Songs I rocked to write:
'Rubiks Cube' by Athlete
'Rockerbye' by Helen Jane Long (instrumental)
'Get Free' by The Vines
I stare down at the back of his head... his hairline. How it runs down both sides of his head and meets at a point on the back of his neck. How his hair is dampened with sweat, not unlike the early mornings that I see him. Only now, I know it's from a different type of exertion. For several moments, I just stand frozen in place, drowning in uselessness. Twin feelings of frustration and confusion attack my nerves with a vengeance.
What do I do? Jesus.....
An idea occurs to me and the palm I've flattened to my forehead slides down the side of my face.
Water! On TV and in movies, they always bring people water, right?
It's probably a terrible idea, but it's all I've got, so I hurry into the kitchen and come back with a short tumbler of cold water. I stop a couple of feet in front of him, unsure how I should approach him.
Nothing. I hold the water out in front of me even though he can't see it.
"Here. I...I brought you some water."
He didn't seem very happy about our hands touching earlier. I'm in agreement with him, but how the hell am I supposed to give him the water? Condensation builds on the outside of the glass and I tighten my hold on it. A chill that has nothing to do with the temperature of the water travels up my arm, creating goose bumps across my flesh. The sensation sets me on edge. I don't like how this feels.
Inadequacy slithers its way under my skin, antagonizing my pride. It's the press of a finger on a day old bruise. Memories from years ago thrash against their confines, breaking free and pooling beneath my already tenuous composure. They flank me on both sides, faint whispers of bitter words spat loudly from the mouth of a man who I could never placate.
Worthless...ungrateful...waste of time...useless...
As my patience rapidly evaporates, my teeth clench together. I stare at the back of his head and give in to my indignation.
How dare he come here and make me feel this way? Who does he think he is, boxing me in and forcing my hand?
I eye both of his hands clenched around each of his knees. Letting my ire lead the way, I take two steps forward and brush the glass against the knuckles of his left hand.
"Here. Take the fuck-"
It all happens in less than a second...or so it feels like. His entire body startles and his hand forcefully swats at the glass, sending it flying from my hand. I jump back and watch as glass shatters, mingling with the water and coating the expanse of wood flooring in front of the fireplace. My breathing deepens and I look back at him. His eyes jump from the mess across the room to my face.
He's still struggling to calm down and it dominates his speech, leaving his words to trail off and die. We're locked in a stare down and the only sound in the room is a heavy, harsh breathing. Not his...not mine.
It's the look on his face that sends me two steps back and onto my ass. My back leans against the coffee table and I let my legs flop out in front of me. The impact of his expression is at once sobering and disorienting. I've seen this face before. It's the same now as it was then, save for blue lights flashing across his features and his forehead pressed to glass. He's not speaking a word, yet I can hear him as if he's shouting them at me.
Make it stop.
I want to laugh at whatever cruel fate would lead him to my doorstep in search of help. I'm pretty sure that this is all about the bracelet, but his coming here leaves him at my mercy. That's the laughable part. What could I possibly offer him?
He'd be better off alone.
Barely registering his still frantic breathing, I drop my eyes from his face, fixing my stare instead on a scar on my right knee. I got it when I was six and fell on the playground at school. It was pretty bad. I remember the scarlet color that the blood and dirt made together. And the teacher's face when I calmly told her I preferred to clean and bandage the scrape myself. No tears, no fuss. She didn't ask any questions and I didn't volunteer any explanations. It was neither the first nor last time I'd practice self-reliance.
What happens next...I can't really explain. Exhaustion fogs up my mind, rousing all of the things that have been weighing on my mind the last several weeks.
My slip-ups at work.
Kate's words of warning.
The gnawing voice in the back of my head and how its questions are gaining volume. Is this it? Is this all?
I stare down at the scar on my knee, not even blinking, until everything in my periphery fades away and I'm somewhere else. I take a deep breath and admit to myself why I'm really angry. And that it isn't at Edward...but at the memory of a time in my life that he's unknowingly dredging up for me. Seeing him hunched over, shaking and sweating and clamoring for his breath...it's all so familiar. I remember my chest feeling like it was being crushed. Like my lungs weren't expanding enough to get air. I couldn't breathe in deeply enough to stop the panic. I remember everything moving in slow motion. The unfamiliar face of the EMT as he leveled his eyes with mine and spoke, but hearing no words come from his mouth. He kept talking though...words on top of words. He kept speaking to me until sounds filtered back into my ears and my lungs expanded just a little bit more with each gulp of air I took. I have no idea what he said, but I latched on to the sound of his voice and followed it out of the darkness.
