Chapter 8Mature

Sandra (17): Surprises

Sandra was both amazed and relieved when Rhyley told her that they weren’t over. But while it was of course a good thing that she and her soulmate hadn’t broken up, she was slightly worried about proceeding with caution, as she would have to. The prospect of checking her actions at every moment was daunting because of its difficulty. She didn’t want to lose Rhyley - she was sure that she felt something for him, and she was excited about the love that they could have if they persevered, as shown by the bonding that had seemed to happen through comic books and art - but she was scared that she would lose him by sheer accident. As he held her outside the restaurant she almost wanted to cling onto him, as if holding him for a prolonged period of time would make everything all right. But since she wasn’t sure if she was entirely forgiven for her miscommunication, she let go when Rhyley did, stepping away and putting her hands in her pockets to give them something to do. Her eyes wandered across the cracks in the pavement. She had nothing to say... except “Thank you.”

“For what?” Rhyley asked, sounding confused.

Sandra looked up at him, blushing slightly.

“Not hating me.”

The shape of Rhyley’s mouth became a quirk of amusement.

“Oh, Sandra,” he sighed. He pulled her gently by the hand into his personal space, his other hand lightly resting on her waist as she got there. He kissed her. “I don’t know how you get away with it.”

“With what?” she asked, intrigued.

“Amusing me - even when it’s a serious moment. And being so, so innocent.”

“Are those good things?” she asked anxiously.

Rhyley rolled his eyes.

“What do you think?”

Sandra looked at the ground and shyly said, “I’m glad... - glad I’m not completely frustrating.”

Rhyley stroked her right-hand shoulder.

“But what about me, eh? Surely I get on your nerves.”

Sandra looked up, surprised. Rhyley had never before expressed rue at his reaction to her chastity.

“Well... you make up for it. In your moments of tenderness, with the very fact you’re trying to be okay with my chastity rather than forcing yourself on me every second we’re together... Anyway, it’s not as though I don’t understand your frustration.”

“You do?” he asked, sounding surprised.

“Yeah,” Sandra mumbled, suddenly a little embarrassed. She looked at the ground again. “It’s natural. I get frustrated from denying myself. Of course I’d prefer that you didn’t get frustrated - but that’s more than I can ask for.”

“Wait - you get frustrated?”

“I told you this,” Sandra reminded him. “When you asked me why I was chaste. I do want it.”

Rhyley frowned slightly.

“I do remember... it’s just... it’s hard to understand why you do it to yourself.”

“I know,” Sandra told him. She sighed. “But I can’t go back on such a promise to myself. And I don’t want to.”

Rhyley nodded, quiet and pensive-looking now. He watched the cars driving in and out of the parking lot in front of the cinema, standing in silence until Sandra’s mother arrived.


The End

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