The sun’s finally going down. The contrast between yellow, pink, and orange dip down into the horizon turning into a dark midnight blue with specks of starry delight scattered across the sky. Stepping up into the sidewalk, I reach the door handle of Barnes and Noble’s. I harshly tug the door in order for me to enter. The air is a few degrees below room temperature creating a bit of a cool vibe in the atmosphere. A girl, no older than me, stands in front of a computer typing and glancing back and forth from the keyboard to the monitor. I walk up to her and wait for her to finish.
“Do you need anything?” she smiles at me. Her smile is pretty, the kind of smile that makes you want to smile as well. Very contagious. “’m looking for a specific book”.
“Fight Club By Chuck Palahniuk”
She types the name of the book into the computer then directs me to the back of the store. “Thank yeh,” I whisper. She tells me if I need anymore help that her name is Darcy and she’ll be more than happy to help. Turning into the aisle, I spot her. Her beautiful black hair cascading down her right shoulder, and her book is clutched by her left hand. Her brown eyes as bright as I remember, and her smile just the same. Looking at her felt like I am looking at her for the first time. She catches my eye and her smile drops. Ignoring the sting of rejection, I clear my throat.
“Isaiah,” Her tone is cool and collected while I’m a few seconds away from combusting.
“‘Ria,” I smile awkwardly, her nickname falling easily from my lips. I miss her. And that desire of keeping her close to me is put out as quickly as it was ignited, when I saw she wasn’t alone.
“I, uh, book,” I uncomfortably point behind her.
“Wha’?” She questions
“The book I need is behind yeh,” I mumble.
“Oh,” she whispers as she turns behind her, “Adrian and I were just leaving, so–” She stands up from the ground and pulls Adrian up with her, “S’nice to see you again”. Everything annoying tingle in my gut tells me she didn’t mean that. She didn’t want to see me, and she certainly wasn’t just leaving. She walks passed me and it takes everything in me not to turn around and pull her to me; guess not everything, because in a split second… That’s exactly what happened.
“Izza, what are you–”, i cut her off.
“Can I speak to yeh?” she looks up at me confused and I make eye contact with Adrian, “Alone”. He huffs, understanding he isn’t welcome to listen and speaks, “I’ll wait in the car”, and so he does. Aria snatches her arm from my grip and steps back, “Make it quick”.
“I miss yeh”
“Don’t,” she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, “Don’t give me that crap”. Her head bows and her guard rises. She’s always been protective, mostly of her own self. “Adrian is a good guy, Izza,” she opens her eyes and looks up at me, “I’m not giving up a good guy just to put myself in another situation where I’ll constantly have a headache”. That hurt more than I’d like to admit.
“’m just tellin’ yeh the truth”
“You can’t do that,” she begins,”You’re not allowed to do that”. “‘Can’t just walk in and out of my life and expect me to be okay with it”
“I don’t do things half-baked friendships,” she continues despite my interruption, “You’re either in it all the way, or you’re not. And coming from you, seems like you weren’t involved at all”
“Leave me alone, Isaiah,” She snaps, “I’m tired of begging you to love me”. Right before she turns away, “Do us both a favor and move on, because I clearly did”. Watching her walk out of the store and out of my life is the hardest thing I have ever done. The stupidest thing I’ve done is letting her walk away. But she asked me to move on, asked me to leave her alone, and if i truly loved her…