All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Two weeks ago, David sat in the last row of World History on a Tuesday morning at the beginning of December. He was thinking about his hungry stomach and the breakfast he had had that morning. Just two hours before during his free period, he had eaten two bowls of cereal, a muffin, and a bagel (b-a-g-e-l). He liked the word bagel. He liked to spell in general, it was one of the only things he was good at besides baseball (b-a-s-e-b-a-l-l), which wouldn’t start until spring. This was what he was still thinking about when Mrs. Hazen asked him for the essay on the French Revolution (R-e-v-o-l-u-t-i-o-n) he hadn’t written.
From the center of the front row, Kathryn turned her blonde head to see who would be dense enough to forget an essay assigned weeks ago. Seeing David’s dazed face did not surprise her. David was the epitome of idiocy and the largest reason why she despised the entire male gender. Mrs. Hazen was not surprised by the fact that David had forgotten and she proceeded to the front of the class to begin a powerpoint. Ragged notebooks and loose pieces of paper appeared on desks as students gripped cheap pens with chewed caps. Chewed caps were one of Kathryn’s biggest pet peeves. She turned her head in disgust as she reached into her leather tote bag and pulled out her Mac laptop. She opened a document and looks up at board expectantly, ready for notes.
David was busy weaving his headphones through his sweatshirt pocket. He reached into his worn out backpack only to turn his iPod on and switch to his favorite playlist. Staring off at the board, he pretended he was paying attention. It wasn’t too long into the class when he became bored and began shooting old candy wrappers up the row in an attempt to hit Kathryn in the back of the head.
Kathryn is a pretty girl, he wouldn’t deny it. But she was also the most annoying one he had ever met. She was smart and he was almost jealous of her intelligence, (i-n-t-e-l-l-i-g-e-n-c-e). What an awful word that was. It was so professional and conceited, like Kathryn. He would have been jealous of her if she had been different. For example, Kathryn had the social skills of a fifth grader on an elementary school playground. She was the type that insulted you for every little ignorant act you did. The thing was, no one ever laughed at her, probably because they were afraid of her, she did have an imposing presence that no one wanted to spend too long in. What was more was that it was easier to laugh at her. It was like there was a nine year old living inside her seventeen year old body.
The powerpoint was over and as Kathryn turned to put her laptop back in her bag she sneaked a glance at David. David wasn’t ugly, in fact most of the female population of the sophomore class had long since fallen in love with him. He had a nice smile and a friendly face unlike most of the other juniors who were hardened and “tough.” He wasn’t exactly ignorant either. Well he was, at everything except baseball. Red Sox Baseball. He knew every player on or who had ever been on that team. She had watched every now and then as he walked to Fenway nearly everyday after school. He never missed a game. This was nowhere near enough to be respected in her mind but at least he wasn’t a complete loss. To face the facts, he would never get a good job but at least he would always know how to have fun. She rolled her eyes as this thought passed through her very full brain. David was so easy to insult. He always had that dazed look of mild shock on his face and he was never at all useful to her, which, with her busy and important life could have been very helpful. David was just so immature and the most irritating part was, he probably didn’t know what that meant.
The bell rang for lunch and Kathryn was instead, watching in disgust, the greasy haired, gum chewing kids who were coming out of the lunch line carrying trays of revolting green beans and mac and cheese. She looked down at her own lunch and was pleased. Her salad was sitting in a small glass bowl on a pink napkin held in place by her bottle of Evian.
Her thoughts were interrupted, “Kathryn!” her name was being shouted from the other side of the cafeteria.
“What do they want me for?” Kathryn’s voice was oozing disgust as she spoke to Gabrielle, a friend sitting across from her. “It’s those scandalous, popular pinheads. I guess they think it’s funny to--”
Gabrielle jumped away from the table, “Watch out Kathryn! Hot chocolate?” It came out in a barely distinguishable, high-pitched scream. Kathryn whipped her gaze back to the boy walking towards her. Holding a cup of Hot Chocolate. About to be thrown at her.