Could I do the same? Would it work for Edward?
I don't remember making the decision...
I don't remember choosing the words...
I don't even remember opening my mouth to speak them...
"I was eighteen years old. It was my senior year of high school and I was trying to save as much money as I could for college. I had an after school job at this little video rental store a few blocks from my school. When I got there, my manager told me business was slow and I could take the day off. I wasn't supposed to be home as early as I was. It...it should have been Renee. She would have gotten off of work before me. I saw Charlie's car there and figured I could just ignore him until dinner. I could make a beeline for my room and pretend to be doing homework or something. I kept my eyes down coming in the front door and all the way up the stairs. And I almost made it to my room. Almost. He was...still swaying back and forth...otherwise I probably would have missed it. But their bedroom door was open and I...I remember seeing the tiniest movement from the corner of my eye. He was...he was just...hanging there. "
I close my eyes and hold my breath...not wanting to relive it, but powerless to stop it.
The overturned chair.
The slight swaying of his bare feet mid-air.
The blue tint of lips tucked under his trademark mustache.
Scribbled ink across crumpled white paper...the gold wedding band pinning it to the top of the dresser.
A stretcher...a thick, black bag...
"They told me our next door neighbor called 911. Heard screaming coming from the house. It took them over half an hour to calm me down. I wouldn't know. I don't even remember screaming. I just remember trying...trying so hard not to see him. But I couldn't. I just...couldn't look away."
My body slumps as the memory retracts its talons and releases me from the past, dropping me back into the present. I open my eyes again and stare down at my lap. I barely register the edge of the coffee table digging into my back. I feel heavy and limp, devoured by remembrance and left to decay. Conjuring that day...delving into the abyss of the past...is agonizing. It extinguishes every ounce of energy I have, leaving me limp with exhaustion...and the task of banishing everything back to where it belongs...behind me.
Only the silence of the room causes me to look up. Edward is still hunched over his legs, but his elbows now rest on his knees and his hands are buried in the hair on top of his head. His face is tilted up, his dark brows pinched together and his mouth frowning. Though his breathing has evened out and his hands have stopped shaking, I can see the aftermath. I can see where consumption took place, reducing this man...this powerful, imperious force of a man...to his knees. I could see he was no match for it. I could see he hadn't had a chance.
I can see him.
And as hard as I may otherwise have tried to fight, I'm in no such position now.
His eyes unnerve me. They're roaming my face...searching...exploring. I'm too exhausted, too numb to look away. Or so I tell myself.
Neither of us makes a move...or a sound.
The silence feels thunderous in my ears as the reality of what I've just done...what I've just said sinks in. My chest begins to ache with the realization of what I've told him. I can almost see it there between us, lying at our feet on display.
An exposed nerve.
My stomach rolls and I brace my palms on the floor, standing and slapping a hand over my mouth. I sprint down the all, bypassing the guest bathroom and taking the stairs two at a time. I want to be as far from him as I can for what's coming. The coolness of the tiles and the pain as my knees collide with them is the last thing I feel before I expel my breakfast. Even when I've emptied my stomach, it continues to convulse. I dry heave and gag, my eyes tearing and my head pounding.
When I sag against the tub afterward, there is no relief. Only confusion...and panic...and fear.
What's happening to me?
After brushing my teeth, rinsing with mouthwash, splashing my face with cold water and nervously pacing my bedroom a few dozen times, I stand up as straight as I can manage and make my way back downstairs.
A check of the entire first floor turns up no sign of him.
I peek through the blinds of the front window and his car is gone.
My head whips around to the front of the fireplace and the floor is clear of any glass or water. I look around the living room. It's as if nothing happened at all. I know better though. The tremble in my hands and the drag of my feet tell me so.
I walk into the kitchen in a state of confusion. Lifting the lid on the trash can, I see wet, wadded paper towels balled up around broken glass. I should feel relieved to have avoided the awkward conversation that would have waited for me had he stayed. I do feel relief, but it's diluted with a trace of something else. Something I can't put a name to.
There's a little voice in the back of my head whispering the answer to my riddle...
