Chapter Fourteen (Part 12)

“I can’t help but notice how quickly you try to adjust to things, ‘try’ being the golden word there.”

That took me by surprise. “Huh?”

With a growing smirk, Jensen started to circle me, one hand stroking his chin. Yup, he was definitely in mad-psychologist-analytical mode.

“Think about it. You were mad at me for all these years, and when you finally figured it all out, you tried to just go along with things and pretend it was okay. But then you gave up against the struggle and finally talked to me, getting the closure you needed.”

I raised my hand, wondering if I could stop him and make a point but Jensen just rambled on.

“During our little argument back there, I claimed you were selfish and arrogant, you tried backing out of it by agreeing with me but I didn’t let you go. And now, it’s like you and I are just back to where we left things off before the Halloween incident.” He stopped circling me, and stood still, his hands dropping to his sides.

“But…that’s a good thing though. Things are normal between us, like before,” I said.

“Is that all you want Roxanne?”

Unsure of how to respond to that, I remained quiet as Jensen walked towards me. All of a sudden, he transformed before my eyes. I saw the Jensen from seven years ago, the one I’d fallen head over heels for in the process of summer camp adventures, the one I’d gotten lost with in the woods…the one I’d trusted in with the whole of my heart. With every step he took towards me, that boy emerged stronger from the memories I’d locked away in the back of my mind.

It was like the rest of the world had given away from underneath and Jensen was the one thing keeping me afloat. He towered over me, the way he had that day when I’d tried to grab the camera from his hand which held it out of reach. And as I looked up at him now, the moonlight reflected off his dark eyes and made them look stormy gray. That’s not what I saw though.

I saw the rich chocolate I’d gazed into the whole way through the canoe ride we’d shared together that evening. I saw the friendship that might have bloomed into something else, something more promising that would have left my lips buzzing in anticipation every time I’d been around him. I saw what was, and what could have been.

“You want things to be the way they were before; normal?” Jensen’s voice was a whisper as he reached up and tucked a few strands of my hair behind my ear, carefully like I was fragile.

As he looked into my eyes intently and waited for answer, I blinked away the memories and tried to focus on the ‘now’. Is that what I wanted? To be hung up on the past and the possibilities of alternate happy endings that might have occurred? Jensen had made an observation, and he’d been completely right. I always did try to adjust to the situation, to camouflage and do the best I can to avoid conflict. I spent too much time worrying about what could go wrong, and trying to prevent a mess rather than enjoying the present. Did I still want to do that?

The End

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