Jared lay in bed, the lights shut off, and eyes on the ceiling above him. Jake rested in a heap at the foot of the bed, snoring louder than any dog should ever be permitted to. The central air was working hard, making the room almost uncomfortable in its chilliness, despite the stuffy night outside. His parents were at it again. The screaming, the yelling, objects shattering, probably Mum throwing things.
But what else was new, his home life sucked. His Dad, the wanker, had walked in late. Later than Jared, who had come in at about three in the morning, with the scent of another’s woman’s perfume wafting off of him, or so he heard from Mum’s screaming. Jared couldn’t understand why she didn’t just up and leave the bloody bastard. She deserved more than this. She deserved everything.
He rolled over under the sheet covering him, resting his chin on a forearm. It was no surprise though, he thought. Both he and Mum had suspected that his father had been sleeping around for a while by then. Had gone as far as to hire a private investigator, who of course, had conveniently come up with nothing. Which only meant that his father had caught the bloke in action, and had paid him off. Jared held nothing against him, if he knew his father at all, the sum of money the man had been offered, would have been large. Jared knew that any man in their right mind wouldn’t turn down that kind of money.
But as for his Mum, Jared couldn’t comprehend why she chose to stay. She could make it just as well, if not even better, with just him and her. His mother had never wanted for anything as a child, or ever, and being the only child born into the Michael family, the majority of the inheritance money, estates, shares, all went to her.
She’d been telling him, that when she finally caught his father red handed, that she would pack their bags and they’d be gone … but something about the way she had said it, didn’t make the statement ring true to him. She was just going to keep on taking it, and Jared refused to listen as she threw herself away.
He reached over to his dresser, and snatched up his phone, ear buds still plugged in. He unlocked his phone with a thumb, to find a million messages. From all of them, his mates, and all of the texts in some way insinuated … that they were worried that something bad had happened on the balcony. Something bad enough to make Ally react in the way that she had.
“Well cheers,” he exclaimed to himself. “I assume the whole lot of you are suggesting that I hurt her. Funny you’d even think that. Funny you’d even have to ask.” Jared threw the phone back in the general direction of the dresser, not caring if the bloody thing made it or not. He didn’t know what to make of this, so he made nothing of it. The sun will come out … tomorrow … He turned over, chuckling, sardonically to himself, and went to sleep.
Two weeks later …
Jared had decided to fall off the side of the earth for a while. He took time off from work , using all of his vacation days, not that it mattered. It was indeed, a summer job. He also didn’t necessarily feel like all the drama. After his nonexistent response to their courteous messages, a volley of apologies, and “that’s not what I meants” were flung his way, in what he guessed were attempts at consolation, and apology.
He had ignored them all, but the texts hadn’t stopped. The only person he hadn’t heard from … was her. He rubbed a hand over his face, exhausted of the same dialogue, that seemed to be on replay in his mind. He didn’t know what he had been trying to accomplish, the two weeks away from her, not that he had a choice in the matter, but it seemed that in the time that he’d been away … he truly had been living the famous expression, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.
Jared shook his head. But that didn’t do anything to clear his mind of her. It seemed that during the entirety of his extended vacation from life, the more he tried not to think of her, the more just the opposite happened.
He might have succeeded in having five minutes with no thought of her at all, but no matter how hard he tried … his thoughts always came back to her. So strange ... so cold ... and so suddenly. In an attempt to forget about his patheticness, he stood up from the park bench he was on, and stretched. Jake barked up at him, probably telling him it was about time to get a move on. Jared agreed, plugging into his music and starting up the trail.
The day was surprisingly cool for summer, and the wind blew in a pleasant breeze. The park was truly beautiful at this time of year. He loved this one in particular, because around then, in the final stretch of summer, cherry trees were in full bloom. Petals cloaked the ground, and the air, swirling around him, Jake and others. Jared had decided to put his dog’s leash on that day, just so he’d have one less thing to worry about. Jake would never run away, but just to be safe …
Jake’s leash gripped tightly in his hand a second ago, had slipped away in the next, and his “loyal” dog, was at that point, bounding down the trail. He disappeared over the top of a hill.
“Stupid dog.” Jared muttered, he knew that Jake was most likely, chasing after a squirrel, or something of the sort, and he picked up the pace, aiming to catch him before he got too far. Well so much for that leash. Clearing the hill, that his dog had gone over a few seconds ago, he almost tripped over a crouched figure, at the bottom it. He realized that this "figure" was a girl, and she was in fact, crouched down on the ground, next to Jake. Stroking him, as the dog sat there as if there was no place he’d rather be. Jared’s breath stopped. Jake hadn’t been chasing after a squirrel … he’d been running toward …
“Nice dog you have here, I just love huskies.” The girl with brown hair, pulled back into a high ponytail, full of curling locks, and dressed in a sweat shirt, leggings and running shoes, was as stunning as ever, and an obvious dog lover. “He just came running at me –,” Ally finally looked up at him, and her smile froze in place.
“Yeah … he must like you.” Jared said, staring into eyes, that had so suddenly, become like ice.