Thursday, Friday and Saturday are uneventful. I don't hear from Edward...at all. And uneventful is good. It's how I prefer it. It's how things should be. Business as usual. Back to normal.
That's the mantra I chant to myself anyway.
Over and over and over.
It doesn't work.
My days are spent at work on auto-pilot. My nights are spent lying awake in bed, or in my window seat. Sunday afternoon plays on a loop in my mind. Sights, sounds and words...all projected behind my eyes. On repeat.
A marathon I can't turn off.
He doesn't show the next Sunday morning.
It doesn't stop my eyes from searching out that spot on the sidewalk before I crank up my music and take off.
Four hours later, I'm settled into my window seat reading when the doorbell rings. Considering the lack of company I keep, I know exactly who it is before I even stand up. It doesn't stop me from taking small, hesitant steps toward the door.
When I open the door, he's wearing a pair of dark jeans, white T-shirt, and a brown leather jacket. His shoulders are stuck somewhere between tense and slouched. It's bright out today, but I suspect that the sunglasses he wears aren't for that reason alone. He clears his throat and runs a hand over the back of his hair.
We're both quiet then, and he's looking anywhere but at me. He watches the toe of his shoe scrape across the welcome mat and shakes his head back and forth.
"What is it about your porch that makes me feel like a fucking idiot?"
There's no smile. No humor. Just a weary fatigue that adheres to every inch of him, even his voice. And when I respond, it's as much to the burdensome veil he wears as it is to his question.
"Believe me, it doesn't feel much different on this side of the threshold."
He meant it rhetorically, most likely assuming I wouldn't answer him. Because his face is giving nothing away, I watch his eyes react instead. He seems surprised...but leery. I don't blame him. While my knee jerk reaction was not to engage in this conversation anymore than necessary, I didn't listen. I did the opposite.
I'm off my game.
He speaks with a husk to his voice. It sounds raw and low. Spent.
"Would you like to go somewhere with me?"
"Just for coffee or something. There's a place not far from here. I, uh, I want to talk to you. To really talk to you, Isabella. About the other day...among other things."
Stiffness slinks up his back and over his shoulders. It coats the features of his face, weighing down his brows until they're wrinkled over the bridge of his nose. His eyes retreat from mine, lowering to the porch and the foot that's resumed it's nervous scraping. A tight line of lips rests centered above his hardened jaw line.
I can tell he expected my answer to be much different. He's quiet...still...for a beat before he snaps out of it and nods.
Unease settles over me at the thought of riding in his car with him again.
"Can you just, um...I'll follow you there, alright? Just give me a minute."
I know he sees it. My hesitance. It's in his eyes. They jump between both of my own a couple of times. He doesn't call me out on it.
"Yeah, sure. I'll just wait for you then?"
He motions behind him and begins to back away. I nod and close the door. My body moves slowly up the stairs, in the same state of disbelief that my mind is. I just agreed to coffee with...Edward Cullen. My stomach clenches and my feet freeze. One foot rests on a step higher than the other and I feel a tightening in the muscles of my legs. Fear slinks an arm around my shoulder, lulling me into its embrace and breathing a word into my ear. One word...
I could. I could run. I could just run up the stairs and pretend he isn't out there.
I glance behind me at the front door and then up the staircase, as if one of the two could decide for me. It's ridiculous and futile.
I finish the climb of the stairs and bypass my bedroom door in favor of the guest room across the hall. I open the door and walk to the window, pulling the curtain aside and looking down over the driveway.
He's leaning against the passenger side of his car with his eyes closed and his head tilted back. His hands are in the pockets of his jacket and he begins rolling his head back and forth on his shoulders. The gesture triggers a flicker of a memory. My eyelids flutter as I recall our first meeting in the hotel penthouse. The way he'd looked as he'd stalked toward me. Even his gait was arrogant. His eyes bored into my own. Into every inch of me, rooting out my weaknesses and tempting them into betraying me.
My thoughts are pulled back into focus as he pulls his sunglasses from his face and rubs at his eyes. I take a moment to recall the Edward I've seen in the last several weeks. I compare him to the Edward that I experienced five years ago. The differences are there, but murky. It's like he's blurred around the edges. I can't get a clear read on him.
Have you ever actually tried to?
My subconscious voice is getting harder to ignore these days. It took some practice, with time, I'd managed to beat it down to a near inaudible murmur. It's fighting back now. I can hear it climbing in decibels, contending with my avoidance...matching it blow for blow.
