"So tomorrow I will be at the cookout. I can't wait to see you." Sam said.
I smiled, "I can't wait to see you either. Listen could we possibly meet up tonight by the beach? I want to talk."
Sam was quiet for a moment, "Sure when?"
I looked at the clock, "Say fifteen minutes?"
Sam replied quickly, "Sure see you there. Bye."
We hung up. I walked back into the living room.
"I will be right back. If they come back before I do, eat without me. I need to talk to Sam."
My mom looked at me, "Leah can't it wait?"
I shook my head, "I won't be long, I promise."
She looked at me, and sighed, "Just be careful." I nodded, hurrying down to the beach.
I walked down to the beach deciding to lie down on the sand and look up at the sky. Tonight the stars were out and they were bright. The sky was clear for once and the air fresh with a chill to it. I listened but I couldn't hear a sound except for the dull roar of the ocean. I wondered if my fairy tale romance was crashing around me. Then I thought about it, maybe Sam didn't' feel the same way anymore. Maybe we were rushing into this. I had so many questions running through my head. Before I could continue letting my thoughts run wild, he was laying in the sand beside me.
"Hi there, are you alright?" he asked.
I looked at him. "Yeah I'm just thinking.” I spoke softly.
He rolled onto his side and looked at me, "I'm sorry okay. I can't say it enough. I just can't tell you everything. I know that pisses you off. Leah if I could tell you, I would, and you know it."
I shrugged, "If you didn't want to get married, that's fine, and you should have told me. I'm sorry about what happened alright. Look everything turned out fine I guess. You're free now. Now there's nothing to hold, or tie you down." I got to my feet and started walking along the beach.
He quickly got to his feet, and caught me by my arm, "Will you please stop. Listen to me, I want to marry you. I want to be with you. I want to have children with you. I want to grow old with you. Trust me please." He pushed my hair behind my ears, "Lee-lee?"
I just looked at him. "Sam I don't know what to say. I told you when I found out, then you just disappear. What was I supposed to think?"
He rested his forehead against mine. "Leah I will always love you. I will always be there for you. You're my world Leah."
I just look at him.
He leaned down placing a soft kiss on my lips, "I will let you go for tonight. I will see you tomorrow at the cook out. Sleep well."
He left me standing on the beach. I still didn't have the answers I was so desperately seeking.
I eventually made my way home, and I decided to take a hot shower and then head to bed. I stood in the shower for what felt like forever. The water felt so good. It was so warm. It reminded me of Sam's touch. That was something I noticed. Sam's skin was much warmer now then it had been in the before. That's when I started to cry. There was a knocking on the door.
"Hey Leah are you alright?" My mom called out.
I finished up, and opened the door.
"Come on. Let's get you dried off, and dressed.”
We went into my room, and I grabbed my favorite pj's.
"I'll give you some privacy. She left, shutting the door behind her.
I got dressed, and crawled into bed. Emily knocked, and then came back in. She sat on the edge of the bed gently stroking my hair. I laid there for a while until I finally drifted off to sleep. My dreams were about Sam. In my dreams he kept walking away from me. I would try to get close enough to touch him and he would just fade away. I tossed and turned all night.
The next day when I woke, all I knew it was Saturday. I rolled over to read my clock. 8:48a.m.
"Leah pick up the phone." My mom yelled to me.
I rubbed my eyes and answered it. "Hello."
This chipper voice of a female was on the other end. "Hey you can't sleep all day. I'm on my way to your house. Get your butt out of bed and dressed. We are having a girl's day, before the cookout. Plus I'm spending the night since the cookout is tomorrow night." Emily giggled.
I loved my cousin. Emily was like my sister. She always seemed to be able to cheer me up. Today I didn't feel it. I was just too emotionally exhausted. "Em' I'm not really up for it. I've got a lot of homework to do."
She growled playfully, "You're such a bad liar. What's the real excuse? Were you out drinking last night?"
I sighed, "No actually. My parents would kill me anyways if I did. Sam has still been off, since he's come back. I wish I knew what was going on. He won't tell me anything."
She was a bit taken back, "I'm sorry sis. Well let's go out. It's been like forever since we've gone shopping. Don't make me beg."
I rolled my eyes stretching, "Okay. I will hop in the shower. I'll see you when you get here." I hung up the phone and grabbed my towels and headed for the bathroom. I turned on the water and waited for it to heat up. I looked at my reflection in the mirror. I was so tired; I had dark circles under my eyes. I sighed again, and climbed in. I wanted to just stay in the shower forever but I knew eventually the hot water would run out. I finished up and dried off and headed back to my room.
The phone rang as I was getting dressed and I quickly answered. "Hello?" I waited to see who it was on the other end.
"Hello my love." Sam's voice growled sweetly down the phone.
"Hey what's up?" I replied. I could hear chuckle from his end.
"I was wondering if you might want to hang out today." How was he so easy going?
He acted like nothing had happened in the past few weeks. I was left without knowing his where he was. We were supposed to elope, and he was gone. I still loved him no matter what. Hearing his voice still affected my heart. I was kicking myself.