At that moment, David pitched the cup just right and in a fluid motion, threw it away and strutted casually out of the cafeteria. He had absolutely no idea where he was going but he knew he had to get out (O-U-T). When the guys had dared him to shove the drink in Kathryn’s face, he didn’t do it because he didn’t like her. Well of course he had hated her in history that morning but most of his hate and teasing was only because he felt bad for her to the point that it was easier to make fun of her. He walked faster, excuses weren’t helping him. The truth was he had done it because that was his reputation and he had to do what was necessary to keep it up. Yet, his reputation was only part of his problem, he was stressed. He was holding up his grades, sports, friends, and without Dad there anymore, his family too. He needed to get everything out of his system and when his friends had proposed it to him he grabbed the chance (c-h-a-n-c-e). But now here he was standing outside the school in a t-shirt and a pair of jeans with his bag and coat and iPod still sitting in the cafeteria, he didn’t feel any better. Because he didn’t feel any better, and in fact he felt worse, he did not want to go back in there and he definitely did not want to see Kathryn. He turned, with his head down and his hands in his pockets and walked back into to school to face the effects of his insanity and the awful person he was becoming.
Kathryn now stood in the bathroom in an old pair of jeans and blouse she bought in freshman year. She knew there would be a day when the extra pair of clothes taking up all the room in her locker would be useful. Her face was still red and she put some more powder on. She wasn’t exactly upset, she hadn’t cried. She never cried, she had trained herself not to. Crying wouldn’t get her anywhere. It would show weakness and she had none of those, she didn’t think. She tied the plastic bag holding her new cashmere sweater which was now doused in hot chocolate with a knot. She would have to stop by the cleaners after school today but she doubted they could do anything about it. The sweater was ruined and that was really her only regret about the whole event. He regret was not terribly large though because it was just a sweater and she had worse things to worry about. She turned on her heel, her three inch heel, and went out to face the stares and the heartless people that had grown to populate this school.
The next morning, David got to history early, something he never did. He usually arrived quite late and he usually walked straight to the back row. But on this day, he walked straight across the front row and stood before the desk which Kathryn would come to sit at moments from then. In his hand, he held a note in side one of his mom’s stationery envelopes. He looked down at he name which he had written, not printed, written (w-r-i-t-t-e-n). Written was a professional word too but it was sincere, unlike “intelligence.” He was looking at the most effort he had put into anything for a long time.
He stood there, just staring for a long time and thinking about what was inside the envelope. He was thinking about the night before and how much he had thought about the hot chocolate matter. He had made a problem and his dad had always told him that when you did something wrong, you had to go back and try to make it right. And this is what he had come up with, this note. He had done what made most sense, he had written an apology. And he had meant it, every word.
He heard the clicking of high heels in the hallway and he knew it was Kathryn. He made a split second decision as she rounded the corner and sauntered through the door way. He crumpled it in his hand and plodded away towards the back row where he belonged (b-e-l-o-n-g-e-d). It felt so confining, like an insult, like he could never do any better than the last row.
As class went on, he tried to prove to himself that forgetting the letter was the right thing to do. Kathryn probably would have thought it was a joke anyway and one letter would do nothing to change her opinion of him. Why should he care what one obnoxious girl thought of him anyway.
“David!” Mrs. Hazen was yelling his name from the front of the class.
“David, you and a partner are going to be creating an oral presentation to give before the Holiday Break. Your partner will be Kathryn. I’ve already explained the directions so, I’m sorry Kathryn, you will clearly have to explain them to David again.” Here Kathryn rolled her eyes but Mrs. Hazen continued, “I will give you all the last 10 minutes of class to discuss with your partner how you would like to go about this project.”
David and Kathryn looked at each other. Neither one said a word. They waited for the bell to ring. With only seconds left until the bell, Kathryn decided that procrastination would get neither of them anywhere.
“I’ll meet you at the public library tomorrow after school. We have to walk, not together, so you have until 3:30 to get there.” The bell rang just as Kathryn finished speaking. She didn’t wait for David to agree, she just turned and left.
Tomorrow was Friday (f-r-i-d-a-y). Kathryn would be the kind of person to work on a Friday.
