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He used to take me to the creek hidden deep in his backyard late at night, when it was dark out, when there was nobody around, and we would lie in the grass, just talking for hours. Somehow we never ran out of things to talk about. We had never had an uncomfortable silence.
Until the day he met her. I was there, I witnessed the whole thing. I introduced them. He fell in love with her at first sight. I saw it in his eyes; his big chocolate eyes twinkled and turned chestnut, like they used to when he saw me. He really did love her, but I didn’t blame him. I loved her as well. She wasn’t supposed to be here.
He had already forgotten about me a few days after he met her. I went down to the creek one night where I knew he would be- he was always there. He was lying in the grass, so I lay down beside him, without speaking, the silence devouring me. I was not used to this. After a while, he broke the news to me gently as possible, his voice a little louder than usual. He told me please don’t come around anymore… with an added sweetheart at the end, like an afterthought. Well, at least he said please, I thought. I had expected this to happen; I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. They had not even known each other for two weeks yet, and already he was leaving me because of her. He had already walked away, without looking back. I hoped she knew how lucky she was.
She lived with me. He came to visit very often to make things harder.
Although the voicemails were even worse than the visits. How dare he say, “I’m coming to get my sunshine later.” or “Tell my sugar I’m coming to pick her up soon.”
Weeks went by, months. Their relationship grew stronger, my heart got weaker as I held on to the last bit of hope I had, waiting for him to come back to me.
The last straw was when he told me he was going to introduce her to his parents. He was forbidden from seeing me, but they had never heard about her. He made sure of that. I wondered if once they met her they would fall in love with her immediately like he did. I mean, why wouldn’t they? She was perfect. I was ashamed to admit that I was jealous. I wasn’t going to let this happen. I told him that she didn’t want to go with him, but he saw right through me. He said, cupcake, I want you to come too.
I had told him, I didn’t think that would be such a good idea. Did he remember what had happened last time?
He told me that he did and that he will set the table with plastic settings this time. Then I asked him what about his mother? He told me that if his mother started yelling, she could jump in and start dancing. He told me that she was actually quite the dancer.
He laughed heartily, I didn’t.
After six minutes of his pitiful begging, I reluctantly agreed.
I wore the nicest dress I owned. It was knee-length, white lace with a bow in the back. I had never worn it before. I hated it. I was shaking as I walked up the stone steps with her, holding on to the railing to keep my balance. It seemed as if we would never reach our destination.
We finally reached a steel front door, no windows. There was a large doorknocker, in the shape of a lion, but there was also a doorbell to the right of it. I stood there for a while, trying to figure out which would be the most reasonable way to alert our presence.
I rang the doorbell, and he opened the door almost instantly.
He ushered us in, kissing her on the forehead and simply greeting me with a “Glad you could make it, sweetheart.”
I sat down beside her on the couch and looked around. Nothing had changed at all. I could still see my reflection in the hardwood floor, the home magazines were in alphabetical order, and the fake fruit in the bowl looked like they had been poisoned with Windex.
As he left the room to go get his mother and father, the room was silent except for the rapid pitter-patter of my heart and the grandfather clock in the corner ticking, ticking….
After meeting them only once, his parents despised me. Now I had shown up a year later to their house that they had banned me from, with her. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was scared for my life. I couldn’t control my ballet flat clad feet from tapping on the overly waxed hardwood floor, so I stood up and began to pace around.
I heard heels clacking, and then I heard his father say: “This better be good. I was in the middle of-” and in they all walked, sharing the same bothered facial expression.
When his mother saw me, she stopped in her tracks, backing up into her husband, scratching up her precious floor, looking like she had seen a ghost.
“Mom, before you say anything-“He began.
“Christopher, I thought I said you were to never see her again!” She exclaimed. I thought steam was going to come out of her ears.
She walked towards me, shaking her long bony finger in my face as she shouted, “Get out of my house!”
I walked backwards until I found myself in the living room again, and that’s when it got silent. I followed their gaze; they were staring stupidly at her, who was sitting quietly on the couch the whole time.
I gasped, and then looked at Christopher unsure of what to do.
I looked back at his parents; his mother’s perfectly pink lipstick covered mouth was wide open, and she looked like she was about to faint. His father was equally surprised; his eyes huge behind his round tortoise shell reading glasses, his gray bushy eyebrows furrowing together. They looked from me, to her, to me again, and nobody knew what to say.
Christopher came over and stood by us. He was breathing really hard. Without thinking, I grabbed his hand to calm him down.
While he did not seem to mind this, his mother’s head was about to explode. Once he noticed this, he dropped my hand like it was on fire.
“Christopher, what is the meaning of this?” his father asked sternly.
“Christopher,” His mother said glaring at her, “Who is that!?”
Christopher bowed his head. I bit my tongue.
“Christopher Adam Jones, don’t tell me this is what it looks like,” his mother said, crossing her arms over her navy pinstriped blazer, her voice shaking slightly.
Christopher got his bearings just in time, because his mother was giving me looks that were making me wish that I was dead.
He went over to the couch and scooped her up. He put his arm around me and I felt more alive than I had ever felt in months.
His mother’s eyes widened. She fiercely leaped towards us, long and lean like a gazelle. His father held her shoulders back, trying to tame her. “Christoph-“
“Mom, dad,” he said calmly, his voice barely above a whisper. He held her up in the air. “I’d like you to meet our daughter.”