Disclaimer: I do not own As Told By Ginger or any of its affiliates.
A/N: Another one-shot.
Watching And Seeing
Everyone watches me, but you're the only one who sees me. After three years, they finally talk. Darren/Ginger.
He watched her for three years. All the days when she was laughing with Dodie and Macie, he watched. When she was crying over a fresh heartbreak, he watched. He saw little details about her that people wouldn't have bothered to noticing.
He was watching the day she and Orion broke up. He saw her tears and he wished he could wipe them all way, kiss her forehead. He saw how quickly Orion pleaded to be friends, and how eventually, they settled back into being just that. He grew increasingly jealous everytime he saw a new guy put his arm around her, everytime a new guy made her giggle, everytime someone that was not him whispered in her ear. He also noticed her flaws.
He saw the way she tried so hard but couldn't always make it. He saw the way she got angry, her mouth curling. He saw things that made him love her more and more until he thought he would burst. He saw everything, even though he wasn't supposed to.
Darren Patterson knew breaking up with Ginger Foutley was the biggest mistake he'd ever made. It had taken him only fourteen hours, six minutes, and thirty-nine seconds after to realize that he had let go of the only girl he'd ever love.
She watched him for three years. All the days he had been so depressed, brooding at the football team's table, Simone dripping venom on his shoulder, she was watching. When he scored three touchdowns and led the team onto victory in the championship game, she watched him. She watched his fake smile and falsified laughs, knowing that he was not happy, not at all. She watched as he broke up with Simone and didn't go on a date for two and a half years.
She watched him while he was watching her. She'd open her compact mirror and see his stare from two library tables away, or one row and four chairs down in English. She watched him while he detached himself from everyone, becoming more and more isolated until nobody bothered trying to talk to him.
She saw him not as the first guy to ever let her down and break her heart, but as her old best friend whom she'd lost touch with along the way. She saw him and ached for him with love in her heart, as fresh and new as it had been years ago.
One day, she didn't watch him. She was so caught up with her day that she didn't realize that he hadn't been in school at all. She felt a sudden burning within her, a worry that rose and built into painful anxiety. Her heart pounded for the rest of the day until she climbed into her car and called his cellphone. When his voicemail picked him, her heart rate spiked once more. Throwing down her phone, without leaving a message, she went looking for him.
After an hour without finding him, she felt like she was going to faint with worry. He was so depressed, so withdrawn, aren't those signs of a suicidal person? She leaned forward on the steering wheel, peering into backyards and scanning the sidewalks.
"Please, Darren," she whispered to no one in her empty car. "Be all right."
Overcome with the urge to stop at a park from her childhood, she pulled to the side of the road and got out.
She heard the steady creaking of one swing going back and forth. After going through the dense brush, she saw Darren, the muscular football player, huddled with only a short sleeve shirt on, swinging. He looked up and saw her. His eyes didn't leave hers once as she came over to the other swing and sat down. She broke eye contact and looked at her feet as they dug into the ground, moving her swing back and forth.
"I was worried, about you." Ginger mumbled. She looked up to see him staring intently at her. "I've been watching you. You haven't been the same as-"
"As I was with you." Darren finished, nearly breaking his gaze on Ginger. But he didn't, his eyes only roamed her face, looking for her reaction.
Ginger nodded. She kept her eyes downcast as she said, "And I haven't been the same since you broke up with me." She cast a sidelong glance at Darren, who looked so forlorn that Ginger had to bite her lip to keep from saying any more.
They looked at each other at the same time. Ginger felt electricity in his gaze and she knew he could feel it too. Darren stood up from the swing and offered Ginger his hand. She grabbed it and tried not to think about the last time they had any physical contact. She knew it had been on the day Darren had ended things.
"You know," Darren mumbled to the ground. "It took me only 14 hours after we b-broke u-up," she noticed that the look on his face made him look like he was getting teeth pulled as he stumbled over those two words, "to know that I'll love you forever no matter what." Ginger felt tears well up in her eyes. "I mean, people watch me all the time. On the football field, at practice, in the halls. But you're the only one who has ever really seen me. When I look into your eyes, I feel so carefree. And these last few years without you as my best friend, they've been horrible. I've alienated everyone, but most of all, I've let my friendship with you drift." He gripped her hand tighter and said fiercely, "And if you don't want to be with me, I can understand. I mean the feelings you had for me must be three or four years old now. But, please, be my friend again at least."
He let go of her hand and whispered another soft 'please.' Ginger shook her head, "I can never be your friend Darren." He felt his heart beat one last time before breaking. She saw his expression and quickly grabbed his hand, coming to stand in front of his swing.
"I can never be your friend Darren, because I'd always want to be more. You have broken my heart, but I still love you. You'll always be my best friend." Ginger prayed that he'd make eye contact with her. She needed to see his reaction.
He looked up at her. "You," his expression was shocked. "Still love me?" She nodded and gave a little smile.
Darren stood up and grabbed her hand, pulling her into a hug.
In the hug, Ginger found trust, hope, and overwhelming love.
Years later, when the story will be mentioned by Ginger, Darren will look down at her and look at her adoringly.
"You were the only one who saw me." She'll blush under his gaze. "And for that, you saved my life."
And before he kisses her, he'll whisper in a husky voice, right in her ear, "And my heart."
A/N: Like? Hate? Horrible? Okay?