The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, Page 34Jessica Sorensen
I sweep some of her hair to the side, which smells faintly of rain, and kiss her gently on the lips. When I pull away, she seems surprised.
“Kayden… I-I…” She struggles for words. “You don’t have to be with me because you feel sorry for me. I didn’t even mean to tell you that. I just got caught up in the moment. ”
I gaze down at her, astounded. “I’m with you because I want to be with you. ”
She swallows hard. “Even after what I told you?”
I brush my finger along her cheekbone. “Callie, I feel the exact same way about you now as I did an hour ago. Nothing’s different. ”
She fights back tears as she blinks her eyes. “Are you sure? Because sometimes… sometimes I’m a mess. What happened just barely wasn’t a one-time thing. I get that way when I remember things. ”
I nod, scared as hell. I want to be with her, more than anything at the moment. I just hope I can handle it, for her sake.
I didn’t mean to drop it on him like a giant bomb, but the need to get away from him so I could rid the vile feeling in my body was too overpowering. I let it slip out, hoping he’d freak out and let me go, but he did the opposite. He held on, allowing me to cry, letting me break apart, and giving me more than he’ll ever know.
Saying it aloud to him was liberating, like I took hold of a part of my life again. I just hope it stays that way.
He doesn’t let me go as I sit up, his body rising up with me. He releases me briefly to climb over me and pick up my bra from off the floor. I loop my arms through the straps and my hands tremble as I reach around to fasten the clasp. He gathers up my shirt next, shaking it out, then slips it over my head. I elevate my arms as he pulls it down over me to cover me up.
“What do you want to do for the rest of the day?” he asks and glances at the window. “Or, should I say night?”
I pull the shirt over the last of my stomach and flip my hair out from under the collar. “I should probably go back to my dorm and get caught up on my homework. I have a lot of papers to write still. ”
“You know school is basically going to end in a few days?”
“I know, but I missed a lot of classes when I was… avoiding you. ”
He grabs a red shirt from his dresser and pulls it over his head, ruffling his hair into place. “Do you want me to walk you back?”
“If you want to,” I say, feeling guilty for making him do something else for me. He’s already done enough for the night.
A small smile touches at his lips. “I’ll walk you back. ”
We head outside together and I feel strange, especially when he places his hand over mine. The lights of my building glimmer in the distance and all I can focus on is getting there.
“Are you going home for Thanksgiving?” he asks as we cross the wet grass and duck beneath the trees, where rain showers down on us.
I shrug. “I wasn’t planning on it, but maybe. My parents were going to fly to Florida for the holidays, but I got a text from my mom earlier today saying they were staying home and that I should come home. ”
“You should ride with Luke and me,” he suggests as we cross the street, through the puddles, and hop over the curb. “We’re heading back in a few days or so. ”
There are many reasons why I don’t want to go home; one being that the guy that ruined my life could be staying at my house. “I’ll think about it and let you know. ”
“You know it could be fun,” he says with a quirky smirk. “You could hang out with Luke and I and we could show you the nonexistent fun times of our life. ”
I offer him a half smile, because his words remind me of my life back home and how much I hate it. “Maybe. ”
He licks his lips, looking like he might kiss me, and even though I want him to, I still worry that he’s doing this for the wrong reasons. I reach for the handle of the door to my dorm building. “Thanks for walking me home. ” I slip my fingers out of his and hurry down the hall, leaving him stunned. I try not to look at the bathroom as I pass by it, but it’s all I can think about, and I end up backtracking.
Once I’m finished I can breathe again.
I can’t stop thinking about what happened to Callie. I think she thought telling me would scare me off, but it’s had the opposite effect. I want nothing more than to be with her and protect her, like no one ever did for me. I want to make sure nothing else bad happens to her.
It’s getting close to the holidays and I’m preparing to go back home. Honestly, I don’t want to go back there, but where else am I going to go? I don’t have anyone, but my mom and dad as shitty as they may be. And my mom practically begged me, saying that Tyler would be home and I haven’t seen him in years. I wonder what he’s like now, after years of drinking.
Callie and I have spent the last few days together, watching movies and talking, but it’s been strictly a friend thing. Not because I want it to be, but because I have no idea how to try and take it farther.
I’m walking back to my dorm from my last class before I head home when I spot her wandering around through the trees, reading a book. Her hair is down to her shoulders and she has a long-sleeved grey shirt on and black jeans.
“Reading anything good?” I ask, stopping in front of her.
Her head whips up and she snaps the book shut, which actually is her journal. “Hey, what are you doing?”
