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Please Come Back for Me
I walked down the street. The hot afternoon sun beat down heavily on my bare shoulders. I grabbed my long brown hair and twisted it into a bun. Holding my hair in place, I grabbed a tiny twig off a tree and weaved it into my bun, making the hair stay piled just above my sweaty neck. Tiny pieces of hair fell away from the bun and framed my face.
I tugged at my tank top and shorts waiting for the moment when I got home that I could jump into my pool. The sun showed no mercy and my body was taking the worst of it. The heat never settled well with me, it always made me sluggish and tired.
I kicked a stone with my bare foot and watched it go skipping ahead of me on the pale sidewalk. I was deep in thought when I reached a cross walk and slipped on my flip flops so I could walk across the hot asphalt.
As soon as I reached the end of the cross walk, I slipped off my shoes and continued my walk barefooted. I gazed at the pretty little house set up next to each other in our tiny development. All the lawns were neatly moved some had patched of clovers or little flowers. Most of the windows were shut to keep in the frosty air conditioning.
Some of the houses I past had little blow up pools in their backyards. I watched one family as two little girls splashed in a pool that was only up to an adult’s knees.
Some adults were chatting with another couple as the little girls swam around and played with their dirty Barbie dolls. I envied the girls as they splashed around in their cool pool. I only had a little bit to go and I would be able to do the same as they were. If only my mother would come and pick me up.
I was walking back from my best friend’s house. Her name was Carly. I always slept over her house during the summer months. We were practically inseparable. Even though I didn’t understand what made us such good friends. She was pushy and loud and dangerous, and I was not pushy and a lot less loud and a lot less dangerous. But what ever kept us together I was glad for it.
I pulled the drawl strings on my little backpack out more to air out my lower back. I saw a giant moving truck up ahead park in the street, muscular guys lifted boxes into the moving truck. I wonder who was moving?
As I got closer I started looking around the area. As I got closer I realized what house it was. 348 Cedar Street. I glanced around as realization hit me. He was moving? Where? What happened? Is he still going to my school? My heart sped up a bit as I looked at the open garage pack full of brown, ugly boxes.
I stopped dead in the middle of the drive way. The buff moving guys staggered around me carrying the heavy boxes but I didn’t notice. I was still shocked he was moving.
“Hey! Can u help me with this I gotta get it in the car, I wanna keep it with me. ” I heard his sweet voice streaming from some where in the garage. When no one answered his call he came stalking out of the garage.
He was dresses in a pair of loose jean shorts and a white t-shirt, his broad muscles peaking from under the white cotton. I gripped the strings of my backpack and just stared at him. He walked out of the garage and his face betrayed how surprised he was. His emerald eyes peered at my from behind his lashes.
“So, your moving,” I asked my voice came out a little hoarse, so I cleared it with a little cough.
“um, yeah. Were moving to Haddon Heights. It’s about 20 minutes away from here.” He looked back at the house longingly.
“Oh. That stinks. Do u wanna move?” I looked up at him for a second then looked back at the house.
He turned back around. “Well, I really don’t have a choice anyway.” I nodded accepting his answer.
He chuckled, I looked at him puzzled. Was there something funny? I glanced around, worried. “So you’ve given up on shoes? Huh?” I glanced down at my bare feet. They were kind of dirty but at least my toe nails were painted a nice magenta. I wiggled my toes.
“Yeah, well, I’ve never been one for shoes anyway.” I shifted uncomfortably.
“So need any help?” I asked looking at all the boxes and at the men carrying some.
“Well, If you want I have one box that I need to put in my mom’s truck. It’s pretty light.”
“Ok, sounds good.” I dropped my bag on his front lawn and turned to follow him into his garage. The tiniest bit of a tingle rolled up and down my spine.
I helped him carry the box out to his mom’s truck. The box looked old and had a few wrinkles and tears in the cardboard. In black felt marker it read “Leo’s Stuff” across the side in his moms pretty hand writing.
He popped open the trunk of the blue truck and gently placed it in the back seat. His fingers slightly brushing against mine. I rubbed my hands on my jean shorts to try and get off some of the dirt and dust on my hands. Sweat beaded on my face. The deadly heat and lifting the light box had me over heating. Shutting the trunk, Leo looked up and asked, “Hey you want something to drink?”
