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I got the call during my first period. Looking back, I'm partially pleased with this fact. I shared that class with Allen and Brad. At one point, Allen had been my best friend. He'd gotten me through my heartbreak, and claimed he'd always love me. I wanted Allen to be jealous. I was sick of seeing him holding hands with his girlfriend, after telling me he'd always be there for me. On the other hand, Brad didn't even know I existed. I walked by his house after school everyday, and never once had we spoken to each other. I didn't really like him. He was just one of those popular jocks that all the girls swooned over. I wanted Brad to notice me, and realize I was desirable. But, that was the selfish part of me. The part that wanted to be desired by all, because he didn't desire me. The part that wanted everyone to notice me, because he was no longer there to do so. The part that wanted the whole school to know my name, and revere me, in hopes that it'd somehow make up for the giant hole he'd left in my life, and my heart.

At first, I was confused by his name showing up on my caller id. It was always this rule with him - we never talked on the phone. Texting, IMing, and email was fine. We even met up at random places around town. But, the phone calls were reserved for the girls he committed to. The girls that I'd envied for years.

Ms. Mac was out of the room, and the rest of the class was buzzing noisily, so I answered the phone. My whole body was covered in tingling goosebumps, like a surge of electricity was racing through my veins. I heard, rather than felt, all the blood rush to my head. I couldn't think. I could barely whisper a trembling, "Hello?" I gripped the desk, trying to cling to any sort of reality. When he uttered that sweet, "Hi," back, I wanted to cry. I hadn't talked to him in over six months, hadn't seen him in even longer, and I'd missed him incredibly. I'd spent the past five years with him in my life. He was there through nearly every teenage experience I'd ever had, and with graduation coming up, I'd only wanted to share it with him. Yet, I couldn't. And after all my failed attempts at mending our friendship, he finally chose to contact me - and not just contact me, he called me. I didn't dare say another word. I was afraid if I said the wrong thing, he'd hang up and disappear again. I bit my lip to keep the tears burning my eyes in check. Vaguely, I wondered if Allen was watching from across the classroom, and what it would look like to him, if he were.

He seemed to understand that I couldn't say anything, and so he continued, "I need to talk to you." My mind instantly raced. I contemplated all the different things he could want to say. Is he apologizing? Did he dump Allie? Did he realize he loves me? Every hope I'd ever had was rushing into my mind, and the creeping tension of butterflies in my stomach took over. I wrapped an arm around my waist, as if to contain them.

"When?" I asked. The most wonderful smile was spreading across my face, and I bit my lip even harder to try and stop it.

"Right now. Where are you?" The butterflies intensified, and I could almost feel the jerk as they flipped into hyperdrive. My heart was pounding so hard, I thought my whole body would shake from each beat. The excitement I felt caused me to tremble, and mixed with the sweat on my palms, I was afraid I'd drop the phone.

"I'm in class.." I told him, in a voice mixed with the fear of losing him, and the nervousness of what he'd ask me to do. I knew without a doubt, as I'd always known in the past, that I'd do anything he asked. I almost moved over halfway across the country for him.

"At R.A. Long?" He asked. I confirmed his question, feeling as despondent as I could under the circumstances. He despised this high school. We once had to cancel plans because he hadn't wanted to come anywhere near it. I knew I'd be skipping class and walking somewhere if I wanted to talk to him today. And I would.

"Which room?" He asked, suddenly. And I felt the jolt again. Was he going to come here? My mind blanked on the room number a moment, and I started to panic. Fleetingly, I thought about getting up and checking the door, but after a few deep breaths, it came to me. I considered asking him why he wanted to know, just to hear him say he'd be coming, but decided against ruining the moment.

"Alright," He said. "I'll see you in a few minutes." I glanced at the clock, making sure class wasn't ending anytime soon. I wondered why he was awake at eight in the morning - he was usually just going to bed at this time. Or used to. I hung up the phone, and stared off into space, wondering what was going on. As I waited for him to show, I considered all the things he could be coming to tell me. There's no possible way it could be anything bad, I thought to myself. We haven't spoken. He wouldn't come all the way here to tell me something bad. He must love me. He must finally have admitted to himself that he loves me. The smile crept onto my face again, as I repeated the mantra in my head. I could hardly bear sitting in my seat. My leg twitched to a frantic beat, and I tapped my fingers on the desktop. Every second that crept by seemed like a century. I watched the hand on the clock crawl through a whole minute. Tick, tick, tock. Tick, tick, tock. He, loves, me. He, loves, me. I wondered what had happened to Allie. They'd obviously broken up. Maybe he realized that dating a girl on a different continent wouldn't work out. Maybe he realized he didn't want to move to Texas to be with her next year. Maybe he couldn't pay for the college they were planning on attending together. Or maybe she broke up with him? And I wasn't there to act as the rebound anymore, so he's coming to get me back. What if things never change? What if he doesn't really love me? I shook my head with a furrowed brow, and glanced out the window to distract myself. The hovering dark clouds seemed to forewarn disaster. I chose to ignore that sign.

