It had been a week since that horrible day. Peter hadn’t spoken to me since. In fact, I hadn’t seen him again. I had no idea whether he was sick or not, or if he was even at school, but I didn’t really care. Or at least, that’s what I told myself. I didn’t talk to Tyler either. He was again surrounded by girls, but his gaze still seemed to fall on me whenever I was in the room. I, however, did not look back at him.
Rolling my shoulders, I leaned back and let out a long breath. Glancing around the library, I looked at the clock. School was almost out. Today was Friday, the last day before Winter Break. I started to put away my binders and stood up, getting ready to leave. When the bell rang I was already half way out the door, making my way down the hall. Pushing through the doors, I stepped outside into the cold air. It was December, so it was understandably cold. I stepped out into the street and started my long walk home.
Around ten o’clock I stepped outside, pulling on my hat. It was snowing now. It looked like a white wonderland. I started walking down the driveway, glancing behind me to look at my footprints in the snow. Walks at night had become a habit for me, and I now took one every night. Glancing down the street, I smiled, feeling almost happy. I didn’t know what was going to happen, and I didn’t know if Peter would ever forgive me or I would ever forgive him. Right now, though, I felt okay by myself. When I had been with Tyler, I was constantly selling myself short, never actually happy. But now I was being myself, and maybe that was the best thing of all.
Turning onto another street, I looked at the bare trees, standing so naked and lonely in the snow. I wrinkled my nose and started walking towards the park.
When I got there, I let out a silent breath. It looked so pretty. The street lamps made the snow seem almost orange. Taking a couple steps further into the park, I noticed a tall form of a person standing about fifty yards away from me. It looked like a man. Without thinking about it, I started walking towards them. It probably wasn’t a good idea, walking towards a strange man at ten o’clock at night in an otherwise abandoned park. However, I kept walking. He had his back facing me, and he was looking out over the small pond that had frozen over. When I realized who it was, it was too late to turn around, because he had heard me approaching.
He turned around and looked at me, his face blank. Tilting his head, he took in my skinny jeans, boots, blue sweater, and hat.
“Why did you leave me?” I asked quietly, breaking the silence.
He answered without hesitation, “I didn’t know what to do. I was mad.”
“So you leave me?”
Peter glanced down at the ground, and then back up to me. He then shrugged and didn’t offer any other kind of answer.
Nothing had changed. There was still a big wall in between us. He obviously didn’t care anymore. And whatever feelings he might have felt towards me were certainly gone by now. I nodded and then turned around and walked away from him. Things weren’t going to magically work themselves out. Now that I had figured out what I felt for Peter, it was too late. I knew the day that I ended things with Tyler for the second time that it was Peter that I wanted, but by that time he had already made up his mind. There was nothing I could do, and it wasn’t like I could force him to like me again. I released a long breath of air, not wanting to accept the truth. I left the park feeling a lot lower than I had when I had first gotten there. By the time I got back home I was in tears, wishing that I had never gone for the walk in the first place.
The week later I was taking yet another walk when I heard someone calling my name.
I turned around and saw Peter running to catch up with me, trying not to slip on the snow that had become slush. I stopped walking and just stared at him. I wasn’t going to reach out again. If he had something to say then it was up to him to start the conversation. I narrowed my eyes and said nothing. He seemed uncomfortable under my gaze. It was still snowing lightly, so there were flecks of snow in his hair. He was blushing slightly, but I didn’t know if it was because he was embarrassed or cold.
“Are you still with Tyler?” he asked suddenly.
I let out a small breath. This is what he wanted to know? He didn’t even care about me? He just wanted to know if I was still with Tyler because he didn’t like him. “No,” I said flatly. I had expected him to apologize or something. But he was mad at me, so why would he apologize?
He nodded, glancing down at his feet.
“Is that all you have to say?” I asked, annoyed.
He looked up at me. “Why are you being like this?”
I scoffed. “Being like what? Mad? I don’t know, Peter, why don’t you ask yourself that?”
He narrowed his eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You were the one who was mad at me for no reason!”
“I had a reason!” he retorted, “You knew I liked you! You ignored me for almost two months! And then when I finally see you, you’re back with the asshole!”
“You left me while I was crying and apologizing to you!”
“I told you that I didn’t know what to do!” he yelled.
“So you leave me?” I yelled back, “Do you think I’ve been happy? I missed you like crazy! And then when I talk to you, you treat me like shit!”
“You treated me like shit!”
“I said sorry!”
“Sorry doesn’t make it okay!”
“That night I talked to you at the park you completely shut me down! You acted like I was the last person on earth that you wanted to talk to! What the hell?” I screamed at him, tears streaming down my face. All the pain that I had felt came back, fresh and new.
“What did you expect me to do?”
“I wanted you to say it was okay!” I screamed. Then I quietly added, “I wanted you to tell me that people make mistakes. I wanted you to tell me that it wasn’t too late and you hadn’t changed your mind. I wanted you to act like you at least knew me, for goodness sakes. I just wanted you, Peter.”
He just stared at me. Taking a step forward, he cupped my face, brushing my tears away with his thumb. “I didn’t think you liked me,” he whispered.
“I did,” I whispered, “I do.”
Putting his other hand on the back of my neck, he pulled me closer, pressing his mouth to mine.
This time I didn’t hesitate to react. I smiled into his mouth and reached my arm around his neck, playing with his tousled hair. With my other hand I grabbed his wrist that was still placed at the base of my neck. He pulled back suddenly, and then brought his mouth close to my ear.
“We have to be clear with one another from now on, okay?” he whispered, sending shivers down my spine.
“Alex, will you be my girlfriend?”
Another shiver went down my spine. Instead of answering, I turned my head and captured his mouth with mine. His hands cupped my face again, as if all he ever wanted was centered right there.
Pulling away again, I look up at him. He continues to hold my face with one hand, a small smile playing on his face. The lamplight shined in his eyes, making the flecks of green stand out. His other hand slides down my torso and rests on my hip. I start to grin, but then bite my lip to stop it. Peter’s eyes travel down to my mouth, and then back up to my eyes. The snow continues to twirl around us, and the world goes on, unaware of what’s going on between us. But we’re in our own world, our own universe. We’re captured here together. It doesn’t matter to us what the rest of the world’s doing at that moment, and the rest of the world doesn’t care about us, either.