All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The sun was starting to set in the sky, casting orange, pink and purple hues across the horizon. The autumn air was crisp and cool, cutting like a knife through sweaters and jackets to warm bodies. The breeze whipped dead leaves around the deserted park. She moved closer to him on the park bench and he, in return, put his arm around her.
They sat there in silence, watching the world in front of them. He methodically rubbed his hand on her arm and she moved into him, closer. She let out a heavy sigh of contentment and smiled, looking up at him. He stared straight ahead and continued to rub her arm, as if not even noticing his arm was around her.
"The sky's beautiful, isn't it?" she finally said, breaking the silence.
He finally looked down at her and smiled. "Yeah." He pushed back a wisp of her hair the wind had blown across her face.
"It's kind of chilly, hu?" she said and gave a little shiver.
"Is that girl code for "Hold me?"" he asked. She gave a little laugh.
"Don't you ever feel like that sometimes?"
"Like what?" he asked as he returned his gaze to the world in front of him.
She leaned her head against him. "Like you need someone to hold you. To feel their arms around you. And when you do, everything just feels...right."
"I dunno, I guess I never thought about it." She could feel his voice vibrating through his body. She could smell his aftershave, like a sweet, light note traveling on the air. It made her feel content, the way she felt when he held her. "Guys don't think about stuff like that."
"You're just saying that. That can't be your excuse for everything. YOu have to feel something when someone holds you."
"I do, but I don't think about it a lot like you."
She looked at him. "What's wrong with that?"
"I dunno, you think about things too much. You over-analyze them."
"Don't you want me to think about you?"
"That's not what I meant..." He took back his arm, stood up, shoved his hands in his pockets and started pacing the ground in front of her.
"Are you okay?" she asked. The question was half worried, half annoyed. She wrapped her arms around herself as another gust of wind blew. Her eyes followed him as we walked four steps one way, pivoted, walked four steps the other way, pivoted. He didn't answer. "Is something wrong?" she asked again.
He stopped square in front of her. "I've been thinking..." His dark eyes bore into hers as he fought for words. "We...you and me..." Her heart skipped a beat and her knees started shaking, but not from the chilly air. Her jaw tightened. "It's just not working."
She stared at him, just stared, forgetting the words that had just passed his lips. He stood there, her ideal "perfect guy." What did he just say? She had lost her voice, her ability to speak. Her arms wrapped around herself tighter to make up for where his had let go. "What?"
He broke the stare and looked at the ground. "I think we just need some time off. You know, to do our own thing." She studied him closely, hoping to see a wave of remorse sweep over him for what he had just said. Nothing. Instead, she noticed smudges of concealer near his hairline, trying to hid red bumps. She noticed his shoe was untied and his hair was ruffled , like he didn't comb it after he got out of bed. "We'll still be friends, though."
"Of course," she said remotely.
"It's not you, it's me," he continued, not letting up on her aching heart. Her hands tightly clasped her arms. "I just need time to figure things out...Are you okay with all this?"
They looked at each other. "Yes." Her voice sounded so far away from the inside of her body and her heart.
"I'm sorry," he said quietly. "I can walk you home since I'm..."
"No. No, that's okay." She was looking up at the sky instead of him.
"Okay. I guess I'll see you around, then."
When she looked up, he was gone. She looked at the world in front of her. The purples, pinks and oranges of the setting sun were almost gone and the dim streetlights surrounding the park illuminated the emptyness. She got up and started to walk home, her arms still tightly holding herself.