I was waiting at the coffee kiosk bright and early the next morning. I had a coffee, black but then filled to the rim with skim milk waiting in my hand for her when she rounded the corner, already digging for change at the bottom of her purse.
She didn't see me, her head was still buried in her bag. She was wearing tall boots and dark jeans. Her plaid coat looked tight on her and she looked adorable with her blonde hair wavy and tucked behind a white beany.
Last night, we didn't really talk. After kissing in front of her residence hall for a few minutes, we went inside her room, layed down on her bed, curling around each other and fell asleep.
When I woke up, she was bustling around me, getting ready and packing her bag.
"Whazzgoinon?" I groaned, sitting up and rubbing my eyes.
"I have to go to work. I forgot about my shift at eight. I'm late," She had explained, without looking at me, tugging on her shoe and then smoothing her hair back into a ponytail.
"Bye," she simply breathed, kissing my forehead and running out of her dorm without a backwards glance.
"Stop," I instructed firmly this morning as she was about to walk straight into the garbage can.
She looked up spastically before smiling slightly at me. "I don't remember that being there."
"You learn something new everyday," I smiled at her, and handed her the to-go cup.
"Thanks," she mumbled, lowering her purse on her shoulder and taking the cup. She didn't really look me the eye, turning the cup in her hand like she was reading it. Like she hasn't seen one of these cups a thousand times.
"So, I was thinking that maybe we could go on a road-trip this weekend," I told her as we eased into a familiarity of walking towards the library. A tradition I've missed. It had only been twenty-four hours since our reconcilliation, but things were starting to go back to normal.
Or so I thought.
"I can't, sorry. I'm going home for the weekend," She told me, brightly covered leaves crunching underneath her boots as we strolled the cobble-stoned campus towards the library.
"Oh," I couldn't think of a better response. "Need a ride?"
"No, thanks," She mumbled just as lamely as my question.
"Oh." I'm really a witty conversationalist, right?
"I was really hoping to hang out with you, since I haven't seen you in so long," I told her, reaching over to grab her hobo-gloved hand in mine. The November air was bitterly cold.
"I'm sorry. Kirsten needs me to go to the final fitting for my dress," she reminded me, stepping a step furthur away from me so that our arms were really far apart, our hands, however, still connected. It was just an awkward position.
"Oh, are you excited for the wedding? Two weeks, right?"
"Still need a date?" I urged, knocking my hip with hers and trying to be spunky.
"Well, yeah." She told me, looking at me quizzically.
"Is everything okay, Annabel? Please tell me the truth," I finally begged, tugging her to a stop at the foot of the large stairs of the library.
"Yeah, I just have a ton of studying to do," she said, like I was dumb and it was the most obvious solution in the world.
"Okay," I told her, knowing she wouldn't lie but not sure if she was 100 % sure herself.
And with that, I followed her into the library .
The past two weeks have passed around in a awkward whirlwind. I barely saw Annabel. I knew that she had to plan things for Kirsten's wedding, since she was one of the maids of honor. And she was taking extra shifts at the pizzeria to pay for the dress. And she had taken on an extra class while we were "separated" so she was positively swamped with course work. Her homework hours were insane and she started to making coffee in her room to save money.
She was avoiding me, it was obvious.
Everything I tried to ask her about it, she found it skillfully easy to change the subject. She always had a breezy air to her, like she was forcing herself into an forcing, that's the wrong word. It was more like she was showing me one side, while internally she was a different side of everything she was thinking. I don't think she lied to me, just isn't telling me the whole truth.
She is editing.
But, today was the day of her older sister's wedding and I know how Annabel is to all things romantic. She practically turns into pudding. Elderly couples holding hands made her giggle. She loved seeing men buying flowers and always cried during romantic movies, especially Titanic. Weddings were like Christmas' to her.
Myself, Rolly and Clarke were all invited since we had all gotten close since the whole "rape debate" trial and Kirsten wanted us there, almost as a thank you for standing by her little sister. So, I adjusted my tie in the mirror once more, grimacing.
"Dude, chill," Rolly mumbled, trying to comb back his hair.
"I look like Godzilla," I told him, turning around so he could see me in my navy suit. I wore a light blue shirt and a blue and red striped tie.
I despise dress clothes.
I always feel out of place and fidgety. I always felt hugely tall and out of place next to less big-boned men with smaller muscles. I felt constricted in a suit.
"How on hell's Earth do you look like Godzilla?" Rolly asked, shoving his wallet and his car keys in his pocket. "The shirt isn't even green."
"I don't know," I said lamely. "I just feel ... " I moved around, making stiff arm movements like Godzilla. Rolly burst out laughing and slapped a hand on my shoulder.
"Good to have you back," he chuckled, heading for the door.
It wasn't that much later that Rolly, Clarke in a pretty yellow dress and I were sitting in one of the back pews of Mercy's Christian Church. A piano was playing softly in the background and suddenly, a set of two people that I didn't know were walking down the aisle, probably Brian's parents. They were followed by Annabel's mother, looking pretty and like Annabel in a creamy pink dress.
A little girl wearing a sky blue puffy tutu-resembling dress came out next, tossing white rose petals at audience members. I bursted out laughing as someone, her grandmother probably stood up at the front of the aisle, rushing her forwards. She had golden blonde hair and was wearing a fancy sort of flowered tiara on her head. Clarke made an "awwww"-ing noise next to me.
Bridesmaids and groomsmen started filling out after them. The men were wearing black tux's with a white shirt and a white tie. The girls, as they started strolling out to the gentle piano, were wearing dresses that began at dark blue and were all different shades.
The only person I recognized was Annabel's cousin Kyle, who walked out second. By the time Whitney walked out, looking healthy in a sea blue dress, I knew Annabel was coming next.
Her long, beautiful hair was curly and loose, swept off to cover her right shoulder. She was on the arm of Brian's brother, Matt, and was smiling. Her dress was a beautiful shade of light blue, was strapless and floated to just above her knee . My heart stopped.
She smiled gently at us as we followed her eyes past us. Clarke "aww'd" and Rolly did a quiet wolf-whistle, which caused us to all break out into chuckles.
The wedding was lengthly but not entirely boring. Annabel looked gorgeous, smiling at her sister in joy as she married the man she loved. The resemblance between the three Greene sisters was truely astounding. It wasn't hard for my imagination to swap Kirsten and Annabel's places and imagine it as our wedding.
The room erupted into cheers as the couple kissing, Brian plucking a glowing Kirsten up into his arms as Annabel and Whitney waved their arms and flowers around happily. It was about fifteen minutes later, after taking pictures and such, that Annabel finally came out of the church after the happy couple had exited the church to a series of bubbles and sparklers. We were all headed to the Hyatt on the Water, by the marina.
"Hey, that was beautiful," Clarke giggled, hugging Annabel as she came over to our posse.
"Yeah, it was, wasn't it?" She smiled.
"You look beautiful," I added, reaching out to grab my hand. She squeezed my fingers for a moment before letting go to fix her strapless dress.
She was avoiding my eye contact. Not looking at me when she talked, fidgeting.
She hadn't forgiven me yet.