Part IV: Resolutions
“Do NOT fall in love again.” – that was the agenda sitting on top of Laura’s New Year list.
’I can’t believe I let that idiot take advantage of me…just so he could get back at his old girlfriend!’
Yes, she was decidedly annoyed.
It was Christmas Eve and Laura’s high school had thrown a party for the teenagers. Everybody was going in pairs; Laura and Robert had decided to go like that, as well. However, the most popular boy in her class, Fred Johnson, had come up to her in the eleventh hour, asking her if she would go to the Christmas party with him. Although neither of the children liked him, Robert decided that it would be a great chance for Laura to have a boyfriend for the first time in her life.
So, he had allowed her to go with him, while he sat at home and watched a saga of movies.
However, just after twelve, in the midst of his second movie, he had got a call from her, requesting in a shaky voice to pick him up. Without any questions, he had gone to the venue, only to find her with red, puffy eyes, standing outside the gate of the school. This had puzzled him greatly, but he decided to give her the time she needed.
Later, when she had finally gathered the courage to talk, she had told him that Fred had attempted to make her kiss him in front of his old girlfriend, which Laura absolutely refused to do. Finally, when he had realised that she was adamant, he had simply dumped her and walked away!
“Yes,” said Laura, answering the unspoken question in his eyes as he watched her, both of them sitting on her bed.
It was the last day of the year now.
“Well, I think you need to explore more options before you completely give up,” he mused, his mind wandering off to the time that he had got a call just minutes before Laura’s.
Laura now looked inquisitively at him. “What do you mean, Bobby?” she said.
“Well,” Robert cleared his throat; she realised then how manly he was growing up to be – after all, he was just a few months younger than her. “Well, you’re so young and you still haven’t seen the world yet! This is just the beginning, Laura… there are so many wrongs done that are worse this petty problem of yours!
“How, pray, did you end up with the Watsons?!”
Laura’s heart missed a beat, as she remembered some really bad times that she had go through—how her biological father used to come back home drunk and beat her up if she failed to cook food for him. He used to tell her that she looked just like her mother and so, she had to cook just as well. That made no sense to her, but it apparently did to the drunken mind of her father.
Now, though, she thanked God every single day when she awoke under a warm blanket and went out of her spacious room to meet a loving couple she came to call her parents.
Her eyes involuntarily filled with tears.
Robert saw it and felt rather guilty. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered into her ear, as he brought her to him for a warm hug. She cried into his shoulder for some time, before she could compose herself.
She straightened up and spoke: “What’s your resolution, though? Any changes from the last?”
A bright smile lightened up the boy’s features. “I sure did! I want to get to help people as much as I can!”
Laura nodded at him appreciatively. “That’s very nice of you! I hope I’m in the list!”
“Of course you are! I mean…I haven’t made a list exactly… Just a spur of the moment sort of thing, if you know what I mean…”
“Yes, I do.”
“Hey, Micky!” Jonathan’s voice rang clearly in Michael’s ears. “Why did you call me here, man?”
Jonathan joined him on the bridge of the local river, both of them leaning on the railing and staring into the horizon.
“I’ve decided to make my move, just like you suggested.”
A moment’s silence ensued.
Jonathan gaped at him. “You mean that, man?!” he asked, obviously astonished.
“Yes, I do.” A goofy triumphant smile played on his lips. He glanced at his friend enough to add, “That’s my New Year’s resolution—to make Laura Watson fall in love with me!”
“Speaking of, why is she immune to you, anyway? I mean, aren’t you surrounded by all the girls – especially the juniors?”
A frown creased Michael’s face, as he replied, “I don’t know…”
“She could be special,” interrupted Jonathan, a sincere smile playing on his lips.
“Anyway, how do you propose to ‘make your move’?”
“Well, I’d already spoken to her best friend…” Michael’s voice trailed off.
“Let me guess: He refused your involvement in her life,” said Jonathan, confidently.
Michael nodded his head glumly. “Indeed.”
“I suppose you wanted me to do something about it?”
Michael nodded his head again.
“And I suppose you wanted me to talk to her about you.” Jonathan’s voice sounded tired now.
Michael smiled sheepishly at his friend. “Will you?”
Jonathan shook his head in exasperation. “When will you learn to clean your own mess, Micky!?”
Michael joined his palms together in front of his friend, in a gesture of submission. “Please,” he begged, “please do this for me. She already hates me for everything that I’d ever done to her! Please do this for me!”
Jonathan glared wordlessly at his friend.
Michael inhaled deeply and exhaled. “Okay… Jonathan, I need your help. Please help me!”
Jonathan face cracked into a small smile. “Okay, I will.”