Don't Know Where the Future Lies, but my Heart's Always with You

He sits at his little lonesome table in the library, an application to Gallaudet in front of him. Here's his future, and he has no idea what to say. There are so many questions; questions which he doesn't have the answer to. He used to. Three years ago, he knew exactly who he was, where he'd be, who he wanted to be with. And now? It's all changed. And that is for one reason and one reason only: her.

The day she took that blood test in biology and discovered her blood type was unlike anyone else in her family changed his life. It made her curious, curious enough to drag her parents to a genetic counselor, and for the truth to come out. She was not their biological daughter. But they would find their biological daughter, his best friend, and the story just unfolds from there.

It really was your typical teenage love story. Boy meets girl. Boy falls really hard for girl. Boy goes through an extremely emotional pitfall and makes the stupidest decision of his life and it costs him said girl. And yet, the story doesn't end there, because boy still loves girl or rather is still in love with girl. He would always be in love with her. It was a truth that could not be denied. So, maybe that question was easy to answer. He knew who he wanted to be with. He just didn't know if she wanted to be with him.

And just like an apparition, she appeared beside him, dropping a stack of her own applications.

"Mind if I sit?"

Did he ever mind her doing anything that put her in his immediate proximity? Hell no.

"Of course not," he replied, smiling. His heart thumped.

"Whoever said getting older was something to look forward to obviously never had to deal with college applications." She crinkled her nose. "Or the Sucky Appalling Test."

"SATs got you down?"

"Yes. Why do I need to know when two trains will meet? Just go online and check the schedule."

That made him laugh.

"I'm sure you'll do fine."

"I'm glad you're sure. Between the SAT and these applications asking me a million questions, I don't know how I'll survive this year."

He grabbed her hand.

An impulsive decision? Oh yes. Reckless? Definitely. But did it feel right? Absolutely.

It's crazy how they'd been apart for so long and still their touches were electric. She was his home base. He'd always feel that attraction and always be drawn to her. Why? There were a million different reasons.

She kept him on his toes for one. The best way he could describe it was like two magnets. Even when you separated them, really separated them, there was a gravity pulling them back together. That was the magnitude of their love. A magnetic force.

Here's an SAT analogy.

Emmett is to Bay like:

A) Soul is to Mate

B) Peanut Butter is to Jelly

C) Morse is to Code

D) All of the above

Obviously, the answer was D.

Here's another one.

If Emmett met Bay at 16, he'll stop loving her at

A) 26

B) 30

C) 40

D) Never

Again, the answer was D.

He looked down at their hands, still entwined. She wasn't pulling away.

"Thank you."

"You never have to thank me, Bay."

She noted his stack of applications.

"So, Gallaudet, eh?"

He almost missed her question entirely. He was too focused on her soft skin, her lips, the way she smelled. Sometimes he wondered if she did this purposely. Although even if she showed up smelling like old banana peels, he'd still find her wildly sexy and gorgeous.

Ass backwards in love?

Yep.

"Yeah."

"That's good."

"And you?"

She fanned out her stack.

"Art Institute of Chicago, RISD. All great schools."

"Yeah, I know. If only I had a chance in hell of getting into them."

He sighed.

"I hate when you do that."

"When I do what?"

"Put yourself down like that. Your art is amazing, Bay." He looked at her. Damn she was beautiful. "You are amazing."

She blushed. Was that a good sign that he could still make her feel that way?

"You're just saying that because you're my ex."

He locked eyes with her.

"No, I'm saying it because it's true. I don't feel obligated to tell you anything because we used to date or because we're friends. And it's not some ulterior motive to get you back."

"I didn't say it was."

"But you think that?"

She started biting on her pen.

"No, but why do you say these things, Emmett?"

He didn't even need to think of his answer.

"Because they are true. And if nothing else, you deserve to know that whatever happens in the future, you'll always be adored by someone."

She fidgeted a bit, perhaps a bit uncomfortable with his response.

"Emmett…come on."

"Come on what? I mean it."

"Ten years from now you'll be thinking back on high school and I'll just be a girl you knew from way back when."

"Bay, you could never just be a girl. Not in a million years."

They remained silent for a few minutes.

"Yeah, well, I hope you know despite everything we've been through, Emmett, you'd never just be a guy to me, either."

"I hope not."

She flipped open her RISD application.

"Where do you see yourself in ten years? Ha. Like I know. Can you believe they ask us this?"

And suddenly, Emmett knew his answer.

With you.

"Yeah, I know. Crazy right?"

"Nuts."

She stayed there until the period was over, writing furiously. He wondered what she was saying and what she was thinking. Did he factor into her future at all? He hoped so.

"Well, thanks for letting me sit with you."

"You can always sit next to me."

As she stood up, she went to turn around, but stopped.

"Emmett, if I proposed skipping college and just going on a road trip of America with me on your bike, would you think I was insane?"

Was she serious? Being alone anywhere with Bay wouldn't be crazy. It would be the sanest and most rational idea ever.

"No."

"Yeah, right. And how much would I have to beg for it to happen?"

"Bay, you'd never have to beg. You wouldn't even have to ask. You'd have me at 'Emmett'. You'd always have me at 'Emmett'."

She laughed.

"I might take you up on that."

"I hope that you do."

She walked out of the library, but left him with hope. He carried that hope as he opened up his own application.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

He smiled.

With Bay Kennish.