Out In The Wind

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“Perfect now?” Patrick asks as I look around the room.

Besides for the bare walls I do like it. It’s not really anything like my old bedroom, but it feels like home, especially with my books surrounding me, even if they are packed in stacks on the floor on the one side of the room.

“Yeah… The walls look a little bit bare,” I answer. “But that doesn’t matter. It will come in time.”

They say time flies, but I had no idea how quickly six weeks would pass in the blink of an eye. Mister Watson swears it’s because I have been putting in every available minute into my schoolwork, trying to catch up on everything I had missed while I was busy skipping school.

“I can fix that baby,” Patrick says as he stands up from the mattress in the corner, my makeshift bed until we can afford to buy a proper one.

“What do you mean?” I ask a little bit confused as he reaches for his backpack, opening the zip.

“The bare walls,” he answers as he pulls out his polaroid camera.

“You just had to get the pink one, didn’t you?” I laugh a little bit. He had been wanting a polaroid camera for a while, but I didn’t know he actually went to go and get one.

“I like to be different. I think pink might just become my happy color,” he says with a bit of a grin, pushing his hair out of his face as he walks over to me.

“You’re crazy,” I say with a giggle as he pulls me closer and kisses me in the neck.

“Now kiss me,” Patrick says to which I immediately oblige.

The sound of the camera makes me stop kissing him and look up to where he is holding the camera a little bit away from our faces.

“I wasn’t ready,” I complain, sticking out my tongue to Patrick which earns me another quick kiss for some reason.

“Then smile for one,” he says, pulling his face close to mine. We smile, and I can truly say that my smile is real as he pushes the button, making another photo slip from the camera.

“And now a crazy face,” he says and I immediately answer by sticking out my tongue while Patrick pulls a crazy face with his mouth open before he pushes the button again making a third photo whirr out of the camera.

“I love you,” I mutter, kissing him on the cheek again, falling onto my mattress and looking at the room around me. “You know, I didn’t think I would have my own room again so soon.”

“Yeah well. It just comes to show…” Patrick says as he walks over to the mattress as well, lowers himself on his knees and starts putting up the three photos above where my head would be resting tonight. “Does the walls look a bit better now?”

“Perfect,” I answer, smiling at the Cory and Patrick kissing, the ones who are smiling, and the two who are pulling crazy faces back at me.

“Now come here,” Patrick says as he pulls me closer, moving my body so that I am laying on top him, feeling his palm press against my back, his other hand moving up to my neck.

“We can’t do it here,” I giggle as he starts kissing my neck.

“Off course we can. This is your new home. Your new room. We need to christen it at some point,” he breathes into my neck.

“Not with my mother unpacking my dad’s urn in the very next room,” I laugh. “These walls are paper thin and I can promise you I won’t be quiet.”

“I know… You’re never quiet,” he whispers, making chills go down my spine just as my phone rings.

“Let it ring,” Patrick says as I reach over to pick up the phone.

“Can’t. Could be Mister Graham. He said he was gonna call me if I need to work in for him tomorrow,” I answer, but the number displayed on the screen isn’t that of Mister Graham, but rather another familiar number I didn’t think I would ever see on my screen again.

“Are you gonna answer it?” Patrick asks as I just stare at the screen, allowing it to ring in my hand, not making a move to pick up the call.

“It’s Mandy…” I whisper, pushing the phone into Patrick’s hands without a second thought. “You take it. I can’t.”

Patrick looks at the phone for a moment before he answers it.

“Hello?” he says. “Yeah, it’s Patrick.”

It only takes a second of silence before he says; “Nope. Cory can’t talk right now. He’s busy.”

“Yeah, I can give him a message… No… No… I’m sure he will understand…”

Patrick looks at me as he listens to the voice on the other side of the phone.

“Yes Mandy… I will tell him… Yes… I promise. I will ask him to phone you back…”

She speaks a little bit more on the other side before Patrick says goodbye and takes the phone away from his ear, pressing the end button.

“She wants to talk to you,” Patrick says looking at my inquisitive face.

“Wow, aren’t we master of the fucking obvious?” I say, feeling the anger in me push up. Why on earth would Mandy come back into my life and ruin this beautiful moment for me? I have had more than enough. I can’t take anymore. Sure, I miss her, but I’m not up for it. I am not up for her melodrama or her jock boyfriend who screws guys.

