Chapter Sixteen: A Walk with Wiley

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We left Cleo’s practice and everyone began jogging out towards the back of the building where there was a forest.  Cleo was leading the group shouting words of encouragement.  I walked behind not daring to even try running in three inch heels.

       Soon the group was gone somewhere in the forest and I was still making my way around the building enjoying the feeling of fresh air filling my lungs and being alone for a walk.

       When I reached the forest, I saw there was a dirt trail to follow and without hesitation I started walking along. 

     Trees and bushes engulfed me on all sides; I couldn’t see past them, it was so thick.  Birds were tweeting overhead and squirrels could be heard jumping from tree to tree.  Closing my eyes I enjoyed the slight feeling of freedom.  Although my heels were sinking partially into the ground, the walk was still enjoyable.

       “You know you could kill yourself walking around in your things here,” came a voice.  My eyes flew open and I saw Wiley standing in front of me his face expressionless.

        Shrugging I shook of the feeling of surprise from my body and continued my walk, eyes open this time.  Wiley walked along side me, his hands in the pockets of his blue Adidas hoodie.  He lightly kicked a rock with his black Nike athletic shoe.

       We walked together in silence.  Wiley didn’t make an attempt to have a conversation with me and the silence between us was a comfortable one.  The silences I had with my dad or Leigh were uncomfortable.  It was obvious they felt a gap if someone wasn’t talking and this made them ramble on and on.

      With Wiley he remained silent, and didn’t make an attempt to try any sorts of conversation.  He didn’t ask me questions when obviously I wouldn’t ask; he didn’t ramble on about himself like Leigh does of how Felix had done a few days before; he didn’t tell things or insult me like Avery had.  He was silent and this was the most I had enjoyed the company of someone else in a long time.

       The farther we got onto the trail the thinner the trees and bushes became.  Soon I could see a small stream flowing through and clearings with rabbits and chipmunks scurrying around.

      “Cleo told me to stay back, so don’t think I actually wanted to do this,” Wiley said causally.  “I’m not trying to hit on you or anything, okay?”

       I looked over him my face scrunched up in disgust. 

       Sorry if I’m putting you out by existing, asshole, I thought to myself.  I can walk by myself.

       As if he could read my mind he rolled his eyes at me, brushing his fingers through his semi-spiked blonde bangs.  “I know you can walk by yourself, but Cleo said no one can be by themselves.  Not in this group.  You’re all too unstable.”

      Then why the hell does she have everyone run, I thought annoyed.  The more I was here in this group therapy the more Cleo and everyone in the group annoyed me.  I had already decided I didn’t like Wiley no matter how nice it was that he hadn’t tried to speak for the first twenty-minutes of our walk.

     “She makes everyone do this weekly workout thing because that’s what they do at addiction centers and physical activity is proven to enhance positive moods and less addictive habits.”  He paused and faced me. 

      I was startled by his eyes.  They were two-toned; I had never seen someone with two different colored eyes before.  One was green and the other was blue.  The brightest green and blue I had ever seen before.

       “She says you guys are addicted to being depressed, so this is killing two birds with one stone,” he continued. “Her words not mine.  I don’t like using clichés.  They’re overrated and annoying and rarely ever make sense unless someone explains them all to you.”

      Rolling my lips into my mouth, I kept my gaze ahead.  Scratch the whole thing about him keeping silent and letting me enjoy the company of someone else.  I wish I was with Felix again. At least he didn’t sound as judgmental and tell you his life philosophy.

        “Cleo may come off really annoying at first, but she gets even more annoying later.”  He looked at me a small smirk playing at his lips like he was waiting for me to laugh.  Turning to him, I gave him a not so amused look.

       “And she was as cold as ice,” he sang.  “Know that song?”  He raised his eyebrows at me then stopped in his tracks. 

       I stopped with him for some odd reason and met his gaze evenly. 

       “Hello, anyone in there?” he asked waving his hand in front of my face.  Turning on my heel I stalked away from him as fast as my three inch heels that sunk into the ground would let me. 

     He strolled after me at a leisurely pace, not attempting to catch up or continue a conversation with me. 

       Soon I was out of the forest and standing in a clearing, a huge hill stood in front of me.  Mentally I groaned.  I was not wearing the right shoes to walk up that hill.  It was grassy and probably slightly muddy since it had rained the day before. 

       Not wanting to give Wiley a chance to catch up I began stalking towards the hill walking on the toes of my feet trying to prevent the heels of my boots from sinking into the ground.  For some reason this grassy area was muddier than the dirt trail I had just been walking on.  Mud was caking onto my suede boots and I was about ready to start crying.  These were my favorite boots and now they were going to be destroyed because of some stupid walk Cleo wanted me to take.  She was going to be buying me a new pair of boots.

        “Wait up!” Wiley called after me.  I shot a quick look over my shoulder and picked up my pace.  I could not deal with him.

       I fell when I reached the hill.  It wasn’t only super slippery it was uneven and impossible to walk in heels on.  Considering turned back and pulled my heel out of the ground and turned around to come face to face with Wiley. 

       “Turning back would seem like the smart idea right now,” he said breathlessly.  I scowled away from his face.  His breath stunk of coffee and made me want to gag.  “But Cleo will flip shit if she catches you doing that.  We better go up the hill.  Otherwise she’ll make you come back.”

      Raising my eyebrows critically at him, I stepped past him and tried my best not to stumble as I walked back towards the path I came from.  Before I could get more than five steps away from him though, he grabbed onto my wrist, making me freeze.

       I went rigged like I did whenever someone just barely touched me.  He hadn’t brushed against me or tried patting my hand.  He had grabbed me.  His hand was wrapped around my wrist, and it felt as if someone was burning me.

       Ripping my wrist out of his grip, I turned on him mustering the deadliest glare I could.  He returned my glare with a shrug and began walking up the hill. 

      “Suit yourself,” he said.

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Sorry for such the long wait everyone!  Just haven't been feeling up to posting lately.  Hope you enjoyed the chapter!

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