Tons going on today! (Including a much-needed haircut, because I'm just totally exciting like that :) Of course, I'm hanging out with some awesome people, too:
Christie's Book Reviews was kind of enough to put up with me, as was Always Jo Art, and The Offbeat Vagabond. Stop by and say hello?
On to the story!!
~I didn’t sleep all night. Charlotte called later to report Richie was fine and at home. James didn’t call at all.
Saturday morning and I stood at my window, staring outside, still trying to frame a question for James that wouldn’t make me seem crazy or make him clam up. Or worse, lie to me. Because I knew for certain that was what he had been doing: lying.
I thought about calling at least a hundred times, but again I couldn’t come up with the right words. I wished all over again that I knew whatever language that would let me talk about these things.
James appeared at the end of my driveway as soon as the sun was above the horizon. I hidbehind my curtains and watched him pace.
Giving in, I dressed and stepped onto the porch to face him.
His expression as he walked toward me said everything; there was nothing I would get out of him.
“I have to leave today. There’s a family…issue back in Germany. I have to go.”
I knew he was lying. “James, you don’t have to go. Just explain what’s going on and we’ll figure something out.”
He just looked away.
“I have to go.” He pulled me close, hugging me like his life depended on it. That last kiss tasted like salt and loss. Then, he walked off down the drive into the bright morning sunshine and was gone.
My heart walked away with him.
Going back to school on Monday, Richie and I kept looking around, half expecting him to appear and join us. It took several days for the reality of it all to settle in. He was gone.
There was a big part of me that was really angry. What couldn’t he tell me? What could possibly be such a big secret to keep him away?
I longed to ask him. Rant and rave until he gave in and told me everything.
There were long nights I spent staring out my window, watching the silver moonlight illuminate a world I wasn’t sure I fully understood any more. The image of what happened by the creek rewound in my mind enough times I started to question if I’d imagined it all.
At school, Richie leaned over at lunch, his voice low so no one would overhear, “Does it ever, well, seem like someone’s watching?”
A shiver worked its way up my spine. I knew exactly what he meant. The feeling of someone’s eyes on my back when I was alone. The itch that someone was spying from somewhere I couldn’t find.
Richie nodded in satisfaction at my reaction. He knew exactly what I meant.
The real question was, just who, or what was watching?