After school the next day, David took his time leaving. He still felt bad about not giving Kathryn the apology but he had no reason to impress her. He strolled off in the direction of the library nonetheless. He was starving as h*ll and he stopped at a vendor and bought a hot dog. As he continued down the block, he saw the library up ahead. He was now in the glamorous, ritzy (r-i-t-z-y), what a fake word, part of Boston and he felt out of place. He knew Kathryn had made him come here just to flaunt the fact that she, no doubt, often ate at these fancy restaurants and shopped in those upscale boutiques (b-o-u-t-i-q-u-e-s), the word was too french for him. David finished his snack outside and trudged up the stone steps to the huge door.
As he wandered through the large rooms, his iPod flashed the time. 3:31. His stomach gave a mild drop and he almost regretted eating the hot dog. When he finally found Kathryn, she wouldn’t be in a good mood. Formulating the excuses in his head, he walked upstairs. Kathryn wasn’t there either. Now he knew there was a chance that she had merely run into some trouble on the way here and been delayed but he also had this distinct feeling that those things just didn’t happen to ultra-competent people like Kathryn.
He tried to reassure his first thought, knowing that a hold up could happen to anyone. He knew the best thing he could do was to sit down at a table in the history section (which he did), do some spelling to clear his mind (which he did) and wait for Kathryn. So he sat. After a few minutes, his cell phone began to ring. It was his mother.
“David? David? Where are you? I hope you aren’t hanging around with those kid---” Her voice was high-pitched, the way it always was when she got aggravated. (A-g-g-r-a-v-a-t-e-d), that was the kind of word that was straight up. It sounded like a red-faced, angry, stressed, yelling parent: exactly what it was.
“Mom, I’m fine. I’m at the library.” (L-i-b-r-a-r-y)
“ ---You know I don’t like those--- You’re where? The library?” Her voice instantly lowered its volume and frequency, “Oh, well honey, I have to admit that’s a surprise to me, but if you’re enjoying yourself you can stay. Please be home by 5:00, I have a surprise for you and your sister.”
“Okay Mom,” He hung up the phone.
At 4:30, he was bored out of his mind and he wasn’t stupid, he knew what he looked like right now. He looked like that kid who was stood up on his first date. He didn’t know what kind of washout would go to the library on a date but he was positive the people that hung out at the here on their Friday afternoon were probably the kind of people who would find the whole situation logical (l-o-g-i-c-a-l).
Remy ran to meet him at the front door of the apartment. Remy. R-e-m-y. “It took you long enough to get home David!” Remy was David’s ten year old sister. She was a perky little thing and feisty at times. The two of them looked nothing alike. Remy had dark brown, perfect curls and her eyes were bright green. She got them from their Dad. David’s eyes were blue, so light they were almost clear and they always looked vague or uninterested.
Remy was now dancing her way around the apartment singing Animal Crackers in my Soup. “Remy would you please sit down and be patient?” her mother called. P-a-t-i-e-n-t. It had a nice flow to it. It was a wave, a calm one, that rushed over your toes and made you let go of you problems. David sat down on the couch.
“Mom hurry up, I have things to do,” He complained. She emerged from the bedroom.
“David I’m sorry but you’ll have to cancel your plans. A friend at work gave me three tickets to the Nutcracker at the Boston Ballet. I thought the three of us could go...” She trailed off because by that point David had slammed his bag on the ground and stomped down the hallway to his room. As he shut the door, he heard his sister quietly speaking to their mom.
“ I think it was a wonderful idea,” she remarked. “David just doesn’t want to cancel his plans, he’ll fix everything soon.”
There it was. He would fix things. That was his job and this was his sister. Always the ideal child. She never lied or got terribly angry with their mother. On a good day, he admired it. He wished he had that kind of tolerance and he was almost seventeen. She was only ten. However today he was just angry. Did his mom ever care to think that he might not want to go see a d*mn ballet, not to mention consider what his friends were supposed to think of him when he told them he was ditching them to hang out with his little sister. At a stupid little ballet (b-a-l-l-e-t), it was another glitzy french word. He knew his mom knew how much he hated the the theatre district with its gaudy lights (g-a-u-d-y), what a disgusting word, and posters of people whose images were photoshopped and who could never be that joyful in real life. On top of that, he had no idea what was up with Kathryn. What was he supposed to figure out. He didn’t think this could have been his fault. She made the plans and he went along. He had done everything she had said but he knew that on Monday at school she would think of something he had it and everything would be his fault again. F-a-u-l-t. He hated how insulting that sounded.
