|The Roads That Lead Us
Author: Renata Pheonix PM
Brock felt as if fate had led him to Oakley; however, the roads that lead them to one another was long and winding and filled with heartache and sorrow.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 6 - Words: 13,412 - Updated: 10-26-12 - Published: 06-30-12 - id: 3037547
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The blood that ran through Brock's family was traditional as the way he lived his life. His hazel eyes with flecks of amber and green had been passed down from his mother's side of the family from past generations, and his stocky build had been passed down from his father's side. He hadn't noticed that he managed to live his life similarly to his parents. He lived in the same small town in the mountains of Tennessee as his father and dated the purest blonde young women that exited without the promise as they entered.
As he did every year, he stood behind a snow cone station as his father and mother sold lemonade nearby. Nothing ever unexpected happened during Fourth of July, but Brock felt as if something was going to change. That's when he noticed a young woman in line. She had fair-skin, white blonde hair, and soft brown eyes that exceeded his expectations. He could easily imagine a relationship with her as he scooped the shaved ice into the paper cone. He poured the yellow pineapple syrup over the ice before handing it to the man in front of the nameless girl with brown eyes.
Brock smoothed his white t-shirt and nervously ran his large hand through his thick brown hair. He straightened his posture as he examined the girl. She wore a bubblegum pink sundress with frills on the straps and a silver ring that read "Love Waits "on her ring finger on left hand.
"I'd like a strawberry snow cone please," she said with a soft southern twang.
"Sure thing," he replied with a bright smile as he scooped the ice into the white paper cone. He had the burning desire to learn her name, but he needed to be smooth. He would sound creepy if he just asked for her name even though he had never seen her before in his life. "So who might I be making this for?" He asked awkwardly. She bit her bottom lip and pushed her white blonde hair behind her ear.
"I'm Kaitlyn," she responded.
He poured the pink syrup over the shaved ice. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Brock," he answered before handing her the finished product. She muttered simple thanks before turning away. As she began journing through the yellowed dried grass, he called her name.
"Look, I get a break in half an hour," he called with all the bravery he could muster, "Would you like to hang out?"
"Sure," she said with a simple nod. "I'll be back." She flashed a small polite smile before walking away.
As Brock continued making and selling snow cones, he wondered how pursuing Kaitlyn would affect his future. He only had a few relationships that lasted longer than a few months. She was pretty, pure, and fit the mold for the ideal woman. He was athletic, charming, and witty. Clearly, they were a match better than Shakespeare could write.
Kaitlyn returned to the snow cone stand. The bright pink lipstick seemed brighter than when Brock last saw her. Her mascara was thicker and bright purple eye shadow rested above her eyes. "Hi," she said as Brock's father, a short man with big grey eyes and brown hair, approached.
"Are you ready for your break?" his father asked.
"Yeah," Brock replied. "I'm going to hang out with Kaitlyn for an hour. I will see you later."
"Alright," his father responded.
Brock walked around the stand. He followed the blonde, who had a gentle smile on her long face with a low jaw line, and watched her nervously play with the silver band on her finger. He wished he knew what to ask her. He dug his hands into his pockets of his denim shorts as he walked with the ease of a carefree teenage boy. He hoped she couldn't sense his heart slamming violently against his ribcage.
He looked down at her. She was at least six inches shorter than him, and he couldn't figure what grade she was in. "What school do you go to?" he asked warmly.
"North High," she answered.
"Really, how come I haven't seen you before?" he asked.
"I don't get out often, and I was a freshman last year," she responded. "What about you?"
"I'm a junior there," he answered. Brock absorbed every word she spoke. She was only a year younger than him and a devout Baptist. She pledged her life to living a chaste, Christian lifestyle. Although she was an ordinary girl without any spectacular interests, he thought she was special.
The hour slipped away like sand dripping through an hourglass. He pulled out his cell phone out of his pocket and pressed a small rectangular button on the side. A small groan escaped his lips when he noticed the time. He needed to get onto the other side of the park and make snow cones until the sun set. "I'm sorry, Kaitlyn, I've got to get back to work. Are you going to be here for the fireworks display?" he asked as he slipped his phone into his pocket.
