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Our story seemed to be a kind of classical tale. Everyone knew it, and no one dared to stop it. I had moved here from the country, and he had always been a city boy. He knew the streets, and I knew the rolling hills. He was the kind of guy who would bring a girl to the movies, and I was the kind of girl who wanted to lie outside and watch the stars. His name was Mark, and mine was Kelsey.
Our story was two people from two different worlds, brought together by an untimely romance. Our story was those moments when we would sit outside next to the café, sipping our hot chocolate and laughing about the silliest of things.
I would say that our story was never destined to end well. I had never met his parents, and he had never met mine. My heart was easily won, my standards uncomfortably low. Everyone said I was the good-looking girl who always seemed attracted to the bad-looking boys. I was okay with that.
It was late December, almost Christmas, when someone else moved to the city. He had long brown hair that fell to his shoulders in an uninterrupted slope. His eyes were a crystal blue that reminded me of ice and those times when I would go sledding with Mark, and how we would fall off half way and roll to the side as if abandoning a doomed ship.
The first time he approached me, I felt dead. He beamed: his teeth were straight and glistening white. It was all a flash after that, a rush of events. I don’t remember when I started seeing him, meeting him in his beautiful garden at the epiphany of night, accompanied by flowers and growth that rose to my height. The moon was always out, casting its beautiful light on his pond, where fish swam idly.
One day, on Christmas Eve, I came to this same garden, holding an exquisitely wrapped present—I had wrapped it just for him. He was waiting for me with a present of his own when I arrived. “Kelsey! How is Mark?”
“He’s fine.” I replied, wanting to change to the subject. “But how are you? I’m still adjusting to the freezing cold.” A gust of wind blew past as if on cue.
He dropped his present and wrapped his arms around me, which took me by surprise. I was Mark’s girlfriend, I thought, and I was determined to be loyal to Mark. I pulled away. “Hey, let’s exchange presents, okay?” I requested hastily. I could hear the shakiness in my voice, and I noticed that he did too.
A flash of disappointment crossed his face. “Sure.” He said, and we exchanged gifts. He tore his open and an argyle sweater fell out. I opened my own, and was shocked to find a pair of dangling diamond earrings in my hands, the ones I’d always wanted—the ones I had always asked Mark for.
When I raised my head, I noticed that he already had his sweater on. I only know this next thing ever happened because I remember it so acutely—I remember how it felt. We kissed under the gaze of a marble angel, which stood tall beside the pond. I felt incredibly guilty, guiltier than I had ever felt before, and I left the garden as quickly as I could.
The rest of the story ended tragically. Mark found out about the incident, though I can only imagine how. Maybe it was the diamond earrings I wore, and the way I gazed at the new boy, like I was a lost person. I would never know. He left me, though he didn’t say so. I knew it. We both knew it. We didn’t hold hands in the hallway anymore, and we didn’t exchange smiles.
As for the new boy, he moved afar. The only thing he left for me was a marble statue, the one that had gazed upon us as we kissed. I cried for many days, and many nights. I was never the same. And even when the months rolled by and the breeze turned warm, and when Mark rode by in his red Ferrari with a blonde girl in the passenger seat, I could tell that he too would never be the same.