We have been here at the park less than twenty minutes and Jared has already pulled the disappearing act on me. I walk around the park yelling Jared's name every so often, looking in the playground equipment and trees. That boy is a fast little somebody and sneaky too. Making my way down the worn path of trees leading from the playground to the lake, as I make my way closer, I hear him yell out to someone. Looking up at the person I am hit with alot of memories, " Andrew?" I say,surprised at seeing him so soon. Raising his head, my eyes lock with his. " Allison." He replies, his face void of all emotion. " Um, hey. How are you?" I ask unsure of how to act around him. " I'm alright. How are you?" He asks, obviously uncomfortablebeing around me. " Better, great actually." I reply adding a little enthusiasm and a smile to lighten things up. " That's great. I hear you're moving back. How are you settling in?" He asks still no change in his expression. " Yes, I am. It's great to be home. I wasn't sure what to expect." I tell him honestly with a shrug of my shoulders. " Look, I need to get goin, so i'll see you around." Andrew replies ruffling Jared's hair then walks off without waiting for my reply. To say I was crushed is an understatement, but I know I brought it on myself.
Jared and I spent a few more hours at the playground before heading home, all the energy he had this morning had pretty much gone now. Before getting started on supper, I took Jared upstairs, got him bathed, and dressed for bed. While I cooked, he sat in the downstairs playroom plaaying with his toys and talking amiably. As I am placing the food on the table I hear the sounds of my parents and sister as they enter the house all talking at once. " Supper's ready if you are hungry." I inform them as I walk into the hall to meet them. All at once the talking stopped, " Oh, Allie, darling. We thought you and Jared would stop out and eat so we stopped on the way home." My mom says with a frown on her face as they all hang their coats. " Oh, ok. Um, I'll just get Jared fed and put the rest in the fridge." I reply careful to keep the hurt and disappointment out of my voice and off my face. " Sweetheart, I'm sorry. We really did think you and Jared would eat out." She replies placing a hand on my shoulder. " It's fine. No big deal." I tell her being sure to keep a smile on my face as I fix my nephew a plate. Placing the plate on the table, I go into the playroom and tell Jared to go eat, following behind him. " Lex, when he finishes his food , he should be all set for the night. He's had his bath, his snack, and playtime." I assure her. " Night everyone. I think I'm going to turn in for the night. Love you all." I add then make myway to my room.
Not being able to sleep was one of the things I learned to deal with over the years. I just couldn't do it. Once the sun went down it was like I had all this pent up energy. Quietly, I get dressed into a comfy outfit: my leggings, a tank top, and some running shoes with a thin jacket. Being sure not to make any noise, I slowlyopen the door to my room and go downstairs. Once outside the house I walk quickly to the road and take off the sidewalk. I have been here less than two days and I kind of get the feeling I shouldn't have come back. I guess everyone is souse to me being gone that they pretty much don't think about me possibly waiting up for them. I had thought when I returned that I could work things out with Andrew but I guess I can mark that off because he made it loud and clear he didn't care for me being in his sight. Just the thought of not working things out with him hurts. Not feeling like thinking about all of that I speed up my pace. It isn't until I am gasping for breath that I notice I am back at the park, down by the lake I had visited earlier this morning. Walking along the edge I let my mind drift back to the past, to all the times I spent here, by this very spot. Up ahead I notice the cherry red gazebo that Andrew and I were suppose to get married in. The same gazebo that we spent many nights sitting in during several occasions.
Walking up to the gazebo I walk up the few steps and take a seat on the built in benches, leaning back, i close my eyes and think of all the nights we accidentally fell asleep here. I can feel the tears building up, tears I refuse to let fall. Exhaustion filled me as I let my mind race away with the past, I let myself drift off to sleep.
All these years I told myself I could not wait for her to get home, earlier today I told myself I couldn't wait to see her. When I finally saw her all I was surprised. I didn't know what to do or say, things were awkward, so I erased all emotions, leaving my face and voice void of all. She looked good, happy, better than she had five years ago. I wanted to pull her to me, hug her tight, tell her everything was going to be fine, but I didn't. I left her standing there, I hadn't wanted to hurt her, but inside, I have this gut feeling that I did. I can't rid the feeling that if I don't get a hold of myself, if I don't talk to her, that I could lose her all over again. Tomorrow I would go to her, talk to her and find out how she's really been.
I can hear the ringing of my phone next to the bed, the constant, obnoxious sound of the electronic nightmare. Groaning, I reach over, pulling it off of my nightstand, " Hello?" I answer looking over at the clock. Four am, this better be good, I tell myself internally. " Andrew, this is Lex." I hear on the other side of the line. " Yes Lex. Is everything ok?" I ask turning on the lamp by the bed, a little more awake now. " Yes. I mean no. I don't know." She replies sounding frustrated. " Which is it?" I ask a feeling of uncertainty in the pit of my stomach. " I'm not sure. It actually depends." She replies. " Depends on what? What's going on?" I ask her getting a little worries. " Is there any chance that Allison is with you?" She asks worry lacing her voice. " No, I haven't seen her since early this afternoon. Why?" I ask already gettingup from the bed pulling on some clothes and my shoes. " We got home late this afternoon, she had cooked and everything but we thought that Jared would talk her into taking him out like he does anyone who takes him to the park so we ate out. She said she wasn't sdisappoinnted but I could tell she was. She said she was headed to bed but I wanted to talk to her and I know its early but I felt bad so I went to talk to her. She wasn't there, she isn't anywhere in the house." Lexi rushes out frantically. " Lexi, calm down. She's a grown woman, I'm sure she's fine. If it will make everyone feel better I'll head out and look for her." I assure her as I grab my jacket and keys from their hooks. "Ok Let me know if you find her. bye." she replies, both of us hanging up.
I have already gone down multiple streets, stopped by several places that I know that she use to love and still nothing. The last place I could think of is the park. Running through the park I look everywhere I can think of, finally I make my way to the clearing and down to the lake. Walking along the edge I remember the one place she loved more than anywhere, the one place she always ran away to. Coming up to the gazebo he looked in and saw her laying there, her knees up to her chest and her head pulled in to rest by them. Her cheeks red from the cold, tears streaks down them. Walking up I sit down on the floor, I run my knuckles down her cheeks making her stir in her sleep, slowly blinking her eyes open then slowly closing them again with a sigh. picking up my phone I send a text to Lexi.
I felt bad coming home to my sister having made us all supper. My parents and I had all already eaten because we thought that Jared would convince her to go out like with everyone else. I ccn't sleep because I feel guilty, I want to talk to her, I want to apologize for hurting her already. Getting up I make my way down the hall to her room, knocking on the door. When she doesn't answer I open the door and look around. " Alli, can we talk?" I ask then I realize she isn't here. I wait around a few hours and start to worry when she doesn't return so I call Andrew.
It's after five when I get a text from Andrew saying he is with her so I return to my room. When she gets home I know I have to talk to her.