The rain and coldness of the night pour down on my skin, washing away my immaculate hope. For five, than ten, than fifteen minutes, I wait in hope under the luminescent glow of the street lamp that he might miraculously show up. That no matter how cautious he is being for either my or his sake, he will still give us a chance.
After all we've been through, I realize that it would be difficult for him to accept the fact that if we're together, we can finally be public. Although it would be difficult to finally let our secret out, we are strong, and we can get through it together. We came out to my parents already, and although it didn't go so well, we still have twice as many people on our side; Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and I bet Toby would believe and understand us as well. We're made for each other, and he knows it just as I know it.
No matter how noble he thinks he's being by ignoring me; despite how he knows that I can get past our relationship eventually if I'm only given time; and regardless of the annoying fact that he thinks he's protecting me by keeping his distance, the fact of the matter is that I cannot get over him and never will. I'm hurt more by his ignorance of me than by the distance he puts between us.
I love him, and that will never change. Or will it?
As I drive, I can't help but imagine the disappointment on Aria's face if I hadn't come. What will she do? It's eight soon, the time she told me to meet her. Will she stay and wait, or leave when its five after eight? What if I just barely miss her? Oh, it is killing me!
I glance at the clock on the dashboard. It says 7:58. My leg begins to bounce up and down in anxiousness and I can't seem to drive quickly enough. But I don't dare to go over the speed limit because that would wreck our relationship more than my being late tonight.
When Aria called me earlier this afternoon, my heart was torn to pieces yet again. The girl is relentless; she never seems to give up on what she desires most. Over the past few days, I've received a total of 22 calls from her, all of them with voicemails attached, and in them she's begging for us to set up another time we can see each other. Her voice was sweet, forgiving of my attitude, and so tempting. Her glorious personality, body, and soul could keep me content forever. I love her so much, but while I'd usually do anything for her immediately after she asks, this is one thing that needs to be thought about, and taken on with a logical approach.
Despite the overwhelming temptation to see her in person, I knew that if posed more danger for both of us that we're willing to admit. The ability of mine to ignore her is something that is wearing thin; it is a need, not a want, to see Aria again. I don't know how long I'd last until I would do something reckless. My love for Aria is unconditional and defiant, and although I realize that society will place us in the untouchable category for maintaining such an inappropriate relationship, it is something that I know neither of us control nor really care about.
Around seven o'clock tonight, a student of mine at Hollis came into my office, and as he was asking me to look over his essay once more, he told me something that I think I've forgotten. He said that like it is portrayed in media, it is correct that true love really does conquer all. If the love is real and honestly there, than the person owning it would do anything for their lover. Love isn't something with boundaries; it is infinite. The only way a relationship will stay strong and true is if the lovers act upon their will; if they do what makes their partner happiest. It's a selfless act that creates a stronger bond between the two.
And I realized that the boy is correct; that he knows exactly what he is talking about. I've brought my own twisted relationship into his life, and he's helped me to turn it around without even knowing it.
That's why I picked up my phone, pressed Call Voicemail, and listened to every heart-shattering message left by her from the past few days. And when listening to the last messsage, I realized that I needed to make a decision. Do I love Aria enough that I'd do absolutely anything to have her happy or not? The answer: positively yes.
That's what has led me to sit frantically in my car, agonizing over how much longer until eight, and if I'll catch her in time or not.
Finally, it's ten past eight. Faith that he'll come sticks with me only in the smallest amount. The message I'd left him said for him to come to the clock at eight, and yet it is eight ten. I decide to stay for a bit longer in case he shows up. The black stilettos I wear click through the wetness underfoot as I walk to the nearest sheltered bench so that I can wait for him to arrive, while still watching from a dry place.
The cars' headlights gleam and blink as they speed past. Their wheels kick up spouts of water which is dumped on the car behind it.
That's what I feel like. I feel like we're the next car with the water being thrown upon it, always closer to getting over the bumps in the road, overcoming the next obstacle, when we're presented with another one. Our relationship is unexpected, like the water that suddenly shoots out from under the car. We're moving, but it feels like we never get anywhere.
I'd thought we had a chance; I really did. But I suppose it's a one-sided hope, because honestly, if Ezra isn't giving us a chance, isn't going to show up, then we never really had a chance to begin with.
The trust, optimism and mysterious desire that lingered inside me slowly fades away with the passing cars.
Until one finally slows down, coming to a complete standstill in front of me as I stand up and hold my breath, waiting for the impossible.
And then a handsome, familiar face opens the driver's door with a quiet little pinging noise, and a head of dark ravens hair pops out.
God, he's gorgeous, I think.
That perfectly sculpted body stands determinedly in the rain, strong with the certainty held within. I rise, ever so slowly, as I hear him call out in his deep, velevety voice. A smile breaks out on my face as I hear his voice, lighting up my expression with pure happiness.
"Aria!" His voice chimes out through the constant drumming of the rain. He squints through the rain, making him just that much more attractive, if it's at all possible.
Suddenly, I can't hold my feelings bottled up any longer.
I'm rushing up to him as drops of rain splatter my face, my hair, nearly blinding me as my feet propel me forward. He sprints up to me also, and for a few moments we just marvel at each other.
My daydreams of this moment the past few days were childish fantasies; the real thing is so much better.
Although its only been three days, it feels like a lifetime since we last saw each other. After a whole semester of seeing him every day at school, it feels abnormal to let even one day go by without seeing his face, let alone three.
His jewel blue eyes gaze lovingly into my dark chocolate ones. His expression displays all the worry and desire he's had about seeing me again; all the hurt, guilt and anxiety he's been fretting about for the past few days over our relationship.
