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He drove threw the mountains. Down the steep hills, in toward the valleys. Braving the rocky paths like he had done so many times before on days just like this. The crisp smell of the clean air assaulted the silver car. Fog rolled over a mountain in the distance, while the bright sun poured its gold into every crevice of the valley.
As he drove deeper into the valley, he loosened his grip on the steering wheel. I will see her soon, he thought to him self. He knew exactly where to find her.
As he entered the town, he noted the peaceful green scenery of spring over taking all the land. Flowers bloomed, while crystal dripped from their petals, the only evidence of last nights light rain.
He parked his car in the parking lot of a coffee shop. Her favorite one. She said it was because of the shops mismatched décor and their peppermint hot chocolate. He checked the time on the dash. It was 8. He walked into the coffee shop and ordered one peppermint hot chocolate from the tired and obviously hung-over college girl.
He sipped his drink slowly and waited. She would come. This was how their meetings usually happened.
She walked out the front door of her dorm building and out into the sugary smell of spring time. As she walked down the street, she pondered at the blooming flowers with crystal dripped from their petals, the only evidence of last nights light rain.
She hugged her shirt to her self, wishing she had brought a sweatshirt.
When she walked in she looked just how she always had. Her hair was laying in thick, wavy pieces down her back . Her face looked pinker then usual. The dew of spring and the mountain air suited her well. She was wearing a thin purple t-shirt with jeans and her old converse. I wonder if those were the ones we wrote on together during senior year. They still had the unmistakable bright green laces tied on each shoe. But she wouldn’t have kept them, probably just switched the laces.
I walked in, right up to the counter and greeted Kelli, and ordered a peppermint hot chocolate. While I waited I drummed my finger tips and leaned on the counter. Kelli set my drink on the counter and collected my money.
I turned around and scouted for anyone I knew. That's when I locked eyes with him. He sipped his drink, most likely peppermint hot chocolate. It was always our favorite. I slowly walked toward his table then sat down next to him on the thick velvet couch. I gripped my hot drink with both of my hands and glanced up at his face. A strand of hair fell in front of my eye. I reached over to brush it away but his hand rose up so quickly, and brushed it back. His fingers tucked it behind my ear then lingered on my cheek for a longer moment then needed. I leaned into his gentle touch and reached my hand up to rest on his stubbly cheek.
Her hand was soft and smooth again the skin on my cheek. I closed my eyes . She was exactly what I needed. Her love. All of her.
I left my hot chocolate on the table and placed my other hand on his neck. Twisting the hair at the nap of his neck, I looked at his face. Since when had we gotten so much older. I still felt like the 15 year old girl I was when we met. He was 16 at the time. He was adorably geeky. But that’s what had made us friends… and for me --- more.
When she placed her hand on my neck, a sickly sweet sigh escaped my lips. All my thoughts, cares, and insecurities, and problems slipped in that one sigh. Leaving my lips and escaping into the fortress of the morning air. When I opened my eyes hers where on mine. Her brown eyes shifted back and forth over my face. Those eyes. They were a trance. She just looked at me.
Her eyes were pleading. She knew what would happen. Exactly what always happened. And It hurt. But she also wanted it to happen. She was begging me to love her just as much as she was pleading with me not to.
I released my hands from him. We left our hot chocolates on the table, to busy to throw them away. I pushed outside and into the light morning air. I clasped onto his hand like it was a lifeline. I only gave him it back when we reached the car. I opened the driver side of the car and slipped over the driver's seat to the passenger seat. Just like I always did. He climbed into the seat and turned on the car.
I turned out of the coffee shop and down the road. To our spot.
He traveled to our spot, like he always did. I looked out the window as the green trees flew by. I thought about the morning classes I was missing. How much longer could I go on like this?
I slowed down as I reached the spot. It was a little grassy hill in the middle of a field. No one was around for miles. As I looked out the window the long grass swayed in the wind. The air felt more chilled out in the windy field. I looked over at her.
I looked over at him. He stared at me, almost like he was looking into my soul.
I reached out my hand and ran my finger tips around his jaw bone. He placed his hand on top of mine, pressing the palm of my hand into his cheek. Then he leaned in with his other hand and lifted my chin up .
Using her chin I lightly and cautiously pulled her forward. She was my secret.
His lips. They tasted of his typical chap stick he always wore. Still the same kind as usual. While his lips pressed against mine, my head whirled. I felt light headed, and lovely. He was my secret.
I pressed my lips harder against her's. She bit my lower lip and tugged on it slightly. That was all the encouragement I needed. I devoured her lips, closing more and more space between us as the seconds passed.
His lips moved furiously with mine. I moved backward over the middle compartment and into the back seat of his car. All the while, our lips never left each others. He pushed on top of me and I snuggled under him. He reached for his shirt as I reached for mine. We fumbled to make contact. We could never be close enough.
