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A Different Type of Love

I woke suddenly, drenched in sweat and dripping with tears. I choked a sob, wiped the saltwater from my eyes, and checked the clock. It was a few minutes before my dad usually woke up, so I turned on the lights and started to dress for school. Black tee, skinny jeans, the usual. The dream I had had stayed with me; I just could not stop thinking about it. Which was most definitely not a good thing. I shook my head to clear it as the family started to putter around. It would not be good if Mom saw me moping like this and asked why. I was not in the mood to have to explain something I wanted to forget in the first place.

I started to put on my makeup. I generally don't wear a lot; my friends say I'm pretty anyway, and my boyfriend Ryan once said (before we were together) that he hated it when girls wore a lot of makeup. Today, though, I drew on eyeliner extra thick, and decided to forego my magic lipgloss. The grape lip gloss was magic because no matter how much I used, it always was just as full as if it was brand new. It was like a good luck charm. Instead of that, I caked on a layer of seldom used purple lipstick. I didn't mean to, but it was like the dream was influencing my mood.

I couldn't drive yet, so I had to ride the bus. I was already plugged into the "Feel-Good" playlist on my iPod by the time I walked out my front door. It was still dark outside, and all was silent as I leaned on the STOP sign next to the bus stop. "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz was slipping sweetly into my head, and it helped me to relax, but only if I pictured Ryan singing it to me.

The bus pulled up noisily, and it startled me out of my reverie. Tears sprang to my eyes, but I pounded them back. I could most certainly not let the ruthless teens on the yellow school bus see me cry, see any weakness. It may sound harsh, but that's how things were. I sat at the seat behind the heater so my frozen toes could thaw, and stared out the window without taking in any of the oh-so-familiar terrain. The dream kept haunting me, haunting me, and I was starting to feel glad that I was wearing all waterproof makeup. I tried to keep from snuffling while the tears poured out, but my efforts were only half-hearted. No one cared about little old me.

When the bus driver pulled up to my school, I raced to the cafeteria, where my best friends would be waiting. And hopefully my boyfriend. I was such a mess that I forgot Ryan had gym during breakfast, and ate while we were in first hour. When he wasn't there, standing with my friend and her boyfriend, I nearly choked.

I didn't get the chance to see Ryan 'till after second period, when he was waiting by my locker. I flung my arms around his neck, but I didn't kiss him. I think that surprised him more than the mega-hug did.

"What's up, babe?" He sounded a bit worried.

"Don't ever leave me," I pleaded.

"Uh..." But I was relentless.

"I don't care if you break up with me tomorrow, just don't ever say you hate me. Don't ever leave me. Please?" I had started to cry again.

He patted me on the back awkwardly. "Yes, baby. I'll always be there for you. Always." He was finally decisive. I sniffled some.

"Promise?" I sounded like a toddler.

"Yes, beautiful. I promise"
***
High school graduation


It was after we had gotten our diplomas. Both Ryan and I were dating other people, but we were still the best of friends.

"So, Ryan, where are you going for college?" I asked nonchalantly. When he told me, I was startled.

"I'm going there too!"

He chuckled. "I know. I chose there because you're going there."

"But why?" He had mystified me.

"Because," He had a twinkle in his eye, "I've got a promise to keep."



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