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Modern-Day Antigone Part 5
Since love is blind, Wes never even thought it was a possibility that Natalie felt uncomfortable. He went home and changed out of his Speedo and into a long, white sleeve button-up shirt and khaki shorts. Natalie had told him she would arrive at his condo thirty minutes before the bonfire was to begin. Wes decided to nap until that time and was sleeping hard when the sudden knock on the door startled him. He sprinted off into the bathroom and fixed his hair before answering the door.
“Hey Nat, ready to go?”
“Yes, you look very handsome.” Natalie flashed a beautiful smile.
Wes grinned back and told her she looked beautiful; and she did. She was wearing jean shorts with a dark green polo that complimented her skin very nicely.
There were about twenty people at the bonfire; Wes only knew two, Natalie and Khadijah. His shyness took over and he was a shadow to Natalie for the most of the night. Once some of the guests started to leave, Natalie took Wes over to the side. She explained her mixed emotions, and Wes wasn’t sure how, but they eventually ended up in a very deep conversation. They were now sitting on the sand, Natalie leaning on Wes’ shoulder. He didn’t mean to but for an unknown reason he told her all about his previous drug dealing days. Natalie’s reaction wasn’t as he expected. She didn’t freak out or yell or scream, she just gently touched his arm and asked if he wanted to stop. He answered yes; his answer surprised him. He hadn’t been planning to stop, but somehow in this moment nothing mattered more to him than Natalie. He drove home that night in a blur. He had not told her about Chris’ past, though he was sure she assumed it. He sent a text message:
“D.L. I’m leaving the drug dealing business. Sorry.”
His phone vibrated.
“Okay. Good luck. – D.L.”
Wes was shocked at Bigram’s acceptance of him leaving the business; shocked, but happy. He didn’t even try to think about why Bigram would let him leave with no resistance, it didn’t matter. He went to bed that night with a smile stretched all the away across his cute face. He and Natalie had decided they would leave the beach the next morning, seven days early. During those next seven days, Natalie and Wes watched movies, went to the mall, and eventually convinced Natalie’s parents to allow her to transfer schools. Their willingness stemmed from a knowledge that she had had a tough time adjusting and making friends at her previous school but they could see she was truly happy with Wes. On the last night before the beginning of their senior year, Wes called Natalie and told her to walk outside her house.
“Why?” Natalie asked.
“Aw, just come on Nat.”
Natalie walked outside to see Wes sitting in his black Jeep, a rose in his hand. She smiled as she walked toward him and accepted the gift.
“I have a question for you.”
“Okay, what is it?”
“How would you like to be my girlfriend?”
Natalie blushed and answered excitedly, “I’d love to.”
Wes grinned and kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll pick you up in the morning for orientation,” and he drove off.
Both lovebirds had a hard time getting to sleep that night. They laid awake in bed each person thinking of the other, filled with hope and love.
Wes arrived at Natalie’s house bright and early and she was already waiting for him on the steps. Even in her school uniform Wes thought she looked amazing, and he told her so. Wes purposely drove slowly to school just so he could spend more time with Natalie. When they saw the Breckenridge High School sign, Natalie let out a groan. No one was ready to go back to school after such a thrilling summer. As a gentleman should, Wes walked swiftly around the car and opened Natalie’s door for her and carried her books into the building. Natalie felt important and beautiful as she walked into her senior year linked with Wes. He made her feel special, like a princess. Wes felt special, too. He was proud to be able to show off the most wonderful girl as his own. He grabbed her hand as they walked into the auditorium where orientation was to be held. Their moment of pride and beauty and love was interrupted by a look. The look came from Chris and both Natalie and Wes realized that they had completely forgotten about him. Wes could feel Natalie’s grip tightening on his hand and he squeezed back as if saying, “Don’t worry, it’s okay.”
“Hey man! What’s up?” Chris grabbed Wes up into a huge bear hug. Rumors spread fast; Chris already knew of Natalie and Wes’ relationship.
“Not much man. Glad to see you again.”
The boy’s conversation would have lasted longer but thankfully the principal instructed everyone to be quiet and sit down; it was time to begin orientation.
Natalie, Chris, and Wes were once again in their old seating position, Chris and Wes on either side with Natalie in between. Natalie tried not to show the excruciating awkwardness she felt being squished inside the boys. She felt Wes’ hand brush her leg and her nerves calmed slightly. Orientation lasted only one hour; most students yearned for it to end, but Natalie wished it would last forever. This way she could avoid talking to Chris.
Unfortunately for Natalie, orientation flew by. The first day of school only lasted until twelve o’ clock, so she just had to stick it out for three more hours. For the first two periods, Natalie, Chris, and Wes all had different classes. However, during the last class of the day, Chris and Wes were in the same English class. For the first time in forever, Wes appreciated the strict manner of their English teacher, Mrs. Austene. She did not tolerate any talking whatsoever. They were given their first assignment in the class, a 700-word paper on their adventurous summer. Chris and Wes exchanged glances and Wes could tell Chris was infuriated with him.
After school, Wes found Natalie and they hastily left the high school. Simultaneously, they breathed a sigh of relief; no confrontation had occurred with Chris. The ride home was silent except for the music and the time Natalie’s phone vibrated.
“Who’s calling?” Wes asked.
“No one, it’s just a text message.”
“Oh, who from?” he was curious.
Natalie opened the message and turned her face from Wes to hide her perplexed expression. It was a message from Chris.
“Hey Nat. I know sorry isn’t enough but I am. I am sorry for leaving you and all the pain I must have caused you to feel. I never wanted to hurt you, trust me. It hurt me to leave you. Please meet me at Shepherd’s Park at 5:30 tonight by the huge oak tree next to the tire swing. I’m not asking for your forgiveness, just a little of your time. – Chris.”