In Four Years
Everyone I knew said I was a runner. Not the track kind, though. They all said I was the one who never settled down and took off when I felt like it.
I guess I proved them right. I left after senior year and ran to the other end of the country and never glanced back. I was restless and bored of that stupid hick town where prom was just a step above a hoe-down and it was sinful not to be a member of the 4-H club.
It's not that I hated it there. The people were nicer than anybody I had ever known, but they were as dull as old, over-used, kitchen knives. Until I moved there in 8th Grade, I had lived in New York City, which had just a little more action than Lindale, Colorado.
I'm an action kind of person, so New York City suited me. I loved the lights and the noises of the big city. Lindale, on the other hand, was too calm. The lights and noises there were street lamps and birds chirping. The most dramatic thing that has ever happened there was when some delinquent tried to break in to the school but got caught by the police. A story like that wouldn't get a headline in a New York paper. In search of some drama, I once thought about running away. Or just doing something crazy to wake up those comatose people and get some life in them.
That's why most people think I left; because I got bored. It's so much more than that, but I didn't dare to tell a soul why I really left and so I let them assume. The real reason I left is right in front of me trying to take my order.
In the four years I've been gone I changed a lot, but he didn't change a bit. In fact, the only thing that has changed is how I feel about him.
All through high school I was the misfit girl and he was the adorable jock who stole everyone's heart, including my own. Little did I know that he was as cruel as adorable. I didn't find that out until prom night.
To my immense surprise he asked me to Prom. I elatedly (and stupidly) said yes. His dad drove us there. The minute his Dad pulled away he left me to find his girlfriend, and phrased it just like that.
On my prosecution he broke down and explained that he only needed a good cover girl for his dad. Why he picked me I still do not know, because I wasn't exactly the safest in the pack. For all he could have known I could have showed up looking like a Victoria Secret model, which would have definitely alienated his dad (not that my own dad would have let me out of the house like that anyway, though).
I left before Prom officially began, but not before I started to cry and not before the cheerleaders and the other jocks got a good chance to laugh at my naivety. They took that chance to its fullest and I swear I would have punched them all if I hadn't been wearing those stupid heals.
No one ever saw me after that night. I left for NYU the next day and said no good-byes to anyone that wasn't family. I haven't been back since.
That is, except for now, four years later and fresh out of college. Now I have a new life, a new job and new shoes; I can take on anything.
"I'll take the BLT, no T, and a diet coke." I said carelessly. It was 3 in the afternoon, which was too late for lunch, but I hadn't eaten on the plane- plane food was just plain gross.
"Okay. Your order will be ready soon." He countered my carelessness with an equally bored manner.
I ate my meal while listening to the conversation from the table behind me, and then they left. All the while I had been deciding how to let him know it was me and wondering if he even cared. I know you would think I would have moved on, but I hadn't; I still needed to beat the crap out of him.
I finally decided to pay with a credit card so I could sign the bill and he would notice it, just to see his reaction. When I signed, he noticed, and it was rather amusing.
The minute he saw my name he gave me the classic double-glance. "Are you, did you…" He stammered.
"Am I, did I, what?" I mocked him, thoroughly enjoying it. I had decided to do something stupid right then: I had decided to pretend I was not myself, but I don't really know why I did that. It was a subconscious thing, I guess. I think I just wanted an outsider glance at the world I had lived in, but I'm not even sure if that is my real reasoning.
"Are you Kathy Davis?" He finally spat out a complete sentence.
"So says the piece of paper," I retorted, slipping into my new identity.
"But we all thought that you, well, died." He said it with disbelief that was somewhat amusing to me. Then the meaning of the words sunk in.
I almost lost it, right there, and almost blew my alias. Then I composed myself and replied, "Well, I'm not." I tried to make myself sound creeped out by him.
"But after Prom you just disappeared and no one saw you again." He sounded kind of dumb as he was saying this.
"What Prom?" I asked, trying to sound more creeped out than before.
"Senior Prom," He sounded stupider by the second, like he was trying to figure out some amazingly difficult trig problem. "You went with me."
"I don't know you." I was pulling off a pretty good imitation of a girl being freaked out by a waiter. Maybe I should have majored in theatrics…
"So you're not the Kathy Davis who used to live here?" Listening to him ramble on like this was amusing.
"No, I'm not." I swear I should be an actress, because he was falling hard for my lies. "Umm, if you'll excuse me, I need to go." I tried to sound weirded out by his behavior.
"I'm sorry if I freaked you out," He stammered. "I just thought you were a girl I used to know."
"It's okay," I started to slide out of the booth.
