And That Was

I sat next to Vincent.  He asked me things and I answered in one syllable answers.  He looked at me as if trying to figure out what was wrong, which I found very hard to believe.  My best friend had just died; I had every right to be sad.  I needed a way to cope and focusing on this was making the pain better.   

My mom said nothing the whole ride.  I guess she realized how this was really affecting me; this was hitting me very, very hard.  Maybe mom’s had some kind of sensor in them when their child needs to be left alone, a sensor that Vincent obviously wasn’t picking up.   

We were almost to the police station when I looked out of the car window.  When we stopped the car, I stayed inside while Mom and Vincent went out, trying to find the confidence to come out of the car. 

The police station was a bad place for me ever since I could remember.  Ten years ago, when I when I was nearly six, my father was taken here; this is where he died.  I can still remember it all, even though I’d rather forget. My mom screamed for him to come back.  She cried and cried as my father tried to get free, to come back to us.  I didn’t know what was happening.  There was a loud sound that I know now that it was the firing of the gun.  That sound was the bullet killing my father.  I saw him lying there, unmoving, not breathing, and he was dead on the ground.  I didn’t know that to do at the time.  I just started screaming.  After the screaming, came a river of tears that never seemed to end. 

My mom doesn’t say much about my father, and I learned over experiences again and again that I shouldn’t ask her.

“Ready Miss Kendra; you seem to be that formal to me now.” Vincent was holding my door open for me like a gentleman, but his positioning was meant to look overly formal.  He looked at me and his eyes spoke louder than his words what did I do wrong.  I couldn’t take it.

“Why did you laugh at the thought of me being your girlfriend?” I asked.  That wasn’t what I really wanted to say.  I wanted to talk about how my best friend had just died, but the words were gone before they went over my mouth.  Vincent looked at me, seeming unsure of what to say. 

“I wasn’t laughing at you; I was laughing at your mom’s brutal honesty.” Oh. Things ran all through my mind. Mostly that I already knew this that I hadn’t really processed.  

After a few second, Vincent went on.  “I really do like you Kendra.”

“I like you too.” I said, my earlier worries drifting away.  I pushed back my feelings about Sophie and continued on.  

“I’m sorry I was being so rude to you.”  My heart was pumping so much I almost wasn’t able to speak.  Vincent only made it worse by coming closer.  “You passed my mom’s test.” I whispered.

“I guess I did.” He whispered back, his face so close to mine our breath mingled.  I opened my eyes that I didn’t realize I closed.  He looked so happy, his expression was nearly beaming.  Only something else began to catch my eye.  His cuts and bruises were still there, sticking out on his once perfectly handsome face.  He moved in to kiss me for the second time today. 

“No,” I whispered, even slightly surprising myself.  He moved back and looked at my face.  I saw his face, and it made me almost regret my decision because the hurt staining his face was more than sorrow staining mine.  “You’re still hurt.” I traced my thumb along a scrape.  Vincent tried not to, but he winced slightly.  I instantly pulled my hand back having just proved my point.  “I need to make sure it’s the real you I’m falling for.”  I subconsciously added, and I need to deal with Sophie’s death.  The rest of me ignored this; I was getting good at that.  He looked at me, trying to see the doubt in my eyes.  I tried to look certain, or at least more than I was.

“If that’s what you really what, Kendra,” he said and moved away, a hint of anger coming and going into his features.  Instead, I processed something easier.  My name.  I loved it when he said my name, but why doing this did hurt so much.  We had only known each other for a day. 

I looked at his sorrow, and all of a sudden, mine went out of control.  If only for a second, my mind started to process that Sophie was actually dead.  For a second, I let tears slide down my face that had been threatening to come with the loss of my best friend.

This should have been the time for me to start bawling.  I should have accepted her death then and there and worked to recover from it.  Only, I was a very stubborn girl.  If anything, my mind knew what was happening and wasn’t ready to accept it.

Vincent sat next to me watching the tear slide down my face soundlessly.

Eventually I asked, “Where’s my mom?”  Throughout this whole ordeal I hadn’t seen nor heard her. 

“She is inside.  She is getting ready to file reports.  My Uncle Delano should be here now.”  Delano, what a strange name; it must be really old.  I guess Vincent was kind of a strange name too now that I was thinking about. 

“Vincent what does your name mean?” I asked somewhat randomly.  He looked at me a puzzled expression on his face. 

“Victorious,” he whispered, like that made him sad.  “And yours?” He asked, more in his normal tone.

“Magic,” I said. When I was little she always used to call me her little Magic. 

“You are magical, and Magic does suit you.”  He said; now seemingly back to his fully happy self.  I mean, at least how happy he could be after everything had happened.  He smiled his smile that I fantasized was only for me. 

“I bet you say that to all the girls,” I teased.  He smiled.  This was more like it.  No tears and no seriousness. 

“We’d better go inside.” He said; motioning for me to get out.  I didn’t think about how he ignored the question.

“Do I look ok?” I knew I had puffy eyes and looked bad, but I wanted to see what he would say. 

He looked at me and smiled and it made me feel better, even if the smiled didn’t reach his eyes.  “Like a pretty girl who’s had a very tough day.” 

And that was the perfect answer.