Make This Feeling Go:
I had gotten the best birthday present anybody could have ever gotten – I got my family back. I was so damn nervous that day I found myself running in circles around myself, not knowing what to do, what to wear – if I should be early, on time, or late. I tried my best to tidy up my new, little house on the corner, thanking God as I cranked up the air conditioning a bit. I was still sweating, but it wasn't from the heat.
At one o'clock, I was allowed to go down to the station where they would be. Fletcher was going to be there, along with Ms. Lacy, the woman who took them away from me to begin with. I hated her for it then but that day; I loved her because she was giving them back. I didn't care about my birthday, so what if I was finally legal and could buy cigarettes? Trivial matters were the last thing on my mind.
At ten to one, I went outside. The thick, muggy air of summer attacked me, a shock from the cool atmosphere my house had provided. I had been working my ass off over the summer to be able to afford that place with three bedrooms. I told them that I needed three bedrooms and I didn't care about the price. After working doubles day and night, I finally saved up enough money to be able to afford the house for an entire year. It was small, but there was plenty for us – three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room and furnished basement with a good-sized backyard full of grass. I knew I had to continue to save my money, which was a change for me, considering I never even had a bank account until then.
I had gotten a job working at Mr. Fletcher's lawfirm. He had actually offered it to me and I, obviously, graciously accepted. I was surprised that he still wanted to see my face everyday. I was basically a secretary, keeping files in order, answering the phone, taking messages and going on coffee-runs for Fletcher, and the three other lawyers working in the building. I didn't mind. They were all nice to me. I wondered if Fletcher had told them about me, but I didn't care. I kept myself focused and worked hard. I worked from seven to four everyday and then I went to the pizza place I worked at before from five to eleven. That was my week, and on weekends, I worked doubles at the pizza place, opening Saturday and Sunday at nine and closing at eleven. It was hard at first, but I got in this zone, reminding myself everyday that I needed my own house where I could put my family, and that kept me going. Besides, Bo was going to be getting her license and I wanted her to have something to drive.
Bish told me that I was growing up to fast on the nights I would come home late, smelling like burnt pizza crust and feeling slick like grease from sweat. He was so wonderful to me, and never let me give him a penny for food or rent. He'd just roll his eyes and spit out some remark about how I needed every cent I made and to take advantage of his graciousness (considering it apparently didn't come around that often). I finally took his advice and banked every check I earned. Staying with Bish and Locke was so wonderful; just to know I had someplace to go home to and that someone would always be there.
Bish is working for his dad. He hates it and bitches about it every now and then, but claims it's better then flipping burgers all day. He starts school up again in the fall and isn't exactly looking forward to it, but that's just the way it is. I told him that I'd be quitting my job at the pizza place once school started for my siblings, so I could watch Locke in the evenings while he would be attending class. I said it would make up for all the food I've eaten at his house and any trouble I would have caused.
Nothing happened between Bish and I. I sort of expected something to happen, something to click in his head that what was happening with me living with him was right, but nothing did. I was never crushed about it or anything, though. He was still my friend, a better friend than I ever thought he'd be, so I was satisfied.
Driving down to the station that day, I was so nervous. I kept looking in the rear-view mirror; just to have something for my eyes to do because all they wanted to do was wander. I couldn't just concentrate on the road alone. The anticipation was going to eat me alive before I got there. I swear to God, every streetlight was red, too. I waited impatiently, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel every time. The clock on the dashboard said one-oh-three. What if they thought that I forgot? What if they thought I didn't care?
I drove faster, and was relieved when the station finally came into view. I parked sloppily on the side of the road and trotted up to the doorway. I felt the artificial air hit my face again and give me chills. Quinn was the first to see me.
She ran over to me, calling out my name and I squatted down to pick her up, hugging her tighter than I ever had before. It felt so good to have her in my arms again. "I missed you." She told me as I set her down on the floor again.
"I missed you, too." I walked over to where Ms. Lacy, Bo, and Aurin where. Mr. Fletcher wasn't there. I wasn't heartbroken. After hugging Bo and Aurin as though I hadn't seen them in years, Ms. Lacy had me sign paper after paper, making me my siblings' legal guardian. She told me about a hundred times that this was a great undertaking, but I wasn't blind. I knew the road wouldn't be concrete and lined with flowers. I had been through it before, and I was ready. She wished us the best of luck and then we were on our way.
