Addelyn had been distant since I disappeared again, but I’ve been keeping a closer eye on her. She looked so peaceful in her secret forest hideout, even the birds were welcoming of Addy. I hope Addy doesn’t think she’s my unfinished business, I could never let her carry that burden on her shoulders. Addy nestled back into her book so I wandered down the river, now that I don’t need anything to walk on, and watched the baby fish. I was about to try and pick up one of the guppies when Ally’s voice shattered the air, “Back off Jake!” Oh no. Jake; the biggest jerk in school, he thrives off the pain and misfortune of others and his next target appeared to be Addy.
“Oh come on Addelyn, just open up. All I want is to be your new Dominick” Jake had her backed up against an old growth tree and making my heart hammer inside my chest.
“I knew you were a jerk but I didn’t expect even you would be so cruel Jake.”
“I’m just trying to make some more friends doll and from the looks of it, you could use some protection from Queen Brittany.”
“I can take care of myself.”
“Is that why you’re hiding the scar on your wrist?” Jake gripped her wrist revealing her scar. He twisted Addy’s arm when she attempted to hide it pinning her against the tree. “You need someone to take care of you Addy, and I’ll gladly fulfil the role.”
“Don’t call me Addy,” she spoke through gritted teeth. “And I definitely don’t need you to protect me!”
“I don’t like your attitude little missy,” Jake cupped Addy’s chin pulling her close. “It’s not safe to be in the woods alone.” Get your hands off her Jake. Anger started to pump through my veins, Don’t test me. Addelyn tried to push Jake away but he refused to give in. He kissed Addy’s cheek and moved towards her lips. I jostled Jake away and his jaw dropped.
“I’m pretty sure she meant for you to leave Jake. I suggest you follow the beautiful lady’s advice before any real damage is done.” I hissed at him.
“Ye… Yes sir!” Jake exited, stumbling over his own feet.
“Jake! I think you owe the lovely girl an apology.”
“I’m so so sorry Addelyn, please forgive me?”
“It’s okay Jake, I forgive you…” Addy was nervous after seeing me appear to save her again but I think she was more afraid of what I’d do if he didn’t leave. Jake scampered off like a scolded child, leaving me alone with Addelyn.
“Addy, I’m sorry…” I was silenced with a paralyzing hug.
“I don’t care, I’m just glad to see you again. I’ve missed you Dominick, the real you.” I kissed her cheek, replacing the memory of Jake’s awful taunt.
“I’ve missed you too Addy, but we know this won’t last for long.”
“I discovered how this works, at least I think I did. You can only take physical form if you have a strong enough emotional connection, that’s why you only appear when I need saving.”
“You wouldn’t endanger yourself just to see me right?”
“If I did that it wouldn’t have the strong emotional bond, it’d be repetitive and overstated.”
I squeezed her tighter, “You have no idea how much I missed your over extended vocabulary for basic things.”
“That’s why Amous can see you and stuff, because dogs love everyone no matter what.”
“I told you he liked me more like this!” Addelyn giggled and kissed my cheek, but I never loosened my embrace. We stood there for what felt like hours before I started to disappear again. “Remember, I’ll always be there when you need me.”
“I know Dominick, but I’ll still miss your hugs.” She smiled meekly, “Talk to you later Dominick.”
“Addelyn I... “ my time ran out before I could finish. I love you Addelyn. I drifted beside her as she started to walk home. Someday, I will tell you, and I will not take two years this time.