Author: queenwallflower PM
A boy and a girl coming to terms with their past and try to build a future together. Memories, pain and time are never kind to those who look back upon them and try to build something out of the rubble.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 7 - Words: 14,016 - Updated: 10-25-12 - Published: 10-09-12 - id: 3064476
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He is here.
HE is here.
What the heck! My heart has picked up double time and I feel my face heat up as I start to process that face that He is here. What is HE doing here? Well duh, Liz, of course he is here. He lives in this town, he is friends with Rae. He is your ex. He is the guy that you can't seem to get out of your mind. The group of girls chatter has started to pick up as they realize that He is heading over here. I glance at Bimbo and I can tell she feels smug that she caught his attention. Maybe she did, I don't know, it's to late to duck out or pretend that I didn't see him. Damn. Well here goes nothing. All the girls stop talking and Bimbo steps forward, her back to me, to great him as He enters the group.
"Hi. I'm Brittney." She says in a sickening sweet voice. I can just imagine rainbows and cotton candy spewing out of her mouth when she said that. I actually laugh out loud when the image comes to mind. I quickly go silent as all eyes, including His, turn to me. So much for not getting noticed. He starts to open his mouth to say something when someone grab's my arm and yanks me in the opposite direction. Feeling thankful, I go with them and I see it's El pulling me to the back of the room.
Once we're hidden in the shadows, El's concerned face looks me over. "You okay? I mean you and –"
"Don't. And yeah, I'm okay. I knew this was going to happen, I just wasn't expecting now you know?"
"Yeah, I don't know what Rae was thinking." El said, glancing around looking for said friend.
"It doesn't matter, we said we were going to be friends and the roads been tricky yeah, but we need to get over the awkwardness." I reasoned.
"You sure? I mean we can just slip out the back and forget all this?"
"As tempting as that is, I just want to try to forget about it for as long as I can. I need to face him sooner or later." EL still looks worried. Trying to change the subject I ask, "Hey you know, I'm starving. Aren't we supposed to eat at this thing?"
"Year, Rae said something about serving around 7:30, so anytime. Want me to go get her to make the announcement?" El asked unsurely, she still doesn't think I'm alright.
"Yeah, I'll go with you."
I risk a quick glance over to Him and Bimbo and see she's talking his ear off, and he actually seems interested. Jerk. El skillfully weaves us through the room to find Rae in less than 30 seconds and in another, Rae somehow has the whole room silent.
"Thank you all so much for coming. I know that this was a bit of a last minute thing, but who doesn't love dinner, drinks and friends?"
The crowd laughs along with her.
"Well if somehow you don't know why you were here, you are here to celebrate the return of one of my oldest best friends, Liz, back to town and the fact that she's here to stay!" She looks over at me and smiles, and I feel all the stares in the room and once again heat up. I try to play it cool and smile back at Rae who is now laughing at me, cause she knows how uncomfortable I am. "So here's to Liz" She raises her glass and the crowd follows, "we're glad you're back and looking forward to good times ahead!"
"To Liz!" Everyone shouts, and takes a drink as I awkwardly smile around the room, not feeling worthy of any sort of toast.
"Let's eat! Everyone sit down at the table, food should be out soon!" Rae shouted out and everyone began moving towards the large, long table set up for about 30 people. As Rae approaches me I feel my face return to normal and I poke her shoulder, "Meanie"
"What? I just toasted you!" Rae looked shocked.
"Do I seem to be the toast type of girl to you?" I asked.
"No. But you should be. Maybe I'll start toasting you everyday so you start getting over your fear of attention." She threatened. I shoot her my death look but she remains unfazed and pulls us to our seats.
Rae had put me at the head of the table, with herself on one side and Anna and El on the other. I glanced down the long table and looked over the people and felt my eyes drifting to the right and landing on Him. I quickly avert my gaze and listen to Anna's chatter about her job. Thankful that He didn't catch me staring, I keep myself from looking over there all throughout dinner, which passes quickly with my friends filling up the silences with stories and gossip about those who were at the dinner who I didn't quite know. Soon people are finished eating and groups start getting up and leaving to head home. When the numbers dwindle to around 10, my friends included we start to gather our purses and talk about how we are all getting home. Of course I've notice that He hasn't left yet. And thankfully Bimbo is no longer hanging off him, not that I'm jealous or anything. I'm not.