"Probably," she answered.
"I'll find you," he said before running back to the stand where his mother handed a small blue snow cone to a small child. Her long dark hair fell over her shoulders. He noticed his father was back in the conditioned trailer of the lemonade stand. His mother placed her hands on her hips."Where have you been?" she asked.
"In the park," he answered as if the answer was completely obvious. He scooted behind the stand as his mother gently shook her head while muttering something under her breath.
"Whatever, I'm going to find your sister," she replied.
Brock kept his focus on selling the frozen treats until the sun began to set. The hues of pink, yellow, and orange, that painted the sky, seemed to match the color of Kaitlyn's dress. He smiled as he visioned sitting beside her on a bench as they watched the colors and bright lights dance in the night sky. Only an hour separated them from a magical appearance.
The vivid warm colors that once filled the sky changed to a royal blue. As his family began to sit down in the lawn chairs in front of the snow cone station, Brock escaped and desperately hoped he would find Kaitlyn. Unfortunately, there was a sea of town citizens, laying on blankets or sitting in lawn chairs, which flooded the park. Parents were chasing children, and old couples were holding hands as they sat in their lawn chairs, He continued on and ignored a large Labrador that was barking excitedly as the boy passed. He stopped and realized he wasn't going to find her. As he caught his breath, he felt someone tap his should ever so gently.
He turned around to see Kaitlyn. "I found you," he said jokingly. A small blush crept along her cheeks despite the confused expression.
"Yeah, let's find a bench," she suggested although Brock doubted there would be an isolated wooden bench; however, he did not express this concern. They searched through the crowd of people and the two playgrounds, but every inch of ground was covered by some child running. They found a hill and journeyed to the top. They could see the entire park from the hill. Brock sat down and leaned back in the soft green grass.
"It's perfect," he said peacefully.
Kaitlyn sat down beside him and drew her knees up to her chest. She merely nodded as she pushed her straight hair behind her ears. They heard a large "crack" as a firework exploded in the sky, and for the time being, everything was perfect.
Oakley had one rule: defend and retaliate. Only a few times had her voice erupted like a volcano and sent shivers down her enemy's spine. She was a small girl with dark red hair, that used to be dark brown, and wore rectangular glasses. She had a smooth complexion and was a naturally quiet person. Judging by her behavior, she wasn't anything to be frightened of; however, she was not afraid to fight or put someone in their place.
Therefore, she was not the type to confide in others. Whenever she felt someone even thought they were "getting close" to her, she ran without daring to look back. She could never belong to the person she was closest to, and she trusted Oliver more than she should. There was something about his bright blue eyes and short dark brown hair that seemed warm. He had the body shape of a panda and was as white as snow. He was her best friend and co-worker and was the only one to give her a sick sense of security. He was engaged and would never belong to Oakley, but he had said that he couldn't marry anyone who hated her; therefore, she had got the impression that he would always be by her side like a dog.
She sat in the passenger seat of Oliver's car and looked outside at the dying yellowed brown grass. There were vibrant pinks and oranges in the sky that caused the puffy clouds to be lined with purple. It was another beautiful middle Tennessee sunset; however, she couldn't truly appreciate the natural beauty that surrounded her. She wished she could silence her screaming mind, but she was unable to steer her attention from the event that occurred a mere hour ago.
"How'd it go?" Oliver asked.
Oakley had always appreciated that Oliver was generally interested in her life, but she did not want to answer him. She knew if she didn't answer, he would find some way to pry it out of her. "It was fun until, you know, Derek showed up," she answered with a casual shrug.
"Oh, what did he say?" he asked, a tad too curious, as he looked over at the girl curled up in the passenger seat. Her blue eyes seemed to be locked onto the dying grass and the grey asphalt of the road. Her calm expression did not portray any inner emotion.
