“I love you,” he whispered. I replayed the words in my head over and over again. My heart pounded against my chest, my breath came quicker and I was blinded by stars and bright lights that filled my eyes. I almost floated off the ground with joy. The surroundings disappeared and all that existed in the world was me and him. Nothing else mattered anymore except that we were together. If I had to choose one moment to relive for the rest of my life it would be that one. His arms were around me our bodies close. I could feel his breath near my cheek. My heart thudded even faster as though it would burst out any second. Every minute felt like a mere second it slipped away so fast. He’d said it so many times before for so long now but I still couldn’t get used to it. Right there with him, I knew it.
I loved him too. Every moment felt as amazing as it had the first time we started spending time together. Eventually we started dating and after a while we realised it wasn’t just a bit of fun. It was serious- we loved each other. He’d been hesitant to start a relationship but wouldn’t say why- probably because his father had died and he was still mourning.
Christen was everything to me. He was so much to me and could never mean more to anyone. I couldn’t imagine life without looking into those extraordinary green eyes, like precious gleaming emeralds or freshly dew dropped grass in colour. Their gaze was so strong it held you there, dazed or amazed rather. They were so wide and so unordinary it was thrilling to catch him looking at you with them so widely. His hair was always carelessly brushed and a honey blonde with natural brown highlights throughout. It was short but there was a lot of it, soft and shiny. His nose was small and in the dead centre of his face. His skin was ivory, so pale and such a creamy colour, with little freckles dotted over his nose. His lips were thin yet so perfect and almost always pulled up in that familiar grin that sent chills of joy up my spine to see. His features were so kind and handsome. He wasn’t just something to look at though. No he was a gentleman and always believed in treating people right. He was forgetful but always worked hard. He was always laughing and acting silly making jokes. Christen was charismatic in a way. There was something about his childish ways that won you over. He was strong mentally and physically and could get through anything. He got over his father dying because he knew that’s what he would have wanted- so mature. He may seem young when he’s fooling about but he isn’t irresponsible, just carefree. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and stand up for what he believes in. My Christen was so admired by every girl but they didn’t know him like me. They weren’t in love with him. They wouldn’t give up anything for him.
“I love you too,” I replied, “always have and always will.”
Everything came back into view. We were outside the steel park gates that stood tall and menacing, but had huge tree branches hanging down, dotted with clusters of white blossoms. The bumpy concrete pavement was cracked and lines ran along it in every direction. Tiny little stones had come loose and were scattered about the place. A fence ran around the entire perimeter of the park, but had been bent in one place by someone with a crowbar, so a small person could fit through the gap. I tried to open the gates. They rattled and creaked and it was only then I noticed the chain and padlock. I should’ve been home before they had been locked.
“My parents aren’t going to be too pleased. I promised I wouldn’t be late home today” I sighed.
“Hey, don’t worry, just blame it on me”
“Christen-” I protested.
“Hayley honestly I don’t mind. Your mum can’t tell me off so why shouldn’t I help you out?” he cut across.
Christen helped me through the gap and we walked along the smooth pale grey path to a nearby bench. We sat down on the cold green painted metal seat together. It was late in the evening and the sky was a dark orange streaked with red. The clouds looked a smoky grey black silhouetted against the glowing jewel like colours.
“You know I really should make my way home” I said biting my lip.
“You’re already late it doesn’t matter really does it”
“I guess not”
“I’m such a bad influence aren’t I?”
“Seriously my parents worry too much though don’t they? I was a minute late coming home from the fair three years ago and-“
“You opened the door and your mother was crying”
“They mean well though” I reasoned.
He sighed. I knew he wanted to spend all his time with me. It was only natural to want to spend time with the person you were in love with. But my parents were starting to think that Christen was a bad influence. And I couldn’t have my parents dislike him. I loved him. I had loved him for two years and yet even something simple like him holding my hand or kissing me on the cheek felt as wonderful as the first time. It was only when you felt like that you knew you loved someone.
“Come on then I don’t want to have to be lectured by your mother” he grinned getting up. I rose from the bench unwillingly. I wanted to stay with him but I didn’t want to disappoint my mother.
We walked through the park which wasn’t really much of a park at all. It was a big field of grass with the odd bench alongside the smooth chalky pathway. There was a shortcut from there to my house. I looked up at the familiar tree branched hanging above us. Christen chuckled.
“What?” I asked puzzled.
“I fell out of the big one yesterday” he said a little ashamed.
“Christen! Honestly you’re like a child sometimes” I tutted.
“You’re like my mother sometimes”
I just didn’t want him to get hurt. He was like a bouncy baby boy acting without thinking.
“Did you hurt yourself?”
“No” he answered too quickly. I smiled, knowing he probably had. He hated showing signs of weakness.
We’d reached my house by then. He kissed me and I felt it all the way down to my toes.
“Hayley get in here now. See you tomorrow Christen” my mother’s voice floated out of the open living room widow.
I sighed- I doubt that the Christen card would work for the thousandth time.
The day was bright and happy, and the sky looked like it had been scrubbed vigorously by my mother and her canary yellow rubber gloves.
“There’s going to be a very long test today” I reminded Chris as we trudged across the field and through the school car park.
“There’s going to be a boy with a very long face tomorrow” he said sorrowfully, playing it up.
“Christen you’ve go to start pulling those Thomas the Tank socks of yours up” I giggled elbowing him.
“Hey unfair!” he protested. That boy was so touchy about his stupid socks.
That’s when I noticed a girl who I had never seen before standing by the school gates. Christen froze next to me.
Her hair was blonde, cut short into a straight sharp bob which was longer at the front. Her round doe eyes were milk chocolate brown and wide with what- fear? Her face was pale with a light sheen of sweat, and she looked ready to pass out. She was model thin with sharp elbows and shoulders and long never ending legs. She was looking straight at us.
That’s when Chris ran, and I mean seriously legged it, as fast as his athletic football playing legs could take him. I span round confused.
“What the hell?!” I called.
“I’ll explain later” he shouted back.
Her eyes locked with mine.