I turned around and found searching green eyes staring back at me. I bit my lip a little, moving not even a centimeter but still being noticed. Randy stood in front me, the image of perfection. This was the image I struggled so hard to forget. His shirt was hanging from his hands, his chiseled chest with its etched lines was bear. His arms were hanging somewhat tensely, showing off the muscles in his biceps. This was Randy.
“Hey, blondie, pay attention to me,” He said and I shot my eyes from his arms back to his face.
“Come here,” he gave me a little wink and I laughed, pulling away from his arm reach.
“What are you doing,” I screeched, running on the other side of the bed, using it as a shield.
“Does it matter? Come here,” he laughed back with me and circled around, forcing me into the corner.
I could feel his breath on my neck as he stared down on me, his green eyes flashing mischievously. His arms were against the wall, creating a box that I was locked in. I reached up with a shaking hand and touched his cheekbone, the scruff on it tickling my palm. I closed my eyes a little and gave a sigh. When I opened them I saw a glimmer of pink and then it was gone.
“You were going to kiss me,” I offered up, hoping he would take the chance.
“I was,” Randy agreed, in one swift movement his arms were back by his side and I could breathe again. “I’ll call you when I get home.”
“Randy. . . Okay, yeah,” I mumbled and ran my fingers along my lips. “Be safe.”
He flashed me a perfect smile and my heart twanged a little, sending my stomach down to my feet. This was Randy, this was someone I couldn’t like, but it was a little late for that. Randy threw his shirt over his head and wiggled into it, covering up his muscles.
“Was that the last night before he told you,” Jeremy asked as I sat with my legs folded on his bed.
“No, we had a few more nights like that. But he kept it hidden pretty well, he never let me believe anything was wrong.”
“Did you suspect it?”
“No, I honestly thought he was fine,” I looked out the window at the cool April day, the green of Vermont was even more this morning because of the rain. It had given the whole scene a glisten.
“He never told anyone, Jay. I don’t want you to feel like he purposely left you out of the loop,” Jeremy said, walking over from against his dresser to sit next to me.
“I know, that’s not what I’m worried about, I just can’t. . . I can’t live without him here, Jeremy. I just can’t,” I leaned into his shoulder and his curly black hair brushed my head.
“Yes, you can. I promise you, you can,”
“No one has heard from him in almost a year, not since April. . . I don’t think . . .He’s dead isn’t he,”
I wiped a tear from my eye and shrugged a little.
I wiped a tear from my eye and shrugged a little.
“I don’t know, Jay. He left with his sister for El Paso. That’s all anyone knows,” Jeremy lifted my chin, meeting my eyes.
His blue-grey eyes met mine and he gave me a little smile. His smile was a crooked one, always had been, and many girls fell for that. We had been friends for ten years, I was over it.
“You’ll be okay, he’ll come back to you,” he said and I smiled.
“You are such a god-rotting cheater,” Randy yelled as I stole the ball from him.
“Steal,” I shouted back, dribbling up the court, evading him with a turn. “And swish.”
The ball flew from my tips and arched in air, hanging suspended for a moment. The twist that the flick of my wrist had given it allowed it to maneuver around the backboard. I grinned and turned to Randy who had his hands on his hips. He shook his head at me and I ran over, hugging him tightly.
“Oh, you sore loser,” I muttered, running my fingers through the back of his brown hair.
“I never lose,” the tone of his voice shook me and I looked up at him. “Never.”
He bent his head and gave me a shy little smile, the breath that washed over me stunned me and all I could do was smile. I shivered as the image of his lips drifted before my eyes. Something hit my ankles and I stumbled forward. Randy stumbled backward as he tried to catch me but he lost his balance and we both went down.
“Ouch,” I groaned as my elbow hit the wooden floor.
“Agreed,” Randy said, rubbing the back of his head.
“I’m sorry,” I situated myself to look at him.
Looking down on him, I saw the dark circles around his eyes, the little difference of paleness that now touched his skin. I furrowed my eyebrow, moving my hand, tracing the new circles under his eyes. He closed them in response and sighed a little, almost as if he was regretting something. He could break my heart, and I think we both knew that but each of us was begging for it not to happen.
“You were going to kiss me,” I whispered, bending my head down toward his.
“Yes,” he said, his voice exhausted.
I moved my arm and kissed his cheek, my whole body shaking. His hand grabbed behind my neck and gently turned me so that my lips were touching his but not kissing. He moved his other arm behind him and sat up, forcing me to sit as well. Before I could move from off his lap, he reached up and cupped me chin, bringing my lips to his.
His lips moved in perfect sync with mine, gentle and not to pressuring. He held onto me by the small of my back, but I didn’t need it. I moved closer to him, thinking that even if we were one it would never be close enough for me.
“Marry me,” he whispered, pulling away slightly.
“What,” I didn’t move but my heart went into overdrive.
“Jaycee Samantha Ava Raey, marry me.”
“I. . . You can’t be serious?”
He took my hand and helped me stand up. He kept hold of it and dragged me toward his things that he had brought to my house. He bent down and started rummaging through his pack, looking a little bit distraught.
“Randy. . .” I started.
“Found it,” he turned towards me, bent down and then I saw the little, black, velvet box.
“You’re serious. . .”
“Jaycee, Samantha Ava Raey, marry me, be my wife and make me the happiest man on earth. Please.”
“Randy, I’m nineteen. . .”
“And I’m twenty-three and I’ve never felt like this in all of my dating life. I knew, from the moment I saw you, from the first words you spoke to me, I knew that I loved you.”
“Randy, my first words to you were stop being an idiot. . .” I gave a little laugh but he shook his head.
“No, I mean in an actual conversation, just between us.”
“Oh. . .”
“I know that Cameron had just died and everything and you were a little distraught, but Jaycee, I loved you.”
“I didn’t. . .”
“Yes or no, Jay.”
I stumbled around my thoughts for a moment, thinking of all the things that I could say, all the ways that I could say yes and all the ways I could say no. All the reasons that I should or shouldn’t, all the things that could go wrong. Nothing.
“Yes, Randy. Yes.”