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I lean down on my knees, and look into the lake. An unclear reflection stares back at me. This as been our spot since the first time we talked. We’ve been in classes together since eighth grade, and as high school juniors we have English together, but we never had an actual conversation until we saw each other here.
At the park where my daddy used to take me when I was little, about ten minutes into the woods, is a small lake. I found it by accident one day, and fell in love. I would go there to read or listen to music and be by myself, sometimes just to think and clear my head. But it was my spot, and although there is one bench along the edge of the clear water, there has never been anyone on it to sit next to me. It was my quiet place to go and be by myself, well at least until the day we talked.
One Tuesday afternoon I was fighting with my mother, about something that I don’t even remember. I needed to get out of my house, to just be alone and calm down and clear my head of what just happened. I went to the lake to be by myself, and sitting on the bench was Cody. I walked over, completely shocked. I had been coming here for so many years, but never had I once seen anyone else here before. He looked just as surprised as I was, and me crying probably didn’t make it any less awkward. “Uh, hey. Are you okay?” is how it all started.
Although we had barely said more then two words to each other in the time we’ve known each other, I just couldn’t help it. I had a bad day, and was so stressed out and upset that I just broke down. But instead of getting weird, he listened to what I had to say. He tried his best to make me feel better, to laugh through the tears that continuously streamed out of my eyes. That conversation led to another and another after that. The lake became our spot. Our spot where I first looked into his deep green eyes, and where we first talked and where we first held hands. The place where we first kissed and could be alone and just talk about anything. The place where I fell for him, the place where I felt safe.
But I screwed up everything between us. I acted stupid, and he has barely been answering my calls and texts in the past week. He hasn’t started any conversations with me at school, and I can tell he’s mad. The one person that I trust with my life is leaving. But it’s my fault, and I have to make it up to him.
No one passes notes anymore, but you do what you have to do. I wrote “Lake, 3:15…please.” On a crisp new piece of loose leaf, and folded it in half. As I walked into my English class, I placed it on his desk as I walked to my seat. He looked at me before he picked up the note and read it. Now I’m praying he’ll show up, because we need to talk.
I need to apologize, and he probably needs to breakup with me. It has been four months. Four months of holding hands and kissing for him to realize that he deserves better. Four months of sitting on that single bench next to the lake, sharing the most intimate details of our lives.
I hear a sound behind me, and hesitate before I turn, switching my position from kneeling to sitting in the grass. I look back, and he comes through the trees, looking down as he walks. He looks a little nervous, but I can’t blame him. I’ve never been more anxious in my life; our relationship is all coming down to this.
He sits down next to me, and I look at him, but he focuses on the water. I take a deep breath, and he turns to me knowing I’m about to talk. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry for starting those fights and for yelling at you. And,” I take another deep breath and blink back tears, “and I’m sorry about that other guy. For not telling him that I have a boyfriend when he hit on me, and for flirting back. I’m so sorry Cody, I really am.”
I look at him, trying to read his face, but he doesn’t show emotion yet. I’m expecting his anger to lead into our breakup, but instead it leads to a hurt expression when he says, “why? That’s what I want to know. All those fights and the yelling, why? Why I’ve been afraid to talk to you in fear that you’ll start to yell again. And about that guy, why?”
I wasn’t expecting him to ask why. I was expecting yelling and screaming and a huge fight. It would have been so much easier to see him mad then hurt. I look down, back at me reflection, and then up into his green eyes.
“I’m scared, Cody, terrified. You are the one person I trust, the one person who knows me. You’re the only person that I know who completely trusts me, and I was scared, okay.” “Why are you scared? Did I do something to hurt you?” he asks. No, of course you didn’t. You never do anything that could potentially hurt me. Why are you even asking that? “You didn’t do anything.” Is all I say before tears begin to roll down my cheeks.
He looks at me, and something makes him grab my hand. I look at him confused and ask, “Why did you do that. We’re about to breakup, and you’re holding my hand?” “What are you talking about? The first time we get into a fight you think we’re breaking up? I know you’re going through something, but I’m not going to break up with you until we talked first. Now please just tell me, why are you afraid of me?”
Ugh, there he goes again. He never over reacts, never gets mad at me. He said he was afraid to talk because I might yell, not that he was angry. If it was reverse, I would have been yelling at him already. But no, he is too calm for that, to mature. He wants to talk it out, because for some reason he cares about me. “I’m scared because” I look down at the water again, and then back into those green eyes, and take a deep breath because I know that there is no going back now, “I love you.”
He holds my gaze, as he processes what I just said. I know that he is putting together the pieces, of what I just said and how I’ve been acting. He wipes the tears from my face, and kisses me softly. He smiles as he says, “Baby, don’t be scared. I love you, too.”