The police search raged on and so did my personal conflicts. My conflicts between me and the sacred journal that once belong to my mother, the conflicts between uncharted feelings with Jackson, and the confusing state between Ricky and I. The investigation that involved my father, complicated everything. During the school day, I would walk down the hall with Stacey and typically meet up with Jackson at some point and sneak glances at Ricky, where he would return the look and reassure me with a wink. After school, I would sneak over to Ricky’s to hang out before Dad got home.
"Hey Neighbor," I called out to Ricky as he worked on his bike. I knew Jackson was out with friends, so there was no chance of him seeing this interaction. It was a warmer day and Ricky was looking fine in a navy blue shirt with ripped jeans that hung low on his hips. "What are you up to?" I wrapped my arms around his shoulders.
"I’m about to see if my motorcycle will start up. Hop on," He moved back so I would be in front. I slid on and let my hands rest on the handlebars. He wrapped his fingers around mine. "Press this button," his fingers guided mine as his whispers came from over my shoulders. I tilted his head as his instructions continued. "Kick this lever," and so I did. It roared to life and he gave a low chuckle, feeling proud of himself, so I turned to reward him with a kiss. Next thing I know, we are on his bed getting carried away.
"We should stop," My head finally caught up with my emotions. I sat up and searched for my shirt feeling guilty.
"Right when it was getting good," Ricky sighs with a stretch. I turn and gave him a look, but he just chuckled, resting his hands behind his head. "I’m only joking. It doesn’t bother me that you're a virgin, Klara."
"Well sometimes you make me feel guilty because I’m not there with you yet." I confess to him.
"I don’t mean to make you feel guilty, I mean I know I’m not type to have a chance at that with you," he shrugged as if it were no big deal, but my mind clouded up with questions.
"What do you mean?" My hands were shaking as I couldn’t grip the buttons.
"I understand that you're looking for it to happen when you're in a happily committed relationship or even love." He stares at his ceiling. Finishing the last button on my shirt, I turn to face him. His eyes were disconnected from me.
"Are we not happily committed?" My voice was low now, because I was nervous to hear his answer. He looked uncertain and sat up, so my words needed to continue to spill out, before he could reject me. "I mean after last week when we were at the beach and we had that connection,"
"I’m sorry if I gave you the impression we were exclusive, Klara. I like hanging out with you, but you know we can’t be anything as of right now. Not with the investigation, I haven’t been cleared, your father hates me, and you don’t even know if I did it."
"Ricky, you know I hate it when you say that because I know you didn’t do it. I also know whatever is going on between us is more than just secret hook ups behind my father's back. You have feelings for me, I can tell in the way you kiss me and look at me and talk to me and are protective of me. Don’t pull that cold, distant act," I almost pleaded him because he knew it was breaking my heart.
"I’m sorry, Klara. It isn’t like that for me." Ricky’s eyes have never looked so unfamiliar. Ever since the rainy day at the coffee shop when he saw me with Jackson, he has become more and more distant, all leading up to this moment, when he was looking at me like he didn’t recognize me. I scanned his face,
"You are a complete liar. And I’m done with this," I grabbed my jacket and left without another thought. That night, I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I sat through dinner with dad, did my homework, and eventually laid in bed. I considered opening up my blinds to see if his were open, but I restrained. The next day he didn’t give me any reassuring looks, so I stopped looking out for the secret signs of affection from him.
As I sat at dinner that night, I fidgeted nervously until I couldn’t take it anymore. I picked up my plate and dumped it in the sink, before heading upstairs without a word to Dad, who kept begging me to tell him what was the matter. I waited in my bedroom till I heard my father retire to his bedroom. Throwing out the rope ladder, I realized Ricky’s window was open with the lights on. I hope he noticed me leaving. Quietly, running around the house, I grab a few pebbles from the landscape and toss them up at the window, making a small "clink" noise.
Within seconds Jackson was at the window looking down. Without a word, he threw down the latter and I climbed up to the safe haven, which was his bedroom. He assisted me through the window and then we just stood there face to face.
"Welcome to my room," he gave me a crooked smile because he thought himself clever. "What can I help you with this evening, Miss?" I took a step forward and pressed my hand to his chest.
"You were right, about it all." I murmured for only us to hear in the dim lighting of his bedside lamp. "I meant nothing to him and was his play toy for amusement purposes only, causing him to hurt me in the end. But you," I paused feeling the atmosphere between us for a moment and the difference there was. "You were always it for me. You were the one who I always trusted, who I always needed, and who I never saw. It’s you, Jackson." He took no further explanation, but kissed me.
The Illusion - Chapter 9Who wants who?
By joslyn miller