Stuck Between Two
Author's note: Came up with the inspiration when I went beach camping last summer.
Hidden ContactChapter 2
Shelah lead me back to the house after a couple of minutes. When she set me down on a chair, I closed my eyes. A flashback of us over came my blurry vision. We were out there, by the water.
The sky’s blue today. Brayden has been my everything since he’s found me. He came running back to the water with two bottles of soda. Sunkist for me, Fanta Orange for him.
“Here you go baby,” he said.
I kissed him. “Thank you.”
“Don’t spill any in the water. We don’t want to contaminate the ocean.” He grinned.
He’s a funny guy. He was always so concerned about the needs for others. I mean, since I met him, he’s always seemed like that really handy guy. One who thinks about everyone else but him damn self. And I guess that’s why I was around. To be concerned about him. Even though he proclaims to tell me that I have nothing to worry about, I feel as if I do. Like I’m supposed to take care of him.
He took a sip of his soda and choked. Before I could even ask if he was okay, I started busting up laughing. And he was coughing pretty bad when suddenly, he bent down and bumped his head against mine.
“Oww,” I said calmly.
He jumped up. “S***! I’m so sorry Payton.”
I just laughed it off. It really didn’t hurt that bad.
“It’s okay, I’m alright.”
He kissed my forehead and rubbed it a little.
“Are you alright?” I asked. Finally coming around to see if his choking was going to kill him or not.
“Yeah, I’m fine. But are you okay?!”
“I couldn’t be better.” I smiled.
But we both knew that we could have lived without him bumping my head.
I woke up on a bed. The room didn’t look to familiar. Defiantly not one I’ve seen before. I opened my eyes carefully and saw Ashley next to me. She smiled.
“Hey you,” she said.
I sat up on the bed, struggling to lift myself up because I felt terribly weak.
“Hey. Where are we?” I asked.
“Heaven,” she said in this angelic voice.
“Really? Heaven’s nothing like I expected it to be.”
She laughed. “I’m joking. We’re at Tiffany’s’ house.”
I screamed. Ashley slapped my arm, pretty hard.
“Shut up!” she said. I covered my mouth with both hands. In between, I mumbled, “sorry.”
“What are we doing here?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Shelah told me to bring you over here so the guys carried you. That little girl wants to talk to you.”
I remembered I hadn’t eaten at all. Dylan made this delicious smelling hamburgers last night and I didn’t even eat. I didn’t even know I fell asleep!
“Well, before anyone talks to me, I want some food, please. I’m starving.”
She smiled. “We’re already on it girl. Shelah, Amber and the guys are in the kitchen cooking.”
I gave a little cheer. “Goodie! Oh, I can smell it, it smells bomb!”
She laughed again. I must have been really funny to her.
“You really must be hungry because they’re cooking at our house. You can’t smell anything over here, crazy!”
I frowned. “Dang it.”
Right then, the girl, Tiffany, came into the room, smiling.
“Hey girl, I’ll let you two be,” Ashley said.
She stood up from the edge of the bed, walked out and closed the door behind her.
Tiffany looked exactly like you. Except, of course, in a girl version. She had brown hair, curled, pinned back with a clipped flower. She was mildly short. Beautiful. Just like you. She smiled. I smiled back.
“Hey Payton,” she said.
“Hi,” I said.
She took a seat on the chair beside the bed. Tiffany was very still. Entirely quite. For about three minutes. She had her eyes pointed at the floor. She finally looked up, smiled, and began talking.
“He’s missed you, Payton.”
When she said that, a complete lift came off my shoulders.
“He’s missed you, a lot.” I let her talk.
“He’s always talking about you. But it’s so hard for him. He doesn’t know what to do.”
“He’s alive,” I ask.
“Yes, of course he is.”
“Where is he?”
“Gone,” she said, looking down again.
“Is he here?”
“When will he be here?”
“He’s not coming back Payton.” She looked up again.
The lift came back. The tears came back. I realized I’m an emotional girl. Where are you Brayden?
“He wanted me to give you this.”
She pulled out an envelope from her back pocket.
I took it from her. I began to open it. She stopped me.
“Don’t read it yet. Wait until I’m gone.”
I set it down. “Okay. . .”
She got up. “Don’t go looking for him Payton. He’s not coming back.”
That was the last thing she said to me. And then she left. Who is she anyway? How you do know her?
As she left, Ashley came back into the room. She glanced behind her to see if Tiffany was standing there. She wasn’t.
“Come on, food’s ready,” she said.
I jumped right off the bed and ran quickly down the hall, out the door. My bare feet hit the burning sand. So I couldn’t help but to run down towards my house before it started to sting.
“Ouch, ouch, ouch,” I muttered.
Bacon, sausage, eggs and biscuits overwhelmed the house with a heavenly smell. I have never been so hungry before in my life. I threw the letter on the counter and grabbed a plate.
“Whoa there buster, here,” Austin said as he snatched the empty plate from me and handed me a full one.
I smiled, “Thanks, you’re a saint.” I gave him a friendly kiss on the cheek. Hopefully Ashley wouldn’t mind. I dug in, and I dug in quick. It was delicious! I ate it to the very bone and nobody disturbed me at all. Once I finished and got up to put my plate in the dishwasher, Brody snatched it from me and did it for me.
I thanked him.
“Did you enjoy it?” he asked.
“Absolutely. Especially the bacon, my favorite.”
He smirked, “Glad you liked it, I made it.”
I laughed. “Very delish.”