I stare down at the man waiting for me in my driveway.
The conjurer of the past. A walking representation of a time in my life I have no use for. That I've forgotten. That is over.
Liar. You've never forgotten...
I try and, for once, fail to deny my curiosity where he's concerned.
Sunday hovers over me like a cloud. I still couldn't comprehend the things I'd said. The information I'd voluntarily armed him with. It was as if I was hovering over myself, unable to intervene. Helpless to stop my mouth from speaking words that I'd never said aloud. Ever. All I could think is that maybe it would make him stop. Maybe it would make him go away. Maybe it would cease the hysteria that having to deal with his panic attack was causing me.
Maybe it would help him.
I jolt back and away from the window at the thought.
Is that why I did it?
Feeling exhausted with the introspection, I give in to the curiosity, crossing the hall to my room and grabbing a pair of shoes and my purse.
Ten minutes later, I'm parking on the curb in front of a small café not far from my house. Though I recognize the place, I've never been inside. I kill the ignition and look up at him through the windshield. He parks just in front of me and I watch as he unfolds himself from his car, tucking his hands into his jacket pockets. He stops just between our cars as I get out of mine. When we get to the entrance, he holds the door open for me and motions for me to go ahead of him."
"You don't need to do that. I can hold my own door."
"I'm sure you can. You'll have to show me some time."
I raise an eyebrow at his sarcasm. Even through the sunglasses I can see him roll his eyes.
"I'm being polite, Isabella. Please, after you."
He sweeps his arm dramatically toward the door just as a couple step up behind us. I drop the issue and move inside the shop. It smells of coffee and cookies, and my stomach reminds me that I missed lunch. It'll have to wait. No way am I scarfing down a flatbread sandwich across from him while we discuss our dysfunctions. An older woman approaches the counter and smiles politely at us.
"Hi, welcome to Stickybuns. What can I get for you?"
Edward beats me to answering. It's strange to see him in a public setting this way. He has a distinct dominance about him all the time, but it's different in this moment. The man who showed up on my porch twenty minutes ago isn't here right now. You'd never guess that something plagues him. That it lives inside of his well-groomed, confident exterior. There's an inarguable control in his mannerisms. He stands tall and speaks assuredly as he pulls his wallet from his back pocket.
"I'll have a large half-caf soy macchiato, two shots of vanilla, no foam."
Dear God, Edward Cullen is a fluffy coffee drinker.
I nearly snort at the realization. Nearly.
"And for you, ma'am?"
"Um, just a medium black coffee, please."
Edward offers to pay for me and I decline, pulling out my own wallet.
He mumbles an 'I didn't think so' just as the barista slides my coffee across the counter, letting Edward know that his would be brought to the table in a few minutes. We both turn toward the seating area of the café. We look to the left towards the large cluster of two-seater tables. And then to the right, where there is a full wall of...booths.
We glance at one another and head to the left in unison.
I'm relieved when he doesn't try to pull my chair out for me. Opening doors, pulling out chairs, removing & putting on your coat for you? I've never really understood those particular chivalries. My hands aren't painted on. I can do it myself.
Once we're both seated at a table in the back corner, I can feel some of the turbulence settle back over him. It's just the two of us now...and a multitude of unspoken words. It isn't until I look around the quaint interior of the café that I come to appreciate the setting.
It's neutral territory for both of us and I wonder if it's what he intended.
I look over and he's leveling me with a calm, steady stare. Not knowing what to say, I stay quiet.
He runs his palm over his face and laughs, only without the humor. When he speaks, it's down at his fingers on the table top.
"Jesus, I feel like that's all I say to you."
He looks up at me then, and I fidget.
"I...I don't know what you want me to say. You keep saying you're sorry. And I keep telling you it isn't necessary."
He stares at me contemplatively for a long moment.
"Let's agree to disagree."
"I think I owe you the apologies, you don't. I'm not backing down on that. You?"
I narrow my eyes at him as he arches an eyebrow. I shake my head at him, not needing any time to think that one over.
"Alright then. Just one last one, though."
He launches into his speech before I can object.
"The other day...it was..."
He pauses and clears his throat.
"I haven't had one that bad in...a long time. The last time was years ago...in therapy. And before that..."
He swallows and watches my eyes carefully. The next nine words he speaks pin my focus into place.
"...I was in the back of a police car."