I was going to decline the offer because I didn’t want to go into his house but I desperately needed water. “Sure, I could really go from some water.” He walked up to the porch and I relished the feel of the shaded cover, but quickly I recovered and walked right behind him into the house.
I glanced around and found…nothing. There was no trace that anyone had ever been here. No boxes lurked in to corners, no tiny toys or fragments of paper. There was nothing.
I followed Leo into the kitchen as he grabbed a plastic cup from the bag next to the sink. He turned on the faucet and filled two plastic cups to the top with the cold liquid. He handed it to me and I swallowed it in a few big gulps. He did the same and filled the cups again. The humid air wafted in thorough the open windows but I was just glad I had water.
“um, thanks for, uh this,” I raised the plastic cup, “But I gotta be going I have to be home for dinner.”
“Oh of course, so um bye then. Thanks for the help.” He stood up straighter and set down his cup.
“Sure, glad I could help.” All this stupid small talk was driving me insane. He showed me to the door. I pushed the screen door open and skipped down the porch steps. I nabbed my backpack off the front lawn and walked down the driveway and onto the sidewalk. I glanced over my shoulder. He was gone.
I walked away from the door and over to the front window where I knew she wouldn’t see me. I pulled back the white curtain to watch as she walked away from me. Her hips swaying as she didn’t even turn to look back. I longingly looked after her knowing that I would never have my chance again. I was moving so nothing would matter anyway…
When I reached the front door of my house I smelled the delicious smell of barbecued chicken. I walked in the door and was greeted by my dog. She sniffed me up and down and wagged her long haired tail.
I walked into the dinning room and sat down in a seat to enjoy a simple family meal with my parents and my little sister.
After my meal I did the dishes and told my sister to feed the dog. With my belly slightly distended from being full, I settled into the couch for a nice long string of pointless television shows.
When it started reaching toward eleven at night I turned off the TV and got ready for bed. I took a shower, shaving my legs and putting on nice lotion.
It was around midnight when I was done. So I paced my bedroom floor dresses in my pajamas, contemplating about Leo.
I ran a hand through my wet hair. I think I still like him. Well I think I always will like him. I was so frustrated. I have had this little crush on Leo ever since 7 grade when we rode the same bus. I though he was super funny and cute. I thought he liked me too. Until he asked out the cheerleading bimbo named Katti Bilthes. Ever since then I have kept my little crush secret. Ever since then.
I studied myself in the mirror. My brown hair fell in thick messy waves down my back and around my face. I put on a bit of makeup and threw open my drawers. I looked around for a t-shirt. I settled on a black one and picked out a pair of ripped jean shorts. I fluffed my hair and prepared for the most daring stunt I would ever do. Carly would be so proud of me.
I tip toed down the stairs and sat on the couch and picked up a book. I skimmed the book until the clock read 1:43. I knew everyone was heavily asleep by now so I opened the hall closet carefully and plucked out my vintage floral print Doc Martens. I loosely tied them on and gently slid open the back door.
My dog slept on her bed in the living room and opened one eye at me then went right back to sleep. She was such a good guard dog.
I slid the door closed slowly and silently, but surely and swiftly ran across the back yard. When I reached the fence out back of my house that lead into the massive school field, I climbed over it. I stumbled to the ground and ran across the field and down the street towards his house.
When I was a block away from his house I slowed down so I would be able to catch my breath and not look so crazy when I showed up at his house at 3 in the morning.
Oh god. I was going crazy. Why was I showing up at his house this late? What if he wasn’t home? I can’t just go up to the front door. What do I do? I settled for standing in his front yard.
I picked up a smooth round stone, about the size of a nickel, and tossed it up toward what I hoped was his bedroom window. I started to feel silly after the 4th rock that I threw at his window. The night air was a little chilly compared to the exhausting heat during the day.
I started backing away from the house to run away when a light came on and a window opened. I froze wide eyed.
What did I do next? Did I profess my undying love for him? Was my love even undying? Should I run away?
I quickly turned my head around. I saw no where that I could easily run to and hide in less then a second. I was stuck. I settled for staring at his open window as his head poked up and looked threw the screen.
“Hey!” He whisper shouted down at me. I twisted the end of my shirt in a knot around my shaky finger. I felt the hot pressure of blood rushing toward my cheeks.
