I decided to listen to some Taylor Swift. And suddenly, I was writing again
Walking into study hall the next day was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do so far in my short life of 17 years. Searching for an empty seat where the only one used to be next to him – Eric Caldwell.
He didn’t look up when I walked in – no, that gorgeous head of wavy bronze hair stayed bent, concentrating much too hard on some paper for some class. I took a deep breath and tore my eyes away – God, did he have to wear that sweater today? I sighed, slipping through the tables mindlessly. The only empty seat was a few away from him, but on the other side of the table. It’s not like I could go anywhere else, so what else was I to do?
I pushed the chair back, it squeaking loudly in the deafening silence, and sat down. I pulled out a few notebooks and opened to my latest assignment, resisting the overwhelming temptation to see if he was as torn up as I was. But I refused. I would not give up.
That is, until thirty minutes later, when I did allow myself the tiniest of peeks just to find him peeking up at me at the same time. And there was the instant knot in my throat, the sting in the corner of my eyes, and pretty soon, our gazes holding, I starting quickly stuffing things in my bag before quickly fleeing the room.
My chair fell over as I left but I didn’t stop to right it. I stood fast and stumbled out of the row, before heading straight outside. I did not understand how something between us that was so little could have escalated to this. I gulped, pushing open the wooden double doors that looked practically medieval and were in dire need of replacement out into the small courtyard.
Running my fingers through my hair, I groaned. I didn’t understand why this had to be so painful. And why nothing could be explained or said out loud or anything. It was just this screaming silence and then – nothing. Just absolute knives in my stomach, twisting slowly.
But of course, 15 minutes later, who was creeping out those medieval doors? Eric Caldwell himself, just to find his stupid ex-girlfriend sunken down against the rock wall, looking like an absolute, torn apart mess. This was not how he was supposed to see me. I was supposed to look at him defiantly, like nothing had ever even happened and it wasn’t like I cared much anyway.
That didn’t happen.
He observed me silently for a moment, looking nervous. I turned my head the other way, letting my annoyingly red hair fall over my cheek. He slid down next to me, pulling his knees up and laying his head back. He looked tired. Not that I was peeking or anything.
“Hey,” he said slowly, barely breathing the word. After a minute or two, I turned my head and looked up at the sky with him.
“Hey,” I responded, just as quietly. We sat there for a while. Neither of us said anything, we just watched the clouds and recognized the others presence. His ankle was touching mine. God, he had such long legs. His pants were always a teensy bit too short when he sat down, and his bare ankle just pressed into mine. Barely. I could hear him breathing, soft, shallow, painful breaths. As if, physically something was wrong, and then there were his fingers. Both of our hands had relaxed on the stone of the courtyard and his pinky brushed mine every now and again. He was fidgety. Nervous.
But after a while, there was a soft noise from him. Unless you were paying very close attention, you could’ve even passed it off as your ears playing tricks on you.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured. And then we were silent some more.
“I’m sorry too.”
“Can we go back?”
“I don’t know.” And then suddenly his fingers were on my cheek, turning my head toward his, and his lips were smashing against mine, and I was falling backwards in an awkward tangle of limbs but in the sweetest kiss I’d ever had, and I wanted more, I was hungry for more, I was drinking it all in, and he was half on top of me and half on the stones, and I was completely splayed out underneath him and everything was right for that moment and we couldn’t stop. It was frenzied and hungry and nervous and wanting and pretty soon we were forced to come up for air.
“Can we go back?” I asked the question this time, softly. He was looking at me. I was holding his gaze. His eyes were soft, pained, wanting. He was practically holding his breath as he nodded – just barely.
“Yes,” He murmured, pressing his forehead to mine. “Yes, we can go back.” The corners of his mouth turn up lightly. “We can always go back.” I exhaled softly.
“Alright,” I said, starting to smile. I held out my pinky. “Promise?” He took my pinky with his and kissed me lightly. “Promise.”