15. What comes down... crashes
"Sadly, I was... you, I was heading to the bench with you... to you."
He rose a brow, "to me? Why?" She held onto his arms as his arms stayed around her waist. "Because, something serious happened and I don't want to keep it from you, but it's terrifying me to tell you and my new friend Dylan said that I should let you know before it all blows up and becomes an awful situation—." She took a deep breath, "so, I'm here—we're here so I can tell you. Please don't hate me."
"Wait, Cyndi, why would I hate you?"
She tried to turn around. "We should really take a seat." Rick shook his head.
"No," he turned her face back to his, "we really shouldn't, I don't think I'll hear what you have to say if we do... you already seem so... frightened."
"Well I am!" She threw her hands in the air, then grabbed him around his neck and pulled him close. Sobs broke from her chest, and escaped from her lips as she held him tight. He didn't let her go as she worried herself into a sopping mess against his jacket. "Cyndi, you can tell me."
She pulled away from him. "Can I? Can I really Rick? I mean you barely know me, I barely know you, we barely even know ourselves and here I am struggling to tell you something that I never had to experience—and I mean never!" She wagged her finger in his face. "I mean can we really be so open and honest with one another after just one date, after just two days of knowing each other? " She gasped, making him shiver in surprise, "Oh my God, this is my first ever relationship and I'm messing it up! I didn't want that..." she worried her bottom lip, then she jumped closer and grabbed a fistful of his shirt. "Rick, you need to know that I did not intend to mess this up. I promise, swear it on the grave of my ancestors. I swear!"
Rick's eyes were glued to hers, his heart racing a tick too quick and Cyndi's own was winning his in a race of worry that she had locked them both within. Rick spoke. "Okay... okay, so something bad happened. You're right, I've—we've only known each other for roughly forty-eight hours and we know little of each other, but I do know this Cyndi Fenton," he cupped her cheek, making a wave of shivers dive underneath her skin and butterfly stroke down her spinal cord, "I won't judge you for a mistake, I can promise you that, so please, tell me."
In that moment Cyndi realized that she had never seen such deep and clear eyes as bright as Rick's own in that very instant. It was as if he knew she could do no wrong, as if he knew that she was too pure to even swat a fly, or as if he knew that she was too fragile for this chaotic world and that she would shatter if a simple tuning fork struck against her in the right spot. He would trust her, what a peculiar young man that he was, that he would have trusted her words even if he hadn't known her for more than the time that they were allotted. "Jeremy kissed me last night." Rick's eyes did not falter and he did not let her go. She continued. "He... I was so excited about our date, and he was the first person I ran into when I arrived home... I was bouncing off the walls with joy," tears began to run over her eyes rims, "but then he pulled me close and he kissed me... something in that, it, it felt so," she searched her head for the words and Rick waited, "good..." she gulped. "I kissed him back, and I pushed him away when I realized that it wasn't right, that that wasn't you. That he wasn't you, that I had just had the most amazing date of my life and that someone who wasn't you was kissing me!" She was full on sobbing now, Rick's hand still on her hot cheek as it grew redder, her eyes rimmed red, her nose pinking softly against the pale hue of her worried face. "I ran to my room, I was disappointed with myself. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, please, please don't hate me." Footfall hurried to the court yard the four pairs of feet all stopped at the sights of Rick and Cyndi in each others embrace, her sobbing being heard from their short distance apart and Issac's heart aching as he stepped forward. Dylan grabbed his arm and he turned, giving her the scariest look she had even seen on a humans face. She swallowed down her fear at the sight of his face and spoke. "If we interrupt them, Cyndi will not forgive you. This is about them, not you, not me, not anyone but them. If you coddle her so much, she'll never be able to face the real world..." Dylan's eyes drifted to the pair and she sighed, "Cyndi needs to do this," she let Issac's arm go, meeting his eyes, "alone. If you go over there then you would be telling her that you don't trust her enough to be brave enough to do what she must."
Issac had a rebuttal, in fact he had several, but none of them dared to come forward as he looked down on the young woman who had just entered into their circle of friends, the wall he had built around himself and Cyndi and the very foundation that he paved from the ground up to keep them both safe. He exhaled, all the anger and worry leaving his bones and he was deflated. "Okay." Dylan gave him a small smile, which he gave her back, the twins stood back, Jeremy's guilt still eating him raw and Mike's worry for his somewhat boyfriend making him yearn to move to hug him but also solidifying his body and keeping him planted where he stood before his younger brother.
Cyndi had said all she could and her emotions had taken over completely as she cried. Rick moved his other hand and cupped her face fully in his large hands, brushing away the waves of tears coming from her beautiful eyes and bent to kiss her forehead. She hiccupped, her panting calming down, her tears subsiding. "R—Rick? Why?"
"Because silly girl, that wasn't your fault. You were enjoying a moment of bliss and someone got swap up inside of it—your smile has that power... and they did something unintentional. I forgive you, and I don't think I could hate you. Not after getting to know just a little bit of you from our date. So please, stop crying. Each time you shed a tear, my heart breaks. You're too good to hurt like this."
He turned around to meet the group. "Jeremy... I forgive you too." Their eyes all shot to Jeremy, wide and in shock. "I know personally that life is too short to let petty moments of weakness get the better of you. I forgive you, so stop beating yourself up." Jeremy's brown eyes began to water, his bottom lip trembling as he began to weep, wiping away his tears and for each one he brushed away another would replace it.
The bell rang, long and proud, popping the bubble in which the teens had fitted themselves within, signaling not the end of their lunch but the end of second period for those in class. Rick's eyes found Cyndi's tear stained face once more. "Let's go inside, you're trembling." He slung his arms over her shoulders and pulled her close to keep her near. "Let's get inside guys." He said as he walked towards the group. Mike patted his brothers back as they moved and Dylan and Issac followed after them.