I heard someone step into the room, and I whipped my head around. Before I recognized Ms. Mac, my heart skittered inside my chest. I hadn't realized I wasn't breathing until the remaining oxygen in my lungs burst out of me, with a mixture of disappointment and relief. I'm not ready for this, I screamed inside my head. I glared at the desktop, as I started wringing my hands. I wondered if I looked alright today. I'd been dieting and tanning for a month now, in preparation for a graduation cruise, so I felt pretty good. If he didn't love me now, he'd love me when he saw how great I looked, I thought insanely. But, that was one of the many things Allie would always be better at than me - looking absolutely and effortlessly perfect. Perfect style, perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect eyes. It was no wonder he'd loved her. So then what was going on now?

"Do you need something?" I heard Ms. Mac say. I looked up and my eyes widened. There he was. Standing right in front of me. Dark, scruffy facial hair, piercing green eyes, and the most perfect set of lips - all staring directly at me. My face started turning red, as I realized the rest of the class had turned to stare too.

"Can I talk to Samantha for a few minutes?" I'd never heard him say my name before, and he'd rarely ever typed it out. These are all signs that things are different now, I thought, as I lifted myself out of my desk. I felt like I was walking in a dream. Everything was slow and hazy as we left the room. We turned to face each other in the hallway, and I realized I didn't want to look at him. I'd become extremely self-conscious all of a sudden, something that hadn't happened all that much lately. I was afraid if he met my eyes, he'd see all my flaws, and leave. Finally, I braced myself, and almost defiantly met his eyes. The look he was giving me made me falter. It was one of the most tender gazes I'd ever witnessed. My breath caught in my throat, as I thought once again, he loves me. My hand crept up to my neck, as if it's presence would help me breathe. Finally, I could feel the slow, even breaths coming in and out, and my nerves seemed to calm slightly.

"Hi.." I said, hesitantly. I gave him a half smile, as I realized how ridiculous I felt. What if this is bad? I mentally kicked that thought into oblivion. He chuckled, a deep, resonating sound, coming from his throat. I felt like crying again, when I saw his smile. God, I've missed you so much, I wanted to say. I remembered suddenly the one time he'd ever touched me. That was always another heartbreaking rule of his: we never touched. I'd tried so many times - holding his hand, hugging him, just stepping closer to him. Never had I put myself through so much rejection for one person, and I hoped to God I would never go through that again. We'd been at the Public Library, where we always used to meet, and he'd started out by standing startlingly close to me. I'd been too nervous to function properly. I wasn't able to look at him, I hardly spoke a word, I could barely breathe. When he noticed how I was reacting, he started playing with the zipper to my jacket. It had only made it worse. My back was pressed up against a row of books, and my eyes had darted to every place but him. And then, he'd kissed my neck. Never have I understood the emotions described in romance novels as well as in that moment. I literally could not think. That one moment had proved to me that I hadn't been wasting my time. I'd believed nothing that caused such intense emotion could be wrong.

I was staring down at the ground now, not able to look at him and remember the assurance I'd once had, simultaneously. "Are you okay?" I heard him say. I nodded, wanting this to end, and never wanting him to leave at the same time. I would've touched him, just to make sure he was real, but I had a feeling the rules weren't being broken today.

"What did you want to talk about?" I asked him, finally looking back up to his face. I tried to block out the light-headedness, and the joy I felt from seeing his smile. I wanted to distance myself emotionally as much as possible. I'd been hurt so many times by him, how could I possibly still love him after everything we'd been through? But, that blind, naive hope seemed to rush through my bloodstream. It filled every part of me. He has to love me, I kept thinking. My wish was coming true. The millions of wishes I'd made for him were finally coming true.

There was one night in particular that I'd really believed we would be together someday. I'd been looking forward to snow since September. Halfway through December, when it still hadn't come, I was starting to get frustrated. And then one night, a few weeks later, it snowed. I was texting him, telling him about the snow, and how amazing it was. I stood out on the front porch in my pajamas for hours, just watching it fall. It seemed every time I went inside, the snow would stop, so finally I went out, and made a deal. I whispered quietly to the sky, '"If it snows tonight, things with him will work out." And slowly but surely, it had started to snow right that second. I had started to cry, with a huge smile on my face, and just stood there letting the snow fall over me, until I was shivering all over. I fell asleep that night, envisioning the world covered in a beautiful, white blanket of snow. I woke up to wet slush. I clung to the sight of the snow falling right after I'd made my wish. It snowed once more that winter, but never again. When we had stopped talking, I looked back on that night, and wondered if maybe the snow I'd seen had just been rain. I wondered if the lack of snow that winter was the world's way of saying, 'You need to give up hope, because you two will never be together.''

