His hand slipped around my waist as I rested my hand on his shoulder. We grasped our other hands together. We swayed slowly, back and forth. Timed felt as if it stood still, and I wished it was. I laid my head on his shoulder, feeling the warmth of his neck. The floor became barren. The rustling of the cleanup crew was tuned out by the sweet music still playing in the background. I closed my eyes, imagining life without him. Tears started to roll down my cheeks.
“Chase,” a man called, cutting the moment short, “time to go.”
He let go of my body, but I still was drawn to him.
“I will forever love you,” He said, then he kissed my lips like he knew we might never see each other again.
“Do you have to leave,” I cling to his hands.
“Chase,” The man in the doorway called again.
“I’ll be back, I promise,” he pulled away and walked toward the man.
“I love you too,” I said as he exited the room.
“Forever and ever,” he said, closing the door.
Distance hurts. The pain I felt every morning after senior year, knowing I won’t be able to see Chase’s face for at least 3 years. I knew he was okay, but I truly missed him. We both went our separate ways. He went to the Army, I pursued my singing career. I wish he never went to the Army and just stayed and married me. He wanted to be an artist, but coming from an Army family, that wasn’t happening.
We kept in touch for about a year. Chase started to change, though. He wasn’t the cute, funny, artistic Chase I fell in love with. He was a rough, loner, Army Chase. Someone mean, and not a good boyfriend. I was so sad when we were over. It started slow, fewer letters, calls, face times. We were drifting, till we just didn’t talk anymore.
After we were done, I gave my full focus on my voice. I gained recognition and fame. By the time Chase Jay came back from the Army, I was long gone to California. I thought he would be a thing of the past, but I was wrong.
I saw him this morning. Roaming the streets outside my day job at Johnny’s Pizza. All the emotions I left behind five years ago are stirred up. He has aged well but still looked like his teenage self. His sharp green eyes pierced through my heart. His thin brown hair was cut short. I had the urge, when I saw him, to run and jump into his arms as if he had just come home. His face is haunting me since I saw him hours ago. I’m just hoping I can get over this before my gig tonight. And praise to the Lord that he shall never come into my life again.
I fluff up my stiff hair sprayed short straight black hair. I stare into the mirror one more time. You got this, Viv! The manager then yells at me through my dressing room door.
“You’re on in 5!”
“Okay, I’ll be out in a sec!” I respond.
I back away from the mirror, looking at my outfit. I am wearing a shimmery platinum shift with long sleeves that touch the ground. A slit is in the sleeves at elbow length, so I can show off my freshly done nails. This is my biggest gig yet at this club. A guy is hosting a retro type birthday party, and the club manager got me a spot to entertain. I take a deep breath before I open up the door. I walk out in my white strappy heels, glittered with rhinestones. I feel ready to completely smash my performance.
I strut out onto the stage. Spotlights make me a walking disco ball. I look out at the crowd, already dancing with drinks. Material Girl music starts playing, and I’m about to start singing before I see that face- Chase’s face. The music plays on while I freeze up on stage. I have no idea what to do, I am not prepared for this. I try to start on my lyrics, but my stare is locked on Chase, talking to girls around him, and I forget what I’m supposed to say.
People start to chuckle as more attention is put onto me. Finally, Chase makes eye contact. I stumble back. The crowd begins to boo while the manager whisper yells at me to salvage the performance. I gape my mouth open in utter embarrassment. Time is frozen until I stumble off the stage into the crowd. I notice that someone tugged at my floor-length sleeves as a joke. I fall, landing on the cold wooden floor. The group of party go-ers bursts out laughing at me, trying to get up in the impractical outfit.
A hand then grabs my arm and helps me get up. I stagger up onto my heels. I look up to see who the person is. It is Chase.
“Guys, stop messing with the lady!” Chase yells in my defense.
“Well, aren’t you a fun killer, Chase!” A man replies, slurring some of his speech.
Someone pulls on my sleeves again, and I jolt backward, trying to regain my balance.
“Come with me,” Chase says, picking me up and escorting me out of the club.
“Thank you,” I say, wrapping my arms around his strong neck as we push through the crowd.
Once we are out in the freezing cold, he places me down on the sidewalk. He says something, but it is muffled by the obnoxious loud buildings we were surrounded by.
“What?!” I reply.
“Let’s go somewhere quieter!” He yells, opening the passenger door to an old white Dodge Ram.
I nod, getting in with the help of Chase’s hand. Once I’m in, I try to situate my absurdly long sleeves in the black cramp interior. I resort to just piling the fabric in my lap. Chase jumps into the driver’s seat and starts the pickup.
“Long time hasn’t it, Vivien,” Chase says, pulling out into the street.
“Yeah, Chase,” I reply awkwardly, staring down at the mountain of sleeves on my legs.
“Some performance-” he laughs a little under his breath.
“Why are you here in Metra?” I ask the question that was puzzling me all day.
“My buddy invited me to that party. I think it was worth it,” He says, staring over at me.
I push back my hair behind my ear, keeping my stare at my lap.
“Where do you want to go?” he asks.
“Park should be fine,” I quietly reply.
He quickly pulls up into the romantically lit park. The barren path left just me in a weird-looking party dress and Chase in his iconic gray KUHL jacket, a white t-shirt underneath, and his worn Levis, wandering the park. We sit down on to a bench. I stare at him in silence. I know it is only seconds, but they feel like years. In those couple of seconds, I fall back to life 5 years ago. I just want to be back in senior year. Back in love. Back with him. I just want to kiss those lips.
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