He doesn't elaborate...we both know he doesn't need to. I look down and take a sip of my coffee. It's an inadequate distraction from the memory of his tear-stained face that night. I can feel the pieces of the puzzle slide into place.
Of course. The worn, desperate look on his face when he saw me. He must have had it just before...
"Anyway, I know that it couldn't have been easy to see. To be there for it. So I wanted to say thank you and I'm sorry it happened. And that I left the way I did. I could tell you were...upset afterward. I just figured it would be easier if I...if I wasn't there when you came back downstairs."
If I had to put a name to his facial expression, it would be embarrassment. His cheeks are pink and he can't meet my eyes. It's sort of...fascinating. So much so that I ask a question without a thought.
"It was because of the bracelet?"
He seems stunned for a moment, but nods. His eyes roam the table top, wandering from left to right across the wood surface in front of him, but it's not where his head is. He takes a deep breath and lifts his head to look at me. There's a determination in the set of his eyes.
Like he's made a decision.
Or is taking a chance...
He speaks her name hesitantly, like his mouth is out of practice with saying it.
"I had it made for her when she turned two. It was always on her wrist. All day...even when she slept. She would cry when it was bath time and she had to take it off..."
He shakes his head and trails off. He seems self-conscious, shifting in his chair and avoiding eye contact. His jaw clenches and his brows furrow, as all other emotions evaporate from his face and anger settles in.
"Don't look at me like that. I don't want your pity."
I don't know if I'm more put out by his rapid change of mood, or the fact that he could interpret pity from me. What had my face looked like? Was I looking at him with pity? In an instant, a thought strikes me. How difficult must it have been for someone like him to be in such a vulnerable position. So exposed and on display. At the mercy of someone else.
At the mercy of me.
I recall the way I handled the situation. How everything I did or said was just to get rid of him. Just to relieve myself of the burden of having to deal with his panic attack. I don't need any time to identify this emotion. We're old friends.
"I wasn't pitying you. I just-"
I'm interrupted when a young woman approaches our table. She places a small square napkin down on the table and sets his coffee on top of it.
"Here you are, sir. One large half-caf soy macchiato, two shots of vanilla." When she pauses, we both look up at her. She tucks her blonde hair behind her ear and smiles down at Edward. "No foam."
"Is there anything else I can get for you?"
She's got one hand on her hip and is biting her lip while twirling a lock of hair around a finger on her other hand. She's smiling at him still, completely oblivious to my presence at the table. I watch as she hits on him without shame. I feel beyond awkward. For her. For him. I glance at Edward and my eyes widen at the sight of him.
And then...then I just feel sorry.
The muscles of his jaw line are pulsing as he clenches and releases them. His hands are fisted on either side of his coffee and his eyes are closed. His nostrils flare as he breathes slow and heavy through his nose. He opens his eyes, but keeps them leveled on the table top and speaks through clenched teeth.
"No thank you."
Completely oblivious to the total lack of reception or reciprocation on Edward's part, the waitress taps the nail of her index finger down on his napkin and continues to smile at him. It's then that I notice the seven numbers and the name Kellie scribbled onto the corner of it. Edward's eyes land on the blue ink and he purses his lips, looking in the opposite direction of her. He gives a snort of disgust through his nose and shakes his head.
"Well, let me know if you change your mind."
My gaze ping pongs between the two of them, astounded by her ignorance and perplexed by the sudden tension that has seized Edward without warning. When she saunters away from the table, the slow, exaggerated sway of her hips and the little peek back at the table that she takes over her shoulder are wasted.
Edward hasn't moved an inch.
After a long minute of silence, one hand lifts his coffee cup while the other balls the napkin up and tosses it into a trash can a few feet from the table. I'm somewhat shocked. I was sure that he was going to lose it on her.
"Are...are you okay?"
He doesn't look at me, but nods his head. He rubs a hand across his forehead.
"Yeah. I just...I'm fine. I just...it doesn't matter."
He shakes his head back and forth, dismissing the events of the past few minutes. I let it go, not knowing how to even begin to react to all of it anyway. But it doesn't stop me from pondering.
What the hell was that?
His voice is tighter, but loosens...softens as he finds the words he's looking for.
"I just wanted to say that I know you didn't have to...do what you did Sunday. I get it, Isabella, I do. The things you said. What they meant to you. My leaving wasn't me taking that for granted. I appreciate what you did...how you helped me. And that's all I did with it."
