After the movie the was over, Shane led Kennedy back out to his car. He had barely watched the movie. His mind had been focused on two things. The first thought was about how Bryan had treated Kennedy. He had been so close to him, but hadn't been able to punch him like he wanted to. Kennedy had to go and be the peacemaker. She was his other thought. Throughout the whole movie Kennedy would lean against him when she got scared. Every time she touched him, chills shocked his whole body. This was a strange feeling for him. His stomach would begin to feel like a bird was trapped inside it. This feeling had never happened to him before.
"Shane. You missed the turn," stated Kennedy, tapping his arm.
"Oh. Sorry. I was thinking," he stated, making a U-turn.
"It's fine. What were you thinking about?" she asked, seeming interested.
"Nothing. Just...why do you have to be the peacemaker in all this? Why did you let him treat you like shit?" he questioned, becoming slightly angry.
"I...I wanted to say something. I just couldn't. It was one of those situations where you just can't get yourself to speak..." she replied, drifting off.
Shane pulled into a parking space and looked at the drug store they'd stopped at. It was getting dark and the parking lot lights were starting to turn on. The glow from one nearby poured over Kennedy's face, making her turn a orange color.
"I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I just wanted to punch him so bad. He shouldn't be treating you like shit. You don't deserve that kind of treatment. You're an amazing person. He's just mad because you're over him. You are over him right?" asked Shane, unsure.
"Yeah. I'm totally over him. How are you so smart? You never act like this at school."
"That's because we have only math and P.E. together. Math is my worst subject and P.E. requires no amount of brain power at all. I'm smart, but I just choose not to show it."
Kennedy nodded as if she understood and got out of the car. Shane followed her into the store and they began to buy the supplies they needed. Shane tried to forget what happened in the theater by fooling around in the store. He tried his hardest to make Kennedy laugh. He didn't want to see that heart wrenching look on her face again. It made him feel like a jerk, even if he wasn't the cause of that look. When they were done in the store, they filed back into the car. Kennedy gave Shane directions to where Bryan's house was. She was practically jumping up and down in her seat with anticipation. He laughed at her. She had clearly never done this before. When they reached Bryan's house, they killed the lights and got their stuff ready.
They worked fast. Shane directed Kennedy to draw the penis and set up the soap while he tee-peed the house and trees. Then together they began to fork his lawn. It didn't take too long to do. When they were done, Shane stared at the lawn and then at the house. He looked at Kennedy who was heading back for the car. Quickly, he wrote "You're a dick face, love Shane" in the lawn. Then he ran back to his car and started the engine, smiling.
"What did you do?" asked Kennedy, trying to see the lawn.
"Nothing," he replied, driving away quickly.
"I saw you write something else on the lawn..."
"You did not."
"Yeah, I did! Just tell me what you wrote."
He glanced at her for a moment. "I wrote 'You're a dick face, love Shane'."
She stared at him for a moment and then burst out laughing. He smiled and kept glancing from her to the road. He liked her laugh. It rang in his ears and made him laugh too. The sound of her laughter made his heart warm. It was good to know that he had made her laugh and feel better. The rest of the way home was happy and full of jokes. They just talked about funny events that had happened to them in the past and laughed about it. When they finally reached their house Kennedy became slightly serious.
"You can just got to your house. I'll walk home," she stated, sighing from laughter.
"Are you sure?" questioned Shane, feeling another odd emotion in his chest.
"Yeah, I'm sure." She giggled.
"I'll walk you home. It's safer if I do." He laughed a little.
She just kept giggling as he pulled into the driveway. When they got out, they were surprised by a cold wind that swept over them. Kennedy squeezed her eyes shut and shivered. Shane looked down at her in her small jacket. He took off his and handed it to her. Then he started walking her home. They continued their talk on the way to her house. The emotion in Shane's chest began to grow even more painful. Not only was this emotion bugging him, the bird in his stomach was also coming back. He began to wonder what these feelings were when they had reached Kennedy's house.
"Here's your jacket," she stated, taking off his jacket and handing it to him. "Thanks for everything."
"No problem," he replied, smiling. "Thanks for the stories."
She smiled and gave him a quick little hug before going inside.
The bird fluttered quickly in his stomach and then faded away to nothing. The pain in his heart however, increased. As he walked home, he found it hard to breath. The thought of Kennedy made the bird start to stir. When he got home he wandered into the kitchen where his mom was seated, eating salsa and chips.
"Hey, mom. What do you call it when you feel like you have a bird in your stomach and your chest hurts really bad?" asked Shane, joining his mother at the table.
"Hm. Well the only thing I can think of, would be love. Do you love someone, Shane?" she asked smiling widely. "Perhaps, Kennedy?"
"No," he replied, cheeks burning red.
"You can tell yourself that all you want. You've got feelings for her. How was the movie?" she asked, changing the subject.
"It was alright. Nothing special. Same scary movie junk. I'm gonna go visit Dylan. Is that okay?" he asked, eating a chip.
"I don't know about that. You've just started getting clean. I don't want you to end up getting back on that track..." she drifted off, warning him.
"I'm just going to drop off his CDs at his house. He respects the whole getting clean thing. Tom's the one that's all pissed off about it," replied Shane, rolling his eyes. "I'll be back."
"Don't take long. If something happens over there, like a minor set back in your progress, don't come back home. Call Kennedy or go to her."
Shane nodded and kissed his mom on the top of the head. Then he went to his room and grabbed the CD's that were Dylan's and headed out to his car. As he drove, he listened to music. There was hardly any people on the road. Everyone seemed to be asleep. He reached Dylan's house and pulled into his driveway and grabbed the CD's. Taking a deep breath, he ran to the front door and knocked. He kept telling himself that he wasn't going to do anything no matter what. He owed this to his mom and Kennedy.
"Hey, Shane. What's up?" asked Dylan, smiling.
"Nothin'. Just bringing your CD's back. Thanks for letting me borrow them," stated Shane, nodding.
"Is that Shane? Shane! Hey, let's have a couple while you're here!" exclaimed Tom, excited and drunk.
"Naw, man. I'm in rehab. My parole officer would be disappointed in me," he replied firmly.
"Come on, just one beer man. It won't kill you!" begged Tom, becoming impatient.
Shane shook his head defiantly and turned to go. Tom grabbed Shane by the arm and pulled him into Dylan's house. Dylan stood by helplessly as he was shoved out of the way. Tom popped the cap off a beer and handed it to Shane.
"Drink. Now," demanded Tom, glaring at Shane.
Shane didn't want to, but he didn't want to anger Tom. He was an angry drunk and it wasn't wise to anger him any more than he was. Soon he was drinking more and more beer. Then things became groggy. Kennedy's face wandered into his mind and then he realized he needed to stop. He ignored Tom's commands as he stummbled to his car and drove away. He fumbled with his phone and dropped it. Swearing, he continued to drive to Kennedy's house. He passed her parent's car as they drove away. He ignored it and parked on the curb. He staggered up to the front door and sighed.