Chapter 18: Her
I didn’t mean to run into him, but now we’re just having a drink. I had to dial the selfishness back a whole lot. I really didn’t want to scare this guy any more. I don’t think I said all that much. He seemed very interested in the fire. I didn’t start it, but I definitely thought somebody needed to help Jenny out. The poor girl needed to learn that what she was doing was wrong, that there was a better way, and she didn’t have to succumb to temptation all the time to be free. She was valuable. She was a great person who had done bad things.
Mr. MacPherson has been staring at me, I bet. But I don’t really care. I was too busy thinking. Thinking about what I’d done wrong these past few days. But I guess the guy really hit on a very specific thing: I wasn’t selfish about Jenny. I gave her my time, effort, kindness, and patience. I’d given her a chance, even when nobody else ever would.
Oh dang! Here come the tears again. No. I will not cry. I will not cry like the big baby I am. Not in front of the stalker. No, no, no! I take a deep breath, trying to clear my eyes. Too late.
“Miss Rein?” he asks, looking very concerned. “Are you okay?”
Yeah. Of course I am. Are you stupid? I have the world kneeling at my feet, I’m where I’ve always wanted to be, and all I want is to go home. Home. Where my parents and siblings are. Where I feel wanted, needed, desired, and actually am. The one place I actually belong. I don’t belong in the jungle out here. I don’t belong and everything around me just announces it. I don’t belong.
“Yeah?” I turn, trying to focus without crying.
“Are you okay? Do you want me to take you to the church?” he has an edge of something I can’t place in his voice. Something soft, but not quite affectionate, more than concern.
“No. I’m okay. I don’t want to head back just yet. I probably just need to go for a walk.”
“Okay. You don’t look okay.” He gets up, offering me his hand.
“I’m sorry. Just tired.” I take his hand, getting up. He keeps quiet and we leave the building. ”Thanks for the drink.”
“No problem.” He says, watching me.
I started walking off, not sure where I was going or why. I guess I was so out of it earlier, I couldn’t have possibly thought of anything. I was so focused on clearing my head, I had no idea if he was following me or not. I had no idea where I was or where I was going, but I kept walking and kept walking.