This is a regular column featuring original fiction by and for high school students, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
Light was fading slowly from the smudged, pink sky. Hands thrown in the pockets of his gray hoodie, Kevin Gaebler stopped the skateboard with his foot. The bustling of people had calmed, now only several view-loving people stayed. He was a walk away from the ocean, in the park that he often came too since he had moved to California.
He missed her. Everything about her -- at least everything she would let him know.
A year ago, he could hold her hands, tell her how beautiful she was. A December ago, he couldn't take his eyes off her as they shared Christmas dinner with friends. That same December, before everything went horribly wrong, he didn't tell her. He was falling in love.
Two months later in a small cafe' he was looking at a face that didn't love him anymore. Couldn't love him anymore. Somehow, lies and missunderstanding had shattered their way into the already breaking relationship.
Something about the fading sunlight or the chilly air made these painful thoughts surface. He had pushed them deep into his heart, where only he could be hurt by them. The kind of chest-twisting pain these thoughts brought was so familiar, yet he never seemed to become numb to it. Every time he let the longing for what they were and could have been arouse, the pain was almost unbearable. A physical throb in his heart.
He shook his golden hair over his two sad eyes and breathed deeply. It had been two months since he had moved states, since that horrible day she said she didn't think she could ever love him. Two months of packing his emotions deep inside, coping with facts such as she would not be his wife, that she wouldn't be moving to California with him. Had he told her too late, waited a little too long? Should he have told her on that Christmas eve when he was sure she loved him? Why he didn't tell her that snowy night confused him. The fact that she would never have him was haunting and painful - it left him broken.
His phone buzzed, breaking him from his thoughts. He glanced at the setting sun then to the name shining on his Iphone.
It was her.
There was a glitch in his thinking, breathing. His world. The reality of their breakup and the reality of her calling clashed. As the phone buzzed, he hesitated, wondering whether or not to pick up.
He tapped the green button and moved the phone to his ear.
"Hello," he waited, heart pounding fiercly. Then the angelic voice came.
"Oh! hey, I'm so sorry Kev," She stuttered as the nickname she had so often used tumbled out. "Uh, Kevin. Sorry, I didn't mean to call you. I called the wrong number."
Kevin felt dissapointment, but quickly shrugged it off. What was he expecting?
"Oh," he laughed --something she never failed to make him do. "Okay," he paused, pushing his skatebord back and fourth under his white shoe "uh,"
"So, how are you?" Her attempt to remove the awkwardness of the accidental phone call was transparent, but her voice was just as sweet as ever.
"I'm g-" he stopped, raising his head to look at the dark sky. It was dishonesty that had broken their love, lies that made them never understand each other. Now he was going to comfortably lie to her again? He couldn't. The silence ended. "been better. What about you?"
"I'm doing really well." she sounded sincere and happy. There was a slight gap of quiet. "Well," when she began, he knew this might be it forever. "I've gotta go."
"Make that phone call?" he felt most himself when he talked to her. She laughed softly.
"something like that,"
"Right. Okay," All words left his tongue, leaving time between her voice and the end button.
"I know your life has many exciting things ahead Kevin, without me in the picture." the tone she used was so promising and tender. Something in that moment lit a spark inside him. The forgiveness in her voice released everything he was holding on to, giving it all back to her. How long was he going to spend his life pining for something he could never have? Speaking the truth, and hearing her response had somehow planted a new respect for her in his heart and a new determination to get his life back together, and to give hers fully back to her.
The answer to two months of pain and wandering in the dark was suddenly clear in her words. He would never be able to find that same happiness trying to get her back; it was time to let her go. Maybe there was someone better than him for her. And maybe, though the thought inconceivable at the present, just maybe there was someone better than her for him. It was time to forgive himself for all the mistakes, time to move on.
Nothing felt more right in that moment.
"You too, Ashlyn."