The One Thing I Regret

I sat there on my neighbor's couch, bored out of my mind.

They were having a family get-together for some reason or another, and my mother and I were so close to them, they considered us family as well.

The only problem with these get-togethers is that there was mostly adults there, so there was no one for me to talk to. And what made matters even worse was the fact that their grandson, Collin, was there.

He had been my best friend for many years. I don't really know what happened to our friendship though. It just sort of faded away for some reason. Him, me, and this other guy Mark used to hang out all the time. We'd always have so much fun and they'd often try to get me to laugh. I don't understand why though, considering how annoyingly high-pitched my laugh used to be.

After being friends with Collin for a few years, I found out that I liked him... A lot. I tried to consult one of my girl friends for some advice, but she wasn't much help. Then one day, Mark had to move away. Then Collin began to visit less and less frequently, until eventually, he stopped coming at all. I was absolutely crushed, but there wasn't much I could do.

I began to reminisce about all the times we used to hang out together and tried to figure out why exactly, our friendship had ended.

"Gennifer." My mother said softly.

"Hmm?" I snapped out of my flashbacks and looked up at her. "What?"

"Collin is going to go for a walk. Why don't you join him?"

My eyes widened and my cheeks grew hot. I shook my head. "Uh, no that's okay!" I said a little too quickly.

"Gen, I think you should go. At least you wouldn't be bored."

I frowned. "But mom!"

She narrowed her eyes at me.

I gave a sigh. "Fine."

I got up from the couch and began to awkwardly walk over towards the door where Collin was standing.

I snatched a lock of my hair and began to twirl it feverishly–-a nervous habit of mine.

"Um, hello." I said to him in a quiet voice, avoiding eye contact with him.

"Hey." He said in a somewhat deep voice that he had gotten after our friendship ended. Even though it was foreign to me, I liked his voice better now than when we were younger.

Butterflies danced around in my stomach and my cheeks grew even hotter.

"Ready to go?" He asked.

I nodded. "Yeah, let's go."

He opened up the door and we walked outside.

It was a chilly autumn day and the sky was a dark gray. The storm had ended a little while ago, but it left evidence that it had been there everywhere.

The bare naked trees were a dark, dark brown. Leaves of yellow, red, and orange were glued to the pavement of the driveway. Miniature rivers flowed down around the leaves, forming puddles at the base of the hill. Water dripped off all the buildings.

All the buildings of the apartment complex were so crappy looking. They were all painted a light blue, but they needed a new paint job since all the paint had started to chip off. My friends and I would often peel pieces of it off when we were bored or waiting for someone to come outside.

We walked down the walkway awkwardly and slowly. I stared at the ground, still trying to avoid eye contact with him.

The silence between us was really bugging me. I had to say something or else I would go nuts! "So um... How are you?"

He shrugged. "I'm alright." He mumbled, "You?"

I nodded. "I'm okay."

Some more awkward silence. Well that was a nice little conversation....

We began to walk down the driveway towards the mailboxes at the base of the hill.

I wanted to tell him my secret so badly. I wanted to tell him all my feelings for him that I had been hiding from everyone for years. I wanted to ask him why our friendship ended, why he stopped visiting his grandparents', and so many other questions. I couldn't bring myself to voice any of these things though.

The only person– and I mean the only person– who knew about these feelings, was my friend that I mentioned earlier. Not even my mother knew about these feelings, and I always told her everything!

We passed where the driveway broke off to the left for cars that were leaving the complex, and headed towards the right where the cars would enter the complex from the road.

I looked down at the huge lake that was at the bottom of an even steeper hill than the one we just walked down.

The lake was so beautiful. Often, when I needed time alone to think about something, I would sit on top of the hill and stare down at it.

"Gen!"

We stopped and looked back towards building nine. My friend Mindy was standing outside waving at me.

"What?" I shouted back.

"Come here!"

I bit my lip and looked up at Collin. For the first time in years, I made eye contact with his beautiful emerald green eyes. "I... er..." My tongue was twisted and I couldn't form words.

"Go on." He said

I frowned. "Are... Are you sure? You don't mind?"

He shook his head. "No, go ahead. It's fine."

I stood there for a moment, torn between staying with him and going to see Mindy. I wanted so badly to get out of this awkward situation, but I also wanted to stay with him and talk to him. This will probably be my only chance to confess my love to him. What would he do though? Knowing my luck, he would probably reject me just like every other guy I liked had. But then again, he might not reject me and admit that he too liked me all these years. Oh, what to do?

My stomach churned as I finally made my decision. "Okay." I turned away from him and started to run over to Mindy. With each step I took, the guilt of leaving him grew heavier and heavier.

We went into the warmth of the building and went into her apartment.

I began to take my shoes off as her mother poked her head out of the kitchen. "Hey Gennifer!" She said

"Hello." I said and looked up at her. "How are you?"

"Pretty good. How are you?"

"I'm good."

I left my shoes by the door and followed Mindy into her room.

"I'll be right back." She said and walked out.

I stared at the curtains that covered the glass doors in her room. I gently pushed the curtain aside and looked outside. Collin was sitting at a bench all by himself in front of the lake.

I bit my lip. "I'm sorry Collin." I whispered. "I should have told you."





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