Oh you have got to be fucking kidding me! I knew I recognised that straggly red hair!
Walking straight up to them I know what I’m going to do but I want to hear them admit it first.
“So which one of you cunts was it huh? Balloon boobs or you Karen?”
Karen smirks at me. “We were just doing our duty as concerned citizens Brianne.” Call me that again bitch. “I was horrified when I took my niece out for ice-cream after class, to see that a professor was abusing his power to seduce a student! I’m a mother, I had no choice but to report it.”
“A mother? HE’S A FUCKING FATHER! DID YOU EVEN CONSIDER HOPE IN ALL OF THIS?!” She doesn’t even blink, the fucking psycho. “I’m sure you both had the best of intentions and it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact he wouldn’t fuck either of you!”
The tears I felt coming earlier try to resurface again as all the anger I feel bubbles over.
“Oh please! Like either of us would touch him knowing he’d been with some black ghetto fucking street rat like you!”
Bitches didn’t even see it coming. I smacked straight from one face to the other and I know I loosened some fucking teeth with the way it echoed around the room.
Remember who you’re fucking talking to. I’m not A bitch sugar-tits, I’m THE fucking bitch.
Karen grasps her swelling cheekbone. “You stupid little girl! I’ll press charges! I’ll sue! You over there, you saw what she did! Get me the tape from these cameras!”
The cow gestures to the woman behind the reception desk but my melanin sister over there just stands with her arms crossed her chest, the smirk on her face telling me she’s got my fucking back after what they just said.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t see anything. Those cameras have a weird flaw, when I hit this button right here it automatically deletes the last ten minutes of video. It's so strange. Watch.”
They both scream for her to stop as she slams her finger down on the button and smiles at me.
I get ready to smack these cunts again when the most heart-breaking voice comes from behind me.
Oh god. I can’t... I can’t say goodbye to him here...
I start to run, swinging open the front doors to the school I just keep running.
I bypass my car all together, I need air and open space. I take a left and dart across the road into the park on the far side. It’s more woods than park but it’s open and the street noise is drowned out as I run and run until I spot a bench hidden by some bushes.
There are not many people around at this time of day, mostly just joggers and dog walkers, all of whom are too busy to be concerned by me right now, thank God.
I throw myself down on the seat but I can still hear my heart ringing in my ears from the sprint I just took. It’s so painful in my chest and it’s not just the way my heart is beating, it’s like something is dying within me and I can’t find a way to get it out.
It’s not fair but life isn’t fucking fair. I have to do something, we promised, we promised we’d always be a part of each others lives. I just... It hurts...
I want to shout out to him, tell him I’m here but I know if I open my mouth right now all the tears will free themselves and pour out onto me, he doesn’t need to see that.
“For fucks sake Brie! Don’t scare me like that!”
He rushes to my side but I pull back.
“C-Connor, you shouldn’t be here. If someone sees you... you’ll...”
He takes the seat next to me without hesitation, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me onto his lap as he holds my head to his chest. “No-one followed me Brie and I wouldn’t care if they did. I can’t say goodbye to you Brie, not like that. It’s you... I don’t want to say goodbye to you at all.”
Neither do I green eyes...
Running his hands through my hair he leans me under his chin, calming my body the way he always seems to be able to do when we’re together. This is how it all started for us, two people with all the potential in the world but so broken we couldn’t see it. He fought for me, chased after me, he made me feel.
I’ve never talked to anyone the way I talked to him that night, I’m not sure I will ever talk to anyone like that again.
"Brie we could.. I mean I need this job but this doesn’t have to be it for us, we could be more careful. We could just keep everything private for now and maybe no-one would know. Then after a year we could... I don't know."
I know he’d do that, he’d keep trying until it eventually destroyed him, but I won’t let him. Sitting up to face him I can see he's as broken by this as I am so I’m gonna have to be the one to say it. "We can't, you know we can’t. I won't risk this job for you Connor, you or Hope. I'm going to get myself enrolled at that night school over the other side of town and you're going to carry on doing the amazing work you're doing here for as long as it makes you happy. I'm sure I won't have a cute professor with your skill set there but it'll still get me where I want to be one day. I won't be selfish like that Connor. It's not worth the risk, I'm not worth the risk."
