bit worried, referring to Zoe's wound on her temple.
"Oh no, it's fine. Doesn't hurt that much."
"Are you going to tell me what happened?" She tried. Zoe has told her about Sophia and the bullying, but she never told her why Sophia bullied her.
"I told you Sophia pushed me and I fell."
We turned around the corner. At the end of that street was the park, so we had a long way to go since the pool was in the back and there wasn't another entrance. Stupid parks, stupid entrances.
"Why were you all alone out there?"
"At first I wasn't. Yasmine was with me, but then she went inside. I wanted to stay out so I could call Calum, then Sophia came." Zoe explained.
"Did Calum come out to save you then?" Jenn wanted to know. She had a big smile on her face.
"Yeah... he did." Now Zoe had a big smile plastered on her face. Her cheeks even went a bit red.
Both of them walked into the park. Now they only had to reach the pool by passing lots of parents with small kids, playing around and screaming.
"How are things between you and Ashton?" Zoe suddenly asked as they almost ran over a kid.
"Oh great, really. I think... We talked last night in the toilets..."
"Talked?"
"Yeah."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah"
Zoe laughed. She knew they didn't just talk.
"Are you going out on a date soon?"
"Yes, this friday."
"What are you going to do?"
"I don't know, he said it would be a surprise so..." Jenn trailed off, but Zoe could see the light in her eyes when she talked about the guy. She really did like him, but she couldn't do anything as long as Tine didn't like them. She's chosing her friendship before a relatioship. Well, half. Because she's still going out with him, but it's a secret. So she's only half-chosing. If that's even possible. Anyways.
"Did you talk to him about Tine and the labels yet?" Zoe asked her.
"Yeah... He told me Luke wasn't so fond about us either, so he'd like to keep it a secret as well for now."
"Does he know about me and Calum?"
"Yes."
"What?"
"Yes. I told him you and him are going out--"
"WHAT? We're not going out, Jenn! We're just friends. You know that."
"Let me finish, Zoe I-like-to-interrupt-you Valentine." Jenn scowled at her. Zoe put her hands up in defense and let her finish.
"As friends. I told him you were going out as friends and talk at night."
"What did he say?" Zoe asked as they finally arrived at the pool.
"He said he was very happy for his buddy."
"What did he say about me?"
"Oh, he said that he didn't really like you because of what's being said about you. But he added that he didn't know you so he shouldn't judge."
Zoe nodded. That was actually really sweet.
"I have a surprise for you." Jenn suddenly said as they took two seats and placed their bags on it.
"What do you mean?" Zoe asked as she got out of her jumpsuit, leaving her in only her black, strapless bikini. She was really happy she did work out the last few months.
"Do you see those two lads over there near the ice cream parlor?" Jenn nodded her head at something behind Zoe. She turned around and saw a curly haired lad and a dark haired guy that she knew all too well.
"Jenn?"
"What?"
"People can see us here."
"Fuck those labels, Zoe. We're going to have some fun together okay. Tine is at her grandparents, Han went horse riding with her brother's girlfriend and Yasmine went shopping with her cousin. Stan went to Adelaide yesterday. Nobody will judge. Nobody cares around here. Just look around. Do you see any given fucks?" Zoe looked around. There were kids and parents and some teenagers, but no one they really knew. She nodded.
"You're right. Let's have some fun." She put her hair into a bun and turned towards the boys. They were already walking up to them with smiles on their faces.
"Hi!" Zoe greeted and hugged Calum.
"Hey" His voice sounded a bit muffled as he said it into her neck.
"Zo, this is Ashton. Ash, this is Zoe." Jenn introduced them to each other. Zoe smiled.
"Hey Ashton."
"Hey Zoe." Ashton pulled her into a hug. Well, that was a first.
"Maybe you should introduce us too." Jenn whispered into Zoe's ear, looking at Calum.
"Oh yeah. Cal, this is Jenn. Jenn, Calum."
The two of them hugged as well.
"It's really nice to meet you." Calum stated wth a smile.
"Yeah, too." Jenn nodded.
All of them took place on the seats and started to talk.
"So, Calum actually fell from a tree at Michael's party?" Ashton asked.
"Yeah he did. It was hilarious!" Zoe laughed while Calum blushed and pouted.
"It really did hurt!" Calum stated.
"I was wearing a freaking skirt and I did a better job than you!" Zoe laughed and so did Ashton and Jenn. Calum wasn't laughing. He really didn't think it was funny.
"Naw, poor thing." Jenn cooed.
"It's okay, Calum. We're just messing with you!" Zoe stated and patted his shoulder.
"You're lucky you're good looking, or else I would've ditched you already." Calum threatened whilst pointing a finger at her. Zoe pouted.
"That's mean!"
"So are you!"
"You guys are the cutest things ever, why aren't you dating yet?" Jenn had propped her head on her hands as her elbows rested on her knees.
Zoe and Calum rolled their eyes at her. She would never shut up about that. She'd be the friend that would push you against your crush when you pass him in the hallways. The one who'd be kind of pushing you to date the guy you're just good friends with. She'd be the one to cry at your wedding with every word that's said.
