Ryder and I had spent all afternoon together yesterday until he had to go home and unpack and stuff. As soon as he left, I begged my parents to let me stay home from school the next day so I could help Ryder move in. Obviously it wasn’t just to help Ryder move back in. I just wanted some time with him. After about twenty minutes of serious begging, my parents agreed. I texted Ryder to let him know and he told me to come around 10am. I was glad it was at ten, so I could sleep in a bit.
I couldn’t hardly sleep last night. I just kept thinking about how amazing it was that Ryder was back. What great timing it was too. I also thought over how I would tell Ryder about Jake. I hoped that Ryder had a girlfriend in New York just so I wouldn’t feel so bad, but at the same time I hoped he didn’t.
I got up at 9am. I fell asleep around 2am, so sleeping in was nice. I needed to look perfect today. Then again, Ryder doesn’t really care about that kind of thing. He likes me for me, and when I think of how he liked me for who I really was, butterflies flutter in my stomach.
I decide to go with a nice white top with a teal chevron pattern on it, and a casual pair of black leggings. Nothing fancy, but nothing too toned down either. I put my hair into a sock bun on the top of my head, leaving a few strands out. I debated whether I wanted to wear earrings or not, then decided to just go with subtle pearl ones. Then I threw on a pair of Converse- the only pair I have ever own which are slightly scuffed- and head to my car.
When I get in my car, I realize that it’s only 9:30. I was so excited to see Ryder I didn’t even pay attention. I got out of the car and headed back inside. To pass some time I got out a little snack. I ate some goldfish and watched TV. Finally it was 9:50 so I decided that I would just walk there. It was only a few blocks away anyway. I got there with five minutes to spare.
Ryder was standing in his driveway, unloading boxes from their van. They must’ve gotten a new car because I haven’t ever seen that van. He sees me and starts to put down the boxes.
“Here, I’ll help you with those.” I offered, jogging toward Ryder.
“No hug first?” Ryder smiled.
I picked up a box, “Let’s get these inside first.”
I mainly said that because I wanted to see his house. I’ve driven past this house so many times, and never once thought that Ryder would live here. It’s not big, but it’s not small either. I think it might be just a little bigger than their old house.
We go inside and set the boxes in the kitchen, which would explain why they were so heavy. Ryder opens his arms for a hug, and I jump right in. We kiss too. Not long, because for all I know his parents could pop in any moment. But it’s still a nice kiss.
Ryder offers me a tour and I accept, grateful I didn’t have to ask for one. He shows me the main floor first. Master bedroom with a master bathroom, living room, kitchen, walk-in pantry, office, another bathroom.
Then he takes me upstairs where there are just two rooms, one to the left, the other to the right. We go in the left room first. It’s a guest bedroom with a small closet. The door to the right is a bedroom; Ryder’s. It’s just plain beige with white carpet. He has his bed set up, but no bedding. A dresser with boxes on top, probably full of clothes, sits in the corner. Ryder clearly knows nothing about interior design. Other than that, his room is empty.
There’s a small walk-in closet in his room too which is piled high with boxes. It’s just a normal room. I don’t know what I was expecting his room to be like, but that wasn’t what I had pictured.
Wev go all the way down to the basement. It’s dark, and Ryder can’t find the lightswitch. “Do you see it?” He asks.
“No. It’s your house.” I am touching things, searching for a lightswitch.
“Oh, got it.” Ryder flicks on a lightswitch and the basement is bright.
It only half finished. One side is just concrete floor and has a washer and dryer. The other side reminds me of a man cave. It has hardwood floors like the main level, and already has two couches and a flatscreen tv. Also, there is a small coffee table in the middle. There’s another bathroom off to the left of the finished side.
“Nice house.” I say casually.
“Thanks, it’ll look better when it’s finished obviously. My mom will probably decorate or whatever.” Ryder states.
We head back to the main level and then outside to their van. Ryder rests his arm on piled up boxes. He looks really sexy standing that way and I don’t know why. I stare into his eyes and admire how they glisten vibrantly.
“So what all’s new at school?” Ryder’s question catches me off-guard.
“Oh, uh… Not much,” I should tell him about Jake, but I can’t do it, “Trish is the president of the Honors Society. Meg is dating this new guy named Zander. Cass is still evil as ever. She even gave a lap dance to Mr. Bettle so she could get the lead, and this video got posted and…”
“No, I mean what’s new with you at school?” Ryder corrects me.
“Not much I guess. What was New York like?”
Ryder tells me all about New York and how noisy it is, how busy it is, and how rude some of the people are. Then he tells me how his dad’s company paid for them to live in this really big mansion with a few other employee’s families. I admit, I was a little jealous. Not once though does Ryder mention a girlfriend.
“Ryder,” I cut him off, “I… I need to tell you something.”
“Do you have a boyfriend?” His sudden response momentarily confuses me.
“No. Well, not anymore. I had a boyfriend. While you were in New York I mean. I… I just… I couldn’t get over you so I knew I had to move on. I’m so sorry. I didn’t love him as much as I loved you, I just need to,”
“Bridgett, it’s okay.” Ryder pulls me in closer and tilts my chin up so we’re eye to eye. “I’m not mad. I had a girlfriend.”
“You did?” I ask, pulling away.
“Yeah. Her name was Jessalyn. Like you said, I needed to move on. I broke up with her as soon as I found out we were moving back though because I knew I wanted to be with you.” Ryder’s tone is sweet.
“Wanna know something Ryder?” I go closer to him again, pressing my head into his chest so I can feel his heartbeat. So I know he is real. He puts his hand on my head, and presses me into him.
“What is it?” His heart is the beat, and his words are the lyrics.
“I never stopped loving you.”
After I say it, I realize how true it is. How stupid I was for wanting to move on, just so I could stop thinking about Ryder. All I want now is to think about Ryder, but now just Ryder. Ryder and me. Us.