He also hated the sound of his door. It didn’t close right and whenever you tried to open it, it stuck and was hard to move. When you did get it open, it made a kind of squeak: the sound of wood on wood. His mother had been telling him to fix it for over a year now but he hadn’t ever seemed to get around to it. He used to like doing odd jobs like that when Dad was still able to do them with him. He used to call David that family’s Little Handy Man and it used to make David feel special. But Dad was gone now and so was that feeling. He didn’t have his Dad, and he was just like any other average kid.
As his mom’s stressed face came into view now, he knew what was coming. There would be the annoyance due to his “childlike behavior” (C-h-i-l-d-l-i-k-e B-e-h-a-v-i-o-r) and from that the comparison of him to Remy. Because no matter what he did, she would always be better than him. She would then rage on about how he some family time would be good for him and how he would go to this show no matter what. From the look on her face, he knew he would be stuck in his room for a while and the only way he was getting out was to go see this ballet.
“Why---” his mom started in on him right away.
“Fine,” he said. Giving in now would be easier than putting up a fight, he knew that well enough by no. He had, after all, been living with her his whole life. At this, however, she looked confused.
“I mean I’ll go...to the ballet.”
“David, I know it’s not what you want and that you already made plans but we’re losing track of each other.” She looked sympathetic now. David knew she meant what she was saying but he wasn’t in the mood for a heart to heart.
“Mom, it doesn’t matter. I don’t mind. I’ll just tell the guys I got sick or something.”
“Honey, listen to me. You’re so worried about school and I have so many new clients that sometimes I forget about being a family.” He knew that what she wanted to say was that she forgot about Remy. No, she didn’t forget about Remy, she forgot about the fact that she was only ten. She always acted so mature and out of all of them, she was the one that held the family together. She wanted to say that since Dad was gone, there was less and less time, money and light-heartedness to be spared, (s-p-a-r-e-d), it sounded like a shot through the heart. He had so much to say about this. Like the fact that they did so much to keep Remy happy that hardly anyone ever asked him how his day went or if he played well in the last baseball game. His mom seldom went to his baseball games. No one ever worried about him. W-o-r-r-i-e-d. And he didn’t mind that so much, he was used to it. And sometimes he wished they did. He could counter with any of these things but he chose not to.
“Yeah, Mom, I get it. Remy will love it. It’s a great present.” He forced it out but once he had said it, it didn’t feel like so big of lie. It was just one night and despite the constant comparisons to his little sister, he loved her more than anything. And he wanted more than anything, more than baseball, to keep her safe and happy. H-a-p-p-y. That’s something that only comes around once in a while.
“Thanks,” his mom said as she left his room, “And fix that door will ya?”
Remy spent the rest of the afternoon skipping around the apartment wearing her favorite dress, patent leather shoes, and her good coat. David was not nearly as excited, or nicely dressed. He wore his gray slacks and a nice sweater and he sat on the couch waiting for his mom to come out of her room.
His mom spent more time on her appearance now than she used to. He guessed it was to hide her feelings. She didn’t want people to know if anything was wrong. He knew because he was the same way. Life would go on as always and he would always be the class clown and she would always be the attractive woman with the happy life. She didn’t want people to feel bad for her and she definitely didn’t want them to take advantage of her. She was a pretty lady, at least he thought so. She had hair like Remy’s but it had a red tinge and it was shorter and had looser curls than his sister’s. Her face was calm and her eyes always looked a little sad now. David got his eyes from his mom although hers were a brighter blue, at least they used to be. Now that Dad was gone, they showed less and less shine.
It was almost 6:30 when she came out her room. She looked tired but carefree.
“Ready to go?” she asked.