His eye contact is purposeful. He wants me to hear what he's not saying. What is left unsaid for my benefit. Without words, he's telling me that he won't hold mine against me. Won't pity me, in the same way he's asking not to be pitied.
Looking at him across this table in a corner of this dinky coffee shop, it feels like some kind of new ground is breaking. Something totally outside the norm for us.
We don't talk anymore and when he asks if I'm ready, I nod and stand. I beat him to the door and open it, glancing at him when he comes to stand between our cars again.
He tilts his chin toward the coffee shop entrance.
"Told you so."
It's the lightest moment we've ever shared. It doesn't feel wrong, but it doesn't feel right either. It's like we're moving against the grain. I'm not sure what it means.
I'm terrified of finding out.
"Thank you for coming, Isabella. I'll see you."
I nod and he gives a single wave of his hand just before he ducks into his car.
I see him out of the corner of my eye as I tuck my house key into my shoe. He's standing there, in the same spot on the sidewalk like always. I haven't spoken to him since Sunday. The random, unplanned appearances are oddly preferable. I know he'll show up eventually, I just don't know when. There's a strange sense of order to it, for me anyway. I tuck my earbuds into my ears and make sure the volume is cranked up before looking over at him and hitting the pavement.
It's about fifteen minutes into the run and I'm lost in the beat of the music when it happens.
Usually, we keep a pretty fast pace...side by side with a few feet between us. But just as we take the sharp curve at the top of the hill on Karin Lane, Edward speeds up and to the left, crossing into the path of my feet and cutting me off. My pace falters as I stare at the back of his head. He continues running as if nothing has happened, so I move from behind him and propel myself forward. When we're side by side once again, he surprises me by repeating his actions again. He picks up his pace and darts to the left, cutting me off again.
Annoyed with his odd behavior, and the fact that he's throwing off my stride, I jump to the left and push off the pavement harder. Just as I advance a few feet ahead of him, he takes off again. I huff and push myself harder, gaining speed but losing the opportunity to stay parallel with him when we reach the corner of Amber Drive and he cuts across it. And me.
What the hell is he doing?
I launch myself, matching his speed and coming up next to him. When I glance over at him, he doesn't even try to hide his smirk.
Son of a bitch.
A smirk turns into a smile just before he strikes again, pushing off and running directly in front of me and blocking my way.
The song changes then. It begins mercilessly. Loud and hard, the guitar rifts and drums beat thunder so hard that they tickle my ear drums. I lose myself in the music, running as fast as I can. Just when we're toe to toe again, I shoot to the right and cut him off. The victory lasts mere seconds before he's got the jump on me again. I scowl at his back and take off, darting back in front of him.
We continue on like this for several minutes, until we round the last curve of road before the lake. When the water comes into view, we glance at the other.
An unspoken challenge.
I launch myself, pushing as hard and fast as I can go down the side of the embankment toward the willow tree. I throw my arms out to the side for balance, just like the first time we came here. I can see him gaining on me in my periphery and adrenaline pulses through me. With one final burst of effort, my feet skid across the ground and I slap both palms on the trunk of the willow, bringing myself to a halt.The beat of the song is sonorous in my ears. It's all I can hear.
My chest heaves with the effort to catch my breath and I turn around, dropping my arms from the tree trunk as I do. My arm snags on the cord of my headphones and the buds are suddenly yanked from my ears...replaced by laughter.
Strange, unfamiliar laughter.
I stop abruptly as I look at Edward. He's hunched over with his hands on his knees and I freeze. He's staring at me with a small smile on his face, but it's careful. Guarded. He doesn't say anything and neither do I. Still trying to catch my breath, I move back and sit against the willow.
Edward sits down facing me several feet away with his feet flat on the ground and his knees bent. He leans his elbows on them and folds his arms.
I feel...dazed. My thoughts are muddled. It was nothing. Just a laugh. It shouldn't be this big of a deal, but it is. I could pretend I don't know why, but I do.
I can't remember the last time I laughed.
The thought makes me feel abnormal...and pathetic. Debilitated.
I don't say anything.
He doesn't push.
I stare out at the water for a long time. Breathing. Thinking.
When I stand up and make my way back to the roadside, he follows beside me silently.
It doesn't feel strained.
It doesn't feel awkward.
The song they run to at the end is 'Get Free' by The Vines. I've been dying to write that scene. And to that exact song ;) Hope you liked it.