As I'm talking to El, I notice Him get up with a friend of his I recognize and the head toward us, and I give El a look consisting of help-me-my-ex-I-can't-seem-to-forget-is-headed-this-way-and-I-need-you-to-save-me. Thankfully she understood.
"Hey guys you heading out?" El asked them. I think His friends name is Gabe.
"Yeah, I'm giving Gabe a lift home" He says, looking at me for some reason. And I realize this is the first time in months I've heard his voice. Man, I'm pathetic. Grow a pair Liz. And of course, I just stand there and nod in response.
"Cool, so we'll see you around then?" El asks, trying to speed up the process.
"Definitely." He feel him give me one last look and I stare at the ground, and I hear them walking down the stairs.
Anna rushes over, "Liz..." she starts.
"It's fine Anna, I knew this was going to happen." I tell her, or maybe mostly I tell myself. She looks concerned and I try to brush it off by asking where Rae is.
"She's down paying the bill, so we just have to meet her down there and that's that." El responds.
"Right lets go." Walking to the door and down the stairs.
We said our good byes out on the street and made promises to meet up again this week to hang out. I climbed in my car and turned on the engine. I take a deep breath before pulling out, trying to gain some structure back in my mind that was sent into chaos during the dinner. Instead of heading home I decided to drive around my hometown to get my mind off things and to see what's still left of it or what's new and improved.
There's something so strange about coming home, everything looks more or less the same, yet everything feels different and I realize, after awhile, that it's me that has changed, not the town. I can't figure out whether or not that's comforting. Change is something people and society value, but we only value "good" change. Have I changed for good? Can you even measure that? I struggle with the idea of good change and bad change and decide that I'm much too tired to have an internal debate about my good and bad selves. I finally find my way back to my house and as I park my car I see a figure on the steps to my apartment and I can't quite make out a face, I just know it's not Rae, the figure is way to big to be. I exit my car, taking my time, maybe they'll leave if I move impossibly slow. I start to head towards my door, at the sound of my footsteps, the figure looks up and I freeze. It's Him. Again. Really? What in the world is he doing here? Relax Liz, it is not, not a big deal. I take a deep breath and restart walking slowly towards him, trying to think of things to say but coming up empyt, as I get to the porch he starts to stand up. I just stop a few feet from him and throw him a questioning glance. Best to let him start talking first so I don't sound like a total idiot with nothing to say.
"Hey" He says, bringing a hand up to rub the back of his neck, which he always does when he's not sure of something. Like being here, on my apartment steps. I wait a few seonds to see if he is going to add anything to the very vauge "hey."
And... nothing. He's looking anywhere other than me. I cant take it.
"What are you doing here?" I finally blurt out, as I try to read his expression for any clue as to why he would be here.
"Well, I came to see you actually"
"Really?" I question, "I saw you earlier at the dinner" still confused on where this is all going.
"Yeah but that was stupid, I didn't get a chance to talk to you at all"
"Don't let Rae hear you say that." I laugh, scanning his face trying to read him and failing like I always use to. After a moment of awkward silence, we both start at the same time,
"Look it's late—" Me.
Him. "Want to have coffee—"
Silence. We both look away from one another.
"Coffee?" I ask. "You hate coffee."
"Yeah, well things change I guess." He responds.
"Yeah, they do don't they." And we both know we're talking about more than coffee. 2 years worth of change that a person could go through more specifically.
"Well do you?" He asks again. And I'm torn, reflecting on all the mixed signals and feelings whirling around in me. To go or not to go. It doesn't seem like it should be that big of a deal, but it is. It's like the first move of a chess match, it seems so small and insignificant, but it could totally come back and bite you in the ass if you're not careful.
Last time, I listened to my brain and it fucked me up pretty good. This time I figured, I should go with my heart, "Sure. Starbucks at 10?" Who said I hadn't changed?
He smiled at me, "Sure thing. I'll see you then Lizzy." And I watch him back away and get into his car. As he drives away.
I whisper, "See you then Taylor" and head inside to my bed, looking forward to pleasent dreams of a certain boy that I just can't seem to forget.