"No, it's not." His facial expressions went from confused to upset. "I hoped you were her, because it would mean it wasn't all my fault."
"What wasn't your fault?" I had stopped pretending to be confused, because now I really was confused.
"It's nothing," He murmured, a dark look passing over his eyes. Those sweet eyes…
"You can tell me." I kind of wanted to find out what was his fault.
He gave me a second glance, then his guard broke and he pulled up slid into the bench across from me. "For my senior prom, I invited this girl to go with me. The only thing was, my ex-girlfriend expected me to go with her because she thought she was my current girlfriend. She was one of those cheerleader devils you see in the movies. She got mad and forced me to go with the first girl, because she would look good to my parents. Then she told me to ditch the girl after we got dropped off so I could go with her. I think she had something against the girl though, because she knew how mean it would be. So prom night when I tried to ditch the girl-"
Remembering that night made me cut in. "Why would you just ditch her like that?"
"I know it seems like I'm a jelly-fish, but my ex-girlfriend's father had a lot of influence on the scholarship that would get me out of this hick town, so I couldn't afford her to mad at me. That's why I did it. Only now I wish I had risked it."
"Why?" I was filled with a curiousness that would not go away and I had to ask more questions. Plus, he was sitting so close to me that I could smell his aftershave and toothpaste. It was kind of sensual.
He pushed his hands through his hair and looked distracted. "That night… She disappeared. No one ever saw her again and we think…. She got hit by a car."
"What!!!" I lost character, again, and freaked out. I mean, it's reasonable to think someone is dead is they disappeared like I did, but where do you come up with something like hit by a car?
"The next day they found a body on the road from the school to her house. There were skid marks all over it, like someone had intentionally run over it. They couldn't tell much from the body because it was so beaten, but since she never came back they think it was her."
"Oh…" I suddenly wanted to tell him everything, starting with how I had gone to New York, not the grave. But I held myself together instead.
He continued. "That's why I hoped you were her, because it would mean I hadn't killed her when I let her walk away."
I lifted my gaze and he looked up at me, his eyes seeming to search for answers through layers of pain. I wanted so badly to take away that pain, to let him know I hadn't died. But I was too ashamed to tell him after all I had put him through in talking about it.
We sat like that for another half-second, like some power was growing between us keeping us there. All at once the spell was gone and we were both awkward. He stood up and started to walk away.
"Wait!" I called out suddenly, defying my gut instinct.
"Yeah…" He looked more awkward with each passing second.
I stood up on shaky legs. I sucked in a gasp of air, and then slowly forced it out. "I'm her, the girl you were talking about. I didn't die. I went to NYU and never came back. Well, until now."
He looked at me like I was green and had horns growing out of my face. "Then why did you come back and do that just now?"
"I… I didn't know you would be here. I came to see family and stopped here; it was my favorite place in high school. I didn't know you would be here though."
"That whole act… it was really… mean." He sounded hurt; I didn't dare look up at his face though.
"Then we're even." My words sounding so harsh slithering from my mouth that I wish I could stuff them back in my mouth and swallow them down.
"Even? You let me think I had killed you and all I did was ditch you at a stupid dance." He was becoming less hurt and more angry.
"One, I did not know that you thought I was dead until five minutes ago. Two, you broke my heart." I spewed the words out of my mouth like a bomb had exploded somewhere inside of me.
"Yeah? Well the feeling is mutual!" He practically shouted at me. I was suddenly very glad it was 3 in the afternoon and no one else was around.
I didn't look at him- I couldn't bear it. Then his words sunk in. My head shot up and my eyes met with his. "Wait- you liked me?" I asked in complete shock and surprise.
I looked up at him. His eyes were wide with shock, like he had just realized what I had said and what he had said in response.
From there time just stopped, and I stopped thinking. I just moved, my body gravitating closer to his. I felt his arms pull around my waist, and my arms wrapped themselves around his neck. Slowly his lips pressed against mine and somewhere in the world fireworks lit the sky. Even taken by surprise, I enjoyed it.
His lips separated from mine and his head hit my shoulder. "Can I take that as a yes?" I whispered timidly in his ear.
"Yes, you can," His warm breath hit my ear and then his mouth slid against mine again.
I guess I got what I wanted, even if it wasn't what I had come for. I had I weird feeling in my gut that he wouldn't be just a high-school crush anymore.
Please be nice!!! This is my favorite thing that I have ever written, and no, there will not be more, at least I don't think... Thanks for reading this if you did- I know it was long!!! Please review, I will try to review you to!!! I'm nice like that!!!