Mrs. Bird sat at her desk, holding the little cross on her necklace, and looked around the classroom. I watched as she pointed to Karen with a manicured finger and told her to pass out graded papers to the class. She was an okay teacher, but something never seemed right about her. When I got my paper I sagged in my chair like a pillow short of stuffing would. Life officially sucked. I got a thirty six percent on my trigonometry test, Mrs. Bird’s big frilly handwriting letting me know, and what I wanted was to watch that forty percent disintegrate and turn into an eighty five as if I wasn’t bad at math. Before I could tear it up another paper was slapped onto my desk, the grade on that was far better than mine which only caused me to roll my eyes up to Kayton.
“And your grade is better than mine, again. I think you just want to hurt me.”
“Always Amy, because that’s what I do,” he sarcastically said with a small smile. A feeling washed over me and I started to think about things, triggered from his smile...He took a seat next to me and sighed. The momentary happiness drained from his face when his smile melted into a frown. He seemed to be silently sulking about whatever, making me come out of my head. I bet it was his father again.
“What did he do…?” I whispered.
“He threw a chair out the back door after a phone call from his boss. I guess things aren’t going well with his work right now. He and my mom are going to go see the grandparents this weekend and that’s been stressing him out to, for god knows why. My mom gave me a weird look this morning and told me how much she loved me.”
“Well, your mom is just being a mom. My mother does that sometimes and even though it can worry you she just means well. I mean on the bright side she will be able to take your new car out for a drive in the country like she wanted too... your father will be fine, Kayton, don't worry.”
“I'll try not to. I just don't like to see him so stressed out, and angry. My mom really doesn't need any of that either... I think that car was the best gift my dad could have got for my introverted mom,” Kayton said. He smiled again. He kissed my cheek and went back to his seat as Mrs. Bird got up to begin to review. I looked back at where he sat and mouthed ‘everything will be okay.’ He nodded, whispering ‘I love you.’ When I looked back, Mrs. Bird had her hands on her hips and was looking straight at me, into my mind as if she could read it. As if because of what she saw of the thoughts in my head meant I wasn’t holly enough for her so she pursed her ruby lips then went to write on the white board. I think I was going to tell Kayton after school...
. . .
We embraced in the drop-off area and sat on a bench. Other students crowded around but we were really alone with each other. The thing about Kayton was he just cared, he cared so much for his parents in a way you didn’t see most boys care about, and he really was amazing when it came to appreciating everything he had in life. He had a settle love for life in a way I just could never maintane. Everything about him made me feel just a bit brighter, which is why I was always there for him when he worried. I was somebody in his eyes, even though I knew I wasn’t anything special. Now that I knew I loved him it just seemed right, it felt right, and I was ready. We kissed then quietly talked about our day while, then I stopped him in mid-sentence realizing I needed to tell him what I had been feeling I wanted for a while now. “I care a lot for you Kayton, and I love you and I think want to lose my virginity with you…”
“Oh, Amy I-” A familiar sound stopped him, and we both looked in the direction it came from. His mom waved out of the car window in the parking lot, and honked again with a smile. I kissed Kayton’s cheek after he apologetically looked at me. He took his backpack up in one swoop from the ground and smiled even though he was red in the face.
“Don’t forget to text me Kayton,” I yelled after him.
“I won’t!” After he disappeared in that shiny black vehicle, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I took a deep breath and pulled it out.
K: Hey, I’m sorry I had to go right then…how long have you been thinking about this?
A: Well for a while... I want to and im ready, because I love you... R u wanting 2?
K: I want to as long as your wanting to, I don’t want to push anything … When were you thinking we would?
A: What about this weekend when your parents are gone? I’ll meet you half way at the park saturday near your house so i can tell my mom im going to a friends house so she wont suspect
K: Oh, that is soon…alright ill meet you there. I love you Amy and if you choose you don’t want, there is no pressure. ill call you l8er
A: Okay… I love you Kayton, no pressure its my choice
K: okay ill call you later... <3
. . . I feel like a dry, crumpled, leaf as I wait under the big oak with its autumn hair. I sit in a pile of leaves. My thoughts are a bit scattered but I guess that’s natural. All I can think about is what my mom is doing and if Kayton found me attractive enough for sex or wondering where the birds were in this damn park. I then focus on admiring the sky blemished with a pungent orange, rosy pink, and yellow with the sun near to setting as I wait. I’m nervous.
A gust of wind takes off with some dancing leaves afloat in its cast-less hurry making me excited. When I look to my left I see Kayton walking down the sidewalk. The excitement escalates to where I feel flimsy wings tickle my insides. He makes a small smile as he scans the park with his brown eyes. Kayton gets closer and I stay frozen. He gets closer. Closer…
We tumble into the grass and I claw onto his jacket as we spiral downwards. His scent files into my nostrils making me close my eyes with satisfaction. He laughs out when we reach the bottom and a drop of his saliva lands on my chin. I wipe that away as he stares at my hair. A twinkle is caught in his eye. Kayton picks a small leaf out of my hair just to crumple it in his hand.
“I told you I’d meet you half way,” I said.
“Yeah, you should have also of mentioned that you were going to jump on me out of a leaf pile.”
“And blow my cover? Never.”
“Well, I do like the leaves in your hair, Amy…it suites you.”
“Kayton… tell me it again… tell me what you told me on the phone last night.”
