In Search Of Her
"I think we need to make things right with Beth," I said to her.
Lora looked at me for a moment then, "She's not joining us," she said softly. The pain of Emily's loss still foremost on her mind.
"Never," I said, "but things aren't right anymore with the world and I think that's the first step to making it better."
She paused, "Okay. Do what you need to do, but don't ever think..."
I grabbed her hand, cutting her off, "I promise you that I won't do anything you wouldn't want me to do. Okay?"
After that I left the community center and headed out into the night. I didn't have any great plans, no deceptive plot to try and get Beth to talk to me. It wasn't about that anymore. I just wanted to talk to her. To know the person that she is. David made her sound so mysterious and withdrawn and for some reason I was fascinated with the thought of her.
I went to The Raye House and David told me she wasn't home yet but he expected her at any time. I decided not to wait inside. It felt too much like I would be trying to corner her, giving her no place to run. So I stood out in front of The Raye House and waited under the streetlight. I waited for twenty minutes before she rounded the corner.
She seemed very lost in her thoughts. Her long blonde hair came down to her waist and swayed in the wind like a girl in a painting. She saw me and stopped in her tracks before getting a look of resolve on her face and continuing forward.
I stepped away from the streetlight and into the middle of her path so she would know that I was there to talk to her. She stopped a few feet away from me and just stared at my face.
"Hi," I said, to no response from her. I looked down, took a breath and, "I don't know how to make things right with you. I don't know how to apologize and I haven't a clue as how to make the world a better place for us... But I know I have to do something. I know I hurt you..."
She rolled her eyes when I said that. "I can't believe that you really know what you're talking about, Sara," came her reply. Then she turned toward her house and started to walk away.
"Please, please listen to me. I can't lose someone else in my life right now and I know if I don't get you to listen to me that's whats going to happen, so just please...please listen to me," I begged.
She stopped, but didn't turn back towards me.
"I'm not in your life," she said.
"Yes! Yes, you are!," I said. "I can't explain it, but you're definitely a part of my life now. You're in my thoughts a lot, and they're not thoughts of any stupid sexual conquest, or of me just trying to feel better by getting you to forgive me. It's not about that. It's about you! About you and how much I think of you, and I need to make things right with you. I think I need that more than anything else in my life right now."
She turned back towards me then, the resolve look gone from her face and replaced with a strange look of loneliness that I had seen many times when I was young looking in the mirror.
"I don't think I'm the only one that needs this," I continued. "I think everyone needs it. I think you need it, too."
Her eyes were fixed on the old dirty sneakers I had on, then they moved up past my jeans and white t-shirt with the British Union Jack on it and finally into my eyes. She wore a light green sun dress and held a strapless bag with both hands at her waist and stared into my eyes for what seemed like a very long time. I got tired of waiting for her to speak and took a step toward her...
"Can I walk with you tomorrow?," I asked.
"No," she said and I felt a little crushed until, "You know this area better than me so I'll walk with you if you really want that."
"I do," I said and smiled. "It's Sunday so I don't have to be at the community store. Why don't we meet here around four, okay?"
"You're not gonna bring any strap-on's are you," she said sarcastically and the smile went away from my face.
"I'll bring a picnic basket," I said.
She was looking at my sneakers again, "Okay," she said quietly, then turned around and walked towards her house.
"She's so beautiful," I thought. "Why haven't I ever noticed this before?"