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Authors: Regina Bartley,Laura Hampton

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BOOK: Escaping Heartbreak
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SIX

Travis

 

I blinked my eyes several times, unsure if they were deceiving me and this was all a dream.

“Glad to see that you’re alive, but enough with the sleep talking already.” This was definitely not a dream. Sawyer Evans in the flesh, and standing over me. Good God she was gorgeous. Looking around, I realized where I was. Flashes of my head in the toilet were replaying in my mind, along with the excessive banging.

“I thought I dreamt you.” My voice sounded scratchy and hoarse.

“I hope not. It sounded like you were having a nightmare. Surely I’m not that scary.” She was so cute. I looked around the room again. Thinking maybe I should try and get up off the damn bathroom floor. “Yep, you’re still in my bathroom.”

“And you’re still in your bra!” My eyes could barely focus with the black lace pressed firmly against her chest.

“So, you do remember.” She narrowed her eyes at me. Was she flirting?

“Hell yes I do, and I’m not complaining either. I’m hoping you’ll come home with me and wake me up every morning.” I groaned as I tried to raise up from the floor.             

“Here,” she held out her hand. “Come on Romeo.” I took it even though her tiny little frame wouldn’t help lift me at all. I just wanted to touch her. “I think I like you better, when your head is in the toilet.”

“You wouldn’t like me at all if you remembered who I was.” I mumbled. Not loud enough for her to hear.

“What was that?”

“Nothing, what time is it?”

“Too damn early for me to be awake, thank you very much.” She pushed her hip to the
side and rested her hand on it.

“I’m sorry.” She stood there shaking her head as if she didn’t believe me. “I’ll make it up to you.”

“Oh yeah, and what exactly did you have in mind. Are you cooking me breakfast in bed?”

Not hardly. “How about a date,” I suggested.

She laughed like I just told the funniest joke. I wasn’t kidding, even if that’s what she thought. “This is becoming a trend. You boys around here act like you’re some prize that I should be happy I’ve won. I don’t even know your name and you want me to go out on a date with you.”

“I don’t know which boys you’re referring to, but I’m no boy. I’m a man.” I pulled her hand so that her body was directly in front of mine. “And you do know me. I don’t know why you think you don’t. Look closely
.” I could feel her warm breath blowing on my chest. Neither of us was wearing enough clothes to be standing this close. I could tell, by the way that she was breathing that she felt it too. An inch closer and she could feel just how much she was affecting me down under, not to mention what she would have seen if she happened to glance that direction. It might have been a bad idea.  I wasn’t sure that I wanted her to recognize me just yet. I should have at least had her agree to a date first.

She cocked her head to the side, and I knew that she was about to figure it out. “Come on, show me to the coffee maker and the medicine cabinet.” I stumbled past her into the bedroom.

“Seriously,” She sighed heavily. “How about I climb back into my bed and go back to sleep, and you go home and find your own damn coffee maker.” She hadn’t changed a bit, only now her sassiness wasn’t annoying, it was sexy.

“Where’s the fun in that?” I pulled up my jeans, careful not to fall over. I tossed her my t-shirt. “You might want to cover up those girls. You never know
what kind of perv might be lurking in the kitchen.” I was only joking and it earned me a smile.

Sitting on a
barstool in the kitchen, I couldn’t help admiring how good she looked in my shirt. It was big, showing my size compared to hers, almost hitting her knees. She had changed so much since the last time I saw her. Of course, she was only about twelve and all knees and elbows. Now they’re the last things I notice when I look at her. She’s all ass now. I adjusted myself on the stool just thinking about it.

“Morning,” I heard Dane’s voice before I saw him. “Lawson man, you’re still here?” Well shit! He had to go and use my last name. I glared at him over my shoulder. Good one, Dane. It only took her about one minute to put two and two together and realize who I was. She stood facing the sink, and I heard her drop everything she was holding into it. I was
gonna kill him.

