• • • •
"you don't even know him that well!" he protested as he drove me home.
"so?! i didn't say i was in love with him! i said he was cute." I said defensively.
"this isn't a good idea." kalin shook his head.
"whatever" i spit at him as i turned away and looked out the window. i can't believe he was acting this way. all i said was that he was attractive and he lost it. a few minutes later we pulled up at my house and sat in silence.
"look, shelby, i care about you and I just don't want to see you hurt" he said softly. i could hear the concern in his voice but somehow that still didn't matter, i was mad and frustrated with him.
"you don't want to see me hurt? right. lets go back two years ago, shall we?" i said through my teeth. i didn't give him time to say anything i opened the door and slammed it shut. as soon as i got inside i heard a knock at the door. i ignored it and went upstairs.
"shelby?" i heard someone calling after me. "shelby! who is that?" my mom yelled. i turned around as she answered the door. "kalin?" she asked and turned back to me with a puzzled look on her face.
"leave." I yelled as he stepped inside. he didn't. he stood there with his eyes fixated on me, my mom standing between us. "whatever" i mumbled before going to my room. i could hear them talking downstairs. kalin was explaining to her what happened and i could all but see her shaking her head at my actions. i knew she would be disappointed in me. Hell, i was disappointed in myself. i couldn't believe that i just did that to him. my best friend and i just threw the worst memory in his face. i could feel my throat getting tight and my eyes starting to burn. i got up and quietly opened my door and walked downstairs. he must have heard me somehow because as soon as i hit the bottom step he looked up and stood. by this time the tears were already running down my cheek. we met halfway and he just wrapped me in his arms, allowing me to cry. "i'm so sorry, kalin. i didn't mean to- i-i just- i'm sorry" i babbled as he ran his hand through my hair. i knew he was going to say it was okay and that's the last thing i wanted to do. "i'll stay away from myles. i will let you go on your own to meet with him. i won't interfere" i whispered into his chest. that's one of the many things about him that i loved. he was the perfect height for me. 6'2" and i was a steady 5'3". i felt him put his lips to the top of my head, not saying anything, which made me feel worse. "kalin, please, say something" i begged as i pulled back and looked at him. seeing him standing there looking at me with sadness covering his face broke my heart. what had i done.
"i have to go." he whispered as he pushed a small smile and let me go. this was bad. kalin was not the type to walk away from a situation like this. he was always the one trying to fix an argument.
"kalin, don't. i'm sorry" i said, stepping closer to him.
"stop. just- stay" he whispered as his eyes started watering. "I know what happened two years ago. i know i shouldn't have left you. i know our break up destroyed you. i know you wouldn't have been in that situation if it wasn't for me. i know that it's my fault-"
"no. kalin, please don't blame this on yourself. i did it. okay? please just don't leave me." I begged, walking to him and wrapping my arms around his torso. he sighed and i knew i just won. i took his hand and lead him upstairs. i sat on the end of my bed and patted the spot next to me. he made his way over to me and sat down. i took his hand and looked at him. "our break up had nothing to do with what happened." I reassured him.
"if i didn't take you to that party-" he started but stopped when he saw me shaking my head in disagreement. "what?" he asked.
"stop blaming yourself" i said. he opened his mouth to say something but quickly closed it. "what's on your mind, baby" i asked, letting him know that i saw his hesitation.
"do you ever regret us breaking up?" he asked, barely audible. his question took me by surprise and i just sat in silence. maybe he was just saying this because he felt bad. or maybe he meant it. no, that's not possible. we were such great friends now. best friends. this isn't right. what was he saying. "nevermind. just forget it." he said, pulling me out of my thoughts.
"kalin, we're such great friends. yeah, I think about us from time to time but...but-"
"I think about us a lot. how we would spend hours just talking and eating. how we would watch movie after movie while laying on the couch together. how i would surprise you with random gifts. i remember our first kiss, freshman year homecoming court. i never planned on kissing you out on the football field in front of everyone but in that moment, looking down at you and seeing you so happy, i had to. we were so good. what happened?" he whispered staring at our hands.
"rachel happened" i said quietly, not wanting to answer. he jerked his head towards me and pulled his hand out of mine slowly.
"I told you i was sorry" he said, tears building up in his eyes.
"and i forgave you." i said as i moved onto his lap and laid my head on his shoulder, burying my face into his neck.
• • •
"i'll call you when i'm home," kalin said, one hand on the side of my face and the other hand on the doorknob. i opened my mouth but he cut me off, "I know. no texting and driving and no speeding" he mocked. i couldn't help but smile at him. he leaned down and kissed my cheek before walking out. i went to the kitchen and got a cookie that my mom had made and went upstairs. a few minutes passed and i heard a faint tap on my door.
"come in" i said, not taking my eyes off my laptop. the door slowly opened and i looked over to see my moms head poking in. "hey" i greeted, halfway shutting my computer and sliding it over to the side of me.
"are things okay? with you and kalin?" she asked. i could hear the worry in her voice.
"everything is fine. we worked everything out" i reassured her with a smile.
"good. that's good, honey" she smiled back. i nodded and she wished me a goodnight as she shut the door. my phone started to buzz. i looked over knowing exactly who it was.
"hey" i said into the phone.
"hey, i'm home." he informed me. i nodded even though i knew he wouldn't be able to see it.
"good. thank you for letting me know. sweet dreams and sleep well. don't forget to say your prayers." I reminded him as i did every night the last three years.
"goodnight, shelby. i love you." he said back before hanging up. i held the phone there and sighed whispering 'i love you more' back to him even though he wasn't there.