Kendall stood in line at the coffee shop, waiting for his ‘name’ to be called so he could get the drink his sister had asked for and leave. He adjusted the beanie on his head, pushing his bangs back and off of his forehead. With a sharp exhale, he looked at his phone to see that only a minute had passed. He tapped his foot impatiently, unlocking the phone and opening that last text message he’d sent.
“Pablo?” The barista called, nearly slamming the cup on the counter and hurrying back to the cash register. Kendall walked over, grabbed the cup, and fished for the dollar he knew he had in his pocket, dropping it into the empty tip jar. The chubby, brunette man gave him an exhausted smile and thanked him as he walked out the door.
Kendall settled the cup into the cup-holder of his mother’s car and buckled his seatbelt. He closed his eyes and relaxed against the headrest, reliving the past week. He, and his... whatever she was, had gotten into a fight on Monday, and Kendall, being the iron-willed person he was raised to be, had said some things that seemed alright in the moment. Now, however, he regretted every single word that had left his mouth Monday morning. He had royally fucked up, going as far as saying that he didn’t really care for Lucy, the girl he’d had some sort of relationship with, and leaving her alone in her tiny, empty apartment. Every time his eyes were shut, he saw the tears falling from her dark eyes, fury and confusion evident in them. The girl had fallen in love with him, and although he wasn’t afraid of commitment, he just couldn’t bring himself to say he felt the same way.
Well, he didn’t, but he had a good thing going for him and he’d be damned if he let it go. He’d be damned if he ended things with the only girl that seemed to enjoy his company at the time. He didn’t want to feel the way he had felt after his first love left the country to film her first feature film trilogy- abandoned and disheartened. Sure, he’d had “first loves” before, but never like Josephine, whose blonde hair and big smile had left their mark in his heart; and as soon as she’d left, in waltzed Lucy. Her narrow, brown eyes and sardonic wit attracted him to her, her initial rejection of him leaving him with a desire for more. Kendall couldn’t help but go over what he’d said, why he’d left her alone after everything that had gone down. The argument had escalated, and while his temper was usually under control, he couldn’t avoid losing his cool when Lucy said she was moving out of her current apartment, and into a new one- on the East coast.
He opened his eyes and grabbed his phone out of his pocket, reading over the text he had sent to her a while ago. He held the phone with both hands and began to type, a hard thing for the stubborn boy to do. After he was done, he tossed his phone on to the empty passenger seat and glanced at the cup of coffee his sister had requested.
That has to be disgusting by now, he thought. His phone buzzed for the first time that day, startling him.
‘I leave at noon.’ Lucy had responded, her voice ringing through Kendall’s ears. He looked at the time and started the ignition. He had an hour before she had to be at the airport.
“I never took you for the kind of guy that would say something like that, you know,” Lucy spoke softly. Her eyes bore into Kendall’s as she continued. “I know you went through a hard time with whatever her name was, but I thought you’d be over it, considering it happened a year and a half ago.”
Kendall licked his lips periodically, silence penetrating the air of Lucy’s vacant living room. They stared at each other, their hearts heavy.
“I was wrong to act the way I did,” he confessed, pressing his lips together quickly before relaxing and continuing. “I just,” he searched for the right words to say, “dove in too quickly. Jo left, and then, a couple of weeks later, you were walking past me in the lobby and-”
“That’s all you,” Lucy tucked a strand of her dark hair behind her ear, revealing the multiple piercings Josephine would have never even thought about getting. He stared for what seemed like minutes and realized that it was their differences that attracted him to the smokey-eyed girl in the first place. On paper, they were absolute opposites, each complementing a different part of the blonde boy.
“Yeah, you’re right,” Kendall nodded solemnly. He felt emotionally drained, having dwelled on his wrongdoings during the week, feeling as if he’d have to carry that burden on his back forever. “I’m sorry for using you, Lucy,” he apologized, biting his lower lip in frustration. “I’m so sorry for saying that I don’t care about you, because I absolutely do, and I’m going to miss you so much,” he lamented. He took the gray beanie off of his head and ruffled his hair before returning his gaze to Lucy, whose eyes were glossy.
“I don’t get why you took it that far,” she allowed a tear to fall, not bothering to wipe it away. She gulped audibly and tucked the same strand of hair behind her ear. “I mean, I wasn’t wholly expecting you to love me back, but I never thought that-”
“I don’t know what happened,” Kendall admitted and slumped in his seat. He stared at Lucy as another tear ran down her cheek, feeling compelled to get up, wipe it away, and hold her in his arms; it scared him. “I spent the night, and then you told me you were leaving and,” he struggled to finish his sentence. He felt a lump in his throat, a twinge in his stomach, and an ache in his heart. “You’re the second girl to leave me, Lucy.”
Lucy looked at him, meeting his gaze, and shook her head as Kendall felt actual tears threatening to fall from his own eyes. She stood up and walked over to him, sitting on his lap and allowing him to press his ear against her chest. She ran her fingers through his hair, trying to comfort him as small, choked sobs left his mouth.
“I just don’t understand why this keeps happening to me,” he cried. “First, Jo left and we stopped writing to each other, and now, you’re leaving to the other side of the country, and-” Kendall was unable to finish his sentence, his whimpering interrupting his train of thought. He lifted his head and looked at the girl on his lap. She wiped his cheeks with her sleeves.
“It’s not you,” she said truthfully, his grief becoming heart-wrenching to witness. In the year and half she’d known Kendall, she had never seen him like this, vulnerable and in pain. “Things happen for a reason, and unfortunately, they happen to everyone.” As she held his face, she couldn’t help but examine his face one last time before she left. With a manicured hand, she pushed his hair back and kissed his forehead. When she pulled away, their eyes met and he licked his lips, unsure of what to do next.
“I’m going to miss you,” he repeated, calmer than before as Lucy stood up. “I know that you’re going to kick ass in New York,” he followed suit and held her hand as they walked towards the door, “and I’m positive that you’re going to be happy.”
Lucy returned the small smile Kendall was giving her before opening the door behind him with her free hand. They let go of one another, Kendall stepping out into the hallway and pulling his gray beanie on. “You’re going to find happiness, too, Kendall,” she assured him before closing the door.