We could never be close enough. I reached a hand up and placed it under her head, smoothing her soft hair. I released my lips and gazed at her face. She looked worried but then she changed and wrapped her arms around my neck and her jean clad legs around my waist. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and she wanted me, just like I wanted her. And with that…
…he kissed me.
I twisted a lock of her hair around my finger. I was sitting in the back seat but all the windows were down now so the sweet spring air drifted in. Cooling our skin. With her head hidden in the hood of my sweatshirt, which she now wore, she nestled her head against my chest. I twisted the escaping lock around my finger again, thinking about home. She snored lightly and curled up tighter when a gust of wind swirled around the car. Although she was fully dressed she still looked freezing. I shifted her a little so I shielded the wind and she sighed in her sleep. The same sigh I had. I could almost see the troubles drifting away. That's when I held her closer, remembering when she was once mine.
When I awoke it was getting late. It was almost sunset. Had I really slept like that all day? I peaked from under my hood. "Hey" I managed to croak out.
"Hey to you too." He smiled down at me. Why couldn’t it always be like this? I cradled his hand in mine for a minute before entwining our fingers together and examining them.
"Since when did your hands get so big?" I asked a little puzzled at how this geeky kid in high school had grown such rough man hands. And a man body to go with it.
"Have I ever told you..." He paused, thinking over his word choice, "how beautiful you truly are."
"Don’t. " I snatched my hand away. "You can't. Don’t do this to me. " My eyes started shining with deep tears. "I'm always here for you, you know that… but do not… pretend for one minute your not still involved with 'her'."
She was right I couldn’t forget about 'her', but for this moment I just wanted to stay here lying with the only girl I wanted. Why do I always screw things up and hurt her. It sounded good in my head. When I was with her I turned into the dark knight. I turned into what I always hated. I was a lying, cheating, and horribly- in- love person. I'm such a horrible person. But I love her… I think. Do I? Can I? Questions raced through my mind and I couldn’t keep up. Why do I keep screwing up? But what about…
I moved away from him and sat in the front seat. He did the same and climbed into the driver side. He turned on the car and rolled up the windows. The beautiful field was only a sheet of glass away but it felt like more. As the window rolled up, I felt my heart ice over.
I pulled up to her dorm building. She rose up out of her seat but I caught her wrist. She looked at me with the same pleading and wanting face she always wore around me. I pulled her in and passionately kissed her lips. Why do I hurt everyone? .
When he let me go I was shocked still. The electricity of the kiss melted my bones. I felt like Jello. I will miss him. Why do I keep letting myself get hurt? My gaze turned to ice. "Now run along, go back to her. I'm sure she's worried now." His face fell. I slammed the car door shut. This was nothing new, but somehow every time I see him I keep thinking that he will fall in love with me too. I keep hoping, that he will leave her. That our little breaks from reality will exist forever. But for now I will wait. I get hurt every time. But these stolen kisses make living and waiting for him worth it. He will realize it. He will. I hope. Then I began to tear up… just like I always do.
My phone started ringing. I reached into my pocket and answered the phone. It was her. She was on the phone. She was bawling her eyes out and sniffing hysterically. "I'm so sorry! Please I'm so worried about you. I can't believed we fought. I never should have kicked you out. I was being such a horrid person. Please come back! I miss you so much. Everyone misses you! You better get home quick. Where are you?" Calm down honey I told her, everything will be fine. I told her about my short trip into the mountains. "What where you doing there?" She snorted at the idea of the mountains. She always hated the outdoors… and mint hot chocolate. Just visiting friends I cooed at her. I soothed her with my sweet voice as I continued my journey home. To my life.
But not to my mint hot chocolate girl with the beat up converse with the green laces. I was going home to my real life. The one where those sweet desires can never work. I was going to a place far away from the mountainous college town.
I was returning back to my home, with my girlfriend at my apartment. But the sad part was that I wasn’t sure I was even happy in my "home" anymore.
I knew as soon as I stepped out of the car she would call him. She always does. Then I feel like the shameful little one day stand that I am. I'm just the old girlfriend he can run to when his real one gets mad at him. And every time I fall for it. I fall for it. But I know he loves me too. That's when the tears come. Just like they always do. They dribble down my cheeks and across my puffy lips. The lips that he was so recently kissing. I felt torn apart. Why can't he leave me alone? I wiped at my tears with the back of my hand. That's when I realized I was still wearing his sweatshirt. And he smelled of mint and chocolate.
When he got home I ripped open the door and jumped into his arms. "I'm so sorry! I will never do it again. I don’t even know what we were fighting about? I was just so stupid. I hope you didn’t miss me too much!" I threw my head back and laughed. I sniffed his neck. "Honey, you smell good. Like mint and… a hint of chocolate?"
"I know". He replied. "I do."