"I would love to but my cousin is coming to visit, and the cookout." I told him.
"Oh okay, Well have fun. Call me when you get in. Maybe tomorrow we can hang out?" He asked.
Then I thought about it. "Well I'm free after Emily heads home tomorrow.” I smiled, and waited for his response.
"Okay. I've met her before but sounds like a plan. I will see you tomorrow then." He hesitated, "I love you Lee-Lee." Then he hung up.
I hung up the phone and went to take my shower.
Once I was showered, I popped into the kitchen and threw some waffles in the toaster.
"Good morning. Where are you off too?" My mom asked sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper.
"Emily is coming down for the cookout. She thought a girl's day would be good for us."
She looked up at me. "That sounds like fun. Do you have any idea where you're going?" My mom was curious.
"I'm not sure. We've not decided yet." I answered grabbing my waffles out of the toaster and started munching on them.
"Slow down Leah or you're going to choke." My mom was serious.
"Sorry I'm hungry." I apologize to her. "Where are Seth, and dad?" I looked around." I was curious.
"Your father left early with Charlie this morning. Seth went out with friends." She smiled.
"Ah so you get the house to yourself. You're so lucky." I smirked.
"Oh yes Leah. I'm so lucky to do the laundry, and clean. Then when your father gets home, cook dinner."
I laughed, "I will help when I get home."
She smiled, "Your father will help don't worry."
I heard a car pull into the driveway. I ran outside barely getting the front door open. "Emily!" I ran up to her car.
She climbed out and gave me a huge hug. "Hi stranger, it seems like it's been forever." She smiled hugging me back. "So Sam is coming to the cookout." Emily smiled, "Well I'm glad. So are you ready to go?"
I nodded, and ran inside quickly, "Mom we're going to take off now." I yelled grabbing my sweatshirt.
"Hi Emily, how are you?"
Emily smiled and called back from the doorway, "I'm good Aunt Sue."
My mom smiled, "Glad to hear it. Be safe girls and have fun." My mom called out from the kitchen.
"We always are mom. Bye."
We left my house and hopped in her car. "So how long have you been with Sam?" Emily was curious,
"Three years. We were going to elope before he disappeared."
Emily turned in the driver seat to look at me, "You are just telling me this now?"
I nodded sheepishly. "With everything happening, what with him disappearing it really didn't seem like the time to mention it. I thought maybe he ran away to avoid it.”
Emily sighed, "Put your seatbelt on and let's go. We can chat more on the way."
While we drove up to Port Angeles, I looked out the window keeping quiet. There was so much going on in my head,
Emily knew it. "Care to talk? I'm a great listener."
I looked at her and shrugged, "Just not sure what's going on with him."
Emily nodded, "Well that's understandable. It's hard to see someone you love, become someone you don't know. I know you both were extremely close." I sighed, and felt a tear slide down my cheek. "Oh don't cry please. I'm sorry."
I shook my head, "It's nothing Emily. I'd rather not talk about it."
She looked at me, "You've never kept a secret from me before. I won't push it if you honestly don't want me knowing. I respect you, and your wishes."
I smiled a little, "Thanks. When the time is right, I'll tell you."
Emily smiled back, knowing that in my own time, I'd fill her in.
We arrived in Port Angeles early afternoon. We had a few hours to grab a bite to eat and shop. We parked and started walking. Emily was eager to check out the crafts store. I was eager to check out the book store.
"Alright should we split up, or stick together?" Emily asked.
I shrugged, "It's your choice."
Emily chuckled, "Go ahead to the book shop, I will meet up with you."
I nodded, "Alright then." We went our separate ways. I walked inside and looked around, trying to find something new to read. I grabbed a copy of The Bell Jar. I had a copy at home, but it was starting to become worn. I loved reading the book. I paid for it and grabbed my bag off the counter. I wasn't paying attention when I stepped out of the store and bumped into a guy. "Whoa."
I looked up feeling beyond embarrassed.
These two guys were standing there smirking,
"No problem." The one I bumped into spoke.
I was caught off guard. They weren't bad looking. One had black hair that was on the short side, russet skin, brown eyes, and a nice smile. He was a few inches taller than me. His friend was cute. He had blue eyes, shoulder length hair that was hidden by a hat, and a scruffy beard. It looked like he was trying to grow it out.
They both chuckled, "Well have a good." They started walking in the opposite direction to me.
I turned around, just as the blue eyed guy did.
His friend yelled out, "Hunter let's go I'm hungry man."
Hunter smiled once more at me, before turning back around, "Okay Travis gees. I'm just looking at a cute girl."
I blushed and walked into Emily. "Distracted I see."
I shook my head, "Uh sort of, what no."
She laughed, "Oh yeah, distracted I will say."
I shook my head, "I have a boyfriend back home."
Emily quickly piped up, "There's nothing wrong with looking. I can see why you were looking."
I sighed, "I walked into the one with short hair"
Emily laughed, "Admiring I see."
Rolling my eyes, I reply, trying desperately to change the subject, "Anywhere else you'd like to go?"
She smiled, "Yes a few more shops."
We walked around downtown, and Emily bought a few more things.