“Um, ah…can…we um, talk for a m—minute? I, ah, can u come down, or like outside?” I asked quietly, my voice was shaking just like my hands. I tugged at a piece of my long wavy brown hair. It hung around my shoulder and down my back but I wished it was longer right now so I could tuck myself away in it and hide from my stupid-ness.
He rustled his hair with his hand. “Yeah, ah sure…ok.” He moved away from the window and turned off his light. I waited a moment longer and sat down on his lawn to calm my shaking body. I hugged myself as I prepared for my next awkward conversation with him. A plan that once seemed dangerous and romantic was quickly turning into a creepy stalker type situation.
I heard his front door open and instantly I jumped right up. He didn’t turn on any light for the front yard so all that lit his face was the pale crescent moon. It shone down on his sharp features that were strong but seemed soft. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and nothing else. His broad chest was chiseled to perfection. He rubbed at his eyes to try and remove the sleepyness. His hair was rustled and his green eyes reflected the moonlight in a beautiful way. I gasped a bit but desperately tried to play it off as a little cough.
“So what did u wanna talk about.” He asked his voice sincere as his eyes lit up with something unknown to me.
“I…uh…well. You know what…I doesn’t really matter. Um, sorry to have woken you, ah…up” I stumbled again as he took a step closer to me. We were so close all I had to do was reach my hand out and place it on his chest.
At that moment he closed the space between us and his lips were on mine. He ferociously kissed my mouth. Pulling me towards him, we both gasped for air. We clung to each other as he kissed my lips again and again. But something. It was, something I felt. It just didn’t seem…right. There was an emptiness at the pit of my stomach.
“Well, I’m up now so you kind of have to tell me. That’s just how it works. ” He smiled back at me, he didn’t gasp for air at all and he stood close but he wasn’t right near me. I blinked a few more times. We were both in the same spots as we were in a few minutes ago. I reached up to touch my lips. They weren’t puffy and the bit of lip gloss I had put on was still there. I was going delusional, I needed to get away. He was making me dizzy and delusional.
“Ok, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have done this. You know what it’s stupid anyway. I gotta go its really late and I have…stuff to do tomorrow.” I spoke prying my lips apart to push the words out. My pulse quickened a bit.
“You can tell me. And I’m sure it’s not stupid at all. Here sit down, here,” He pointed to the grass lawn. I sat down and he sat down next to me, his knee touching my knee. He pushed some hair out of his eyes. “If you want to talk you can. If you don’t we can just sit here in silence. I don’t mind,
this is probably better then staring at the ceiling all night, anyway. At least now I can look at the stars.” He gazed upwards toward the tiny lights that shone like beautiful diamonds in a dark velvet case.
I looked up too, just taking in the wonders of the sky diamonds. “I like you.” I blurted out. It was like some kind of word vomit. It just slithered up my throat and splattered out into the night air. It clung to the air awkwardly, while I waited for Leo to say something…anything.
He rustled his hair a bit more. His green eyes shone with longing. His face turned away from me. “I like you too.” Again blood rushed to my cheeks and a warm feeling fluttered in my stomach. He liked me too. So where do we go now? I waited for the stars to give me an answer, but non came.
He faced me leaning in closer. I did the same. My heart sped up and pounded in my ears like a deep drum. His hand rose toward my face and cupped my cheek. My eyes fluttered from his lips to his eyes. I couldn’t take this staring contest anymore. I leaned in closer and pressed my smooth lips against his. At first the kiss was gently, a very peaceful and polite kiss, but as soon as I moved closer towards him, he played roughly with my lips. I felt the stubble on his face scrape across my cheek but I didn’t mind. I played with the hair on the nape of his neck and he wrapped his strong, muscular arms around my waist. My belly instantly filled that emptiness I had felt in my daydream. Our skin appeared ghost like in the moon light. We were like some beautiful milky tangle on his lawn. My hair brushed his face as I leaned over him, I flipped it away and sent a wave of sweet tea and lemon off into the night.
His hands rested under my shirt and on my hips as I placed my head on his bare chest. I played with his shark tooth necklace along his collar bone. He had had that necklace ever since he was in 5th grade. He had gotten it down the shore and had once told me it made him look really tough. “Just like my father,” he had said in his squeaky little boy voice. I smiled at the memory and one of his hands came up to stroke my hair.