“YES!” Remy screamed. His mom smiled and David tried to hide his as well. It made him feel good to see Remy acting like a kid. She didn’t have to be so responsible all the time.
At the theatre, David tightly held Remy’s hand as their mother navigated their way through the Opera House. Mrs. Keefe showed their tickets to an usher.
“Come with me Miss,” he said. He took them behind a curtain and down an aisle towards the stage.
“David. David! Do I really look like someone you would call ‘Miss?’” his mother said in a whisper. W-h-i-s-p-e-r. It was a quiet word, just like its meaning. He looked up at the usher who had to be about 80 years old and, judging from the size of his hearing aid, was nearly deaf.
“I wouldn’t worry about.” David caught a glimpse of his mother’s smile before Remy tugged on her skirt.
“Mom, are we really sitting all the way down here? By the stage?”
“Yes Darling.” At this, Remy’s eyes sparkled like they hadn’t in a long time. She flounced into the row the usher had directed them to and bounced down in one of the plush seats.
David sat on the aisle. Sitting in the third row, he saw no real way to sneak out to the bathroom when he got bored but he took the aisle seat anyway.
“I almost think he sat us in the wrong seats! I swear I don’t know Julia well enough for her to give me such good seats. She insisted that I not pay her a thing for them. What should I do David?” his mom whispered to him again as Remy admired the huge stage (S-t-a-g-e).
David, with his naturally casual air, was annoyed at this question but he also found humor in his mom’s constant worry. She was always on her guard. “Mom,” he laughed, “you want to know what I think? I think you should calm down.” She smiled ruefully at him. “Seriously,” he said, “enjoy the show.” She rolled her eyes and turned back to Remy who was tugging again.
It was nearly 7:00, the time when the performance was supposed to start. David, bored already, sat back in the seat with his eyes closed and waited for the performance to start. After what seemed like nearly fifteen minutes, he looked down at his watch. 7:02. He put his head back again. Why didn’t these things ever start on time? Remy was even getting impatient.
“Good evening,” a voice came over the loudspeakers, “and welcome to the Boston Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. Tonight, in recognition of the Boston Ballet School and the hardwork of its students and choreographers, will be a special performance in which all roles will be played by the student artists of the Boston Ballet. A full list of these performers can be found on the yellow flyer in your program. To highlight a few of tonight’s many up and coming artists, the role of Clara will be played by Jocelyn Wright, Zachary Stainback will be playing the Nutcracker Prince, the role of Cavalier will be danced by Gordon Bourgoin, and dancing the part of the Sugarplum Fairy will be Miss Kathryn Lovett. Thank you and enjoy the show.”
Now during this announcement, David had continued to doze off. He was thinking about a certain person and it wasn’t a person he thought of often, but one he had come to thing of increasingly more frequently. He was trying to unearth the meaning of being abandoned by this person earlier today. And so he did what he always did when he was confused or frustrated, he spelled. He slowly pictured the letters making up the name which had been on his mind all afternoon. And just as he finished spelling, the name he was thinking about was read to the entire theatre. K-a-t-h-r-y-n L-o-v-e-t-t. His eyes opened wide in shock. He must have imagined it, he had after all been dozing off.
“David!” His name being whisper-screamed yet again whipped him out of his revery. His mom looked at him, bemused, for a moment and then said, “You don’t think Julia gave me these tickets because she knew the show was going to be done by amateurs. What if it’s awful David? What if Remy doesn’t like it?”
“I’m sure it will be fine Mom, they wouldn’t let them on stage if they thought they would be awful. Be back in a second,” he said as he rose from his seat and briskly walked up the aisle. He burst through the of the bathroom and towards the nearest sink. Turning it on full force, he splashed frigid water all over his face (f-r-i-forget it, he couldn’t focus on spelling now).
Kathryn. Had he missed something? Had she told him all about this and he had forgotten or worse, did she think he would make fun of her? She had reason to, he had been the one to pour hot chocolate down the front of her. But why was he so worried? He hadn’t done anything bad. It was great that she had such a big part. So then why was he so worried. W-o-r-r-i-e-d, there it was again.