"Shut up, Jenn." Zoe muttered and hit her best friend's shoulder.
"Want some ice cream?" Calum suggested and nodded towards the ice cream parlor. Zoe and Jenn were up for that.
"I'll go and get it. Tell me what you want." Calum insisted.
"I want Strawberry and banana, please." Jenn ordered.
"Same." Ashton stated with a nod.
"I'll go with you." Zoe said and got up.
Calum and her walked towards the parlor and Calum ordered. Zoe quickly ordered afterwards.
"I'm glad we can finally hang out during the day." Calum stated.
"Yeah, I have to admit. I can see you better now." Zoe joked, making Calum laugh.
"You look beautiful in the sunlight, Zo." He complimented.
Zoe felt her cheeks turn red. She looked at the ground and smiled shyly. That was the first time someone ever called her beautiful. She stroke a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Here you go, sir." The guy from the ice cream parlor handed him the ice creams. Calum handed Zoe's over to Zoe and also gave her Jenn's. They walked towards Ashton and Jenn who were talking and laughing. Jenn was even blushing. Zoe smiled, she knew Jenn and Ash would end up together eventually.
Calum handed Ashton his ice cream while he sat down on a chair. Zoe gave Jenn's and sat down as well. They enjoyed the ice cream while talking for a long time. Once their ice creams were finished, they continued talking.
"So, tell me how you guys actually started talking." Ashton stated and propped his head up on his hands. He wanted to know everything.
"At Katy's party, wasn't it?" Zoe asked Calum. He nodded softly, kind of dissapointed that had to ask.
"She was sitting on the roof and I went up to safe her or she would've jumped..." Calum lied. Zoe punched his arm.
"Don't lie, stupid."
"Okay no, she wouldn't jump. But she would've tripped and fall if I didn't come up there."
"Calum." Zoe stated.
"Yeah?"
"You're stupid."
"I'm what?"
They completely forgot Ash and Jenn were there as well.
"Stupid."
"Say that again..." Calum raised an eyebrow. Zoe giggled as Calum got up and hovered over her.
"S-Stupid." She repeated, but softer.
Without thinking twice about it, Calum scooped her up as if she was as light as a feather and walked towards the pool. He had one hand around her back and the other one supported her legs. She wrapped her arms around his neck.
"What am I?"
"Please don't let me fall, Calum."
"Say that I'm the coolest and most handsome guy you've ever seen." Calum wiggled his eyebrows while holding Zoe above the water.
"Calum..."
"Say it."
Zoe rolled her eyes, but gave in.
"You're the--" she started but got cut off by someone pushing Calum in the pool, making her go with him since he was still holding her. She let out a loud scream, but took a deep breath before she got pulled under.
The water wasn't that deep at that spot, so Calum just stood up. His shoulders poked out of the water when he just stood on his feet. He didn't let go off Zoe, so she was above the water as well now. She rubbed the water out of her face and looked at Jenn and Ashton. They were laughing their butts off.
"You alright, Zo?" Calum asked worried, still holding Zoe. She turned her head towards him, not expecting him to be that close. Their noses touched, making them smile as they did. Calum's eyes had a sparkle in them that Zoe had never seen before. It's different in sunlight.
Their little moment got cut off by Jenn screaming and then a big splash, right in their faces. Ashton was still near the chairs, but he had a sly grin on his face. Jenn poked up from the water and rubbed her hair out of her face.
"I hate you, Ashton Irwin." She muttered.
"Love you too, sweet cheeks." Ashton stated from his spot.
Ashton joined them in the water and they swam for a couple of hours. At around 5pm, the girls got out and laid down to tan a bit while the guys stayed in the pool.
Zoe had put on her sunglasses and closed her eyes, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Jenn did the same thing.
"You like him, don't you?" Jenn asked, but it was more of a mumble.
"Who?"
"That's the most stupid question I've ever heard, Zo! Calum of course."
Zoe shrugged.
"You like him, right?" Jenn asked again, knowing Zoe wouldn't answer her.
"He's just a friend, Jenn. Nothing less, nothing more." Zoe replied.
The boys were talking while swimming.
"Do you think Jenn likes me?" Ashton asked as he looked at his girl, tanning. It seemed like she was saying something to Zoe, but Zoe didn't really listen.
"Yeah, I think she does, mate. The luck is on your side this time."
Calum knew Ashton had gone through a lot when he was a kid. That reminded him of Zoe and her childhood.
"I never thought we'd be talking or even hang out with those girls." Ashton mumbled by himself, but Calum heard.
"Me neither, bro. Me neither." Calum looked at Zoe. Her stomach raised with every breath she took and the wind blew through her messy bun. He loved her dark brown hair and the way it smelt like apples. The smell still lingered in his nostrils.
"You like her, don't you?" Ash asked, making Calum jump out of his thoughts.
"I do, but..."
"No buts, Cal. Go for it. She likes you too."
"Yeah, but not in the same way."
"How do you know?"
"Well... She..." He couldn't tell Ashton everything. "She told me."