"I have something to tell you." He said, quietly, not looking at me. I tried to keep the blinding radiance of hope off my face, because I knew this was it. He's going to tell me he loves me, I wanted to yell out to the world. I hugged myself, waiting for the moment. He didn't say anything else.

"Alright, what is it?" I asked him. My voice sounded too eager and I wanted to cringe. A part of me still wondered if this was bad, but I didn't want to listen. Finally, something amazing is happening to me, I thought. I knew I wasn't wasting my time. I knew things would work out for us.

"I'm getting married." He whispered. Everything seemed to freeze. My brain couldn't comprehend what he'd just said. Married? I thought. No. No, he's not.. Married?

"What?" I said, incredulously. My voice sounded too loud. I wondered if I was yelling. I tried to take deep breaths, but I felt like I was suffocating.

"I'm getting married.." He said again, although he knew I'd heard him the first time. The disappointment I felt was almost too much to bear. All the hope that had filled my bloodstream had turned cold. It felt like every part of me was in pain, and the central point was my chest. My mind went completely blank, and I tried to focus on breathing, but all I could do was take in short breaths. I thought I was going to be sick. I doubled over, trying to swallow the excess spit in my mouth. This wasn't supposed to happen, I thought, staring at the ground. He wasn't supposed to find someone else. I could feel the tears building up. I didn't want him to see me cry - especially over him. But, I couldn't leave. As much as it hurt, I still wanted to be near him. I felt his hand on my back. The warmth of it almost made me recoil. With his other hand, he grabbed my arm, and pulled me towards his chest. He's hugging me, I thought blankly. He's hugging me. I repeated the statement over and over in my head, until I understood what the words meant. I buried my face in his sweatshirt, and started to cry.

I cried, remembering the past five years. Remembering every other time I'd cried over him. Remembering how hard I'd tried to be with him, and tried to be the person he could love. For every time he told me he loved me, and for all the times he didn't. Remembering everything I'd hoped would happen for us, and that now, would never be. I cried until I couldn't cry any longer. Until I felt like I was completely drained of every emotion.

When I'd stopped crying, and there was only the random hiccup remaining, I realized he'd broken his rule. He was rubbing my back, comfortingly, and held me tightly to him, as if to protect me from everything else in the world. Why try to protect me, I thought, when you're the one thing that hurts me more than anything else?

"Why?" I asked regretfully. I didn't move from his grasp. He seemed to pause, not sure of what I was asking.

"Why what?" He asked in return. I stated the words in my head, willing myself to say them aloud.

"Why touch me now..." I'd thought I had no more tears left, but I felt them starting to leak out of my swollen eyes again. My throat contracted, and I didn't think I could get the rest of my question out. "When it's too late?" My breath hitched in my throat as I hiccuped. I started crying again, softly, and wrapped my arms around his neck, not wanting him to let go. I'd settled my face in the crook between his neck and shoulder, and as I pulled away, I saw where my tears had stained his skin. I looked up at him then, meeting his eyes, inches from his face. The realization that I was close enough to kiss him, caused more tears to leak out of my eyes, rather than bring me any joy.

"I'm sorry." He said. I stared at him for the longest time, wondering if he really meant it. He came all this way just to hurt me, I thought. He came here to hurt me. I grappled with that thought, knowing he hadn't wanted to. He also was showing you more courtesy, I told myself, rather than never telling you, or telling you over text. He came all this way, knowing it would hurt you, and tried to find the best way to tell you. I watched him watch me debate with myself. I wondered if he could see how confused I was. I wondered if he could see the pain etched on every part of my face. I wondered why we were so close to each other, and if he could feel the tingling in his stomach too. I closed my eyes, wishing it would go away. Wishing this pain would go away.

And then I felt his lips touch mine. There was no hope in that kiss. There was no anger. But, there was no joy either. I knew then that I wasn't mad at him. I knew it was over. I knew that once he left, we would never speak again. I tried to say good-bye with my lips, hoping he'd understand that I forgave him. The tingling in my stomach expanded, and if there was anything left in me to hope for, I'd hoped for that kiss to never end. I pulled him as close to me as I possibly could, and tried to convey how much I loved him. And then I let my mind stop thinking, and I just was.

And just as suddenly as the kiss had come, it stopped. I opened my eyes, and tried to memorize his face. I tried to imprint this moment on my brain, so that I'd never forget it. He opened his mouth to speak, but couldn't seem to find his voice. He mouthed, 'I'm sorry', and then walked away.

I watched him walk away, not able to think - not wanting to think just yet. And then the bell rang for class to get out, and I knew I wasn't going back.





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5star_writter_mone said...
Jul. 6, 2010 at 10:20 am
wow it was great
 
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