The next morning seemed as if it came too fast. I looked at my phone; there were two texts from Sam trying to cheer me up. I texted him back saying thanks. I still couldn't pin-point what it was that I was feeling for him, but I liked it. I got ready for school and left. Throughout the day I saw Drew; coming out of his office, turning the corner, and then there was this awkward time. I got a pass from my last hour teacher to go to the bathroom and as I was coming out of the class I bumped into Drew. Our eyes met each other as he leaned over to pick up a clip board.
'Sorry.' I said, trying to break his gaze.
'Uhm, it's okay.' He said, he picked up his clip board and walked away.
Those few words meant everything to me. I'm not sure what it was, but they meant that he still knew I was here, that he didn't forget that I was alive. School ended and I went home. Cynthia's car was in the shop, so I drove her home.
'Hey, Chris?' She asked, we were just leaving the school parking lot.
'Tell me about Drew.' She said. Her voice sounded full of intimidation.
'What do you want to know about him?' I asked, my heart started speeding up. There was so much I wanted to say, and so little that I actually could say.
'Just the basics, you know, was he nice? His personality and all of that stuff.' She pressed the button for the window. We sat in silence as I tried to think of words to describe him.
'He was my everything.' I said. Those were the words I could actually elucidate, 'there was a point in time where all I could think about was the next time we'd be together, and the next time I'd be able to stare into his eyes.'
Cynthia grabbed my hand, 'I'm sorry, Chris.' She said. She sounded like she was choking up.
'What are you sorry about?' I asked, this was, I noticed, the first time I'd ever talked about Drew to her.
'I'm sorry for everything that happened.' She let go of my hand.
'It's not your fault. We just stopped dating. I mean, I still love him, I'm still in love with him, but there is always something in the way.' I turned down my street.
'Well, for what it's worth,' she rolled up her window, 'I think you two sound perfect for each other.'
I thought for a second. We pulled into the driveway and I turned off the car. She leaned over and hugged me.
'Thanks Cynthia.' I said. To a certain point, I missed being able to talk to her. We got out of the car and went inside. I went to my room and did the rest of my physics homework when my phone rang. I looked, it was Sam.
'Hello?' I answered.
'Hey Chris!' How are you?' His voice was always exuberant. It made my heart skip a beat.
'I'm good,' I giggled, 'and yourself?'
'I'm going crazy!' He exclaimed. It almost seemed like a big weight was lifted off of his chest after he said that.
'Well, why is that?' I shifted my phone from my right ear to my left.
'I've just been thinking about you. Do you have this effect on all of the guys?' He chuckled and there was an awkward silence.
'Haha no. I haven't been around or with many guys; I'm kind of new to the game.' I laughed.
'Then let me introduce you to the game.' He said.
'And what exactly do you mean by that?' I asked, the smile on my face seemed permanent.
'Come out with me tonight,' he said, 'if you don't have fun then I'll stop hitting on you.' He giggled. His laugh was goofy.
'And what makes you think I won't have fun?' My voice was a little skeptical.
'Haha I don't know. So, what do you say?' He was anxious.
'Pick me up at eight.' I laughed and hung up the phone. I didn't know what it was, but for some reason I always liked to keep him guessing.
I finished the rest of my homework, ate dinner, and took a nap. I woke up around seven and got ready. Sam called at eight and said he was outside. I went downstairs, said goodbye to my mom and Cynthia (dad was asleep), and went outside. I got into the car and gave Sam a kiss on the cheek.
'It's a start.' He smiled and looked over, 'so what do you want to do?'
'Hmm,' I smiled, 'let's go to the beach.'
'At eight at night?' He laughed and started the car, 'whatever floats.'
I smiled. I took a deep breath; my heart was beating really quickly. He drove to the beach and pulled into the parking lot. We sat in his car for a second.
'I'm really glad you came with me tonight.' Sam said, turning to me.
'Haha, me too.' I said, I smiled at him and then turned away. Thoughts pulsed through my brain. I didn't want another love, I didn't want another person; I wanted Drew! But why was it that I felt like this for Sam?
'Hey,' he put his hand on my shoulder, 'you okay over there?'
I turned around. I looked him completely in the face, absorbing everything I could about him. 'Yes.' I said.
'Good,' He leaned forward, 'because that's a relief.'
I leaned in and kissed him. It was a long kiss, one where you try to fit everything you're trying to say into it. I wanted to tell him that I couldn't do this; I wanted to tell him that I wasn't ready. I wanted him to know that I was afraid to fall in love with anyone but Drew, and most of all I wanted him to know how special he, Sam, was. There was something different about him, but he wasn't for me. He was almost too benevolent for me, and it saddened me to think that he liked me so much. He pulled back and put his hands on each side of my face.
'I understand.' He said, he had a sad smile on his face. It was a sweet sadness, and it hurt me.
'I'm really sorry Sam. I just can't right now. I'm sorry'I'm so sorry.' I hugged him. He hugged me back.
'I understand Chris. I mean, you love him. I didn't expect for you to just completely forget about him and fall in love with me. Just know that I'll always be here, and that something will always be here too.' He kissed my forehead, 'deal?'
I nodded. He made me feel comfortable, but I hated doing this, 'friends?' I asked, raising my head up to look into his eyes.
'Even more.' He kissed me on the lips for the last time and drove me home. I told him thanks again, and we said goodbye. I sat in the conservatory. I was in a trance; the things around me disappeared as I saw into my own thoughts. My mind was a place of coldness, and everything in it seemed to cave in on itself. I pondered each situation, and after a little while I flashed back to the first time I talked to Drew in his office that one day. It seemed like forever ago, and I missed it. I missed him. The thought of us never getting back to that day, those feelings, hurt me.
'Chris?' Mom's voice came from the sun room.
'Yeah.' I said, I was half listening.
'Are you okay?' She asked, she sat on the day bed next to me.
'No.' I said. Those words made me break. They made me realize that what I needed was Drew. They made me think about my friends, and how I lost them. They made me think about Sam and how even though I didn't really know him he taught me kindness. They made me think about my family, and how even though we fight, they are always there for me. And most of all, they made me think of myself. They made me realize that I couldn't break. Those words made me stronger, and those words gave me confidence.
'Can I help?' She asked, rubbing my back.
'No. I have to go. I'll be back later.' I said. I was halfway in a trance and halfway determined. Before I knew it I was in my car on my way to Drew's house. I pulled into the driveway and walked up to the front door, opening it. I turned the corner and saw them. Drew and Cam were making out on the couch. I broke out of my trance.
'Oh,' was all I could manage. It was the only word I could say.
'Chris?' Drew broke away from Cam. His face was lit up.
'I'm sorry.' I turned to the door and walked out.
Drew called my name. I stopped and turned, looking at him coming closer.
'I'm sorry. I should have realized, go back inside.' I said, my eyes were watering.
'Did you need to talk to me?' He asked. He was in front of me, his hands in his pockets.
'No, not really. I'll see you later.' I said, turning.
'Chris,' he said, his voice sounded like a plea, 'I'm sorry.'
'Yeah, me too.' I said. I walked to my car and got in. I couldn't breathe, the tears from my eyes started falling. I didn't show Drew, but this hurt. I backed out of his driveway; Drew didn't go back inside yet. I watched him, he mouthed something. It made me stop my car. He mouthed I love you.