She turned around. I could tell by the look on her face that she was pissed. This was not how I wanted this to happen. I stood up and started to speak.

“Don’t,” she held up her hand. She stomped off in the direction of her bedroom. The girl with Dane ran after her. “I swear I could choke you.”

“What did I do?” Dane held up his hands.

“She didn’t recognize me and well, things were going really well. Thank you for ruining it. I don’t understand why she got that mad though.” I expected a sour reaction, but damn.

“That’s because you fail to remember the crush she had on you. She thought you were the greatest thing ever. Not only that, but you used to be so mean to her man. I’m not sure why she even liked you.” He chuckled under his breath, shaking his head. He walked over to the stool next to me.

“I know I was mean. I was fifteen though. What do you expect?” I shrugged, looking at my old friend innocently.

“What’s the big deal anyway? So, she’s mad at you. What’s new? It’s not like it matters, or you even care.” His eyes narrowed as if this were an unanswered question.

I wasn’t about to tell him that I wanted to try and get with his little sister. I didn’t want to piss him off, besides it’s not like I had a chance now. Who was I kidding? I didn’t have a chance before either. I really needed to get out of this house and get some fresh air. I stopped right outside her bedroom door on my way out, but couldn’t find the courage to go in. The cowardly lion had more courage than I did. After what I did to that girl, she should hate me forever. I blame it on being a teenager, but I was just cruel and wanted to be cool in front of my friends. Even back then she and Dane were real close, and he probably would have kicked my ass for what I did. He’s a shrimp now, so I didn’t have to worry, but I still didn’t want him pissed off.

The last time I saw her, she was down by the lake crying. It was my fault. A couple of days before that I had kissed her. I wanted to, but she didn’t really know that. The group of kids that we all hung around dared me to do it. They knew that she really liked me, but they didn’t know that I liked her too. No one could know. One of the guys had promised me ten bucks to do it on a double dare. I agreed. I didn’t think about the situation I’d be putting her in, and I couldn’t tell her.

I asked her to meet me about a half a mile down the bank side of the lake behind her house. There was an old swing that we would use to swing off into the lake. She was supposed to meet me there right before sunset. One of the guys had agreed to hide back in the tree line so that he could be a witness. I felt guilty for doing it her, but not at the right time. The guilt didn’t set in until after I had already done it. She had no clue. She was happy that I had asked her to meet me there. She never questioned me at all. Even to this day, I still remember everything, right down to the clothes that she was wearing; this little white sundress with straps that tied into bows on her shoulders. She looked really pretty. At the time, I was thinking that I needed to hurry the hell up and get it over with. I could get my money and be on my way until her lips touched mine.

At
fifteen, I had no experience with girls. I flirted with them, but it never went beyond that. I didn’t want the boys to know how inexperienced I was, so I acted like this was no big deal.

“What are we doing here Travis? Why did you want me to meet you?” She asked. She stood there looking up at me, and I remember thinking that she was cute and that this would be easy. Behind Dane’s back all the other kids made fun of her, because she was so different. She was short and she wore her hair in two braids that hung on each shoulder. She didn’t have time to play with the other kids; all she ever did was swim. People thought that she was weird or maybe even stuck up. I knew better though. I got to see a different side to
her because I practically lived with the Evan’s during the summer. I was still mean to her. I picked on her, just like the other kids because I wanted to be part of their group. When I was around Dane, I wasn’t too bad. I would push her, or pull her hair, but only because I couldn’t be mean to her just part of the time.

“I wanted to tell you something. Actually I
was thinking that we should kiss.” I could hear myself saying these words to her. Why was I such a douche bag, and all for ten bucks?

“Travis, I thought you hated me.”