"Oh... That sucks."
Calum shrugged and swam towards the edge of the pool before hoisting himself up and climbing out. He went to sit next to Zoe. Ashton followed him quickly, but sat down next to Jenn.
They tanned for one more hours and talked a bit until they were completely dry and able to jump into their clothes without making those fully wet. Since none of their friends were in Sydney, they decided to go to Calum's house for a movie. On the way there, they grabbed some food.
They were cuddled up on the couch watching Frozen. Zoe's all time favorite movie. She had already seen it three times, but a fourth time never hurts.
It was getting to the part where Elsa freezes Arendelle completely, making Zoe shiver. She always had that feeling at that part.
"Well, Zoe. You're not as badass as everyone says you are." Ashton said, laughing as he saw Zoe curling up closer to Calum.
"I've never been badass, believe me. It's all just an act." Zoe joked.
"She's a softie." Calum stated.
"She is." Jenn agreed.
Zoe stuck her tongue out at her best friend. Then they payed attention to the movie again.
At the end, where Anna freezes and Elsa cries over her, Zoe cried too. And so did Jenn. Even Ashton flicked a tear away.
"You're a softie, Zo." Calum whispered in her ear and pressed a kiss on her hair. Zoe softly slapped his chest as she blinked a tear away. Calum laughed and they continued to watch the end in silence. A giggle here and there when Kristoff asks Anna to kiss him.
When the movie ended, Ash and Jenn went home to do god-knows-what. Zoe and Calum were the only one's left. They were still on the couch. Cuddled up in silence.
"Where are your parents?" Zoe asked suddenly.
"They went to my grandparents in New South Wales with my sister." He answered with a smile.
"Wait... you have a sister?"
"Yeah."
"What's her name?"
"Mali-Koa."
"That's a pretty name."
"She's pretty amazing as well."
Zoe chuckled and closed her eyes.
"Do you have any siblings?" Calum asked. Zoe's eyes shot open and softened right after. She forgot to tell that.
"Do you wanna go for a night walk?" Zoe asked, completely ignoring the question.
"Answer my question." Zoe already got up and turned to him.
"I'll answer it, just wait and see." She stated and took his hand to pull him out of the couch.
They put their shoes on and left the house. The cold air hit their bare arms and sent shivers through their whole body. They walked down the street in silence. It was eleven pm. No one was outside. Zoe pulled Calum with her. He had no idea where they were going. Until Zoe stopped in front of a closed gate. Now he knew where this was going. The cemetry. Zoe wanted to show him something.
"Zo..." He started, but Zoe shushed him.
"Help me up." She whispered. He helped her get over the gate and hoisted himself up to climb over it as well. That went smoother than the tree.
"Zoe, what are we doing here?" He asked.
"Just shut up, Calum. I'm going to show you something." She said sternly and grabbed his hand once again. She pulled him to the back of the yard and stopped at one of the graves.
"Hey Joe." She whispered.
Calum looked at the stone. "Joseph Valentine." It said. "March 22 1991 - October 19 2007".
Then a quote. "How long until I'm just a memory?".
Calum felt a lump in his troath. What happened to him?
"I know it's been a while, but... I didn't have time to come here and visit you. And mom... I mean... Elise was being a bitch so..." Calum felt Zoe tense up next to him.
"I brought someone with me today. This is Calum." Zoe said. She felt kind of awkward talking to a stone when Calum was with her.
"Hey Joe." Calum greeted.
"Zoe..." Calum started in a whisper. Zoe didn't look at him, she let her gaze fall onto the ground. She felt the tears escaping.
"Zoe... What happened to your brother?" He asked softly.
"H-He..." She started but choked. "He comitted suicide when I was eleven. H-he couldn't take it to be with Elise and Cedric anymore. Elise used to hit him and he was getting bullied, just like me even when we moved to Sydney. He told people about what happened, while I didn't. He was such a great brother. I couldn't have asked for a better one." The tears were rolling down her cheeks like waterfalls.
"Why didn't you tell me when you told about your parents?" Calum asked her. She shrugged.
"I couldn't bring myself to it." She sobbed. Calum took her in his arms and held her tight. He looked at Joe's grave. "How long until I'm just a memory?". He read it again and again. He wouldn't be just a memory to Zoe, that's all he knew. Then something else caught his eye. The stone next to Joe's.
"Zo... Is that your dad's next to Joe's?" He asked softly.
Zoe tilted her head and looked over. She nodded and walked towards the stone.
"Hey dad. Sorry I didn't say hi to you first. This is Calum. He's a friend. A good friend." Zoe told her dad. She sat down right in front of the stone and Calum sat down next to her. They stayed there for a while, talking to each other. Zoe told a lot of things about Joe and her mom and dad. The things she remembered. The things she loved doing when she was a kid. Tears kept coming, but she didn't mind. And so did Calum. He hated to see her cry, but at the other hand he liked the fact that she was comfortable enough to cry around him.
A bit later, they went back to Calum's house. Zoe would stay there for the night. They slept on the couch. They didn't make it to the bedroom. They were too tired.

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