13. On The Run

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Morning came and as always, I checked my phone. I didn't have anything from Marissa and I was burning to text her or call her. I wanted to hear her voice so I called. I stared at the ceiling waiting for her to answer.

"Hello?" She picked up.

"Good morning. How'd you sleep?" I asked. There was a pause on her end.

"I just went to sleep a couple of hours ago." She claimed.

"Were you thinking about me?" I smirked.

"Shut up Jason." Her morning voice was faint.

"I'm leaving today, are you sure you don't want to see me before I leave?"

"Are you going to rekindle with Lila?"

"That's what you want, right?"

"Yes." She confirmed.

"Then, that's what I'm going to do."

"I don't need to see you before you leave." She declined. I closed my eyes with the phone still to my ear. There was another pause. We're both holding back words that are killing us inside. "Just because you're going back to her, doesn't mean we can't be friends."

"We'll be more like associates acting like this summer never happened huh?"

"Sadly, yes."

"Alright." I rolled my eyes.

"I'm going to miss you Jason."

"I'm going to miss this summer."

"I'm still here for you."

"Not the way I want you to be."

"Jason, please- It's better this way. I want you to be happy. I want what's best for you."

"Jason!" Aug called from his room.

"I have to go." I warned Marissa. "I love you." I told her. There was a silence on her end. "You hear me?"

"Yea, I love you too." She attested before hanging up. I sat up and stared at my phone, then out the window. I took a deep breath, allowing my lungs and cheeks to fill. I emitted slowly, realizing what I was leaving behind once I left Chicago.

"Jason! Nigga, you hear me calling you?" August came into the room.

"I'm getting up now. Shut up." I tossed the sheets off me.

"Our plane leaves in 2 hours. I hope you have all yo' shit."

"Yup." I confirmed. He looked over at my phone. "Yes, I called her." I admit before he interrogated.

"Cool." He nodded.

"Whatever."

"I respect you for that. Letting go-"

"I'm not letting her go."

"I respect you for leaving ha' to protect ha' from this life and yo'self. I respect that way you are 'round ha'. You are a better person, because of Marissa. I see you want to be better for ha'. Maybe one day you'll feel worthy of her and you'll be together. You respect ha' more than any female I've seen you with. It takes much strength to do what you're doing. Don't take this the wrong way, but one day, you're going to love Marissa more than Lila." August predicted. "But fo' now, you have to see what you can do with Lila. Don't hold back when it comes to her, give her yo' all, because Marissa would want you to. I want you to. This way, if it doesn't work, you won't have the burden of living with regret. You love Lila, get her back man. Marissa and I have yo' back when it comes to this. We're like your cheerleaders. We want this for you." August gave me a brotherly hug.

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