Kathryn had told herself she wouldn’t be this nervous. Yet she felt as though she was about she could be sick right there in the wings. The understudy was hurt and she was the only one who could dance this role. It didn’t matter if she was coughing up blood backstage, the show must go on.
On top of the fact that she was about to debut in a lead role at the Boston Opera House, she was thinking about David. How had she been so stupid to forget the biggest night of her life for a boy she despised. It was not like her to worry about unimportant matters such as other people’s feelings. However, right now she was overwhelmed with constant thoughts of the boy she had ditched at the library that afternoon. She was confused about why she was concerned about a person like David too. David was indisputably one of the most ignorant people she had ever met. In fact, he probably hadn’t even shown up and if he did he was probably happy that she had missed it. She had been going through this same argument with herself all through warm up and as she got dressed. She continued to think of it backstage throughout the First Act and Intermission. And it was David she was thinking about when took the stage for the first time that evening.
David would have spent the entire show in the bathroom but he didn’t want his mom to worry about him. Instead he tried to calm himself down. When he had finally started to breathe at a normal rate, he went back into the theatre. He waited for a break in the music and once he reached his seat, he sat with his hand over his face for the rest of the First Act.
“Where have you been?” his mom looked at him expectantly.
“I wasn’t feeling well,” her glare turned to sympathy. “I’m fine now. Don’t worry about it.”
At the beginning of the Second Act, she was the first one he saw. She hadn’t seen him and he intended to keep it like that. He put his head back down but his eyes wouldn’t leave their vision of Kathryn, perfectly calm, gliding and twirling her way across the stage. T-w-i-r-l-i-n-g. It was carefree and it was a side of Kathryn he had never seen before. Still as he watched her, he felt as though he were breaking some unwritten rule (r-u-l-e). It seemed he didn’t have the right to watch and admire a girl he had been so horrible to. And then in a rush of tulle and glitter, she left the stage. He sighed, relieved. Except something within hadn’t wanted her to go and that confused him more than anything ever had before.
It had felt so beautiful. She had felt so beautiful. She had felt so free, like there hadn’t been any rules. Except there had been one thing pulling her away from freedom, pulling her back to reality where she belonged. And it was that her ties with David were ruined, if there had been any in the first place. She had thought about it all day and for once in her life she couldn’t come up with a solution. The equation wasn’t balancing out. So she said good-bye to trying and did what she had always done. She had blocked it all out but this time had run so far from it that she had let herself go.
David had impatiently waited through the entire Second Act for Kathryn to return. He knew she had to because the small part she had just danced was nowhere near grand enough to have been announced at the beginning of the show. And when Kathryn did come back he didn’t even try to look away. He was completely in awe of her and he almost let himself go in her smile. But he couldn’t forget the confusion which had been plaguing him all day.
Then suddenly her partner left the stage and she waited in the corner for her solo music to begin. There wasn’t an ounce of fear in her eyes and wished he had something to be proud of. But he didn’t. He had ruined her. But the worst part was, she didn’t even care.
And this was the moment she had been waiting for. It was her solo, her feet had to imitate the delicate sounds of high-pitched bells and flutes as she leapt and turned effortlessly. Then there was the infamous turn sequence. That was what she had to focus for because if at any point during that long pattern she lost her concentration, all would be lost. The turns were so fast that would be nearly impossible to get back on track if even a small mistake was made.
Somehow, in all her concern about David, Kathryn did in fact find a way to focus on her pirouettes. She somehow made it through almost the entire sequence. It was almost, because on her last turn, Kathryn took her eyes off her spot. She hadn’t whipped her head and instead her gray eyes fell upon a certain pair of clear blue ones. With luck, she improvised the last few movements and posed, as was choreographed, in Center Stage. And she smiled like this was the best moment of her life. And it was. And it was also the worst because her whole existence was completely torn between total thrill and complete unknowingness. And as she smiled and held that last pose, her mind was happy but there wasn’t a part of the rest of her that wanted to be. And with all the courage she had, she glanced back at the eyes which she knew were David’s. But they weren’t there anymore.
