1. The Start

There wasn’t too much room in her suitcase but she was almost done packing. Soon she would be getting on a plane and heading down south. They hadn’t seen each other in months and this concerned her. Would it be awkward? Maybe. In her heart she knew this would probably be the last time they saw each other but she couldn’t pinpoint what had given her this feeling. She picked up her phone and flipped through his Instagram one more time.

“He seems to love it there,” she thought. Six months ago he had decided to move and she just cried. She didn’t feel she had the right, or the influence, to make him stay. She was 18 and although independent, in many ways she was still growing up. She wondered if this was why he hadn’t invited her to go along with him. They had broken up then technically, but they both knew that it was just an attempt to add distance.

She got off of her phone and moved through the house in a thoughtful and slow manner, making sure she had everything she needed. The plane left in about 4 hours and she was trying to stay distracted from her anxieties. Last time she saw him was the day he left, six months ago. They had spent the summer together and the morning he left he kissed her goodbye and wished her luck.

Luck? What the fuck did that mean?

She was finally sure she had everything she wanted to bring. Essentials and also something to keep her distracted if she had to spend a lot of time alone at the beach. The Kindle was loaded up with a mix of true crime and romance novels she chose at random. She was supposed to only see him for a few days and she wasn’t even sure why she was going anymore. She had booked this trip shortly after he left but the last 6 weeks or so she had been more distant. Or maybe it was him. She was having a hard time telling and an even harder time getting it off of her mind.

“I’m over thinking this,” she groaned. He wanted to see her and he missed her. She believed him but wasn’t sure she cared. She had met someone new. It was not intentional but it was definitely exciting. They had met through mutual friends playing ultimate frisbee. She was the only girl who played so she wasn’t surprised when one of them asked her to come to a party of his. She was new to the college and was trying to figure out who she even wanted to be. The party was awkward. Lots of familiar faces but she felt really alone. This was about 2 months after Alex had left.

She smoked a blunt with some of the guys from the frisbee club to try and calm her thoughts. She wanted friends so badly but just couldn’t shake the lonely feeling that seemed to stick to every part of her. Keeping her on the sidelines. After about an hour she was starting to lose interest in forcing conversation with drunken friends. Since these were not her friends, not yet anyway, it was hard to follow the stream of inside jokes and giggles that came with knowing someone so well. She decided to leave.

Not wanting to be rude she made sure to thank him for inviting her. She felt like an asshole for wanting to leave and call Alex but being around so much happiness made her miss him. Then, it happened. A quick, simple kiss. She was stunned and stared back at him, questioning him with her gaze.

“You are intoxicating to me,” he said. This situation began to feel like a joke.  He was actually drunk and for a second she wondered if he misspoke.

“Thank you,” she said with more confusion than she meant express. She had felt so alone for so long that having someone really see her made her uncomfortable. She felt like a liar though she had done nothing wrong. She was supposed to be leaving to see Alex in a couple months. But here was this guy, right in front of her. She started to move down the stairs, never looking away from him. He smiled and said bye as she moved out of sight around the corner. She smiled the entire walk home.

She got back into her dorm and played this over in her head until she fell asleep. If this was the start of something new, fucking bring it on. The distraction, for now, was greatly welcomed.

 

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