I can see the pain in him at my words as he strokes my back and looks into my eyes. "You were always worth the risk Brie. I don't regret it, not a fucking second of it. What you said in there... What you said about me and how you felt... I'm not sure I could put into words like that to justify how I feel about you. You changed my fucking life... I don’t know if I can truly walk away from you... Are you sure this is what we should do? This is what you want?"
"I'm not sure we can ever be sure about these things Con, but it's what we're doing because it's what needs to happen, for both of us. Keeping you and Hope safe, it's more important to me than anything. It won't be forever, at least I fucking hope it won't, but what we have... it can't be like this... not anymore. Me and you... we were meant to meet, we were meant to laugh and joke and smile. We were meant to remind each other of the amazing things in this world. We were just... We weren’t meant to be."
I don't know if things will work with Steve, or anyone else for that matter, but that night with him at the hospital showed me what I want from the man I'm with. I want adventure, I want someone who's going to embrace my crazy but still keep me grounded. Antonio was always too much fire, Connor too much ice. What he wants I just can't give him. I’ve tried, I really fucking tried and I wish I could, but I can’t. He just can't see it yet.
"This girl you want Connor, this beautiful, amazing girl. She will be the mother Hope deserves, she will have so many beautiful babies with you and she’ll sit at the kitchen counter on Sundays doing the crossword while you make French toast. She's going to be incredible, she's going to make you so fucking happy Con. She's out there waiting for you good boy, and I can’t wait to fucking meet her, but this has shown what we both already knew... she just isn't me."
His head drops so our foreheads meet, his grip on my hands never wavering as he interlocks our fingers. "I really fucking wanted it to be you Brianna."
As the tears finally fall from my eyes against my will, I bring his hands to my lips and kiss them gently.
"So did I."
This man is everything some perfect woman out there wants, I have no doubts that he is destined for greatness. I won't keep him from her for one moment more.
Letting our heads rise I take a final look at him, my perfect good boy. He doesn't know it, but it's because of him I know one day I will fall in love with the man for me, because of him I won't run or hide, I'll open my heart completely. All because of him, because of what being with him showed me.
"You tell Hope I love her, that I will answer the phone every time she rings. Tell her I will be at every dance recital, every show and every concert she wants me at. She's going to be incredible. That beautiful girl was born to dance, they can't take that away from us."
He nods, finally looking me in the eye as he removes his clouded glasses and lets me see his red rimmed eyes. "I have to do one last thing before I go, I don’t think I could say goodbye to you any other way."
His hands let go of my own as he takes my face and brings his lips to mine. I kiss him back, savouring the taste of him I know I’ll never get again. It all began like this, a boy kissing a girl on a park bench in the middle of the darkness. That boy ended up becoming the light in my life. Who could’ve known.
Our lips part and there's a small smile on his face as he looks up at me. "You'll get him Brie, I know you will. You deserve it."
Thank you good boy...
"I don't want to lose you Connor. We need space to get to a different place but I want you in my life, you're one of the best friends I've ever had. If nothing else, I can’t lose that."
He nods. "You won't lose me Brie. I don't want to lose you either. We just need time first. We'll get there."
Letting out a deep breath he lays my head back against his chest, the tear falling down his cheek and off his jaw directly onto my skin as I listen to his heartbeat.
"You know, when I met you, I could’ve never pictured this. I saw this beautiful girl dancing so freely and all I could think was.. she must be some kind of fucking angel. People like that can't exist, not really, not with that much light around them. I still sometimes see you that way, my perfect girl racing from me through the park... my beautiful angel without a name."
We sit there, the tears fall silently from him but I know they're there. This is what it has to be for us... what we had was beautiful, intimate and pure. It made me feel a way I never have before - worthy.
He picks up my head, holding me close as he rests it against his own.
"I've got to get back to class."
I nod against him, holding back the emotions I wasn't ready to set free.
"I'll see you soon good boy."
He smiles before placing a delicate kiss on my lips.
"Until we meet again bad girl."
I close my eyes as he walks away, I know this is only goodbye for now but I still can't stand to watch him go. As the pain settles in my chest and the cold wind attacks my face I let it out, all of it.
All the pain and fear I've caused him, all the loss of a future we were never destined to have, the realisation that no matter how I tried; I'd never be what he needs, nor could he be for me.
He was my final tie, a bind I feel snap as I open my eyes to be greeted by the blank open field.
As I stare out at the old couple walking hand in hand down the cobbled path my heart stirs with a realisation I was too afraid to let myself feel before now.
I'm no longer tied, I'm free to choose.
And I've made my choice.