David knew Kathryn had seen him and he couldn’t stay any longer. He didn’t know what was happening but before he knew it, he was forcing himself out of the theatre. He hadn’t said a word to his mother. What could he have said? He didn’t even know where he was taking himself.
It was cold outside but he had remembered to grab his jacket and he was glad. He ran. He didn’t think. He knew if he thought, his mind would go straight to Kathryn and that topic was too fragile at the moment. Yet, as he ran, he asked himself where he was going. He knew that somewhere he did know. But his brain wasn’t making connections right then and he knew that wherever he was going felt like the right place. Surprisingly, at this moment, he didn’t feel completely alone. He could feel his dad there with him. He had blocked out thoughts of him for months because he was gone. He was dead. And he wasn’t coming back and thinking about it didn’t help anything so he didn’t. However, right now he wasn’t remembering that his dad wasn’t with him anymore, all he was considering was that he was at one time.
Dad. Dad who had taught him to play baseball. Who had taught him how to spell. The one who knew him better than anyone in the world. Who had taught him mechanics and how to fix things that needed fixing. The one who had taught him that if he had the proper tools, he could make anything better. His dad was the one who had taught him about the Red Sox, about how everyone thought that 2004 was just another year. Just another year but it was one that made history because 9 guys went out on the field and they wanted to fix something that had gone on too long. And so when David looked up to see himself in the middle of Kenmore Square staring at a snowy Fenway Park (F-e-n-w-a-y), the most promising word in the world, he wasn’t at all surprised. He had come to the right place. And he was going to fix something because, he was Mr. Fix-It and at the moment, his life wasn’t working quite right.
As soon as the curtain closed, Kathryn was running. She wanted to block it all out like she always did but she knew she couldn’t this time. So she threw on a t-shirt and some slippers and ran. Kathryn knew exactly where she was going, she always did. Decision-making was one of her better skills. The problem was, she didn’t know why she was going there. It was just an instinct, but one she wasn’t used to.
So when she turned the corner onto Yawkey Way and saw that curly head looking at his feet as they wandered about in the snow, she almost jumped at her accuracy. She stopped short because she didn’t know what to do next. She wanted to run towards him but she knew that wasn’t a planned decision. What if he didn’t want to see her at all? He probably didn’t. But what if he did? What if he wanted to mend things too? She was becoming light-headed. She realized she hadn’t breathed in a while and took a sharp breath.
David looked up to see the only person he wanted to see at that moment. She ran towards him in her tutu and sparkle and she began to say something. She wanted to say a lot of things but all that came out was a high pitched moan. Before she knew it tears were running down her face and she couldn’t stop them.
He looked back at her and was so shocked and surprised and scared at the same time that he didn’t attempt to say anything, he just let her run to him. And then suddenly she turned and began to run away and he knew he had to say something.
“No,” It was barely a whisper but she heard it. She stopped and turned her head so slightly that he could just make out the gleam of the tear rolling down her nose. Then louder, “No Kathryn. Come back. Kathryn,” and here he stopped.
She turned around completely and opened her mouth and said the only words she could say. She didn’t even think about them she didn’t even know what she what they were, she just knew she meant them.
David knew what he had to say but he paused because he was scared of her reaction. But if he wanted to fix things, he had to say it. And he did. So at the same time, David looked into her gray eyes and said, “I’m sorry.” And without thinking she looked back into his blue ones and said, “I love you.”
Then they paused and stared at each other for a long time. And they thought about it. And being both dazed, they said together, “Why?”
David looked at her in deep thought and for a split second she knew he thought she was crazy. But she knew better than she had ever known anything else that she was sorry too. And that she meant, more than anything in the world, the three words she had just dared to promise him.
The tears were coming down Kathryn’s face faster than ever. And he knew that there was no “why” because it all made sense. Because he was in love with her too. L-o-v-e. Perfection, the kind that only comes around once in a lifetime.
And in one swift movement he lifted her, in her shimmering skirt. And he kissed her in the snowy moonlight. Outside Fenway Park. The place that lets you make mistakes but where you can fix them too. Where anyone can be a hero. Where anyone can fall in love.