N I N E

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At first, he wasn't kissing me back and I was going to pull away when he lips starting moving with mine.

C O L I N P O V:

She was making so confused.

Did she want to be with me or not?

I really liked Hope.

Maybe I've liked her since I saw her by herself at eight and I decided that I'll stick around.

Just for a little.

But then a little turned into a senior year of high school and sometimes I saw her come out of her shell and show herself to me.

I wished she wouldn't hide all the time. She pulls away from the kiss, catching her breath and so do I.

She makes me feel so many things that I can't even explain and she's really special to me.

When we were in 7th grade, I thought something was up with her.

It was in gym class and we had volleyball that day. I was on the same team as her and when she went to hit the ball, her shirt lifts slightly.

I wasn't supposed to look and I wasn't trying to but there it was.

Purple and blue and nasty looking.

I asked her about it and she made up some lie and at that time, I believed her.

She's been hurt by the person who supposed to protect her in this world.

All these years she covers her bruises and goes to school and let them bully her and then go home to get more bruises and I never knew.

That will forever bother me.

She could have a great life.

One I know she really deserves. She thinks that I haven't seen her running those lights but I have.

I don't ask why she does because I figured when she's ready, she'll tell me.

There is no point in pressuring her into telling me things.

"Colin."

I look into her eyes and she smiles at me. I love that smile.

I wish she always smiled.

"I, I want to try this out. Whatever this is between us. Only if you want to though but I'll understand if you don't because why would you really aft-"

I capture her lips and lick her bottom lip. She opens her mouth and we're dancing.

Hope doesn't realize how great of a person she is.

She has been through so much and yet she's still here going. That's why I love her.

Hold up...I what?

This time I break away and nod at her.

Her smile grows bigger which causes me to smile along with her. She jumps up from her spot and holds out her hand.

"Where are we going?"

I ask, taking her hand.

"One of my favorite places."

We walk to my car and both get in. Her being in the driver seat since I have no clue where we are going.
I look at her while she drives and she kind of look sad.

Like her driving brings back a painful memory but then I see her try to shake it off and she slightly smiles.

I want to say something but I keep my thoughts of what just happened in my head.

How does such a beautiful person have such a painful past?

How is she able to keep going?

I may never fully understand that but I know that she was named Hope for a reason. It's what she gives me.

That no matter what she'll be right here annoyed by me and I'll be next to her annoying her. That's how we always been.

Not really friends and not really enemies either.

We pull up to an old building downtown with art painted all over.

She stops the car and looks at me and takes a deep breath.

"We're here."

We both unbuckle our seat belts and walk up to the building. There are really good drawings on the walls, kind of inspirational.

She stills halfway to the building and takes my hand, squeezing it and I squeeze back.

When we get inside, it has wooden floors and mirrors on every wall but one.

That's where bathrooms are and I turn to look at her.

"When I was 4 years old, my mom said, 'Honey if you could be anything in the world, what would it be?' I told her I would be a ballerina because when they dance, they look so free and happy. She told me that that was a great thing to want to be. The next week, she signed me up. Right here in this dance room. Brought me outfits and shoes and everything else that I would need. Every time I came here, I loved it so much. I want to stay here and dance forever. They moved the company to the other side of town but I stayed. I come here when I just want to be alone. My dad doesn't know I come here so... it's my spot."

I knew she used to dance but I wasn't really sure why she stopped, I still didn't know.

"Show me."

She looks at me unsure and I go in front of her so she can really see me.

"Please Hope, I want you to show me."

She sighs and goes into the bathroom. I sit down on the floor and she comes out dressed and hair tied up.

She scrolls through her phone until I hear the music.

"I'm not that good but here it goes."

She starts moving across the room and it's amazing.

Hope is amazing.

She smiling and looks so happy.

She dances as if she trying to tell you a story. She doesn't even mess up once, at least she doesn't look like she did.

She shouldn't keep this to herself. She should show someone and not just me but people who haven't seen this.

I could see that she loved to dance and that it's her getaway.

A getaway from the world of pain and hurt that she's been living in all these years.

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