Chapter 2Once I could think straight, I walked though the hallway and into the kitchen. Sitting at the table was my mother, eyebrows furled, and arms crossed.
“Kathleen Hayes. Where have you been?” She gave me the ‘look’. The one that only moms can pull off. The one that means you cannot end this conversation until you explain yourself.
“At the pond.”
“The pond in the woods? By yourself? That’s very dangerous. You should understand that.” Slowly my reasons for running there in the first place began to return. I decided that I needed to end this conversation as soon as possible and that lying would not help me do that.
“It’s fine, I’m fine, that’s all that matters. Okay.”
“Katie, the way you have been acting lately is so, so unlike you.”
“I know, I know but I have a feeling that things will be getting better soon.”
“I hope so. Why don’t you think about how to make those changes happen while you clean yourself up. You smell awful.”
“Okay mom. Will do.” I turned around and walked through the rest of the house into my bedroom. I felt like my entire world had changed since the last time I had been in here. I turned on the shower and got I letting the pond water run off of me. I tried to think about all that had happened that day but my thoughts kept returning to Ryan smiling. The entire rest of the night, through dinner and my homework, all I could think about was how Ryan walked me home, and hoped to see me at school. Just everything. I could feel all of predetermined judgments of our return back to Virginia melting away. And for once, the idea of going to school on Monday, just two days away, excited me.
The following day, I busied myself to keep the day from dragging on, which it did anyway. When I had done everything that I could possibly think to do, I took my physics book and went to read on the roof. There was a part of our roof that was flat which slanted upwards from all sides. My brother and I occasionally went up there to talk and study. Determined to pass more of the day I focus on the words in the textbook. But my mind kept returning to who I would be seeing at school tomorrow. Part of me understood that excitement would, in the end, only hurt me more. However, the other part won and I allowed myself to be excited anyway.
The next thing that I knew, the sun was setting and my brother was climbing up next to me.
“Did you know that you have been up here for about,” he looked at his phone, “six hours?” Austin was two years younger than me, but we had a very close relationship. Unlike other brothers and sisters that I know, we rarely ever fight. I could tell him anything and he told me everything.
“Great. Well, I must have just lost track of time.” I started to prepare for the climb back down when Austin grabbed my arm.
“So what happened yesterday? You left unhappy and came back with the attitude that everything was going to work out.” I looked down and focused on the grainy look of the shingles.
“Nothing happened.” I looked up at Austin who raised his eyebrows. “Okay, well I felt like I needed to get away, so I started running and……” I proceeded to retell the story of my run and meeting Ryan. When I finished Austin was silent.
After a few minutes, he said “So did you go swimming?” He laughed.
“Is that really all that you got out of that story?”
“Sorry, so you met this guy Ryan. Ryan McNabb?”
“I don’t know what his last name is. He never said.” Austin looked at his phone.
“Mom’s calling me. We should probably get down.” I led the way from the roof and back onto our porch, where once again my mother was waiting. After scolding us, we ate dinner and I promptly went off to bed. As I fell asleep, I relived my running. It was almost as though I could feel the wind blowing back my hair once again. And suddenly, there I was, dreaming, but running into Ryan’s arms.