When I Look at You

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Chapter Seven

“You didn’t have to do this.”

“I know. SHut up and share some of the blanket. I have sand crawling up parts that are too sensitive for sand.” I giggled as I adjusted so Blaine could have more blanket. We had found a secluded part of the beach near the far end of the boardwalk to lay down. The only sound to be heard was the water lapping at the boats and shore. We laid on the blanket together, a safe distance between us.

“Aren’t your parents going to wonder where you are?”

“Aren’t yours?”

“I kinda hope so.” Sighing, I looked up at the night sky. Stars scattered here and there in the darkness.

“I know you think that he’s a bad guy, Ker. Maybe you should give Chris another chance. Tammy is the one who spouted out at the mouth. It’s not like he made her.”

“You’re right. I’ll go back tomorrow and talk to him about it. I just can’t be in the same house as her tonight. Something tragic might happen to her blond hair.” He smiled at me, glancing at the ocean.

“Gotcha. So what do you have planned after graduation?” I shrugged.

“College somewhere close to home I guess. That way I can stay with my mom still.”

“Have you looked at any yet?”

“Not really. There’s a nice community one near home but it’s photography program is seriously lacking. I’d love to go to NYU but I’m not stupid. Even if I could afford the tuition, I’d never make it passed the admissions review.”

“Why not? You have some major talent in you. Just by looking at your photos today I can tell that you take a great amount of pride and dedication to this. That is what a career in this field is all about. Any college that can’t see that about you doesn’t deserve to have you go there.”

“Thanks.” I whispered, looking over at him. “What about you?”

“Majoring in Photography down here at a small art school in Black Mountain. I already passed early admissions. I’m all set to start my classes next January.”

“Well aren’t you all planned out. Early graduation?” He nodded. “Lucky. I have to tough out the entire year. Take six months off and visit Maine.” I joked, jabbing him in the ribs. He laughed.

“Hey if it means seeing you, I’m so there.” Sighing, I rolled over to look at him. He had taken his glasses off and left them in his truck. It made him look younger.

“Why did you kiss me? It wasn’t because you felt bad I was still waiting in line at the gate was it?”

“No. I kissed you because I find you incredibly beautiful, funny and quirky. Is it that hard to believe that I wanted to?”

“Kinda. What is it going to prove any way? I’m leaving in 49 days. I don’t want to leave at the end wishing I had stayed.”

“I guess you are going to have to not fall in love with me then.”

The next morning, Blaine and I woke up on the beach as the sun rose. Picking up our stuff, he gave me a ride back to my prison. We talked softly to each other outside for a moment before I crept around the back of the house. Pulling on the back screen door, it opened quietly. That’s when the inside door ripped open, revealing my father. His face was about three different shades of red. “Where have you been?!” He exclaimed.

“What does it matter? You’re real family is home safe. No worries.” I pushed by him and headed towards my “room.”

“Cut the crap, Kerri. I get it. You think I shit the bed as a dad. Well guess what, tough shit. You are here for the summer. You are going to listen to me and abide by the rules of this house. You don’t get to act like this because you think I owe you for something.”

“You do owe me! And mom! You ran out on us and didn’t even think twice about it! Do you know how many times I had to take care of mom because she’d work so much she’d end up sick? Or how many times Mom had to work holidays to afford stuff for us to live? No you don’t know because you were down here making a new family with life-size Barbie whore and her detachable daughters. Mom and I were fine until you decided that you needed another daughter in this perfect picture. Well guess what, you don’t have another daughter. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t need a father in my life.”

“You act like it was easy on me for your mom and me to break up. It tore me up inside knowing that I was causing her and you more pain than doing any good. But I tried to send you and mom money. I even sent you presents every year for your birthday and Christmas. I made sure that you knew I still cared.”

“A present twice a year isn’t caring! Hell foster kids get more contact with their druggie parents than I get with you! I was ten years old, wondering why my dad thought I wasn’t good enough for him or why he just stopped loving me and Mom. I was twelve by the time I figured out that you were never meant to be a dad any way. Dad’s don’t abandon their kids for a decade!”

“You wanna go home so damn bad then go! Get your crap and get out. Forget me and the fact you have a father while you’re at it too.” He stormed out of my room, slamming the front door shut behind him as he went out of it. Tears streamed down my face as I grabbed my bag. I shoved whatever I could in there, debating on what I could just get again back in Maine. Once it was full, I headed out the back door and made my way to the street. Chris was nowhere to be seen. He must have disappeared into the Wharf after leaving. I walked passed it and headed towards the main drag.

Once there, I waved down a green Caravan. A woman pulled up, pin straight black hair and a leather jacket. “Where you heading?” She asked, sounding a bit out of it.

“Maine.”

“I can get you to at least the bus station.”

“Works for me.” I tossed my stuff in the van and climbed in myself.

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