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The deal I made for myself when I decided to go home a bit early for Thanksgiving was that I could take a day to be sad and then ignore it. But as always the mind has a way with things and it didn't totally happen that way.

I hate crying, it's super draining. It's a nice release but it exhausts me. All I told my parents was I met a boy and it didn't totally work out. I then later explained a little more to them, to which they apologized and told me, "Ash boys are a disappointment when they suck" that made me smile and made me realize how glad I am to have them.

It's currently Thanksgiving and, as always, we take a drive to my grandparents house. Football plays on the TV and my uncle yells along with my dad about a bad play. I look to my cousin Hallie who laughs with me. Hallie and I are the same age. Her mom is my mom's sister and our grandparents always tell us we are a carbon copy of our mothers. We get along like them too.

She goes to college in Chicago so I haven't seen her since the summer. "So my mom told me you met a boy?" She asks, cautiously almost predicting a bad outcome.

I frown. I finally had a few hours where my mind didn't go to him. "Um well, yes I did." Hallie squeals. But I crush her dreams. "It didn't work out."

Hallie groans. "Awwww whyyyy?" She pouts.

I chuckle. I explain to her what happened and she listens intently all the way through.

"Oh, Ash, I'm so sorry." She says, sadly.

I shrug. "It's okay, I'm just trying to forget about it."

Her face scrunches with thought. "Well, Ash, are you sure he's not telling the truth about that girl?"

I have considered that he wasn't lying to me and I really don't think he would make out with her right after being with me. But there's always a slim chance he really was lying and I could be heartbroken all over again.

I really liked Derek. And even though it's sad to say but I still really do. He was the first person for it to click for me. The first person to actually read me and understand.

The rest of the night I try and pry Derek out of my mind and enjoy a nice night with my family.

TTTTTTT

Right when I get back to campus after break it's right back to reality. Right now, Josh, Kambria, Jacklynn, and I are at the diner, still trying to figure out what poem to do for our final project.

The computer in front of me is practically screaming at me to find my answer. If I read another poem about a dark alley and a pretty flower I might lose it.

I click on a page that reads, Poems that don't suck, I giggle at the title and scroll down the list. One that catches my eye is, Love , by Elizabeth Browning. I read through it and it's like a light bulb goes off in my head. It's not boring or confusing. Weirdly worded or long. It's gets to the point and to my surprise it oddly connects to me in many ways.

We cannot live, except thus mutually
We alternate, aware or unaware,
The reflex act of life: and when we bear
Our virtue onward most impulsively,
Most full of invocation, and to be
Most instantly compellant, certes, there
We live most life, whoever breathes most air
And counts his dying years by sun and sea.
But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth
Throw out her full force on another soul,
The conscience and the concentration both make
mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole
And aim consummated, is Love in sooth,
As nature's magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.

"Ugh!" Jacklyn groans. "I hate this! I'm good at writing poems but that doesn't mean I have to relate to them."

The four of us all laugh together. Josh and Kambria tell our group that they found theirs and I do as well. We all finish our meals and say goodbye.

It's seven pm and I'm exhausted. I had classes, homework, and few other errands and things to do today so I'm swamped. I enter the dorm and see a note on my bed.

At the hockey game. I know you probably didn't feel up to going so I left you your favorite chocolates in apology for leaving you alone. See you later!

- Daphne

I giggle down at the note to grab Kit Kat's off the bed. Smiling, I open them and sit on my bed, prepared to write this report on the poem. I read over the poem again and I frown down at one of the lines,

But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth
Throw out her full force on another soul,
The conscience and the concentration both make
mere life, Love.

I stare down wondering why it makes me feel that way. What Derek and I had probably could have moved toward love. I was slowly starting to think I did. But it wasn't just his good looks and blue eyes that drew me in. It was his kindness and his calmness that attracted me to him. But of course him being nice to look at is not a bad thing. Falling into temptation I open a browser to Instagram.

I scroll to a post I made when we were stuck in the car in the snow. I posted it on my story. My eyes are cross eyed and my mouth is open. Derek's head is thrown back in laughter. Another picture I attached is us laughing and staring at each other. I think right there was the most calm I felt in a long time. A tear falls down my face but I wipe it away.

I came to the conclusion the other day that I do believe him. But my mind is telling me it's too much. Just like I said to him. I care about him way more than I should. Maybe something will change?

I open the Instagram home page and I click on a story of a guy who goes to college here. It's a video. He's at the hockey game and he's cheering on... is that a fight? I try to focus on the players in the video and my eyes widen when I realize who it is.

The player from the other team locks back his fist and connects it to Derek's face. Derek flies backwards and hits the ice. The video ends with the guy videoing saying, " Oh shit."

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