We got back to my house about 4:30 pm. I climbed out grabbing my bag, and walked inside with Emily.
"Finally you're home. I was beginning to wonder." My mom smiled.
"Leah was too busy bumping into some cute guys." Emily smirked, nudging me with her elbow.
My mom raised an eyebrow, "Oh really." There was a glint in her eye.
I shook my head, "It's not like that I swear. I bumped into a guy. I wasn't paying attention." My cheeks began to flush red.
Emily quickly interjected, "Oh she was busy staring at him, actually his friend. I must say they were both cute."
My mom laughed, "Well Seth and your dad should be here soon with the drinks."
I nodded, "Alright." The phone rang, and I quickly grab it.
"Hi Lee lee. Glad to know you made it home safely."
I smiled, I felt a sense of relief wash over me, "So are you coming to the cookout?"
Sam chuckled, "Of course. I will be there soon. I love you."
I sigh, "I love you too." with that I hang up.
Everyone was outside chatting, and enjoying one another's company. My dad was barbecuing and enjoying himself. I waited at the front door until Sam arrived. "Hi there, I need to apologize." I smile bashfully. "I'm sorry about last night. I totally over reacted."
He pulled me into his arms, and hugged me, "Don't worry about it. I'm here to have a good time, with a special girl who means the world to me."
I take his hand and lead him into the yard. My mom looked over, smiling and waving. Sam waved back at her. I squeezed his hand, and he smiled at me. He was looking around when all of the sudden he stopped, staring at Emily. He let my hand fall, and started to walk towards her. Without any warning he turned and left. Emily and my mom both looked at me, and I just shrugged. The evening continued on inside the house once it became cooler. Sam returned a few hours later. It was about seven o'clock.
My mom answered the door, "Hi Sam, come on in. You know you don't have to knock."
He didn't move, "Can you have Leah come out. I need to talk to her." His words were said through gritted teeth. My mom was a bit thrown by this but did as she was asked. I was hanging out in the kitchen with Emily, when my mom walked in, "Sam would like to see you outside Leah." I looked at Emily, who just shrugged.
"Hi. Why didn't you come inside?" I questioned.
Sam sighed, "Listen we need to talk. I'm not going to dance around the subject. I'm going to be direct with you. We can't be together anymore. I'm breaking up with you."
I looked at him, my mouth ajar, "You're what? You're kidding me right?" Sam stood there crying. "Listen if this has to do with your secret, and whatever happened a few weeks ago."
He shook his head, "No Leah please."
My voice started to quiver as I spoke, "We can work things out. I'm not going to give up on you, or us. We had plans."
Sam sighed, "Leah that's all they are now, just plans we had. There's no more us. I'm so sorry. I wish I could explain why. You need to stop caring about me. Move on with your life. Find someone who'll be good to you. Who'll take care of you. Leah you have a great future ahead of you. Just forget me. I loved you Leah but not anymore. I'm so sorry to do this. I feel like such a jerk."
I stood there with my jaw clenched now, "You're sorry. You were holding my hand earlier. Things were good. Now you're breaking up with me. We've been together three years, and this is it? Just out of thin air, you're dumping me?"
Sam was still crying, "Leah, I wish it were different. Please accept my apology."
I was furious, hurt, and felt sick to my stomach. "Get the hell away from me. Get away from my family, and my house. So help me Sam, I could punch you." Shock and anger raged within.
He moved closer to me and tried to hug me. I brought my hand up so fast; he didn't have enough time to react. A loud crack echoed through the night air. He stood there rubbing his cheek,
"I hate you." I went inside slamming the door behind me, cradling my stinging palm.
"Leah?" My mom called out as I stormed past everyone going to my room.
Emily and my mom both quickly hurried to my room. "What happened?" I stood there, looking around the room. It was like I was blind. The room was spinning.
"Leah breath, you're hyperventilating." My mom held my shoulders, "Emily go get a cold wash cloth, and a glass of ice water please." My mom stared at me, "Come on Leah. Slow deep breaths. In through your nose, and out through your mouth." I just heard her say, "LEAH!" I heard my mom's voice, "She'll come around soon enough. It's only been a few minutes."
I blinked a few times trying to figure out what had happened, "Hi there. Don't move okay, slow breaths." My mom was holding my head in her lap. "Calmly explain what happened please."
I looked at her with blurry eyes, "He broke up with me. No explanation why. He said I need to move on with my life. He wished me the best of luck in my future. I slapped him across the face, and then came here."
My mom held me gently stroking my cheek, "Leah I'm so sorry." She took the wash cloth off my forehead, and handed it to Emily.
Morning came, and went. So did the afternoon. "She's not come out at all. I don't know what to say. I don't want her upset." Emily said to my mom.
"I know what you mean sweetie. It's hard with her. If Leah doesn't want to talk, she won't talk."
The afternoon passed and it was getting towards dinner time. I walked outside, shutting the door behind me. I walked through the trees into the woods. It started to rain, and I continued to walk. My clothes were becoming soaked. I didn't care anymore. Nothing mattered. I was alone. The man I loved had just dumped me. Nothing could get any worse now, or could it?