It hurt less than I thought it would.
Cayden’s not turning up, I mean. I sat there for what felt like ages, but, according to the wall-clock hanging in the café, it had barely been ten minutes when I realised that Cayden wasn’t going to appear anytime soon. At first, in those short minutes, I panicked about whether he’d gotten lost, or whether he’d failed to see me in the amount of people. Yet, I realised I didn’t even know who I was looking for. He could have walked past me, not noticing, and I wouldn’t have said a word.
It was only the clocks’ hands had ticked past seventeen minutes past the hour that I realised that Cayden was either a terrible time-keeper, had given up trying to find the café, was ill (although, by now, I doubted that), or was not going to turn up. Somehow, I guessed it was the last option.
Oh, why hadn’t we given each other our phone numbers before hand?
I’d munched my way through my shortbread, and sipped at my orange juice, always keeping a look-out. Other than that, it was so boring, sitting here without a book. I twiddled my thumbs and looked around the street, trying to avoid Drew.
However, fate had other ideas, and he, having finished his snack too, came and slid into the seat opposite me.
I blushed again, but, by now, I couldn’t care less.
"So...you got stood up, huh?" Drew said, leaning forward on his elbows, just as he had done on Tuesday. He smiled again, a genuinely warm and attractive smile, and I felt my face, which had started to cool, flush up again.
Why can’t I stop blushing around him?
But I already knew the answer, despite disliking it.
“No, it’s not like that…” I stuttered.
Without really knowing why I was doing it, I leant forward on my elbows too. From this position, I could smell Drew’s cologne. He was wearing cologne? Wow, he smelt good!
“Well, if it makes you feel any better,” he replied, “the person I was meeting didn’t turn up either.”
A boy, I presumed he meant. Drew was not the type to go meeting girls around town.
“So, you decided you’d place yourself down here with me?” I said, not unkindly.
“No, I just thought you’d want the company…” Drew muttered.
“Well, I was leaving soon anyway. Stay or go… Oh, I don’t mind.” It was true, I wasn’t bothered. For once, he was being nice, nice enough for me to want him to stay; but also, I couldn’t care less if he went. I was still torn between the two of them: Cayden or Drew.
Well, Cayden’s absence certainly knocks my expectations of him down a peg.
“I’m sorry, Drew. Life’s just-”
“Yeah,” I sighed. Then the two of us were silent, gazing at each other over the table. I sat there thinking. Drew really wasn’t too bad. He was handsome, and sensible, and his logic was not flawed. How could I complain about his temper when I had one the same? And his eyes were so deep with truths ready to unfold. If only the world gave Drew a better chance…
He leant closer, whispering, “I just wanted to see if you were okay…”
And- bam!- there it was again, the electricity splitting through my heart and my head.
We were an inch apart, and closer, closer than before. In a moment, he had put his lips on mine and my hands were around his head. I was kissing him right back, just as strongly.
I’m kissing Drew? It was positively revolting to think about- and yet, it was nice too.
I guess we continued to kiss for another minute or so, when suddenly the half-image of Cayden jumped into my head.
I pulled away viciously.
“I can’t do this, Drew,” I almost yelled, scraping my chair back, and turning away.
I headed in the opposite direction to my house, but I knew there was a corner ahead. As soon as I had turned it, my pace began to quicken; before long I was running the long way around the neighbourhood, listening only to the unsteady beating of my heart and the steady thumping of my sandals of the tarmac.
My vision blurred, tears slipping from my face to the ground as rainwater did the same.