I eye the notebook and then cock my eyebrow. “You know one day you’re going to have to let me read some of the stuff you put in there. ”
She shakes her head quickly, hugging the notebook against her chest, the blood rushing to her cheeks. “No way. ”
Her reaction makes me want to read it even more.
We walk across the grass together with no real direction other than to make it to the sidewalk.
“Have you decided if you’re going home yet?” I ask, stuffing my hands into my pockets. “You know I really want you to. ”
She frowns. “So does my mom, but I don’t know… I’m just not a fan of being at home. It reminds me of too many things. ”
“Mine does, too,” I agree. “And that’s why we should go together. We can take off every day and hang out. Luke’s not a fan of his home either, so I know he’ll give us a ride wherever. ”
She peeks up through her eyelashes with a skeptical look on her face. “Okay, I’ll think about it. ”
“You sound skeptical. ”
“It’s just that… it seems kind of unbelievable that you, Luke, and I would hang out like that. ”
“Why wouldn’t we?”
She shrugs, her shoes scuffing against the mud at the edge of the lawn. “Because we never did before. We’ve known each other for years and the only time we’ve talked is while we’ve been here. Away from Afton. ”
I reel in front of her and she almost runs into me. “You think I’d ditch you because we were back home?”
Her shoulders shift upward as she shrugs again and stares at the ground. “It’s kind of inevitable. People will be there and a lot of people you hang out with don’t like me. ”
I secure my finger under her chin and incline her head up, looking into her sad blue eyes. “You’re referring to Daisy?”
“Daisy, her friends, everyone we went to school with,” she says miserably. “But it doesn’t matter. I just don’t feel like going home. ”
She swipes her card through the lock and I open the door to her building. The warm air encircles us as we walk down the unoccupied hallway. “Then, what are you going to do? Stay here by yourself?”
“I’m a big girl,” she says as we get onto the elevators and then shakes her head when I begin to smile. “I don’t mean in the literal sense. ”
The elevator rises up and I stay quiet as I try to figure out a way to persuade her into going with me. When we reach her bedroom door, I begin to panic. The thought of leaving her here by herself is ripping at my heart.
p; “Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here. ” I take a deep breath, because what I’m about to say is very real and more honest than I’ve ever been. “I don’t want to be away from you for that long. ”
She sucks her bottom lip into her mouth and bites on it. “I’m sure you’ll be okay. ” She extends her hand toward the lock and punches the code. She starts to turn the knob, but I catch her wrist.
“No, I won’t,” I assure her with an unsteady voice. “I’m becoming attached to our little talks and… and you’re the only one that really knows everything about me. ”
Her shoulders sink as she looks at me with empathy. “I’ll have to talk to my mom first and ask her a few things. I’ll let you know tomorrow. ”
I release her and step back, feeling somewhat better. “Promise me you’ll really think about it. ”
She nods, twisting the doorknob. “I promise. ”
She takes a step inside, but I can’t let her go yet. My fingers snag her sleeve and I pull her back out into the hall.
“What are you—”
Before either of us can protest, I seal my lips to hers, stealing our breaths away. My hand touches her face and I hold her cheek in my palm while my other hand presses against her lower back, arching her body against mine. I slip my tongue into her mouth, just a quick kiss, but it conveys all the hunger I feel inside. Our legs give out and my hand snaps out, bracing us against the wall before we fall to the floor. She lets out a soft moan and I pull away, knowing if I go any farther it’s going to be that much harder to let her go.
She blinks her eyes wildly as I back down the hall with a grin on my face. “And remember, you promised. ”
With a dazed look in her eyes, she walks inside her room, and tosses her notebook onto her bed, before shutting the door.
“Do you have your old year book with you?” I ask Luke when I enter our room.
“I think so,” he says, looking away from the television for a split second. He’s playing a racing game, totally zoned out as his fingers hammer at the control buttons. “Why?”
“Can I look at it for a second?” I grab a can of soda out of the mini fridge.
He points at the closet door, his eyes returning to the screen. “I think it’s in my trunk in there. ”
Setting the can down on the foot of my bed, I go into the closet. Unlatching the locks of the trunk, I raise the lid and search through the books until I find it tucked in the side. I fan through the pages until I get to the “L” section and find “Callie Lawrence. ”
The girl in the picture is not the Callie I know. Her hair is to her chin and choppy, like she cut it herself. She has on a baggy jacket that hides her slim shoulders and heavy black eyeliner that swallows her beautiful blue eyes. The same sadness is there, though; haunting her.
I scan some more pages for her, but it’s like she barely existed. I get to my feet, put the book back, and shut the trunk, wondering what it would have been like if we had been friends in high school. For some reason, I think that maybe things would have been a little easier and the pressure on my shoulders would have been a little bit more bearable.