Part X: Explaining
Laura Watson turned around and ran away, for the life of her not understanding why, of all people, Jenna had to appear and make her day go sour as curd!
Of course, she had noticed, from the corner of her eye, the horrified look on Michael’s face, which told her that he was just as shocked as she was.
Nevertheless, she did not stop her feet from running away. She had to get as far away from that mean bully as possible!
’I’m sure he’ll explain,’ she thought, sensibly.
She ran back into the gate of her home and straight into the arms of her mother, tears pouring down in torrents from her ocean-green eyes. Mrs Watson was rather astonished; she stared at her husband, who had a hard look on his face.
“No, Gale,” she muttered to him. “I’m sure there’s a decent explanation for this! Please don’t go on a rampage or anything silly like that as soon as he appears!”
Gale did not reply but she understood that he was going to listen to her…for a while, at least.
Just as this matter of settled, the storm rode right into the gate.
However, upon noting the presence of Laura’s parents on the front porch, Michael paused in his tracks, a look of regret evident in his face.
Mrs Watson gave him a soft smile and beckoned him to come nearer, thus breaking the awkwardness of the situation.
When he was decently near, she added, “So, do you know what’s wrong with her?”
Just as Michael opened his mouth to speak, Laura chose that moment to extricate her head from her mother’s tresses. She looked up at Michael, smiling, apology written all over her face.
“Don’t worry, I’ll explain,” she muttered.
At first, Michael was astonished, but he slowly nodded his head in understanding.
Laura turned back to face her parents. She told them about her side of the story and how she was upset at Jenna, Michael’s old girlfriend, showing up at such a beautiful moment she had been sharing with him.
This part sent a warm and fussy feeling through the young boy’s spine, making him wonder if his prayers were being answered after all.
When she finished speaking, Mr Watson turned scrutinising eyes in Michael’s direction. The poor lad stared back at him, having rooted to his spot, and trying to reign in the shivering that he could feel rising from his feet.
“Oh well,” said Mr Watson, his expression softening. “I suppose I must hear your side, as well.”
Michael, at first, wondered if he heard the words correctly. However, as his head cleared and he was about to respond, the father put up his hand to stop him.
“Just answer this,” he said: “do you or do you not love this Jenna?”
The very thought of the obnoxious girl boiled Michael’s blood. He fixed his gaze upon the ground, lest he sent mistaken messages to the expectant family.
But, a warm hand squeezing his brought him back to the situation at hand. He looked up to see a pair of green eyes penetrating into his very soul, till he was lost in the infinite ocean.
“Calm down,” her angelic voice spoke somewhere in the expanse of the ocean. “I’m sure they’ll believe you, if you tell them the truth.”
Suddenly, Michael found himself back onto solid ground and staring at Laura, who was grinning from ear-to-ear, a tell-tale tear still lingering in her right eye. He involuntarily reached up to wipe it away, making her face light up like the Sun.
He smiled back at her, before turning to her parents. He took in a deep breath and then began his story: “Jenna was in fact my girlfriend, but I never really liked her. We were just friends since childhood, and I suppose she thought that fact gave her the licence to attach herself to me like a leech that she is. She just wanted to be seen on the arm of the school’s ‘celebrity’”– here, he put air-quotes around the word with his hands –“so other people would notice her. When I found that she was making out with another boy from my class in my absence, I wanted to dump her, but she begged and begged me not to leave. So, I stayed.” He sighed. “That was the worst decision I’d ever made in my life so far.
“Then, when I decided to give Laura a chance in my life, I began to spend more time with her and Jonathan and Bobby that I just drifted away from Jenna, without actually thinking about it – they suddenly seemed so much fun to hang out with and I really began to loosen up.
“Finally, I realised one day that I had to make a choice between my so-called ‘girlfriend’ and the people who’d actually stick by my side, no matter what.
“So,” he smiled down at Laura, who was gazing at him in wonder, “I decided to choose the most important people in my life.”
At this, the girl’s little round face turned scarlet, showing her embarrassment quite clearly. He winked at her, provoking the situation further.