“Jay? Are you ok? You keep zoning out.”
Turning to face Mary I look at her and smile. “Of course I’m fine, I’m just a little tired. Just daydreaming.”
“Well stop it, I’m talking to you!”
“Sorry, I’m listening now.” I look at her and smile again, trying to reassure her that everything was ok.
“Ya? What was I just talking about?” She tries to glare at me, trying to look serious and intimidating.
“You were talking about how your day went, right?”
“Yes, I was. What was I saying though?”
“Oh come on, I said I was sorry, I’m listening now honestly!” I stand and stretch, embracing the cold wind as it bites at my skin.
“You’re crazy, you know that? You should have a coat on.” She glares up at me, and motions for me to sit down by her. “Sit down, just looking at you is making me cold and I have two coats on!”
She motions for me to sit again, more forcefully this time, and I just laugh softly. “I’ll get wet if I sit on the frozen grass. I don’t want that, I could get sick.” I smile as I talk, and sit down before she can pout again.
“That’s better. Now are you going to let me talk?”
I nod my head in consent, but then a voice sounds from behind us. “Hey babe, miss me?” Mary turned to look behind her, a smile already on her face.
“Yes!” She runs over to James and wraps her arms around him, and he kisses her.
I watch their exchange, and wait for them to come over and sit down by me. I watch as they stare into each other’s eyes, as the waves of false infatuation roll over them. I feel the anger rise as I watch, the jealousy and rage boiling to the surface. I force myself to look away, to force different thoughts into my head instead of what I feel and think as I watch them. I suppress the memories, refusing to allow them to take me over. I get to my feet, and start to walk back to my car.
“Jay! Where are you going? Get back here.” Mary’s voice cuts through the air and pierces my ears, forcing the memories to return.
“I can’t. I have to go pick up my brother from practice. I’ll talk to you guys later.” I don’t look back, and get in my car. I start the engine and speed out of the park, heading in the direction of the soccer fields to wait for my brother’s practice to get over. I get there and see that his practice wasn’t over yet and that they were scrimmaging against the girl’s team. I park in the parking lot to wait, trying to not think about Mary or James. But my mind keeps drifting to what she told me. About how they were going to meet up again, and get high. I try to watch my brother as he tears up the field, but I can’t. She keeps intruding in on my thoughts. My knuckles go white from my grip on the steering wheel, and I shut my eyes tight, trying to force the demon inside to keep away from me, to stay in control and stay away from her. I fight to stay in the parking lot, to stay and wait for my brother.
I open my eyes and put the car in gear. I turn around and drive back out of the lot, heading for the park. I have no thoughts, no feelings at all as I get closer and closer to my destination. I slowly pull up at the corner and look for them, trying to figure out if they were still there. I see them walking down the path into the woods, holding hands and laughing. I could still make it. I could still get there in time if I left now. The thoughts echo through my empty mind, bouncing around trying to get me to move. I put my hand on the shifter, but before I can put it in drive my phone goes off in my pocket and a silly little jingle starts playing. My brother. I quickly pull out my phone and read his text saying he was done. I replace my phone and take a deep breath and watch as the couple disappears into the woods. I speed down the road and turn the corner, removing the park from my view. I’ll just have to do it tonight, I think to myself.