Please Don't Run Again...

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"We're not taking my car?" 

Ian picked up his helmet and gave me a smirk, "You scared?" 

I looked at the bike and back to Ian, "A little bit." He tosses me his spare helmet and I catch it in my hands, turning it over and trying to think of a good reason not to get on the back of his motorcycle, but coming up with nothing. With a sigh, I walk towards him and pull the helmet over my head. 

He's just about to do the same when his face gets all serious again, "Can I say something before we do this?" 

I nod my head, and almost topple over from the weight of the helmet. I hadn't expected it to be this heavy, it didn't feel this heavy when I was holding it.

He chews on his bottom lip for a second before he nervously says, "Annie, if you don't want last night to change things between us, it won't." 

What did he mean by that? Does he want it to change things - and if he does, how so? What part of last night is he even talking about - the girl kissing him or that moment we had before all of that?  

Before I can say anything, he flips the visor down on my helmet and pulls his own over his perfectly styled hair. I follow behind him, his words repeating themselves over and over again in my head as he gets on the bike and waits for me to join him. 

 "Hold on." 

I wrap my arms around his torso and he starts the bike. I can feel the rumble of the engine and I hold on to Ian tighter as he kicks off and we start to drive down the street. I'd never been on a motorcycle before, and I had thought it would be hard to maintain my balance but leaning into Ian's body made it easy. 

I noticed that we were heading towards the highway and I was going to ask him where we're going, but then decided that I wanted it to be a surprise. Once I got over my initial nervousness, riding on the back of his bike was actually thrilling. 

The wind in my hair, the blur of trees and scenery flying by us, and the feel of Ian - it was all exciting. I sat up straighter so that I was no longer leaning on Ian and he slowed down just as we were nearing the next town over from ours. 

We'd been on the road for almost half an hour when I could hear him shouting something, but I couldn't hear him over the wind, so I leaned towards him. "What?"

"Put your hands up!" He said again, his voice muffled from his helmet covering his face. 

"Are you crazy?" I shout back. 

"Maybe. Just do it." His lyrical laugh mixes with the wind and the sound of the bike, making me feel more free and alive than I had in a long time. 

He slows our speed even more and I slowly remove one hand from his waist. I remind myself that Ian is a safe driver and that he wouldn't tell me to do this is he thought I would get hurt. I reach my free hand into the air and it's like I'm high fiving the breeze. 

I was crazy to think that getting drunk and going to a party would get me out of my mood, all I really needed was this. I throw my head back and put both my hands in the air as Ian hits the accelerator a little to increase our speed. 

I've been in such a dark hole the past few months, like my heart and mind are too heavy with grief and guilt to really feel anything else. This though, right now, I feel weightless. 

For months, I haven't been able to allow myself to really enjoy anything or have fun. I took away everything I enjoyed as a form of punishment for myself - my friends, cheerleading, going out. Now, the only time I feel content and free is when I'm with Ian. Without even trying, Ian makes me feel better, he makes me feel lighter - like when I'm with him, he lifts the weight off my heart and I can finally breathe again. 

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