“I don’t hate you.” I was serious when I said those words to her, but for the guy in the background, it was all a lie. She believed me so easily. I didn’t have to persuade her at all. I ran my hands down the length of her braids, and I remember that she closed her eyes. I tilted her head up just a little and watched as her lips opened slightly. I leaned in and kissed her. It was pretty great for a first kiss. I liked the way her lips felt against mine, and the kiss went on a little longer than it should have. The look in her eyes when we pulled apart is one I will never forget. That was the moment when I realized that she was my first love. It’s crazy I know.

I avoided her the next day because I didn’t want to face her. I felt guilty, or maybe I was just a coward. She was leaving to go back home in two days, and I knew that this whole mess would be over.

The next afternoon the guys asked me to meet them. I knew what they wanted. All of the details about the kiss and a play by play. Not the real one, but the one that they wanted to hear, like how horrible it was. Only it wasn’t. Little did I know, someone was setting me up? Every word that came out of my mouth was horrible. They would crush a twelve year old girl’s heart. I said things that scar; that both she and I would never forget. I knew that now. What I didn’t know is that she was standing there that day, not even ten feet away. She heard it all. Despite what the guys thought, I chased after her. I could hear them all cackling. They didn’t give a shit about me or her. I was so angry. I never figured out who was behind it all, but something makes me think it was Vincent. She wouldn’t let me talk to her when I finally reached her. She was sobbing into her hands, and every time I tried to reach out to touch her she’d back away. Who could blame her? I was a heartless teenage boy, and I didn’t deserve the kind of love and friendship that she was willing to give me. What is even more selfish is that I hoped and prayed that she wouldn’t tell Dane. I knew that he would never forgive me and he was my best friend.

The next day I went to the Evan’s house to say goodbye, fully expecting Dane there ready and willing to kick my ass. He didn’t though. She never told him. My words had cut
her like a knife and she still didn’t do a single thing to hurt me back. I would have rather she had punched me in the face. But what I wanted was irrelevant compared to what I deserved. She was standing on the lake shore by herself and I knew I had to try and make it right. I didn’t know how, but I would try any way that I could. She was leaving and I couldn’t let her leave hating me.

“I know that what I did was unforgivable, but I have to tell you the truth. I can’t let you leave believing what I said.” She never said a word. Her silence was hard to swallow, but I continued. “I want you to know that the kiss was good, great actually. I did it because of a bet at first. But when I saw you there and we kissed I knew that I felt
differently about you than what I thought. I knew that I liked you more that I let myself believe. I didn’t want to sound lame to the guys. You know how they feel about you. I was worried about what they would say. Never once did I consider your feelings. I’m so sorry, Sawyer. I never meant for things to be like this. I really do like you.”

“You have a funny way of showing it.” She kicked up the dirt with her
feet and peered at me through her long lashes.

“I know. I hurt you and I’m sorry. I wish that I could take it back. Not the kiss I mean, just the words I said.”

“You’re forgiven.” She never looked at me; her eyes remained still towards the water. Just like that, she forgave me or so I thought. I was fifteen. I thought saying sorry would fix everything. I didn’t learn how complicated women were until several years later.

“I’ll miss you.” I said and I meant it. I really had developed some kind of feelings for this girl, even if it was on a friendship level, which I didn’t think it was. She looked at me a moment, and I thought maybe I shouldn’t have said that. Her stare was intense, and she did the one thing I didn’t expect. She kissed me bye. Not another word was spoken. It was one simple little kiss, then she walked away. It left a permanent mark on my brain and I wouldn’t ever forget it. After she walked away that summer, she never came back. Her parents died just a few years later. I only heard about it through neighbors in town. Then my dad died and things had been a struggle ever since. She always had a special place in my heart, and seeing her last night stirred it all up. It also didn’t help that she was freaking beautiful. I wouldn’t be able to get her out of my head.

The ringing of my phone brought me back to the present. The caller ID on my cell was from Andy’s house, and I knew that it was Waylon wondering when I was picking him up.

“Why are you up so early?” I asked him.

BOOK: Escaping Heartbreak
13.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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