“Cory,” Patrick says, raising his eye, his voice serious. “Don’t talk to me like that.”

“Sorry baby,” I answer. “It’s just that I don’t think I want to hear what she has to say to be honest.”

“Apparently she broke things off with Brent. Andy was right about him and she found out,” Patrick says.

“So now that her boyfriend isn’t in the picture I’m good enough again? Or did word travel this quickly that I’m not homeless and sleeping on my vice principle’s couch anymore?” I ask, getting up from the mattress, walking over to my books, starting to rearrange them although they are already in the correct order that I like them in, making more work for myself later tonight when I will need to pack them back the way they were.

“Come on Cory… Everyone deserves a second chance. You gave me a second chance,” Patrick answers. “Just give her a chance to explain. Love makes you blind you know. I can speak from experience.”

“It’s not the same,” I answer. “And she already had her second chance. If I give her another it will be her third.”

I busy myself packing my Harry Potter books in the opposite order, this time with the titles descending instead of ascending.

“Come on Cory… Just hear her out. If you don’t like what she has to say you can tell her to go to hell, but you don’t throw away a friendship that lasted for so many years because of something stupid like this,” Patrick says with a sigh.

I look up at him, narrowing my eyes although I know there is no way I can become mad at him for this. He is doing this for me because he can see how much I miss Mandy.

“I’ll text her, but I’m not calling her,” I say still trying to do things my own way, trying to be stubborn even when I know Patrick’s probably right.

“There’s my baby,” Patrick answers as he walks over to me and hands me my phone.

“You want me to do it now?” I ask.

“There’s no better time than the present,” he answers with a smile.

“You’re an asshole.”

“Yes, but I’m your asshole,” he says and just like that I smile and unlock my phone, searching for Mandy’s contact.

Cory: I dunno if I wanna listen.

I don’t have to wait long for a reply.

Mandy: I know I was wrong. Pls. Gimme a chance.

Cory: I dunno.

Mandy: Face 2 face?

I look up at Patrick reading the conversation upside down.

“What do I tell her now?” I ask as if he is to blame for it all.

“Home turf is better,” he answers and I nod.

Cory: My place in 1 hour. Will text you the location.

Mandy: C u in a bit.

“No turning back now,” I say as I walk over and fall down on my bed, wishing that I rather told her to be here in five minutes, because an hour is just there to build up anxiety.

When Mandy finally arrives after forty minutes, twenty minutes earlier than what I told her, but what felt like forty hours I stay in my room, allowing Patrick to go and let her in.

I listen to her greeting my mom, asking her how she is and I can almost feel irritation build up in me as they start a little conversation about the book that I sold to pay for the rent so that we can now get back on our feet.

After what feels like another half an hour my bedroom door finally opens and I sit up on my mattress as Patrick walks in with Mandy right behind him.

“Hi,” Mandy says awkwardly, standing only a few steps away from me as Patrick closes the door behind her and falls down next to me.

“Hi,” I answer back, deciding that I would not be the one beginning this conversation, leaving the ball in her court, although everything in me wants to jump up and give her the biggest hug in the world, telling her that I have no idea how I made it to here without her.

“I’m sorry,” she says and then she burst out in tears.

I thought I would have wanted her to grovel. To beg for forgiveness, but obviously I don’t know myself as well as I though as I get up from the mattress, almost running the two steps to her and grabbing her, hugging her tightly against me.

“It’s over. It doesn’t matter anymore,” I say as the tears start falling down my cheeks as well. “Nothing matters anymore. It’s in the past.”

“No it’s not. I was an absolute bitch,” she cries into my neck.

“Yes, but we move on from there,” I say letting her go and wiping the tears from my face.

“Does that mean you forgive me?” she asks.

“Only if I can have my necklace back,” I say with a smile I don’t know where it came from breaking over my face.

She looks at me for a moment as if she can’t believe that’s what I would have asked for, but then she pushes her hand into her pocket and produces the silver necklace with the engraving on it.

“Turn around,” she says and I do as I am told.

The silver feels cold against my neck as she gentry fastens the clasp at the back of my neck while I reach up to touch the little shell.

She catches me by surprise as she hugs me from behind.

I’m almost blinded by the flash before I hear another whirring sound as I smile at Patrick, not being able to wait to add the photo of my best friend next to the pictures of my boyfriend on my wall.

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