"Are you still living with that one guy?" Aurin asked me.
"Nope. I got us our own place."
"How?" Bo asked. "Are you working?"
"Yeah. I work for Fletcher in the day and then I make pizzas at night. I'm going to quit that job though in a week or so."
Bo whistled. "You work two jobs? You could barely keep one before."
"Yeah yeah." I rolled my eyes.
"What's the place like?" Aurin asked. "Will I have my own room?"
"I was thinking your room could be in the basement. It's all furnished and heated and everything."
When we got to the small, quaint looking house on the corner, Quinn was ecstatic because her friend from school lived across the street. Bo said it was classic. Aurin ran down to the basement to decide where he wanted to put his bed.
And that's the way it is. It's late September. I quit my job at the pizza place and leave work everyday at three instead of four so I can pick up Quinn from school. Fletcher understood and actually offered the hour cut. I didn't like the idea of losing ten hours a paycheck, but he said I'd be getting a raise soon, along with more responsibilities. I was ready for anything, though.
It was a Saturday. Quinn was outside with her friend, playing on the swing set, Aurin was downstairs playing some video game and Bo was in her room with her girlfriend. It still gave me the creeps when I thought about my sister having a girlfriend, but I tried not to think about it. I wasn't close-minded or anything like that. I was washing dishing, dreading the times I felt like a housewife, when the doorbell rang. I hated that stupid doorbell. Reporters often came by, wanting to hear about me and how I saved my siblings and was raising them on my own. Other days, I'd often think that it would be my father on the other side of the door, just coming back again to make my life miserable. Other days, I'd think it was Bish, coming back to take me away.
Walking down the hallway towards the door, I saw the silhouette of a man, standing on the stone steps, hands deep inside his pockets. I stopped in the hallway, a few steps away from the door, wondering if this was a dream. I walked up to the screen, not opening the door and looked up at him. My heart started to race.
"Well, hello there." I said casually.
"What's up?" He responded, his eyes squinted some from the blazing sun outside. He looked different. His hair was shorter, sticking up some and glistening from sweat in the light. His eyes though . . .his eyes were still the same.
"Not much." I said.
"Can I come in?"
I just opened the door, holding it for him as he walked by. I inhaled deeply, taking in his scent. I remembered that cologne so well.
"How'd you find me?"
"Bish told me." He sat down on the couch, leaning back and taking in the relief of the air conditioning. I was burning up, though.
"When did you get back?"
We didn't say anything for a while. I just stood there in the archway, looking at him on the couch. He rubbed his hand over his hair for a second and looked up at me. "I missed you." He said.
"I missed you, too." I admitted. I thought about him every night. There was something about Benjy that intrigued me – something he had that no other guy had, not even Bish. I stepped closer to him, wondering what he was thinking. "Are you staying for a while? In town, I mean."
Benjy shrugged his shoulders, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees. "I just might stick around for a little bit."
I smiled, "I'd like that."
Benjy stood up and walked over to me. Not anticipating his next move, I was caught off guard as I was pressed up against the wall. His body was hot up against mine; his lips smooth like velvet as he kissed me. At first, I just stood there in the midst of the kiss, my arms hanging dumb at my sides. He wrapped his large hands around my shoulders and I brought my hands up to his back, running my fingers through his hair.
We broke away, my head spinning from the lack of oxygen. I looked up at him, my mouth still somewhat open. He stepped back. "I've got an interview at three." He told me.
"You better go then."
Benjy nodded, looking towards the door. "Should I stop by later?"
"I guess." I shrugged, begging that he would stay just a minute longer so I could feel his body up against mine.
"You haven't changed." He laughed softly, pushing the door open. He stepped out into the heat of summer and stuffed his hands in his pockets. He crossed the street to the next block and continued walking until he was out of sight.
A/N: Weird ending, I guess, but I like it. Kind of, leaves room to elaborate on the ending however you see fit. I'm satisfied with the finished product. Thank you all for reading. I'm so glad to be finishing another story. I hope you'll read more of my work. Thank you!