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I Always Knew
Ends and Beginnings
As the bell rang, she was swept away in a sea of high schoolers, ready to begin their summers. In her head she was screaming, screaming his name, screaming at herself to stop moving forward. More than anything she wanted to turn around and throw her arms around him, hold him for the first and last time. Time something she needed more of with him. All she could manage was a rather loud, but not quite screaming level, “Noah,” as she turned and threw her hand back towards him. He grabbed it, but only for a moment, and he was gone, like she always knew he would be.
So this story begins at the end, the end of what Amy thought was her only chance to be happy with the guy she thought she loved. And she also thought she needed him. But what she didn’t know was this was the end of something never meant to be, and the start of the rest of her life.
Before we can begin on Amy’s story, you need to get to know Noah. Amy only knew him for about one-hundred and eighty days, one school year. He was really amazing to Amy, because he wasn’t like anyone she had ever known, and she was going crazy over him. But at the same time she wasn’t sure if he even thought of her as a friend, it wasn’t until the last day when he thanked her for being his friend that she finally understood, by then it was too late.
She spent the next day thinking only of him, how she could lose something so fast, until she had an idea. Amy decided that her life was nothing without him, that she liked Noah more than ever, and she wanted to be anywhere but alone at home, wasting time she could never get back. It was on this day that Amy decided to take control and change the way her life was playing, something she previously thought she had no control over, it was on this day that she would plan to run away from security, and chase the chances of life.
A Long Ride Means a Lot of Time
The next morning at five o’clock she was on a bus preparing to depart for Noah, or at least that’s all she cared about. Amy took her seat, closer to the front than the back, a window seat. She was about to put on headphones and listen to music when a boy her age, who looked familiar sat down in the seat next to her.
The boy was named Ben. When they were young Amy and Ben were really good friends, but as soon as they hit middle school, soon to be five years ago, things changed. He said “Hello,” and it took Amy about ten seconds to realize who it was. “Ben? Hi Ben,” Amy said this as she leaned over and hugged him. He held her there for a few seconds; it reminded them both of old times, it made them happy. Amy pulled away first, and looked at him, it made her see just how much time had really passed. He was tanner, a lot taller, and his eyes; there was something about his eyes.
“How have you been?” He asked. “You don’t look so good.” His last sentence was probably due to the fact that he could tell by her eyes she had been crying.
“Thanks,” Amy responded with a lot of sarcasm.
“You know what I meant.”
They both let out a quick laugh. “I haven’t been so good lately. Well to be honest I’ve been great and bad, sort of a roller coaster I guess. You?”
“I’ve been alright. Tell me what’s been going on. We’ve got a long ride anyway.”
“Okay, it started on the second day of school.”
The Things You Never Knew You Know, And the People Who Point It Out
“Have you ever seen someone, and just known there was something about them that made you notice, that was different, but in a good way?” Amy wasn’t looking at Ben when she asked this, but instead was staring out the window at the empty fields that stretched all the way to the horizon. She wasn’t aware at the time, because she was focused on Noah, but Ben’s eyes made her feel this way too.
Ben replied by saying he wasn’t sure, when the truth is he was. And he had only had the experience about a minute and a half ago when he stepped up the last of the metal steps onto the bus and saw Amy.
“Well when Noah walked in he just caught my eye, I can’t really explain it. And I spent the rest of the school year becoming friends with him, he’s really nice and I don’t know…” Her voice began to trail off and his picked up.
“You do know,” was all he said, and they sat there in silence for a few minutes. The next question that came out of his mouth was one she had wanted to hear, but as much as she wanted to be asked, she didn’t want to answer, she wasn’t even sure is she could get the words out. “What happened?”
She could, “He left,” It was all she could manage before the tears began to well up in her eyes. Ben put his arm around her and she laid her head on his shoulder and they spent the next half hour here no one said anything, and as much as it hurt Amy to say those two words, she felt no pain in his arms.
Right In Front of Your Face, Completely Out of Your Sight
Ben spent this silent half hour trying to put together a puzzle that was missing most of its pieces. He knew Amy had met Noah only this past year, but that he meant a lot to her, obvious by her reaction to the thought of Noah leaving. Naturally, he assumed they were dating and he walked out, he was wrong, and he figured it out a little bit late.
“Amy to be honest and I don’t mean to hurt you, but if he ended it, he doesn’t deserve you.”
Amy lifted her head from his shoulder, “Ended it?” She smiled a little, not exactly a happy smile, but a smile none the less. “It never even started.”
“You weren’t… dating Noah?”
“No.” Amy paused, “He was my friend, and I liked him, but I wasn’t even sure if he thought of me as a friend until the last day of school. His family moved. That’s where I’m headed.”
“You’re chasing him?” Now it was Ben’s turn to smile.
“He said goodbye, and I wasn’t ready to.”
“Noah must mean an awful lot to you?” When Ben said this it wasn’t because he needed her to clear this up, but because he realized that after they said goodbye, as kids, he had been there in the same city, the same house with the backyard where they played when they were young. He had known her for six years. Somehow she didn’t have a problem losing him.
“Yes.” Amy didn’t realize how much that one word had hurt her best friend.
Realizing the Truth doesn’t Always hurt As Much As Living the Lies
After about another hour of small talk, and catching up with each other the bus pulled into the station. Amy and Ben gathered their belongings and Ben stood up and began moving up the aisle. Amy took one more look out the window, to find, quite to her surprise, Noah, standing there as if he were waiting for someone.
Amy then began moving, well more like running, up the aisle and without hesitation turned in the direction of Noah. At a near sprint she headed towards him, and then she stopped.
Ben stood there, saw her take off and picked up her bags as so to keep them safe. When he looked over for her and Noah, he saw the top of Noah’s head and his arms holding someone who was not Amy. Ben turned his head quickly to find Amy, and he began to panic, where could she run to? In full panic mode he ran towards the exit. It no longer mattered that they had been apart for almost five years, that Amy never chased Ben, because someone had hurt her, and he was going to fix it. As soon as he was outside again he began to look for her. He didn’t see her anywhere. His eyes swept across the surrounding area one more time, and that’s when he saw, sitting on the sidewalk, head down, Amy.
“Amy!” He called as he ran towards her. “Come here,” He helped her stand up, and hugged her tightly.
To his surprise she wasn’t crying, in fact she didn’t look all that upset. “It’s okay. Amy, he’s a jerk, just forget him.”
“… I’m okay. I… I think I was wrong, I… Noah… When I saw him. I’ve only known him a year, not even. I realized on the bus. I never knew how much I missed you.”
“I missed you too.”
“I think I love you.”
“I always knew I loved you.”