“You’re going to make me say it again, ha-ha. Fine, but this is the last time…You keep me falling backwards,in some cases, literally, ha-ha. I can talk to you all day in whispers and never get tired, because you keep me wanting to know what’s next.The comfort you give me allows me to be myself; to like who I am when I’m with you.”
I ran my hands up his chest and around his neck. He pulled me closer to him with urgency. His words felt amazing to hear. We kissed each other for what seemed like forever in the grass, making the most of our time before it got dark. Pretty soon the sun started to make its way down, and so I got up and stretched over Kayton. I loved him so much.
“Time to, well, go to my house?”
“Yeah, I guess it really is,” I replied.
“Alright, let’s go. I rented movies,” he said.
We headed back to the path and quietly walked. When the street Kayton’s house was on could be seen, his hand found mine. He was nervous, and that made me calm inside knowing I wasn’t the only one thinking about what happens next. Although, I knew we would have all night and all day, so there would be time to just relax and try to think… or procrastinate.
. . .
Hours had passed of just watching movies, eating sandwiches, and trying to have a conversation on anything but. Now, we were in his room. Everything was organized which I wasn’t used to seeing and it smelled like apple cinnamon, vaguely. A lit candle was on his desk next to a condom... I wasn’t nervous as he was, and I could feel that I was ready to do this with him. He sat next to me and kept silent. I looked at him, and then I kissed his shoulder. Kayton flinched in response but I just kept kissing up to his neck, trying to ease him away from thinking.
“Amy…I don’t know when my parents come home tomorrow, and are you sure you want to do this? I want this to be special for you and be an experience you will cherish…”
“Do you want to do this?”
“Well then stop thinking about it and start kissing me back. Everything will be okay…”
I gently pulled his shirt and found his lips. Each moment got more passionate. He pushed me back on the bed, and began to kiss me like never before. Kayton squeezed my hands in his and whispered that he loved me over and over. It was then that my heart began to pound. I could hardly register what was happening as I got lost in the frenzy, feeling like I forgot something I kissed him and that feeling went away.
. . .
“It happened all too soon. One moment he was there making love to me and then the next he-he was lying on top of me dying. I had screamed before I even heard the gunshot,” I whispered.
“Amy, can you tell me what happened when he died? Tell me what the face of the killer looked like,” officer Tim said.
“Kayton looked me in the eyes and struggled with his words. I put my hands on his face and tried to not cry and say everything was going to be okay… but when I looked up the killer had just slipped out. I just wailed and cried as I watched him die in my arms.”
“Do you know what the killer was wearing?”
“All I saw was a dark figure and when I saw him slip out, the only thing I saw was the back of a black b-boot...”
“Are you aware of the illegal work Kayton’s father was doing that lead up to his sons murder? Do you know where they are?” Tim pressed.
“No, no, no, no, no… his father wouldn’t do that. His father wouldn’t work in anything like that; they are good parents who are in the country with grandparents!”
“No, they are not with Bert and Patty Filmore... the grandparents. Kaytons dad worked for a drug lord name Vulken and borrowed money he couldn’t pay back. I don’t think they know their son has been killed, and I think they are with some bad people they owe a lot of money to. Meaning they might be killed, when all is said and done. Are you sure you don’t know anything at all?”
I sat there and couldn’t absorb it all. I began to cry harder, knowing that Kayton could not have known. Knowing that his father got him killed, and that his mother was a part of it- it was all too much. Knowing that his father was in some kind of work with a drug lord was something I just can’t allow myself to believe. Kayton’s father was always a little harsh, but you could tell he meant well and loved his family. Kayton was gone in one clean wisp, taken from here to there, wherever that ‘there’ was.
The cold room I was in, being questioned by a cop, felt like a cage with no air. I felt gross; I felt undone, anger, hatred. My mind was in scrambles as I saw my first love’s eyes bore into mine from the lust inside tremble to a darkness undefined by death. The grey door opened and my mom stood there with tears in her eyes and hands covering her mouth. She gasped and ran to me with her purse clutched to her side. We shook and sobbed, and I held her so tight afraid that if I let go I’d be left in this nightmare alone.
. . .
They had found his parents… but after that I just couldn’t hear anymore. All of it is gone, so quick as if he was just part of my imagination, but the truth was he was real and now he is dead. After a while I had to accept at least that, the therapy helping me. My mother has been my life vest, and my umbrella depending on the storm. I feel Kayton when I’m alone in my room, I feel lighter. Everything was back to feeling like calm, blank, blue skies, the way I imagined he felt when he was relaxed sitting somewhere happy to be alive, happy because he was unconflicted, different in my eyes.
It has been twenty seven weeks since. Most of that time has been full of sadness from memories, and pain from the loss of never being able to make more with him, but there have been two great things out of it. I have never failed a math test again or any test for that matter, making Mrs. Bird one of my new best friends… until my belly started to pop out. Who would have guessed that I would be pregnant at the end of this? Hopefully it has his eyes, his smile, and his appreciation for life.
I can now understand what peace is like by just breathing, when I feel my child move inside of me, just to love that my air is it's air. Our baby reminds me of all the good things, despite the bad things in life. Even though a baby is the last thing I would need, it is the only thing I want now that he is gone. I love it, and I love life because of it, because if I didn’t his would have meant nothing to me. He had been everything to me. At least for that, I can cope. At least for that I will know everything will eventually be okay again.
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