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Just One Glance
The melting snow crunched beneath my feet, causing me to wince with every step. I frowned at my boots. The box had said "Virtually Waterproof! H2O has got to go!" Payless is a liar.
I looked up from my damp shoes and wished my sister would've given me a ride home. Sighing sadly, I glanced across the street. Nothing but clouds and gray, outdated pavement. Absolutely nothing except-
That glance changed my thought path entirely.
Tyler was walking, too.
The once-crazy-in-love-with-him part of me said, "Go tell him that you're still in love with him. Maybe he'll want you back, too!" But the smart part of me said, "Keep walking. Be oblivious. Ignore. He isn't worth it."
I stood there for a moment, thinking of everything we'd been through…
Three months earlier
"Alyssa, guess who asked me to the homecoming dance!" I had squealed.
She gasped. "No way. Tyler?" I nodded fiercely. "NO FREAKIN' WAY! This is so awesome. We should double. You and Ty, me and Jason. Shut up! He did not ask you!"
"He did!" we both screamed. "Now, I'm thinking dress shopping has to get done this Saturday. Otherwise, all the good dresses will be gone. I don't want to end up in some skimpy pink thing no one else is willing to buy."
"Saturday, then? Oh, Ashlie, I can't wait!" cried Alyssa.
"Yeah. Oh, and he asked me to dinner on Friday night. Do you think he wants to be my boyfriend?" I grinned hopefully.
"We'll see. I bet you end up going out with him. So, let's talk outfits for Friday night."
We giggled down the hallway, discussing all the different looks I could go for. I eventually ended up buying a sea green blouse, a pair of jeans and a hat. Why is that important? It isn't. But I spent $47.78 on that jerk for our first date.
Two months earlier
We walked out of the theatre, interlocking our fingers. It was a chilly October night, the sun fading gently over the horizon. I liked his fingers in mine. It felt good; felt safe. We were laughing for no reason, and it was beautiful.
"That was the worst movie I've ever seen." Tyler said, though he seemed happy enough.
"Well, the plot was predictable, to say the least." I smiled up at him. ”But I had fun."
"Me, too. I really just enjoyed being with you. You're more interesting than any cheap Meg Ryan movie I've ever seem," he put his arm around my waist as we walked out of the theatre. I never wanted him to let go.
We walked towards our homes. We lived only a half a block away from each other, and just a mile from the theatre. It was silent, save for a stray breeze rustling the trees above us.
We weren't speaking, but I knew what we were both thinking: This was perfect. If only this could last forever. This was everything I ever wanted, needed, hoped for.
"Uh, I got you this," he broke the silence and handed me a jewelry box, tied up in a red bow across the blue velvet. I unwrapped it as he watched nervously. Encased was a gorgeous silver necklace with a "T" hanging from the chain.
"It's gorgeous," I was breathtaken. He leaned in, his tall figure towering over me. I kissed him longingly and deeply, every ounce of my affection in one kiss.
That was the last happy memory I had with him.
One month earlier
We stood in my kitchen, arguing. He was frowning at the linoleum floors; I was glaring at his angelic face, burning with red-hot fury. I had caught him kissing my sister on the couch, locked in an annoyingly close, intimate embrace-something even we hadn't done.
"Don't be stupid. I don't even like her. I mean, she's hot, but come on, baby. I love you," he sounded so convincing. I wanted to believe him. But it didn't change what I saw.
"Doesn't change the fact that you were making out with her on my own couch. I don't think you should do that, especially at my house, on my couch, with my sister. And does it matter if you like her or not? What if I started kissing every guy in school? Would you-"
"Get over it," he snapped.
"I will not get over it. And why my sister? You can't just leave anything in a stupid skirt alone!"
"I was waiting for you, actually. And she just happened to be around, so-"
"Oh, is that how it is? You see a pretty girl and think she's yours for the taking, even though you have a girlfriend. And then you just-"
"Shut up, Ashlie. Who cares? I'm pretty sure-"
" I care!" I practically screamed at him. "If you want to go out with me, you can't be kissing other girls. Specifically, girls that are in direct relation to me!"
"Well then clearly we shouldn't go out!" He stormed out of my house, his blue eyes angry and heartbreakingly pleading at the same time.
I cried in my kitchen, waiting for him to come back.
One week earlier
I was still thinking about him. I didn't want to let him back into my life, but I knew I loved him. I loved him a lot. I couldn't think of when I'd started loving him, but I did. It had been nearly three months since he first asked me out. Yet, I didn't want him back. I couldn't be with him anymore. He was not for me either.
Those thoughts ran through my head as I stared out my bedroom window, maybe hoping he felt the same way. I played with my necklace, the one with a "T" on it. It was my last reminder of him.
The moment I saw him across the street
I don't think he'd noticed me. He at least wasn't ogling at me.
I still didn't know what I should do. And if I was going to do anything, I had to decide now.
I had to.
I loved him.
But he was walking away.
"Hey, Tyler!" I called.
He looked over, then looked back.
And just like that, I knew I wasn't getting anywhere. I couldn't let him ignore me after all this. But I definitely couldn't get back with him anymore.
"I'm done with you," I said to him, much too quiet for anyone to hear. I took off my necklace and dropped on the ground.
The rhythmic crunch of the snow continued under my shoes, and I was free.