For awhile we stayed like that staring at the dark night sky lightening. We talked a lot, about the future and about out dreams and hopes and fears. We even talked about how many kid we both wanted and what their names would be. I wanted two little girls but he insisted that he must have a boy so he could teach him manly things.
We both laughed and shared jokes. But we both knew that when the sun rose we would both have to return to reality. And a cold reality it was.
As the sun broke over the houses and birds chirped, we both were uneager to let go. Sunlight flooded the streets and coaxed the day to begin. We untangled our limbs and stood up. He plucked a leaf from my hair and tossed it into the air.
He walked me back towards my house. We must have looked strange to all the awakening families, a teenage girl with messy hair walking next to a teenage boy with no shirt or shoes on. But, for the first time our appearance didn’t matter to me. He was walking me home and I was thrilled about it. I felt goofy and giddy inside. I felt like a bad romance movie blew up in my stomach.
When we reached my home I turned around to face him. He leaned in and sweetly kissed my lips. Then again but playfully he bit my lower lip. I leaned into him and pushed gently against his bare chest. He looked at me so intently. “What are you thinking.” I asked, my voice barely a whisper.
“I’m remembering your face.” He smiled and reached up at his collar bone. He loosened the leather cord that held the tooth. He took my hand and opened my palm, placing the tooth into my palm. “Don’t forget me.” He whispered.
“I never will…” I breathed out and loosened my bracelet. It was a simple leather band that was engraved with my name on it. Although simple and not as good as a shark tooth necklace I gave it to him anyway. He took it gingerly and slipped his big hands into it, adjusting it so my name faced outwards. “Keep it safe.”
“I will. Always.” He kissed me one last time. I slipped his necklace over my head and let it rest in the center of my chest.
“Hey! So you’ve given up on shoes too?” I yelled back at him, he turned around and smiled at me, giving me a thumbs up.
I watched for a second as he stood in front of my house half naked and wearing my leather bracelet, before I slipped behind the screen door. I quietly raced into my room and dressed in my PJs before anyone would realize I hadn’t been home for the whole night. I flopped onto the bed. As soon as I was snuggled under the covers and was gripping Leo necklace, I fell fast asleep.
At noon I awoke. The warm fluttery feeling was still there. I quickly got up and got dressed then ran out the door shouting “good morning”s to my family. I ran all the way to Leo house, but as I got closer, my chest heaving from running so fast for so long, I realized his house…it didn’t look…right. I peaked in a window and I didn’t see anyone. I threw a bunch of rocks at Leo’s bedroom window but nothing happened. The house was empty. No sign of life spoke from the inside.
Over whelmed with shock I raced back home. I ran up the stairs. I sat down in my butterfly chair and looked out the window. I could see the little kids playing at the park. They screamed and chased each other. I yearned for the times when everything was simple. Those times when I was little and the worst that happened was when I fell off my bike.
But I didn’t cry. I didn’t shed one liquid drop, because I knew. I knew that Leo would be back for me. I caressed the shark tooth hanging around my neck. One day, he would be back for me.
But although I told myself he would be back and I was as sure as I could be, something in the back of my mind shouted cruel things of doubt.
And see…that’s the thing about young love. Nothing is ever promised to you, nothing is ever a given. Although you make promises with yourself about how he will be back to take you away to his castle…sometimes that’s not how it works. But instead you’re left behind with a basket of broken promises.
I whispered, “My love, my only.” I played with the sharks tooth as dark drops streamed from the sky and onto my window, crying for me so I wouldn’t have to.
We pulled up towards the new house. It was suppose to be a fresh start for all of us, but it felt more like a forced start that weed-wacked our old life to pieces.
I walked up to the new house and walked inside. I gazed at the beautiful home that we would soon be living in. But it wasn’t right… I longed to be near her again. I wanted to stay in that night for the rest of my life. With her head pressed against my chest and the smell of her, tea and lemon. I told myself I would be back. I whispered out into the echoing room, “I will be back for you, my love, my only.”
I gazed out the front window and twisted the leather bracelet around my wrist as dark drops streamed from the sky and onto my window, crying for me so I wouldn’t have to.