Chapter Nine (Part 9)

Lea stepped forward, murmuring something to the salesperson before turning to me.

"You okay?”

“D’you think he heard anything?”

Lea reached over and squeezed my hand, sensing the trepidation that was beginning to grow inside of me. “I don’t think so. He was all the way at the counter when we made our way over.”

“He could have just cut across the other racks Lea. He could’ve been standing on the other side the whole time without us knowing. He could have been listening.”

“I’m sure he didn’t. Besides, even if he had, what have you got to lose Roxanne?”

I looked down at the ground, chewing my lower lip. “Besides the pieces of sanity I’d lost that Halloween?”

“Hey. Cheer up. Even if he had heard the whole story, it’s not like he learned anything new from it. If at all, I would think you would have felt good about it, instilling guilt in him and all.”

“I don’t know…I just…” I sighed, slipping my hands into my pockets.

“Listen. Forget about Jensen and all the other poop-heads on this planet. Let’s go home, wear our dresses and kick back and have fun on the couch.”

Forcing a smile, I nodded and then hooked arms with Lea like we always did.

As we walked out of the store, I tried to do exactly what she’d said: to forget. But it’s hard to forget those unfathomable dark eyes that had once made my skin prickle in nervousness. It’s hard to forget the way my heart had pounded when I’d been suffocating inside of that coffin, hoping to God that someone might find me and let me out. And it was definitely hard to block out the image of the Jensen I’d just seen; the one that had refused to meet my eyes.

Inside of me, inklings of fear had begun to sprout out. Like Lea had said, it shouldn’t bother me at all what he thought. It was because of him that I’d been diagnosed, actually diagnosed with claustrophobia. And it was because of him that I couldn’t stand the sound of thunder to the point that it made my heart-rate increase even dangerously so.

But even after all that, I was unable to forget him; to forget the words he’d said to me before hiding me away, to forget the promise he’d broken. 

The End

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