Friday, September 4, 2009

Part One - IV : "Second Place Requires Second Thoughts"

Part One

Chapter IV

Second Place Requires Second Thoughts

"What? Of course I am listening. There is just something going on between Angel and Alicia, let me call you back in a few okay?"

She still has not answered my question.

"Sure, just make sure you actually call me back this time."

"I will, I promise. Talk to you soon."

It was not the first time such a promise was given, nor would it be a first broken if she forgot. Sarah hung up without another word, and once again left me to my own thoughts.

Almost a week ago Sarah and I were enjoying a beautiful fall evening on my front porch. The breeze was just present enough to warrant the two of us to curl up beside each other. we had been spending the better part, and it was indeed the better part, of the last month together, but this day in particular was the closest we had ever been.

She had just gone back to school a couple of weeks ago, and I was supposed to moving in less than three weeks.

"I like you."

My voice cracked and it ended up coming out as soft as a whisper, but I knew she heard it despite the squeaking of the porch swing.

"I like you as well there mister."

I could feel her head move slightly as I ran my fingers through her curly hair. It was the same color as the dark mahogany swing we were half laying on.

"I mean, more than a friend. I am happier around you than anywhere else. This past month has had me thinking a lot about..."

She stiffened as I spoke, and slowly she began to sit up straight.

"Kevin, last I heard you are supposed to move in a few weeks, and now you are saying you have feelings for me?"

Now it was my turn to tense up and sit straight.

"I have wanted to leave here for a while now, I've felt I had nothing here for me, that it was about time I moved on. Now, well, maybe now I have found something, or someone I suppose, that might be worth sticking around for."

The moon had come up some time ago, but the sun had just finished it's daily farewell. I did not remember hearing the crickets start their chirping, but in the current silence between Sarah and I, it was all I could hear.

She eventually loosened up and laid back down on my lap and closed her eyes. We just stayed there like that for awhile.

Fifteen minutes and she still has yet to call me back. I probably should have done something other than sit next to the phone and wait, but what else was there to do? Nothing. Nothing to do but wait, just as I did on the porch last week.

I thought she had fallen asleep. She did not move at all for a bit, and her breathing fell to a soft, slow pace.

"I haven't really put much thought into it to tell you the truth. I mean, of course I like you, but I have been under the impression you were leaving, so I never took us for more than two people enjoying time spent with one another."

Her lips moved, but the rest of her stayed as still and calm as she had been seconds before.

"If you stay, I want it to be because it is what you want to do, not because of me. We can figure us out when that time comes. For now, do what you need to do."

How could I explain to her that I had no more reason to move than I had to stay. That my overall decision to leave was based solely on the fact somewhere else, anywhere else, was better than being stuck here. That the chance of finding something to make me happy here, negated every reason I had for leaving.

"Why do those two need to be exclusive? What if being with you is what I want to do, and having you here makes this where I want to be?"

She seemed to ponder this, or maybe she really had fallen asleep this time. I did not dare to check, she looked so peaceful just lying there. It is a scene I think I will always hold on to, to replay as a reminder at just how calm a situation so complex could be.

"Ring. Ring."


I answered before looking at the caller I.D.

"Sorry Kevin, I thought Angel needed the phone. She is having a rough time up here."

"Is that Alicia's friend?"

Sarah decided the day after our talk that she was going to spend the next couple of weeks up at her parents cabin with some friends from school. She never told me why, but I assumed it was to think about what I said, or maybe to give me time to see if I meant it.

"Yeah the two of them have been whispering all week, its actually kind of annoying, but that is besides the point. What were we talking about before?"

I doubt she really forgot. Maybe she was secretly hoping I had, but I obviously had not.

"Us. If we are something worth looking into or not."

"I thought we decided to wait and see what happens and take it from there?"

There was no we in that decision. She was waiting for me to find some other reason to stay, or silently hoping I would just leave, I could not tell.

"Do you want me to stay? Would you care if I left?"

I hated pressing the issue, but I was running out of patience.

"Kevin, don't be ridiculous. Of course I care if you leave. I just... Ugh hold on I have another call."

The silence was back. I was starting to get used to this disappointed feeling of not being heard whenever Sarah was involved.

"Let's give it a few days and see what happens."

She finally said as she sat back up on the swing.

"Right now I need to go home and get some sleep. I think I might get up early tomorrow and see if Alicia is up for hanging out."

She stood up and gave me a hug, then waited, as if hoping for some sort of agreement to her idea. I gave her none. I did not say anything at all, I just sat there and watched her walk to her car, saw her wave from behind the wheel, and kept watching as she drove off down my street.

"Sorry Kevin, I need to go."

She too now was seeming impatient.

"Sarah, I just am looking for a sign that you want me here, that if I stay it won't be for nothing."

"Damn it Kevin, I really can't do this right now. I'll talk with you when I get back but right now I need to go. Bye."

And with that she hung up.

I felt foolish. This girl I was about willing to change all my plans for, barely could stand talking to me anymore. It was wrong of me to think about staying, I really did not have anything worth sticking around for.

I looked up at my calendar, a big X was marked two weeks from now. A couple of days ago it seemed so soon. Now it was ages away. I grabbed a nearby sharpie walked over to it, and drew a new X on September 25th, tomorrow's date.

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