Chapter 22: A New Chapter
And there comes a moment in our lives where we turn a new page, go down a different path and pursue a different journey.
There comes a moment when we need to leave everything behind and live like we were made to. Like we’re supposed to.
There comes a point when finally, we can discover who we were truly meant to be.
“Kirsten I need to ask you something.”
He looked nervous, scared even. He’d been clenching and unclenching his hands in his lap for the past ten minutes and I was beginning to wonder what the hell was wrong with him.
“Sure, what’s up? ” I tried to keep my voice steady, calming my nerves. Something told me that what he was about to say was a big deal. Why else would he be acting like this?
“Uh okay,” he seemed to of made no effort in keeping his voice level. It shook with his body as he shuffled off the brick wall and practically stumbled onto one knee.
My heart sped up almost immediately, nausea rolling in my stomach. I thought I was about to pass out as he opened his mouth to speak.
“Truth is I’ve been on my own for awhile now...most of my life actually.” He couldn’t meet my eyes, and I couldn’t meet his either.
No way was he proposing to me. I must be dreaming.
“And I know this sounds crazy because we hardly know each other but please hear me out.”
18 was way too young to get married, what would my mum say? She wouldn’t allow it, not for a second. Actually, I’d probably be thrown out just for even suggesting such a thing.
“Will you run away with me?”
He might as well of proposed.
My heart sank as he finally met my eyes, desperation and torn hope begging me.
“What? What are you, crazy?!”
“Maybe, but Kirsten I’ve never met anyone like you and I-I’ve never had anyone to share my life with before. I just want to get away from all this bullshit y’know? With someone who actually gets me? I’ve thought through it, you’ll only need money for fuel, I’ll get the food. We could just drive and not look back-”
“Stop, Stop please! Slow down.” My head was spinning, this whole night having plummeted to a new level.
I pulled my phone out of my pocket and glanced at the time, as The Boy That Hates Books stood up and made his way over to me.
It was gone midnight. My mum was going to kill me.
He reached out and grabbed my hands, blue eyes piercing into mine.
“I’m sorry for asking you like that, I shouldn’t have. I was stupid to even think-” his voice broke.
For the first time since I’d met him, The Boy That Hates Books looked like he was about to cry. It was obvious that there was so much more to this than he was letting off. This really did mean something to him, and it had nothing to do with him trying to get his hand down my pants.
I wished I could say yes. I wanted to say yes. But I’d vowed to myself that I wouldn’t be a runaway like everyone else. I couldn’t break my mums heart like that, because I knew that it would push her over the edge.
“I want to, I really do,” I willed him to understand, ” But I still hardly know you and it would kill my mum if I left her like that. It’s already happened to her twice...she couldn’t take it. I couldn’t do something so selfish.”
“Screw that idea then,” He seemed to be clutching at straws now, vague ideas that filled the void in the promise he wanted me to make, “Lets not call it running away, lets call it a road trip. A week at most. We could go and see the places you’ve always wanted to see, we could get revenge on the people that have done us wrong. And I promise I will tell you about my story. Not that you’ve read enough of those already.”
Laughter fell from my lips.
“Okay deal, ” his eyes lit up, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Famous last words Sunshine.”
He pulled me into a tight hug. “Thank you.” He whispered in my ear, breath warm.
Suddenly I felt his hand start to tickle my stomach, then my hip, then my thigh. I burst into fits of laughter, trying to shove him off me. He kept tickling me until we ended up a tangled heap of arms and legs on the floor, panting and giggling uncontrollably. He looked at me. He was a sweaty mess, hair dishevelled and eyes tired, yet still I couldn’t help but feel like I had never and would never meet the eyes of someone like him again in my life.
He tucked a lock of hair behind my ear before scooping me up into his arms. I squealed as he baby carried me out of our little hideaway and to my truck, waiting just outside the entrance.
“C’mon let’s get you home.”
The last thing I remembered was a seat belt clicking into place, the feeling of his lips as he delivered a light kiss to my forehead, the slamming of the car door and the sound of my truck revving to life. And in that moment I wasn’t worried about his terrible driving as I drifted off to sleep, thinking about everything that had happened and everything that was going to happen as I embarked on this journey with a boy that hates books.