"He said that he saw me as a sister, and he wanted to 'remain friends.' I find it ironic his explanation for dumping me is a standard breakup line," she replied nonchalantly. She had a feeling that her refusal to get intimate with Derek was part of the destruction of her five month relationship. She was more upset that she was unable to end their relationship.
Had she been smarter, she would have avoided Derek as soon as she realized she didn't need him. He didn't take her to her junior prom under imperial command from his mother. They had temporarily broke up and reunited before she went on a two-month vacation to California. Then, he began to devote all his time and energy to a trading card game. So many times, she asked herself if being with him was worth all the disappointment, but she never found a reason to leave.
She felt the car come to a start. They parked in the high school parking lot. "Are you ready to go?" he asked as he leaned back in his seat.
"Yeah, I guess," she responded. She gave a weak smile. "Thanks for everything."
"Just let me know if you need anything," he replied warmly as she opened the car door. Just outside the navy blue Honda Caliber, band students were exiting the band room and conversing in front of the red brick school. With a small forced grin, Oakley joined her sister, a taller girl with dark curly hair, on the cement ramp outside the school.
Although Oakley would never admit it, not to Oliver or her sister, she was lonely. She tried to ignore her emotions through her minimum wage job at a fast food restaurant or hanging out with friends; however, the feelings of loneliness and rage attacked her as she lay in bed. As soon as her head touched the pillow, she thought of everything she wanted to say. She wanted to call him a "ball-less coward" and a "complete waste of time". If she realized he didn't care about her, she would have broken up with much sooner.
She decided love was a waste of a time. She was certain she didn't truly love Derek, and she deluded herself into believing into a fairy tale. Every boyfriend she had was a self-righteous coward. She would not be lonely or committed. She pulled out her cell-phone and knew exactly who she needed to talk to.
Between late November of last and mid February of the previous year, she had been casually been seeing a guy, named Andrew, from work. Sometimes, she would meet him at the bowling alley. Although she didn't have any talent for the sport, he could throw the ball and the bowling pins would explode and fall to the waxed floor without any difficulty. He wasn't particularly emotional except when greatly irritated or depressed, and she admired his ability to handle his emotions. She had been infatuated with him. They had texted one another every night when they were together and remained friends. She was never sure why things ended, but she didn't mind asking him to hang out.
She stood outside the local Wal-Mart. As soon as she saw a small white boxy car and the young man, wearing a pair of aviators, driving, she felt the heat rise to her face. He exited the car and approached, and she realized they had never hung out as just friends. She dug her hands into the pockets of her dark wash jeans and began to shuffle her feet.
"Hey," he said in a surprisingly kind tone.
"Hey," she answered with a genuine smile.
After he deposited his check in the small bank beside the Wal-Mart bathrooms, they headed into his car. Neither of them had any idea what to do, or where to go, or where the road would lead them. The car vibrated from the booming bass and the conversation. Even as he drove through a dangerous neighborhood that contained small shabby houses surrounded by wire fences, Oakley felt oddly comfortable except for impending fear that they would get shot. "Where do we go now?" he asked.
"I don't know, but we should be good as long as we get out of the ghetto," she answered causing him to laugh.
They decided to go to a nearby park. He parked in front of the playground. A few children were running about and climbing the jungle gym as the parents watched them from afar. Oakley and the young man exited the car and walked down a steep hill. From the hill, a small pond surrounded by trees that a cement sidewalk lead into a small secret clearing with a large rock, big enough for a person to lay on, and a rock big enough for someone to sit on.
He laid down on the large flat rock. His hands were rested underneath his head, and one leg was crossed over the other. She sat on the rock as comfortably as if it was a chair, and they talked. They discussed ttheir failed relationships. He had been involved with a married mutual friend. The expected psychosis and jealousy eventually drove them apart. They were two lonely souls that needed someone to ease their pain. She found herself curled up near his outstretched arm.
"Well," Oakley said coyly, "we could be lonely together."
"That we could," he replied as he put his arm around her waist, and Oakley didn't feel as lonely anymore; however, she knew, like everything else in life, the feeling was only temporary.