Billy takes a drag of his cigarette as he turns his back to you. "You said you'd be free." His voice is rough and you wince as you hear it. "I know....I know but I'm sorry. I forgot to ask my boss to let me off. But I'll be done by 6. I promise. Will you come by then?" Billy hears the pleading in your voice and nods.
"Whatever. Happy birthday to me right." Billy glances at your coworker, Josh, who was already looking back at him from inside the diner. He had his suspicions about how much time you were spending at the diner and now, they only grew stronger.
You sigh and hold your temple.
"Billy that's not fair. I can't just bail. I asked my boss for the extra time months ago. We'll still be able to spend the rest of the day together. Ok?"
You watch him. He slowly turns back to you and puts out the cigarette. "Fine. See you at six."
You wrap your arms around him and despite being careful, he winces as your hand grazes one of the multiple bruises along his back. You whisper a soft apology and pull away. Without another word, he's back in his car and speeding down the road. You turn back to the diner and close your eyes. With a sigh, you push the door open and go back to your station at the register.
The music blasts throughout Billy's car as he drives through the streets. He tries to numb his thoughts as they scream at him.
No one cares about you.
You don't deserve love.
She has a right to cheat on you.
He turns the volume up and taps along to the song on the wheel. A few minutes later, he pulls up to his house. Thankfully, none of them were back yet. He hesitates before pulling into the driveway. He knew that his father would kill him for that, but he was gonna get hit today anyway. Birthday or not.
Billy settles in his bed and stares up at the ceiling. Maybe it's true. Maybe no one cares about him. Why else would he be alone on his birthday? It was a Saturday for crying out loud. Max was out doing whatever with her friends, his father and Susan were on some trip and Y/n was at work. He couldn't help but wonder why you worked so hard in the first place. He thought that after you both graduated, you'd take it easier, spend more time with him. But you just seemed to work even more.
There was a time when he thought you did care about him. He thinks back to the first time he met you and smiles.
"Hey. So you're my new locker buddy then. Nice to meet you, I'm Y/n." You smiled warmly at the gruff boy who was currently frowning at your extended hand. "I don't do handshakes." He voices roughly. "Well what kind of shakes do you like then?"
He tried to resist the urge to laugh at your sad attempt at humor, but failed miserably. A soft chuckle left his lips and your smile widened.
"Knew I would get you with that one. Anyway, I'll see you around..." you look at him expectantly.
"Hargrove. Billy Hargrove." He replies.
"See you around Billy Hargrove."
Billy always wondered why you were always so nice to him. No matter how many times he tried to brush you off, you were persistent. You were patient with him, which was something no one was. At first, he thought you were the most annoying person to ever walk the earth, then his mind changed. He remembers the exact moment it did all too well.
"It'll get better you know." A small voice said to his left. You stood there with a forlorn expression on your face as you put your books into the locker. Billy furrows his brows and looks at you.
"What are you talkin' about?" He eyes you wearily as you turn to him sharply.
"I have scars too. Ever since my dad passed away, my mom's been...different. She blames me because I was the one that just had to go to that stupid concert. Anyway, he- he got in an accident that night coming to pick me up. Drunk driver. She takes stuff out on me you know. First, it was shouting and screaming. Then it was slapping. Then came the hair pulling and the hitting. At first, I didn't know what to do. But, I found ways to avoid her and even though it's worse, I know it'll get better."
Billy is silent. His eyes locked on yours as you finish your story. It takes a couple minutes for him to say anything.
"I- I don't know what you're talking about." Each word is forced and you know it.
"Two weeks ago, you came to school with a busted lip. You wince everytime you move your left shoulder and I know for a fact that last week you didn't just happen to change your wardrobe to sweaters because you think they're cool. You can try to cover up the bruises, Billy but that doesnt change the fact that they're there."
Your gaze on him doesnt waver. He doesn't know what to say and before he knows it, you're walking down the hallway and away from him.
They had their first kiss not long after that and the rest was history. He's not sure about your feelings for him, but he knows that he's completely and unconditionally in love with you. He would give you anything you wanted and if you no longer wanted to be with him, he would give you up in a heartbeat, as long as it made you happy. He just wished you would voice it instead of sneaking around behind his back. It was his birthday. You could at least tell him the truth on today of all days. He taps his leg as he thinks it over. You would be done by 6, but he cant wait that long. He decides without a moment's hesitation that he was gonna confront you now.
Billy pulls in to the diner. Its 3:32 PM and he's thinking over what he's about to do. Before he could convince himself otherwise, he hops out of his car and heads into the diner.
There's not a soul in sight. No customers. No employees. Nothing. Billy looks around and raises his brows.
