I followed Dylan after I saw him leave the barbecue. I was worried about him and I knew that I owed him an explanation. When I heard him scream in anger before jumping into the ocean, I thought that if anything happened to him I'd be lost.
Now he is kissing me and wrapping me in his wet arms. I often wondered what it would be like to kiss him again, under different circumstances. I often thought that he would never forgive me for leaving him.
I cherish the touch of his lips on mine and I grab onto him, keeping him close to me. I take in the scent of his cologne and the feel of his curly hair on my cheek. Then I feel a jerk in his back, straightening out and his arms seem to harden under my touch. My eyes are closed as I kiss him, but they open slowly in surprise as he suddenly pulls away.
"Dyl?" I ask, looking up at his frustrated brown eyes. "What's wrong?"
"You left me without a word," he whispers. I search his face, confused at what to say. "You never called, never contacted me."
"I know," I say, shaking my head. "I know, It was just--"
"Just what?" Dylan interrupts and I flinch at the anger in his voice. "You left me Ly."
His anger rips through me and I feel tears streaming down my face before I can stop them. I touch his cheek, so warm from his emotions, but he takes my hand away.
"Dyl," I say, hurt by his rejection. "I told you I would explain."
"Then what?" he asks through clenched teeth. He is still close to me, but his hands are no longer around my waist. "Then everything will be okay? We can go back in time?"
"No," I shake my head, tears blurring my eyes, "no Dyl, I--"
"Ly, it's good to see you again, but I can't," he says moving away from me. "I can't."
"We were ten, but now we're seventeen." He is turning away from me to go back to his clothes. I continue to shake my head, clearing away my hurt thoughts and tears. "We have nothing Ly."
"Look, things were complicated then and they still are now," I walk towards him as he bends down to pick up his things. "I had to go."
He sighs and I watch his tall frame sag. His muscular back clenches and relaxes with his restrained emotions. I never thought that the wiry Dylan I knew so long ago could become this muscular giant. "I know," he says finally. I stop and wait for him to turn around. I miss his smile and laugh, two things I'm afraid to never see again. "But so do I."
I watch him silently as he walks past me without meeting my eyes. I wait until he is out of sight for the pain to take over. I sag down to the sand and feel its rough texture against my legs as I begin to cry quietly. When I first saw him at the barbecue, I knew he was hurting. I knew he would be conflicted.
I just never thought I would be this conflicted too.