Somewhere Above the Clouds

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Chapter 42 - Say the words


I grabbed my phone off of my dresser and looked through my texts again. Plenty from Taylor and Maria, but not one from Beau.

Nothing from him in days, actually.

My mind told me to chill out. He was a grown man with a job that could've been keeping him busy.

But my mind seemed to be fickle. What if that wasn't it?

What if he did only want one thing from me and now that he had gotten his fill, he was all done?

My heart told me that wasn't the case. Beau wasn't like that. I knew him, and there was no way he would do that to me. But still, the thought continued to cloud my mind.

My phone lit up and I swiped it back off of the dresser.

Taylor: On my way.

I had promised Taylor last week that I would go bowling with him on base tonight. It sounded fun at the time, but now I wasn't so sure.

"You okay?"
He asked as he parked his car in the bowling alley's lot.

"Of course."
I smiled as I opened the door to get out.

I wasn't okay, but I was going to do my best to act like I was.

After we got our shoes we sat down to put them on and some people from school showed up. I didn't pay them much attention until one of the football players got his fat finger stuck in a bowling ball when we were halfway through our first game.

Elliot Anderson was a star athlete, but he wasn't exactly a future scholar.

He laughed as the ball hung from his thumb and I winced wondering what in the heck it was going to take to get it out.

"Anderson sit down before I call your dad."
Beau's voice cut through the laughter surrounding us.

I stared at him, wondering what he was doing here at a place like this and not somewhere with me.

Beau worked with Elliot's dad, I knew that much from the few conversations the quarterback and I had in the cafeteria this past year.

But I still couldn't figure out what Beau was doing here. I hadn't seen him in nearly a week and the little contact we had since then had been brief. The odds of him showing up here the same night as I did were slim, so I had to wonder if Beau was here for me.

I watched as Elliot sat down and lost his goofy smile. Beau's presence did that to pretty much everyone. He gave Elliot's finger and once over then left, coming right back with a bottle of hand soap from the restroom. He spread it around and after only a few seconds the QB's thumb was safe and his goofy smile was back.

"Thanks, man."
He looked up but Beau only grunted in response. He looked so mad and out of sorts and again, it made me wonder why he was here.

Beau disappeared without so much as a glance in my direction and we continued our game but my mind was elsewhere. Taylor bought me nachos and a huge coke which did make me smile but not the way he wanted. He knew what was going on without me even breathing a word to him.

"Let's take a break."
He suggested when the second game ended.

I nodded and we walked outside. The fresh air hit my face and I took a deep breath.

Don't cry don't cry don't cry.

It was no use. Taylor tugged me into his side and I cried into his shirt like the ball of hormones that I was.

"It's going to be okay."
He sighed as he rubbed my shoulder.

"I'm not so sure about that."

"I am."
A deep voice boomed from the shadows near the building next to us.

"Told you."
Taylor winked and squeezed my shoulder before going back inside.

Beau was next to me within a matter of seconds. He pulled me closer to him and wiped his hands across my cheeks.

"I thought I said no more crying."
He smiled but it wasn't the one I was looking for. Funny how neither of us had those in us tonight.

"Trust me, I don't want to be out here crying anymore than you want me to."
I tried to push away from him but he tightened his grip. I had never been genuinely mad at Beau before. He had aggravated me plenty of times but I'd never felt true anger toward him.

But now, I was angry.

"Could you stop?"

"Stop what?"
He asked, still holding onto me.

"Whatever you're doing. I don't know what you're up to, what you've concocted in your head but I need you to stop. Okay?"

"Don't ask me to do that River."
He brushed the bridge of his nose down my own and I wanted so bad to push up on my toes and kiss him but I couldn't. I was mad and I wanted to stay that way.

"Do you want to be with someone else? Is that it? I've run through every scenario that I could think of and that's the only one that made sense."
I shook my head and tried to pull away again with no luck.

"You think I would do that? That I could do that?"

I shrugged in his arms and he kissed a line between the corner of my mouth and my neck.

"That's not an option for me River. I'll always be yours."
He whispered into the skin under my ear and my heart melted. But I couldn't ignore the way he said the words. Mainly because they sounded so foreign coming from his mouth, but also because they had so much sadness behind them.

"What's wrong?"
I asked. My anger was slipping away slowly and I needed to know what was going on with him more than anything else.

He looked down at me and the amount of pain I saw in his gaze caused another round of tears to fall from my eyes.

"I need you to promise me something."
He said as he wiped the fresh tears from my face.

I nodded, but keeping promises sometimes proved harder than the person asking you could comprehend and I had a feeling this one would be the hardest one yet.

"You're going to pick the college that you want to go to, you're going to research every one of them and make the longest pro/con list of your life. You're going to make the decision yourself, no one else. Okay?"

I nodded again because I would've done anything to wipe the look he had off of his face.

"Promise me. Say the words, River."
He held my face in his hands, his fingertips pushing into the skin at the base of my skull.

"I promise."
I whispered and he pressed his lips to mine.

It was a hard kiss, the force he put behind it was almost painful, punishing. But I didn't care.

"Tell me you love me."
His eyes were wild as they searched mine.

"I love you."
I told him without any hesitation.

"Don't forget that."

I watched in disbelief as he pushed a tear off of his own cheek before he turned to walk away, causing my already fractured heart to crack right down the center.
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