Blue skies of 2nd chances
HarperAfter weaving in and out of the smaller groups of people Jessica and I had made it to the opposite end of the boardwalk, only to see why the park was becoming so deserted. A raging storm of black and blue was beginning to brew above the ocean and coming straight for us. As bad as I wanted to leave before the storm hit, Jessica gave me every reason in the world not to.
“Jessica seriously let’s gets out of here. I don’t want to end up looking like a drowned rat tonight at Rack’s Bar!” I say grabbing her by the arm and pulling towards the parking lot. But she stands as still as a concert statue.
“No, just wait a few more seconds they said to meet them here. They promised they would be here on time, they are late. I swear men are worse than women when it comes to being on time!” She unknowingly blurts out.
I spin on my heel and smile crossing my arms, typical Jessica can’t keep a secret if her life depended on it. “Who’s supposed to be here?” I ask scrunching my eyebrows together.
She smiles sheepishly “Well…” but before she can answer I spot the only two people I know standing in a small area of the boardwalk that is bare. Scott and Nick are standing side by side, arms full of stuffed animals that they must have won at the game booths. I catch their attention by jumping up and down and waving; they notice and give me acknowledgment by giving a quick typical guy nod. Jessica is still scanning over the few people that remain on the boardwalk.
“Is that who you were talking about?” I jerk my head in their direction.
She stands on her tiptoes to look past my head. Her face turns red in embarrassment as soon as she sees them. “Yep.” She says rolling her eyes, walking towards them.
“You guys are jerks I said to meet us over there.” She says pointing in where we had previously been standing.
Scott laughs dropping the stuffed animals at Nicks feet “Sorry we were having too much fun watching the two of you.” He leans in to give Jessica a kiss on the cheek, but is rejected badly when she turns away.
“Oh come on Jessica, it was just a joke. But if you would like I can make it up to you.” He whispers slowly slipping his hand down the small of her back.
Jessica squeals like a little pig “Scott, we are so not doing this here!” but in a way that makes me think that at some point of the night they are going to run off together.
“Well then how about we get out of here and go someplace else?” He asks, tucking her closer into him.
“What about Nick and Harper though? We just can’t leave them here. Rack’s Bar is nine blocks away. And with that storm coming we just can’t let them walk.” She says
Scott thinks for a moment. “We can take your car and Nick can take mine, that way we can have some alone time before the party tonight and they can do whatever they want. That fine with you Nick?” he asks tossing the keys to him.
Up until this moment I have forgotten that Nick is still standing there with two armfuls of stuffed animals.
“It’s okay with me if it’s okay with Harper.” He says looking at me.
“Yeah it’s okay with me.” I say zipping up my jacket and throwing my hoodie over my head
Jessica doesn’t hesitate “Great! Scott let’s get out of here!” she jumps on Scott’s back, and they head for the parking lot. Jessica turns around and yells out “Don’t forget, met at Rack’s around 10:00!” before they disappear behind a parked van.
The storm has gotten closer now, the winds have picked up, forcing a cold mist to come from the ocean. The dark blues and blacks have mixed, the clouds looking like they’re about to burst. Lighting spilts the sky in half, a rumble of thunder follows. The few groups of people that had been standing on the piere to watch the storm roll in had decided to make a run for their cars before it started to pour.
“Well if you want we can go get something to eat or if you want to do something different that’s cool too.” Nick says trying to rearrange the stuffed animals in his arms. I start to pick up the pile of stuffed animals that Scott had dropped when I hear another rumble of thunder. And just like always the rain begins to pour.
“Harper let’s get out of here!” Nick yells giving up trying to pick up the rest of the stuffed animals.
We run around the parking lot like mindless idiots for what feels like an hour looking for Scott’s new car. The rain and wind is making it impossible to see anything unless its two feet from our faces.
“Hit the panic button!” I yell to Nick spitting out water.
“I did!” Nick yells somewhere from my left.
I try and listen over the roar of wind. Somehow I hear a faint beeping noise to my right.
“This way!” I yell trying to find him.
“What way?” he says bumping into me.
“Grab my hand!” I yell pulling my hand out of my soaked hoodie. His hand wraps around mine, and it still feels the same, strong and warm just like the rest of him.
After sloshing through a couple more puddles we find Scott’s new orange and black hummer. It must be Scott’s very expensive eighteenth birthday from his parents. It still has the car dealer’s license plates and not even a scratch on it. Water is seeping into my cloth shoes, my hoodie is so wet that it feels like a hundred pound vest, my newly bought jeans are splattered with mud, and my hair is an absolute wet mess.
“Nick, hurry up!” wiping more rain from my face.
“I’m hurrying!” he yells trying to find the right key among hundreds. He finally finds the right one and opens the door to the hummer for me. Soaking wet and freezing cold I jump in and over the console into the passenger seat.
“Well this sucks.” Nick says shaking the drops of rain from his hair everywhere.
“Maybe it won’t last that long.” I say peeling off my hoodie.
“I doubt it. We could be stuck here for awhile.” He says looking out the windshield.
“I guess we should find something to talk about then.” I say pulling the visor down so I can assess how bad my hair really is. I let out a long drawn out sigh, it is as bad as I had assumed, my nicely brushed hair is now consumed by a wet blob that surrounds my face. I can’t do anything about it though since the hummer is a man’s car, which means no girl accessories what so ever. So I forget about it and flip the visor back up and look at Nick. He’s staring mindlessly out the window, the color in his face as drained away. I have a feeling where his mind is, but the question is if he knows he’s in that place right now, ever since the accident Nick has had a tendency to zone out.
“Nick?” I say gently placing my hand on his arm. But he doesn’t move he just stares into the sheet of rain. “Nick?!” I say again this time harder, prying one of his hands from the steering wheel placing it between two of mine. He jumps when I squeeze his hand, like he’s forgotten that I was sitting just inches away from him.
He looks away from the windshield down to our intertwined hands. He laughs under his breath “Sorry, I was just thinking about something.” He says looking back out the windshield.
“What were you thinking about?” I ask wriggling out of my wet shoes.
“It’s nothing.” He says looking at me, but his eyes tell another story. I just wish I could get him to talk to someone, and that someone might as well be me because we have practically grown up together.
“Nick, I know what it is, just tell me.” I say looking at him.
“It’s not that simple.” He says running his free hand through his black hair.
“Nick, you and I have grown up together our entire lives. There’s nothing in the world that you can’t tell me. “I say squeezing his hand harder.
He looks up at me one last time with his deep brown eyes, and tucks a strand of hair behind my ear.
“You’re wrong.” he whispers.