May 13th, 2014
Please be aware that this story contains brief harsh language.
“When are you going to tell him?” She asked, touching her fingers to the surface of the pond like it was the skin of a soft face-
“I don’t know. Whenever I get the guts to do it.”
The water stood freakishly solemn and still, save for the tiny ripples created by her fingers when they touched the glassy reflection. A thick silence ran boldly between the pine trees that edged the shore of the lake.
“You are going to tell him, aren’t you?”
He didn’t answer. He buckled his lips, like his thoughts were almost intense enough to bite them, but not quite enough.
His mind wasn’t on his plans or his father or any of that. His eyes wandered to her questioning eyes and through her dripping wet hair. She pulled the towel tighter over her clothed shoulders and tried to sop up the lake water from her body. Her curly golden brown hair darkened when it was wet, and created a set of curious strands that framed her sculpted features.
Her questioning pulled him out of his gaze and back to the tense reality of his avoidance of the situation.
“Yes, I said that. Yes.”
“Before or after you leave?”
He shrugged. “It’d be a lot easier if I just left. He doesn’t want to hear from me anyway. I mean, nothing I tell him is going to make him-“
“He’s your father, for crying out loud.”
“I know. He’s my father, not me.”
The delicate presence that filled the late August afternoon had either shattered or was slowly braking. They had swam across the lake and started a camp fire in the woods just a few hours before, but now the blissful ignorance that existed so vividly existed only in their memories.
“So, you should tell him. I mean, you don’t really know when you’ll see him after you leave, you should-“
He stood and stormed away from her before she could finish her sentence. She looked over her shoulder and watched him stomp through the thin forest. She stood, frantically, splashing the shallow water as she rose to her feet.
“Wait, okay, come on-“ She pleaded. “Wait, come on. Where are you going?”
But he just continued walking. Finally, they approached the parking lot.
“Stop, seriously!” She bellowed.
“You don’t think I’m serious about this?”
A gross, pregnant tension inflated like a thick rubbery balloon. She thought about words to say, but hesitated too long, and he jumped in.
“I’m serious about this. I’m leaving. I’m not coming back. I’m not doing what he wants me to do, or what my freaking mother wants me to do, or what Annalise wants me to do, or Joey, or you, or God, or Pastor Jim, or fucking anyone, you hear me?”
His intensity built, and as it built, he stepped closer and closer to her.
“Nobody, you hear me?”
She nodded, looking up at his towering figure.
“Nobody.” He whispered.
Silence between them, then finally:
“Yeah. Okay.” She whispered.
They stood close now, close enough to feel each other’s breath and warmth.
“You wanna come with me?” He asked, finally.
“Yeah. Right now. Let’s go.”
“If you call your dad and make it right.”
“Okay. I’ll call him, then we’ll go. We’ll be gone. For good.”
“For good,” She whispered, “For good.”
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