I turned and went to go get my suitcase from the car where I last left it. When I opened it though, it wasn’t there. I closed up the car and looked around to see if I might have left it somewhere. It was nowhere to be found.
“Ashley!” I yelled. She came running to my side.
“Yeah?” she said.
“Have you seen my suitcase by any chance?”
“Oh yeah!” she remembered, “I took it up to your room. Come on.”
She made her way back into the house and up the stairs.
“We noticed there was one empty room and none of the rooms were yours so we gave you this one.”
It was a decent sized room. For me. She made my bed and emptied out my suitcase for me. I gave her a big hug.
“Thank you so much. You guys have been awesome!”
She smiled and hugged me back.
“It’s the least we can do for such an amazing friend like you.”
I let go and went over to the dresser where she had set my clothes. I grabbed a completely new outfit.
“So everyone’s going down to the beach today. Did you want to go?” she asked.
“Yeah, but I’ll be down in a little bit. I have a few things to take care of.”
She nodded, “Alright, see you down there.”
She left my room, so I changed. After I did so, I remembered you had given me a letter. And I needed to read it. So I ran downstairs to grab it from the counter. And when I did, I opened it immediately, took it out, and unfolded it. And you said:
It’s me again. Hi. It’s been a year. A complete year. With a brand new cause. And brand new things. I’m always thinking about you. Tiffany let me know you were back in town. So I just absolutely had to write to you. You probably forgot about me. I could imagine you probably moved on and have a boyfriend. And who knows, you probably don’t even remember me. Maybe you’ve forgotten about us and don’t remember what we did last summer. And how much it meant to both of us. How much it meant to me at least. I know you’re getting this letter and I could imagine you’ve only been here for two nights, but that doesn’t mean I’m around, because I’m not. I sent her this through an email so she could print it out and give it to you. Tiffany had only gone over to your place to make sure it was you and immediately she let me know. I miss you Payton, a lot. Oh yeah, so you don’t completely freak out, Tiffany’s my niece. My brothers’ daughter. Him and her are spending the summer there this year, since that is originally their house. They own it. Anyway, about me. I’ve been alright. You’ve been on my mind every single day since I walked out the house last time you saw me. It’s been hard. And yes, I’m still alive. I’ve been working for my grandpas’ construction business and I do part time work as an animal trainer at the zoo. Exciting, right? I haven’t gone to college yet. I’m just not ready to. I haven’t had a girlfriend, I can honestly say that for sure. I’ve been a good boy, ha! About the boys, they’ve been good. Chad and I keep in contact from time to time, if you were wondering about him by any chance. Ha! Again, just kidding. I guess he has a new girlfriend. Nick and Lacy are still together though. They’re going on two years. Good for them. I’m living on my own. Not too far from where you’re at now but not to close either. I know it’s easy to say, “Well, if you miss me so much, why don’t you just come see me while I’m here,” if you’re even thinking that at all. But just like last time, it’s not that easy to explain. And I still can’t do it over a letter. Maybe one day we will meet up again. Who knows? Let’s not rush into the fact that you’re a beautiful and amazing girl. Because you are, Payton. And I would die to see you again. But I’m a little too busy with work and stuff. Hopefully you’re still doing well and keeping up your goals in life. This must be your graduation trip. Congrats young lady and welcome to adulthood.
That’s it? That’s all you had to say to me? Really? I couldn’t even believe it! Wait, why the hell am I still trying with you if you won’t even come damn see me! So guess what I decided to do? Write you back. I ran up to my room to get my laptop. I decided to write it there. I let my computer load and then clicked on Microsoft Word. I began:
I don’t know if you’ll get this or not. Hopefully you do. It won’t be too long, but hi. It’s been awhile. I read your letter. Thanks for that. But the funny thing is, I didn’t feel anything for it. It kind of surprised me, considering you had been on my mind every single day since the day you walked out that door. I really appreciated that . . . not. Why the hell can’t you just tell me what’s going on that’s keeping you from coming back? Do you not understand how much this is ruining me? My whole entire senior year was s*** because of you. Because I couldn’t get over what me and you had done. And I swore I wouldn’t admit this to anyone or myself ever again, but you completely changed my life and I had to get rid of it. Whatever that means, I don’t know how else to explain it to you. Hopefully you understand or else that’s for me to know and for you to never found out. Because obviously you’re more concerned about work and other things then trying to figure out how maybe I have been and been feeling. But no, obviously not like you care, the least. I’m sorry if this came off completely rude. This was definitely not the way I wanted to start the first conversation me and you have had in over a year. But I’m upset Brayden and you don’t get that. I’m in love with you and I’ve been hurting every single day.
I was considering not saving it and deleting everything I had just written. It did sound a little rude if you ask me. But I mean, it was all true! And you definitely needed to hear this. So I ran over with my laptop to your house. I knocked. Tiffany answered.
“How can I help you?” she asked.
I panted for breath, then said, “I need Braydens’ email. I have to send him something.”
“No can do. I’m not allowed to give it out.”
“Fine then. What’s your email? I’ll send it to you so you can send it to him.”
“Let me type it in.”
I opened it up to the sending page and let her type in her email. Why can’t you just let me speak to you head on, damn it!
“There,” she said.
“Thanks. Get it to him ASAP, please!” I said.
Before I got completely out of her view, I turned around.
“Oh yeah, Tiffany, you’re beautiful,” I said. She grinned. I thought she ought to know that. After all, if you’re truly a beautiful person inside or out, then you should know that. It’s a wonderful thing to embrace in beauty.