When Lola walked into the café, she was even more beautiful than she was the last time I'd seem her.
I hadn't talked to her, or really even seen her much, since. We'd gone to school together, sure, and we'd exchanged a few awkward glances. But we hadn't actually talked to each other in two years.
Speaking to her-even thinking about her-was too painful. Every time I looked at her, I knew that I'd ruined her life and that I couldn't fix it.
Since that night, almost four years ago, Lola had changed everything about her appearance. Now, her sleek black hair was in a spiked pixie cut. Her nose was adorned with a thin silver hoop on one nostril. She wore thick-rimmed glasses and ripped skinny jeans with an old baggy sweater that was probably her dad's when he went to boarding school some thirty years ago. She wasn't conventionally beautiful, no, but beautiful, nonetheless, just like she had always been. After really looking at her for the first time in four years, I missed her more than I ever had.
Part of me wondered if I caused her to change so much. But then I remembered that everyone changes throughout four years of high school so it couldn't have just been me.
Lola sat down at the table in front of me without ordering anything. She stared at me, gravely. Her eyes were not dancing, like they used to. They were, instead, full and bloated, completely unmoving.
"Hi, Lola," I said. Lola stared at me for several seconds before saying anything.
"You wanted to speak with me," she said.
"Keep it quick," she said.
"I just wanted to talk to you," I said. Lola took a deep breath and blinked several times.
"After all of this time, after I tried to get you to acknowledge my existence for more than a year, after you told me to never contact you again... why now?" she said. I tried to look into her eyes, the way I used to, but I couldn't maintain eye contact with her. Her eyes were too intense, too penetrating, so I looked down.
"I just… I wanted to apologize."
"You have a lot to be sorry for," she said.
Lola didn't say anything. She just continued to stare at me, her eyes dull and angry.
"I'm sorry for everything," I said, not sure that she would say anything else.
"What are you sorry for?" Lola said. I looked down at my empty plate.
"I can't say it. There's so much of it."
"It's not that hard, Dillon," Lola said.
"I still can't."
"For Christ's sake."
"I just… I needed to talk to you about it... about everything... about high school," I said.
"It sounds a whole lot like you're wasting my time," Lola said.
"No—Lola! It's not like that," I pleaded.
"Then what's it like?" she asked.
"I just need you to know that I'm sorry. And I still love you. And I will always love you," I said.
"Not good enough," Lola said.
"What do I need to do, Lola?" I asked.
"When you can look me in the eyes," she said, "and say 'I raped Lola Morrison and then completely ruined her life', I will believe that you're sorry. But you can't even say the word 'rape' out loud."
"Lola, that's not fair."
"It's totally fair, Dillon. You had the opportunity to redeem yourself," she said. And she was gone. I don't remember her getting up. I just remember that, one second, she was sitting in the chair across from me and, the next, she was at the bus stop outside the coffee shop.
A/N: Here's the edited version of the first chapter. Chapter two will be deleted. Enjoy!