"Extra shift huh." He mutters under his breath. Suddenly, a voice calls his attention to the back.
"Josh, stop it." Billy knows that giggle all too well.
He tries to control his anger like you taught him, but it's a bit difficult when you're the source of it. He storms to the back of the restaurant and pushes open the door.
"Billy! What are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here for a few more hours!" You yelp.
Billy couldn't focus on your words. All he could focus on was the big banner hanging from the ceiling and the fairy lights and streamers that were hung beautifully all around the room. Then, his eyes fall on Josh who was busy stuffing his face with chips.
"It's supposed to be a surprise. You're supposed to be here at 6." You cover your face with your hands and shake your head slightly.
Billy slowly walks over to you. "You did all this for me?"
You look at him and nod. "I asked my boss if I could use the space for the evening. He agreed because of how hard I've been working what with all the shifts and stuff. I asked Josh to help me prepare the food and everything but he keeps sneaking chips even though I've asked him to stop like 3 times already." You look over at Josh and laugh as he raises a chip to both of you and stuffs it in his mouth.
"I wanted everything to be perfect and now its ruined and I'm sorry because it's your birthday and I-" Billy cuts you off with a sweet kiss. He runs his thumbs along your cheek as he stares down at you lovingly. All suspicions gone.
"You love me." It wasn't a question. It was a statement and you knew it.
"Of course I do, Billy. I was just...waiting for the right time to tell you. Which was gonna be tonight." You giggle nervously as he looks at you. He kisses you again but stops when Josh speaks up.
"Hey, we gonna have a party or what? I didn't help Y/n hang up these decorations for nothing." You roll your eyes and Billy chuckles.
"Well, let's get this party started."
Even though the food wasn't made yet, all the laughs, crazy dance moves and improvised burgers made for a great party. A couple hours later, Josh made it known that he had to get home, so you cleaned everything up and he locked up the restaurant. You said your goodbyes and he leaves you both in the parking lot, leaning against Billy's car.
You lean into Billy as he wraps an arm around you and kisses your forehead. His sudden chuckle makes you look up in question. "What is it?" You ask.
"Nothing, I just. I thought today was gonna turn out way differently." He answers.
"What do you mean?" You look at him with furrowed brows and he bites his lip.
"I uh...I thought you were cheating on me and I came here to tell you that, if you didn't wanna be with me anymore, then I'd leave you alone if that's what you wanted." His voice was soft. Gentle among the cool breeze.
Suddenly, you take his face in your hands and look him straight in the eye.
"Billy, I would never cheat on you. I love you and I-I want to spend the rest of my life with you." His eyes widen and you suddenly wonder if that was the right thing to say.
"I mean, if that's what you want too. You don't have to make any decisions right now I just-" For the second time that night, he cute you off with a deep kiss.
"I'm just surprised that you feel the same way. I fell in love with you 6 months ago and I'm sure I wanna spend the rest of my life with you too." He whispers. You smile that beautiful smile at him, and wrap your arms around his neck as you hold onto him in the dead of the night.
"Tonight was amazing. And definitely a surprise." Billy chuckles as he kisses your cheek.
"Speaking of surprises. I have one more for you." Your voice is small as you move away from him.
Billy watches you with a confused look on his face.
You reach into your bag that was sat on the hood of his car and pull out a large envelope.
"You can say no ok? Just remember that." You take a deep breath for what you're about to say next,
"Run away with me." You say quickly.
Billy doesnt say anything. He just watches you.
You open the envelope and reveal the contents to him. His eyes widen and you shrug.
"Remember all those extra shifts and late nights? Well, this is what I've been saving up for. I've got 5 grand and I figured that we can just leave. Tonight. I started saving up after that first time you let me see how bad they got. The bruises. And you're always talking about moving back to California once you had enough money but I know Neil takes all of it. My mom wouldn't care if I left anyway so I figured, what the heck. I know it's a totally insane plan and I'm sorry for pushing it all on you but this was the real birthday surprise. And like I said before, you can say no. Just know that, I love you, Billy. With all my heart and if you wanted me to bring you the moon and stars I would rip the galaxy apart to place them at your feet." You take another breath as you finish. You didn't dare to look up at him in fear that he would reject your offer. But all your doubts faded when he lifted your chin and kissed you.
"God I f*ckin' love you. I cant believe you did all of this for me. I don't deserve you. But I'm gonna make sure I become the man that's worthy of your love. You're amazing and I cant wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Cali here we come." You jump up in his arms and he spins you around.
Soon enough, you were both packed and on the road to a new life where it was just the two of you.