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Us and Them

By @ZoeAmber


Saturday / October 13th / 2:39 AM

I can’t help it. I wanted to make this last night as normal and enjoyable as possible. And I’m trying so hard to keep it together but every minute I’m still here with him is destroying me.

Like I’m on death row and he’s my last meal.

He pulls onto a viewpoint overlooking a large lake and shuts off the engine. I take off the helmet and close my eyes, listening to the leather squeak as he turns to face me. I’m afraid to open them. Because I know he’s confused and I know he’s going to be angry. When I open my eyes, he’s looking at me and the fear in me is smothered by sadness. The same sadness I see in his eyes.

I have to bite my lip to fend off the tears stinging my eyes. He offers a hand to comfort me but I get off his bike before I let him do it. I feel the spike of cool air flowing through my hair as I reach the viewpoint’s edge.

“Tell me what’s going on with you.” He says and takes a step toward me on the viewpoint.

“Do you remember that time in 4th grade when Eddie Sampson pushed me off the jungle gym and cut up my knee?” I ask.

He says nothing, but I know he’s listening, so I continue. “You gave him a bloody nose… ‘didn’t even think twice.” I smile and laugh recalling the event but my eyes well up and I have to grip the railing to keep from sobbing out loud.

He takes another step but I put a hand up to stop him. “Did you know who I was back then?”

He hesitates and I slam my hands down on the railing. “Answer me.”

“Yes.” He says in defeat. I finally turn to him and he freezes.

“Then why were you so kind to me when you knew?” I don’t want an answer. “When you knew what I was.”

His eyebrows crease and he curls his hands into fists.

I smile and point a finger at him. “You know, that’s the same look you gave me on the day my parents dragged me out of our elementary school for the last time.”

I smile again. “And when I saw you again on the first day of high school, I saw the same brave, little boy who wasn’t afraid of his family’s rules.”

My smile fades and my tears fall. “But I think you saw the same little girl who was.”

“No.” He takes another step towards me and my voice raises in defence. “Stop.”

“So, I think it’s for the best.” My voice strains from the lump in my throat. “If we just went back to how things were.”

“Stop it.” He comes closer and his voice fights with mine.

“God, just leave me alone, Hayden!” I scream. “I can’t-“

I don’t finish.

Because he runs to me, takes my face in his hands and kisses me so hard it’s like my heart is about burst out of my chest. My hands grasp his t-shirt and I lean into him. It’s the smell of him and the flashes of colour I see when he kisses me over and over and it’s too much for me to handle. This complete and genuine glee.

I feel like we’re in the centre of a lightning storm as every inch of my skin is firing electric currents in all directions. His strong arms clutch my back and I don’t want any of this to ever end.

I want my death certificate to say in bold letters “Death by Hayden Cassidy. The kiss of death.” But when he pulls back, he looks at me with concern and wipes the tears from my cheek. I am completely overcome sliding from one emotion to the next in seconds. True and utter despair.

He joins me when I drop to my knees on the ground and embraces me,

knowing as well as I do…

…that this will never be.

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  1. Kathleen Fazio

    Feb 2, 2022

    omg I love it so much! you are an amazing writer.

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    0 Replies Feb 2, 2022
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