But all I want to do is kiss those stunning lips, tell him that no matter what happens, we'll get through it, that we're stronger than anyone. However, I can't speak, because I'm so in awe that he showed up.
Then, ever so slowly, Ezra reaches for my cheeks and I gladly let him caress them. His tough is perfect; gentle and caring. And then he's kissing my and my lips are on fire as he mesmerizes me with his beautiful ways. Our lips explore each other fervently as we cling to each other in the slick rain. Feeling the reality of his touch and smell, I cannot believe how lucky I am to have this perfect man all to me. The streams of rain rush down our faces, matting our hair to our heads and soaking our hair. His lips are addicting; warm and sweet as ever.
Finally, we pull apart with much unwillingness, and I smile at him, blinking as the cool water surges down my face; into my eyes; into my mouth. He grins back at me radiantly. His arms feel safe and secure around me, rubbing my back like I like.
I set my chin on his chest, and close my eyes, savoring the beautiful moment.
"I missed you," I admit. "A lot."
"I know. I missed you too," He replies, confusing me.
I pull back from his hold and look into his face, into his eyes, trying to decode a message that sits there for me. If he missed me, why didn't he acknowledge it until now?
Examining his expression closely, I ask, "Then why didn't you call, or even text me at all?"
He looks pained when I ask that. Hurt clouds my feelings, and although I can once again recognize what he's going to say, I also know that it doesn't help matters any.
"I was afraid. For you, Aria. Your mom and dad can see your phone bill, you know. If I called, you might have been grounded for life," Ezra says seriously.
That brings a sneer to my face. I joke, "I already am grounded for life. And for death."
He grins wanly, "And I suppose that, well, I'm just really scared for you, Aria. When the town finds out, what will they say? They'll talk! I don't want your reputation t be ruined because of me."
I smile kindly at him. It was really nice of him to be so worried, although he needn't stress about it. I don't care what the population thinks. He should know that after all this time. I'm not someone to listen to much of the gossip that floats around, and I don't care if I'm in the middle of it; I'll do my best to stay out of it anyways.
Then Ezra declares, "Let's go in the car. It would be a dead giveaway of tonight if you caught a cold."
Agreeing, I say, "Sure."
Ezra opens the passenger door for me like always, and I hop into the toasty car. As he climbs in, other cars honk at him rudely to move out of the way. Obediently, he obliges and drives the car to a parking spot across from the nearest Starbucks. We sit there for a few minutes, staring out into the heavy precipitate from the sky, watching different people pass and thinking of all the questions that suddenly come rushing back to me.
Now that my hopes have been confirmed and my soul is complete once again, now that Ezra has shown up and given us another chance, where do we go from here? How do we proceed? Even though Spencer, Em and Hanna agree with and support our relationship, they're only high schoolers like me, not high people in society, so they don't have much influence on the scale of how much trouble we get in with the law, or how much the townspeople decide to ignore us. I'm worried. Ella seems like she's coming around slowly, but Dad doesn't seem to be very trustworthy, let alone understanding. And to think that I'd thought he'd understand the best. I guess people sometimes surprise you. But I didn't expect such a cruel reaction from him.
Ezra is my future; I'm sure of it. But from now until the end of my senior year, how will we go out in public without people gawking and gaping? Will we ever get the chance to be a normal couple?
Unbelieving, I shake my head after a few minutes. Happily, I state, "I didn't think you'd come."
His answer shocks me. He answers honestly, "I didn't either."
For so many reasons, does that scare me. For one, does that mean that he isn't as serious about our relationship as I'd thought he is? But that is ridiculous. I know that Ezra loves me as much as I love him. So why am I worried about such a thing? Still, I can't help but anxiously skim my mind for all of these reasons. Also, is Ezra second-guessing our relationship, just because he doesn't want to get me in trouble? He should know that I'd rather get in twice as much trouble for him than him take all the blame for me.
I thought our relationship was stronger than that; I thought that after all we've been through, he would show up without question, completely trusting and believing that it will work out eventually. But I still understand the many reasons for why he is being so cautious.
He looks back out at the rushing traffic, but a moment later turns back to me.
"Aria, this is dangerous. If we both-"
"But I'm really worried about you!" Ezra stresses. "I want you to be safe; to be happy. And I wish I could be sure that this - that we - are what you want." He gazes at me with those gorgeous eyes. And in that moment, I'm 100 percent sure that I'll never want anything more but him.
"There is only one place where I can be sure of that," I admit.
Ezra holds his breath as he says, "Where?"
His face automatically lights up as he smiles with happiness, his eyes aglow from their previously dull state.
Once again, we kiss. His lips are hot on mine, and they're intoxicating. Overwhelming. But all too soon, it ends, when Ezra pulls away from our embrace to look me in the eyes.
He jokes, "We're crazy. You know that, right?"
I can feel my face break out into a genuine smile, my eyes lighting up with light humor.
"Yeah," I agree, "I know."
He laughs, and then asks the most obvious question, becoming serious quickly.
"So how are we going to do this? We can't spend the rest of our lives in sidewalks and rain."
All while he asks, I'm appearing delighted, because I am. I've been pondering this for quite a while, and I think I've finally found a solution to our enormous problem. A little plan has formed in my mind these past few days, details and all, as I've waited for him to come around, waiting in despair for someone I wasn't allowed to be with.
Proudly, I announce, "I have an idea."
Ezra's eyebrows dip in little quirks as he seems to be wondering about what I'm talking about.
Finally, he asks, "What's your genius plan?"
"This," I beam. Honestly, I think this plan can really work. It's just a matter of executing it, and I can't wait until Ezra and I can finally, finally be public. Oh, what a relief it will be!